Short story short I started this project on the forums. However, it's presented in story like fashion, from the perspective of a human, and having pages just wouldn't work at all. So this is going to be a forum only project. However, I figured I'd at least post the intro over here as a blog post, hence you reading this. And yes, I realize the first part is way to long and mostly unecesary.
It's a normal day in lab. Well, except for the looming excitement of the discovery of a potential new species. Tessa Gallant, a student studying Field Biology, and with an interest in Parasitology. On vacation in Kenya, she came across an odd Duiker Carcass, and decided to take it back to perform a necropsy. It was obvious from the start it died from a parasite, very recently at that, but it didn't look like the marks of anything she'd heard of.
Back home in Calgary, she's begun to perform the post-mortem. After getting into the creature, she see's a movement in the gut area. The parasite is still in there. Preparing to cut into the organ, she hears the phone from the other side of the room. *Sigh*. She answers, it's one of her teachers. He says that he's found an amazing opportunity for her, and that they must talk immediately. She explains she in a bit of an important moment, but he says she needs to come now. Grumbling, she hangs up the phone and drops what she's doing, cuts out the organ and stores it for later investigation.
The conversation is long and drawn out. He explains that she is to go on an expedition to Sumatra, along with survival expert in training Matt MacDonald, and climatology student Sarah Duffy, who were already there. "There's an untapped biodiversity hotspot, and I think you're perfect to investigate" he said. She wondered why certain details were left out, such as where this hotspot was, what biome it was, and how it was found, but after hours of convincing, she was convinced to go.
The oddities continue on the plane ride to Indonesia, as the plane has room for only, roughly, three or four people. It's dirty, has no windows outside of the tiny cockpit, and she certainly doesn't like the sound the engine was making. She thinks 'This thing must be flying on sheer power of suggestion. Oh well'. Why they couldn't have taken a conventional passenger plane that happened to be going to Sumatra was beyond her - they didn't even pack anything past necessities like clothing.
They arrive at the island. Instead of landing near the coast in some sort of city or town, however, they continue past the center of the island. 'Great. More time in this thing.'. Upon landing, she doesn't see much. A medium sized shack, some tents, a campfire. She'd expected this much eventually, but she thought they'd prepare in some sort of settlement. She's also suspicious of the giant steel building - again with blacked out windows - looming behind the trees.
What appear to be armed men are scattered around the site. Over half of them by the steel building. She is lead by a tall, muscled man, into the shack. There's three rooms - four if you count the entrance. It's barely lit at all. Two more armed men, and enough weaponry to kill a dozen T-Rex's. She's lead into one of the rooms. She see's a middle aged, thought gray haired, scientist of sme sort. Or at least trying to pass off as one, sporting a stereotypical white labcoat.
She see's an odd, clunky, oversized, ugly, and very loud machine centered in the room. "I'm not going to a Sumatran rain forest, am I?". "Not like you think. Tell me what this machine is." The old "scientist" says, pointing to the center of the room. "It's a mess, if you ask me". "Very funny. This machine is the most revolutionary thing in history. What animal is that wall mount a head of? "Looks like a fake dinosaurs head to me. A pterodactyl, or whatever." Says Tessa, in a sassy and somewhat mocking manner. "Go ahead. Touch it. See how fake it is.". "You think your gonna convince me you have a time machine? 'Cause you got something else coming.". "Touch it.".
She gives it a feel; the texture is like that of a reptile, an actual one, not fake. She feels minuscule hairs all over it - she never knew pterodactyls had hair, but she assumes it's something simply never preserved - that feel like that of a shorthair cat, or maybe a chick. Certainly not like those of a gorilla suit. She looks in the wide open mouth. Every muscle she'd expect to find can be seen. Clearly a very good fake. Or not. It dawns on her this isn't a fake at all. This is nothing like things she's seen like supposed nessie or bigfoot evidence.
"Your not going to let me leave, are you.". "We both know the answer to that question", he answers in a serious manner. Neither says anything for what felt like ages. Then she says, "*Sigh*, where are you sending me? T-Rex Territory? Mammoth Meadows? Saber-tooth Savannah?". "Your not going back in time". "What?". "John, provoke it" says the man to the one that lead her in. The muscular man kicks a small steel box of some sort in the corner. She hadn't noticed it. As soon as he kicks it, a high pitched, screeching sound. Like a cross between the call of an emu and a crocodile. She doesn't want to know what's in it. "We've explored the past enough by now. Your going to future Sumatra, 15 million years in the future, actually.". The man winks. Before Tessa can process what's going on, she is pushed by John into the machine. She see's a light, and then she's out, in a swamp. No, a mangrove.
"Remind me to kill whoever hired Mr. Banks."
Suddenly, she is hit in back by a somewhat heavy object. A kitbag of some sort. 'At least they had the decency to give me that', she thought. Looking in the bag, she finds an empty water bottle, hiking shoes, dried meat and some bread - it appears I'm expected to find food myself -, three smoke grenades, a crowbar, a basic wooden slingshot - thought no stones -, a journal, three pencils, an eraser, a knife - perhaps more fittingly a worn out dagger -, and a compass. She takes a look at her surroundings - she's on the northern coast of the island, based on the compass. She walks west for what feels like hours - thought is actually a little of two and a half hours. She sets down do rest for the night.
A little after sunrise, she is woken up by something that had entered her tent: a baby monkey. Wait, no. An ape. It was a bit of a shock. Only one great ape could've left descendants here. Everyone would've thought they'd be extinct by now. But these didn't sport the characteristic red hair of their ancestors, which had been a similar red to her own hair. This baby was a light beige, with a brown hair tuft, or, that is, an afro, on it's head. It had feet vaguely like those of her own... *bang*. Before she could finish looking at it, it kicks her between the legs - she hopes the same didn't happen to Matt. The baby runs outside.
She follows it out - a whole troop. She counts seventeen in all. Like the baby, they have a brown coat, darker then that of the baby. Four other babies, lacking the afro. Yet even what are obviously adult females are barely a meter tall. Two other adults attempt to crack a coconut of some sort near the back of the troop. They are slightly taller and have red, curly afros as well. Males, she presumes. Always worrying about getting lunch before watching the kids. In accordance with their feet, they all walk tall, proud, and erect, on their back legs. Then, she notices a comparatively giant, just under five feet, black, old male, with a white, giant, afro. The skin on the face of modern males has been reduced, only surrounding the eyes, and he sports an impressive beard. He stops three or four meters from her. Then, he lets out a loud sound like some weird mix of growling and chocking. The rest of the troop briefly looks at the two of them, then starts moving off. She stands there, still, silent, looking strait at him. He does the same back.
His unwavering eyes stare right at her. His eyes are attentive, but not analytical. Thankfully, she thinks, not a sapient. Once the troop has left the area, he finally turns around, and slowly leaves, catching up with the rest of the troop. She dare not move until he's out of sight. Finally she let's out a loud sigh. "That was close".
She continues through the mangrove. Remembering the slingshot, she goes to pick up some stones. "One, two, three, four, five, six... that should be enough.". Upon picking up one last stone, she is surprised to be cut in the hand. The wound isn't deep, but very precise. She looks down to see a crab in defensive position. It's grey, round, and a bit chubby. The claws are small, but obviously sharpened to a knife's edge. It's resemblance to a stone was obviously not by mistake. It's a mimic. What use it gets from looking like rocks she doesn't yet comprehend, but based on the eye stalks and claw sizes, she assumes it's some sort of future ghost crab.
As the time passes, she spots various birds and fish she doesn't recognize. Then, she see's something poking out of a small cliff. It appears to be a human artifact. It doesn't take her long to recognize it: The camp site where the plane landed. At first she fears the worst, but then realizes that it was inevitable that place would be left for dead. Based on the untouched landscape, she assumes humans are either extinct or left by now, however. Then it dawns on her: The site had been in the middle of the island, north of the mountains. And she's on a beach. She also realizes that it's very hot and humid - even for a tropical island. She'd already decided to take off her shirt in the sheer heat, forgetting Matt and Sarah where on the island somewhere as well. That means - the poles must have melted, and sea levels and temperature raised dramatically.
She decides to move inland. The mangroves are wet, hard to traverse, and lack any decent food. Besides, she presumes Matt and Sarah would know well enough to follow a major river.
Again interrupted by the local wildlife, she feels an itch on her shoulder. Mosquitoes. Tons, of mosquitoes. "Well, at least I know something's stayed the same.".