Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction based on the story and characters that are the property of the creators and producers of "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World" syndicated television series.
I want to thank all my beta readers, Jacqueline, Rissy and Lora without their help it wouldn't have been possible. A big shout to Taz for her encouraging words.
Author's note: A big thank you to all the people who review the first chapter. Reviews mean a great deal to me, they inspires me to write more. Without much further delay I'll give you...
Their way back had been peaceful, with no raptor or ape-men in sight. It had made the journey pleasant enough. Marguerite and Roxton walked at a steady pace with Roxton leading the way, his back turned while his hands held onto the handles of the case.
All this silence was making her uncomfortable. The only place she wanted to be was in the comfort of her own room. As much as she wanted to get there, she needed a rest. "John," she called.
"What it is it Marguerite?" He immediately stopped; he was worried about her. As much as a fantastic recovery she had made, he knew there was something on her mind. You don't live with people for over 2 years without learning something about them, he thought.
They slowly put the case on the ground.
"Thanks." Marguerite stretched her arms, took out her canteen and proceeded to take a long swig from it.
"I guess we can take a break," he said as he found a comfortable space where to sit. Marguerite nodded in agreement and headed under the sheltering of a big oak tree. She was too consumed by her thoughts to start a conversation. She couldn't stop thinking about the girl. Was this the power Vodrak had told her about? Did she have a premonition? What about this Orak? So far she hadn't felt anything regarding him. And she had been told that when he was near she would know. This scared her. Why me? She thought.
This wasn't the first time she had a premonition. She had had them before. Her mind was flooded with images from the past, but of all of them one stuck out more than the others.
She remembered how as a young schoolgirl, she used to have them all the time. Once she had one about one of the girls falling into the lake, she remembered how frightened she had been as she had foresaw the girl's drowning. She didn't dare tell anyone about it. Instead she followed the girl everywhere she went, never letting her out of her sight. That is, until the girl had reported her to the Mother Superior. She had been sent to her room without supper. In there she had spent agonising hours, knowing that if she didn't do anything the girl surely was going to drown. Hours passed before she made the decision to tell the Mother Superior. She told her everything, embellishing the story by telling her; she had heard that a group of girl were thinking of going playing by the lake, which was forbidden grounds for young children. Mother Superior had been so angry and had begun to tell her a sermon and she, even as a young child, had lost her patience and had told her to go and get them before it was too late. Later she had found out that the Mother Superior had found the girl drowning, but was able to save her. However, from then on the Mothers' treated Marguerite differently.
Her forehead furrowed, as she became agitated. She had let that girl die. She had that premonition and she didn't do anything about it. Her heart ache with guilt.
From afar Roxton observed her. She looked thoughtful, a frowning expression on her face. He didn't want to interrupt her but it was best if they started their trek back. He got up and made his way towards her.
The heiress didn't see him standing over her as she was too consumed with her thoughts. Roxton gained her attention, "Marguerite!" He extended his hand to help her up, and she took it gratefully. She made her way towards the case and held on to one side as she waited for Roxton to grab hold of the other side. Soon they where back on their trek.
The elevator could be heard coming up from the empty treehouse. As the elevator came to a stop, its two occupants heard an explosion. They immediately rushed out of the lift and headed to the lab.
"George!" Marguerite called as she rushed to the lab.
A very nervous Challenger came out. He was covered in dust and the lab was a complete mess. A bit of the wall was missing.
"George, are you alright?" Concern was written all over her face.
Quite shakily he responded, "I guess I put too much sulphur in it."
Roxton stood there looking at the damage. "What were you doing? "
Challenger didn't respond. He was a bit shaken and embarrassed. He apologised and left the two explorers while he went to his room to clean himself.
"That man should really be more careful," Marguerite observed. This is was not the first time one of his experiments had gone wrong.
That man was as obstinate as she was, when it came to his experiments,Roxton thought.
"Just wait until Veronica gets here, she's going to have a fit," Marguerite said as she surveyed the area.
"It can easily be repair," he disagreed with her.
"Maybe that can be repaired." She pointed at where Roxton had been looking, which was the burned out side of the wall. "But have you seen the hole in the roof right above Veronica's room?" She pointed at the huge hole, which now led to Veronica's room.
Roxton swallowed hard, it was well known that Veronica's room was a sanctuary. She kept her most treasured possessions there, things like her parents' pictures, journals.
"I'm sure nothing is damaged. " Roxton peered through the hole examining the damage.
"But do you want to be here when she finds out?" she raised her eyebrow questioningly.
"In that case, do you care for a stroll around the jungle, my lady?"
" Why, you are too kind, sir." And in an instant they were out of the treehouse. They certainly didn't want to be there when Veronica got back. The sweet jungle beauty had a temper just as fierce as anyone else.
An hour later, inside a cave, which not five minutes ago Marguerite had spotted and insisted on investigating. A very stern looking Roxton made his way out, clearly mad and upset about something. Once outside he slung his rifle over his shoulder and made his way through the bushes.
Two seconds later a sheepishly sorry Marguerite came out. She spotted Roxton and headed towards him.
It was his fault anyway; if he hadn't been so eager to find out what was bothering her, he would still have it. She had only insisted going inside the cave to get him off her back. And it had worked, he had stopped talking to her and instead he had been on his guard watching her every move making sure she didn't kill herself. And she nearly had succeeded; the ground she had been walking on had collapsed. Luckily, she had managed to grab onto the ledge. Roxton had come to her aid, and as he attempted to lift her up, she had accidentally grabbed onto his pinkie and his precious ring had fallen onto the pit.
"I said I was sorry, " she apologised yet again as she caught up with him.
He turned to face her. "I accepted your apology, Marguerite. What more do you want?"
" You're not a good liar Roxton. It's just a piece of jewellery," she said, trying to rationalise the loss.
His eyebrows raised. If it was one of her pieces of jewellery, she'll probably be throwing a fit just about now. He stopped abruptly, causing Marguerite to break her stride as she nearly collided with him.
"You just don't get it. That wasn't only a piece of jewellery, it once belonged to my brother Will..." as his voice failed, he turned his back and left her standing there.
How stupid could she be, she asked herself. She hadn't remembered that it once had been William's ring. "It was an accident, or would you rather had been me?" she shouted as she watched him walk away.
Did he hear her right? How could she even think that? He stopped to face her, but she was some few feet away. "NO! How can you even think that?" he said as turned back to her. "But perhaps if you wouldn't let your..."
As he spoke Marguerite grimaced, holding her head in pain. Out of nowhere came her cries. "John!" She came running towards him.
"We have to get back, Veronica…Malone, they're in danger." Fear showed clearly in her eyes.
Before he could asked her anything she was running back towards the treehouse. Roxton was left with no choice but to follow her.
When they'd arrived, bodies of their assailants laid sprawled on the ground around the treehouse. There were a few holes in the ground, obviously from explosions. Roxton and Marguerite were quite out of breath; they had been running for what seemed ages; they immediately made their way up the treehouse. As the elevator came to a stop, they found themselves with a gun pointed at their faces.
"It's only Roxton and Marguerite," Challenger informed his young friends, who were still a bit shaken.
"What happened?" asked Roxton.
"We were attacked by slave traders as we returned," Veronica informed them.
"We barely made it back." Malone placed his gun neatly on the rack.
"If it wasn't for the Professor, " Veronica was rather shaken, but she slightly smiled.
The Professor offered a smile to the young lady he had come to think of as his daughter, "It was just luck really. I was just working on explosives, I had a couple of spare coconuts shells that I was using them as casings."
"So that's what happened earlier on." Marguerite remembered the earlier explosion.
"Yes, that was an accident. One of them accidentally caught fire and exploded."
Roxton gaze down at the jungle floor. "I see that it looks like you made quite an impact."
Malone and Veronica went back to their seats, while the Professor noticed that Marguerite's arm was bleeding. "What happened to you?" he inquired, as he pointed towards her arm.
" Oh nothing, I must have scratched it." She waved him off and left for the comfort of her room.
He shouted after her. "Marguerite you have to be more careful, you just came out of a coma. I don't think it's wise for you to be out and about, it's too soon."
Marguerite ignored him and disappeared into her room.
Roxton took advantage of this and proceeded to tell the others of Marguerite's premonition. He had found it almost eerie; they hadn't heard any of the explosions. How on earth did she know they were in danger?
"You said that she told you that you had to get back because we were in danger, " Veronica asked him for the second time.
"Yes, that what she said." As sceptical as he was he had heard it with his two own ears. "It's not unusual for people to foresee certain..." Marguerite interrupted him, "So, what's for dinner?"
Roxton finally spoke, "How did you know they were in danger?"
Marguerite had hoped he had forgotten about it. "I don't know," she lied. Was this the time to tell them? But she barely knew herself what was going on. Sooner or later she would have to tell them and this seemed like a good time to start.
"I just knew," she began, then she stopped while she thought of a way to tell them. "Ever since I can remember I been having this visions. As a child I used to get visions all the time, they usually got me into trouble. I was quite the outcast; no one would ever speak to me, the nuns thought I was possessed." It was hard to tell them about her lonely childhood, how much she wanted to forget them and replace them with happy ones. She continued to tell them the story about the girl who had nearly drowned. "After that I stopped having them. Well, as you know, I use to hold these seances. I use to be pretty good at them. "
"You mean take people for a ride," Challenger couldn't keep his mouth shut. He hated people who did that; they were usually after people's money.
"I didn't say anything they didn't want to hear, "
"That's called conning, Marguerite! You don't expect us really to believe you really talk to the dead. "
"I did not con anyone. All of my customers were satisfied with my services. I provided them with information that only they and the deceased would know. To this day I don't know how I did it. For a while I thought I could really talk to the dead. But that's another story." Her voice spoke the truth.
" I once had a premonition of all of you-"
"You wouldn't happened to know if we are ever going to get out of this place?" Challenger interrupted, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"Joke all you want." Marguerite got up to leave.
" Living here I learnt anything is possible," Ned put his two cents in. "This sounds like nothing, compare to returning from the dead."
Marguerite continued telling them what had happened the night she had decided to follow that voice. "Well, you know the rest."
The explorers stood there taking in everything that they had been told.
Malone was about to speak when Marguerite cut him off.
"Wait I haven't finished. After I woke up, I had a dream." She began telling them all she remembered. She told them how she had been restored and how she would eventually regain her powers. She concluded by telling them about the recent premonition she had about the girl that died. She searched their faces and seemed disappointed by their reactions.
"You must think that I've gone mad." She started walking away but was stopped by Malone.
"So this Orak; what does he want?" Malone was the first to speak.
"My powers, I think? I really didn't have enough time to ask all of the questions, Malone." She was quite exhausted.
"You said this is how you cured yourself?" Roxton asked. He had seen how Marguerite had reacted to the death of that girl.
"Yes, I don't know how I did it but all I know is that it worked," she said as she sat back down.
Veronica and George had remained quite throughout out her story.
" What kind of powers?" Veronica asked.
"I don't know. Don't you remember anything that happened?" She directed her question at Roxton and Malone regarding their encounter with Vodrak.
They shook their heads.
Challenger finally spoke, "Could you contact him?
"I don't know how." She really didn't know. This scared her because she knew it was the truth. It had to be; that would explain a lot of things.
If there was danger looming their way they had to be prepared. The group sat down discussing their choices.
"We have nothing to go on," Roxton reminded them.
"Maybe Marguerite should have a look at the inscriptions we found in the slab," Malone suggested as he went to his room and seconds later returned with a journal.
"Here." He handed it to Marguerite. "I copied it down."
"This could take a while," she told them.
"I guess I'll start dinner." Veronica retreated to the kitchen to begin the laborious task. She needed time to think, and everything that was happening was beginning to take a toll on her.
"We better go on and clear that mess up, " Roxton pointed to the jungle floor. Malone and Roxton headed down stairs and started to clean up the mess while Marguerite headed to the comfort of her room, where she began working on the translation.
Challenger, on the other hand, went back to the lab, where he started clearing up the mess he had made earlier. Much to his relief Veronica had been understanding and was more concerned about his safety. Now this business with Marguerite was worrying him. Maybe her brain had been affected. He did not want to ignore the possibility but being a man of science as he was... but the plateau has taught him to take everything into consideration as ludicrous or bizarre as it was.
Downstairs the boys were busy covering up the holes.
"Watch it Malone," Roxton warned his younger friend as he took a step back and nearly fell on the hole.
"So what do you think of this Vodrak?"
"I don't know what to believe, Malone. She did have that premonition, and how else would you explain her miraculous recovery? You heard what George said, people who fall in coma don't recover too well."
"You're forgetting we are in the plateau, where anything is possible," Malone reminded him.
"Marguerite and special powers, somehow that sounds a little far-fetched." Roxton still couldn't believe it.
"This from a man that was controlled by a Voodoo priestess," Malone retorted.
George Challenger made his way toward his fellow explorers carrying a crate full of rubbish. "What was that?"
"We were just thinking that these premonitions could come in quite handy."
"A second sight," Challenger mused. "Indeed." He exited the perimeter to dispose of the garbage.
"How come she's the only one who can remembers what happened with this Vodrak?" Roxton asked, "I have no recollection of the events she recalled."
"Neither do I, but we cannot just ignore the facts. "
Later on the evening the explorers gathered after dinner to sit and discuss the events.
"Did you find anything, Marguerite?" Malone asked.
"No." As much as she had wanted to read it, there was something stopping her from doing it.
Marguerite was becoming unstable; she nearly broke down in tears. Ever since she locked herself in her room, she had been experiencing strange visions regarding the explorers. "I know you don't believe me, I can see it on your faces, but at least give me a chance to prove it, we have nothing to lose." She tried to make them understand.
"Marguerite you have to understand how that sounds to us," Roxton said as he tried to calm her down.
Challenger continued, " The plateau has thrown us all kinds of situation and it wouldn't surprise me if this was one of them."
Veronica continued, "And as a family we will see through this together." She too joined Challenger and Roxton at Marguerite's side.
"Even if it does turn out to be no more than the ramblings of a derange woman?" Marguerite asked.
"Although it has crossed my mind, I doubt it." Malone too made his way to express his support.
Marguerite had been through a lot; they could not desert her now they were a family.
The first week the explorers had taken turns to guard the treehouse and its inhabitants. Strict rules were made. No one went out on their own. Malone sat underneath the moonlight. His feet were prop up on top of the balcony rail. His left arm hung limply on the side, hand held tightly onto a book he had been reading no more than two seconds ago. His eyelids fluttered as a mosquito swarm around his nose. He swatted at it but the blood-sucking fiend didn't relent. He had half his mind set on strangling the little insect, how much he hated these creatures, but finally the creature left him. As he settled down back down on his chair the alarm clock that the professor had ingeniously manufactured went off. Picking up his book from the floor he headed to Roxton's room to wake him up.
Lord Roxton wasn't pleased to be waken up at such hours in the morning, especially when he was having one of his favourite recurring dreams, where a certain brunette fed him some grapes. Nonetheless he woke up and went to take his place on the balcony. He was too having his doubts. He wanted to believe Marguerite so much but there was something not right. So far Marguerite hadn't had any visions and the group was beginning to think that Marguerite had made the whole thing up.
Unusually, Marguerite was wide-awake in her bedroom; she sat up on her bed and tried to recollect certain events in her life. She wasn't a patient woman. Why doesn't he show up? I just want to get this over with. No one in the treehouse believed her any more, they all thought she'd clearly had lost her mind. Dream it! Like she could dream a thing like this.
She hadn't had any visions. She had failed to contact Vodrak the few time she had tried. Early as it was she got up of bed, pulled her nightgown on and headed for the balcony, hoping that maybe that certain rugged lord was there. Not that she would tell him that she enjoyed his company.
As she entered the balcony, she noticed how Roxton's head was hanging to one side. A gentle smile formed on her lips. She tiptoed around him and sat opposite him. He must have been exhausted, she thought. Otherwise he would have never dose off on his watch. But who could blame him after a week of doing this? Even she was having doubts, so what must be going through their heads? She pushed all thoughts aside and contemplated her beloved without being excruciated. Be-lo-ved thank God, Roxton couldn't hear her thoughts, she thought. She had felt so safe that night when she had awoken from the coma. Looking into his eyes she saw the love he had for her. As much as she tried to deny it, she knew there was something between them.
On the chair opposite her Roxton began stirring, clasping against his chest he held the note Marguerite so adoringly had written her name on over and over. Marguerite's green-greyish eyes scanned the page making sure it was hers, then she remembered how stupid she had been with the note. Not on the sense that she hadn't meant to write that but in the sense that she hadn't done a great job on hiding it. He had teased her to no end. Now was her chance to get rid of the evidence. She carefully treaded towards him. Slowly she began lifting his finger of the paper. She nearly had it when he began stirring. Still as a mouse she became, silently praying Roxton would settle down. That's right, go back to sleep, she thought as he once again became still. Lifting his fingers one by one she retrieved the paper. A triumphant smile formed her lips. She examined the paper and couldn't help but smile at her childish ways; the wedding dress was awful but that was only a mere sketch. She could only imagine the final results, done by the best couturier in Paris.
Slowly she made her way out of the balcony.
"I believe that is mine," a voice from behind reminded her.
Marguerite stopped dead in her tracks; she had been caught red-handed. Gingerly, she lifted her hand ever so slightly to her chest where she slipped the evidence, underneath her garments.
"Whatever do you mean, Lord Roxton?" She sauntered towards him.
"You know very well, " he said as he stood up. "Hand it over."
"Seriously Roxton, I haven't taken anything." That wasn't mine, she finished the sentence in her head. "I just came here to get a glass of water, when I noticed you, procrastinating on your watch."
He knew very well, she had taken it. He still remembered the day he had found it. Lady Marguerite Roxton, I like the sound of that. And whether she liked to admit it, so did she.
"I only closed my eyes for a minute," he tried to explain. "I was having the most fascinating dream." He sat back down, "In where I met the most attractive woman I ever seen."
A smiled made her ways to her lips but she stopped it before it could form. "Someone I know?" she asked, taking the chair opposite him.
"As a matter of fact," he raised his eyebrow, "yes and no."
Disappointment echoed in her mind. Had she been fooling herself all this time? He had never said to her he loved her, but then again neither had she. He had said many things to her but never has she heard him utter the words. Was she asking for too much? Who knows? This damned jungle had brought them together.
"Goodnight," she said as she got up to leave.
"Wait!" Roxton was at her side. "Don't you want to know who it was?"
"You said it yourself no one I know."
"No, I said yes and no. "
"And there's a difference?"
"Yes, that person I already know but I mean the person she'll become if she lets that special someone in her heart."
Marguerite understood what he was saying but she was not ready, not just yet. There were so many things he didn't know. Afraid that he might see tears welling up in her eyes she turned away from him. How she hated this little games they'd played with each other.
He didn't mean to give her the wrong impression. Slowly he turned her face around; one hand lifted her chin ever so slightly. While the other brought her close to him, in a heart-wrenching moment he pulled her even more closely to him. In one smooth motion his lips touched hers, sending Marguerite into ecstasy. As much as she wanted to allow her passion to consume her, she could not do it like this. Abruptly she broke the kiss.
"Marguerite?" He looked into her eyes; fear rode in her eyes.
She pulled him close to her, never wanting to let him go. No one in her life had meant so much to her than him. As infuriating as he could be, she loved him. She had said so to his double, surely she had the courage to say to him. Before she could do it Roxton started speaking, "I don't know if I ever told you this but no one in the world has meant so much to me as-"
Before he could finish his sentence she broke away from his embrace and ran to her room.
Once in her room she threw herself in her bed. She was not going to cry, she told herself. There are some things that are not meant to be and whether this was one of them only God knows. She had learned to live in the moment and that was what she was going to do. Wiping tears from her eyes, she reached for the piece of paper she had obtained earlier. To her surprise it wasn't there anymore, she patted herself all over her body.
"Roxton!" Once again he had done it. He certainly had a talent. How on earth had he managed to pickpocket the letter? One of his many talents, she supposed.
Outside Roxton stood still in the same place he had been when Marguerite had left him. He continued staring at her bedroom door. How close he had come to telling her he loved her. If only she would let him in! Well, all was not lost he still had... he reached down into his pocket, carefully taking out the piece of paper he had carefully retrieved from her. A smile formed on his handsome face. He sat back down and as he slowly closed his eyes he muttered, "At least I still have my dreams. Sooner or later she'll come around to my way of thinking. "
Deep in the jungle a dark hooded figure walked briskly. Soon he would have the power that he had long been searching for. Had he not been drained of his power that night, he would have been ruling by now. He'd get what he deserved some way or another.
All of the sudden the hooded figure stopped abruptly. His senses told him someone was coming. He hid behind some tall trees and waited.
Two Zanga warriors made their way along the same path. Unbeknownst to them, behind the shadows of the jungle foliage lay a great threat. "Perfect," he muttered under his breath.
One month had passed and everything had returned back to normal. Veronica busily cleaned the dishes in the kitchen. In a bedroom not far a way the sleeping form of Marguerite began stirring. She immediately covered her head with a pillow, veiling the sunrays that illuminated her room. Just one more hour of sleep will do, she thought as she closed her eyes. The sounds of dishes smashing brought the heiress out of her peaceful sleep. Half awake, she dragged herself out of her bedroom.
"What's going on?" she asked as she peered into the kitchen.
"Just cleaning the dishes," a cheerful Veronica responded.
" More like smashing them," she said under her breath, "Where is everyone?" she inquired.
"Challenger needed more medicinal herbs, so he and the boy are out getting some."
Well at least it's not me, she thought. The professor usually got carried away and they ended up carrying in the entire jungle greenery.
"I guess it just you and me, " she said as she sat down in one of the chairs.
"Any coffee?" she asked.
"In the pot."
"Looks like they're back," Marguerite remarked as the sound of the elevator reached them.
Out of the lift stepped Malone and Roxton, carrying an obscene amount of herbs and medicinal plants.
"Looks like you came back with the entire jungle."
"That's what we tried to tell the professor," Malone glanced at Veronica who was now helping him with the boxes.
Marguerite!" Roxton called out. He was up to his ears in boxes.
Being the generous person she was, she sauntered over to him and relieved him of a few boxes. "What does he want with so many of these herbs?" she asked, as she smelled one of them.
"I'm glad you asked," George Challenger said as he stepped out of the lift.
"Here we go." Roxton immediately prepared for a long explanation on how Challenger was looking for an antidote against the common flu.
Later that day after the long explanation George had given them, Marguerite idly stared out of the balcony. She could sense something was wrong but everything seemed normal to her. Everyone had been acting a bit peculiar towards her; they didn't believe her, and who could blame them when she hadn't had any visions or had shown signs of any powers. Maybe it was all a dream. One weird dream.
"Marguerite!" Veronica called from the top of the stairs.
It took a while for Marguerite to reply. "Sorry did you say something?"
Veronica approached her, concern written all over her face. "Are you OK?"
"Yes, I'm fine." She lied.
"I was just going to ask you if you wanted to go to the Zanga village with us. But on second thought maybe it's better that you stay here with Challenger. You don't look too well."
Veronica was right; she didn't feel that well, she had been getting dizzy spells all day, but she wasn't about to admit it. "Like I said, I'm fine. But I'd rather stay. I have some blouses that need stitching up."
Veronica didn't question the heiress any further and left. She would tell the professor to keep an eye on her. She couldn't help but feel bad; she had wanted to believe the heiress but it was impossible when there was hardly any signs.
"So is she joining us?" Malone asked while he adjusted his backpack.
"No, she's not." She did not want to worry Roxton. She would tell the George to keep an eye on her.
Assai carried a tray of food as she made her way into one of the huts in the Zanga village.
"What took you so long?" a threatening voice greeted her.
Assai didn't responded. The tall hooded figure loomed in front of her. He took the tray from her hands and inspected the contents. The hooded man removed his dark cloak; his mouth was perfectly curled into a sinister smile, hair black as ebony, his dark glazed eyes stared at the obviously frightened girl. Good looks were accountable in this man that knew nothing but darkness.
A month had pass since he had gained control of the entire village. Everyone was under his control. It had drained him of his powers but now he controlled only a few of them and the rest were so fearful of him that they didn't dare question him. He eyed the young girl from under the rim of his cup. He had to be careful with this one, and on one of two occasions she had broken out of his control. He'd rather have her with him all the time.
Assai stood in the corner of the room waiting for her next orders.
The day was near where he would control anyone and anything. Soon enough, as soon as the entrance of the cave was clear.
Tay made his way into the hut.
"About time," the dark man snarled. He wasn't a patient man.
"We're almost there, my lord." The young man bowed.
"Almost is not good, come to me when you are done," he ordered. Tay bowed and left immediately.
It had been 3 hours since the rest of her fellow's explorers had left her and Challenger. The professor had spent most of those hours in his laboratory and every now and then he came to check on her, no doubt by Veronica's orders. Marguerite reluctantly rested on one of the chairs, she was quite restless, and she could feel something was definitely wrong.
The heiress got up and headed for the kitchen counter. She stood there a while trying to remember what she wanted. Damn memory. She hated it when that happened.
"Water!" she remembered. "Now, where did I put that glass?"
At that same moment, at the end of the counter a glass of water started to move and in an instant the glass was in front of her. Marguerite couldn't believe it; she had moved the glass! Slowly she picked the glass up.
Telekinesis,the word sprang into her mind.
Half scared and half excited, she yelled for the professor. "George, you'd better get out here."
Between the thick bushes in the jungle, Veronica and Malone ran for their dear lives. Behind them about half a dozen Zanga warriors were hotly in pursuit.
Malone ran a few feet behind Veronica; he was quite out of breath. He was afraid that any minute he would collapse. His legs couldn't carry him any longer. "Where now?" he yelled, hoping that Veronica would hear.
"This way." Things had happened so quickly that they hardly had any time to get any bearings. What on earth was going on? Veronica was running so fast that she didn't notice that Malone was no longer behind her. She stopped, "Malone!" she called for her fellow explorer.
An out of breath Malone came round the corner. "Keep running, " he yelled to a very dishevelled Veronica.
She did as she was asked and in the process she lost her footing and fell down a very steep slope. Malone followed too closely to avoid falling himself, and the two slid to the end of the slope, where both of explorers lost consciousness.
The Zanga warriors inspected their surroundings and spoke their native tongue. Out of the bushes Lord John Roxton stepped out. Instinctively he headed towards the slope. Zanga warriors made way for him. His face was sober as he peered down.
Showing no feelings whatsoever, he gave orders in their native tongue, "Leave them, we've got more important things to worry about."
At the treehouse Marguerite and Challenger waited restlessly. Marguerite could sense that something was definitely wrong and had told Challenger so. Challenger took it under consideration and agreed that if they weren't back in half an hour they would go and look for them, but there was no reason to panic. The lift could be heard coming up. Challenger and Marguerite rushed to the lift. But to their surprised, the only person to come out was Roxton.
"Where's Veronica and Malone?" Marguerite asked.
"Oh, they'd decided to spend the night," he told them.
It wasn't unusual for Veronica and Malone to stay for days at the Zanga village. But this time she sensed something was off. "You left them behind?"
"I did not leave them behind, they are staying among friends, Marguerite." He headed to the kitchen, and Marguerite followed.
"Never mind. Marguerite why don't you show John your new-found abilities." Challenger said.
Later that night somewhere in the plateau, two figures rested by the side of a tree. Malone's face had a few smudges of blood, at the side of his face a trickle of blood flowed from his right temple. Where the hell were they? he asked himself as he examined his surroundings. He finally rested his eyes on the dimly lit Veronica who rested beside him.
Veronica opened her eyes and stared at her companion. Her head was throbbing but all she could think was that they had to get back and warn the others.
"We have to get back." She tried to get up but the fall had left the jungle beauty with a sprained ankle and she fell back down.
"Are you OK?" Malone asked.
"My ankle!" she said as she carefully removed her boot.
Malone moved closer to examined and found that she had sprained it. "It's just a sprain nothing serious," he concluded, as he tried to settle down Veronica.
"We have to get back."
"I know but it'll have to wait until morning. We wouldn't stand a chance tonight."
"By tomorrow it could be too late!"
"I know, but it won't do us any good if we get back and can't help them. In the state we are in, it's best if we rest for the night."
"I guest you are right."
"Try to get some sleep." He took a blanket out his backpack. "We'll get our bearings in the morning." He could only hope he was doing the right thing. He knew how much his friends needed them at the moment.
Veronica sought comfort from Malone. She slowly reclined her head against his shoulder. Malone smiled and slowly kissed her forehead. Veronica returned the smile and slowly began drifting to sleep.
The sun shone brightly through out the treehouse. It was a scorching day indeed. Challenger and Marguerite were sitting down having breakfast, which consisted of mostly fruit. It was far too hot for a proper English breakfast.
Roxton made his way out of his room. "Good morning," he greeted them cheerfully.
Marguerite barely looked up. "What's so good about it?" Annoyance dripped from her tongue.
"The sun is shining, the birds are singing and I'm in the company of two of my favourite house companions." He reached down in the fruit bowl for a piece of papaya.
" Well, I don't know about you, but the sun is irritating my skin, and those damn birds woke me up when I at least had two more hours of sleep, and not to mention the fact that we are missing two house companions." She still thought something was wrong with his story.
"Not that again Marguerite," he sat down opposite her. " I told you that they're staying at the Zanga village for a couple of days." He was growing rather tired of her concern for those two.
"And I told you that they are in danger." The heiress got up from the table quite angrily.
"Maybe we should listen to Marguerite." Challenger quipped in.
"Thank you, George." She was grateful someone agreed with her.
"Tell you what, if it gets you out my hair for a few hours. We can go to the Zanga village say sometime at noonday and you can see for yourself." He left the room and headed towards the lift, leaving a fuming Marguerite behind.
Somewhere in the jungle, Malone and Veronica slept soundly under the sheltering of the tree. Malone's eyelids began opening, and he slowly slid his way out of Veronica's embrace, making sure not to wake her up. It had been a long night, and sleep had been arduous. He stood up and began examining his surroundings.
Under the tree the still form of Veronica began stirring. Her blue eyes shot open when she remembered where she was. "What time is it?" she asked groggily.
"Around midday," he said as he sat down next to her.
"Malone, your face." She gingerly reached and touched his face that was now covered with dry patches of blood.
"I'm fine, how about you?" he said, referring to her ankle.
She tried moving it around but it was too painful. Distress and discomfort showed plainly on her face.
"It still hurts, it may be a bit swollen." Malone took a closer look. She was right; her foot was swollen.
"I don't think you are in a position to go anywhere," he told her.
"Malone we have to get back, we have to warn the others. We already wasted enough time. Who know what's going on?" Slowly she began lifting herself up.
Veronica covered her eyes from the vicious sunrays that blinded her. Malone helped her up, giving his arm for support. She was right they had to get back. What could have possessed Roxton to turn on us like that? All of the sudden Marguerite's story started to make sense. But what could he possibly want with the Zanga village?
With Malone's help, the pair headed straight back, towards the slope. After ten minutes Malone stopped, attentively examining his surrounding. "Something is not right, we should have come across that slope 5 minutes ago." He was clearly worried.
Veronica too was beginning to get worried, she did not recognise any of the land marks, "Are you sure it was this way?" she asked.
"Do you hear that?" she asked as she tried to track down the sound.
The sound of water flowing could be heard. Malone and Veronica headed through some bushes to investigate. It indeed was a river.
"I don't remember a river being on this side of the plateau," she commented.
He too had noticed this and it clearly worried him. "I don't know what to make of it. Have you noticed that none of our surrounding looked familiar?" Malone headed to the banks to wash himself off while he left Veronica at a comfortable reach so that she can take the opportunity to wash herself.
"I don't mean to sound crazy, but you don't think we entered another version of the plateau?"
"A parallel dimension?"
Veronica didn't like it one bit, more than ever they needed to get back, now was not the time to fall into the plateau's limbo.
Malone decided to follow the river, it seemed like the wise thing to do.
Roxton had kept his promise and now they were on their way to the village. Roxton was leading the way at quite an alarming rate that she was having problems keeping up. "Roxton wait up," Marguerite shouted as she tried to catch up with him.
"Are you sure that nothing seemed out of the ordinary?" she asked as she dried her forehead.
"No, business as usual." He was growing quite irritated.
Two stops later, two very tired, overheated explorers made their way inside a very desolated Zanga village.
"Where is everybody?" Marguerite asked as she inspected her surroundings.
Roxton ignored Marguerite and continued walking to one of the larger huts.
"Roxton! Something is not right." She warned him as she took her gun from her holsters. She expected Roxton to do the same but to her surprise Roxton stood in his place without even flinching.
"Roxton! What the hell are you doing?" she shouted at him.
"It's not use Marguerite." The dark hair man stepped out of the hut. "Isn't that right, Lord Roxton?" He walked past him.
"Who the hell are you?" she immediately aimed her gun. A gut feeling told her who he was. "Orak!"
"I see you know my name," he started walking towards her.
Marguerite held her gun firm. "One more step and I blow your brains out!" Anger spread throughout her face.
"Temper, temper, I assume that if you heard about me you know that I possessed certain powers, that let's say for example…" He turned to Roxton.
Roxton turned towards Marguerite, gun in hand. His face was quite determined.
"Now if you please, " Orak approached her.
She was left with no other choice but to hand her gun to him. She remembered exactly what had happened when Summerlee, Challenger and Veronica had been under the control of that impostor. She did not want to risk endangering his life; she didn't know what he was capable of. Her newfound abilities had to remain hidden.
Two men grabbed her from behind. She did what came naturally and struggled to become free. "What have you done to him?" She continued asking questions. "Where are Veronica and Malone?"
"Why don't you ask Lord Roxton?" he smiled as they took her away.
"You bastard!" She tried to reach for him.
"Such spirit," he signalled for them to stop.
Defiantly she looked at him.
Orak circled her, trying his best to intimidate her. Lust sparkled in his eyes as gaze travelled down Marguerite's body.
Marguerite found him repulsive, he made her uncomfortable.
"As much as I like to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh, it would be inappropriate."
"Go to hell!" She was sure that she could take the warriors down, but him, he was more than a match for her. She hadn't developed all her powers and he knew it. A small tear trickled down her face; she had failed them, just like she had failed so many others.
He handed the small green bottle to one of the warriors.
She made her last plead to Roxton, but he did not even look at her. As the young man approached her, she knew that she had to make a run for it. She could not let this deranged man have her power. Even if she had to sacrifice Roxton or herself to defend human kind.
With all her power she flung everything within half-meter radius, everyone and everything went flying onto the ground. "Sorry Roxton," she mumbled. She did not know how to use her powers and only hoped that the force hadn't been too much. As she attempted to run, she felt as if her feet were cemented to the ground; she could not move.
Orak was standing before her a smile plastered all over his face. "You didn't think you could get away from me that easily?" He yanked her hair pulling her face within proximity of his.
Marguerite fell his hot breath against her skin, it repulse her. She looked into his eyes and spit at him.
Orak was unfazed as he wiped the saliva off his face.
Marguerite look into his heartless dark eyes, when suddenly a sharp pain made itself throughout her neck. A small dart was protruding at the nape of her neck as her body jerked, she felt herself drifting off. As much as she fought it, she collapsed on the floor.
To be continued...
Phew! Well that's over. Hope you enjoy it! Hopefully chapter three will be finished in a couple of weeks and for those who are eagerly awaiting the third instalment of my trilogy " The Quest" I will start work on it as soon as I finish this story.
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