So sorry about the long delay! I know that I don't update this frequently anyway, but twelve days is inexcusable. This chapter is more about character development, but the next will be awesome I promise. The famous sub-level scene is coming up people! Enjoy and don't forget to review!

Cheers: JJZ-109


CHAPTER 7. NEWT

Bishop continued to examine the contained Compys in amazement while Ellie joined Gorman in reading the papers next to the small glass cage. She read the report on the animals and felt her stomach drop. Gorman read out loud.

"Scheduled for termination. They attacked a feeder in their exhibit, subject named Marachuk, John L. He died of blood loss." Gorman finished and everyone looked over at him in a little bit of surprise.

"Poor bastard." Hicks commented and looked at the strange creature.

How could something so small kill a grown man? Then again, there were a few of them.

"Two are alive, the rest are dead from malnutrition. I'm going to see what I can learn from them." Bishop said and pulled out a black bag from his field pack.

Ellie felt like groaning. Was it too much to ask to just kill them? She didn't like being in the same room with living dinosaurs, as there was only half the squad there. The rest were in the Control Room. It gave her a chilling, isolated feeling, even though she was in the presence of several armed men.

Suddenly, a loud, electronic beep broke out, and everyone's heads seemed to flick around at once. Ellie saw immediately where it came from; Frost's motion tracker. She shivered; something was moving, and it wasn't them. The tracker was pointed at the closed door, which was where everyone's attention had now shifted to. Frost picked up the motion tracker and held it as it let off its haunting beep. Gorman was quick to pick up the radio and contact Apone in the control room.

"Apone, where are your people? Anyone in D-Block?" Gorman asked in a slightly alarmed tone.

"Uh, that's a negative. We're all at the Control Room, over." Apone's voice replied on the radio, and everyone got the message.

Ellie gulped, while everyone else silently raised their weapons and proceeded towards the door, with Frost leading the way with the motion tracker. They moved slowly and made no noise as Frost opened the door, to reveal the dark corridor. Ellie tried to stay in the middle of the group, and could feel her heart pounding in her chest. This was it. CLANG!

Ellie leapt back in fright, but saw that it was only Gorman who had knocked over a metal paper bin by accident. Gorman raised an eyebrow at her and she felt her heart rate slowly die down to normal speed. Embarrassing.

They slowly proceeded down the corridor, and suddenly the frequency of the motion tracker's beeps started to increase, as did the frequency of Ellie's breaths. They were here.

"It's moving..." Hicks whispered and watched the tracker intently.

"Which way?" Drake asked and kept his M60 pointed in front of him and his eyes fixed on the shadows.

"...Right at us..." Hicks said and Ellie felt her heart sink.

Without instruction, they all stopped and Hicks switched on the tactical light on his M4 carbine. He slowly shone it over the dark corridor in front of them, while everyone else waited, ready to fire on anything. He eventually shone it over the right wall; and just in the corner of the illuminated area the taclight produced; they saw it. A shadow darted across the corridor and into some small opening, and Drake reacted instinctively.

RADADADADANG!

Drake let off the panicked burst of machine gun fire and sprayed the whole wall, sending sparks flying everywhere. Hicks put a hand on the barrel of his weapon and forced it down, while glaring at him. Whatever just ran across wasn't anything hostile.

Hicks moved forward fearlessly, guided by his taclight and crouched next to what looked like a large air conditioning vent. He flicked his head, signaling it was safe for the rest of the squad to move up. Ellie decided to trust his judgment and crouch next to him.

In the open vent, was a dirty face; the face of a young girl. She had a small cowering figure, and looked terrified. Her face was covered in grime, and her blonde hair was all tangled and matted. Ellie noticed how she clutched the head of a doll, as if it were her sense of security. Hicks rolled his eyes and looked through the opening.

"It's just a kid...Why don't you come on out of there?" Hicks said to the child in a friendly tone. He stuck his hand through and tried to offer her a hand, but the girl just moved further away from it.

"Just grab her Corporal." Gorman instructed Hicks, and he tried to get a hold of the girl's arms forcefully.

Hicks then felt a searing pain in his hand, and quickly yanked it back, clutching the sore spot.

"Ow! Shit, watch it, she bites." Hicks said and Ellie decided to take over, Hicks wasn't quite the child charmer.

"Come on out of there...It's all right." Ellie said soothingly to the terrified girl, but she shook her head and bolted back into the vent. Ellie was quick to follow.

"Don't let her get away!" Gorman shouted after Ellie. That girl was his only lead to what had happened here.

Ellie struggled through the air-con vent after the girl, who was perhaps a little more nimble under the circumstances. She crawled through the vents inch by inch, and was finally led into a larger looking space. Ellie practically fell out of the vent into the duct, and fell right into a pile of junk; a pile that belonged to the girl. There was an array of empty food packets, trash, toys, blankets and anything that the girl looked to have taken. This was where the girl had been living. Ellie was surprised at her adaptability, and being able to survive in such a nightmarish place.

The girl edged along the wall of the duct, with her eyes locked on Ellie. They stared at each other silently for a second, before the girl snapped out of it and tried to make a break for the hatch on the other side of the duct, near the fan. Ellie quickly grabbed her, and the girl resisted furiously. She kicked, screamed and tried to break free from Ellie's overwhelming grasp, but it was no use. Eventually, she tired and gave up; resting in Ellie's arms motionlessly.

"It's okay...it's okay. It's over...and you're going to be all right now. You're safe, ssh..." Ellie whispered to the girl soothingly and cradled her in her arms.

She then noticed something in the pile of junk on the floor; a framed photograph. She picked it up. It was an image of the girl, all dressed up and clean. The caption read: Second grade citizenship award; Rebecca Muldoon. Ellie smiled and looked at the terrified girl.

"You're one brave kid Rebecca." She said and stroked her hair, trying to calm her.

Half an hour later, in the Control Room

The girl sat on a desktop while Corporal Dietrich, the squad medic, looked her over. The girl just stared into space aimlessly, and didn't seem to notice Dietrich inspecting her. Gorman paced next to the desk, completely frustrated.

"What did you say her name was?" Gorman asked angrily.

"Rebecca." Dietrich answered and backed away from her.

Gorman crouched down in front of her and once again tried to question her.

"Now think, Rebecca. Concentrate. Start at the beginning..." Gorman tried to communicate with her hopelessly. Ellie entered the room with a steaming mug.

"Where's your dad? You have to try..." Gorman insisted and Ellie butted in.

"Gorman! Give it a rest would you?" She snapped and Gorman sighed in frustration.

"Total brain lock." He commented under his breath and stormed away to check up on the rest of the squad.

"Physically she's okay. Borderline malnutrition, but I don't think any permanent damage." Dietrich reported on the girl.

Dietrich then exited, leaving Ellie alone with the girl. Ellie decided she would have a try at getting the girl to talk, and she would use more friendly methods.

"Here, try this. A little hot chocolate." Ellie offered and wrapped the non-responsive girl's hands around the cup, and moving it gently up to her mouth. She drank it mechanically, with a little bit trickling down her chin.

"You don't talk much do you?" Ellie said quietly and wiped the child's chin clean with a cloth.

"Uh oh, I made a clean spot. Now I've done it. Guess I'll just have to do the whole thing." Ellie said and began wiping the girl's face with the cloth, clearing away the grime and dirt.

"Hard to believe there was a little girl under all this...a pretty one too." Ellie said in a friendly tone with a smile, and finally, the girl showed some response. She shifted her gaze towards Ellie.

"N-newt." The girl murmured under her breath. For the first time since Ellie had grabbed her out of the air duct, she spoke.

"What did you say?" Ellie asked, encouraging her to talk.

"My name's Newt. Nobody calls me Rebecca except my brother." Newt said quietly.

"Well, Newt it is then. My name's Ellie." Ellie stood up a little and pointed to the doll Newt held onto tightly.

"And what's her name?"

"Casey." Newt said and looked and the half-destroyed toy. Time to get to business now. Ellie thought and got to the point.

"Newt honey...do you know where your father is?" Ellie's face became a serious one, and so did Newt's.

"He's dead okay! And all of you will be as well!" Newt let her emotions out, and Ellie didn't expect that. She nodded sorrowfully.

"I'm sorry to hear that, but these people are soldiers..." Ellie started.

"It won't make any difference..." Newt said hauntingly and Ellie felt a feeling of dread sweep over her.

Meanwhile

All the marines sat lazily around the command room; except for Hudson. His fingers danced across the keyboard to one of InGen's many computers as he searched for something. Burke came up behind him and watched. There was 3D map of the entire island, with several locations marked. Burke saw the 'scanning in progress' notification.

"What's he scanning for?" He asked Gorman.

"Beacons. Each recovery worker had a emergency transmitter on their belt in case their was an emergency and people needed to find them in the jungle." Gorman answered and watched Hudson, who actually looked professional for a change.

"If they're within twenty clicks, we'll see them here, but so far...zip." Hudson told Burke and continued to work behind the computer.

The marines lazed around the Control Room for several more minutes, while Ellie continued comforting Newt with Dietrich. The whole command room was in a quiet ambience, but the only thing on Hudson's mind was getting the damn computer to work properly. And eventually it did...

The scan carried across the whole island, and several dots appeared next to the Volcano, by the looks of it in or under the geothermal power plant. Finally... Hudson thought.

"YO! Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...I've found 'em."


How was that? The sub-level scene is coming up in the next two chapters so stay tuned! Don't forget to review!