Please feel free to read the Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, and Chapter 16 before reading the following chapter. Anyway, here's Chapter 17:
Chapter 17: The Ascent
As Anne walked up through the boulders alongside the trail, she could occasionally catch glimpses of the ruins. She stopped once, to see what had happened to the rex, but he was gone.
She walked on, growing tired, up the mountain trail for what seemed an eternity.
The rocks had lessened on the right side of the trail, and Anne could see over the ridge to the forest below. As she moved up, she could see more of the forest.
She looked over the ledge, seeing that the mountain was steep, but in some places it was actually less steep. â€œI could probably climb down those, if I was careful, but thereâ€™s no way I could ever make it back up.â€
There were several odd slides down the mountain, which were slicker, like ravines, trailing up, and right into the mountain itself.
The trail curved left around a boulder ahead, and as Anne neared it, she heard a snarl. She ran, dropping down behind it. She had only risen about twenty feet above the forest canopy, and she whispered, â€œThereâ€™s no way the raptors would go all the way up the mountain. No prey lives up hereâ€¦â€
She peered around the boulder, seeing nothing at all.
â€œI need to keep goingâ€¦â€
She listened, hearing nothing.
â€œMaybe it was just my imaginationâ€¦â€
Yeah, I think it wasâ€¦ Just go, girlâ€¦
Anne nodded, standing up. She put her hands on the boulder, peering around it to make sure, and then continued on. The trail curved around it, going on a few more feet before bending right into another ascent.
She followed the trail for another couple of minutes, continually wiping away sweat. The sun was starting to set, and Anne could see the storm clouds far in the distance. She guessed she had another hour before the sun set completely.
â€œItâ€™s probably around six nowâ€¦â€
The trail ahead straightened out, passing through a jumble of rocks, and she wondered why. She hurried up, hoping she was near the radio tower, but she found that the trail only continued to a bridge.
It was built over a wide one of the ravine slides down the mountain, and it had multiple triangle supports underneath, hinged somehow onto both sides. It was wooden, (â€œFiguresâ€), and was wide enough for someone to drive over.
â€œI wonder if anyone ever did drive up hereâ€¦ It seems impossible.â€
A sign by the bridge read: â€œTo Radio Tower and Summit.â€
She smiled at the thought she was getting closer to rescue, and stepped onto the bridge. It creaked for a moment, but held.
She passed along it, looking down the sliding ravine which sloped out down the mountain, trailing to the base. â€œLovely little attraction for the kiddies I supposeâ€¦â€
She stepped off the opposite side of the bridge, looking back. â€œMy luck is getting betterâ€¦â€
She continued up the trail, which bent up in a slight slope to the left.
Anne walked for several more minutes up the path, passing between several more boulders. Finally, the trail straightened out again into a wide expanse on the mountain.
She broke out into a jog, despite her tiredness. To the left, along the mountainside, were two small, white buildings, with a connecting rooftop formed into an L.
They were very welcoming, and both had two doors facing her. She walked off the trail toward them, and saw one marked: â€˜Radioâ€™ and the other marked â€˜Rest.â€™
She ignored the Rest building, walking right to the Radio building. She grabbed the door handle, turning it. It wouldnâ€™t budge, but with a hard tug it popped open.
It swung open, and Anne moved inside. There was a vent in the roof, as well as a small, rectangular window just short of the ceiling on every wall. Several odd towered, machines loomed on the left wall, and a large cabinet took the opposite wall. On the right wall she saw another system with several buttons on it.
A red one with the symbol of an antennae on it caught her attention. She walked over, pushing it hastily.
There was a systematic click, and then the system buzzed to life.
Lights flickered on, and the towers on the opposite wall buzzed to life. There was a crackle, and Anne turned around. There was a communicator attached to one of the towers, and she pulled it off the hook it was locked into.
She flicked it on, and spoke. â€œUmâ€¦ Hello? Hello? Anyone out there? I need help.â€
To her surprise, there was a crackle of static, and a male voice spoke. â€œThis is the United States Navy Priority Channel. Identify yourself or clear the air.â€
Anne jumped with excitement. â€œI-I-Iâ€¦ Iâ€™m on Site B! Isla Sorna!â€
The man replied, â€œRight, right. We get this a lot. This channel is not for jokes. Please clear the channel.â€
Anne frowned, getting nervous. â€œNo I'm not kidding! I'm on Site B, the dinosaur preserve!â€
The man paused for a moment before answering. â€œWe are now triangulating your locationâ€¦ Know that the transmission of this frequency is a violation ofâ€”â€œ
He was cut off by a female voice over the radio. â€œSir, sheâ€™s not lying. This transmission is coming from the top of Mount Watson, on the north sector of Isla Sorna.â€
Anne jumped with joy, giving a triumphant shout. The man cleared his throat. â€œIâ€™m sorry ma'am, just please hold tight. Are you in any danger?â€
Anne spoke hastily now. â€œI'm fine, I'm fine. Just please get me out of here!â€
â€œWe've got people in the area. We're dispatching a helicopter to the landing pad at the summit of the mountain. Do you think you can reach it?â€
â€œYes, yes. I can!â€.
â€œPlease do so then, maâ€™am. Theyâ€™ll be there shortly.â€
â€œThank you! Er, uh, roger that!â€ She added, like an afterthought: â€œOver and out!â€
She clicked off the communicator, and re-hooked it back up. â€œIâ€™m safe! Just got to get to the landing pad!â€
She pulled out the map in her back pocket, unfolding it. â€œIt looks like the mountain goes down here.â€
She traced her finger on the north side of the mountain, to the landing pad. â€œBut he said summitâ€¦ This map must be wrong. It must go up, not down.â€
She refolded the map, sliding it back into her pocket. â€œWell, at least Iâ€™ll be going to the landing pad either way.â€
She turned around, walking out the open doorway. She stepped out into the fading sunlight and started toward the trail.
Anne spun around, toward the voice. â€œOh my Godâ€¦â€
Anne couldnâ€™t believe her eyes. Marquez Santiago is standing against the wall next to the door of the Rest building door. Heâ€™s holding his chest, hunched over.
She rushes over, putting an arm around his shoulder, helping him up. She opens the Rest building door, which easily came open. She led him inside, finding a clean room. On the back wall are two vending machines, and thereâ€™s t able in the center with several chairs around it. Thereâ€™s a small, double-decker bed along another wall, and a small enclosed toilet in the corner to the right of the entry.
She leads him to a chair, pulling it out, and sits him down. He groans, but quiets down.
She moves around the table opposite him, sitting down on a chair. â€œMarquezâ€¦ Whatâ€¦ Howâ€¦?â€
â€œYouâ€™re wondering,â€ Marquez says, â€œhow I survived?â€
Anne nods, stunned.
â€œI woke up under these crates, and I found a map inside the warehouse. I saw the radio marked up here on the mountain, and despite that injury on my back from hat raptor, I made my way along the south coast and up the west coast. I made it up here, but I just didnâ€™t have the energy to keep going. I came in here and just slept. I knew if you had made it, you would have been coming hereâ€¦â€
â€œYeah, I called for help.â€
â€œGood, good. Then we should get going.â€ Marquez began to stand up, but he was groaning.
Anne said, â€œNo. Sit down. We have a little while until we need to get to the landing pad, just take your time.â€
Marquez sat back down, shooting a glance at the door. Anne said, â€˜Whatâ€™s wrong?â€
â€œOh,â€ Marquez said. â€œI fell.â€
â€œUm, Iâ€”â€œ He stopped, groaning.
â€œLie down,â€ she said, motioning to the beds. â€œWe have a bit of time. Just rest up and then weâ€™ll get going.â€
Marquez looked a little nervous, and for a second Anne felt something wasnâ€™t right. He got up, moving to the double-beds. He dropped down on the bottom bunk quickly, sending out one small groan.
She stood up, moving to the vending machines. One was for drinks, while the other was candy. â€œWell, we sure canâ€™t get anything to drinkâ€¦ And, to tell you the truth,â€ she peered through the glass of the candy machine, â€œI donâ€™t think the candy survived.â€
Marquez rolled his head at her. â€œSo, what happened to you?â€
â€œI did a lot of runningâ€¦ Had some luck and got to drive for a bitâ€¦â€
Marquez smiled. â€œWhat are you going to do when you get off this island?â€
â€œI think Iâ€™ll go home and have a beer. Hopefully try and forget this placeâ€¦ Forever.â€
â€œThatâ€™ll be hard.â€
Anne nodded. â€œI wonder what theyâ€™re going to say when they get us off the islandâ€¦â€
â€œThe government. Theyâ€™re sending people to pick us up. Theyâ€™ll probably ask us questions about what we sawâ€¦ What happenedâ€¦ Everything.â€
Marquez looked away at the wall.
Anne continued. â€œIf this ever gets out to the publicâ€¦ I donâ€™t want to go through thatâ€¦â€
Anne sat down at the table again. She looked down at the wood, trying to take in every splinter. â€œI feel sorry for all of those peopleâ€¦â€
â€œWho?â€ Marquez piped up.
â€œThe ones that were on the planeâ€¦ That old man, his wifeâ€¦ The young girlâ€¦ Ricoâ€¦ Everyoneâ€¦â€
She looked up at Marquez, but he had his head turned away. He was moving his hand over something on his side.
â€œWhy are you rubbing your hand over your side?â€
â€œIt hurts. I was climbing and I stepped on this rock. It slipped out, and I tried to catch myself but I, uh, flipped and landed right on this pile of them. It dug into my side. Hurts like hell.â€
â€œYou going to get any rest?â€
â€œNoâ€¦ Iâ€™m too nervous. We should get going soon.â€
â€œBy the way Marquez,â€ Anne says. â€œOn your way up here, did you hear or see any raptors?â€
Marquez sat up on the edge of the bed. â€œNo.â€
â€œI thought I heard one on my way up here. It was snarling, but when I looked nothing was there.â€
Anne said, â€œIâ€™m losing itâ€¦ I told myself they have no reason to come up here.â€
â€œI donâ€™t see why they would.â€
Anne nodded, standing up. She moved over to Marquez, and asked, â€œNeed any help?â€
â€œNo.â€ Marquez started to stand up, but started to fall. Anne pulled him up, putting an arm around his neck, and helped him to the door. She kicked it open, and they walked out.
Marquez asked, â€œHow much farther do we need to go?â€
â€œWell, the landing pad is on the summit of the mountain, but the map I have says itâ€™s lower down. By the coast. We have to keep following the mountain east, and then wrap around it to the other side.â€
â€œThe northern side?â€
They returned to the trail and began to follow it, Anne supporting Marquez as they walked. Soon the radio and rest buildings were lost from view, replaced by the mountainside. The path occasionally had rocks on either side, and once or twice they had to move around them.
It had only been a few minutes before Anne asked, â€œSo, you asked me what Iâ€™m going to do when I get off this island. Well, what are you going to do?â€
Marquez looked up at the trail ahead as he spoke. â€œI donâ€™t know. Iâ€™ll have to see where things take meâ€¦ What happens next may not be so funâ€¦â€
â€œWhat do you mean by that?â€
He shook his head. â€œNothing, nothing. Anyway, I hope you had a goods time before this happened?â€
Anne looked puzzled. â€œIâ€¦ I guess. Why?â€
Marquez felt like he had lightened up, and seemed to be walking easier. â€œThe hillside,â€ he said, looking over the ledge. They were now a good way above the canopy, and Anne could see pretty far across the island.
â€œWhat about it?â€
â€œI noticed some parts arenâ€™t so steep.â€
â€œYeah,â€ Anne said. â€œI noticed that tooâ€¦â€
â€œSomeone could climb down them, but not up.â€
â€œI think youâ€™d have to go slowly though. It would be just like the steep parts if you fell. Did you see those weird slid-like things?â€
â€œYes,â€ Marquez said. â€œAh, look.â€
Up ahead Anne could see another bridge, as well as a sign in front. Marquez slipped out from under her arm, and said, â€œIâ€™ll go.â€
â€œNo, no. Iâ€™ll go,â€ Anne said.
Marquez was hunching down a few feet from the sign. Anne looked at it, and read its message aloud, â€œâ€™To Elevator and Summit.â€™â€
The bridge was just like the first one she had crossed on the mountain: wooden, built over one of the wide slides, and hinged into the rock. Just like the other, it was wide enough for someone to drive over.â€
Marquez said, â€œTo elevator?â€
â€œIt must go up to the higher part of the mountain or something. To the summit.â€
She pulled out the map from her back pocket, and said, â€œThereâ€™s no elevator marked on here thoughâ€¦â€
She pondered it for a second, before folding it back up. She glanced at Marquez, who quickly looked away. She thought she had seen something flicker in his eyes.
â€œWell, better keep moving.â€
â€œGood idea,â€ Marquez slowly said.
She stepped out onto the bridge, which shook slightly. She hear a clink and realized that one of the hinges was loose. â€œWatch your step now,â€ Marquez said behind her.
She hurried across, the wood creaking and the bridge rocking as she did. She jumped off to the trail, and turned around. Marquez was fully standing now, like normal. He moved out across the bridge, and it shook underneath him.
He spun around, and Anne caught a glimpse of the gash in his back the raptor had given him before he had found her earlier. He started moving quickly across the bridge to her, and it wobbled.
He stepped off, stopping next to her. He looked at the bridge, and Anne said, â€œYouâ€™re stomach seems better.â€
â€œOh, yes.â€ Marquez looked at the trail ahead, which rose up a bit and then leveled out a few feet higher than their current position. â€œIt, uh, still hurts, but Iâ€™m getting used to itâ€¦â€
Anne nodded, looking down the mountainside. It was now completely sloped out, just like they had been talking about: climbable if going down slowly, un-climbable if trying to get up. Here and there she could see several of the slides coursing down.
Marquez muttered. â€œFalling down now, you wonâ€™t be able to make it up in time to catch the chopper.â€
â€œWhat do you mean by me?â€
â€œOh, nothing. I meant weâ€¦ The elevatorâ€™s ahead, letâ€™s hurry.â€
Trespasser: New Beginnings - Chapter 17
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