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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scratched and Flawed

I squeezed the grip to my katana, fear welling up in my stomach as the huge metal cargo box absorbed stray bullets. My partner peeked over the edge and shot his shotgun, swiftly stepping back for protection.

"There's too many!" He panted, a cold sweat dripping off his snout. The tint of his purple glasses flashed as he peered over the side, jerking back as a bullet pinged the edge, rapidly taking huge breaths in shock.

"Just keeping bluffing them, Jolt!" I remarked, flicking sweat off my eyelashes. He rolled his eyes and blindly fired over the edge.

"Are kidding me?" He snapped, peering at me with gigantic, distressed eyes.

"No." I replied sternly, shoving him nimbly in aggression, "Be creative and bluff them now!"

He banged the back of his head lightly on the metal cargo box, annoyance and fear blending in his head.
 I peered down at Rex as he covered his shoulder in sheer pain, blood seeping between the spaces of his fingers. I crouched down to check on him. Rex grunted in agony, clenching his eyes tightly shut.

"Is it getting worse?" I asked, peeling his shaky hand off the wound.

"Don't touch it!" He snapped, shoving me back, "Just get help!" He tapped the square walkie-talkie strapped onto his belt, staining it with thin smears of crimson.

Uneasy about Rex's sudden forcefulness, I yanked the walkie-talkie from his belt, mashing the talk button.

"Wei!" I yelled, "Get off guard! We're in deep shit!"

"Fine," He buzzed on, "I was just about to practice my banjo..."

The firing got heavier, ricocheting off the heavy metal of the crate. I sheathed my katana, plucking a small device from the sheath. The device had five, tiny blades, like a ninja star. In the middle of it was a petite button. I pressed the button, triggering a sudden fast-paced flashing.

I tossed the star over the top of the cargo. A quick fizzing noise popped on the other side, followed by strident gags and groans.

I smirked in success, unsheathing my katana. I nodded at Jolt, commanding him for ambush. Jolt sprinted over the edge, hollering a threatening chant. I laughed along with him, waving my sword high in the air.

Jolt stopping dead in his tracks. What now? Suddenly I froze, scanning the area around us. A group of well-dressed men in sunglasses surrounded us. They wore apricot tuxedo's, shiny loafers, and evil smiles drawn across their chubby mugs.

"Fantastic plan, Shaey, just fantastic" Jolt quivered with sarcasm, aiming his gun carefully.

I paused, thinking as they stared us down. I pricked my ears up, gingerly sucking in the sounds around us... A bellowing engine gained volume... Wei.

One guard hawked a ball of spit and shot it at the concrete floor, clearing his throat, "We tol' you guys stay outta ar' buisness once. Now there isn't any second chances." His face was bruised up, an eye patch blocked an ugly scabbed eye. His right hand grasped the handle of a pistol, his other hand gingerly holding a hazey cigarette. His guards cocked their guns, aiming straight at our heads.

"Aaay! Niether are we, brother." I jeered, mocking his italian accent and spreading out my arms.

He grunted, his eye tensing up with creases and wrinkles. I challenged him even more, giving him a tiny smirk of success.

His grunt got more ruggud, like nails on a block of rough stone. He pointed his crooked finger at us, "Kill them!" He snarled, "Ucciderli! Voi stronzi!"

The guards daintly held steady, as if they were trying to play connect the dots on our heads. CRASH! Glittering shards of glass fell from the sky. An anchor descended along with them, a tiny Syrrul gripping on the chain the anchor was attached to. The anchor stabbed the concrete ground, the sharp point implanted into the surface.

"Wei!" I gasped excitedly, glaring back at the goons, "What was that about second chances?"

Wei slid down the chain, landing right where the anchor planted into the ground. He threatened the pompous guards, jabbing a long, skinny electricly charged trident at them.

"Back!" He snapped, "Back off! You guy's interrupted my guitar practice!"

"That's your secret weapon?" Razzi laughed, "What is going to do, c-" He peered up, gawking at the huge, rusty battleship hovering over the shattered sky light. An oval-shaped homemade bomb suspending from a thin cable and a claw.

A rope ladder unraveled from the very top, long enough to touch the top of my head.

Rex limped from behind the cargo, unholstering his pistol, "It's about time you got here, Wei!" He shoved a guard to the ground and began climbing up the rope ladder. We tailed him, hurrying up the swinging ladder.

"You idiots! Shoot her! Shoot her now!" Razzi flabbergasted, jerking his finger forward as bullets rebounded against the metal wall.

My fingers clasped against the rough, rusty metal railing. I hauled myself onto the boat, Jolt pulling my arm in assistence.

"Are you okay?" He questioned hurreidly, checking for wounds.

"I'm fine." I answered, picking myself up, "Wei! Drive us outta here now!"

Petite Wei smiled and scurried up the tall step-ladder to the control room. Jolt sprinted toward the cable, grasping the cable cutter. He struggled with the cutters, squeezing the two handles with all his strength, not getting cutting one strand. Rex limped over, pushing him out of the way. He grabbed both handles and easily cut the cable, ignoring sheer pain in his shoulder.

The floating battleship propelled forward, loosening our balance a tad. The primitive bomb plummeted to the concrete building below, detonating into a ball of guzzling, laughing flames. The blaze scraped the side, tinting it a nice shade of dark grey. We ruptured through the intense fire, coughing smoke tickling and clawing our throats.

The pager buzzed on, Wei's tiny little voice droned, "Where to, Shaey?" I walked closer to the control room and cupped my hands, yelling, "Back to the base, of course!"

"Alright!" The boat pulsed faster, blowing gusts of dusty wind into our faces. I ran over to a turret and sat onto the bench-like seat, right next to Jolt. I wiped sweat running down my cheek.

"Uhh... What's up?" He began awkwardly, urging to start a conversation.

"Nothing. Just going to the know..." I replied slowly, lost in thought in the train of thought. I gained two things out of the intense battle. First, I reclaimed my gold and silver bracer, a piece of work passed down family. Second, I had my revenge, it finally escaped my mind knwing those monsters were no more.

"Okay, just wondering... Are you sure you're okay?"

I eyed him through slits, "Yes. I'm sure."

The lush emerald green forest blurred under us as we ruptured through low, hazey clouds. The cool air dried the sweat in my hair to a sticky redue, clumping my hair together. I laid my back against the metal slope of the turret, resting my head on my palms. Such a great feeling to know your going home.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catharsis Part 2

I stared down the eerie darkness of the vast forest, a skinny dirt trail intervening with the sky high trees. I turned the camera on and walked down the path, capturing every square inch.

"What're you doing!" Lupe called after me, "They're could be anything in there!"

"Just a peek..." I replied. Lupe quickly tip-toed behind me, aware of every sound. The rain pelted the leaves, creating a harmonic sound of drum beats. Small shards of light poured between the spaces of leaves, reflecting a powerful light into the lenses.

Startled, I searched the ground, what was that? I waved my hand slowly in the air, checking for the beam of reflected light.

"Have you gone insane?" Lupe questioned, staring at my gestures.

Ignoring him, I repeated the waving, a small dot of light colliding with my hand. I followed the direction of the light, discovering something lustrous planted into the soft dirt. I set the camera on a good angle and excavated the object, a silver watch.

"Whoa..." I gasped, amazed at my finding, "These are only on the human planet!" I rubbed the dirt off the back, an engraving reading: Elizabeth Foster, 1945.

"Let me see!" Lupe begged like a toddler. I yanked the chain of the watch out of the ground, pulling something else with it; a human hand, halfway through decomposition.

Shocked, I dropped the watch, running a few steps away from it. I gagged at the horrible image, staring at Lupe who found extreme fascination in it. Lupe picked the camera up, filming the disgusting hand.

"Lupe, you're gonna make me throw up..." I grumbled, covering my mouth.

"What are you saying?" He chuckled, "You wanted to go on this trip. You knew they're was gonna be something frightening here. This is awesome footage!"

Someone screamed behind us, making me jump out of my skin. Lupe slipped the watch through the dead human fingers, grabbing my arm and running out of the creepy forest. He stopped dead in his tracks, a thousand yard stare slapped on his face.

"What!?" I snapped, looking his direction. There was Roger, an oar tightly in his hands, defending himself from ugly, raw-hided creatures.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Catharsis Part 1

Blood painted the blade of my machete dark red as I sliced the disgusting creatures across their mugs. I climbed onto the roof of a nearby truck, a creature ripping open my leg. I twisted around and kicked it off with my other leg, hauling myself to the very top. Another ugly beast punced on top of me, making horrifying screeching sounds. I shoved it off me, flinging it into the dark of the treacherous night.

I reached into my pocket, shaking as I pulled out a small conch. I brought the end of the conch to my lips and buzzed into to it, creating an ear piercing noise similar to nails grinding on a chalkboard. The creatures screamed and howled, running off into the trees. I kept playing the chilling sound for a few more minutes, stopping to check for screeches or growls. None.

I reached for my other pocket, grasping my walkie-talkie. I clicked the side button, a static sound emitting from the speaker.

"Blake," I whispered, quivering as a burning pain stretched around my legs, which was surrounded by a petite pool of blood, "Pick me up, I'm in trouble....again."

Torrent's Moving Picture---

The boat ripped through the ocean's surface, spliting it into two halves. I stood on the deck, breathing in the salty air and calming sounds of the ocean. The wind blew through my hair and pelt, refreshing every sense in my body. The blocky camera rested on my shoulder as it inhaled the wondeful sights from it's lens.

"Shark!" Someone screamed behind me. I jumped in sudden fear, the camera nearly slipping off my bony shoulder, catching it time.

I swiveled around to face the laughing face of my co-directer, "Damn it, Lupe! You almost ruined us!" I snapped, grinding my teeth.

"The funniest part is that your still recording!" He snickered, pointing at the tiny laser red light.

Quickly, I pressed the soft record button to shut it off. "You're such a shit." I mumbled.

The intercom buzzed on, the Captain's voice barely audible, "...we're appr- -ching the island. I can't find any docks so we go- have to just park- anywhere clear."

Our destination raced toward us as the boat picked up speed. Excited, I propped the camera on my shoulder again and pressed record.

"Stand in front of the camera, Lupe!" I ordered cheerily, he stepped in front of the lens and cleared his throat.

"My name is Lupe, the genius who brought you the epic movie, The Killers," He announced, grinning approvingly.

"Don't push it." I murmured

"Today, we will explore the dangers of the legendary Dawn Island. Paradise? I don't think so. Because this island is filled with unexplained, changing climate, scarce food, and-"

The boat violently jerked to the side, toppling us to the hard metal floor. The side railing caught us, brusing my back. The boat leveled itself back, rolling me off the rail.

I balanced myself to my feet, rubbing my sore elbow. I eyed the control room whee the captain drove the boat, just barely seeing the old man's silloutte.

"Are you okay?" Lupe questioned, trying to stand upright.

"I'm fine," I answered, searching for the camera. The camera layed on the deck, it's lens split in half.

"Sorry about that- hit a rock or someth-" The intercom hissed on.

The boat glided across the dense surface, ascending onto the wet sand below it. I raced over to the ladder, immediately climbing down with the camera tightly in my clutches. I touched down on the cool, damp sand, giving me a sudden need to take my shoes off.

"Hey, you gotta unload ya' know!" Lupe yelled after me.

"Yeah, why don't you be a gentleman and do that for me?" I replied, mashing the record button.

I narrated as the camera captured every sight, "Here we are, the world famous Dawn Island. What beauty, the trees nearly touch the sky!" I peered at the sky at that thought. It was horrendously grey, a scary sight to see. A light drizzle brisked dampened my jacket, covering it in petite, dark grey polka dots.

Lupe dropped my bag of clothes from the top of the ladder. It implanted into the ground, covering the bottom in sand. I shot Lupe a glance and ran over to it, unzipping it. I pulled out a rain poncho and a crimson scarf. I draped the clear poncho over my body, pulling the hood over my head and wrapped the camera in the scarf.

Lightning stabbed the ground, a rumbling clap tailing after it. It echoed across the sky as the rain bombed us with fatter raindrops.

I hunched over the camera, turning to the boat, "Lupe! Captain!" Captain Roger slid down the ladder in a cartoonish fasion. He popped up onto his feet and shaped his moustache as it was still wet. His night shade tuxedo getting wetter and wetter.

He inhaled a breath of freash air, "Smell that rain, Torrent! Such a wonderful thing, it is!" His voice sounded like those happy-go-lucky folks in old timey television.

Lupe came down after, his fur damp and pitiful. He plopped onto the now even wetter sand and sighed, "Now, I know why I need a rain coat."

"Why bother, my boy!" Roger cheered whimsically, "It's so natural and fresh. Why it's God's, or your case, the god's gift!"

Thunder roared above us again, "Crap, just when we unloaded." I groaned, "Cover that with....something!"

Lupe walked over to the pile of bags and cases, throwing a blanket over it.

"I could bring up the signal to find if anyone is nearby!" Roger grinned, proud of his brillant idea.

"Good! Lupe and I will look around for anything that can help." I planned, Roger nodded, gripping the slippery handles of the ladder.

I trudged through thick sand, leaving perfect imprints of digigrade foot. Lupe followed me, shivering in the cold rain.
I peered at him, "You need this poncho?" I offered.

"No, there's trees up ahead." He answered, unzipping his jacket and using it as an umbrella. I raced under the tree's, which gave us protection from the heavy rain, Lupe just behind me.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

X-Plorers Part 2

She turned her head toward the camera and smiled calmly, "I am here today with America's most famous paranormal investigator, Lance Moor!" She laughed as the studio audience clapped in harmony, suddenly stopping as if on cue.

"So, Lance," She continued, "What was it like dealing with the paranormal?"

"I'm glad you asked Roxanne," I grinned, using the cheesiest quote known by man, "It was dangerous, but we manage to stick through. Were never afraid of anything, not even one measly ghost."

"I see, What are the things you have captured besides the Loch Ness Monster?"

"Well, We caught the Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, and found the Holy Grail."

"That... sounds like some talented people right there, let's give him an applause!" Everyone began roaring with claps and cheers.

"Meet me back stage later," Roxanne ordered, pointing me off the studio, she looked at the camera with that same annoying smile, "And now, a special guest actor from the new movie, 'Parry The Wizard'. One the Roxanne Show! We'll be right back."

I waited backstage, pacing back and forth, a wimpy, bug-eyed kid staring at me as he sat on the comfy backstage chairs.

I peered a him, "Do you play Parry in the Parry The Wizard movies?" I asked

He nodded, "Yeah."

"What are you going to do next? It's the last movie right?"

He sighed, "You never know with Hollywood, you just never know..."

A studio guard approached Parry, instructing him to the stage. Roxanne approached me as well, holding a small paper in one hand.

"Here you go," She grinned, handing me the silver of paper, "It's a check so you can get back together and get equipment for your next job."

I examined the check, immediately noticing the five hundred thousand dollars written across it.

"Thanks, Roxanne!" I cheered with joy, about to give her a hug.

"Uh...No, no." She stopped, pushing me back, "I want to keep my suit clean and my Afro Roxanne-y! See ya'!"

With that, she clopped off on a extremely high heels to the stage screaming,"What's up everyoooone!"

I stared at the overpriced check, who knows what I could do with it, what I could buy....What I could capture.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blackout Part 4

The sun speared us with its blazing rays, buring my skin to a crisp. Vee threw his hefty luggage onto the boat, making it look so simple.

"Come on, Skace," He moaned, snatching a bag of food from my hand, "If you're gonna help, make yourself useful."

He loaded the bag onto the boat, more carefully than last time. I hauled the briefcase onto the boat. I reached into the bag and pulled out an Elpp, munching on it's sweet, juicy meat.

"Look at them," Vee mumbled, observing the duo coming along with us as they carried thier stuff, "They won't survive the forest."

I stared at the two, the stubby human struggled with his luggage as Saffire held her head high, trying to not look a bit troubled with her packing.

She swayed past us, shoving between us. She set her suitcases along with the other needed supplies. The boat driver stepped down from his throne above the deck, only he didn't exactly like a king.

He was a twin with the boat. Grimy, musty smelling, and foul. The boat driver wore a sweat-drenched, grey shirt, which changed into a darker grey under the neck and armpits. A few of his teeth were missing, along with some grammer.

"Ay der'!" He greeted happily, "How y'all doin' on dis fine mornin'?"

"Great!" Saffire greeted back, cheerful, "We're ready as ever to get this boat on the road...I mean sea."

"Well, aren'tchu a happy young feller, name's Stewie." He held out his hand.

"Saffire." She replied, shaking his greasy hand.

He peered at me, "Who are you three?"

"I'm Vee," Vee introduced, "This is my brother, Skace, of our partners, Horton."

He laughed hard, snorting between gasps, "Y'all are like some kinda sitcom or somethin'. That's funny right there..." He trailed off to another sentence, "We ain't goin' yet. We're 'specting another passenger."

Vee groaned, shaking his head in dissappointment. I sat on a heated metal chair, instantly jumping off as the heat attacked me.

I rubbed my butt, sweat pouring down my scraggly hair. I peered at the others, who panted as begged for atleast one cool breeze. That next passenger better hurry or we'll be cooked. A high-pitched beep struck the air, rebounding into my ears.

"Ay, dere's the passenger, he's early aw'right." Stewie announced, pointed his dirty finger down the dock.

A safari jeep raced toward the boat, a cloud of dust chasing after it. It skidded to a stop, creating a screen of dust. There was a clop from someone closing a car door. Someone strolled through the screen, un-aflicted by the gasious dust. I only know one that would risk there lungs just to look ominous and epic.

"Aww, shit." I groaned, "I shoulda expected this....It's Reggie."

Reggie stepped onto the boat, his servant struggling with the fancy, hefty briefcases. He wore his best suit: pure white with a jet black tie. His moustache was cleanly cut to a perfect shape, his fedora stabbed with the feather of a rare, and probably extinct, bird.

"Ah," He began with his famous fancy talk, "Smell the fresh air, the extravagant heat. It really beats the bitter cold of Lona."

"Reggie, Why the hell are you here?" Vee growled.

"I'm glad you asked. Meet Caleb, or by full name, Caleb Ukalosa." The servant plopped the luggage on the oven hot deck. There sat a chubby Wather with washed off markings on his face and a tuxedo one size too small for him.

"How do y'all do." He smiled.

"You snitch!" Saffire seethed, "I thought I would trust you! How- When- What's going on?"

"Ah, I'm glad you asked," Reggie began again with the same introduction, "You see, I sent Caleb on a study to investigate the tribes in the Plains. Look's like he got lucky enough to find you looking for these brillant, brillant men."

"One more word..." Vee hissed.

"So I got tricked?" Saffire snapped, "You used me?"

"Meh, Pretty much." Reggie answered.

Saffire grinded her teeth, Horton looking a bit nervous. Luckily, Captain Doofus was here to save the day.

"Y'all ready?" Stewie asked, looking at us all, " 'Cause I ain't gonna dis-cus any rules here. Besides, no fightin'  or breakin' my boat."

"We're ready," Reggie called out.

"Gooood....Good..." Stewie walked back into the control room and propelled the boat forward.

The heat was too much, I had to do something, I can't be in this heat all day. I grabbed a cold bottle of water from the cooler placed on the boat, pouring down my throat. I closed the cap and pressed the extremely cold bottle on my forehead.

"I understan' y'all are hot and all," Stewie annoucned on the intercom, "But next mornin' we'll be there. Don't y'all worry."


Suddenly, the boat churned, moving side to side. Something nudged it. Once again, it bumped the boat, a lot harder now.

"Crap!" Stewie screamed. At that exact moment, a huge serpant moster chomped the side of the boat. I jumped out of the way as it took a chunk out of the side, "I tink were in dangerous waters, fellas! Hold on!" The boat sped forward, nearly knocking us over. We left the monster to eat our trail of droplets, giving up with one huge roar. My heart pounded my chest, nearly jumping straight out. What was that? I didn't even get a good look at it, but I did say a strange apricot color...

A slim bit of water seeped onto the boat deck, surrounding our feet in salt water.

"Y'all better get th life rafts ready," Stewie announced, "We're slowly sinkin', but we ain't gettin' off til we get there."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blackout Part 3

Horton halted the car on a dusty driveway, where a misshapen hut leaned against a crooked tree.

"Hopefully, he's home. Otherwise, you'd after to pull a few thousands from your wallet." Horton sighed, extinguishing the car's ignition.

I shoved the door open, stepping out of the moldy seats. Horton carefully walked up the steps to the house, gripping the aged rail. I trailed him, stepping lightly up the steps as they cried out in painful agony, making long, eerie squeaking noises.

Horton rapped on the door, afraid that hitting it too hard may break it off it's hinges. Footsteps approached the door on the other side. The door swung open to reveal a pint-sized Baeku with a scrunched up face.

"What do you want?" It spoke out, a heavy British accent vibrating in his throat, "Oh, it's you, Horton. Come on in, have a cup of coffee or something." We stepped inside, still light on our feet.

The tiny Baeku warmed up the oven burner, practically reaching for the knob. He placed a pot on the burner and poured coffee grinds inside.

"Who is this lovely creature you brought?" He complimented, flattering me a bit.

"She's a friend of mine. I help her out in her job." Horton explained, "Her name's Saffire. She's a Raider."

"Ah, How do you do, Saffire. My name is Johnson. Such a dangerous but fun job you have, and at such a young age! You must've gotten a a scar or two out of it, I presume."

"Yeah," I gloated, "Most of them from their dumb ass guards. One stabbed me in the shoulder once with a pen, another tried to knock me out with a bamboo stalk, which are surprisingly sturdy."

"You must be one tough soul." He smiled, "At least your not like Professor wets-his-bed here."

Horton looked appalled, "You promised to keep that a secret!"

"Yeah, well. Looks like the other cousins know as well." He laughed a tiny laugh. He scuttled over to the pot and checked the coffee. Not done. He scooted back over to us.

"Have a seat and tell me why you are here." He offered. I sat down on a dirty white couch, reminding myself to wash my hands afterwards.

"You see," I began, "I get most of my requests from a extremely rich guy named Dr.Wexton. He gave me a request to go to this island where a hidden jewel called the Dark Eye is located. We can't go alone, though. We have to team up with these two more "professional" Raiders to get to the island. We need your help to fly to the Western Plains and drop us off there. Please?"

He paused, "I do have a full tank at the moment... It's my old war plane, though, so we have to fly stealthily."

"Sounds good to me."

. . .

We sweat in the scorching sun of the outskirts, loading luggage on to the steel war plane. I lifted my suitcase from the trunk of Horton's car, carrying it back to the plane. I looked around to see if anyone was near, nobody. I plopped the suitcase on the rocky ground and unlatched it open. I pulled out a petite, fully-charged game system from under the clothes. I won't enjoy this ride without something entertaining. I stuffed it in my pocket and clicked the suitcase back clothes.

After the loading was finished, we hopped into the pod seats. Two in the front and one in the back. Of course, I took the back seat. That was the one with the huge, bad ass turret gun.

The plane revved up to life, making booming sounds from it's engines. I held tightly to edges of the pod window. The plane jolted to momentum, slowly lifting into the air. My stomach balled up, squeezing and churning everything inside. Blood raced down We sloped into the air, reaching sky-high levels.

"Are you alright back there?" Johnson buzzed on the intercom planted in the pod.

I pressed the button under the speaker, "That was awesome!" I cheerfully replied.

He laughed, "Then I'm sure you'll enjoy the rest of the trip."

The trip seemed to go in slow motion, the tiredness of nothing to do weighted my eyes. Not even the game system could pry them open.

Flying over the beautiful apricot thistles and dried grass. Johnson carefully dipped the plane closer to the surface. The wheels barely grazed the ground. The landing was a harsh bump, sending me flying a few inches into the air.

I unlatched the pod and jumped out, crunching dry thistles underneath my feet. I scanned the area, only seeing a sea of tan.

"How are we supposed to find them in this mess?" Horton whined.

"With this!" Johnson called out, handing him a miniature device, "It's a GPS. A spare one that's close to the same functions as mine. Use it well."

"Thanks." Horton grinned, examining the midget device. We unloaded the plane, moving it a decent distance from the plane.

"I hope I see you two again." Johnson spoke out, waving goodbye from the plane. The plane launched into the air, blasting my hair with a humongous gust of wind.

"Power it on." I told Horton. Horton pushed one grubby hand onto the power button. The GPS woke up, a title glowing across the screen. It located us, showing us the exact coordinates of our location. I snatched the GPS from Horton's hands, using the obnoxious touch screen to search for nearby communication. A few miles north of us was a small town.

I turned to the correct direction and began walking.

"Hey, lazy!" Horton snapped, I turned around to see him struggling to hold the luggage all at once, "Are you gonna help?"

I smirked, grabbing only my luggage from him, "Should'a thought before you packed."

After a horrifyingly long journey across identical thistles, I grew annoyed with GPS, the thistles, my briefcase, and walking! I stopped in my tracks and lay the briefcase flat on the ground, sweat dripping down my snout.

"Got any water?" I asked, my throat cracking from dryness.

"I drank it all." Horton panted.

"You freakin' dumb ass." I seethed, wiping sweat from my hair.

"Come on the sooner we get to that town, the better."

I weakly stood up, grasping the handle of my suitcase. Walking now burned my thighs. My feet disappeared, I no longer felt them. I set the suitcase down again and sat back on it.

"Why is it so freakin' hot out here!" I yelled.

"Your just getting dehydrated, Saffire. Come on, get up." Horton encouraged, grasping my shoulder and hauling me to my feet. I immediately fell again, my whole body being sucked into nothingness. Finally, my vision enclosed itself into total darkness, an eerie feeling running up my spine.

My senses ambushed me, filling my body with shooting pains, dizziness, and a whole bunch of confusion. I lifted my head and looked around. I was laying on top of a hard wooden bed inside a clay hut.

Someone next to me placed their palm on my head, "Lay down. Lay down." They cooed, gently pushing my head back. I eyeballed whoever the person was, spotting a bald Kee with huge, gem incrested earrings. I followed her instructions, softly laying my pain stricken head on the animal-skin pillow. She rubbed a cottony paste across my forehead. It soothed my forehead, cooling it to a relaxed state. She lifted my head off the pillow and poured frigid water down my throat. I coughed up a few gulps, gagging the water out of my throat.

"Ah, you're awake!" Horton called out from the entrance of the hut, "You gave me a heart attack our there. How are you feeling?"

"Like crap." I answered sickly, sitting up on the bed.

"Yes, I know this. But can you walk?"

I turned my legs to the edge of the bed, jumping on my feet. I stumbled over a bit, the Kee catching me and setting me upright again. I stabilized my balance, then began walking again. I was like a giant two-year-old, waving my hands swiftly from side to side as I walked.

After getting a tad used to it. I followed him outside to a tiny village. Everyone seemed to be working, carrying baskets, mashing food, caring for the young ones, repairing hut damages, almost every occupation.

Horton lead me into a beautifully decorated hut aligned with bird feathers, river stones, and hot pink paint which was slightly peeling.

We barged inside, sweeping a curtain of smooth rocks out of our way. Inside was as heavily decorated as the outside. At the end of the hut a chair was placed on a mountain of petals. feathers, and other soft, eye-catching things. On the throne sat a stocky Wather wearing a fruity crown.

"This is Chief Ukalosa," Horton introduced, "He's the only one who knows in this tribe that knows English."

"How you do?" The chief grinned, greeting me in a native hand gesture, "You are they one who was sick? You be careful in these lands, its very dangerous."

My stomach rumbled, emitting painful pulses through out my belly, I had to ask, "Chief, do you think we can have something to eat?"

He snapped his fingers at a servant I barely noticed, speaking some inaudible language. The servant ran out of the hut, kicking up dust.

"Chief Ukalosa, I have something to ask you." Horton told.

"Go ahead." The Chief replied.

"Do you know who the Raiding Brothers are?"

The chief's face went blanch. The chief leaned back on his chair, rubbing his forehead. "Are you police?" He questioned.

We shook our heads. He exhaled a sigh of relief. "Listen," He continued, "They are infamous brothers. Police want them bad. Don't tell anyone else location, okay?"

We nodded, interested in the location.

"East, there is forest not far from here," He pointed past our heads, "Follow the rocks marked with a G."

"Thank you so much, Chief." I thanked, pressing my hands together. The servant brought in a wooden platter filled with exotic fruits.

"Eat up before you go." The Chief chuckled, watching us dive for the food. The food tasted wonderful, A mix between sweet and tangy, but succulent and juicy on the meat.

After gorging our food, The Chief gave us our luggage and a few weapons. A sharp pointed spear and bone knife. We began our journey, walking across the same deathly plains, but in the cool afternoon breeze.

The forest grew out of the hill, revealing lush greens and rugged browns. Excited, I ran into the trees, searching for a marked rock.

"Saffire!" Horton yelled, pointing to a rock at the entrance, "You past it!" I walked over to Horton and examined the rock. The rock was marked with a G, sure enough. There was also an arrow pointing in a diagonal direction back to the way we came from.

"This isn't right." Horton sighed, "Did the Chief lie to us?"

"No..." I murmured, studying the arrow, "The brother's are trying to throw us off! Maybe the arrow is pointed the opposite way of where were going." I traced the direction of the arrow to the other side of the rock, pointing into the forest as I traced. Faintly in the distance, there was another rock waiting for us.

"Right there!" I cheered, running for the next rock.

After playing a lengthy game of connect the rocks. We came across a trap door right next to the final rock. Covered our luggage in huge emerald tree leaves, preparing to met these "infamous" brothers.

I deliberately opened the trap door, peeking down into the darkness. A ladder shot down into the darkness, where a tiny light flickered at the bottom. I gingerly stepped on the first foot-step of the ladder, climbing down with choked up fear. Horton stayed up, waiting to see if the coast was clear.

The more I approached the bottom, the more I could hear voices, clearer and clearer...

"Goddammit, jus' change the channel. I don't wanna watch these miserable people sing for an entire two hours!" One deep voice sighed.

"This is the third episode towards the season finale! I want to see if that singer Jesse gets off or not!" Another voice replied, this one more scratchy.

"You are jus' like mom. You're gonna regret making me skip my favorite show."

"Pfft. What're you gonna do?"

There was a short pause, I touched down on the soft dirt floor. The air a lot more cooler than outside.

"Don't you dare break that!" The scratchy voice yelped, "If you break that I will whoop-" There was a shattering sound, like some small silverware or dish.

"You son of a-" Before finishing the sentence, there was a sound of quarreling. Growls, pushing, and cursing. I signed Horton to come down, quickly. Horton was swift to climb down, despite his stout legs, dropping the bag of supplies and weapons. I yanked the bone knife out, passing the spear to Horton.

"Come on, the bone knife is cooler." He whined.

"Shut up!" I hissed. I cracked the opening to the door, seeing a tumbleweed of punches and curses. I kicked the door opened and aimed the knife at them. Horton gave out a battle cry is he jerked the spear forward, faking a stab.

They immediately stood up, raising their hands in self-defense. One of the brother's was a slightly buff Libow, a lot taller than any of us. The other was a shaggy haired Kee, with a scar running across his snout.

For some out-landish reason, this amused me. I laughed, "Wow! Infamous raiders I see! Afraid of a girl and a nerd!"

Horton laughed as well, suddenly stopping in realization to what I said.

Suddenly, the shaggy one leaped into the air, kicking the bone knife out of my hand. The huge Libow grabbed Horton's spear, snapping in it in half as he yanked it from Horton's grimy hands. They stepped toward us, threatening us.

A tad scared, I raised my hands, giving them small little smirks of forgiveness.

The tall one grabbed the sharp end of the spear and pointed it at Horton, who gasped a high-pitched gasp.

"Skace! Get that knife!" He ordered. Skace, the shaggy one, hestitated for a bit. Then grabbed the knife and pointed it at me. His eyes filled with sorrow.

"Why are you here?" The tall one interogated, making small jabs at Horton, who was close to having a heart attcak.

"We're here because we want to make an offer!" I called out.

The tall one peered at me, tripping Horton to the ground, "What offer?"

"To go to the uncharted island to search for the Dark Eye."

"How do you know this."

"I know a few people."

There was a pause, then the tall one grabbed my shoulder and held the point at my throat, "Who do you work for?" He grumbled.

"Vee, stop!" Skace snapped.

"I know what I'm doing! She works for the police!"

"No, I don't you freak! Go ahead! Check my pockets! I have no badge."

Vee let go, "You're pretty persuasive, but I'm taking no chances."

"Listen, if I go with you, I promise the reward will be yours."

"What's that?"

"Five grant."

"Hmm.... Double that and we have a deal."

I knew I would ditch them anyway, so I shook his hand, "Deal."

"Okay... Must've taken you a while to get here. Do you wannaa stay here until tommorrow, when we leave?" Vee offered, "You're gonna have to sleep on the floor though."

"Yes, please!" I begged, "We'll go get our luggage."

Night blanketed the sky above us. The underground room got dark, covering the small kitchen, the table and sofa, and the two beds. Vee snored loudly on the nearby bed. Horton slept on the floor, his snores sounding like a lame car starting. I held a candle over my journal and wrote about today, just like I do everyday.

"What are you doin'?" Skace asked, appearing behind me with a candle.

"Just...writing in my journal," I answered, a little shaken by his appearance.

"Maybe you should get some sleep, I mean, tommorrow's gonna be a huge day for us."

"I will in a minute. Now you just go back and lay on your soft, comfy bed."

"You know you don't have to be a A-hole the whole time."

"Look who's talking"

He scoffed, blowing out the candle, "Better be prepared for tommorrow, I'm not waiting up for you."

I smiled, writing one last word in my journal: Idiots...