Fantasy Island and all associated characters (except mine and MagicSwede1965's) are owned by Spelling-Goldberg Productions, Columbia Pictures Television, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. All persons described herein are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. Copyright infringement is not intended.

Island Dilemmas

Chapter 1: Foundations of Pursuit

23 Oct 2014

The people on Earth followed the new moon's shadow across the planet's surface, marveling at the partial solar eclipse it generated and debating its scientific and spiritual significance. On the same day, several denizens of said satellite gathered in a small conference chamber of the underground complex that they referred to as the Realms. That their refuge was taking part in a relatively common conjunction was of little import to them.

Long ago, their ancestors had fled to Earth from a planet that had been devastated by war, bringing their knowledge and power. Over time they had intermingled with Earth's native residents, passing down their abilities through the generations, suffering the bigotry and persecution that went along with them. As the early settlers began to age and weaken, it was decided to create a secondary haven deep within the moon, for those who had tired of a corporeal existence. Here they could come to record the knowledge they had gleaned over their vast lifetimes so it would remain available for the future. It was here where the bones of those known as the clan leaders were preserved.

Representatives of twelve clans were believed to have arrived aboard the refugee ships. By the present day, at least two clans were thought to be extinct and several others had so few living descendants that they were in danger of becoming so. One of these was known as the Matter-Shifters, who could manipulate matter into any form they wished. It was the eldest and most powerful living member of this clan who was the object of concern in this meeting.

"Let us begin," spoke a male voice from the ether. Like him, his compatriots existed in an incorporeal state. Most people in the Realms chose to forsake a physical form, as keeping one was quite draining, especially to those who were approaching the upper end of their lifespans. "You, among others, have expressed apprehension regarding how our people are faring. Since Leader was brought into the fold by the erstwhile Tribunal, he has acquitted his responsibilities with distinction, even going beyond what has been asked of him so far. What complaints do you have against him?"

A second male voice made itself known, deeper than the first. "One concern is that he, to use an Earth idiom, has 'gone native'. Like many of us, he spent the majority of his life on the planet below. However, instead of fully accepting his true place with us now that his years are almost at an end, he insisted on retaining ties to the inhabitants of the island that he once owned."

"It's my understanding," said a third voice, this one female, "that Leader's original agreement with the Tribunal had strict limitations on his visits to the surface, and such never became an issue. With the Tribunal now effectively disbanded following their unsuccessful revolt, it has become clear that he intends to spend more time on the planet. He might even return to the business that he ran prior to his enforced departure, if the rumours are to be believed."

"It's that Elemental's fault," groused another. "When she appeared, Leader became involved with her very quickly. I, for one, believe that she has been influencing him, to his detriment and ours."

The first voice countered, "Your suspicion is misplaced. Leader gave his solemn word that the Elemental would not interfere with us, and there has been no cause to believe otherwise."

"Other than her despicable treatment of the one who called herself Red, you mean," said the grouchy one.

"Red tried to have Leader killed," the female reminded them. "Although some are not fully in accordance with his policies, he certainly doesn't deserve such a harsh consequence for them. Red's punishment for her transgression was entirely justified."

The second voice said, "Very well, but my point is that his continued interaction with the humans has biased him. The one known as Lavender, as militant as he was, raised a valid argument. Over the past few centuries, most humans seem to have lost the willingness to care for their planet, allowing it to fall into ecological ruin in the name of 'progress'. We have an opportunity to correct this grievous state of affairs that Leader has declined to acknowledge because of his fondness for them."

"He is a staunch champion of the humans' free will," noted the first voice. "I recall him saying at Lavender's trial that one cannot judge a single person's deeds while ignoring what many others have also done. It was the choice of each individual to follow the example."

"Idealistic nonsense," the grouch put in. "Leader has shown hypocrisy in that he allowed his island and its business to flourish while turning a blind eye to his own people's predicament. And he is doing so again by consorting with an unknown entity instead of recognizing what must be done."

The female voice pointed out, "A business in which he was aided by several entities, who might or might not have been of our people, and is irrelevant to this discussion in any case because his daughter runs it now. I will, however, agree that his choice to associate with a heretofore mysterious being is suspect. Particularly after the discovery of the clan ancestors' bones, the research of which still proceeds without resolution."

"One thing we might all agree upon," said the first, "is that since the Elemental rescued Leader from his captivity by Red and her accomplices, he has been different. The change is subtle, but definitely present. I have sensed that he possesses an increased amount of energy as compared to before, although he conceals it well. More often than not of late, he has presented himself in his physical form, showing a much younger appearance than previously observed."

"He mentioned once that the Elemental had helped him regain his full powers, but declined to reveal the method," said the grouchy voice. "I submit that the change you speak of is related to that. We know little of the Elemental and her powers, other than the scattered observations that were made while she and her allies carried out Leader's rescue. We could benefit from more detailed information."

Second said quickly, "The only ones who know more are Leader and Blue, and both of them have made it plain that they will not speak about it. If your theory is correct, however, it could cause a great upheaval in our perception of life."

A thoughtful silence reigned for a few seconds, after which the first voice cut in, "A number of valid issues were brought up, but we can't spend an undue amount of time discussing them. We should adjourn for now, to avoid suspicion. Perhaps by the time we are able to reconvene, more information will be available."

The group drifted apart.

Keiki Lee glanced forlornly around her home as if looking for something that was missing. What she lacked wasn't something physical so much as it was emotional. Her husband Siu Lee had died of cancer a few years ago, leaving her and their two sons struggling for a while. She'd been forced to tackle life head-on and do what needed to be done, and made a number of sacrifices along the way. Now, her elder son had his own apartment and was settling into a job as a flight attendant at Hawaiian Airlines, while her younger son had recently moved out in order to go to university in Honolulu.

She needed to be in a relationship again; she was 49 but due to her Hawaiian heritage she looked younger. Unfortunately, the majority of the men she'd dated either only wanted sex, or couldn't accept her for herself. Her independent streak – some had called her rebellious – tended to be off-putting, and it was difficult for her to rein in her natural tendencies for long. For a while she'd seriously considered relocating to the mainland; at least there she might have better opportunities.

Her gaze landed on a yellowed, almost-forgotten brochure that was stuck between two books on a shelf. A memory surfaced as she reached for it: a tropical paradise owned and run by an enigmatic man with supposedly magical powers. A man who had held such a high standard for his entourage that a young assistant had little chance to compete.

Things had been so different back then.

It was long past time to return there and find out if she could get another chance.

14 November 2014

Delphine Randolph, still graceful despite being in her early sixties, was wearing a white three-piece suit with a black tie as she welcomed the impeccably dressed Hawaiian woman into the main house's study. The guest's braided black hair and fine features belied her approaching middle age. "Please sit down, Mrs. Lee." She indicated one of the high-backed armchairs in front of the antique wood desk. "I admit that you have us at a disadvantage, since you haven't divulged the full nature of the fantasy that you want us to grant," she said in a friendly tone. "We can't provide you with a proper experience otherwise."

"I've reasons for that, so please let me explain," Keiki began sincerely as she sat. She remembered that the island's host had the uncanny ability to know when someone was lying, but wasn't certain if the same could be said of the other staff members. It was better to play it safe. "Some years ago, I was hired on here in a temporary capacity. It was a job that I really appreciated at the time, and it opened up some opportunities for me when I got home." At Mrs. Randolph's nod, she continued, "Between caring for my family and setting aside enough money to send my sons to college, it's taken much longer than I hoped to come back. You see, I'd been really impressed by Mr. Roarke and his staff, and what they did to help fulfil guests' dreams, so I wanted to experience my own." She leaned closer to the desk. "I'm sure that he must be a very busy man, but I hope that my fantasy can be arranged." After a pause she said, "I'm in love with Mr. Roarke, Mrs. Randolph. I want to date him."

Delphine sat up straight in surprise, and then regarded her sadly. "I'm afraid you've come all this way for nothing, Mrs. Lee. Mr. Roarke… passed on in January of 2010."

Keiki's jaw dropped. "I can't believe it. How?"

"Simply put, age," Delphine said with a slight head shake. "Despite what most think, he was actually much older than he looked. The staff had a long-standing joke that he had excellent genes." She indicated a photograph on the wall near the desk.

Keiki stood up to look; it was Mr. Roarke, very like the way she remembered him, except that his hair was much whiter. A small brass plaque affixed to the frame read: Mr. Roarke, founder and father. 1920-2010. Stunned, she dropped back into the chair, and swallowed hard. This couldn't be true. "Is… is there a place where I can pay my respects, then? Like a cemetery?"

"Yes, Mrs. Lee, but there's no grave for him there," said Mrs. Randolph gently. "One night he went to bed, and the next morning he was gone. The best theory anyone could come up with was that he went out early for a walk and had some sort of accident in the jungle. His body was never found. The natives believe that the gods took him as a reward for his years of service to the island and its people. That's some consolation at least."

"I can't believe it," Keiki repeated, lifting her hands to her mouth as she tried not to weep. "And I wanted to see him again so much…"

"I'm sorry," said Mrs. Randolph. "I'll show you to your bungalow, if I may. We might not be able to fulfil that particular fantasy, but you are welcome as a guest for the weekend. Or if you'd prefer, we can refund your fee. The next plane departs this evening."

At that moment there was a knock at the door. Delphine excused herself and went to open it, and there stood her godfather and his fiancée Andrea Trenton, back from a check-in with various family members concerning island business. They had changed again, she mused; it seemed that every time the couple were together, they both looked younger and more relaxed. Startled by her own thought, she blurted, "Uh…" before stopping herself and clearing her throat. "This is unexpected, I thought you'd be out longer." She flicked her eyes to the right, hoping that they would get the hint and play into the deception.

Roarke, as always, didn't miss anything, and Andrea was just as astute. "All is well, Mrs. Randolph," Andrea said brightly. "We wanted to inform you in person, but if you're busy, we can give you the details later."

"Mr. Roarke?!" came an excited exclamation.

Delphine cringed. She'd hoped to get them out of sight before Mrs. Lee noticed.

Keiki stood and approached hesitantly, staring at the pair who were both wearing the white clothing that was standard for staff members. "I knew I recognized you. She told me that you were dead!" She shot Delphine an accusatory glare.

"I beg your pardon?" Roarke asked, looking mildly surprised.

The pretty ash-haired woman with him interjected, "Oh, you must be referring to the elder Mr. Roarke," she said with a friendly smile. "A truly wonderful man."

"But…" Keiki glanced at the portrait again, and then at the man in the doorway. The resemblance was astonishing but for his much younger appearance. How was this possible? "I…"

Mrs. Randolph put one arm around her shoulders and guided her back to the chair. She put up little resistance. "This is the island's diplomatic envoy, Mrs. Lee," the host explained. "Your confusion is understandable. I'll give you a moment to compose yourself and decide what you'd like to do." Then she returned to the door and jerked her chin toward the hallway.

The couple backed up and Delphine joined them, closing the door behind her. "She told me that she's a former employee," she said softly. "Widowed now, two grown kids. She surprised me with a fantasy about dating Mr. Roarke because she's in love with him. I can't possibly accommodate that."

Roarke said drolly, "I assume you told her about the 'death' in the family."

"Yes, but even though we all agreed to say that to guests who inquire, I still don't like telling half-truths," Delphine responded with a bite in her voice. She would've made a zinger about Andrea throwing a wrench into the works, but for catching a movement in the other woman's eyes that told her to change the subject. "How was the outing?"

Andrea informed her, "It was productive, Delphine. There should be no problems."

She smiled. "Well, I'm glad to hear that. Let me know what you're planning to do next – especially if you're looking to make more changes around here."

With a chuckle, Roarke said, "I wouldn't say that. You and Rogan have acquitted yourselves splendidly these past few years. However, I do agree that some… adjustments might be in order once all is ready. Let's discuss it tomorrow afternoon over lunch. Ms. Trenton and I have other tasks now."

"I'll leave you to it, then," said Delphine. She waved as the couple departed.

'Good save.' Delphine heard Andrea's voice in her head and it took a fair bit of self-control to not react. She didn't think she'd ever get used to the telepathic ability. 'She was listening at the door.'

Keiki scuttled to the chair and sat again. Her mind was awhirl with contradictions. What was going on here? Were there in fact two Roarkes, a father and son who looked almost identical? Or was the one she'd seen the Mr. Roarke, disguised to look younger in order to conceal some secret? This was, after all, a place of miracles and mysteries. She resolved to find out the truth.

When Mrs. Randolph returned and walked back behind the desk, Keiki managed to look contrite. "I'm sorry for reacting that way. He looked so similar… I didn't even know that Mr. Roarke had a son because I'd only met his daughter Leslie when I was here." It was still difficult for her to even think of the woman, and part of her hoped that she wouldn't see Leslie while she was here. "Could you please tell me more about him?"

"Like I said, he's our diplomatic envoy. As such, he travels a great deal and can be away for weeks to months at a time. On the rare occasions that he's on the island, he prefers to spend time with the people he knows."

"Who was that with him?"

"Andrea Trenton, our life counselor," Mrs. Randolph said with a knowing smile. "She provides advice to guests concerning their fantasies, and she fills in for other staff members when needed. If you're having trouble with deciding what you want to do next, I could arrange for her to meet with you."

"I'd appreciate that," Keiki said, as she began to make a mental list of questions to ask Ms. Trenton as well as other members of the staff that she came across.

Andrea was quick to notice Roarke's pensive expression as they walked together down the lane hand in hand. "Penny for your thoughts?" she asked, even though she didn't really need to. The psychic link that they shared enabled them to read each other's thoughts and moods when they chose.

"The woman who was speaking with Delphine is familiar to me, although older now," he said after a brief pause. "Her given name is Kekipi. She was one of the assistants that I attempted to train after Lawrence left. Almost from the beginning, she evinced jealousy toward Leslie and didn't perform her job to the expected standard." His brows furrowed ruefully. "Within a few months it became clear that she had also developed an unrequited attraction to me."

She couldn't help but snicker. "What is it about you that causes women to get crushes on you?" she teased, and then answered her own question by continuing, "Perhaps it's the allure of that which is unattainable, or the perception that being in your company would gain them power of some sort."

"Those are certainly not the only reasons, but yes," he agreed. "I dismissed her and arranged her passage home after she falsely accused Leslie of allowing a guest to attack her: a guest, who at the time, wasn't in control of his actions."

"Oh dear," Andrea murmured. "It sounds to me like she wouldn't have been a good assistant in the long run anyway. I hope things worked out in the end for that poor guest, though."

"In short, yes, they did. It's a tale that would be lengthy and difficult in the telling, and I've no wish to spoil an otherwise restful day." He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.

"Restful? Technically, we're working," she said, grinning. "Then again, working here never feels like a chore. Anyway, if Mrs. Lee is here with a fantasy to date you, she might not have gotten over that crush she had, even though it's been so long. That would be something to be wary of." With a wry look she added, "You certainly weren't wary of me, though, when I returned."

Roarke glanced at her with a slightly sharp look in his eyes. "I had no reason to be. You are among the few people who have trusted and accepted me and what I am without question." His gaze softened. "And you weren't demanding a fantasy to enter into a relationship with me, either."

She chuckled at that. "All this makes me wonder if the universe is testing us. First someone from my past showed up to drive a wedge between us, and now someone from your past is here."

Putting his arm around her shoulders, he said confidently, "In all the years that I was managing this island, I don't recall a situation where those who found each other here were totally incompatible. We should have faith that the universe – this small part of it, at least – knows what it's doing. You and I love and trust each other enough not to be influenced by people with petty grievances."