[Story] The Inescapable Part-4


Read the other parts of the Inescapable:

Part – 1

Part – 2

Part – 3

Summary of earlier parts:

The gang of 10 is captured by the tribes and are about to be killed. They escape the clutches of the tribe but not without loss. Rubin and Emma are killed by the tribe. Henry gets stabbed in his stomach as he tries to save Aneta. He then asks Aneta to run for her life, Aneta unwillingly runs away, leaving Henry behind to succumb to his death. She manages to kill a few tribal men on her way to safety. Someone shoots at the tribe from the jungle and kills 2 of them. This scares the tribe and they run away, Jack, Aneta, Maya, Steve, Mike and Julia manage to survive and are now safe. Nancy is still missing.

Story Continued…

The gang was tired and panting as they sat on the ground, resting on the trees nearby. No-one spoke for few seconds once they realised that they did not have the answers to all the questions in their mind. As they sat there trying to calm down, they all heard someone running towards them. Everyone assumed it was Nancy, there was visible excitement on each one of their faces, but their joy was short lived when they saw the person running towards them was their guide, Jeffery. Jeffery appeared from the woods and stopped in front of the gang. He looked afraid and held a hunting rifle in his hand. He looked at the gang sitting there, counted them, picked up his walkie and radioed

“Guide 3 to base, over”.

Almost instantly came a reply, “Base to Guide 3, please report. Over”

“There’s six of them here, I repeat, six. No one else in sight. Over”

“Very well. The guards will be there in 2 minutes and escort you back. Over and Out.”

He put his walkie back on his belt, looked at the gang and said, “Are you guys okay?”

Jack was the one to respond, “Yes, we are. But, 2 of our friends are no more and we don’t know the whereabouts of the other 2, Henry and Nancy”. Jack looked down as a tear ran down his cheek thinking about Emma and Rubin.

“Henry is dead as well”, Aneta added and started sobbing loudly. “He died saving my life”.

That came as a shock to everyone. There was a moment of silence while everyone tried to process the news of their friend’s demise.

After a moment, Steve shouted “We need to find Nancy, has anyone seen her? I hope she’s okay”

Everyone looked around expecting someone to respond. Nobody did. It was even more saddening now, they had no idea where their friend was.

Jeffery, now becoming restless, “We need to go to the base, we are not safe here. Please get ready, the rescue team will be here any minute now”.

Everyone remained seated. Mike stood up and replied, “We need to find Nancy, we won’t go without her and we need to carry our friends’ bodies with us as well, it’s the least we can do for them now”.

Jeffery replied, “We will not leave their dead bodies on the island, I promise you. We just need to get to the base and let the Navy take over the search mission”.

“Navy?” surprised, Steve asked Jeffery.

“Yes, after we noticed on our monitors that your trackers are pinging back from different locations, we decided to follow the trackers. Once we found the first tracker on the ground and dozens of human tracks we assumed the worst and called for Navy and coast guard’s assistance. This place where you are standing right now is between the 8th and the 9th tracker. Navy is here now, I was waiting for the soldiers when I noticed you guys running in my direction so I tried to save you by shooting at the tribals. Once they are here, they will track the tribe down, they will also find your friend Nancy and recover the remains of your other friends”.

Everyone seemed shocked at the response. The Navy was on the island to rescue them but they were actually saved by their guide Jeffery, who shot down the tribals without fearing for his own life. The other guides were all spread across different points around the tribal camp and possibly were prepared to do the same.

Mike was adamant, “No, she must be here and we will find her, we will also take our friends with us, and since the navy is here, call for medical help and stretchers to carry our friends”.

“But…”

“Now” Jeffery was interrupted by Mike and very loudly. “We won’t leave without them” He commanded.

Jack looked at Jeffery, he was radioing base and asked for medical help as requested by Mike. Jack was lost in thought. Maya was the one who brought him back from his thought chain.

“What are you thinking Jack?”

Jack shook his head and looked at Maya. “The trackers”

“What?”

“Jeffery said they tracked us down by knowing the position of our tracker”.

“Yes, so?”

“Nancy was the only person who was still wearing her tracker when we entered the tribal gathering”

Maya caught the drift, and immediately took out her tracking device, the small 3 inch phone. She saw that almost all the red, blue and green ‘T’ were now near the beach together. She searched other locations, she noticed that there were few trackers away in the jungle, they were equidistant from one another, possibly our dropped trackers, she thought. She finally noticed a red T moving few hundred meters away from their position determined by Jeffery’s tracker, a red G for guide. She showed it to Jeffery and said,

“Look this is probably her, can we get the name of the person wearing this tracker?”

“Yes”, Jeffery picked up the monitor and started hitting the screen pretty fast. After a minute, he replied.

“It’s Nancy. Your friend Nancy, she’s 430 meters towards north”.

“Great, let’s go get her”, replied Steve. He looked at Jack, waited for him to say they must go get her, but he seemed to be looking at the now distant wooden wall from where they ran away and survived.

“What’s the matter?” enquired Steve.

“That wall, is about 400 meters from here and that side is the north side”.

Everyone freaked out. To find Nancy, they had to go back to the very place they were about to die a few minutes ago.

“So what?” Julia hadn’t spoken a word so far, but she broke her silence eventually. “We were going there anyways to get Rubin, Emma and Henry”.

She was right. Mike had advocated on getting their bodies and hence they had to walk there.

“Let’s go”, Jack replied.

They began walking, Navy had obliged with Mike’s request. Soon they were joined by medics and soldiers around them. The soldiers looked fearless. They were armoured from head to toe and not a single part of their body was visible. Dressed in camouflage, and eyes covered with reflective glasses, they looked like commandos you would only see in movies. A dozen soldiers spread around them, few in front, few on the sides, and few in back. The gang, medics, and Jeffery were in walking in the middle. As soon as they reached the wall, the right most soldier walked ahead and peeked on the other side to see if there was any danger. He signalled that it was all clear. They all walked ahead and saw Nancy sitting on the ground talking to someone lying in her arms. The gang saw Nancy and immediately ran to her. The person lying in her lap was Henry. He was still alive. The medical staff immediately took over and started bandaging the wound on Henry’s stomach. Nancy had removed her jacket and used it to cover the wound and had been applying pressure on it to hold the blood. It was because of her that Henry survived. A group hug allowed the gang to let go off their emotions and cry out the pain they felt within them for the loss of their best friends. It was a moment unexplained, the pain of losing a friend and the joy of finding one blended into a new emotion that everyone felt simultaneously.

After several hours

Henry was asleep in a room on the naval vessel and the gang sat around him. He had undergone a surgery and was now out of danger. Jack and Maya sat in the corner of the room holding hands and resting their heads against the wall. Maya was sobbing quietly while Jack had wet eyes. Steve, Mike, Julia, Nancy, and Aneta sat on chairs next to Henry. They were talking to Nancy about how she managed to survive. She explained that while everyone was running away from the wall, she ran on towards the nearby trees and hid behind one. All the men in the tribe went after the gang while the women began running in the other direction. They completely abandoned the camp. When she came out, she noticed that Henry was lying there trying to hold the blood loss with his hands. She took out her jacket and covered the cut on his stomach. She then dragged him away from the wall to take him behind the tree but she could not go farther as she had no energy left. She got up a couple times to find water for Henry, which was probably when Maya noticed her moving on the monitor.

“How is it that Rubin’s tracker did not show up on the monitor? It should be close to you” questioned Steve.

Everyone else gave a look to Steve to ask him to not talk about Rubin. It was too late.

“May be it broke in all the commotion” Aneta replied, and began crying thinking about Rubin.

Others consoled her.

A knock on the door grabbed everyone’s attention. Soon the door opened and a man dressed in uniform came in. He looked like the captain of the ship from the look of his hat and the medals on his uniform. He observed the room. He began speaking in what was a heavy voice no one had ever heard.

“Hello everyone, I am Captain Rogers, the captain of this ship. Let me begin by saying that our prayers are with the friends you lost today. It is a very sad day and I am really sorry for your loss.” He sounded genuine. He continued without waiting for a response, “Today’s events were unexpected and unforeseeable. The tribe you encountered seemed to have lived there for a few weeks. It is unfortunate that none of the tourists or guides noticed them before and you became the victim of their assault. A reason they remained undetected could be that no one ever went west from the camp, there is absolutely nothing there.” He paused, then continued as he did not want to leave an impression of being disappointed in the kids. He knew it wasn’t their fault, they were just exploring. “In today’s age of technology, we have the ability to determine the population on this island from up there” he pointed upwards. “We sent some drones and did thermal imaging of the island, we did not find any of these tribesmen except for the dead bodies of the ones you guys managed to kill. We are closing off the island immediately and will continue our search. As of now, we do not know who they are and how they managed to build a colony on this island without being detected”. “Do you have any questions?” he finally finished his speech.

“What about the bodies of our friends?” asked Maya.

“They are on the ship, we will prepare for them to be sent to their families by a helicopter. I am very sorry for your loss”.

“Thank you captain”, all of them replied in unison.

“How did you all manage to run away from them?”, no one noticed Henry was awake now until he asked this question.

“We don’t know”, replied Steve, “They were really slow compared to us”.

“We might have a theory”, the captain replied. “These tribes grew up in a small island, about the size of a block in a city”. He continued, “If you live in a place this small and there is no need to run behind any animal to hunt or run away to save oneself, as there probably are no animals on that island, you might not excel at running in such situations. We assumed then, and we know now that the tribes are cannibalistic in nature, but their spears suggest that they hunt animals and birds, however the small island is completely deprived of animals. We assume they moved to the bigger island attracted by the tourists or to hunt the animals on this island. Perhaps they always come here to hunt, or they came for the first time, we do not know yet, we will find out eventually. The government will not ban us from investigating like they did with those 2 explorers years ago, it’s one thing for an explorer to go missing, they know the dangers of their job, but it’s another thing to lose tourists after guaranteeing their safety”.

The captain left the room. Jack looked at Henry.

“How are you Henry?”, he asked.

“Good, I guess”. He then looked at Nancy and continued, “This angel saved me”.

“And you saved me” replied Aneta, kissing him on his cheek.

No one slept that night, everyone shared their stories with Rubin and Emma, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying and sometimes just mourning in silence. They were never going to forget this story, and they were never going to forget their friends.

The next morning, everyone was sitting in a naval plane to go home. Henry was made to stay one more day and he insisted the rest of the gang go back, meet their families, and promised to call them once he was home so they can meet again.

“How did the guides manage to get rifles?”, Julia asked all of a sudden.

“What?” Maya genuinely did not understand the question.

“How did the guides get guns? We were told that no guide on the island is armed”.

“Yes, you are right”. Jack was lost in thought immediately.

Jack looked at the soldier sitting next to him. He asked him,

“I need to speak to our guides”, Jack.

“They are sitting in the front, you can sit next to them if you like”, replied the soldier.

Jack unbuckled his seat belt and walked to the guides. He noticed that Jeffery was sitting alone. He sat next to him. Jeffery saw Jack take the seat, he smiled at Jack and started the conversation.

“You came to ask me about the guns, didn’t you?”

“How did you know?”

“In my line of work, we also study people, because we meet new people every week. We guides learn to think like animals, understand their instinct, and follow their trails to eventually find out what is it that they are upto. During this exercise we also learn the same things about human behaviour, and their psychology. We just know what people are thinking immediately. I was astonished that you did not ask me about it yesterday”.

“Well, it occurred to us today”.

“We keep them for safety, always. That’s the answer”.

“What could go wrong in a tourist Island?”

“A lot”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, this is a tourist place, but from July to March, nobody inhabits the jungle. You never know, a new danger might be lurking around when you open the island for tourists”.

“You have thermal imaging systems to determine every single warm blooded animal or human on the island”.

“If thermal imaging was so accurate, where did the tribes from today disappear? All 6 guards were surrounding the camp, no one saw them except me”

He had a point. The tribe went undetectable barely minutes after their confrontation. The guide in the most simplest way made him realise that how important it is to be cautious. However, it did not answer the main question, why were they told the guides were unarmed.

“Why we were not informed about guns?” He asked Jeffery.

 

“Why do you think?”

“To not cause any panic?”

“Bingo”

“That’s against the law, you cannot possess a weapon and not declare it, it will jeopardise people’s safety”

“May be you should take it up with the government, but what’s the point now, the island is sealed off anyway”

Jack knew he was knocking on the wrong door. I think I am just angry about losing my friends, Jeffery has nothing to do with it, they are just trying to keep us and themselves safe.

“One last question”, Jack was unable to let it go.

“We kept these guns hidden near the campsite”.

Jack was shocked to hear the answer to the question he was about to ask. How did he? Never mind, I guess he will give me the same psycho crap again.  

Jack stood up and joined his friends, explained to them the whole situation and finally said, “Had we not gone West, our friends would have been alive but may be the tourists coming here in future may not be, maybe 2 of our friends sacrificed their lives to save dozens of other lives. We will never know what kind of tribe is that, but this island was a home to them and we were the intruders. Mankind has always intruded into homes of others and oppressed the natives, be it animals or humans living there. We call it victory, achievement, expansion, while truly it’s just stealing. We stole their homes from them, and now we are out there eradicating the very people whom we stole from. We are evil. But within this evil, some are born heroes, heroes who do good, who save lives, so we will always remember our friends who gave up their life as heroes”. Jack closed his eyes and wiped his tears, everyone was weeping. They were ready to go home, but they weren’t ready to without their friends, they just had to. The flight took off.

A week later:

At a memorial event for Rubin and Emma, the gang got back together and prayed for their friends again. When Jack and Maya were left alone by the rest of the group, Maya started the conversation:

“I love you Jack”

“I love you too Maya”

“Are you okay?”

“Yes. You?”

“I feel a bit uneasy, thinking about what went down at the island, I was assuming you may want to rethink, rethink about us. I do not want you to rush into this without being completely sure”

“I was always ready to be with you. What happened just brought us closer emotionally. I love you Maya and as far as I understand, I will always love you”.

Maya felt a relief. She was worried that they would drift apart given the circumstances that they faced. Jack had made her feel comfortable, there was nothing more she wanted at that moment, she just wanted to be with Jack.

They kissed each other, and decided to finally go out on the date they planned at the island. Later that night Jack was dropping Maya home while in the car, Jack realised something.

“You know Maya,  we are from the same small town but never really met”

“True. Maybe that is destiny”

“Yeah maybe. I don’t believe in destiny, I believe that one’s life cannot be defined by something else, some super power called Destiny. It’s just turn of events thats all”.

“Philosophy”

“Yeah”

“Speaking of which, you are doing a doctorate right?”

“Yeah!”

“What is your research about?”

“My research is about how parents are affected when their child, a healthy adult, begins suffering from Dependent personality disorder. For my research, my parents help me observe and record their reactions to such situations, when I act like a person suffering from DPD”.

“What’s DPD?”

“Simply put, When an adult behaves like a child and sees oneself depending on someone else, like a child depending on his parents. At home, I am living the life of a DPD patient, and at all times my parents and I are living the life of patient and his family. A very recent example would be when I asked for permission from my parents to go to the island like a teenage boy and they treated me like one, by telling me why I should be careful, etc. You get the idea now I think. ”

“Wait, so you actually took your parents’ permission before coming to the trip?”

“Yup”

“Hmmm. Interesting”

“How so?”

Maya paused for a minute. Her eyes shining, she smiled slyly and replied,

“I hope if you want to stay over at my place, you don’t have to call your parents and seek their permission “.

Jack and Maya had not laughed at all the past week, it felt refreshing. They smiled at each as Jack drove the car through the empty road.

The End.

 

Author’s Note:

First of all, thank you very much for reading my story. I really appreciate the comments, feedbacks and suggestions you guys have been sending. There are a few things I think I must clarify.

I never wrote a story this big, this is my first time, and like all first times, this is a new and exciting experience for me. While I loved writing the story, I began understanding that I lack the focus I should have in the beginning of the story and should have envisioned a true ending to the story. Due to this, at times in the story you might feel disconnected from the characters or just have to create a new image of the character all together. For example, in the beginning it seems like Jack is teenager while from the part 2, you find out that his friends and him, are all adults and have day jobs. I did try to explain the angle, but I will only find out if it was okay or not, from you. Please do leave a feedback.

Most of us want to know the secret of the tribe, and the question that remains unanswered is “Where did they come from and where did they go?”. The truth is, I had thought of nearly 20 different possibilities. Then I realised, If I can think of 20 possibilities to 1 situation, imagine what all of you readers can do. Hence, I decided to leave it to the audience to imagine and make a new story of the tribe out of this situation. Let your imagination flow and write your story, I’d be privileged to read it. Share it with me on Facebook or send it to me by email to contact@finallyjobless.com

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About Naimish

Finally Jobless was created by Naimish Sanghvi who left his job as a consultant to take a break from Corporate life and explore what it feels like to do nothing and be on break. Find out more about me at www.Finallyjobless.com/About-author.