Jungle Safari

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
It is the story of two people who are given a job to find an artifact in a jungle and the troubles they face.

Submitted: August 28, 2012

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Submitted: August 28, 2012

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[1]

He woke up to find himself in a jungle. Trees surrounded him. The noise of the wind and the insects surrounded him. He could not remember what he was doing here. Trying to remember gave him a headache so he let it go. He examined himself first. He was wearing military clothes. This was odd as he was not in the army. Now how did he know that? He just could not remember.

He found a backpack near where he was lying. He opened it. Inside it he found a first aid kit, a water bottle half filled with water, some rations, army knife, a gun and its ammo, holster and some towels. He took out the knife and the gun. He put the holster on his belt and the gun inside the bottle. He tied the belt of the knife on his thigh, keeping the knife on the outer side. He took out his knife.

“Now where have they sent me?” he muttered. Then he frowned. Now what did he mean by that? Who were they? And what did he mean by sent? Had he been in such a situation before? Why could he not remember anything? Amnesia, he finally decided and sighed. He had to somehow get out of the forest. But he had no compass or map or a memory for that matter. He had checked the backpack thoroughly and had not found any such thing. He had to pick a way randomly then. He started walking.

 

[2]

She dropped down from the tree and looked at the ground. “He was here”, she muttered. She scanned the site. He was here and he had left, but not long ago. The tracks were still fresh. She looked in the direction in which he had started to walk. She frowned. It seemed like he had taken the wrong way. It was her fault. It was because of her they had gotten separated and now it seemed as if he was lost.

He was wandering in the forest. This was not good. She had to find him, and fast. She took out a chalk from her backpack and marked the tree with a cross. She did not know why she did it, but it felt right. There was a small hole in the pack. She noticed it. It was a bullet hole. She recognized it immediately.

She sighed and put her pack back on. She was also wearing army uniform. There were two swords at her back and a short knife in her boots. She sighed and started following his tracks.

 

[3]

He was tired now. He was walking for quite a long time now. It was getting dark. He did not know what sort of animals would be there in this jungle. He heard the sound of running water. He stopped. If he went to the source of the water there is a possibility he may encounter a wild animal. But he also felt thirsty and his bottle was also empty. He stood there for some time debating what to do.

Finally he decided to go to the water source. He started walking in the direction from where he was hearing the sound. After walking for a short time the trees opened up and he could see a river flowing. He checked around cautiously. He could not see any animals.

He first washed himself with water. He also drank some of it. Then he climbed up a tree. He decided to go to sleep in a hollow type structure in the tree, making sure he was well hidden and ready to spring out in the hint of any danger. He soon fell asleep thinking maybe the next day would clear the mystery or at least a part of it.

 

[4]

She had been following his tracks for the whole day and still she had not caught up to him yet. Following someone’s tracks was slower than she expected. It was turning dark. Soon she won’t be able to see any tracks. She was getting worried about him. She hoped nothing had happened to him. She thought she would camp for the night.

Then she heard it; the sound of running water. There was a river nearby. Maybe he had gone there. The tracks did not lead that way but she felt that he might have gone to the river. That would have been the right thing to do. She started in the direction from where she had heard the sound of water.

She reached the river. She was too tired to search for him now. She decided that she would go to sleep and start searching for him in the morning. She climbed up a tree and went to sleep.

 

[5]

Morning came and he woke up. He looked around wondering where he was. Then he remembered and he frowned. He jumped down from the tree and stretched. He had a stiff back and his body felt cramped. He looked around and stopped short. He had seen her. She was sleeping on the top of a tree only a few metres from where he was standing.

He started to go towards her but he stopped. He hesitated debating whether this was the right thing to do or not. It was a nice thing to see another human being in the jungle but who was she and what was she doing here?

But then he saw something. A panther was slinking towards her and it looked hungry. It was going to attack her but she was still asleep and unaware of the danger she was in. Stranger or no stranger, he could not let her die like this. He started running towards her and shouted, “Hey”, trying to get the panther’s attention. The panther turned its attention towards him and growled. She woke up at the same time. She reacted reflexively.

She unsheathed her sword and attacked the panther. She did not kill it but only managed to put a cut in the panther. She only managed to get the panther angry. The panther growled and jumped at her. At that moment there was a loud bang and the panther fell down dead.

She looked at him. He had his gun out and it was pointed at the dead panther. He had saved her life. She jumped down from the tree.

 

[6]

The team leader raised his hand. His team stopped behind him. They were total five members in the team. There primary objective was to hunt down the man and the woman. They had been tracking them for a week now. They had been evading the team very effectively till now. They had made only one mistake but the team had not been able to take complete advantage of it.

The team leader had stopped because he had heard something. It was a gun shot. It came from his right, far off from them, but still he had heard it clearly. He said to his team, “Do you guys hear it?”

“A gunshot”, one of them said. The leader nodded and said, “I can’t believe that they are being careless. Apparently being the best does not help all the time. Everyone makes mistakes, even them.” He gave a short laugh. He signalled his team to move and they started moving in the direction from where they had heard the shot.

 

[7]

She looked at him calmly. He had not lowered the gun yet. It was now pointed at her.

“Thank you”, she said. He did not say anything and he did not remove the gun. Some moments later she said, “Are you in shock?”

He said finally, “Who are you?’

She was surprised. She said uncertainly, “Don’t you recognize me?”

He shook his head. She started to laugh. While laughing she muttered, “... of all the things... doesn’t recognize me... definitely amnesia... honestly...”

He said sharply, “What is the laughing matter? And how can you say that I have amnesia?”

She looked at him seriously and replied, “Because amnesia is one of the things you can have here. It is the way it is.”

He said, “This does not make any sense.”

She sighed and said, “It will not make any sense because you have got amnesia. If I start explaining everything to you, it will take a long time. So I will explain in short.” She started to pace, “We have been sent here by our employers to find a certain relic. We have been wandering in this forest for about a week now but have not found it yet. A team of five mercenaries has been sent to stop us. It was in a way, because of them that we got separated. I don’t know how you got amnesia. I was trying to find you for some time. Let’s get moving. You started off in the wrong direction.” She pulled out a map and pointed at one of the locations, “We had decided to go over there and now we are over here. We would have to reach there. Moreover the mercenaries would also have heard your gunshot and would be coming this way. It would be best to avoid them.”

He lowered his gun and said, “Fine, I will go with you for now. But try any tricks and you are dead.”

She nodded and they set off together. He asked, “What’s your name?”

She replied, “Its Stella.”

“What’s mine?”

She smiled and replied, “Chris.”

 

[8]

The mercs reached the river. There they found a dead and some tracks, their tracks. One of the mercs said, “It seems that they have gone away from here, Sir. They were here definitely though.”

The leader who was scrutinizing the surroundings did not reply. The others kept quiet. They knew better than to speak when he was like this. It was better to remain quiet. He would respond, eventually.

Indeed, after some time the leader said, “Yes. They are not here. It’s obvious isn’t it? But they are being careless. There are tracks all around. Or is it a trap of some sort?”

The others did not reply. They all stood there for some time. Then the leader said, “No point in standing here like nincompoops. Time to follow them. Follow their tracks.”

They started in the tracks of the two.

 

[9]

They were walking very carefully, making sure that there tracks were not too obvious. Chris had not asked Stella any questions till now. He was busy covering his tracks and asking her questions was the last thing on his mind. During noon, they sat down for some rest. Chris looked up. The sun was shining through the trees and rays of light fell upon them. It felt nice. Somehow it all did not seem real to him. He told her about it. She simply laughed.

She said, “You are catching on.”

“What do you mean?” he asked irritated.

She simply shrugged and said, “We are not supposed to discuss this”, and that was the end of this conversation. Chris sighed.

After some time Chris asked, “So what is this relic that we are supposed to find?”

Stella replied, “It is a sword.”

Chris waited, “And?”

“That’s all I know and that’s all you know”, said Stella.

“So you are saying that we are wandering in this forest looking for a sword which we know nothing about and risking our lives and we took this task willingly!” said Chris angrily.

Stella simply said, “That about sums it about. And yes, there are also a bunch of guys who are trying to kill us.”

Chris shook his head in disbelief. Stella said slowly, “There is this one more thing.”

Chris raised one of his eyebrows. Stella said, “There is this one person who we are supposed to find. He knows about the sword.”

Chris said, “Fine then. Where is he?”

Stella said exasperatedly, “That is what we are trying to find out all this time.”

Chris said, “Okay then. Who is this person?”

Stella said, “Now don’t get mad, but apparently, we will know when we see him.”

Chris threw up his hands in frustration. This was mad. Where the hell had he gone and got trapped? It was all up to fate now. He hoped all this to be over soon.

 

[10]

He looked out from his hiding spot. He saw them. He recognized them. It was Chris and Stella. He shrank back in his hiding spot. He wanted to think. He had seen the mercenaries. And now he saw their challengers. He had to decide. Who should he side with? Chris and Stella were only two people but they were highly skilled. But the mercenaries were no amateurs. It would be a close call.

He knew he would have to side with one of the sides eventually. He was confused. He did not know much about Chris and Stella. He knew of their reputation but had never worked with them. But he knew the leader of the mercenaries. He had a reputation of being harsh and dangerous.

It seemed that they had gone all out for staging this and had brought in experts in play. He was the only amateur and he felt nervous. He had been hiding too long now. It was time to pick a side. He sat there thinking for a long time. Finally, he made a decision.

 

[11]

“So who is this guy who will tell us about the sword?” Chris asked again. Stella sighed and said, “He is an informant and we will know when we see him.”

Chris simply rolled his eyes. This was getting more and more ridiculous by the second. He had no other choice. What could he do? Keep on wondering the forest, swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan? He sighed and continued walking with her. He looked at her. She had not told him everything and was keeping too many things from him, speaking in riddles and not explaining properly. He still trusted her. He wondered why. He did not understand why but he felt he could trust her with his life.

He cursed inwardly wishing he could remember something, but he didn’t. He thought of something. He asked, “Stella, can I ask you something?”

She stopped and looked at him without replying. He waited for her reply. When none came he said, “Well, um, tell me something; are we like boyfriend girlfriend, or are we married or something like that?”

She stared at him. Then she started laughing. She laughed hard, clutching her ribs.

Chris asked politely, “What’s so funny?”

She gasped, “I am your sister, you idiot.”

“Oh!” said Chris, “Ouch!”

She smiled. Then they heard a sound. Somebody had sneaked up to them. Stella took out her swords and Chris took out his gun pointing in the direction from where he had heard the sound. They waited for someone to attack but someone said, “Please do not shoot. I am coming out. I mean you no harm”, and a person stepped out from behind a tree.

 

[12]

The mercenaries had reached them. They could see them clearly. They were making sure that they were not discovered. Chris and Stella had covered their tracks pretty well but the mercenaries had still managed to find them. Their targets were talking and had not yet realized that they were there. That was good. The mercs could take them by surprise.

The leader’s hands were itching. He wanted to get them. He really did. They had humiliated him many times before. This time they would not be able to do so. It was time for revenge.

He was about to give the order for attack but he stopped. There was some movement around their targets. He ordered his team to stand down. A man stepped out to talk with their targets. The leader froze. The informant had decided to help them instead of the mercenaries. This was not good. The leader was angry now.

He calmed himself down. An idea struck him. He decided to see how this played out. He decided to watch from the shadows.

 

[13]

Chris and Stella looked at the guy who had stepped out. Stella sheathed her swords and smiled. She said, “I believe you are the informant.”

The informant said, “Yes I am. Could you ask your friend to lower his gun? It’s making me nervous.”

Stella looked at Chris who said, “Are you sure? He could be one of the mercenaries. Are you going to take his word for it, that he is the informant?”

Stella simply said yes. Chris lowered his gun and said, “You are too trustworthy.”

Stella replied, “Sometimes, that is good.”

Chris shook his head. The informant said, “Thank you. Guns and I don’t go hand in hand.”

Chris asked, “What is your name?”

The informant replied, “The name’s Mike.”

Chris said, “So Mike, what is this sword and where is it?”

Mike said, “I don’t know what this sword is except that it is a powerful artefact. As for where is it, I have a map which shows the location of the sword.”

Mike took out the map and unfolded it. The others moved closer to him. He pointed to a location on the map. It was marked with a triangle. He said, “This is where the sword is. We are approximately 10 miles away from the place. Let’s get cracking shall we?”

He grinned at them. Chris and Stella looked at each other. This guy seemed a bit mental to them. Stella said, “Lead the way Mike.”

 

[14]

The mercenaries were following their targets very successfully. They had not been detected yet. The idea of the leader was simple. Use the targets to get to the sword, then kill them and get the sword. The leader was confident his plan would be successful.

The targets stopped now. The leader saw that they had stopped near a cave. The cave entrance was in the form of a skull. He heard the informant say, “This is the place. The sword lies inside the cave. Be careful though, it’s full of traps.”

The leader looked at the cave and swore in his mind. They had started from near this cave. They had come back here again. The leader was pissed now. It seemed that someone was playing a joke on them. One of the mercs whispered, “Isn’t this our drop point?”

The leader glared at him and nodded. One of the mercs moved uncomfortably and a twig snapped under his feet. The noise was loud enough to reach the people standing outside the cave. They turned and they saw them.

Chris went for his gun. Stella took out her swords. The leader saw the informant diving out of the way, looking for a hiding place. He was not his concern. He would take care of him later. His priority was Chris and Stella.

“Kill them”, he said, “Keep the informant alive though.”

They moved out and attacked Chris and Stella.

 

[15]

They heard the sound of a twig snap and they turned around. They saw the mercenaries hiding. Stella said, “Mike, hide”, while taking out her swords. Chris took out his gun but hesitated to shoot. He saw the mercenaries coming out and firing at them. He shot back. He hit one of the mercs in the shoulder as he dodged their bullets.

Stella had gone behind a boulder. She was moving from one boulder to another very fast, trying to close the gap between her and the mercs. Chris fired few more rounds before he jumped behind a boulder too. He had killed one of the mercs, he was sure of that.

He listened carefully, trying to hear their footsteps. Then he heard one of them say, “Here”, and there were gunshots. He came out and saw four of them pointing their guns to his left, where Stella was dodging their bullets. He opened fire and killed all of them. The leader came up from his behind and knocked him on his head. Chris fell down hard.

Disoriented he looked up to see the leader point his gun at him. Before he could fire Stella came out from nowhere and knocked the leader over. Chris could hear struggle and some gunshots before everything fell silent.

Stella came up to him and offered her hand. She raised him up. He staggered and she supported him. He asked, “Is it over?”

Stella pointed. The leader was on the ground panting. As they walked up to him something triggered in Chris’ mind. “Rick?” he asked the leader.

The leader named Rick grinned and replied, “So you remembered my name, eh?”

Chris said softly, “Yes. I remember now. I somehow remember everything.”

Rick coughed and said, “That is sad.”

Chris raised his gun and Rick and said, “This is nothing personal Rick. I hope you understand.”

Rick grimaced and nodded. Chris shot him.

 

[16]

Mike saw the whole thing from behind the boulder. These guys were ruthless, both the parties apparently. Chris and Stella were however really good. Mike felt that he had made the right choice. He came out of his hiding place when it was all over.

He said, “Shall we go now?”

Stella said, “No Mike. It is dangerous. We are tired and as you said there would be traps inside. I would rather we be fresh and well rested before we enter this cave. We should go tomorrow. It is getting dark anyways.”

Mike nodded. What Stella said made sense to him. They made camp and went to sleep. Mike woke up in the morning. He was alone. He frowned. What was happening? He looked around but could not find Chris and Stella. He stood up and looked in the direction of the cave. He frowned. Those fools! Could they have? No, it was not possible. They were not idiots.

He ran into the cave. It was there he found the dead bodies of Chris and Stella. Why? Why had they gone without him? And what the hell had happened to them? How did they die? As he moved forward he saw Stella holding the sword they were looking for. Mike picked it up. Suddenly there was a white light everywhere around him and he knew no more.

 

[17]

It was during the night that they saw a light shining from the cave. Chris and Stella decided to check it out. Chris said, “Should we wake Mike up? He is supposed to be the expert isn’t he?”

Stella replied, “We will wake him if it’s necessary. Come let’s go now.”

They entered the cave. It looked like one big room. At the far end they saw the sword. The light was coming from the sword. It was illuminating the whole cave. They hesitated. They had expected a passage full of traps. Instead they found a room with the sword sitting right in front of them.

Chris asked, “What do you think?”

Stella said, “Smells like a trap to me.”

They both gingerly stepped forward. Slowly and carefully, they made their way towards the sword. They reached besides the sword, hesitant to pull it out. When nothing happened for some time, they relaxed a bit.

Chris said, “Now what?”

Stella shrugged and said, “Suppose we pull it out. It will be all over you know.”

Chris said, “I am not sure. Let’s take Mike’s opinion at least.”

Stella agreed to that. They started off towards the camp but a stone wall came crashing down at the entrance. They rushed towards it but it was no use. They were trapped in the cave. Chris swore and Stella looked around frustrated. They looked around the cave to see if they could find an exit. They could find none.

Stella said angrily, “Now what?”

Chris said, “Maybe we could just pull out the sword.”

Stella said, “It cannot be this easy Chris.”

Chris said, “I agree. But what other choice do we have?”

They argued for some time, deciding what to do. Then they finally decided to pull out the sword. Whatever would happen would happen. Stella pulled out the sword. Something clicked somewhere and the next moment they were impaled by spikes rising out of the ground. They died. The sword cluttered besides Stella. They had failed.

 

[18]

They were sitting in a room. They were all together. They were kept separate initially but they were all brought together for report. A video was playing in front of them. It was the highlight of what they had been through. They winced as they saw some of the images, glad that it was all over. They had fun but it was time.

A group of people entered the room. The people sitting there now shifted their attention to the group. One person from the group stepped forward and said, “We have read your report and we thank you for participating. Some of you believe that we made the environment too real. But that was our main purpose. We want to make this real. However, if you believe that this would be not good, then we would tone it down a bit.”

Chris said, “You should. This is a game after all. You don’t want to confuse the players. If you make it too real, it might happen that they would not be able to differentiate between the real life and the game when they come out.”

The person said, “Hmm, you pose a good point Chris. But it would not happen as you all demonstrated us.”

They all looked confused. The person explained, “Are you confused what is real and what is a game?”

They understood. None of them had any doubt that they were back in the real world. Chris mumbled, “But I still believe that we should use avatars instead of projections. Have some element that could clearly say this is a game.”

Rick said, “I agree with Chris. Spending so much time inside, it even made me feel like a real mercenary.”

Mike said, “Yes, the projections may affect the players psychologically. I don’t like playing the role of a scared informer.”

The person said, “This was just a test phase. We are trying to improve the projections. We will take your feedback and suggestions and will improve on it. Goodbye gentleman and lady. We will contact you when we need you again.”

They were then escorted out. As they exited, Rick said, “I can’t believe it. An informant succeeded where all of us failed. I mean, he was supposed to be a neutral party.”

Mike grinned and said, “You don’t understand. It was the role of the informant only to pull out the sword. Anyone else would just die as Chris and Stella demonstrated.”

“Bah!” said Rick and they all said their goodbyes. As they were walking, Chris said to Stella, “What do you think of this new projection technology?”

Stella sighed and said, “Would you let it go Chris? They said it was in test phase. They said they were going to improve it.”

Chris nodded. He was still feeling sceptic. They had felt everything in the game and had also felt the after effects when they got out of it. The projection technology was still not developed and Chris believed that it might be years before they master it. Chris said, “Let’s hope that these guys perfect the projection technology fast. Because these type of games are going to be awesome.”


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