Jennings was not sure how long he had been knocked out, and was amazed he was still alive. As he slowly came back to his senses he realized he was still strapped into his seat, lying on his left side. Rain water was dripping on his cheek, and he could smell leaking oil and a strange, sweet, citrus like odor. In the distance he could hear the soft, muffled rumbling of thunder.
Once he was more awake he realized he was still in the helicopter and that it was for the most part, lying on its side in the forest. The one door had been pulled off, and brush and palm fronds were hanging down toward him. Looking at the windshield he saw nothing as it was cracked, smeared with mud and a stick was poling tough a hole, and had stopped only inches away from where his head should have been had he been sitting upright.
He then checked himself over, looking for bleeding, broken bones, anything. As far as he could tell, he felt banged and beat up, and he had a cut on his cheek that had crusted over with dried blood, but it didn’t feel like he had broken his legs, arms or back, so he worked a knife free from his boot and began cutting himself free of the harness.
Once free he sat there on the side door of his aircraft, which was now the floor and waited for a moment to see if he felt the pain of a broken bone he had not realized he had. He was aching and his head heart, but other than that, he didn’t feel anything seriously wrong with him.
He managed to find the crash kit that he knew was aboard the helicopter, a small sack that had been stowed under his seat. And looped that over his left shoulder, tucked his knife back in its holder and then undid the submachine gun from its holder. When Jennings had first arrived on the Eldridge he had requested that the helicopter always have the weapon as well as some fully loaded magazines, assigned to it and whenever he left on patrols and searches, and he always took it with him. This one was a Heckler and Koch UMP 45, and once he had it free and checked the magazines, he climbed out of the helicopter wreckage and staggered around for a bit before he sat down on his knees. It was dark, but not storm dark. The rain had stopped and when he looked up above him, through the breaks in the trees he could see swaths of star filled sky and moonlight. This was the darkness of night, he realized, which confused him. Just before the storm had come up it had been late noon. Jennings realized this meant he had been knocked out unconscious for a few hours.
He then unzipped the crash kit sack. Inside was a first aid kit, some power bars, two bottles of water and a radio, which he doubted would be of any help unless a rescue party was already on the island. He took a good drink from one of the bottles of water, and then tested the radio, finding that it worked. Instead of talking into it, he keyed the handset three times, and then listened to the sound of nothing. Anyone nearby who had heard that would have either responded by speaking or keying their handset in return. Well that was if they had heard it. His other option was to talk aloud, but he didn’t want to do that just yet, simply because he wasn’t sure where he was and what was out there in the jungle around him.
Once he packed everything back up, and checked his weapons over, he sat there a moment, thinking of his next move. His best thing to do was stay right there by the crash site. Any rescue party searching for him would home in on the emergency beacon from his flight recorder and come directly here.
But, he also realized that something else might be out there and that it might have heard the crash and come to investigate.
No sooner than he had thought that, he felt the ground beneath him tremble a little. At the same time he heard a deep thud of an impact. He felt it a second time, and then a third.
That third time he heard the unmistakable sound of a tree breaking apart, the crashing of branches falling to the forest floor.
Jennings spun around to look in the direction the sound had come from as he grasped his weapon, lowering himself as flat as he could on the ground.
For a moment nothing happened and there was nothing but the dark jungle ahead of him. He heard nothing but the singing of crickets and the more distant sound of thunder as distant flickers of lightning light the cloudy night sky in the direction he was looking.
A loud thump came from the dark woods far ahead of him and a moment later a huge animal burst out of the foliage. One with a huge head with powerful jaws and a long tail.
Jennings knew what he was looking. It was a Tyrannosaur! He was back on the island. The same island he had been looking for all these years. He half wanted to jump up and shout with relief.
The huge animal before him, as if it had read his mind, threw its massive jaws open and let out with a huge, thunderous roar of her own.
“Here’s where the fun starts,” Jennings muttered to himself. . .
To be continued at camp! See you there.