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rpicardi1

fanfiction Ark Land of the Lost.

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This story was partially posted two years ago, then abandoned. It has been completely rewritten and updated to reflect the world back in the 40s and 50s. I will be posting a chapter or two until it is completely uploaded.

Ark, Land of the Lost

 

This adventure will be based upon single player game play of Ark starting January 2017. XP, Gather, Taming, are scaled up 4X on this game for the story. During this story, a major update was added to the personal display of the Specimen Implant. The May update added an end game portal to the reworked Volcano. The player, with the name of Joe Six Pack, is started in East Zone One. That is, his location was on the beach near the box canyon of the Lava Cave.

 

Joe spawned in a very good location near a cluster of boulders just North of the box canyon. As his luck would have it, the area was free of any threats. That is not always the case as previous players have ran into a Carno hiding among those boulders further North on that same beach.

 

A lot has changed in Ark since the original adventure Trapped in the Bermuda Triangle. Well over 137 creatures are now in the game, many of them extremely dangerous predators, even some equally dangerous herbivores. Some are small, even tiny, as they gang up and start chewing away at your health. Another will run up and steal something from you. Still another will poison you, then eat you alive.

 

The display from the Specimen Implant has a new look where information is quickly available at a glance. Transferring items are now as easy as highlighting them and using a single key to move stacks of items quickly. A new engram point system now has items available at each level up. Many items have been re balance. Players can now obtain the primitive bow and arrows at Level 10. Complete clothing sets are now available in one level up. The Bola, available at Level 9, gives one a great defense against attacking raptors.

 

Other things have become better for the new player. Clothes and shelter will provide some protection from the ever changing weather. The raft is now available at level 16 so one can escape to a safer location.

 

Many locations have become far more dangerous then they were in 2015. Much of the predator infested North is so cold as to be impossible to survive in without fur armor and fire. The swamps are death traps of diseased leaches, insects, and ambush predators. The redwood forest are loaded with packs of Terror Birds, Allasaurs, and now, a deadly giant bee. There is the rare threat of an Alpha Raptor or worse. Caves are more nasty with abundant double, even triple, level threats. The Volcano is now active.

 

New are the Explorer Notes which, when collected, will double your XP while you continue crafting or doing other things to survive.

 

Ark continues to evolve as it is added to, refined, polished, and prepared for its official release in hard copy.

 

When Joe was spawned in on the test game play on East Zone One of The Island, he was soon able to obtain his pick, hatchet, spears, torch, camp fire, and establish a thatch shelter between several boulders before nightfall. His worst threats were two compy gangs which he was easily able to dispatch with his spear. Basic clothes were obtained as Joe carefully expanded his hunting range to take out more Dodos. With the Bola, Joe was able to kill a Parasaur and pteradon for the hide needed to make a raft. He left the cave side camp that afternoon for Herbivore Island to establish a safe camp on the point before nightfall.

 

The next day, Joe tamed a Parasaur to aid him in obtaining narcoberries and transport. He had leveled up to obtain the refining forge, then the Smithy. He had enough metal from the rocks to craft a metal pick, then went off with the Parasaur to get metal ore from the metal bearing rocks on the ridge.

 

That night got bitter cold, but thanks to the shelter and fire pit cooking up raw meat from the day before, Joe was able to keep from freezing to death.

 

Now armed with better weapons, Joe went sailing to some more dangerous shores where he took down a raptor with a bola, then ran into a pair of very tough troodons. It was a good thing Joe had stimms in the hot bar as one bit him during the fight. He did take them both out and avoided being rendered unconscious, probably because he was already at Level 38 and had 20 fortitude on his side.

 

Joe has reached Level 45 after 5 hours of 4X game play. He has a pteradon for flying recon and an anklyo that can quickly harvest rocks and other resources. A do tame Moschop came back on a rafting hunting trip that gathers fiber and other resources for him on Herbivore Island. It was found stuck in driftwood North of his original camp.

 

I have seen Jellyfish in the deep entrances to Drayo's Cove, a Carno, Pegomax, and Patcheorhinos on the ridge. Except for all of the Stegos and Pteradons on Herbivore Island, creature population seems lower then usual.

This story, starting during early WW2 in the Pacific, will have no connection to the other adventures.

 

 

It is Year Sixteen, Day 11, on The Island as Helena, Joe Six Pack, Yamaharo, Rose, Ruth, and Larry, sit down together with all of their kids to give them an oral history lesson on how they first arrived in this strange new world and what is expected of them as they grow up to become adults. This is a story of that adventure, the future Adams and Eves, that will repopulate a new world emerging below them from the artificial ones, those giant self contained lifeboats they are now living on, known as Arks, that have been orbiting the now dead Earth in Space for an unknown number of years.

 

Chapter One, Joe Six Pack.

 

It is December 8th 1941 as Joe's young life has been totally disrupted by the attack on Pearl Harbor. Joe, the only son of a family that had moved to California during the Great Depression, had planned to go to an interview that Monday to work in the oil fields as a laborer. With the declaration of war on Japan, Joe, like many of his friends, jammed the local recruiting office to volunteer to join the military in order to protect their country from a feared invasion by Japan.

 

Joe soon started his basic training in California in one of those hastily constructed training camps added to an existing military base. Like many first recruits at the time, he has trained with wooden rifles and broomsticks until the US industry could convert to military production of the badly needed equipment such as the M-1 rifle. Having tested high in his class for flying skills, he has volunteered for flight training and was soon enrolled in the fighter school program.

 

With trainers and fighter aircraft in short supply, Joe could only get in flight time on a limited basis until more aircraft became available. Proving his worth, Joe is able to advance on to more flight time to learn dog fighting tactics which he soon excelled at.

 

Typical of many of the hot shot pilots of the day, he would often hit the bars with his friends for a wild weekend of drinking and chasing barmaids. He would occasionally end up in the brig as a result of getting into fights with the other recruits, but was lucky he didn't stay in for more then the weekend, due to his budding flying skills and the chronic shortage of good fighter pilots for the upcoming conformation with Japan in the pacific where carrier battles would soon become the norm for sea combat. Maybe, that was because of his addiction to Lucky Strikes, which he chain smoked constantly on those wild weekends where he would consumed at least a six pack of Olympia at a time. Thus, he earned the nickname Joe Six Pack which would stick with him throughout his military career.

 

In April of 1943, he is assigned to the Lexington which set sail with the carrier group to confront the Japanese expansion in the Pacific that is threatening to cut off Australia from the rest of the ally forces.

 

May 7, 1943, Joe became involved in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Flying fighter escort, his group was soon involved in battling Japanese Zero, the most advanced fighter aircraft at its time. Joe's fighter aircraft is now the new Grumman F4F Wildcat, our most advanced fighter of its time, replacing the inferior Buffalo that Joe had trained in. The Wildcat, while slower then the Zero, had better endurance, making the two aircraft an even match in combat. This was a plane Joe had little flight time on in order to get familiar with how it would handle in combat. Such is the urgency of the times.

 

As his air group is escorting torpedo bombers to their target coordinates, a squadron of Jap Zeros hit them from above. Twisting and turning, climbing and diving to gain an attack advantage, the two fighter groups engaged each other in deadly areal combat.

 

Joe gets on the tail of a Jap Zero as it lined up to shoot down a Devastator forcing it to break off its attack. “Joe, there's a zero on your tail,” warns his wing man as he maneuvered to get a kill shot on one.

 

“Get him,” Joe shouts back in his radio as the Zero he is chasing is shot up and goes slamming into the sea.

 

Joe climbs for some altitude as he attempts to shake off the Zero on his tail. His wing man is close behind trying to line up a shot, but soon finds himself having to deal with another Zero trying to get behind him.

 

A burst of gunfire from the chasing Zero catches his plane across the nose partially disabling the engine. Smoking badly and losing power, Joe makes a desperate move. He applies the speed brakes causing his plane to slow down abruptly. The chasing Zero suddenly finds itself in front of Joe in perfect alignment as Joe pulls the trigger and watching the much lighter built Zero disintegrate in front of him. Hit by the flying debris from the now destroyed Zero, Joe is forced to ditch his crippled plane into the sea.

 

It is a rough landing in the choppy sea as Joe attempts to glide his burning plane to a smooth landing. Suffering from burns to his legs caused by the engine fire, he bails out of the sinking aircraft with his life raft, survival kit, and life vest.

 

From the sea, he can see the battle continue to rage as a huge explosion erupts from a Japanese aircraft carrier that is barely visible on the horizon. There are several other explosions seen on other warship as the bombs and torpedoes find their targets. More aircraft go down in flames or crash out of control into the sea. Most are so far away that Joe is unable to tell which side is winning the battle in the air. Eventually, the battle dies down as evening approaches and the enemy escorts start searching the seas for any survivors.

 

Not wanting to end up in a Japanese POW camp, Joe does not inflate his raft. Instead, he stays in the water using the uninflated raft as a cover in case a searching Japanese naval vessel comes looking for their air crews.

He sees another airman in the water on a small raft just on the horizon. Fearing it might be one of the Japanese pilots that was shot down, he stays hidden as much as possible.

 

As darkness falls, the sky remains glowing with the fires from the crippled warships. Unknown to Joe, the remaining Japanese battle fleet has moved on abandoning a carrier and several escorts to their fate, their admiral not wanting to risk the remaining fleet to an attack at night by the American Navy. Darkness soon overtakes the horizon as the burning ships slip under the sea putting out the fires on board.

 

Under the cover of darkness, Joe inflates his raft so he can get out of the water. The salt water is causing him a great deal of pain as a result of the burns he has suffered to his legs. He has seen sharks in the area and does not want to become shark bait.

 

Lightning is lighting up the sky as a tropical storm starts moving in. Joe scans the horizon for the other raft as the sea starts getting rougher. He spots it, still far away, but not heading towards him as the wind picks up and the rain starts coming down in buckets. It soon gets too dark and foggy to see anything as the horizon itself has vanished into total blackness.

 

"Great, fresh water," as Joe catches the pouring rain in a poncho drinking his fill and trying to find some means of storing the extra from seawater contamination. The rain, although cold, feels good as he gets rid of the salt in his flight suit and his body re hydrates from it's long stay in the salt water.

 

Soon, it is getting extremely rough as the wind picks up with the sea crashing all around him. Suddenly, there is a blinding flash of lightning that strikes the water around him. The electrical shock knocks Joe unconscious.

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Chapter 2. Marooned in the South Pacific.

 

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Joe wakes up naked on a beautiful tropical beach staring into the sunlit sky. He hears the sound of waves gently washing up on the beach. A creature flies overhead, it looks so prehistoric. “Strange,” he thinks as he gets up to look around. “Where are my clothes, my life vest, the raft, my survival supplies? Is there an enemy fighter pilot with me somewhere on the beach? Are their enemy soldiers occupying this island? Did they take all of my stuff? Why wasn’t I taken prisoner? Why didn’t they just kill me?”

 

“My burned legs, they are completely healed. How is that possible? Those burns would have taken weeks to heal themselves up and would have left a nasty scar. What is this thing embedded in my left wrist?”

 

As a strange crustacean crawls up along the beach, Joe goes to look at it closely. He is suddenly shocked as he sees a holographic message flash in front of his eyes that reads. “Trilobite, level 8.”

 

“That was weird?” he thinks.

 

Picking up a stone from the beach to throw at it, he is astonished to find that it disappears from his hand. Another holographic message flashes in front of his eyes saying, “Added one stone.”

 

“What's going on here?” he says out loud. “I picked up a stone to throw at this thing and it just vanishes from my hand.”

 

Staring at the gem implanted in his wrist, Joe gets a holographic image of information about himself. The image on the right has a 3-D picture of him with his name and level 1 on the top. To the center is information about him and his health. He sees something called XP slowly climbing along with a clock registering the time in a 24 hour cycle, just like on board the ship and in training. The date is day one and the temperature is 78*.

 

On the left, he sees information about something called inventory items in which it contains his implant and the stone he had picked up. He also sees what is called the quick slot bar which is empty. Selecting Craftables, he finds that he can craft a pick and a torch, but, he needs a wood and ten thatch for the pick. He also needs a wood and a flint if he wants a torch. But, before he is able to examine the images further, his thoughts are interrupted by a small reptile creature that has come over to check him out. A holographic message flashes “Compy, Female, Level 2.”

 

“Ouch, you bit me you little DireWolf,” Joe shouts as two more compys show up to attack. Outraged, Joe grabs the attacking compy by the tail and slams it against a boulder killing it, it's two buddies run over to eat it, then come back to start nibbling on Joe's legs again.

 

Joe punches the closest one in the face knocking it out, it's buddy then runs off as a message “Compy, Male, Level 4, Unconscious” appears. Another message appears, “Wild Male Compy – Level 4. Tamable by Joe Six Pack. Gender Male.” A picture then appears with its health and other info along with a taming bar that is empty, and an unconscious bar that is heading towards zero.

 

“Tamable?” questions Joe. “How strange. Those things attacked me, yet, if I knock one out, I can tame it?” At that moment the unconscious bar hits zero as the compy wakes up, lets out a screech of alarm, and runs away.

 

“Damn,” Thinks Joe. “I better get that pick made so I have something to defend myself from these creatures besides my fist.”

 

Just then, another holographic message appears as Joe is left wondering about how quickly the compy bites are healing up. “Level Up. Access Inventory to apply.”

 

“What is this?” Joe asks himself as he looks back in his inventory list. “Oh, I can apply a boost to my stats. Maybe, I better add more health.” The health meter total jumps to 110% as another message appears “Engram Points to Apply 8.” “What does that mean?” he ask himself.

 

Joe checks out the list of available items to craft. “Good,” he thinks. “A hatchet, spear, fire pit. Oh, wait. They cost nine engram points and I only have eight. I can't get all three items at this time. Given the nasty experience with those compys, I had better get things I can use for weapons.”

 

Checking out the Crafting List, Joe finds out what he needs to craft those items. “Damn, I need flint for the spear, torch, and hatchet. I need wood and thatch before I can make the pick. How can I get that?”

 

Walking over to a driftwood log on the beach, another message appears, “Hit this to harvest resources.” So, he follows the advice of the holographic message and punches the log with his fist.

 

“Ouch!” He shouts as he hits the log with his fist as it causes him to injure his hand. Messages of adding wood and thatch appears. Checking the crafting he finds out that he has collected enough materials and crafts the pick. His hand is soon healed up.

 

Getting the same message from the rock, he decides to use the pick on it. It gives up some stone and flint. Going back to the driftwood log, he uses the pick on it. It gives him a bunch of thatch and some wood, then the log shatters and vanish. “That's weird.” he thinks as he goes back into crafting and makes the hatchet.

 

“Oh, I need a lot of wood to make a spear.” Joe says to himself. Using the hatchet on the tree, Joe finds that it quickly gives him a lot of wood and some more thatch.

 

“Now, I need fiber. Lets see what those bushes have for me to use.”

 

Joe finds that the bushes can be picked for fiber as he gets berries of several variety. A spear and torch are soon in his Quick Item Slot. He gets information about the berries he has gathered finding all but the black and white ones safe to eat.

 

Another Level up appears allowing Joe to add a fire pit, shirt and pants.

 

As he finishes crafting up the spear, the two compys show back up with two more of their buddies. “You want some?” Joe shouts at them in defiance as he goes backwards spearing the attacking compys dropping three of them before his spear breaks. “Damn crappy spear,” he shouts as he grabs the hatchet killing the fourth attacker. “Oh, that's interesting,” he says as the dead compy gives up raw meat and hide. Chopping up the other three yields more raw meat and hide. “I better make up several more spears if they are going to break without warning.”

 

With materials for a fire pit, Joe crafts it up and finds a sheltered spot in the boulders. Placing it down, he gets a message to add wood and raw meat to the fire. How am I going to light this?” he thinks, then he sees the message to Light Fire. Activating it, the fire roars to life providing light and warmth.

 

Soon there is cooked meat with quickly satisfy his hunger. However, Joe is faced with another issue, “where can I find fresh water?”

 

Curious if there is fish in the nearby sea, Joe takes his spear and wades out into it stepping off a small shelf which causes him to become submerged. “Great! The water is fresh!” he thinks as he first spits it out of his mouth, then finds that it is fresh. “This can't be the South Pacific, that water would be too salty to drink. Oh oh, look at the size of those sharks. I better get out of here.” One of them chases him to shore, then backs off before it beaches itself.

 

Another level up and Joe now has the skills to build a thatch shelter. “Good thing,” he thinks. “I'm starting to get cold,” as he gathers the materials for clothes, then the thatch structure that he builds in the shelter of the boulders by the campfire.

 

With a chance to relax a bit as the afternoon sun is heading down, Joe start seeing some of the other strange things on this unusual island. “A pteradon,” his implant flashes at him as he walks up close to a flying reptile that lands nearby to rest. “A parasaur, such an unusual creature, it’s big enough to ride on.”

 

Then, he sees them as the clouds clear away inland. “This is definitely not the South Pacific,” he comments to himself as he sees one of the three floating obelisk of Ark. “The technology to build that is certainly way beyond what I have seen. Could the Nazis have create this place? The Japanese? The Soviets? The British? Even us? Or are there really little green men out there? This is most strange. Maybe, the Martians are responsible for this strange place, the gem implanted in my left wrist, and the unusual behavior of these prehistoric creatures I have seen so far.”

 

“What's this?” Joe thinks as a large dog size bipedal lizard screeches at him. “You're definitely not friendly!” Joe shouts in alarm as he grabs his spear while ducking sideways as green spit flies his way. The charging Dilophosaur bites the dust as Joe throws a spear into it, then stabs it with another one.

 

With more hide and another level up, Joe makes a slingshot and a simple bed to place in his thatch shelter. “Interesting,” he thinks. “This gem is telling me that if I am killed, I can be reborn in it.”

 

“Storage boxes, those would be most useful for storing those extra berries and other items that are starting to get heavy. Mortar and pestle for making narcs and spark powder. All useful items.”

 

“A Phiomia Saddle? What the heck is a Phiomia? Looks like there are creatures here that can be ridden like horses. Most interesting.”

 

“Blood extraction Kit? Doesn't one need sterile conditions for collecting blood? Why would I want to do that? How would I keep it from going bad?”

 

“Paint brush, flags, a standing torch, more construction parts. Well, certainly, the torch and wood construction parts could be most useful.”

 

As darkness approaches while it is getting colder, Joe wonders if he should risk having a fire and torch burning to keep warm. With spears and a slingshot as his primitive weapons, he decides to risk lighting the fires in order to avoid freezing to death.

 

Suddenly, the normal noises of the night, coming from the nearby jungle, are silenced as something screams in terror, followed by a load roar. There is an additional scream of pain, then deadly silence.

 

Grabbing his spear tightly, Joe had confirmed that he has made the right decision in lighting the fires as he now spots several pairs of glowing eyes darting about near by. They soon move on as the tropical noises of the night slowly resume. "I'm going to need to move to a safer area," thinks Joe as he prepares for a sleepless night as a storm moves in with pouring rain. Fortunately, the fires stay lit allowing for its light and warmth as Joe seeks shelter in his thatch hut from the foul weather of the cold first night in this strange new world.

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Posted (edited)

Note, the forum text censors are messing with cuss words. Substitute your favorite anytime you see something like direwolf that looks way out of place in the story.

 

BTY, Joe has spawned in South Zone 4. That is East of Drayo's Cove in the area of the box canyon where the Lava Cave is located. The posted photo is the Southpaw, or South Zone 1.

Edited by rpicardi1

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Chapter 3, Joe’s second day on The Island.

 

It is a glorious morning in this strange land as the sun burns off the morning mist from the sea. Joe checks out the view from his beach shack noting a small island to the southwest. Then, he becomes aware of a strange shaft of light that has landed close by in the box canyon he has built his shelter in behind the boulders. Grabbing his spear, Joe goes to investigate it.

 

Some Dodo Birds are feeding on the berries in the bushes as Joe carefully approaches what looks like a spinning alien capsule at the base of the light shaft. Going closer, he gets a message that he can access the capsule and that it has 30% health left. “I better see what is in it before the health goes to zero,” he thinks. The capsule, known to Ark game players as a Loot Crate, gives Joe some spark powder, berries, a slingshot, and two spears.

 

As he takes all the items inside it, the capsule shatters into a shower of sparks and vanishes along with the light shaft. “Weird,” he thinks. “Whatever brought me here has given me gifts of useful items. Someone has to be watching over me.” Joe heads back to his camp placing the extra items into one of the storage boxes.

 

As he explores further, Joe finds there is a cave in the Box Canyon. “Should I go into and explore it?” he asks himself. Curious, he light the torch and steps inside. The entrances opens up into a long passageway that splits off into interconnecting paths. With light and warmth up ahead, Joe puts away the torch.

 

As he goes further into the cave, he finds some unusual rocks including what looks like crystal. Hitting two of them with his pick, he gets a bunch of stone but one yields three crystal. “Could be useful for something,” he thinks as he tosses away the heavy stone that he doesn’t need for now.

 

“Damn, it's starting to get extremely hot in here,” he says as he goes further into the cave. There is a lava waterfalls up ahead. Then, he sees them up ahead, giant cave bats hanging from the ceiling. “Time to leave.”

 

Heading back to his thatch hut, he gets a Level 7 level up. “Spyglass, great, I can use it to observe what's up in the distance. Also a Compass.” Level 8 gets him a Cooking Pot. Level 9 the Bola and Parasaur saddle. “Oh good, those Parasaur can be ridden like horses.” Level 10 the primitive Bow and stone arrow. “Excellent, I can craft a bow and arrows, a ranged weapon.”

 

Getting the spyglass, Joe goes to check the crafting requirements. “Two crystal, good thing I found them in the cave.” he says to himself. After crafting the spyglass, Joe decides to do some exploring from above the cliff and heads up the hill towards the edge of the jungle.

 

Using the spyglass, he finds that it gives him a good closeup view of what may be up ahead as well as detailed information of any creature that he finds. “Trike, Female, Level 11,” the message reads as he places it on one of the creatures in the distance. “Excellent,” he thinks. “I can ID any creature, even those meat eaters, from a safe distance.”

 

“Finding a crumbling stone structure, Joe enters it. He sees an old ammo can inside and opens it. “An Explorer's handbook and a map of The Island.” he says to himself while examining the contents of the old ammo can. “Someone else was here before me. But who? When? How? What happened to him? Is he still here living somewhere else on this strange island? Is he responsible for taking my stuff and placing this gemstone in my wrist?”

 

Reading through the handbook, he learns that this strange place he is in is called The Ark. It is an artificial world where people are sent to learn how well they can survive in a prehistoric environment. There is no mention anywhere in that handbook of who built the Ark or who is studying them. It just contains various hints on survival, tools that will become available, various recipes and potions that can be made to aid in that survival, which creatures can be tamed and those that cannot, how one should go about to tame them, and what special skills those creatures will provide to the tribe that tames them.

“Tribes?” Joe thinks. “That means there must have been others here with whoever wrote this handbook.” Later, he finds a page that he missed which has the author’s signature of “Helena” and the name of several tribes that inhabited this Ark called The Island that were at war with each other.

 

Leaving the structure, Joe finds himself confronted by several flying and crawling ants the size of domestic cats. “Trouble,” he thinks wisely as he readies his spear, taking them all out like the Compys in order. “Ouch! That ba$tard bit me,” he says as it falls from being speared.

 

“Why am I getting so sleepy?” Joe thinks. “Oh, that bite was poisonous. Stimberries, must eat some Stimberries.” Just in time, Joe eats several of the them which have the effect of counteracting the poison that is putting him to sleep. Thankfully, he has made a water skin and has water with him as the berries then make him extremely thirsty with their dehydrating effect.”

 

Hacking up the dead insects, known as Titanomyrmas, he is rewarded with chitin and more raw meat. He gets another level up for killing them.

 

Up on the plateau, Joe uses the spotting scope to look out to the sea. Other then seeing some Pteradons and Pelagormis flying and fishing out at sea, the horizon remains barren with the exception of a small island his map Ids as Herbivore Island. “If that name is an indication of what lives there, it should provide a safer place for me to stay then this main island,” Joe thinks.

 

Joe continues exploring West along the open plateau spotting another strange creature, a Pachyrhinosaur. Figuring that it may be safe to approach it, Joe gets a message that he can feed it bug repellent to tame it. “Well, at least I don't have to knock you out if I want you as a tame,” he thinks. “But, what will it take to make bug repellent to feed you?”

 

“Hey, you little thief!” Joe yells as a pegomax runs off with his empty waterskin. A second one sits close by just staring at him. A holographic message indicates that she is his tame.

 

“How is that possible?” thinks Joe. “I thought that I would have to knock you out first. Oh, you stole my mejoberries.” he says as he checks the pegomax inventory. “I guess we can be friends if all you wanted was something to eat.” He picks up the pegomax placing her on his shoulders.

 

“Reaching Drayo's Cove from the cliff, Joe places the spotting scope on a large bipedal creature across the cove. “Oh oh,” he comments as he looks at the creature that is Id as a T-Rex. “Very bad news,” as he observes it ripping up a Parasaur for a meal. “There is no way I can defend against something as big as that. I definitely need to find some place safer to stay and soon.”

 

Back at his camp, Joe goes to work crafting up and placing spike fences in an effort to fortify his camp from this new threat. On Level 16, he makes a most important discovery.

 

“A raft, Great! I now have a way to sail to that small island, or at least, stay offshore away from that Rex. Lets see what's the crafting requirement are. Ouch, that's an awful lot of wood. Good, I can store the materials for the raft in a box on the beach, then go hunting for the hide I will need for a sail.”

 

Joe gathers and stores the wood for the raft in a small crate placed on the shoreline. The fiber is easily gathered and stored there, but he needs a lot more hide. “Peggy, you stay here while I go hunting,” he says to his new tame as he goes hunting with his bola and bow and arrows. Several Dodos, a trapped parasaur, some compys, and a dilo later, he has the hide needed to finish the project with plenty to spare.

 

It is mid afternoon by the time the raft is crafted and placed in the water. Some storage crates are placed on board along with a sleeping bag. All the supplies are moved to the raft along with a spare camp fire, torches, extra wood, meat, and everything else not in storage. With Peggy on his shoulder, Joe sets sail to the small island. “I hope that it is worth the effort,” he thinks as he sails towards the island called Herbivore Island on his new map.

 

“Look at the size of those sharks! There is no way I could have swam across that.” he comments out loud as he sails across the open sea.

 

Reaching Herbivore Island by late afternoon, Joe sails around it looking for anything dangerous before landing. He finds mostly Stegosaurs, Ankylosaurs, Trikes, Parasaurs, some Brontos, some of those Phemonas, and some Pteradons that get ID on the spotting scope.

 

“Good, It looks like that I have found a safe haven,” as Joe beaches the raft in the cove away from where the Brontos are living. He then proceeds to establish a thatch camp by the boulders at the end of a palm studded sandbar, placing down another Spawn Bed in it.

 

Peggy sits there munching on mejoberries as she watches him build the thatch shelter. “Such a strange creature,” Joe thinks as he finds that she can be leveled up just like him and really enjoys it.

 

Using the advice from the Explorer’s Handbook, Joe crafts up a mortise and pestle and places all the spoiled meat and narcoberries he has gathered into it. It gives him about seven Narcs. “Well, the good thing about those Narcs is that they won't spoil like the berries,” he thinks.

 

With a cold sunset, Joe stocks up the fire and torches in preparation for the night. With nothing dangerous living on this little island, Joe looks forward to a good night sleep. Peggy should be able to alert him is something unusual should happen while he is sleeping. She lays by his side just like his family dog would do before he had joined the military.

 

“In the morning, I will craft up a saddle, gather more mejoberries, and see if I can go tame a Parasaur. Then, I will have myself a faster mode of transportation to fully explore this island.”

 

Exhausted from the rigors of the past two days, Joe falls asleep assured that he is in a much safer position then he was on the main island.

 

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Chapter 4, The third and fourth day on The Island.

 

It is early in the morning as Peggy wakes Joe up pestering him for attention. “That was sure a good night's sleep,” Joe thinks to himself as he prepares to craft the saddle and go after a Parasaur.

 

Gathering from the nearby bushes, Joe gets the needed mejoberries and narco berries, then, heads up the sandbar towards where he has observed some wild Parasaurs living.

 

Finding an egg on the beach, he picks it up to examine it. “Opps, Big mistake,” he thinks as an angry female Parasaur comes charging after him. “Sorry about this,” he says as he grabs his club and knocks her out with it. The egg, it seems, is not fertile when he finally does examines it. He places it into storage.

 

Placing Mejoberries and some narco berries in her inventory, Joe gets the taming process under way. “Quite interesting,” he thinks. “You knock them out, then nurse them back to health. Not like it was with the Pegomax where she just took the berries from me, then decided to be friends on her own.”

 

It is about 20 minutes later when the Parasaur wakes up tamed and no longer angry at Joe for taking her egg. “She is actually quite sweet for such a large reptile,” he thinks as he saddles her up and takes her riding for the first time. “I'll know now not to pick up stray eggs on the beach when the mother is nearby. I don't want to have an angry mother Bronto chasing me.”

 

Joe fully explores Herbivore Island finding it to be horseshoe shaped formation with the two sandbars with rocks on the ends. It also has lots of boulders up on the ridge with several gold colored rocks. The Survivor's Handbook says he should wait until he can get a metal pick before seriously mining those rocks for metal as the yield will be much better. Once he is able to craft a saddle for one, the handbook suggest that he should tame an Anklosaur and use it to mine stone and flint for spark powder and the metal rocks to get a higher yield of metal ore from them.

 

While riding his new Parasaur he has named Patty, he finds that he can use her to gather berries, some thatch and a little wood. “She can get me lots of berries including the Narco and Stimm berries I can convert to Narcs and Stimms,” He thinks.

 

Joe continues on his improvements at his camp adding some compost bins and starting some garden plots for food crops that he has found seeds for. There is plenty of poop from the creatures roaming about on the beach area that he can use to compost for fertilizer for the plots. The larger storage boxes give him lots more places to store his excess items in.

 

With Level 20 reached, Joe is able to get a refining forge, Smithy, metal pick, and metal hatchet. The preserving bin is available at Level 18, Tranc arrows at Level 21. The preserving bin is quickly built so Joe can store his cooked meat and other perishables to extend their shelf life. He finds that he can convert the cooked meat into jerky with oil from the tribolites even though the process will take days.

 

A Trike saddle is available at Level 16, which sounds interesting for his needs. “With those horns and armored head shield, this could be a good combat mount for roaming the main island in relative safety,” he thinks.

 

“Damn, not enough hide for the saddle. I'll have to head back to the main island to hunt. I don't want to risk alienating the herbivores here by killing any of them. I better leave Patty and Peggy here where it it safe.”

 

Armed with his spears, bow, and bola, Joe sets sail for a quick hunting expedition and heads over to the old base side of Drayo's Cove. Quick work is made of a Dilo, several Dodos, and two Compy gangs. An injured Moschop gets rescued from a driftwood log which comes back with him on the raft.

 

“Such a strange mammal,” he thinks. “It wanted these weird foods to eat that I have never heard of. I may be able to find out what he is useful for when I have a chance to study him later in the day. He's not big enough to ride or capable of defending himself. He'd rather run away when facing danger then fight.”

 

Back on Herbivore Island, Joe turns the Moschop loose on wander. He is amazed to see it start gathering stuff from the trees and bushes on the sandbar.

 

Joe then crafts up the Trike saddle and goes looking for one to tame. Finding a suitable candidate, he uses the bola to ensnare its legs. “Big Mistake,” says Joe out loud as the bola is ripped to shreds. The angry trike charges him. Narc Arrow to the head as Joe dodges its big horns horns on the forehead. Another Narc Arrow to the head as a palm tree is shattered by the charge of the big male plowing into it. A third Narc Arrow in the head as Joe runs behind a boulder for cover. Another Narc Arrow to the head. “What's it going to take to knock this big guy out!” Then, there is a big crash as the trike finally hits the ground out cold.

 

Joe places the Mejoberries in the Trike's inventory to start the taming process, but soon finds that he has no Narcoberries left. He is about to head back to get Patty when he sees the Moschop coming through the area. Checking his inventory, he gets a big surprise.

 

“Wow, this guy got me a stock of Mejoberries, a bunch of Narcoberries, lots of seeds, other berries, wood, thatch, and even a bunch of fiber. You are a harvesting machine. Thank you buddy,” Joe says as he takes the needed items to transfer to the unconscious Trike inventory.

 

It is starting to get cold as evening approaches. “Looks like this is going to take all night,” Joe thinks as he monitors the progress of the taming. “It appears that the higher the level, the longer it will take to tame them, and this big guy is a level 98.”

 

A couple of torches are placed next to the unconscious Trike for heat and light as he brings Peggy and Patty over to be with him, then builds a 1x1 thatch shelter to keep him out of the cold rain that has started coming down.

 

Mickey, the Moschop, provides him with more Narco and Mejoberries as well as with the materials Joe needed for the shelter. At dawn, the Trike wakes up tamed.

 

Joe takes all of his tames back to the main camp and fires up the forge with the 16 metal ore he has collected the past couple of days. With level 25, he now has access to the metal pike, and crossbow. While the metal ore is smelting down so he can get the Smithy built, Joe takes out Mike, his new Trike, to see if he was worth all of the effort it took to tame him.

 

Author Note, In the actual game, a higher level creature will give higher initial stats as well as gain a bonus that can equal half of the original level that the creature started out with. Terry turns out to be typical of such a tame with having a high value of health, stamina, weight, and melee attack.

 

Joe takes him out and finds his ability to harvest berries, wood, and thatch are exceptional compared to Patty Parasaur. Even though Patty is faster, Mike the Trike is so much stronger, maybe too strong given that he gets such large amounts of thatch from the palm trees. He turns out to be very efficient in gathering from the driftwood, tree stumps and dead palms, something that Joe has normally ignored due to how hard it was to get anything from them with his stone tools.

 

Back at camp, Joe gets the Smithy built, then crafts the metal pick. He gets a bunch more Narcs made up with the Narcoberries the Trike has gathered for him. Riding on Patty with Mike following, Joe heads for the metal bearing rock up on the ridge.

 

“A good haul,” he thinks as he has packed about 400 pounds of metal ore on Mike, another 100 on Patty, and carries another 100 on himself. The forge is fired up filled with metal ore and wood as Joe heads back to mine the boulders for more flint to craft up some more arrows, then a stop to check on Mickey to get narcoberries so he can use up the rest of the spoiled meat for Narcs for the arrows.

 

Joe continues to craft up the metal tools he has unlocked in the Smithy as the refined metal is ready. He gets his hatchet, pike, and crossbow. “So amazing how much wood this metal hatchet gathers,” he thinks. “They are a lot more durable then those primitive stone tools.

 

Joe heads back further into the ridge getting another load of metal and wood. That ends up in the Refining Forge to run all night. He unloads all of the Thatch and fiber Mickey has gathered and places it on the raft, then takes all of the Narcoberries to put in the preserving bin.

 

Remembering the encounter with the ants, he places stimms where he can access them quickly and places the extras on Mike in case he should need them. His Survivor's Handbook has warned him about the poisonous bite of the glowing eye creatures he had seen on his first night and how Stimms can counteract their effect as well.

 

“Time to get a good night sleep,” he says to himself after such a rewarding day. “I'll take Mike over to the main island to craft wood building materials and test out his defensive ability if need be.”

 

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Chapter 5. The fifth day on The Island.

 

During the night, Joe starts to wonder what had happened to the other person he had seen in a raft in the distance prior to the storm knocking him out and ending in this alien setting. “Was he one of ours? One of the enemy? The first enemy pilot from the plane he shot down? The enemy pilot of the plane that shot him up before he shot it out of the sky?” He had been so busy during these first four days surviving on Ark that he hadn't had time to think about such things.

 

Then, it dawns on him that he hasn’t lit up one cigarette in the past four days. “This is really strange,” he thinks. “On those party weekends, I always went through at least half a carton of Lucky Strikes. Those flight missions would always leave me craving for one after a couple of hours. Yet here, I have been so busy surviving that I haven’t had the time or even felt the need to light one up even if I had them. Even now, as I am awake and thinking, I have no urge or desire to smoke any cigarettes at all.”

 

“These strange creatures that can be tamed. I know they lay eggs, but, I have yet to see any of their babies or youngsters. How are they able to populate this place if they don’t reproduce? I’ve seen and hear them being killed all of the time, I have also killed many of them myself with my weapons. Yet, they continue to remain in a strangely stable numbers.”

 

Something else Joe now realizes. When his plane was shot up, he had suffered burns to his legs from the burning engine. He was able to get the fire out using his fire extinguisher, but the burns had been quite painful in the salt water. Waking up on Ark, he now wonders how his burns became fully healed.

 

“If that other pilot is on Ark, was he also injured before his arrival? Did he arrive with his injuries fully healed? Has he been able to survive as well?”

 

“What will happen should we both run into each other and the other pilot is my enemy? Will he attack me on sight? Should I attack him on sight? Will he have tames like I do or ones that are dangerous predators? Could we possibly agree to a truce so long as we are on this Ark and work together for our survival and eventual escape from here?”

 

The Petromax snuggles up next to Joe as he drifts off into sleep. His other two tames are outside resting in safety on this peaceful little island Joe has made home. The fire in the Refining Forge process the rest of the metal or in it and eventually goes out leaving a large amount of charcoal ready to be converted into gunpowder or other use.

 

That morning, before heading off to the mainland to test out his new Trike, Joe prepares, what Ark players call, a Go Box at his camp. With the extra metal, he crafts a spare set of metal tools placing them in storage next to his bed along with an extra set of clothes. “I will upgrade this with better armor once I have the skill and resources to do so,” he thinks.

 

With the Go Box set, Joe loads Mike the Trike on board the raft and sets sail to the mainland to explore West of Drayo's Cove into a more dangerous area. Armed with metal weapons, Joe feels better equipped to defend himself and his new tame from the increased dangers that may be present there.

 

Landing on the beach in a safe looking area with a cliff close by, Joe gets on Mike and rides him to go exploring. He spots some ruins noting another ammo box from up on Mike. Dismounting, he access the ammo box which he finds has an explorer's note describing one of the creatures of Ark. “Another clue from a survivor of long ago,” Joe thinks as he puts the note away with his Explorer’s Handbook.

 

A screech alerts Joe to danger as he turns around coming face to face with a pair of Dilos. Too late to get on Mike, he grabs his pike and attacks the nearest threat. Mike goes after the second threat killing it with his horns before Joe has finished dispatching the first. “Good Job Mike,” Joe tells him as he harvests both dilos for raw meat and hide, packing the meat in the Trike's inventory. Joe has learned some time ago that tames act like a mini fridge in that raw meat and berries will last four times longer on them then on him. “Such a strange rule of the nature of this strange island,” he thinks as he finishes transferring the raw meat to Mike.

 

As Joe gets on Mike, a raptor shows up from behind a boulder and charges at them. “Definitely not friendly,” Joe says as he uses Mike to charge directly into the raptor which gets flung back to the boulder. A narc arrow fired from the crossbow ends the threat. “Love that new crossbow,” Joe thinks. “It sure hits a lot harder then the primitive bow. “The raptor, although unconscious and tame able, is so badly injured that Joe decides to finishes it off with his hatchet. (Game note, using ranged weapons while riding on most tames was added to the game in the fall of 2016.)

 

Getting back on Mike after harvesting the raptor, Joe rides back to the raft to unload the raw meat into storage. He then crafts himself up a set of leather armor. “Much better then fiber clothes,” he thinks. “It will give me some better protection should I be caught without Mike nearby.”

 

Finding some tribolites along the beach, Joe is able to gets more chitin, some pearls, and oil. He reaches Level 35.

 

“All right, a gunpowder weapon. A pistol and Long Neck Rifle with a scope. Even a Cannon. I have to craft them in the Smithy, but at least, I will have something to fight with should I run into any Japanese soldiers here.”

 

Joe continues exploring along the beach heading West. Keeping in the open, he uses the spotting scope to look ahead for trouble. He spots three Troodons for the first time out hunting and watches them take on a raptor. “That should be a slaughter of the much smaller Troogen,” he thinks. But, then he notices there are tactics being deployed by the Troodon pack.

 

Two of the Troodons taunt the raptor as a third sneaks up from behind to take a bite out of its leg. After about a minute, the raptor drops to the ground registering unconscious in his spotting scope. “Now, I know why I need to keep the stimms handy on both me and my tame,” he thinks as the Troodons move in to eat the unconscious raptor alive. “Lets go back the other way,” he tells Terry.

 

Back near the raft, Joe is harvesting the palm trees for wood to craft up more building material to expand his camp. He loads the finished items on Mike who is following close behind.

 

Joe is about ready to head for the raft when he hears a roar coming from the direction of Drayo's cove. A Carno has spotted him and is looking for an easy meal.

 

In a panic, Joe gets on Mike but finds him quite burdened. He quickly dumps all of the inventory on Mike, then grabs his crossbow as he has Mike charge the carno. Three narc arrows find their target as Mike collides head first into the charging carno, his horns doing a great deal of damage to it. Joe jumps off using his pike to stab the attacking carno as Mike slams his horns into it a second time. The battle is soon over.

 

“That was close, almost too close,” Joe thinks as he leather armor has been badly damaged in fighting the Carno. Mike was bitten as well but has come out of the attack in good shape thanks to his high level and strength.

 

“Raw Prime,” Joe says as he harvest the carno. “What? It spoils in less then six minute, even on Mike, and doesn't stack? How am I suppose to keep that? Can I even get it cooked before it spoils?”

 

Joe takes Mike back to where he had dumped the inventory and places it all back on him. “Lets go home,” he says as they both get back on the raft to sail back to Herbivore Island and safety. By the time they have reached their home island, the both of them have fully recovered from the fight.

 

Back at Herbivore Island, Joe unpacks the building materials from Mike into a storage crate on the raft. The extra meat goes in the preserving bin as two stacks go in the fire pit to be cooked up. With oil in the preserving bin, cooked meat jerky is starting to show up. It has a most ideal shelf life even when taken from the preserving bin. “A good backup food that I can place on the raft” thinks Joe.

 

Taking the chitin from storage, Joe places it in the Smithy and checks on the crafting requirements for making stronger armor. In short order, Joe has some better quality armored vest, pants and helmet.

 

Next on the crafting is a metal sickle. “Great,” he thinks when he tries it out. “Lots of fiber in a hurry but no berries. It will be a good backup when Mickey the Moschop is not available.”

 

A primitive revolver with 40 rounds is soon crafted.

 

“Oh, even better armor,” he says to himself as he selects the five pieces of metal ones. I can now be dressed like one of those Mid-Evil Knights. “But, I have to make it in the Smithy.”

 

“One can fly on those pteradons? Great, I’ll be so glad to go flying again, even if it is on one of those prehistoric bird.

 

“A shotgun and ammo, That will give me a close in weapon if needed.”

 

“A beer barrel. Fantastic, I sure miss having a cold one.”

 

“Oh wow, the crafting requirements is pretty steep especially for the gunpowder for the bullets. Guess I better see if I can tame one of the pteradons for areal survey so I can safely look for more resources.”

 

Armed with narc arrows in the crossbow, raw meat, narcs, and packing the saddle he has just crafted, Joe goes hunting for a suitable pteradon for taming.

 

Joe soon finds one that has landed on the beach and shoots it in the head with a narc arrow. It drops dead. “Damn,” mutters Joe to himself. “They are a lot more fragile then I thought.” Joe proceeds to harvest the dead pteradon for its meat and hide.

 

He has to head much further down the beach where he finds another pteradon that has just landed. This time, Joe targets its body. Twack, the pteradon takes off in alarm flying out to sea. Then, it falls into the water and drowns. “Well, at least, I didn't kill it with a narc arrow.” he says to himself.

 

With the other pteradons becoming skittish, Joe heads back to camp to grab a bola. A pteradon comes out of the cove to rest. Using the Bola, Joe throws it at the pteradon's feet immobilizing it. One narc arrow to the body. Nothing. He shoots another. Nothing. As Joe readies for a third shot, the pteradon falls to the ground unconscious.

 

“Level 86 female. No wonder you took two hits to drop,” says Joe as he recovers the arrows to place raw meat and narcs into the pteradon's inventory.

 

Joe gets prepared for another long tame. A pair of torches and a thatch 1x1 hut are set up. Like before with the Trike, Joe brings the other tames to stay with him. As there is time before it gets dark. Joe takes Patty and Mike up to the ridge to gather more metal for the refining forge, takes another 200 wood, lights and stocks it up to run all night. He stops in each direction to check that the unconscious pteradon is remaining that way. Surprisingly, she has fully healed from the injuries caused by the narc arrows.

 

During the night, Joe wonders what he will find when he takes his new flying tame for her first recon flight. Will there be other survivors out there? Will there be Japanese occupying part of the Ark? Will there be way back to the Lexington off this Ark?

 

It is midnight when the pteradon tame has been completed. He names her Trixie. As it is too dark to do any flying, he decides to rest in the hut for the night with his new tame next to him with the others. Peggy lays down beside him being her usual pesky self, looking for attention.

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Chapter 6. The recon flights.

 

At daybreak, Joe saddles up his new tame and flies her back to his camp landing her on the roof of the hut. The other tames follow him back to camp.

 

Like the night before, the fire in the smelter has gone out after processing the load of metal ore placed in it. There is more charcoal for gun powder.

 

For now, Joe settles on packing the pistol with it's 40 rounds. He will make up the rifle later once he can craft a scope for it. But, that needs 20 pounds of crystal of which he has only one. So a trip will be needed back to the cave to see if the metal pick will give him what he needs.

 

A beer barrel is placed down with a water source and filled with berries and thatch as required. “A cold one would sure be great in the evening,” thinks Joe. “I certainly miss those Saturday nights with the boys.”

 

Preparing to travel light, since his Survivor’s Manuel has warned him about the pteradon’s low weight carrying capacity, Joe saddles up Trixie and takes off towards his old base. It is quite a view from the air as Joe can now see a long ways during the flight. Both the Green and Red Obelisk show up clearly as floating objects in the distance. Keeping an eye on her stamina, Joe figures he can easily make it to the cave but lands Trixie up on a boulder for a rest and to look around in case there is trouble up ahead.

 

Through his spotting scope, Joe spots the wild Rex back up in the delta of Drayo's Cove. It is a Level 6 female just patrolling the area. A strange bird like creature, somewhat smaller then the Rex, but bigger then the Carno, is feeding on the bushes using his huge claws to gather the berries. “What a strange creature,” He thinks as he places his spotting scope on it. “Therizinosaur, Male, Level 38.” “I'll need to research him in The Survivor's Handbook to see if he would make a good tame or not.”

 

Joe continues to fly on Trixie to the cave site. He is so glad that he can bring her inside where she is safe from any threats outside.

 

With the pistol handy, Joe heads into the cave finding the crystal to harvest while watching out for the bats and other hazards. “What a difference a metal pick makes,” he thinks as he gets the needed crystal from one outcropping and dumps the excess stones. Joe leaves the cave flying to his old outpost where he leaves the crystal in a storage box for the time being.

 

Joe continues to explore further up the beach with Trixie. With the spotting scope, he can scout for any signs of other survivors as well look for danger. He lands by the edge of the swamp to rest Trixie and observe ahead. But soon, there is a swarm of flying insects headed their way. “Not good,” Joe thinks as he urges Trixie to leave quickly before finding a rocky outcropping to land on. “Lots of unknown dangers to worry about in that swamp.”

 

As Joe later learns from his Survivor's Handbook, without bug repellent and a very strong mount, the swamps are a death trap of Titanboas, Sarcos, Beelzebufos, Dimetrodons, the ambush predators Kaprosuchus, giant leaches that could be diseased, Piranha, flying Titanomyrma, and others unknown. He does see Paracers roaming freely in the swamp. “Apparently, these creatures are immune to the dangers present there due to their size,” he thinks.

 

Flying and gaining altitude to get above the jungle, Joe heads to a rocky outcropping by the Green Obelisk landing there to rest Trixie before flying to it. “Wow, it is huge,” he thinks as he flies up high alongside of it. From that vantage, as he flies through the clouds, Joe can see the Blue Obelisk over in the distant mountains and a red one to the West.

 

Flying back down, he sees the alter at the base of the badly fractured terrain underneath the Green Obelisk. Water fills most of the fracture below. Some parts of the platform where the green shaft of light hits the alter, look like they have been damaged. Sections of alien structure glow as they are seen embedded in the jagged rock spires surrounding the fracture landscape.

 

Joe lands Trixie next to the alter to examine it. “So interesting,” he thinks. “While that light shaft can be seen anywhere the Obelisk is visible, it only appears to be the size of a pencil at the alter.

 

Joe's train of thought gets interrupted when he hears, then sees a raptor come running towards him and Trixie. Instinctively, he empties the pistol into it as it drops with the last shot. Before he can reload, he sees two more raptors start running up the ramp towards them. Quickly getting on Trixie, he gets airborne as the two raptors try to attack by jumping after him.

 

“That was close,” he thinks as he flies back towards the old campsite. “It took an entire clip to drop a low level raptor. This primitive black powder pistol is about as weak as those early six shooters of the Old West. I hope that the Long Neck Rifle has much better hitting power then this pea shooter.”

 

Picking up the crystal, Joe flies back to his Herbivore Island camp. A Longneck rifle is soon fabricated along with a primitive scope and 50 rounds of ammo. “A bit heavy and only single shot,” Joe thinks. “Definitely will be useful if I should run into any enemy soldiers on this Ark.”

 

Peggy comes over looking for attention as Joe prepares the raft for a quick recon to test out the new rifle. “Sorry,” he says to her. “This trip is for hunting. I don't want you to get hurt or frightened while I am over snooping in Drayo's Cove with the raft.”

 

While on the raft, Joe test out the capability of the new rifle. “This scope is great,” he thinks. He spots some raptors and aims for the head of the lead one. BLAM! The raptor goes down with one shot but it's buddy has spotted him and is heading for the water. “Damn, slow reload.” He gets a bead on the second raptor as it starts swimming to him and drops it with one shot. “We'll, that hits a lot harder then emptying the pea shooter on one. Still, I best use the rifle for long range shooting, use the crossbow with narcs for quick nonfatal take down, and keep the pea shooter for close in combat with the pike as backup.” Both raptors are harvested for meat and hide before Joe sails back to his camp.

 

Joe has reached Level 40 during his exploration of the day. As he beaches the raft for the night, he finds a Ankykosaur that has got itself stuck in the palms by his camp. “I can now craft a saddle for one,” he thinks as he checks out the Survivor Handbook. Currently available at Level 36 in the game. “This guy would be most useful in crafting large amounts of spark power quickly instead of wearing out my pick chopping up rocks all day. Would you like to be my rock miner?”

 

A quick trip on Mike the Trike gathers him the needed berries and narcs for the tame attempt. “Low level so the tame won't take that long.” he thinks after a close up examination with the spotting scope.”

 

Making sure no other Ankylos are nearby, Joe drops the trapped one with three narc arrows on the crossbow and gets the taming process underway. Peggy makes the usual pest of herself as Joe prepares for another overnight tame. There is sufficient resources to craft the saddle.

 

Close to midnight, Andy is tamed but still stuck in the palms and boulder. The saddle is put on and Joe gets on board. “OK Andy,” he says. “Lets get you unstuck.”

 

It is three quick swings of the spiked tail and Andy has collected wood, thatch, an assortment of berries, and has shattered the boulder which yields 30 stone and 110 flint. “A most worthwhile tame.” Joe thinks. “I will soon have plenty of spark powder with the bonus of extra berries thatch and wood. And, you will easily fit on the raft so I can take you to where the boulders are. I'm most interested to see what you will do with the metal ore in the morning.”

 

“Come join the rest of my tames for the night and we will go for a raft ride in the morning.”

 

 

Author Note. Ankylos now get a buff when carrying rocks. They weight far less on an Ankylos then when carried by a player.

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Chapter 7. The Zero Pilot

 

Yamaharo was born the only son of a Japanese working family who’s father was head of an aircraft industry that was working full steam on military production of fighter and other aircraft. He took an interest in fighter aircraft that his dad was developing for use in war which Japan was already involved in with its expansion into China, Manchuria, and Korea.

 

Yamaharo joined the military as a hot shot teen in 1940 to fly in the Japanese Air Force. Because of his work with his dad and having had the chance to fly high performance aircraft that belonged to him, he soon becoming a top pilot in his air group.

 

Being the fastest, most maneuverable fighter of its time, the Zero became Yamaharo's favorite aircraft as he was trained in the art of fighter combat. He was soon taught carrier battle skills and was assigned to the Kaga fighter squadron to train on that carrier.

 

In late November, 1941, his air group has sets sail on a secret mission towards the Hawaiian Islands. The naval admirals were taking full advantage of the stormy weather of the North Pacific to hide the movement of the task force as they sailed towards their intended target, the American naval forces stationed in Pearl Harbor.

 

Reaching their objective undetected, the aircraft were armed and fueled on deck ready for takeoff just before dawn. The weather had cleared making it important that they launch their attack before they are discovered. With the last minute orders, the air groups headed for their targets with Yamaharo flying fighter escort for the bombing group.

 

As history shows, the early morning attack on Sunday, December 7th. 1941, caught the Americans by surprise. However, the US Carrier group, the main target of the Japanese bombers, had put out to sea and were nowhere in sight. The group switched their targets to Battleship Row and proceeded to attack those ships that were tied to the dock.

 

With no American fighters in the air to engage, Yamaharo's fighter group proceed to attack the airfield shooting down Buffalo and other aircraft that were attempting to get airborne. They also strafed aircraft they found parked in neat rows along the airfield sending them up in flames.

 

Low on ammo and fuel, Yamaharo starts flying back to his carrier to rearm and refuel. His Zero is damaged when it is hit by shrapnel as the nearby Arizona's forward magazine erupts into a huge fireball. Still in control of his aircraft, he manages to limp back to the Kaga and lands safely.

 

With the location of the American carriers unknown and not wanting to risk losing top fleet carriers that they can ill afford to replace, the Japanese Admirals make the decision to declare victory and head for home.

 

It is quite a shock to Yamaharo on April 18th. as he is visiting his parents in Tokyo when he hears the air raid sirens go off followed by the sound of heavy bombers flying low overhead with US markings on them. Sounds of bombs going off and anti aircraft fire interrupt his thought as he wonders how it was possible for US bombers to reach Japan. He is soon called up to join his fighter group to set sail for the Coral Sea.

 

On that fateful day in May, Yamaharo is flying cap over his carrier that has just launched an attack against an American task force spotted nearby. He spots a squadron of Devastator Torpedo Bombers heading towards his carrier group and leads in the attack against them. He is soon mixing it up with with US fighter pilots flying F4F Wildcats. “These planes are good,” he thinks as he has to use all of his flying skills taking advantage of the Zero's ability to maneuver in behind them. “Very tough,” he thinks as he shoots up one of the fighters before it finally goes down.

 

Lining up on Joe Six Pack plane, Yamaharo is having a very difficult time getting into position to shoot it down. Getting off a burst from his machine gun, he is able to disable the Wildcat's engine. Suddenly, he finds himself in front of the Wildcat having his Zero shot to pieces before he can react to get out of its kill zone.

 

It is a rough impact from what is left of his fighter as it hits the water. He bails out of the sinking craft with his raft and survival gear as he watches Joe's plane ditch in front of him. He is in a great deal of pain from his left leg which has been shattered by a round from Joe’s machine guns. He bandages up the leg as best as he can as the wound burns badly from the sting of the salt water.

 

All Yamaharo can do now is watch the battle develop before him as he sees aircraft going down all around him in flames. A huge explosion suddenly fill the horizon with flame and smoke as one of the ships in his carrier group takes a direct hit. The battle dies down as darkness approaches, the sky still lit up from the fires of burning ships that eventually sink putting them out.

 

“Where are the escorts to rescue us,” he thinks as the sky starts turning black with the sea getting rougher by the minute from an approaching storm.

 

He has seen another survivor in the water, but decides against swimming towards him. “That could be my enemy,” he thinks. “It might be a bad idea to have a confrontation under such bad conditions.”

 

Lightning is soon lighting up the horizon as the tropical storm rolls in. There are no escorts ships visible anywhere, only the outline of some small tropical islands that show in the brilliant flashes as his small raft bobs up on the wave peaks. “At least, there is land nearby if I can reach it,” he thinks as he starts paddling towards it.

 

The storm continues to gets worse as the wind and waves pick up blowing him away from the island he has seen on the horizon. Yamaharo is dumped into the sea as a wave breaks over him. He loses track of the raft in the blackness of the stormy night as he struggles to swim back to it. Then, with a blinding flash, he is rendered unconscious.

 

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Chapter Eight, The Sandbar of Southpaw.

 

Gameplay note, The sandbar at Southpaw is located in South Zone One on The Island. It is one of the safest areas in the game to start. Still, there are Pegomax and Dilos to present danger to the unprepared survivor. Later, a Sarco or Spino may show up in the nearby bay. Metal is obtainable from the round rocks in the river. Crystal, however, will involve a dangerous trip to the small mountain peak in the East across the bay. Chitin is hard to obtain. There is plenty of wood, berries, and fiber available for early crafting.

 

Yamaharo wakes face up lying on a beautiful tropical beach staring into the cloud studded sky. He finds himself lying naked on that beach, his shattered leg completely healed, yet his clothes, raft, and all of his survival gear are gone. There is this strange gem shaped item implanted in his left wrist. “What's going on here?” he thinks as he gets up and looks around. “Did the enemy find me to take all of my stuff? Why didn’t they take me prisoner? How did my leg get healed so quickly? What is this gem implanted in my left wrist?”

 

As Yamaharo stands up, he sees a flock of Dodo birds walking by. “Such strange birds on this beach,” he says to himself. “They don't seem to have a care in the world.”

 

A loud chirp alerts him to a large lizard creature near by that races towards him from behind. Turning to face it, he sees its hood flare and instinctively ducks to one side as green spit flies by him. “Not friendly, not friendly,” he yells as he runs past the Dodos on the beach. One of them squawks in fright as it is attacked by the lizard like creature, killed, and eaten.

 

Now hiding behind some nearby boulders and catching his breath, Yamaharo decides he had better find something to use for a weapon and fast.

 

Picking up a stone off the beach, he is surprised to see it vanish along with a holographic message, “Added One Stone.” Checking out the implant in his wrist, he quickly learns how to access it for messages and information where he finds out about crafting a stone pick. “Need wood and thatch,” it says as he goes over to a driftwood log to hit it with a stone that also vanishes. Using his fist, he is able to get the required materials and crafts the pick.

 

“A level up,” another holographic message displays. Picking health, he finds the engrams to spend and selects the hatchet and spear.

 

“Need Flint and fiber,” as he finds out that the boulder has the flint he needs for the hatchet which is soon crafted. In short order, Yamaharo has a pick, hatchet, and spear.

 

With spear in hand, Yamaharo heads back up the beach to find the creature that had attacked him. “There you are you little ba$tard,” he says to himself as he sneaks up from behind as it is eating another Dodo. There is the Shrek of surprise as Yamaharo spears the dilo which breaks as he kills it. “Damn,” he says. “Better make up three more if they can break without warning.” Using the hatchet, he finds that he can gets raw meat, hide, and another level up for his effort.

 

“Time for a fire pit to cook this raw meat, also some clothes since I'm starting to get cold.” Those items are obtained from the engram list. A fire pit is placed in the shelter of the boulders where the raw meat is soon cooking up as Yamaharo crafts a shirt and pants from the thatch and fiber he has gathered nearby.

 

“Where am I going to find fresh water?” he thinks given that the berries he has picked that can be safely eaten don't provide him with enough liquid.” Heading to the sea in the cove, he is surprised to find that the water is fresh when he dives in to clean himself up. “One problem solved,” he thinks.

 

“Hey, you little thief,” he yells as a pegomax runs off with his spears. He then finds a second one just staring at him. It registers as tame. “How can you be my tame?” he ask as he looks back at it. Finding out that it has an inventory, he finds that his mejoberries are on it. “So, you stole my berries and like them,” he says. “I guess that we can be friends,” he says as he proceeds to make replacement spears. A levelup soon gives him engrams for building a shelter.

 

As he is building a thatch hut next to the fire for the night, he sees something really strange. A giant theropod, a Bronto, is spotted grazing on the palms across the bay.”

 

“Just what is this strange place where the water in the sea is fresh? How did these strange creatures get here? What this strange behavior with these little harry lizards that take things from you, yet, would like to become your friend. That giant creature across the bay. This place can't be real. According to my science book in school, these creatures have been extinct for millions of years.”

 

Looking to the West, he spots it. One of the three floating obelisk floating in the sky, parts of it obscured by the clouds. “Who could have built this? The Americans? The Nazi? The Soviets? Our scientist? some Martians? Am I just dreaming? Did I die only to be sent into this after world? This place can’t be for real,” he thinks as the sun is setting and it starts getting dark.

 

A bright light drops down on the sand bar point near his camp. It lights up the entire sandbar as a couple of Dodos go scurrying about. Yamaharo has seen them in the distance when it started to get dark. Now, there is one coming down close by. “Stay at the camp,” he tells the pegomax that is following him.

 

A shreak alerts him to a dilo caught in the driftwood. It is quickly dispatched with a spear as the spinning capsule descends to the ground. Yamaharo reaches level 5 with harvesting the dilo.

 

He walks up to the alien device known in Ark as a loot crate finding that he can access it with his Specimen Implant. It contains a slingshot, a couple of storage crates, some food, a hat, gloves, and boots. It shatters as he takes all the items and darkness returns.“A good find,” he thinks as he lights his torch and heads back to camp. Placing down the storage crates, he transfers the extra items into it and puts on the hat, gloves and boots. “Who sent it to me? How did that thing come down in a beam of light?”

 

The rain soon rolls in with fog making it pitch black out and very cold. Yamaharo lights the camp fire cooking up the additional raw meat from the dispatched dilo. The extra hide is placed in storage. “Interesting, I can fill my hide canteen with the rain,” he thinks after crafting one from the hide.

 

Later that night, as the storm ends, he is awakened by the sound of something screaming in extreme pain and terror in the distance followed by a loud roar that echos off the cliff side across the bay. “It is definitely very dangerous around here” he thinks. “I will need to find myself a more secure location in the morning, then search for anyone else that may be here.”

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Chapter 9. Securing a base.

 

With Peggy, the Pegomax keeping him company all night, Yamaharo has spent a most sleepless night dreading an attack by something large unseen. “I will need to find some place sheltered up on the cliff among the boulders and build it from stronger materials,” he thinks. “I now have access to wood foundations and walls. That will certainly help in building a stronger structure.”

 

“A Bola and Parasaur saddle. Most interesting. It seems that I can tame that creature for riding.” Yamaharo says to himself as he checks the crafting list in the morning. He has seen a wild Parasaur grazing nearby. They are a curious looking creature that don't represent any threat to him. “I will try to tame one once I have secured a stronger location, then do some exploring to look for anyone else out here with me.”

 

A suitable location for the stronger camp is located on a nearby cliff by the bay. Yamaharo starts clearing the spot placing down a 2x2 foundation of wood, then adding the walls, ceiling, porch, a spawn bed, storage crates and fire pit. Several Dodo birds bite the dust as he hunts them for their much needed hide. Experimenting with the slingshot shows that they can be knocked out and tamed. He does so with some of the hens and brings them back to his new camp where they provide him with eggs for food.

 

Armed with a bola and stones for the slingshot, Yamaharo goes looking for the Parasaur he has seen nearby on the sand point. He has crafted a saddle for one and is quite curious to see what it is going to be like using one as a mount. He finds a female on the point and uses the bola to snare her legs. With several stones to the head from the slingshot, she is knocked out. Placing berries in her inventory he finds that she prefers the Mejoberries as the taming bar progresses and the unconscious one goes down.

 

“I got a problem,” he thinks. “She is going to wake up before she is tamed. Oh, the narcoberries. Lets see if they will keep her out. Yes, there is a remote use item to force her to eat them. Good, that is working. She is remaining unconscious. With the game settings at 4X, the female Parasaur is soon tamed and awake.

 

“You're quite a baby doll,” he tells her as he places the saddle on the newly tamed parasaur.

 

Riding her, he quickly learns how to control her to harvest berries, wood, and thatch. Like the Pegomax and the Dodos, he can level her up for stamina, weight, health, etc... She is such a dream to ride that he ends up naming her Baby Doll.

 

Taking her around the bay to the West, Yamaharo decides to do some exploration with Baby Doll. There is a game trail heading up a hill that he rides on with her. He promptly runs into a pair of dilos that ambush him. “Damn you little ba$tards,” he cusses as he jumps off spearing both of them to death. Baby Doll is blinded for several minutes by the green spit but soon recovers. He leads her back to his camp.

 

“I'd better build a strong pen to protect you,” he thinks. “But you won't fit through a door. Oh well, I can use wood walls until I can get a gate built.”

 

Next on the crafting list Yamaharo is able to obtain the bow and arrows. “Excellent, a ranged weapon to take out those spitters and little thieves before they can threaten me and Baby Doll. Perhaps even something bigger. Good, I can now make that big wood gate. There is a raft too. That will allow me to explore the shoreline in safety. So much stuff to make. I need a lot more hide if I want to use a raft. A lot of wood. Too much to carry in one trip. I can pack the wood on Baby Doll and take it to the bay, then build the raft there.”

 

Yamaharo proceeds to complete the pen with a gate as late afternoon approaches. He has managed to craft up a bow and 50 arrows. Interesting, he finds that the round rocks by his camp are giving several metal ore along with lots of flint and stone. “There must be a use for this metal ore,” he thinks as he places it in storage. He finds that the spoiled meat and narcoberries can be combined to create Narcs and stimm berries with sparkpowder for stimms.

 

Yamaharo has noticed that there are several places where the loot crates descend from the sky. “Where do they come from?” he wonders. “Who is responsible for them? Are they responsible for this strange gem implanted in my wrist? Did they bring me here to this strange world to be part of some grand experiment of survival? Is anyone else on this strange world with me? Are our troops camped nearby? Are the American Marines camped near here? What about that pilot I saw in the other raft? Is he one of my friends that was shot down? Is he my enemy? I will need to get that raft built, take Baby Doll with me, and go exploring the shoreline in spite of the dangerous creatures present. Maybe, I should wait until I get a stronger mount, something built like a tank. Can that trike I saw in the trees nearby be tamed for my use? Yes! I can craft a saddle for one.”

 

Taking a Bola, slingshot, narcs, mejoberries, and his bow and arrow for protection, Yamaharo head off to where he has seen the wild Trike.

 

“Oh! Big Mistake,” he says when the Bola fails to snare the trike and it charges after him. “He's really pissed off,” as he ducks around the boulder bouncing stones off his hard head staying out of his reach. Committed to the tame attempt, Yamaharo continues bouncing stones off the Trike's head until one finally knocks him out.

 

The battle has brought him closer to his camp which is a good thing given that evening is approaching. He sets up torches as he places the berries with narcs ready for a long tame. Some wild Pegomaxes show up which quickly fall victim to the stone arrows. “Good, here is the hide I need for the raft and saddle,” he thinks as he takes out a Compy Gang that comes over looking for an easy meal.

 

A quick trip back to camp gets him a torch lit at the gate as well as spare berries and narcs from Baby Doll. “Stay here, I shall have a friend for you soon,” he tells her.

 

Back at the Trike, the taming process is going well but is taking a lot longer then it did with the Parasaur. “Must have something to do with his high level and being a Trike,” he thinks. “If this guy is like a tank, I should be able to use him to defend against the larger carnivores out there.”

 

Close to midnight, the tame is complete with Terry the Trike joining the team. “You are definitely a tank,” Yamaharo says as he uses Mike to tear out the trees and bushes nearby before riding him back to the pen. “I'll take you out for exploring in the morning before I build that raft.”

 

Before retiring for the night, some 20 tranc arrows get crafted from the narcoberries Terry has collected and the spoiled meat from the compys. “This should make a difference in knocking out threats at range” he thinks.

 

A lot of work has been done that day with all the construction, taming a Parasaur and Trike, and building a more secure camp for him and his three pets. They all get a good night's rest secured from the threats that may show up during the night.

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Chapter 10. Day three on Ark. Exploration.

 

Terry is saddled up to continue the exploration to the game path where Yamaharo was forced to turn back due to a dilo ambush. Armed with the bow and arrows, he feels much more prepared to face the dangers beyond.

 

Another pair of dilos are out hunting the game trail but wisely stay away from Terry as he lumbers up the path to the plateau above atop the Footpaw. “Wow, The Red Obelisk just floats above the terrain it resides over. It is much further away then I though it would be,” thinks Yamaharo. “That thing is huge. There's another over that snow capped mountain to the North that is blue. A green one is to the East.” I will have to go check over the red one when I get the raft built.”

 

Finished with the exploration of the plateau, Yamaharo gathers up the wood needed to craft the raft, storing it on Terry, then crafts up the raft. He places it in the inlet and rides Terry onto it to see if the raft can transport him. Finding that Terry fits just fine in the front, Yamaharo sails it around the sand point back to his camp. With a spare bed and storage boxes of extra items on board, Yamaharo sails across the bay to the East. “I need to get up on that high point of the hill for a better view of this island.” he thinks.

 

With no game trail from the beach where he lands, Yamaharo has to find a way up past the boulders of the jungle to the clearing above. “Not fun,” he thinks. “Too many places for danger to be hiding here.”

 

In the clearing, he can see the hill he wants to head to. But, there is a lot of activity in the area. Along with wild Trikes and Parasaurs, he can see raptors and a carno preying on the smaller creatures in the area. There is also a fierce bird like creature with huge claw hands forging on the berries. Some strange looking horse like creatures are grazing nearby. “Better be careful and stay away from them as I head for that peak,” he thinks.

 

A raptor decides to press his luck and comes charging at Terry. It gets speared and thrown into a nearby boulder. Yamaharo gets off to harvest the raptor but is jumped by a pair of Troogons hiding in the tall grass. He spears one of them but gets bitten by the second. “Oh No, that bite is poisonous. Stimms, Stimms.” he says as he fights off the effect of the bite killing the second Troogon. Thankfully, he has a full water skin with him to counteract the dehydrating effect of the stimms.

 

Getting back on Terry, he spots a third Troogon and kills it with his bow and arrow. Feeling better, he continues up the hill reaching the top where there is a stone structure that is crumbling from age. “So, someone else has been here in the past,” he thinks as he stays mounted on Terry.

 

Inside, he finds an old ammo can. Opening it up, it yields a note about the Ark and a Survivor’s Handbook written by Helena. “Excellent,” he thinks. “I have some info from a past survivor on what has been going on here. I just wonder what has happened to her.”

 

The view from the stone ruins is excellent. To the North, Yamaharo can see the Redwood Forest and swamp in detail. Several large creatures can be seen grazing in the area. One is especially huge that he names it Godzilla, it looks so much like that fantasy creature of his childhood story books. The slope down below is loaded with other creatures several of which looks quite dangerous as he watched them tear up a grazing animal. “I'm not going down there even with Terry,” he thinks.

 

The boulders on the hill are most interesting in color. With a metal pick he had retrieved from the dead raptor, he finds he can get mostly metal ore from one. Not wanting to be overburdened, he only takes some of the metal ore, then focuses his attention on the crystal rock nearby. “Excellent, I can now craft that spotting scope,” as he harvest the raw crystal formation.

 

Suddenly, Terry is spearing at the sky with his horns at something unseen. Yamaharo grabs his spear as giant ants appear and kills them. Then, he goes help out Terry who has stabbed some flying ones. “Damn, their bite is poisonous as well as he finds Terry getting sleepy.” A couple of stimm berries soon has Terry fully awake.

 

Sorting out the weight issue, Yamaharo drops everything except his weapons, the crystal, the chitin from the bugs, hide, and the metal ore. “Better head back to the raft,” he tells Terry as he gets back on him for the trip back.

 

Before they can reach the safety of the beach, a Carno comes charging out of the jungle after them. “Better attack it given that we can't outrun it,” he thinks. He urges Terry into a head on charge as he fires arrows at the oncoming carno. Terry is running with such force that the carno gets impaled onto his horns. The carno, screaming in pain, is pushed into the boulder as Yamaharo uses his spear to finish it off. “Good Job,” he tells Terry. “Baby Doll and I would have never survived that. You are well worth the effort of taming you to use as a tank.”

 

Back at the beach, Yamaharo spots a crock like creature in the water near the raft fishing in the bay. “Lets get on the raft and out of here before we have to fight that,” he tells Terry. They get back to the camp by late afternoon.

 

The day's adventure has been quite productive. Yamaharo has gathered crystal, a rare resource, up on a peak where there was some old ruins. He has also gathered Chitin from the bugs, got a metal pick from the raptor Terry killed, lots of hide, has survived an attack by the Troogons, and got several level ups that will allow him to build a refining forge, the Smithy, and metal weapons from the metal ore he has gathered before and brought back on Terry. And, he has learned just how dangerous this Land of the Lost really is when one heads inland.

 

Before the end of the day, a refining forge is built and stocked with metal ore and wood. The first five refined metal go into constructing the Smithy. He takes both Terry and Baby Doll to the end of the inlet to harvest the round boulders for more metal ore saving the stone and flint for spark powder. He walks back to the base with the two tames following after having packed them with the harvested materials.

 

“You two deserved a well earned rest,” he tells them as they are unloaded and unsaddled for the night.

 

Ark gameplay of Yamaharo. While I did not take the trike up the hill to the East across from the bay, I did run into the creatures described while on foot on that trip. The small hill top closer to the south end has metal nodes. To the North is the much taller hilltop with part of a stone ruin. It has a good view of the area including down the slope to the swamp and Redwood Forest. Metal and crystal nodes are nearby along with ants. The slope is inhabited by raptors, carnos, packs of Troodons, scorpions, and an occasional Rex. The big claw bird and horse like creatures are also nearby. Note that this is the only location in the South other then in caves where there is crystal available to harvest. The only other source will be the mountain peak to the North, or along the ice pack in the Northwest. For pets, I do have Baby Doll and a Trike. I do have the crock like fish eater as he was threatening the camp when he came across from the bay. They only eat fish. No Spinos so far. There is a Pteradon for flying recon which Yamaharo will obtain soon.

 

The camp area of Footpaw Point has mostly Dodos, dilos, and Petromax with some parasaurs, Trikes, and other smaller non threatening creatures. The thieving Petromaxes are very tough to kill but are easily dropped with one tranc arrow.

 

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Chapter 11. Day 4 on Ark, A lot of crafting.

 

It is early morning when Yamaharo wakes up with his Petromax pestering him for attention. “You're not going to let me sleep in,” he tells her as he gets up to check on the refining forge. “Good, all the metal has been processed. I can get those upgrade tools made.”

 

In short order, Yamaharo has another metal pick, a hatchet, the pike, and a crossbow. A spotting scope is also crafted. “Wow, this spotting scope is amazing!” he thinks after trying it out. “It gives me information on any creature I spot with it.”

 

“It might be a good idea to reinforce my pen with stone given that there are Carnos around.” he thinks. “Also that crock like creature fishing at the end of the bay, could be a threat. I'll take the raft up the coast to where there are more boulders, stone, wood, and thatch that I can get to craft stone walls.”

 

Leaving his tames back in the wood pen, Yamaharo heads West to harvest the resources along the beach and crafts up stone walls. Armed with the crossbow and narc arrows, it is an easy matter to drop the Dilos and wild pegomaxes that attempt to pester him.

 

It is nearly noon when Yamaharo is running out of narc arrows. “I have the spoiled meat,” he thinks, “but I need narcoberries. Time to head back to camp, place down the stone walls I have, and take Terry out for more narcoberries. Also, my metal ax is wearing out.”

 

The crafting from the morning has brought him up past Level 30 so a sickle is crafted to make fiber gathering much easier. Mike is taken out to gather narcoberries that craft up another 50 narc arrows plus a spare 20 narcs for future taming. Then, it is back East to gather more stone and wood for a gate and more wall sections.

 

Level 35 is soon reached as Yamaharo works gathering materials to finish reinforcing the pen to protect his tames. “Interesting,” he thinks. “I can craft a saddle for a flying creature called a pteradon. It will feel so good to get back in the air again even if it is flying on some extinct dinosaur. It will give me a good chance to explore this strange world in relative safety from the dangerous creatures inland.”

 

Yamaharo has seen pteradons around his camp before. With his spotting scope, he has selected several candidates for taming. It is early evening when he gets back to camp and is ready to tame one.

 

Armed with a bola and narc arrows on his crossbow, he finds a suitable prospect that has landed on the beach to rest from fishing. He quickly snares its legs with the bola. One narc arrow to the head and this mid level pteradon drops after it struggles for three seconds trying to fly away.

 

Before it gets dark, the rest of the pen has been reinforced in stone. A pair of torches are set up around the unconscious pteradon in preparation for an all night event. Dilos that have shown up for an easy meal, soon fall victim to a narc arrow instead. “More then enough meat for taming and hide for the saddle. Hopefully, I will have enough narcs to complete the tame of this girl.”

 

With Mike nearby for security, Yamaharo sets up the torches in preparation for the all night tame. It is complete just before early morning. She gets the name of Patty.

 

A landing pad is built on top of the hut in the pen for Patty to rest on. A storage crate is added so that Yamaharo can unload everything he doesn't absolutely need while flying. That is because his Survivor’s Handbook has warned him that pteradons have low carry weight and get tired quickly when close to being encumbered.

 

At dawn, Yamaharo saddles her up and takes her on his first flight. “This is a vast place,” he thinks as he does a survey of the Southpaw area. “Lets set a course for the crystal peak. Excellent, I can fly over the dangerous slopes out of reach of the predators below.”

 

Reaching the peak, Yamaharo needs to land so Patty can recover her stamina. Aware of her limited weight carrying capacity, he only harvest 20 pounds of crystal. “I'll need to level you up for weight and stamina if I want to use you for getting rare resources from the peaks,” he thinks. With two level ups for weight and stamina, he finds the trip back a bit easier for her.

Coming back to the pen, he sees that the Baranox, that was down in the inlet, has found his camp. It is just curious about the pen posing no threat to him or his tames for now. Yamaharo lands in the pen.

 

Armed with a bola, narc arrows in the crossbow, fish, and narc, Yamaharo heads out the back door. With the bola ready, he walks around the pen and is face to face with the Baranox which charges him. Immobilized by the bola, it takes three narc arrows to the head to drop this big crock like lizard. Berry is soon added to the growing army of tames in his stable.

 

“You make a good recon mount,” Yamaharo tells Berry as he gives him a good workout. He finds the Baranox to be an excellent swimmer, fast on the land, has good carry weight, and has the ability to tear up any threat equal to his size with ease. He only eats fish which is not an issue as there are plenty of them in the cut for him to harvest.

 

With the pen getting crowded, an addition is soon added to it before dark. “I will plan to further explore this strange island in the morning,” he says to himself. “I will either find that I am alone, or that there are others on this island with me.”


 

Gameplay actually has a wild Baranox come snooping around my wood barn. It was tranced and tamed to join the trike, Parasaur, and Pteradon. A bigger pen was built to protect them.

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Chapter 12, Day 5 on Ark

 

Yamaharo decides that his objective for the day will be to explore to the West to the Red Obelisk. The raft is prepared with spare supplies and a spawn bed just in case. Barry, the Baranox is going to ride on the raft with him.

 

With the pistol and ammo on the crafting list, Yamaharo crafts up a primitive pistol and 40 rounds in the Smithy. “Excellent,” he thinks. “a close in weapon in case I have to defend myself from any Americans stationed on this strange island.”

 

His next level up gets the Longneck Rifle and ammo. “Drat, not enough metal for this or the ammo,” he says. “I will need to find a lot more metal ore in those round rocks.”

 

Setting sail West, he finds more of the round river rock blocking a stream heading inland. Parking the raft with Berry on guard, another 200 pounds of metal ore is gathered and stored on the raft. With a mortise and pestle on the raft, several stacks of spark powder are crafted. “Good thing I packed a spare metal pick,” he thinks. “I've just about wore this one out.”

 

Meanwhile, Barry has gone fishing in the stream for coe. He has also taken out some spitters that came snooping around and finished off some Pegomaxes that Yamaharo drops with a narc arrow.

 

“Come here,” he orders Barry as he spots a Spino fishing just beyond the remaining boulders in the stream. “You don't want to tangle with that.”

 

Getting back on the raft, they set sail through the cut separating Crag's Island from the mainland. “Such a pretty waterfalls,” he thinks as they sail past it.

 

As they continue West, they find another cut leading into a pond where the Red Obelisk floats over a stone formation in the middle. There is a stone ramp heading up to it from the water. Yamaharo parks the raft there.

 

Getting on Berry, he rides up the ramp to the top where he sees a strange sight. There are twisted metal structures encircling what looks like a platform with an alter in the center. A red beam of light, the size of a pencil, seems to originate from it heading vertically through the giant floating obelisk and way beyond into the sky. Static discharges crackle inside the Obelisk which makes a strange alien humming sound from some sort of unknown machinery.

 

Getting off Barry, Yamaharo access the alter at the base. “Place tributes to access,” it says. “What the heck are the tributes? Where do I find them? What do they do?” His thoughts are interrupted by Barry who sounds a warning hiss at something running up the ramp towards them.

 

“Raptors,” warns Yamaharo as he empties his pistol into one as Berry attacks the other killing it. “Damn, this crappy pistol has no hitting power. It took an entire eight round clip to drop that low level raptor. I do hope the Long Neck Rifle is worth the materials needed to make it.”

 

Back on the raft, Yamaharo sets sail further West, then heads North along the West Shore. At noon, they sail past a sand point lined with palms and boulders. A Bronto is grazing on the tall palms with Dodos nearby. Continuing on, a bluff comes into view with another waterfalls. Some wild Parasaurs are grazing in the area. A Chalicotherium is seen grazing with them. “What a strange looking horse,” he thinks when he IDs it with the spotting scope.

 

“What a strange place this is.” as he continues North and sees a glacier with icebergs that forms a contrast with the jungle shoreline. “This can't be anywhere in the South Pacific. There is no such thing as a glacier next to a tropical environment.” Then, it suddenly gets brutally cold. Yamaharo turns the raft around as a snowstorm roars in.

 

Lighting the fire pit on the raft, Yamaharo tries to get some warmth from the fire as the snow changes over to rain, then blinding fog.

 

Sailing blind, Yamaharo continues South not realizing that he is continuing to drift West. Wham! The raft bounces off something on his right. He stops to check out what happened as the rain ends with the fog lifting.

 

To the right against the raft is this strange white net that stretches on forever. He can see beyond it, but it feels solid. “Some sort of a barrier,” he thinks. The jungle island setting. An Arctic environment next to it. Those strange floating Obelisk. These living prehistoric creatures. This is truly a land of the lost with no escape by sea.” As he has drifted way off course, he turns the raft Southeast towards Crag's Island.

 

With the sun going down, it is obvious that he is not going to make it back before dark. “I'd better sail around the island instead of through the cut. I don't want to run into that Spino fishing there after dark and get attacked by it.” The fire is put out and a standing torch lit as darkness falls. Fortunately, the clouds clear off as the moon comes out. It makes it easier for Yamaharo to see Crag's Island as he sails around it.

 

On its Southern Shore, Yamaharo notices something huge outlined in the moonlit sky. It moves towards them as he turns the raft out to sea. “Another Godzilla!” he thinks in alarm as the Titanasaur, attracted by the standing torch comes into the water after him. Then, there is a huge splash as the Titanasaur steps off the underwater ledge and sinks to the bottom. “That can't be Godzilla. This thing can't swim at all.” With the threat over, Yamaharo continues on course around the island heading back to his base.

 

It is nearly midnight when Yamaharo arrives back at his base. He places the metal ore into the Refining Forge and light the fire. “A most interesting day,” he thinks as he checks on his other tames and retires for the night.

 

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Chapter 13; Day six on the Ark. We’re not alone.

 

Yamaharo wakes up to another beautiful day on the Ark. “I will take Patty for a flight East to check out the shoreline for resources. If I see something useful, I can go back for the raft to get it.” Taking just the basics to travel light, Yamaharo takes off heading East along the coastline.

 

The flight goes well as Yamaharo spots the usual wildlife below. Continuing East, he sees Rock point in the distance. It is a sandbar packed full of jagged rock formations with numerous stones on the beach. Landing on the Western side, he checks out the stone there only to find that it is just common rock that gives up the usual stone and flint. “Drat,” he thinks. “I was hoping for more metal ore so I could get the Long Neck crafted.”

 

A pteradon lands on the beach some distance ahead. It seems unfamiliar compared to the others he has seen the past several days. Placing his spotting scope on it, he is shocked to see that it has a saddle on it like his pteradon has. There is another person near it with a spotting scope starting to point at him. Getting on Patty, he takes flight towards the stranger. He is in a panic when he gets close enough to ID the rider.

 

Joe Six Pack has awaken to this beautiful day as well. He has made the decision that he will fly on Trixie West to do a quick recon towards the Red Obelisk. Not wanting to burden Trixie, he packs light but does take the Long Neck Rifle along armed with the new tranc darts that he has learned to craft up. He leaves the crossbow and pistol behind to keep the weight down.

 

Heading West, Joe see more territory that he has not yet explored. To the North up a stream, he can see the huge redwoods in the distance, the tree tops being in the clouds. There is a giant croc he hasn’t seen before on the shore there sunning itself in the morning sun. “Nasty,” he thinks. “I’m glad that I am camped on Herbivore Island.”

 

Continuing on, he lands at a strange rock formation. “It looks like an upside down U.”

 

Crossing the bay, he finds himself flying along the shore of a rocky outcropping. “Looks safe to land to see what resources are here,” he thinks. Landing, he dismounts to look around. “Not much in resources here other then stone and flint.” Joe thinks. Then, he sees that Trixie has taken interest in another Pteradon down the beach. Placing the spotting scope on it, he sees it is saddled with a stranger looking back at him. Joe runs back to Trixie and takes flight towards him. He too is in a panic when the scope ID’s the stranger.

 

“It’s the enemy fighter pilot,” both Joe and Yamaharo shout in alarm.

 

“Damn,” thinks Joe as he goes flying on Trixie. “I can’t use any ranged or melee weapons while flying. I will have to fly her as a fighter aircraft.”

 

Yamaharo is facing the same situation as he maneuvers Patty looking to gain a tactical advantage. Both pteradons are so evenly match that no one is able to gain any advantage over the other. They climb, dive, strafe at each other to no avail. With stamina running low after an hour of intense flying, Joe makes a desperate move. He heads straight towards Yamaharo head on. Both fliers collide in mid air.

 

Joe then makes a flying leap onto the back of Yamaharo’s flier but loses his grip and falls. Whistling for Trixie to follow, Joe deploys his primitive parachute as Yamaharo spins Patty around for an attack. “Good, I can use a ranged weapon while on the parachute,” Joe finds out. Selecting the long neck rifle with a tranc dart, he aims at the attacking pteradon darting it in the head. Yamaharo suddenly finds himself on an out of control Patty as she spirals down to the ground unconscious. Joe lands next to them, his rifle still at the ready.

 

“You killed my Patty,” an angry Yamaharo shouts back at Joe as he goes to grab his crossbow.

 

“Drop it or you’re dead,” warns Joe as he points the long neck rifle at Yamaharo. Yamaharo has his crossbow aimed at Joe’s neck. They are both too close to each other to get away if one of them pulls the trigger. It is then that something else has been noticed by the both of them.

 

“Why are our implants glowing like that?” they both ask each other. “Who’s watching us?”

 

“I don’t like this!” Joe shouts to Yamaharo. “Something is playing games with us.”

 

“I don’t like this!” Yamaharo shouts back. “Something is using us for their amusement.”

 

“How is it that you are speaking in English?” ask Joe angerly.

 

“How is it that you are speaking in Japanese?” Yamaharo shouts back.

 

“We’re not!” they both say. “What’s going on?”

 

“If you don't speak english, how is it that I can understand Japanese?” ask Joe.

 

“It must be these Specimen Implants,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Now, its starting to makes sense,” Joe answers. “Whoever put these things into our left wrist and bought us here to this strange land, they are studying us. They have been watching to see how well we would survive. They have made sure that we would eventually find each other. Now, they are watching us to see what we going to do to each other.”

 

“What are we going to do about it?” ask Yamaharo who is still angry at Joe for killing his ride.

 

The bright glow of the implants fade to normal as Patty regains conscious and stands back up, then walks over to Trixie where they start socializing with each other. “I think that we just got our answer,” responds Joe.

 

“Patty, you’re OK,” a surprised Yamaharo says as he rushes over to hug her. “I thought for sure that Joe had killed you.”

 

“I only hit her with a tranc dart to knock her out,” Joe answers. “Being evenly matched in areal combat. Being able to talk to each other when we don’t know each others language. Being brought to this strange place that is not suppose to exist. Our pteradons now getting along together even though they are both girls. Whoever is spying on us is telling us in this strange way that we should work together. What are we going to do about it? Do we keep on fighting each other over this lost land if we are the only ones here? Or do we work together to find a way to get back home?”

 

“Yesterday, I took a raft around the east side of this island and headed North,” answers Yamaharo as he starts calming down. “I saw a glacier come down to the sea by that Blue Obelisk. When I got near it, the weather went from tropical to brutal cold. As I turned around to sail back, fog engulf my raft. I ran into an invisible barrier as the fog lifted. It goes parallel to the coast as far as the eye can see. The water was still fresh even that far out to sea. One thing is for certain. This is not the South Pacific. It is not the Coral Sea. I don’t know where this place is. I have only seen one abandoned stone structure that had something called a Survivor’s Handbook in an old ammo can. This place must be a Land of the Lost.”

 

“The fresh seawater, these strange prehistoric creatures, that same Survivor’s Handbook, an island where only herbivores inhabit it to live free from any predator threat, those giant Obelisks with raptors protecting them.” Joe answers. “I find myself having to agree with you. This is a Land of the Lost.”

 

“I saw no flag, no symbols of any nation on the Red Obelisk or the alter at the base.” reports Yamaharo

 

“I didn’t see anything at the Green one either,” answers Joe.

 

“The Survivor’s Handbook says that if we are killed by a predator or in battle that we will be reborn with all of our skills. That is clearly impossible in the real world.”

 

“The Emperor tells us that it is an honor to die in battle for our country,” answers Yamaharo. “My Survivor’s Handbook tells me the same thing. What honor is there in being killed in battle in this place only to be reborn again and again?”

 

“We are told that it is an honor to die fighting for the freedom of our country,” answers Joe. “But, what good would it be to die in battle in this land of the lost? Does your Government know about this place? Does my Government? Do the Nazis, the Soviets, the Chinese, anybody other then some little green men?”

 

“Just what are we fighting for here?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“That is a good question,” answers Joe. “Is it possible that we can take the example of our pteradons to get along together? To agree to a truce? To work together to find a way off of this place?”

 

“How do I know that you will not kill me or take me prisoner the first chance you get?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“You don’t,” Joe answers. “I could have easily killed you with a bullet instead of using a tranc dart to knock out Patty.”

 

“What happens if one of our military forces find us together?”

 

“Lets worry about that if it should happen,” answers Joe.

 

“Helena writes about this place being inhabited by several tribes that were at constant war with other. So far, I have seen no signs of anyone else in the locations on her map where those tribes lived, only the remains of any structures that they have built.”

 

“I’ve have seen the same thing in my exploration.” answers Yamaharo. “Only the remains of their structures are left. It is if they succeeded in wiping each other out.”

 

“Then, I believe that it is safe to say that we are the only two people here on this island, this place that Helena calls The Ark.” Joe answers. “Lets combine our resources and knowledge to find a way out of here.”

 

“Agreed,” answers Yamaharo,

 

Being closer, the decision is made to fly to Southpaw first where they land inside the pen.

 

“You have a Berry?” ask Joe as they land. “How were you able to tame it?”

 

“I found her snooping around the pen,” answers Yamaharo. “I was able to immobilize her with a bola, then knock her out with narc arrows. She only eats fish even though she can be a terror to the other predators that hang around here. She is an excellent swimmer and fish catcher.”

 

“I can see why you had to build a stone wall pen when there is a constant threat of predators in your area,” Joe answers. “I have found that on the main island, they can show up unexpectedly. My Trike has bailed me out on more then one occasion. I’m sure that yours has as well. When I found that a T-Rex was living near by my camp by the Lava Cave, I knew it was time to move to a safer location. Let me show you Herbivore Island where my tames can roam free from any predator threat. We can spend the night there.”

 

“Let me secure my tames for the night before we leave,” answers Yamaharo.

 

With Footpaw camp secured, the both of them take flight to Herbivore Island.

 

“You don’t have a pen built here for your tames?” Yamaharo ask as we land. “Why is that?”

 

“There are no predators living here to threaten them,” Joe answers. I only have to watch that the Brontos stay over on the other sandbar. My tames are free to wander as they see fit.”

 

Landing, the pteradons are unsaddled and turned loose to wander on the island. Joe then gives Yamaharo a tour of his camp and introduces him to his tames.

 

“A Moschop for a tame. I could never keep one alive long enough for it to gather stuff for me on the Footpaw.”

 

“With no predator threat, he is able to gather safely for me.” answers Joe. “I found him injured on the mainland and brought him back here.”

 

“You have an Ankylo,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “What do you do with him?”

 

“He is great at shattering stones with his tail for flint and metal,” Joe answers. “He is very efficient at harvesting metal ore from the golden rocks up on the ridge.”

 

“No wonder you were able to craft a Long Neck Rifle before I could,” answer Yamaharo. “It was a lack of metal ore that was making it difficult for me to craft one.”

 

“It is just like we could have lots of cold one if only there was a place to find lots of crystal to make jars,” Joe responds. “I have two that we can share tonight together.”

 

“Then, lets make plans for me to bring my tames here on the raft in the morning,” answers Yamaharo. “This island would be so much nicer for them to roam freely in safety.

 

The rest of the evening is spent talking about their childhood and family in their respective homes prior to the time they were sent to war. They share the two cold ones together.

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Chapter 14. Bringing the tames back

 

After a most interesting night, Joe and Yamaharo prepare the raft to bring the tames back from Footpaw. Yamaharo has seen a Spino near his camp and is concerned that one might wander in and take an interest in his tames there even though the Survivor’s Handbook considers them mostly fish eaters.

 

Setting sail, Joe heads directly over to Stone Point to save some time. It doesn’t seem any different from when he sailed over to the box canyon or over to the stream where he saw the Troogons hunting a raptor. Reaching close to Stone point, he starts telling Yamaharo about the unusual rock formation on the delta he found yesterday.

 

WHAM!

 

Something has hit the raft hard enough to knock them both down while dumping the fire pits off the back. A huge fish the size of a whale surfaces behind them as they pick themselves back up.

 

“Beach the raft on the shore before we lose it!” Joe orders Yamaharo as the giant fish starts chasing them again.

 

“Shoot it!” Yamaharo yells back as Joe grabs his Long Neck Rifle out of a locked storage box in the front. “Aim for its eyes.”

 

Joe gets a shot to an eye as the giant fish flinches while Yamaharo makes a sharp turn that causes the giant fish to miss. He runs the raft into the rocks as the giant fish, extra angry that it has lost sight on one eye, beaches itself in the shallow as it tries to get them. Both Yamaharo and Joe unload on the giant fish with the Long Neck Rifle and crossbow finally killing it.

 

“What was that thing?” ask Joe as he is still shaking from the shock of the attack. “Moby sausage?”

 

“According to The Survivor’s Handbook, it is called a Leed,” answers Yamaharo. “They are known as a raft killer.”

 

“I can see why,” Joe answers after inspecting the raft. “That thing did an awful lot of damage to my raft with just one hit. I don’t have the resources we need to repair it on board. There is no wood or fiber on this rocky point that I need for repairs. We’re going to have to try to make it over to the delta to get the materials needed to repair it. Lets see what resources we can harvest off of that dead Leed before the sharks show up to eat it.”

 

Both Joe and Yamaharo jump off into the shallow water and using their metal hatchets, start harvesting the dead Leed until it vanishes several minutes later.

 

“Ten stacks of hide, that is so useful,” Joe tells Yamaharo.

 

“I got the same amount as you got,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Damn, all of this meat is raw prime fish. Without the fire pits, we have no way to preserve or cook it before it spoils,” Joe answers. “I wish it would have stacked. We might as well throw it out.”

 

“Just let it spoil instead so we can use it for narcs,” Yamaharo suggest to Joe. “Lets get this raft over to the delta where we can get the rest of the materials needed to repair it.”

 

It takes the better part of the morning for them to push the damaged raft off the rocks, then sail across the bay to the delta where they find plenty of wood and fiber for repair to the raft. “We have tons of hide now and access to lots of wood,” reports Yamaharo. “We should build a couple of spare rafts to use for decoys in case we run into any more Leeds when we sail back.”

 

“That sounds like a good plan,” responds Joe. “I don’t think that we can make it back to Herbivore Island by dark after this unplanned delay.”

 

The trip is now taking longer then they expected as they sail the repaired raft close to shore so they can avoid any other Leeds in the deep water. It is late afternoon by the time Footpaw is reached.

 

“Oh, oh,” reports Yamaharo. “That Spino is getting close to my camp.”

 

“I don’t have enough tranc darts left to drop it,” Joe tells Yamaharo after finding that it is a high level one through the spotting scope. “Lets get all the Narcoberries and metal ore we can from the Footpaw before it gets dark. Then, craft up more tranc darts and a rifle for you in case we need to deal with her.”

 

Joe takes out Yamaharo’s trike Terry to gather Narcoberies as Yamaharo takes Berry out to get metal from the round boulders. Extra wood is brought back for the forge and burned down for charcoal as the extra flint gets ground with the stone for spark powder.

 

“Watch out!,” Yamaharo warns Joe. “The Spino has spotted you.” Joe quickly dumps most of the extra berries as he urges Terry the Trike to run for the safety of the pen. They make it inside but the Spino has tried to get in before the gate can be closed. It is now stuck in the stone gate as it is too big to fit through it.

 

“How are we going to get that thing out of here,” Joe ask in alarm. “We don’t have enough darts to drop her.”

 

“Lets see if we can bait it away with Berry and Baby Doll.” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Lets use narc arrows to distract her,” orders Joe as the two of them go out the back gate to flank the Spino. Hit by several arrows from the crossbow, the Spino roars in defiance and runs after Joe. Having tossed everything off of him and Baby Doll except for his crossbow and armor, Joe is able to keep the nervous Parasaur out of danger as the Spino goes charging after him. He takes her down the point to the edge of the jungle, then cuts over the hill to the bay using the hill to hide his change of direction. Then they race back to the safety of the pen.

 

Back in the outpost, Joe and Yamaharo make a quick dash out to recover Joe’s gear, returning just before darkness falls. “Lets get this metal ore cooked up and those tranc darts made before she comes back,” Joe tells Yamaharo as they are able to relax from their latest excitement for the day.

 

It is early the next morning where there is a major ruckus outside of the outpost. “Damn, She’s back,” warns Yamaharo. “There’s no way we can get my tames to the raft to get out of here.”

 

“We got enough darts now,” answers Joe. “Lets knock her out.” The walls shake as the two of them get up on the watch tower and start darting her in the neck. “She’s running off, after her.” Both survivors jump down outside and go chasing the lumbering Spino as it runs up the beach. The spino, now quite groggy, turns around to attack, then collapses in a loud thud.

 

“We could tame her,” Yamaharo tells Joe as he gets up close to check her out.

 

“At her level, that could take us days,” responds Joe. “I just don’t see what we would need an apex predator for at this time even though we have the resources for a saddle. Maybe, some day, if we have the need for one, we can come back and get her. Lets just make sure she stays unconscious long enough so we can get the rafts loaded with your gear, your tames on them, and get the hell out of here.” With Mike on one raft, Berry and Baby Doll on the other, and Yamaharo’s little thief, the two of them set sail across the bay, then hug the shoreline as they keep an eye out for any Leeds in their way.

 

The trip back is slow as they hug the shoreline while watching for any Leeds that could attack them. It is mid afternoon when they finally make it back to Herbivore Island and unload the tames.

 

The Baranox makes the island herbivores nervous until they finally figure out that they are not on her menu. Berry finds the bay an ideal place for fishing in the shallows for coe.

 

“I just noticed something,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “There are no Dodo Birds living here.”

 

“For whatever reason, they don’t live here naturally,” Joe answers. “We still have time to take a raft over to the mainland before dark if we want to tame some for an egg farm. It is relatively safe over at the point by the cliff so long as we don’t wander over towards Drayo’s Cove.”

 

Armed with Mejoberries, the trip is made to gather a flock of Dodos for the egg farm. “We only need to knock them out with a slingshot,” Yamaharo tells Joe as they sail across. An hour later, the raft is packed with tamed Dodos as they sail back to herbivore Island for the night. They are turned loose into a thatch pen with a feeding trough to keep them from wandering all over the place or getting stepped on by the larger wild herbivores on the island.

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Chapter 15. Exploration together.

 

It is day 8 since the two fighter pilots have found themselves stranded on The Ark. It is a cold and foggy morning as they wake up to plan what they should do for the day.

 

“Joe,” ask Yamaharo. “How far to the North have you been able to travel from here?”

 

“I only got as far as the dismal swamp on Trixie,” Joe answers. “Then, I was forced to turn back due to all of the flying insects that came after us out of the swamp.”

 

“I did get over to the Green Obelisk before I came back. It has something that looks like an alter at its base. I was forced to leave before examining it because of the raptors in the area. I emptied an entire clip with my pea shooter into a low level one before I killed it.”

 

“I had the same issue with the Red Obelisk,” answers Yamaharo. “There were just too many raptors around to contend with armed with only that primitive toy revolver. Thankfully, I had Berry close by who tore up the other one for me.”

 

“There is a Blue Obelisk up on a snow capped mountain to the Northwest. It appears to be inaccessible due to the rugged slope, all of the predators I saw up there, and the bitter cold.”

 

“We should go fly back to the Green Obelisk and see what is in the terminal,” answers Joe. “It is the closest one from here. Armed with Long Neck rifles, we can easily take out any threats that come after us this time.”

 

“It is also a long ways to what is called Far Peak. We may need to establish an outpost halfway there if we plan on checking it out. It looked like there was a good spot for placing one beyond the swamp when I was flying over to the Green Obelisk.”

 

“Lets head to the Green Obelisk once the fog starts to lift,” Yamaharo answers. “Then, we can do a recon flight beyond the swamp to see if it is worth risking a raft to sail over there to build that outpost.”

 

Like the recon flights before, Joe and Yamaharo pack light. They only take a pick, pike, and long neck rifle for defense. With the fog lifting, they take flight landing to rest the pteradons at Joe’s abandoned camp before heading on to the Obelisk. Landing up on one of the crags, they take out the nearby threats with the Longneck Rifle before landing at the terminal.

 

“This is interesting,” Yamaharo tells Joe as he examines the alter at the base of the Obelisk. “We can upload our tames to travel to the other Arks.”

 

“Do you think that we should do that?” ask Joe.

 

“Not really,” answers Yamaharo. “We can’t take any of our stuff with us. Besides, I have a feeling that those other Arks could be a lot more dangerous then this Land of the Lost.”

 

“It looks like there are two tames that have already been uploaded there,” announces Joe. “Those look like dragons. Do they actually exist?”

 

“Let me check,” Yamaharo answers. “Oh, those look like European Wyverns. I heard that they can breathe fire. They would make excellent flying mounts for exploring the rest of this place if they are for real.”

 

“Dragons, would they be a threat to us if we download them?” Joe ask. “What do we feed them?”

 

“The Obelisk database says that they eat raw meat,” answers Yamaharo. “The information I am getting from them suggest that they are the tames of Helena.”

 

“Lets download them,” answers Joe. “Lets get the raw meat off of those dead raptors and see if we can take these creatures home with us.” With the press of a switch inside the alter, a strange web descends among them as the outline of the two fire dragons starts to form in front of them.

 

“Wow, they look so impressive,” Yamaharo says as the two fire dragons start to materialize in front of them.

 

“Thank whatever created this place that they are tame.” Joe responds as he sees them materialize in front of him. “They look like they could be extremely dangerous in the wild. It looks like we have a mate boosted pair with the names of Draco and Paragon.”

 

“Do we need saddles for them?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“No,” answers Joe as he accesses Draco’s inventory to feed him. “Give Paragon something to eat. Draco appears to be very hungry from having been stored up there for so long.”

 

“Wow, they really like having their foreheads petted,” answers Yamaharo. “You would never think that they could be so gentle around us.”

 

“These are about the most intelligent tame I have ever seen in this place,” answers Joe. “This gift from Helena is going to be a real game changer for exploring this place.”

 

“Lets see what these guys can do,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“I saw some phiomias along the beach on the way here,” Joe says to Yamaharo. “Lets see what kind of hunters these dragons can be. Those phiomias should provide them with plenty of raw meat.”

 

Getting on the two dragons, they take flight towards the coast with the pteradons on follow. “Wow, they can sure fly fast,” Joe tells Yamaharo.

 

“That will make exploration so much quicker,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Here are those phiomias,” announces Joe. “Draco, its meal time.” One phiomia goes up in flames as Draco hits it with a fire attack. Landing, it is eaten up in no time.”

 

“Oh, Wow,” comments Yamaharo. “That is shocking. They really do breathe fire. He killed and cooked that phiomia at the same time.”

 

“Go get the other one with Paragon,” answers Joe. “Just be aware that using a fire attack takes a lot of stamina out of them. He got us a ton of hide for us as well.”

 

“I’m glad we didn’t have them the other day when we first met,” answers Yamaharo after using Paragon to get her meal. ‘We would have certainly killed each other in combat fighting with these marvelous flying creatures.”

 

“Where’s our pteradons?” ask Joe. “Oh, here they come.”

 

“Were going to have to take our time flying back to Herbivore Island.” answers Yamaharo. “These dragons fly too fast for them to keep up with us.”

 

Taking their time by flying the dragons in lazy circles so the pteradons can catch up, the two of them make it back to Herbivore Island by noon.

 

“We do not hunt for meat on this island,” Joe tells Draco as they land. “The wild creatures here are our friends.” Both Draco and Paragon nod and vocalize as if they understand what Joe has told them.

 

“They are indeed very intelligent fliers,”Yamaharo answers. “Lets pack up our basic gear and go see what is out there before it gets dark.” They soon take flight towards Far Peak.

 

“These guys have great carry weight,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “We could easily pack the materials to build an outpost on them if we so desire and fly it out there.”

 

“Lets see if we can find crystal while we are looking for a place to build an outpost,” answers Yamaharo.

 

Reaching past the swamp, they land for a moment on the beach to look around. “This is a suitable spot for one if we need it,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “It is quiet with resources close by. Lets check out that small island beyond Far Peak.” Taking off, they head for the island to the North.

 

“Well, there is the frozen North,” Yamaharo tells Joe as they fly across the short distance.

 

“Wow, look at all of the predators down there,” Joe says. “This island is the opposite of Herbivore Island. What do those guys eat other then each other?”

 

“Even those giant birds are cavernous,” answers Yamaharo. “It’s a good thing we have these dragons. Otherwise, they would be attacking our pteradons.”

 

“Lets head for the top of Far Peak.”

 

“Wow, did it ever get cold up here,” Joe comments. “But what a view. I can see this entire island chain from up here.”

 

“There crystal up here,” Yamaharo reports. “Oh My God! Look at the size of those carnivores living up here.”

 

“The spotting scope calls them Gigas,” Answers Joe. “They look like they are about three times the size of that spino we knocked out at your Southpaw Camp. That crystal is not worth risking losing our dragons if we get in a fight with them. I don’t think that we have the firepower to kill one let alone knock it out. Besides, I count five of them on this peak.”

 

“Lets get out of here,” Yamaharo responds. “It’s freezing up here.”

 

Flying down to the South West along the slope, the terrain levels out into heavy jungle, then opens up along a stream that they fly close down to.

 

“Are those giant beavers down there?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“They sure are,” answers Joe. “There is a dam and lodges in the stream,”

 

A reflection of light from the late afternoon sun off of a steep hilltop catches Yamaharo’s eye. “Joe, I think that there is crystal over there,”

 

“Lets go get it,” Joe answers as the two dragons make a sharp turn towards the hilltop on their own.

 

“Did you guide Draco to go over to that hilltop?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“No,” answers Joe. “He did so on his own as if he knew that is where I wanted him to go.” The two dragons circle around the hilltop. Seeing that it is clear, they land right next to the crystal formation. “They have to be bonding with us somehow. They knew exactly what we wanted them to do.”

 

“Lets only harvest 100 pounds of crystal each,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “I know they can carry a lot. Like the pteradons, I don’t want to overburden them in case we run into something unexpected on the way back.”

 

“I agree,” answers Joe. “It’s going to be dark before we get back to Herbivore Island as it is.

 

As they finish harvesting the crystal, the weather closes in with rain and fog as it starts to get pitch black out. “I hope these guys can see where to go,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “It is so dark out that I’ve already have lost track which direction we need to go.”

 

“Put your trust in Paragon,” answers Joe. “Light a torch so we can see where the other one is. Draco is telepathically telling me that he can find the way back to our camp. He wants our torches lit so that we don’t collide into each other.”

 

The two continue flying to the South East according to Joe’s compass as it gets pitch black out in the fog and pouring rain. Lightning occasionally lights up the sky revealing for an instant a landmark of sorts. Then, there is open water. A loot crate beacon shows up through the gloom, then the fog lifts as the rain quits.

 

“That’s the metal ore ridge of herbivore Island.” Joe announces. “Draco and Paragon have found the way back to our camp.”

 

Landing, the two dragons get heaps of praise from Joe and Yamaharo. “Good job you two,” as both dragons get their foreheads stroke as they soak up all of the praise. “Lets get this crystal into jars and craft up some cold ones to celebrate. There is even enough to give to Draco and Paragon if they want to join us.”

 

Needless to say, it was one unusual party that night, with Joe and Yamaharo celebrating with their new dragon friends.

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Chapter 16. The Volcano.

 

“Did I have too much to drink last night or what?” Joe ask Yamaharo that morning as he wakes up.

 

“No,” answers Yamaharo. “You and Draco were actually talking to each other when you shared that beer with him.”

 

“That seems so strange,” answers Joe. “Those dragons are even more intelligent then we realizes. By the way, where are they this morning.”

 

“Paragon told me that they were going over to the mainland to go hunt for some food,” answers Yamaharo. “When they come back, they want to take us to the volcano. She said that they were asked to take us there to show us something special.”

 

“Then, that confirms it, there must be someone else living here, someone these dragons belong to,” answers Joe. “But, who? Or what? Will we get to meet Helena? If she is here, why did she upload her dragons into the Obelisk in the first place?”

 

“I guess we will find out soon,” answers Yamaharo. “Here they come back from their morning hunt.”

 

Landing in front of them, Yamaharo ask Paragon if there is anything special that they need to take along with them. “She says to take two canteens filled with water with us. Everything else will be provided for when we get there.”

 

“This is a most interesting mystery,” answers Joe. “Draco has told me we should unsaddle our tames and bid them good bye before we leave.”

 

“Then, this is going to be a one way trip,” answers Yamaharo. “Could we be going back home?”

 

“I guess there is one way to find out,” answers Joe. “Lets turn our tames loose and fly out there.”

 

It is quite the farewell as the tames, seemingly knowing what is going to happen, behave quite affectingly as their saddles are placed into storage, all gear other then any food is removed, and everyone of them set to roam freely on this safe island.

 

Packed with preserved food as instructed, two full canteens, their leather armor, and their basic survival tools, Joe and Yamaharo take flight on the dragons for an adventure unknown.

 

“That tall peak before the snow covered one of the Blue Obelisk must be the Volcano,” Joe tells Yamaharo as they head in that direction.

 

“There’s that Godzilla I saw the other day by the Redwoods,” Yamaharo tells Joe.

 

“That thing is huge,” Joe answers back. “How does it eat enough to stay alive?”

 

“I see metal and crystal on the peak of the redwood mountain,” reports Yamaharo. “If one looks for it, the resources needed for survival are everywhere.”

 

If those two thought that the view was something from Far Peak, the view, as the two dragons start climbing for altitude, is even more spectacular. It isn’t long before they are in the clouds as the steep rugged terrain of the slope of the volcano gets obscured by fog. It soon clears as they reach the crater’s edge as the two dragons land to catch their breath.

 

“I can see why there is no snow up here.” Yamaharo comments. “It’s too hot for it to stay with these rivulets of lava pouring down into the crater.”

 

“Look at that alien looking door down there,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “Is that where we are going?”

 

“We’ll soon find out,” Yamaharo answers as the two dragons take off to fly into the crater.

 

Author’s Note. The rest of this chapter follows the end game scenario of Ark Survival Evolved without the intense combat that is involved.

 

It is extremely hot in the crater as the two dragons land in front of an alien looking door. It slides open in their presence. The two dragons walk inside into an alien looking hanger with the door to the outside closing as soon as they are inside. The temperature cools down to a tolerable level as Joe and Yamaharo dismount them.

 

“Anyone here!” Joe shouts as he looks down towards the passageway ahead. He is nudged by Draco as he turns to look back at him.

 

“You and Yamaharo have been such great friends,” Draco tells him. “You have even surprised The Keepers with how you have been treating us with kindness and concern for our well being. It’s just that it is now the time for The Keepers to return us back to status. Of all the humans we have ever been with in the past, we will definitely miss you two the most. Go open the crate up ahead. There will be supplies in it with instructions for what you are to do next.” With that last sentence, both dragons suddenly vanish.

 

“Where did they go?” ask Joe in astonishment.

 

“It is likely they were uploaded back in the Obelisk waiting for the next survivors to appear here,” answers Yamaharo. “Draco talks about being with other humans in the past here, so, now we can confirm where those ruins, the Survivor’s Handbook, and notes came from. Lets go check out the crate and see what we are suppose to do next. Maybe, we can find out who these Keepers are.”

 

“Interesting,” Joe says. “Here are some special hot weather clothes for us to protect us from the heat of this cave. We are to put them on and proceed into the cave until we reach an ascension chamber, enter it, then activate the portal inside.”

 

“Here is a note in here from Helena,” answers Yamaharo. ‘She says that The Keepers are an extraterrestrial species who have created these Arks to study how other intelligent species react to an alien environment and to each other. The Arks are laboratories built to study and preserve extinct creatures from other worlds and how they can adapt to survive in such an alien environment. She also says that if the test subjects are deemed worthy enough, they would be eventually returned back to their world.”

 

“That explains how we ended up here after shooting each other down during combat,” answers Joe. “They brought us here to see how well we would survive among the extinct creatures of Earth, then see if we would still try to kill each other once we got together.”

 

“Then, it is a good thing that we didn’t end up killing each other,” answers Yamaharo. “Lets see what is up ahead and if we have been deemed worthy enough to get back home.”

 

It takes the better part of the day to descend down into the interior of The Volcano as they see lava waterfalls, rivers, and alien looking machinery along the way. “I’m glad that we have these protective clothing,” Joe says to Yamaharo. “It would be way too hot to be down here without them.”

 

“Here is that chamber as shown in Helena’s drawing,” reports Yamaharo. “Lets get inside and see what happens.” Activating the switch inside, which happens to be a matching hand print on the alter, a glowing net descends down from the ceiling to pull them up into a brilliantly lit tunnel that vanishes along with their consciousness.

 

“Where are we?” ask Yamaharo as they wake up on the floor inside a giant chamber made up of alien looking structures with the hum of strange machinery.

 

“We must be aboard some kind of a ship,” answers Joe. “Damn, its cold in here.”

 

“Here’s another one of those supply crates,” Yamaharo tells Joe as he goes over to open it up. “Good, we have our flight suits in here. Lets put those on. They will help to keep us warm.”

 

“Where do we go from here?” ask Joe.

 

“Lets check out these control stations,” answers Yamaharo.

 

Checking out the nearest one, they see creatures being created in a closed chamber beyond from the DNA strands displaying on the holographic console in front of them. “Now, I understand why we haven’t seen any babies or young creatures on that ark,” Joe says. “They are being created here as adults, then sent down to the Ark as needed to populate it.”

 

“That explains what is feeding the carnivores on that death island,” answers Yamaharo. “Otherwise, they should have killed each other off long ago.”

 

“This looks likes humans being prepared in here to be sent into the Ark,” Joe comments. “I wonder if these are the replacements for us? Will they be able to make use of our tames? Or, will they destroy the place as we almost did?”

 

“Here is another Explorer’s note from Helena,” says Yamaharo. “It explains how humans were selected to be brought up here to become test subjects on The Ark. We must have been lucky. It says so many of them have been killed many times, or failed to survive.”

 

“It must be our military training that allowed us to survive those first critical night on Ark,” answers Joe. “It would be a lot worse for any civilian that lives in the protection of a big city to survive in any wilderness setting for as long as we did.

 

Joe and Yamaharo enter another chamber where there are four vertical chutes busy dropping spinning loot crates through the floor. “This must be where they prep and send down those loot crates,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Wow,” Joe says. “Look below us. That is The Island from high above. We must be in some kind of a giant airship flying above it.”

 

There is more machinery in the chamber as they head further into the huge air ship. Along one wall are holographics display of a prehistoric Earth, one of a present Earth and one of a future Earth that looks dead. “God, I hope that we don’t end up doing that to our planet with this global war we are fighting,” comments Yamaharo.

 

“Look out this huge window!”Joe tells Yamaharo. “We are not flying high above The Island in some aircraft. “We are flying inside a space ship. The Ark is below, but it is not a world. It is in a giant container. No wonder you couldn’t sail beyond the force field. You found the edge of the container The Ark is in. We are floating high over this desert planet.”

 

“Joe, those strange looking structures with the bubble on the top and a miniaturize world inside them. There must be thousands of those Arks out there. Do you think that this is our destroyed Earth down below us and those Arks are like lifeboats?”

 

“I don’t know,” answers Joe. “Here is a console in the middle of this bay that is displaying our solar system above it. Lets head down there.”

 

As the two of them head down to the floor below under the holographic solar system, it changes position until the Earth is directly over them. With a hum of machinery, a ghostly mesh surrounds them, lifting them up and outside of the ship. They are then accelerated into a blinding rotating field of light where they then lose conscious.

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Chapter 17. Day 10, Return To The Coral Sea.

 

It is a beautiful tropical morning on the Coral Sea as the sun rises among the puffy clouds. Joe has found himself back in his survival raft as he comes to. “What a strange dream,” he thinks as he wakes up. “What’s this? My burned legs are perfectly healed. How did that happen? My flight pants show no signs of the burns they had when I ditched in the sea. Did I actually have that weird dream after I was knocked out in the storm last night? Was I actually on an island populated with prehistoric creatures with Yamaharo, my enemy? Was the sea actually fresh water? Was I flying on a dragon that could talk to me? How did these two canteens get in my raft? I never had those in my survival gear.”

 

“There is another survival raft nearby. Perhaps that person might know what happened to us last night in the storm.”

 

Yamaharo wakes up just as puzzled as Joe. “How did I get back in my raft after I had lost it during the storm and was knocked out?” he asks himself. “My shattered leg, it is perfectly healed. Where did these strange looking canteens come from?”

 

“What was that weird dream I had of being on a lost island of prehistoric creatures with Joe, my enemy. Was I flying on that dragon for real? That strange flying airship up in space. Those arks, little self contained worlds, orbiting that dead planet like lifeboats. Maybe that pilot over in that raft may have some answers.”

 

As the two pilots row towards each other, there is a sudden fear as each recognizes the other as the enemy combatant, then surprise. “Joe, is that you?” Yamaharo ask.

 

“Yamaharo?” Joe answers in surprise. “That dream, those prehistoric creatures, flying on Draco, we know each others language, was it for real?”

 

“It has to be,” answers Yamaharo. “My left leg was shattered by a bullet when I was shot down. It is now fully healed.”

 

“My legs were badly burned when my engine caught on fire,” answers Joe. “They are also fully healed.”

 

“There is that island I saw last night before the storm hit,” answers Yamaharo. “I was paddling for it when the storm tossed me into the sea. Could that be that strange island we were on for the past several days?”

 

“We certainly can’t stay out here forever waiting to be rescued,” answers Joe. “This is real sea water out here, not the fresh water that was surrounding that island we were on the past several days. Besides I saw sharks out here when I was hiding under my raft as it was getting dark. We better paddle over to that island before they come back. Do you know if it’s being occupied by any of your military forces?”

 

“I don’t believe so,” answers Yamaharo. “It looks to be too small for anyone to have occupied it. We had just sailed into the area when we had spotted your task force and you spotted ours. What about your military forces? Could they be occupying it?”

 

“It’s possible that an Aussie coast watcher could be living there,” answer Joe. “He would not be a threat unless you were to attack him. He would rather remain hidden from our sight. We didn’t have any marines with us, so I don’t believe that there were any plans for us to occupy any of the islands out here.”

 

“Then, lets pray for our sake that it is deserted.” answers Yamaharo.

 

It is a long paddle to the island as the sun rises hot and bright. With the breeze in their favor, they are able to make it past the rough surf of the coral reef to the white sandy shore doted with coconut palms and other tropical plants by noon. “I do hope that we can find a reliable source for water,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “A lot of these small Pacific islands have no fresh water sources due to being surrounded by the sea and the coral being so porous that the seawater contaminates any fresh water they may contain.”

 

Heading inland, they soon find signs of past occupation. “I thought that our military has never been here before,” Yamaharo tells Joe.

 

“The same here,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “Yet, here are these coastal guns. Look how rusted out they are, as if they have been here unused for years.”

 

“Didn’t your military occupy the Philippines and the surrounding island when they declared war on Spain?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“Yes, they did,” answers Joe. “Yet, these guns, they are way too modern looking from the ones used back then. Even the ones on our warships that destroyed the Spanish fleets don’t even come close to looking like these. They look like they could be used for anti aircraft as well as for coastal defense against landing craft. Look at this,” Joe says as he scrapes off the rust to reveal the manufacturing date and serial number. The date, June 8, 1943. That’s impossible, it must be a mistake. According to that date, this gun was made a year from now, yet it looks like it has been sitting here, rusting away for many years since. This is so strange.”

 

“I’m finding the same thing on these old ammo crates,” reports Yamaharo. “They are dated as if they were manufactured weeks after we went to battle in the Coral Sea. Yet they are all rotting is if they have been laying around here for years. I see more wreckage down this beach.”

 

“Look, some kind of tracked amphibious landing craft that has been abandoned after it was damaged in combat.” reports Joe as they walk over to inspect the wreak. “What kind of a fighter aircraft is this gull wing plane with marine markings on it that has crashed on the beach? Wow, look at the size of the double radical engine in it. It’s big enough to power a bomber. A three bladed propeller. I’ve never seen one that big on anything other then a bomber. Those look like 50 caliber machine guns cartridges laying on the ground. There is a damaged 50 cal machine gun in the gun bay. I never knew we had any fighter planes that was armed with 50s. There are even bomb racks on the wing?

 

“There must have been quite a battle here,” comments Yamaharo. “I see one of our fighter planes crashed on the beach that I have never seen before. It has a bigger engine in it then my Zero. Yet, it also appears to have been abandoned years ago. How long were we on The Ark? It seems like it was only some 10 days. What has happened here while we were gone for such a short time?”

 

“We can worry about that later,” answers Joe. “Lets see if we can find food and water. Then find a place to shelter for the night and look for stuff we can salvage for our use until we can be rescued.”

 

Continuing into the interior of the small island, they find an old airstrip made of rusting portable runway laid on the coral sand as the jungle advances upon it. As they continue exploring, it becomes apparent that this island is hardly larger then the length of the runway. Nearly the entire length of the runway contains parking areas for aircraft, maintenance sheds, and barracks, some of them having been destroyed by bombing, the rest are just abandoned. “A temporary airstrip,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “It must have been built for heavy bombers to use as an emergency airstrip and a base for fighter bombers. But why has it been abandoned? Did the fighting move beyond the point where this airstrip was no longer needed? Is the Coral Sea no longer of any importance to either side? If that is the case, could we be stuck here for a long time before someone shows up? Lets see what has been left in these sheds that we can use for our survival.”

 

The two now start searching through the abandoned buildings that are still standing. One shed is found to contain a locked shipping container marked combat rations. A bolt cutter is located in a maintenance garage and used to break the lock. “C Rations,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “Someone in supply overlooked them being here when they abandoned this place. The cartons are still in good shape, they have not gotten wet or moldy. The cans are rust free. Wow! Look at the date on them. They were packed on April 6, 1945? We must have been returned into the future. Just how long have we been gone?”

 

“I hope that they are still good?” ask Yamaharo. “Those coconuts are too green to be of any use for food at this time of the year. Unless we can catch some fish and trap some of these gulls, there is nothing else here to eat.”

 

“Lets open one up,” answers Joe. “Canned goods are edible so long as they haven’t swollen up or rusted through. Let me find a can opener. There should be a couple of them in the carton.”

 

“Yes! We have food,” Joe says as he opens a can of spam. “It even taste good, for spam that is. There’s even chocolate bars packed in this carton.”

 

“American cigarettes,” reports Yamaharo as he goes to lights up one. “The matches are still good. This is strange,” he says as he puts the cigarettes and matches down. “I have no desire to smoke at all,”

 

“The same here,” answers Joe. “It’s been over 10 days since I lit up one last. I used to go through half of a carton of Lucky Strikes every weekend. Now, I have no desire to light up one at all, even these Lucky Strikes I found in the C-Rations.”

 

“I see rain gutters on the buildings,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “They should lead to a water tank somewhere. If it is intact, we should have a source of fresh water.”

 

The rest of the afternoon is spent searching through the buildings that are still standing in the camp. Some cots are found, along with blankets in the supply shed that are still good. Also spare clothes and shoes. Those are moved into the cleaned out supply shed with the ration container where a camp is set up.

 

Joe find that several of the rain barrels are good with clean water inside. Some others have either rusted out, or have been contaminated with rotting vegetation. “Unlike on Ark,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “We had better filter and boil the rainwater before drinking it. We have no idea if the gulls have been $hitting on the roof or how much of that is in the rainwater. Somewhere, there has to be a covered well with fresh water. Otherwise, I suspect that the Navy ran a distillation plant to supply this base with potable water given that this island may be just too small to have a natural fresh water source to supply all of the people that were stationed here.”

 

“What do you think what year is this?” ask Yamaharo as the sun sets for the evening.

 

“Given the date on those rations and how long it takes to ship them to here, I would guess that it is at least 1946.” answers Joe. “Yet with the amount of rust and jungle growth we have seen, one could easily add another five to ten years to that date.”

 

“There is another thought,” answers Yamaharo. “Could we be on another Ark? I saw thousands of them when we left that airship.”

 

“I don’t think so,” answers Joe. “We no longer have our specimen implants, only the scar where it once was. Besides, I haven’t seen any of those obelisk showing up as it gets dark out. Every one of those Arks I saw floating in space before I passed out had those three obelisks in each corner.”

 

“Then, we can assume that we are back on Earth having been returned to the place we were before that storm sent us to Ark,” answers Yamaharo. “Except that years must have passed while we were gone for days.”

 

“Days turning into years, years only lasting for days.” answers Joe. It seems that Albert Einstein might just be right. Time travel is possible under his theory of relatively. Time can slow down to the point where it almost stops while it continues to pass normally elsewhere. But one can only go forward in time, they can never go backwards. It would appear that a day on The Ark has ended up being a year back here on Earth. We will only know for sure once we can be rescued and return back to civilization.”

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Chapter 18. The rescue.

 

It has been a week since Joe and Yamaharo have found themselves marooned on that small island in the middle of the Coral Sea with the abandoned air strip. They have kept a smokey signal fire going by day and a brightly lit one at night, but so far, have seen nothing. No planes or ships have been seen at all.

 

“Yamaharo,” Joe says. “If we stay here much longer, we are going to run out of these C Rations. Do you know if there are any other islands out there that may be inhabited?”

 

“Lets do another search of the buildings and see if we can find a map,” answers Yamaharo. “We could find ourselves in an even worse situation if we head out to sea only to end up getting lost.”

 

“Damn, no map,” Joe curses as he complete going through the desk in headquarters. “Even the map board for operations has been taken or destroyed. Still, we need to do something. It is a long ways to sail. If we head West South West, we could eventually hit the East Coast of Australia from here.”

 

“We are going to need something bigger then our survival rafts,” Yamaharo reports.

 

“Between what has been left behind here and those palm trees on the beach, we should be able to construct a raft big enough to make the trip.” answers Joe. “There’s lots of commo wire laying around that we can use for lashing the logs together, plenty of blankets and canvass for sails, control cables for a mast stay. We can pull some sheds apart for lumber for a deck house and secure some crates for storage of food and water containers.”

 

“Then, lets make a design, lay out the materials on the beach, then assemble it in the lagoon,” answers Yamaharo “There is a break in the reef that we should be able to get the raft past it to the open sea where we will have the easterly winds in our favor.”

 

Unlike on The Ark, it takes several days for Joe and Yamaharo to design and prepare the materials for a raft strong enough and big enough for their planned journey of escape. Finally, with everything ready, they start dragging the logs down into the lagoon and start the laborious process of tying everything together with the salvaged commo wire. It is on that fateful day that a ship is spotted sailing towards the lagoon. With the signal fire lit, they wave white towels frantically as the ship locates the gap in the reef, then sails in to anchor. They hear the horn sound a salute indicating that they have been spotted. As the ship anchors, a lifeboat is launched where its crew rows out to their location.

 

“What nationality is that ship?” ask Yamaharo with concern. “I don’t want to be taken prisoner.”

 

“It looks to be some kind of research vessel flying an Australian Flag.” answers Joe. “It does not appear to be armed. That makes no sense at all for an allied ship to sail without antiaircraft guns when there is a war going on. I wonder if the war ended while we were gone. Lets just identify ourselves when we talk to whoever is in charge and go from there.”

 

The lifeboat rows directly to the two men where they have been building their raft. It’s person in charge hails them in both English and Japanese. Joe and Yamaharo answer back in kind.

 

“Hi, my name is Marty. I am the first mate aboard the research ship the Matt Mattel. We have been sent out here with the mission of finding and rescuing all survivors from the Pacific War.”

 

“I am Joe Six Pack, serial number RAxxxxxxxx, fighter pilot assigned to the USS Lexington. I was shot down 43 days ago.”

 

I’m Yamaharo, serial number IJNxxxxxxxxx, fighter pilot assigned to the Shoho. I was also shot down 43 days ago.”

 

“43 days ago?” Marty questions. “That’s impossible. World War Two ended over eight years ago.”

 

“It may be a dumb question, but what year is this?” ask Joe.

 

“It is June 19, 1953,” answers Marty.

 

“June 19, 1953?” answers Joe in shock. “It’s been only 43 days since we both crashed into the sea after being shot down next to a Japanese task force in the Coral Sea.”

 

“That battle you are talking about took place 10 years ago,” answers Marty. “Yet, you guys look like you are only 19 in spite of your unshaven faces. How is that possible?”

 

“We don’t know,” answers Joe “Let us go get our documents and gear,”

 

Heading back to the camp they have made in the supply shed, Joe and Yamaharo produce their flight suits and military ID.”

 

“This can’t be possible,” answers Marty after checking over the paperwork, flight suits, and their rafts. There is no way those flight suits would last that long out here unless they were sealed in a protective container. Your rafts are standard issue for 1942. They are too new looking for being ten years old. They don’t look like they are fakes or reproductions either. You’re names and serial numbers are in the proper order on them. I’ve just been radioed back that two fighter pilots with your names and serial numbers were shot down, reported as missing in action, and presumed dead in this area on the dates you have been telling me. Are you sure that you didn’t take those dog tags off of some bodies that you found on the beach?”

 

“Should we tell him?” Yamaharo ask Joe.

 

“They would never believe us where we were the first ten days,” answers Joe. “Unless, we show him those canteens we came back with.”

 

“Let’s do it,” answers Yamaharo.

 

Marty examines the canteens along with the other crew members that had rowed him ashore. “Those are as light as our military issue aluminum canteens, yet, there is something strange about them. They don’t look like any military issue canteens. They are too clean, too new, not a scratch or dent on them. In fact, they don’t even look like they are made of aluminum or any kind of metal.” Taking a hammer from the supply shed, he gives it a tap, then a wack. “That is definitely not made of aluminum. I should have made a good size dent in it with that hammer. I hardly made a mark on it. That makes no sense at all to have available something like these as military issue, even now.”

 

“Where did you get them?”

 

“We crafted these in something called a Fabricator using polymer, metal, and cementing paste before we were returned from a strange place called The Island after spending our first 10 days there.” answers Joe. “We somehow ended up there in two different locations after we were knocked out during a storm that struck the night of May 7 and woke up naked on it’s shore. We spent the next several days surviving from and making use of the unusual creatures that were living there until we found each other, then decided we should work together to get back here. When we returned, we found ourselves back in our survival rafts just offshore of this deserted island 33 days ago.”

 

“Most interesting,” answers Marty. “I’ve never heard of polymer. Then, you’re telling us that you spent ten days on a deserted island with unusual creatures that you were able to tame for your use? What kind of creatures were they?”

 

“You wouldn’t believe us if we told you.” answers Joe.

 

“Enlighten me,” Marty answers.

 

“We were taming dinosaurs and riding them,” answers Joe.

 

There is discussion among the crew with some radio messages concerning the sanity of the two survivors. Finally, Marty asks Joe a question.

 

“What were you planning to do with the raft”?

 

“Our food supply is running low, so we figure we needed to find a way to sail back to Australia and civilization.” answers Joe. “We didn’t want to trust using our survival rafts to travel so far on the open sea.”

 

The discussion is interrupted by the radioman of the lifeboat who talks to Marty in private. Then, he talks to Joe and Yamaharo. “We have been ordered to take you two, along with your gear and those strange canteens directly to Port Moresby. From there, you will be flown back to the states for debriefing. While you are on the ship, our doctor will conduct a complete physical and mental evaluation. This is a normal procedure we conduct anytime that we find war veterans that have found themselves cut off from the rest of the world. Rest assured, you are not the first ones we have found that didn’t know the war was over. First contact with those survivors can be very dangerous if they believe that we are the enemy. We have had Japanese soldiers commit suicide when they saw our ship coming in to rescue them. Unlike some of those other contacts we have made, yours has been a pleasure. We could imminently tell that you wanted rescue and were not a threat to us. I’m told that it may have something to do with your experience together while you were marooned on this uninhabited island. It is not unusual for that to happen. But, it can be a touchy situation given that the truce between opposing combatants can easily break down upon a rescue.”

 

“Then, we better get our stuff so we can get off of this deserted island,” Joe answers back. “43 days is far too long to have been isolated from the rest of the world.”

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Chapter 19 The debriefing.

 

Aboard the research ship the Matt Mattel, Joe and Yamaharo are given a tour of the ship and shown their accommodations for the duration of the trip. Captain Matthews sits down with them to let them know that they are not being held as prisoners, but that they are expected to obey orders given that they are still considered to be in the military service of their respective countries. They have been issued new clothing and personal items. Their gear is placed in locked storage after being examined by the scientific experts on board. But, the first order of business is a complete physical and medical exam.

 

After the examination, Dr Sadako files her report to Captain Matthews in person in the privacy of his cabin.

 

“These two are so amazing,” Dr. Rose Sadako, the specialist in charge of the examination reports to Captain Matthew. “These two check out in perfect health in spite of them living on those awful military rations for the past several weeks. Mentally, in spite of their story of taming and riding on dinosaurs, they are as normal as you or I. I am puzzled by two things. Both of these men look like they are 19 year old. Yet, according to their story and the records we have of them so far, they should be at least 29. Physically, they match those two individuals that were reported missing in action ten years ago. I only need to match their fingerprints from their official military records to confirm who they say they are.”

 

“The other thing I am puzzled by is that strange scar inside their left wrist. They are so identical in shape that it seems impossible that they, or anyone else, could have made those marks themselves. The x-rays that I took shows that mark embedded directly on the bones in their wrist. I know of no way that could have happened especially to be duplicated into two individuals of such different physical characteristics.”

 

“The lower leg bone on Yamaharo’s left leg shows the scars of having been shattered by a bullet. Yet, it is completely healed. Had he been in a field hospital with the type of leg injury that he said he had, the medics there probably would have amputated it. There is no way an injury that severe could have healed itself up on its own.

 

“The skin on Joe’s legs show signs of having had severe third degree burns. Yet, even those signs look so much like normal skin. Burns that bad never heal that well on their own, even with skin grafts.”

 

“Most amazing of all is that both of these individuals were chain smokers. Yet, they now have no desire to light up one up any more.”

 

“The more we are learning about these two individuals, the more the US Government is becoming interested in them.” answers the Captain. “Their transport and well being has now been declared a classified operation. I’ve never seen such interest ever take place so early in any of our investigations of our rescues. In fact, I have never seen that ever happen at all.”

 

“What should I do with them?” Dr. Sadako ask the Captain.

 

“Just caution them not to tell too many details about their first ten days on that mysterious Island to the other crew members.” answers Captain Matthew. “While I do trust my crew, the Soviets have planted spies everywhere around the world. I’m sure that our radio messages have been picked up by one of their fishing trawlers. A naval escort is on their way to meet us soon. The Government doesn't want our guest to feel like they have become prisoners on this ship by confining them to their quarters. If they were to become afraid that something bad might happen to them, especially Yamaharo, we would never find out what really happened to them during those 10 years they went missing. So long as they remain friends, let them stay together. They need to know what has happened since the war has ended, that we are at peace with Japan, that the emperor is still Japan’s leader. Let them know about the Cold War we are currently facing with the Soviets. Let them know this is the reason they have been ordered to go directly to the States for their debriefing.”

 

“I do have another problem,” Dr Sadako tells Captain Matthews, Yamaharo wants to go see his parents before he goes anywhere else with us. Joe is insisting that he be allowed to do so. What am I going to do about it?”

 

“Let me see if I can convince my superiors to make the arrangements,” answers Captain Matthews.

 

Before Port Moresby has been reached, two destroyers show up to escort them. One of them files a Japanese flag. “This is most unusual,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “We must be very important to our Government especially to have a Japanese Destroyer sailing escort with a US Navy one.”

 

“That Cold War Dr. Sadako keeps telling me about,” Yamaharo answers. “It sounds like we could be going to war with the Soviets at any time. She tells me there has been a war going on in Korea that became divided when the Soviets took control in the North. That used to be part of Japan. I’m told that the Soviets have nuclear bombs that can be placed on missiles. Dr. Rose showed me a photo of what one of your nuclear bombs did in Hiroshima. She told me that it was a small one compared to what both military’s have now developed. She said they are called Hydrogen Bombs. They measure them in megatons of explosive power. I now understand the warning we saw on that spaceship of a future Earth. That picture of the damage that ten kiloton bomb did in Hiroshima was devastating. Can you imagine what would happen if thousands of those much bigger megaton bombs were dropped at one time?”

 

“Indeed,” answers Joe. “It sounds like the military of both the Soviets and the Western World now have the capability of destroying the world as we know it. We must have seen our future when we were on that space ship prior to our being returned to earth. That planet we saw below must be of our future Earth, those thousands of Arks above it, the lifeboats. We must warn our scientist what will happen should the world have an all out nuclear war.”

 

As the ship sails into port with its escorts, Captain Mathews has Joe, Yamaharo, and Dr. Sadako to a private meeting in his wardroom. “As soon as we dock, I have been ordered to escort you off the ship to an armored limo that will be waiting for you on the dock. Dr. Sadako, you have been ordered to bring your files on these gentleman and go with them. Your limo will be escorted by a military convoy to the international airport where a B-36 will be waiting to take you to a location somewhere in Nevada where you will be debriefed by the top scientist of this world. I wish that we could fly you there in a more comfortable aircraft, but, the B-36 Peacemaker is the only aircraft we currently have that can fly you non stop to your destination at an altitude that is beyond the range of anti aircraft guns and missiles.”

 

“Yamaharo, I regret to have to inform you that both of your parents were killed in an air raid in Tokyo a month before the Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. My superiors have agreed to fly you directly to a military base in Japan to allow you to have closure with your grandparents. Joe and Dr. Sadako will travel with you. You have been considered so important to us that arrangement are being made with our diplomat staff for you and your grandparents to have a private meeting with Emperor Hirohito before you have to continue with your flight to Nevada.”

 

Joe and Dr. Sadako stay with Yamaharo as he gets over the shock and grief of the bad news. “It’s hard,” Joe says to Yamaharo. “I lost both of my parents in a train wreak a month after I joined the military. “I have no family to go back to any more.” Feeling better, they head back to their cabin to get their things.

 

“What is a B-36?” Yamaharo asks Joe.

 

“It sounds like a new high altitude bomber,” Joe answers. “I have never seen or heard of them before.”

 

Upon docking, Joe, Yamaharo, and Dr. Sadako are escorted down the gangway into the waiting limo. Their gear is placed in another truck with armed guards riding in it. “These people are serious with protecting us,” Joe tells Yamaharo as they start on their trip to the airport. With the streets cleared ahead of them, the convoy makes it safely to the airport where the B-36 is waiting for them.

 

“Look at the size of that aircraft,” Yamaharo tells Joe as they come into view of the B-36.

 

“I see six pusher props on that huge plane.” answers Joe. “But, what are those things on the end of the wings that look like rockets?”

 

“Those are the new jet engines,” the escort tells Joe. “They are used to provide the extra power the B-36 needs to get quickly airborne. Once they have reached a cruising altitude, they will be shut down to let the more fuel efficient piston engines do all the work.”

 

Author note, some of this is guesswork.

 

“Being a long range bomber aircraft that flies at high altitude, you are going to be dressed in the bomber’s gear. The crew will show you how to put on those flight suits and how they work when you need to go pee or defecate. Because you will be flying near the edge of space at 45,000 feet, you will have access to pure oxygen at all times should we have a decompression failure in the cockpit. Be sure that you are hooked up to the electrical power system as well to keep your flight suits heated if you need it. At the altitude you will be flying at, the temperature will be 65 below zero or colder outside. This flight will take about 12 hours for it to reach Japan, and another 24 to go to Nevada. So, just prepare to take a long nap, if you can.”

 

“36 hours to go halfway around the world and no refueling stop, 45,000 feet, well beyond the flying ceiling of all known fighter aircraft. That is remarkable. What is this plane designed to do anyways?” ask Joe.

 

“It was designed to carry a heavy load of bombs to any target located on another continent and return without refueling.” answers the escort. “WW2 ended before this plane could become operational. They are now being designed to fly out of airbases in the US or Western Europe in order to drop nuclear bombs on targets in the Soviet Union and return.”

 

“Do the Soviets have a similar bomber?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“We believe that they soon will if they don’t already.” answers their escort.

 

“What happens if this so called cold war goes hot with nuclear bombs,” ask Yamaharo.

 

“The Mutual Assured Destruction of both sides in less then a day.” answers the escort. “In short, it could be the end of the world as we know it.”

 

“They are already aware of what could happen,” Joe tells Yamaharo. “Like the use of Mustard Gas in WW1 with its horrible results, the warring sides never used it in WW2. Dr. Sadako told me they didn’t use Nukes in Korea once they learned how dangerous that small one was in Hiroshima. We must be able to convince the people that are debriefing us that they should never be used again if another world war should break out.”

 

“I pray that you are successful,” answers the escort. “I have seen the result of the test of some of those big ones we have. It wiped out an atoll in the Pacific and sunk an entire task force of ships placed there as a target. There are rumors that the Soviets tested one so powerful that it turned hundreds of square miles of Siberia into volcanic glass. Our scientist say that if it were exploded 100 miles out in space, the thermal effect alone from that blast would set fire to entire states in the US at once. A dozen or so of such bombs set off along the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest, would effectually destroy all of the population and manufacturing centers in the US at once. The damage caused to the environment of such bombs going off worldwide would be worse then what happened 80 million years ago when an asteroid exploded in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in a mass extinction of nearly every life form on the planet. The world as we know it, would vanish overnight.”

 

“The only reason I am telling you this is because I have been assigned to come along with you on this flight. I can fill you in with more details once we are airborne.”

 

The limo pulls up next to a construction style trailer where the foursome exits the limo and enter it. Another person gets into the limo to drive it away.

 

Inside the trailer, their escort shows them how to put on the high altitude flight suits and prepare the waste collection bags they are equipped with. “A 36 hour flight,” Joe comments to the escort. “We were never airborne for more then a couple of hours at a time.”

 

“You two would find it interesting how much air to air combat has changed in the past ten years,” answers their escort. “Those new jet fighters you see out there in the runway, they can fly close to the speed of sound. They turn so fast that you can black out from the G forces if you are not prepared for it. They can be refueled in flight to extend their time in the air.”


“When they have attack radar and air to air missiles, they will be capable of taking out other aircraft, even other fighters, from miles away. Once that happens, the classic days of dog fighting will be over.”

 

“My messenger tells me that your gear has been loaded onto the B-36. Lets head over to the forward access hatch and climb aboard.”

 

While the two pilots climb aboard first, the escort takes Dr. Sadako to the side for a moment. “We got those fingerprints you requested a couple of days ago. They are a perfect match.”

 

“That is most interesting,” Dr. Sadako answers back. “Now, I definitely want to know what happened to them those first ten days when they were on that strange island. Their ten days became our ten years. That is so strange.”

 

“Lets get on board and we can talk more about this.”

 

Getting on board the huge bomber, the four guest are seated behind the flight deck into the navigation, communication, and target accusation section. “This is where we would keep track of any threats and guide the plane to its target.” the guide tells them. “If we were carrying nuclear bombs, they would be armed once we reached cruising altitude and were flying over hostile territory. They are designed to come down on a drogue chute so we can get clear of them before they detonate at 2,000 feet.”

 

“Why do you detonate them at such a high altitude?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“It is done so that the thermal effect and shock wave will flatten everything for miles in all direction,” answers the escort. “There is no need for one to explode on the ground. That would only create a huge crater while the damage would only go half as far. The bigger the bomb, the higher it can be detonated, the bigger the blast area. One of the bigger ones can easily take out New York City or Toyko and the surrounding communities for up to 30 miles in all directions. Those big ones the Soviets are rumored to be playing with, entire European countries in one blast from 100 miles up in space.”

 

“We’ve been cleared for takeoff,” the bomber pilot announces over the intercom. Soon the roar of six giant 28 cylinder piston engines shake the monster plane as they warm up getting ready for takeoff. Then a new sound, something the two fighter pilots have never heard before, the high pitch whine of four turbojet engines as they build up to full power. The plane quickly accelerates as they are soon airborne.

 

Reaching cruising altitude, the four jet engines shut down as the drone of the six pusher engines take over. “Wow, look how dark the sky is up here,” comments Joe.”

 

“We are high enough that we can see the curvature of the Earth,” the escort tells Joe.

 

“That’s incredible,” Joe answers back. “How could anyone claim that the Earth is flat when we can see for ourselves from here that it isn’t.”

 

“Some day soon, if we don’t blow this place up first, we will actually be flying in the blackness of space.”

 

The foursome soon settle down to rest as the darkness of the sun setting behind them quickly approaches.

 

At early morning, the B-36 touches down at a military airfield outside of Toyko. Mt Fuji is visible in the distance. After being escorted to the base receiving area where the foursome can get cleaned up, dressed, and have a traditional Japanese breakfast, they are escorted to a private limo that then makes the trip to the royal palace.

 

“This is amazing,” Yamaharo tells Joe. “I expected to see all kinds of destruction from the war, yet I am seeing a major rebirth of Tokyo with all the construction and new structures everywhere.”

 

“It was a smart move for General MacArthur to allow Emperor Hirohito to remain in power.” answers the escort. “He has inspired the Japanese people to redirect their energy from fighting a war to the rapid rebuilding of their country into an economic superpower. They have already become a major exporter of finished goods being traded around the free world. In fact, Japan is once again an independent nation. Even the Philippines were given their independent not too long ago.”

 

“Incredible,” answers Yamaharo. “I thought so sure that Japan would just become another occupied country like the Soviet Union has done in Eastern Europe and North Korea.”

 

“Here we are at our destination,” answers the Escort. “It was difficult to make the arrangements. Emperor Hirohito has agreed to meet with you in private along with your grandparents just a couple of hours ago.”

 

Several hours later as they return back to the airbase to board the B-36, a relaxed Yamaharo tells the others about his visit. “The Emperor was very interested in my experience on Ark. He told me that it was an honor for him to have talked to someone that has been there. My Grandparents were very excited to see me again. They all told me that I must continue on this journey for the honor and glory of Japan and our family name.”

 

“I am now ready to continue my journey into this unknown.”

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Chapter 20. Somewhere in Southern Nevada.

 

It is over 24 hours later, after leaving the airbase in Japan, when the foursome are jolted awake by the sound of the six huge piston engines throttling back to idle as the huge plane goes into a glide. “Your destination is up ahead,” reports the backup pilot as they start their final approach for landing on a runway in the middle of nowhere. “Welcome to Groom Lake.”

 

Landing in a cloud of dust, the B-36 follows the air traffic control jeep to be parked next to a set of outbuilding near the main hanger and other structures. They are met by the base commander who escorts them inside the nearest structure. “You have the rest of the day to get cleaned up, get into some fresh clothes, have something to eat, and get some rest. Your meeting is scheduled for 0800 the next morning. Someone will wake you up at 0600 so you will have plenty of time to shave, shower, get dressed, and have breakfast by 0730 when I will personally escort you to your meeting location.”

 

“For security reasons, I would advise you to remain inside this building at all times until you are escorted to the meeting site. If you wish, there is some entertainment and reading materials available in the rec room. Sargent Larry Mays, and Ruth Jones are here to assist you during your stay here. You may talk freely with them about your experience as they both carry Class One Security Clearance. We have separate quarters for the four of you where you can rest for the night. Have a good evening and a restful night. I’ll see you in the morning.”

 

“There are separate showers for the men and women down this hall with a set of clothes for each of you,” Sargent Mays tells the foursome. Leave the flight suits in the dirty clothes locker when you undress in there. Your clean clothes will be in the locker across from there.”

 

“When you are ready, I will present you with the menu for supper,” Sargent Jones announces. “We have a very good chief on this base. He makes an excellent sirloin steak with all of the fixings.”

 

“Where is our escort?” ask Joe as they head for the men’s shower.

 

“Your escort’s has been traveling in disguise as a male for security reasons,” answer Sargent Mays. “Her real name is Dr. Helen Carys. She is Dr. Albert Einstein’s personal assistant.”

 

“Are we really going to meet the world’s most intelligent man in person tomorrow?” ask Joe.

 

“Yes, you will,” answers Sargent Mays. “You will be meeting with some of the world’s top scientist tomorrow. They are most interested to what happened to you during those ten days you were on that mystery island.”

 

“That is most excellent,” answers Yamaharo. “This is everything we have been hoping for, to have the ability to talk to the most important people in the world. To warn them about the future that we have seen on the day we had left The Island.”

 

“Lets get cleaned up, then see if that sirloin steak is every bit as good as the Sargent says it is.” answers Joe.

 

After getting cleaned up and dressed in work fatigues, everyone orders steak for dinner. Sitting at the mess hall table, their meals are delivered at the front door where both Sargents carry it in packed in a serving container to keep it hot. “That smells delicious,” Joe comments. “It even taste outstanding. Nice and tender, cooked just right.”

 

“I told you that we have a good chief at this place,” answers Sargent Jones. “He is able to have the best cuts of steak brought into this place.”

 

“This meal is outstanding,” Dr. Sadako tells Sargent Jones.

 

“It’s very good,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“With this place, being located in the middle of nowhere, are you allowed to tell us what goes on here?” ask Joe of Sargent Mays.

 

“To the North of here, we conduct research and testing of nuclear weapons. It is where we tested the first atomic bomb before President Truman authorized the use of the other two we had in the hope that he could force the surrender of Japan before the Soviets declared war against them. Their use has saved millions of lives on both side when the Emperor realized it would be suicide for his country to continue fighting. Unfortunately, the Soviets declared war on Japan and had seized half of Korea before the surrender was officially signed. We now find that they are the real aggressors in the world, having taken control of all of Eastern Europe and most of China. We find ourselves in an arms race against them. So, we continue to develop bigger and better bombs as they continue to do the same. There is one being tested tomorrow at 0600. It will probably shake you out of bed when it goes off even though the test site is 30 miles away and the bomb is located 2,000 feet underground.”

 

“Wow, it can shake the ground from that far away?” answers Joe.

 

“It will likely leave a crater even though it has been buried in order to control the radiation it will create.” answers Sargent Mays.

 

“In this location, we do classified studies in things that are unknown to us, such as that trip you two had to that mysterious island that you spent ten days on, but were actually gone for ten years.”

 

“So, we really were gone for ten years?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“Yes,” answers Dr. Sadako. “I got the conformation to back up your story when your military records arrived before we took off yesterday. Yours and Joe’s fingerprints are a perfect match with your military records.”

 

“Dr. Einstein is going to be most interested in hearing your story tomorrow,” answers Sargent Mays.

 

“It’s getting late,” announces Joe. “Between the time change of traveling halfway around the world and the time it is now here, 0600 is going to feel like it is awful early when it gets here. We better turn in for the night.”

 

The next morning, Joe and Yamaharo are rudely awakened as the building and ground shakes violently for several seconds. Several items are knocked to the floor as Yamaharo jumps out of bed in alarm. “Earthquake,” he shouts as he runs out of his room.

 

“Calm down,” Sargent Mays tells him. “They just set off that test nuke 30 miles from here a minute ago.”

 

A loud boom is then heard which then echos from the surrounding mountains. Then all is quiet.

 

“That was quite some alarm clock,” Joe says as he opens the door from his room.

 

“Well, lets all be ready for breakfast by 0640,” Sargent Mays tells everyone.

 

Right on time, the catered meal arrives as the group of six sit down for a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, flapjacks, and hash brown. “Thank goodness he didn’t serve SOS,” says Joe.

 

“What is that?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“It is a gravy containing thin slices of dried up old cow served on toasted day old bread,” answers Sargent Mays. “The gravy is bland, the meat tough, and the bread is usually stale.”

 

“I’ll pass on that,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“This coffee is good,” answers Dr. Sadako. “It is a lot better then what they served on board the Matt Mattel.

 

There is a knock on the door, then it opens. The two Sargents snap to attention. “At Ease Gentlemen,” the base commander tells them. “How was your breakfast?”

 

“Excellent everyone reply's.”

 

“Are you ready to meet some of the worlds’ most brilliant scientist?”

 

“Yes, we are,” everyone answers.

 

“Then, follow me,” the base commander says.

 

The group of six exit the building going across the tarmac into what looks like the control tower to the airstrip. Entering the door, they go through a security checkpoint where the Base Commander places his hand on a scanner for the door to open. As the door closes behind them, the base commander places a key and his hand inside a second security device in order for the door ahead to open. Inside there, is a room with an elevator that just the six of them enter. A special key is inserted into the control panel where a green light lights up. “Press the Green Button when the door closes,” the base commander tells them. “It will take you to your destination.” As the door closes, Dr. Carys activates the elevator which then starts heading down, way down, deep into the Earth.

 

“What is this place?” Joe ask Sargent Mays.

 

“It is an abandoned gold mine,” answers the Sargent. “In 1944, we converted it into a secure research center for top secret work and testing. The location is ideal for privacy given its remote and hostile location. Few people know about this place. The airspace above is restricted. There is security fencing and armed patrols along the border. The secrets in this area are so important that the use of deadly force, to keep unauthorized personal out, is allowed.”

 

“Wow, that is frightening,” answers Dr. Sadako.

 

“It’s just the sign of the times,” answers Sargent Mays. “The Soviets, the Chinese, the Brits, and the French, all have similar installations in their countries. They don't want anyone else to know what they are doing there.”

 

“Oh good, we have finally arrived at the main floor. Dr. Carys will escort us to the conference room.”

 

“Helen,” It's good to see you again.” answers Dr. Einstein as they walk into the conference room. “This must be Joe Six Pack, Yamaharo, and Dr. Sadako you have with you. Everyone, have a seat. Welcome to the research center of Area 51. My esteem colleges with me are Dr. Wernher von Braun, our top rocket scientist, and Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, the designer of the first Atomic Bomb.”

 

“Before we ask you a ton of questions, let me share with you what we have learned about your adventure so far. Dr. Sadako’s report has confirmed that ten years did indeed pass here on Earth while you were at that mysterious island somewhere out there in the unknown for ten days. Our military records have confirmed that you are who you say you are. Joe, we know that you had lost your parents a month after you joined the military. We are sorry for your lost and most pleased for your outstanding service to your country. Yamaharo, I only found out yesterday about your parents being killed in the war when Toyko was firebombed in 1945. Both I, Wernher, and J. Robert wished that the war would have ended sooner than it did so they could still be with you today. We are very pleased that you were able to have that private audience with Emperor Hirohito, that you were given his blessing to visit us in this place today, to continue on this most unusual journey.

 

“Our scientist ran your gear through extensive testing before your meeting with us. They found everything to be in the condition it would be expected to be in for the two months of its use.”

 

“Your canteens have us totally puzzled. We found them to be made of some unknown lightweight plastic polymer that has incredible strength. There is no such technology here, even at this research center, that is capable of creating anything close to that material you used to make them. We find it so hard to believe that you two were able to create them at all.”

 

“The water we found in one of them that hadn’t been contaminated by our environment, was the cleanest we have ever seen. It contained no harmful bacteria or any detectable levels of toxic chemicals of any kind. What I find most interesting is Dr. Oppenheimer’s test for deuterium. It’s level is double the concentration normally found in fresh water on the Earth. That more then confirms my theory that you two experienced an adventure that was truly out of this world. A place where time passes at a different rate then it does here.”

 

“Now, we would like to hear your story of those ten days you spent on The Island, how you survived there, and how you were able to get back to this world some ten years later.”

 

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Chapter 21. Ten days on The Ark.

 

Joe, “It was May 7, 1943 as I was flying escort for the torpedo bombers from the Lexington to attack a Japanese task force that was just spotted. We were spotted by their fighters from above. I had just shot down my first Zero when one jumped me from behind and put a round through one of the pistons causing me to lose power and starting a fire in the cockpit. I took that plane out by hitting the speed brake causing it to shoot ahead of me. I was forced to ditch when I shot that plane out of the sky and was hit by flying debris. I was able to get out of the plane with my raft and survival gear in spite of suffering severe burns to my legs.”

 

“As darkness fell, a storm rolled in from the direction of an unknown island. The sea got rough as it got pitch black out. I lost conscious when a brilliant bolt of lightning hit the water around me. When I came to the next morning, I found myself on the beach of that strange island completely naked except for a strange glowing gem implanted in my left wrist. Strangely, my burned legs were now fully healed.”

 

“I hadn’t paid much attention to what that gem was as I found myself in a fight with some small lizard like creatures called Compys that decided that I would make them a good meal. But now, I remember what that gem, that is called a Specimen Implant, said about me. It had a serial number and the message ‘Survival Quotient Undetermined.’”

 

Yamaharo, “I was flying CAP when my fighter group spotted several squadrons of torpedo bombers heading for our task force. We engaged Joe’s fighter group while they were busy protecting the torpedo bombers. I was shot down when I suddenly found myself in front of Joe’s plane. My left leg was badly shattered by a bullet as I struggled to get out of my sinking aircraft and into my survival raft. I started paddling towards that strange island as darkness approached. A storm soon came in as it got pitch black as the sea became rough and pitched me out of my raft. I had lost track of it in the gloom when a brilliant flash of lightning knocked me unconscious.

 

“when I came to, I found myself lying naked on a sandbar on a beautiful tropical beach. My shattered left leg was fully healed. Like Joe, I had that same glowing gem in my left wrist with a serial number and the same message. But, I was too busy getting away from a creature that spat green slime at me that wanted me for an easy meal. When I was finally able to craft up some spears, I became the hunter and killed it for my meal.”

 

“That sounds like those Specimen Implants were some kind of a dog tag only far more complex,” answers Sargent Mays.

 

“It explains what those strange scars were on both of these gentlemen,” reports Dr. Sadako. “Can you tells us more about those Specimen Implants?”

 

Joe, “I quickly learned that the gem was a device that kept track of my vitals, as you call them. In addition, it contained a clock and a calendar that was set to day one. It also served as a backpack for storing things and a workbench for making tools and other useful items. We couldn’t do everything at once since it seems that we had to earn something called Experience Points that we could spend on a growing list of skills that allowed us to create the tools and items needed to aid in our survival.”

 

Yamaharo, “We found that the gemstone would give us information about the strange creatures living there among us. We found that like us, they had levels and different abilities. Most amazing, we found that we could tame them to help us in our survival. Before we left, we had tamed Parasaurs that we rode like horses, Trikes that served us as a mobile tank to defend us from the Carnos and Raptors in the area and harvest large numbers of berries from the bushes, and Pteradons that we could fly on just like our fighters planes. Joe found a Moschop that he used to harvest berries and fiber for him. I tamed a Berry that was snooping around my camp. We could have even tamed a Spino that we had to tranc with darts so we could get my tames on a raft back to Joe’s place, but, we just didn’t have the time or the need to tame one of those giant predators.”

 

“That is most amazing,” answers Dr. Sadako. “You were actually able to tame the wild prehistoric creatures for your personal use.”

 

“How did you find each other?” ask Dr. Einstein.

 

Yamaharo, “We found each other while we were out exploring on our pteradons. They actually spotted each other before we realized that we weren’t alone. We both engaged in aerial combat with them but were unable to use any ranged or melee weapons while we were flying.”

 

“Joe made a desperate move to knock me off of my flier. He slipped and has to use his parachute. I moved in to attack with my pteradon, but Joe pulled out his rifle and darted my flier with a tranc. We were about to engage in deadly combat on the ground when we noticed our implants glowing brightly. Not knowing who or what was playing us for fools, we agreed to call a truce and work together to find a way back to Earth.”

 

“Do you believe that there was some extraterrestrial beings watching you to see what you would do to each other?” ask Dr. Einstein.

 

“Yes we do, answers Joe. Two days later, when we had moved Yamaharo’s tames to the safe location I call Herbivore Island, we flew on our pteradons over to the Green Obelisk. After getting rid of the carnivore threats living nearby, we landed next to the alter below it and were able to access it. Yamaharo found that there were two dragons stored inside in status. After talking about it, we decided to download them. We found them to be very intelligent creatures that were more then willing to be our friends. They were the most awesome flying creatures that I have ever ridden on.”

 

“The next morning, they offered to help us get back home. They told us that The Keepers were going to return us to our world. They flew us to the volcano where they landed by a huge alien door. We opened it and went inside. When the door closed, they vanished. We found protective clothes and instructions on what to do next.”

 

“At the end of a long passageway in the hot lava cave, we found an alien looking chamber and entered it. The next thing that we knew, we were in some kind of a ship overlooking the island where we had been for the past ten days. It was quite a shock when we realized that we were actually living on some kind of giant lifeboat in space orbiting a dead world. We could see thousands of them out the window of that giant ship.”

 

Yamaharo, “Close by one of the terminals, where we saw prehistoric creatures being created, I found a crate that contained our flight suits. They were in perfect condition. Inside, was a note from Helena that read,”

 

There, floating outside the window and surrounded by machinery, was the very island that I had been living on, and it too was orbiting high above the Earth along with countless other stations just like it. The ecosystem on The Island wasn't just curated, it was completely artificial from the ground up!”

 

Dr. Carys responds;

What in the hell is all this, why would anyone construct it, and how could they have possibly kept it hidden from the world? I don't have the answers to any of these questions or the dozens of others that keep popping into my head, but somehow, I mean to find out. Somehow, I'll find the truth.

 

“How did you know what was written on that note,” Yamaharo asks Dr. Carys in astonishment.

 

“I wrote that notes a year ago,” answers Dr. Carys. “You see, my first name is really Helena. I was one of the first people from this Earth ever to visit The Island. I wrote and left those notes there for future visitors.”

 

“You wrote that it was the Earth below,” answers Joe. “Yet, what we saw out the window, was a desert planet, a place where there was no green forests, no white snow, no blue oceans, just tans and browns with a few clouds in a brown dusty sky. We saw the prehistoric Earth as a giant transparent globe on that ship, a present day Earth and what must have been a future one with vast areas of destruction. Your hand book and notes were in an old rusty ammo can in a structure that looked like it had been falling apart for hundreds of years.”

 

“Helena had returned to us only a year ago,” answers Dr. Einstein. “She had reported that the planet she saw below was still green even though the continents had moved some several hundred miles apart and the Antarctic Continent no longer was covered in ice.”

 

“Then, what I must have seen was our future Earth before it turned into a desert,” answers Dr. Carys. “When the inhabitants became aware that the planet was dying, they must have built these Arks as lifeboats so they could survive in orbit.”

 

“Something must have went wrong given that when I was there, all the inhabitants on The Island were at war killing each other for dominance. Did you or Yamaharo ever find any of them, or their villages and towns that I saw when I was there?”

 

“Only the ruins of their stone structures,” answers Joe.

 

“The same here,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“Then, it looks like the human race succeeded in fighting among themselves until they went extinct, in spite of them building those Arks for their survival.” answers Dr. Einstein.

 

“Still, the mystery remains. Why did Joe and Yamaharo get teleported to that Ark? What was the purpose of their being sent there?”

 

“Perhaps, I can answer that question,” answers Sargent Jones. “At the time of their visit, we were locked in a global war for dominance. Those Keepers of The Arks, wanted to see what would happen if two enemy combatants were to find themselves stranded in a strange environment and what would happen when they found each other. It was a test to see if they would continue fighting, or put aside their differences to work together for their survival.”

 

“That makes sense,” answers Dr. Einstein. “If your goal is to find astronauts to go on a long space voyage that will last for several years, you want to find those individuals that will get along with each other. What better test is there then to take two enemy combatants and place them in a situation where continuing to fight each other would just be meaningless.”

 

“I wonder if those Keepers were selecting people from our present population in order to find the perfect specimens in order to repopulate the Ark with humans that would work together in peace?” ask Wernher von Braun.

 

“Before I left an ark called Scorched Earth,” answers Dr. Carys. “I was asked by The Keepers if I would like to return if I could go to a peaceful Ark to continue my studies of the biological life there. I told them yes, if I could bring like friends with me.”

 

“Are Draco and Paragon actually The Keepers?” ask Joe.

 

“No,” answers Dr. Carys. “They were my dragon tames from Scorched Earth. As you found out when you downloaded them, they are very intelligent creatures. Now that I think about it, I do believe that The Keepers are working through them to guide us in what to do next. I know that I never put them in status in that Green Obelisk for you to find. All of the other dragons that I saw on Scorched Earth were some of the nastiest foul creatures that I have ever ran into. They were even worse then that demon Gigasaur that I was able to partially tame at great cost to help me battle one of the warring tribes of The Island.”

 

“I really regretted having invented the atomic bomb,” Dr. Oppenheimer answers. “Still, had the other side developed it first, we might not be here today to have this conversation. It’s possible that they would have destroyed this planet already. It’s possible that we could still destroy it ourselves.”

 

“In order to preserve the human race, we should consider taking Dr. Carys up on The Keeper’s offer to return with like friend. To return with the hope of the new Adam and Eve. To repopulate the future Earth with humans. To do so in harmony with the environment. To do so in peace.”

 

“What do we have to do to make it happen?” ask Dr. Wernher von Braun.

 

“Down below through the closet door in the back, we have an alter that can open a portal directly to The Island.” answers Einstein. “We only need to select the people that are willing to go on this mission with the understanding that it will likely be a one way trip.”

 

“Can it be directed to send us back to Herbivore Island?” ask Joe.

 

“I believe so,” answers Dr. Einstein.

 

“I’d love to go back,” answers Joe. “There is nothing back here for me.”

 

“Emperor Hirohito told me to continue on my important mission. I’ll go,” answers Yamaharo.

 

“It sounds like a fabulous adventure,” answer Dr. Sadako.

 

“Do you think that we qualify?” as Sargent Jones and Mays.

 

“I had you two picked out some time ago,” answers Einstein. “That’s why you two were assigned here together to work for me.”

 

“Then, lets get it done before some higher authorities discovers this portal and mucks everything up,” Dr. Oppenheimer answers. “I fully suspect that they may soon yank my security clearance over my concerns over this nuclear arms race we are involved in with the Soviets.”

 

The six with Einstein leading go through the closet, then descends down a long stairway to a room that contains an obelisk alter. “I will program it to send the six of you directly to the supply drop point on Herbivore Island. You will be arriving one day after Joe and Yamaharo had left so their tames will still be there to serve you. Good luck everyone. I would love to go with you but my age is not going to allow me to do so. Someone has to remain behind to sabotage this portal so that it can never be used for evil. I will do so as soon as you have safely returned to The Island.”

 

Einstein proceeds to set the Obelisk for its destination as the six enter the room. He steps outside as he had done when his assistant Helena first used it for her adventure. She activates the portal. They vanish in a flash of light. Einstein now enters the room to change the settings to point to an ark that Helena has told him is damaged. Then, he rearranges the safety controls to show that this is where the six survivors have been sent.

 

It is days later, after Einstein's death and Dr. Oppenheimer’s loss of his security clearance, that a team of Black Ops agents, chasing rumors about six people being sent to an alien world, and looking to steal extra terrestrial weaponry for evil intent, find the room containing the Ark Portal. They send one of their team members through the portal only to watch him come back as a flaming radioactive corpse. He manages to scream out a painful warning about a dead world before he turns into a pile of radioactive goo. All of the agents involved end up dying from radiation sickness a week later. The underground labs and conference areas have becomes so radioactively hot that it has to be filled with lead shot laced concrete in order to avoid contaminating the rest of Groom Lake with intense radiation. Burying the abandoned gold mine in concrete effectively destroys any future access to the Ark portal thus ensuring the safety of the six survivors sent back to The Island with their mission of continuing the future of the human race.

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Chapter 22, Back on The Ark.

 

It is early morning of what would have been Day 12 on The Island when six naked adults materialize next to a drop point where a special gold Ark Loot Crate has just landed. Everyone has returned retaining the levels and knowledge from when they left. The newcomers, of course, are at Level one. Helena, who is at max Level One Hundred, and voted the Group’s leader, accesses the loot crate and hands everyone a set of clothes and basic metal tools. Also inside, is a new Survivor’s Manuel. Reading a note packed with it, she gathers the others together.

 

“The Keepers have given us this opportunity to repopulate this Ark to ensure the survival of the human race.” she tells them. “We will still be able to tame the beast of this artificial world as before, but, like us, they will now have the ability to reproduce. We will also be able to craft the pioneering tools to grow crops, bake bread, produce, and preserve the foods we were used to having back home. Sheep, horses, and cattle will soon show up for our use. While we will still have our Specimen Implants to help us survive, our offspring will not. They will have to survive by us passing down our knowledge if our species is to continue on this Ark until the day arrives that they can be returned to a healed Earth to repopulate it.”

 

“As feared, Dr. Oppenheimer’s prediction has come true. A team of Black Ops agents came snooping around looking for alien weapon technology and attempted to send someone here. Einstein’s plan worked when that agent was sent to the surface of the Aberration Ark instead during the daytime. Their failure resulted in Area 51 command being forced to seal the entire underground complex in concrete due to deadly radiation contamination when their agent returned in flames after being exposed to the deadly environment there. As a result, we can no longer return to our 1953 Earth. Like it or not, we are now here to stay.”

 

“Joe, show us the way to your camp so we can formulate our plans for the rest of our stay here.”

 

As they head down the hill to the beach, the newcomers are at awe over the wild prehistoric herbivores they see along the shore. “Don’t touch any of the eggs that you may see lying along the beach,” warns Joe. “While these prehistoric herbivores are quite docile, they will get very upset with you if you pick up one of their eggs.”

 

“Oh, oh,” warns Yamaharo as we round the bend to the point. “We are about to be mobbed by our tames.” The three newcomers are in a bit of a panic until they realize that these big creatures only want their attention.

 

“Incredible,” says Dr. Sadako. “Who would have ever though that a trike would love such attention.”

 

“In the real prehistoric world, you would have been gored and trampled to death by now,” answers Helena. “In this artificial world, among these artificially created creatures, anything is possible.”

 

“It’s our mother,” something up ahead calls out. “She has returned.”

 

“Oh my gosh, there are real dragons here,” Sargent Mays says in a panic.

 

“It’s OK,” Joe answers. “It’s Draco and Paragon. They are our friends.”

 

“I never knew you could talk to us,” Helena tells them as they come up to her to get their foreheads rubbed.

 

“It’s a gift The Keepers gave us when Joe and Yamaharo downloaded us out of status,” answers Draco. “They were really nice to us. We enjoyed being with them.”

 

“After we took them to the volcano, we came back here to keep an eye on their camp and their tames.”

 

“Have you returned to stay on The Island with us?” Draco ask Helena.

 

“Yes, my children. We are all here to stay with you.”

 

“I’m so happy for everyone to be here,” Draco tells Helena. “I can’t wait to share another cold one with Joe.”

 

“You gave my Draco a beer?” Helena says to Joe in disgust.

 

“It’s all right,” Joe answers. “I don’t think that the beer we crafted from the thatch and berries contains any alcohol at all. At least, I don’t think it did. I never realized that one could carry on a conversation with a dragon until that evening when Draco and I shared that cold one together.”

 

“You come here with a good recommendation,” answers Helena. “You two, have done well to become good friends with Draco and Paragon. One has to earn their respect before they are accepted by them. This is going to be so remarkable to be able to talk to my children. It will greatly help me in my research on dragons, and the other creatures that are living on these Arks.”

 

“The dragons called you their mother. You called them your children.” answers Joe. “How is that possible?”

 

“When I was on the Scorched Earth Ark, I tried to tame one of the wild adult dragons. It proved to be an impossible task due to their intelligence. So, I stole two of their fertile eggs, hatched them, and raised them to adulthood.”

 

“That is most interesting given that all of the eggs we have found here are infertile.” Joe answers.

 

“I foresee a problem when we start to establish our farming settlement, Sargent Mays interrupts Helena as he finishes surveying the area. This sandbar is going to be too small to support the six of us and any additional tames we get, especially when we start adding sheep, cattle, horses, and start cultivating crops. Even more so when we start raising families.”

 

“You are correct,” answers Helena. “We need to look for a larger area on the mainland to build an expanded settlement. Joe, you’re with me on Draco. I’ll be on Paragon. Lets go check out your old campsite to see if it can be fortified to keep the apex predators out of it.”

 

“That would be great,” answers Joe “Draco is such an outstanding flying creature. I love flying on him.”

 

“He has told me how he enjoys having you fly on him,” answers Helena. “Lets take off and see what your old base looks like.” Taking off they head towards the North side of Drayo’s Cove and to Joe’s old base.

 

“There’s lots of beach area on the east side up into the box canyon where the Lava Cave is located for our settlement,” Helena tells Joe as they fly around the point, then down towards Drayo’s Cove. “The plateau above is excellent for pasture land. We can fence it off by the jungle to the North. The cliff to the plateau on the West is a natural barrier. We only need to fence off the ramp leading up to it at the cove and just a short section in the South where the cliff ends. That should keep away any T-Rex threats from up in the valley.”

 

“There’s plenty of wood in the area along the beach but stone could be in short supply here.” Joe tells Helena.

 

“We can use the dragons to ferry the crafted sections here from Herbivore Island,” Helena answers. “If not, Stone Point will have an ample supply of stone for our needs.”

 

“Is there any danger of the creatures from the cave coming out into the open if we build in the box canyon?” ask Joe.

 

“No,” answers Helena. “We can easily place a gate in the entrance just to be on the safe side.”

 

“Then, lets go report to the others what we have found and have Sargent Jones and Mays lay out our settlement for us.” answers Joe.

 

“We probably should bring them out here,” Helena tells Joe.

 

“Can your dragons fly double up?” ask Joe.

 

“We can do it as long as they travel light,” answers Draco.

 

“Then, it is just basic tools, a pike, and crossbow,” answers Helena.

 

Flying back to Herbivore Island, they find that the others have been busy expanding the campsite for the coming night. More thatch huts have been created and metal is cooking down on the forge. “We will have Coe for supper thanks to Berry,” Yamaharo reports. “There’s potatoes and corn from the food plots as well.”

 

“Sargent Mays and Jones,” Helena reports to them. “Joe’s old campsite will be excellent for us to build our village. We would like to take you out there to look it over before it gets dark. We’ll fly you out on the dragons. Take only a pick, hatchet, pike, and crossbow with narc arrows with you,” Packed with the recommended items, the foursome fly back out and land on the bluff above the entrance to the Lave Cave.

 

“That was wonderful,” Sargent Jones says to Helena as they land. “No wonderful you like flying with your children.”

 

Sargent Mays does a quick study of the surrounding area using his spotting scope and without it. He makes a sketch of the area and jots down some notes. “This site will be excellent,” he tells Helena. “We should close off the ramp to Drayo’s Cove first, then fence off the Jungle to the North. Is the water deep near the point?”

 

“Yes it is,” answers Joe. “It drops off a reef close to the shore.”

 

“What about any Spinos in this area?”

 

“I’ve never seen any in this area, only the occasional T-Rex and Carnos.”
 

“Good,” answers Sargent Mays. “We can place a wall from the bluff cliff to the drop off. That should reduce the threat of big predators from that area. If we continue with a fence down to the sea from the ruins for the north wall, we will have the entire point secured from any threats in that direction.”

 

“I’m not yet totally familiar how crafting works in this type of construction. It doesn’t look like there are enough resources close by for this project. Can we ferry the supplies with the two rafts?”

 

“That is quite risky at the moment given the presents of the raft killing Leeds in the open sea,” answers Joe. “We plan to use the dragons instead. They can carry the prefab sections to us from where we are crafting them.”

 

“Excellent,” answers Sargent Mays. “A team can be crafting those parts from where there are plenty of resources, the dragons can be our cargo aircraft, and another team can be constructing the walls. We should be able to get the area secured in no time. Lets place down a couple of storage boxes in key locations before we head back for the night.”

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Chapter 23 Settlement Construction.

 

Gameplay testing. The ramp wall is easily done as has been done before on my early game play. The North wall is some 80 foundations in length at the edge of the jungle forest. Some boulders had to be removed. There is one step four walls high to a ramp before that drops off to the beach on the East Shore. To the point of Drayo’s Cove, a 20 foundation section can be walled off well uphill of a loot drop point. The vertical cliff there are high enough to keep out any Rex. While working up there on the walls, the area was very quiet. The walls fence in a very large area of the plateau that is not forested. A small tribe could fence this off with stone walls in a couple of days although they will need to import some of the stone from elsewhere.

 

With the arrival of the dawn, the final plans have been formulated by Sargent Jones and Mays for building the first wall. “If we can take the Trikes with us, we can use them to haul wood and thatch for us and make use of the stones we need to clear to lay down the foundation.”

 

“We can carry them out there for you,” the two dragons tell them. Packed with a spare metal pick and more storage crate, the two Sargents are off with the trikes being carried below.

 

“How are you able to carry us and those heavy Trikes at the same time,” Sargent Jones ask Paragon.

 

“For some unknown reason only known to The Keepers, you and the trikes have no weight. It’s only what you and they are carrying that will burden us.”

 

“That is most interesting,” Sargent Jones tells Paragon.

 

Landing on the upper ramp of the plateau, Draco tells Sargent Mays, “Place down the crate so we can place the wall sections in it when we come back with them.”

 

“You actually can do that?” ask Sargent Mays in surprise.

 

“We can now do most anything you can do except level ourselves up and craft items,” answers Draco.

 

“That’s amazing,” answers Sargent Jones. “You are proving to be so valuable for our survival.”

 

“Go ahead and take the trikes down into the cove to get your wood and thatch. We will clear out the threats down there for you before we leave to get the wall sections.”

 

“Thank you so much,” answers Sargent Mays. “Bring back a couple of dino gates and doors with you on your first trip.”

 

Only a Carno, a couple of raptors, and spitters become an easy meal for the dragons as the two Sargents head down the ramp, quickly gather a load of wood and thatch on the Trikes and return to the boulder area of the ramp where the storage crate has been placed. A large number of stone foundations are crafted from the boulders on the ramp that need to be cleared.

 

Lets see if we can keep this wall as level as possible,” Sargent Jones tells Sargent Mays as the start with the first foundation on the edge of the cliff to the shore below. There are a couple of doglegs in the foundation so they can follow the level area of the ramp but soon the other end is against the cliff.

 

Coming back with the first load of walls, Paragon has a most unusual request she ask of Sargent Mays. “Can you leave that big boulder at the point of the Box Canyon for me to build a nest on?”

 

“We most certainly can,” answers Sargent Mays. “Ruth, I think that we may have a baby dragon soon.”

 

“That would be most wonderful,” Sargent Jones answers. “Helena was right when she told us that the creatures here would soon start raising their young. That will be most exciting for her to see her children have their first off springs on this Ark.”

 

“Oh Wait! Aren’t those two siblings?”

 

“I don’t think so,” answers Sargent Mays. “Helena said that she thinks that the eggs were from two different nest. It would appear that dragons may only lay one egg at a time.”

 

“That’s good to know in case the rules of breeding domestic animals apply here,” answers Sargent Jones.

 

Author’s note, It should be noted at this time that Larry Mays and Ruth Jones are both Mid-westerners that were raised on their family farms during the 40s. Ruth’s parents were into dairy farming. Larry’s into produce farming. Both joined the military to take up a career of engineering, then, were assigned to Groom Lake as a team to supervise construction there where they proceeded to become engaged and were married a week before the arrival of Joe and Yamaharo.

 

By mid morning, the ramp wall has been completed as they ride the Trikes up the hill to the edge of the forest with more materials for foundations. “This is going to take some time to build here,” Sargent Mays tells Sargent Jones. “I’ll lay out the foundation while you follow behind with the walls. If we luck out with the terrain, I don’t think that we will need to go all the way down to the beach and into the shallows to secure this side of the plateau.”

 

With Sargent Mays laying out the foundation path to the East along the jungle edge, Sargent Jones places down a gate and the walls. Another gate is placed up near the mid ridge and a third down at the ramp to the sea. The only threats they run into near the ruins where Joe had found the original note and handbook are some more ants. “Crap, those things are as big as house cats,” Larry complains as he and the trike with him stab and stomp on them.

 

“That looks good,” Helena says as she flies out on Paragon to check out the progress. “You’ve already finished the jungle wall. The cliff sides are steep enough that none of the local predators can climb up them.”

 

“Are you going to harvest that boulder on the corner of the box canyon over there?”

 

“Paragon wants to build a nest on that boulder,” Ruth tells Helena as they start to head over to the point.

 

“She what!” answers a shocked Helena.

 

“Did I do something wrong?” Paragon asks Helena.

 

“No, not at all,” answers Helena as she goes to rub Paragon’s forehead in approval. “It’s just such a shock for me to realize that you are now all grown up. You have my blessing to start raising your family. That boulder is an excellent choice to build your nest. The fact that you want to build a nest is the best news I have heard since I have been on The Ark. I believe that you are going to be the first egg tame dragons to ever raise a family of your own.”

 

“Thank you, thank you so much,” Paragon responds.

 

“Do you think that you can get the point wall done by dark?” Helena ask Sargent Mays.

 

“We only need to go from cliff side to cliff side for now,” Sargent Mays answers. “We can do the beach wall for our settlement at a later time.”

 

“Other then a few wild Dodos and a Patchyarhino, the plateau seems to be clear. There are some spitters below, but they should be no threat to us or the Trikes. We’ll build a thatch hut up here for the night as soon as we get this wall up, then draw up plans for building a village on the beach below us. A gate and 80 wall sections should be enough to secure this section.”

 

With the last load of wall sections delivered by evening, Draco ask if they should bring them and the trikes back to Herbivore Island. “We’ll be fine,” Larry tells him. “We’ll need them in the morning to start building the settlement on the beach. Start working on your nest if you want to. There are plenty of materials down below in the box canyon you can use.”

 

“We’ll see you in the morning,” answers Draco.

 

“That has been so incredible,” Ruth tells Larry. “Talking dragons that are as smart as we are, behaving as part of the tribe.”

 

“As Helena’s tames, they are tribe members for all practical purposes. They were a big help in ferrying the materials we needed for those stone fences. Best of all, nobody needed to fly on them to bring the stuff here. They did it all on their own.”

 

“Look, they have already started building their nest.”

 

“That’s good news for Helena,” answers Larry. “Lets finish up here, take the Trikes out on a berry and thatch run, and let those two have their privacy for the night.”

 

“We will have ours too,” answers Ruth as they finish up the wall to head out to get the materials for the thatch hut. “This will make for quite a romantic honeymoon setting in such a strange land.”

 

“Do you really think that we should be starting a family in this unusual place?” ask Larry.

 

“Einstein said that it was our duty to be the new Adam and Eve of this world,” answers Ruth. “Helena said that with the portal buried in concrete, we can no longer go back, so, we might as well look ahead to the future, a future that we can create for the better of humankind.”

 

“Lets get those supplies and get our shelter built for the night, then we can make our plans to explore that future together.”

 

It is the next morning when Larry and Ruth are awakened by the heavy footsteps of Paragon checking up on them. Ruth gets up and walks over to her as she lowers her head to get a pat.

 

“Did you?” Ruth as Paragon.

 

“It was, wonderful,” she answers.

 

“Did you?”

 

“It was, a most wonderful honeymoon night,” Ruth answers.

 

“What is a honeymoon?” ask Paragon

 

“Larry and I were married a week ago but our work prevented us from going on our honeymoon until last night.” answers Ruth. “It is a trip humans plan to go on after they are married. We go to some place special where we can be alone to enjoy ourselves together.”

 

“Oh, then it is something similar to what Draco and I did for the first time last night.” answers Paragon. “Do you think that someday, our mother, Joe, Yamaharo and Dr. Sadako will go on their honeymoon as well?”

 

“I don’t know,” answers Ruth. “That will be up to them to pair up and fall in love with each other.”

 

“I see two pteradon coming this way with riders,” Larry announces. “The rafts are tying up alongside the beach as well.”

 

Landing, Joe and Helena come up to talk to Ruth and Larry. “Did they.” Helena asks Ruth.

 

“Paragon said it was wonderful,” Ruth answers. “They are out hunting at the moment.”

 

“Good for them,” answers Helena. “I’ll talk to them when they get back from hunting.”

 

“We finally had our honeymoon last night,”

 

“Congratulations,” both Joe and Helena respond.

 

“We brought over all of the thatch and fiber that was stored from Herbivore Island so we can start on the huts on the beach. We also brought over metal ore for a forge when we can place one down.”

 

“We have some metal ore from the boulders we have cleared,” answers Larry. “How did you get past the Leed threat?”

 

“We flew scout on the pteradons,” answers Joe. “As we can see quite well into the clear water, we were able to warn Rose and Yamaharo where the Leed was hiding so they could avoid it.”

 

“Our plan today is to build a stone fence on the beach below from the point where the dragons built their nest to where we ended the point fence last night,” answers Larry. “That will give us plenty of room for the village and garden area with access for irrigation from the sea.”

 

“We are getting a lot of new seed types from the Trikes as they were harvesting thatch and berries for us. Many of them are crops that I have grown on my Wisconsin Farm. I would like to get them growing as soon as possible.”

 

“I’ll send Rose and Yamaharo over to Stone Point so they can craft wall sections as soon as my children return. We should be able to get this area cleared and fenced in by noon.”

 

With the arrival of Draco and Paragon, Helena goes over to talk to them and see the new nest. “You have done well,” she tells them. “It looks exactly like the dragon nests I have seen on Scorched Earth.

 

“When I lay my egg, will you be taking it to hatch and raise the youngster like you did with us?” ask Paragon.

 

“No,” answers Helena. “This will be your egg to hatch, to enjoy the raising of your own child. If you need any guidance, Ruth and I can help you with that process.”

 

“Today, I need you and Draco to take Rose and Yamaharo with thatch and wood to Stone Point to ferry stone wall sections back here. We should have the beach fence completed by noon.”

 

“I don’t know how long it takes a dragon to grow an egg before they lay one. The tribes on Scorched Earth had so alienated them that I could never get close enough to any of the wild ones to observe them. None of the egg tames they had were capable of reproduction. If you get the feeling that you are getting ready to lay your egg, stop what you are doing and get back here to your nest immediately.”

 

“I will do that,” answers Paragon.

 

“Why do I feel like a mother hen?” Helena asks Ruth as the two dragons take off to Stone Point.”

 

“It is because you really care for them,” answers Ruth. “It is a similar feeling my mother has when the milk cows are expecting in the Spring. Paragon will be fine. She will do what you have advised her to do when the time comes. Lets get the village laid out while the men are busy crafting foundations for the fence.”

 

The work proceeds on schedule. Each end of the beach is fenced off with a gate. The fence goes from the cliff to the drop off in the sea. Being finished by noon, the dragons bring Rose and Yamaharo back so they can start work on their new homes. Helena finds that Draco has doubled up with Rose and Yamaharo. “How come you are riding double on Draco,” Helena asks.

 

“Paragon felt like she was getting tired,” answers Yamaharo. “Draco volunteered to bring us both back.”

 

“How are you feeling?” Helena asks Paragon when she lands in front of her.

 

“I’m fine. I’m just a bit tired,” she answers.

 

Ruth comes up to check out Paragon. “I think that her egg may be coming soon,” she tells Helena. “I’ve seen that look in a dairy cow when it is about to give birth.”

 

“Both of you, take the rest of the day off and get some rest,” Helena order them. “We can handle the rest of the work that needs to be done. We’ll be making this place our new home soon.”

 

With the six of them back, the basic village gets laid out with thatch foundations. With the stone wall to protect them from any large predators that may be in the area, thatch dwellings will be safe to live in for now. They are easily constructed using far less resources then wood or stone dwellings. According to the new Primitive Plus Survival Handbook, the temporary thatch ones would be eventually replaced with sawed wood, brick, even concrete for permanent structures. In short order, three large huts, some smaller ones, a barn, and a common building for a workshop have been completed.

 

Joe and Yamaharo have gone out on their pteragons to do a recon of the surrounding area when they fly back to report to Helena with some alarming news. “The three Brontos in Drayo’s Cove have vanish. So has most of the other creatures down there as well. The Spotting scope has picked up three Troodons, a Level 120 Alpha Raptor, and two Level 150 raptors. They seem to be all hunting together.”

 

“An Alpha Raptor,” warns Helena. “That is bad news. They can be more dangerous then a Rex. It probably killed those Brontos with the help of its partners.”

 

“I don’t understand the Troodons working with them,” answers Joe. “The last time I saw Troodons with a raptor they taunted it until it fell unconscious, then they killed and ate it.”

 

“Can such a creature as an alpha raptor be tamed?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“No,” answers Helena. “Even if you could, you cannot knock one out. Since it has already done that much damage to the creatures in Drayo’s Cove, it will soon be a threat to us. If it is determined enough, it is capable of getting through the stone wall.”

 

“What can we do about it?” ask Yamaharo.

 

“We’re going to have to kill it,” answers Joe. “We will need to tranc the Raptors, kill the Troodons, then go kill that alpha.”

 

“Helena, get Draco over here. I’ve got a plan for dealing with this threat.”

 

Both dragons fly over to see what is going on. “What’s going on?” they ask.

 

“We have a high level raptor pack that is threatening our new village,” answers Joe. “One of them is an Alpha. I want Draco to fly over them to assess the threat level that alpha may present to him. Then, I can formulate a plan to get rid of it.”

 

“Should I go too?” ask Paragon as Draco goes flies recon.

 

“No,” Joe answers. “I don’t want to risk you getting hurt in your present condition. Draco and I should be able to deal with the Alpha if we can eliminate the other threats from the battle first.”

 

“They are over near the ramp wall towards the point,” Draco tells Joe as he lands.

 

“Everyone, Long Neck Rifles with tranc darts,” orders Joe. “We get up on the cliff and tranc the two raptors. When they drop, switch to ammo and kill the Troodons. I’ll use Draco to take out the Alpha.”

 

“Be careful with him,” orders Helena. “I don’t want to lose him.”

 

“I plan to engage the Alpha head on while on the ground with Draco’s bite attack,” answers Joe. “I don’t want to risk wearing him out with multiple fire attack on that creature. As long as we can keeping knocking it back, Draco should be able to avoid being bitten. If he does get into trouble, we can fly out of danger.”

 

“Draco, do you understand what I want you to do?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Can you take that raptor head on without getting hurt?”

 

“Yes, I can.”

 

“Then, lets get this over with.”

 

“Their heading for the point,” warns Yamaharo as he flies ahead on Trixie.

 

“Bait the Alpha to head back this way,” orders Joe.

 

Yamaharo dive bombs the Alpha pulling up at the last second to avoid being bitten. It, and the pack, heads towards where the others are waiting in ambush as he lands in front of the base of the cliff. As Yamaharo takes off, the two other raptors go down in a hail of tranc darts. The Troodons look confused, then try to run off but are dropped by the bullets. The Alpha, very upset at losing its escorts, is clawing away at the cliff when Joe lands with Draco behind it and takes a bite of it.

 

Joe lets Draco take control as the battle starts to intensify. The alpha tries to get in a bite but keeps being blocked as Draco keeps attacking it. Badly hurt, the Alpha dodges to the side and starts to run away. Draco nails it with a fire attack. The burning alpha takes several more steps, then drops dead. “Good Job,” Joe tells Draco. “You got four level Ups for killing it. Go ahead and eat that thing.”

 

With a sign of relief, Helena comes down to thank Joe and Draco, then she goes over to check on the two unconscious raptors.

 

“This is a real nice pair of raptors,” she tells Joe. “That high level male so reminds me of the one I had for so long before he was killed by that half tamed Giga while saving my life.”

 

“Should we tame them?” ask Joe.

 

“Lets go for it,” answers Helena. “Draco should have some extra raw meat on him that we can use for taming.”

 

“You’re not going to believe this,” Joe tells Helena. “Draco has 100 raw prime on him.”

 

“That is excellent,” answers Helena. “It must have came off of the dead Alpha. These high level raptors will be tamed in no time. Lets get the raw prime on them before it spoils, then make up some saddles.”

 

Author’s note, last night game play spotted that exact same pack of raptors, troodons, and a Level 12 Alpha. Using my test fire dragon, I took the Alpha head on with the bite attack. I was able to avoid being bitten as it was killed. It did give 100 prime meat upon being eaten, four level ups for the dragon, and one for my character. I also got some good tools from it.

 

“Here is a stack of hide from Draco,” answers Joe.

 

“Two raptor saddles coming up,” answers Helena.

 

Six minutes later, two mate boosted Level 225 raptors are now tamed.

 

“What are they like to ride on?” ask Joe as he has one happily chirping and nuzzling him.

 

“Here, place this saddle on her and lets go riding together,” answers Helena.

 

“I never knew that raptors could be tamed,” Draco says as he follows from above.

 

“Oh, yes,” Helena answers. “I had one like this for the longest time before I traveled to Scorched Earth. They make excellent combat mounts for fast hit and run attacks.”

 

“That is most interesting,” answers Draco. “I see some strange looking woolly four legged creatures up on the bluff ahead.”

 

“Sheep,” Joe says after placing a spotting scope on them. “We better go over there and keep them out of trouble until we can figure a way to get them back to the village.”

 

“I can carry them back one at a time,” answers Draco.

 

“Great!” answers Joe. “We’ll keep watch on them until you have taken all of them back to the village. We’ll worry about taming them later.”

 

“Damn, here comes in a carno looking for an easy meal.” answers Helena as Draco leaves with the first one he has picked up.

 

“Can we use ranged weapons while riding these raptors?” ask Joe.

 

“We most certainly can,” answers Helena. “Lets go get it.”

 

The carno, upset that its easy meal is being interrupted, charges them which earns it a face full of narc arrows. Woozy, it loses its balance as the two high level raptors tear it apart.

 

“That earned them two level ups and a bunch of raw meat for them,” Helena tells Joe.

 

“Most worthwhile,” answers Joe. “Ruth is going to get her first herd of livestock which will get us started with our sustainable farming for our tribe.”

 

“Lets keep them herded together until Draco can get them all back to the village.”

 

It is late evening with one sheep left to go when Draco comes flying back all excited.

 

“Quick, come with me,” Draco asks Helena as he lands for her to get on him.

 

“What’s wrong” she ask Draco.

 

“Just get on me and I will show you,” Draco answers.

 

“Joe, bring my raptor with you and get back to the village as quick as you can,” Helena orders as Draco take off with the last sheep under his claw.

 

“What could be going on?” thinks Joe as he rides back on the raptor in a dead run as darkness approaches. He heads straight for the Drayo Cove ramp fence as Helena opens the gate for him and closes it with them inside.

 

“What’s going on?” he asks.

 

“Paragon just laid her egg,” answers Helena. “It is fertile. She is going to be the first egg tame on Ark to ever raise baby dragons.”

 

“That’s wonderful,” answers Joe. “I wonder if any of our other tames will start laying fertile eggs. They have always been infertile in the past.”

 

“You only have to mate them to get a fertile egg,” answers Helena. “We can let Ruth be in charge of that. She has already tamed the sheep and has gotten some of them bred to the two rams.”

 

“How did she tame them so quickly?” ask Joe.

 

“She just made up a batch of sweet veggie cakes,” answers Helena. “We will soon have access to wool, milk, and lamb chops if we desired.

 

“What a day,” answers Joe. “We get the fence done, build the settlement, do battle with an alpha raptor, Paragon lays an egg, and we now have a herd of domesticated sheep.”

 

“Lets get a good night’s rest, then bring the rest of our tames over here in the morning and get the crop plots planted,” answers Helena.

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Chapter 24 One Year Later.

 

Day 376 on The Island. It has been a peaceful adventure for all involved. Work has progressed smoothly on converting the thatch huts into permanent wood and masonry structures. The wall on the beach has been pushed out to enclose the box canyon for crop plots and more dino tames. Paragon hatched twins a week after laying her egg. Everyone has enjoyed interacting with them and watching them growing up. They will soon be big enough to carry riders.

 

Larry and Ruth have been busy getting their farming operation running smoothly. The odd conditions found on the artificial world has allowed Larry to stagger the production of what are normally seasonal produce crops. The Ark has also provided them with tropical fruits and other edible plants in addition to the usual berry types that can be used for food, dye making, and other recipes such as kibble, jellies, jams, beer and wine.

 

Ruth has been able to set up her domestic animals farm up on the ridge as planned. A picket fence needed to be placed along the cliff side to keep the animals from getting too close to the edge and sliding down into danger or getting hurt. The sheep farming operation has been a success as the prehistoric breed has been improved upon. There is abundant wool for clothes. She has also experimented with breeding the tames to improve on their abilities. A carefully selected male Parasaur, Pteragon, and some female Trikes were added to the stable of tames. Another Berry and Moschop were added with some more pegomaxs The high level raptors were already mate boosted so were a natural pair for her breeding experiments.

 

As promised, an early form of cattle has appeared on Ark. A taming pen had to be built to hold them until they could be passively tamed. They, and the giant elk, have been added to the herd. The north end fence on the plateau has been pushed out to the end of the cliff side to give them more room. The jungle there thinned out to provide more grazing.

 

Horses were finally located near the Western Plains of The Island and brought back by Draco to be placed in the taming pen. Of a most unusual surprise was a white mare that turned out to be a unicorn. Ruth has had Joe looking for a male unicorn for her but so far, has had no luck in finding one.

 

Three months ago, Ruth gave birth to twin boys. Two weeks later, Helena and Rose had girls. Things have gone well with the raising of the infants. With silk and cotton being located in the interior highlands, thanks to a recon flight Joe had with Draco, the women have been able to fashion diapers and other clothes for the newborns.

 

During the past month, Helena has made a trip to Scorched Earth for a visit via the Red Obelisk for the day. As prearranged, Draco goes out to bring her back to the village. With their new 2 way radios that no one has been able to figure out how they work, she made the call from a safe house built there to store her inventory and clothing since travel requires one to go naked.

 

That evening, everyone sits down to hear her most unusual story. The two dragons and their kids join in on the conversation.

 

“Scorched Earth had certainly changed since I was there last when I got Draco and Paragon. Just before I left, Emperor Nero of the Desert City had captured a Red Alpha Dragon to do battle with his warriors to select the bravest to marry his daughter. Of all the dragons living on Scorched Earth, she had to be one of the nastiest creatures I had ever seen.”

 

“I though sure that I was a goner when I materialized right in front of her at the Red Obelisk, with no place to hide or no way to defend myself.”

 

“I was in shock to find her to be such a gentle creature as she came up to me and asked to get her forehead rubbed. I was equally surprised to find that all of the dragons with her were just as gentle, that they were raising families again, and that they were living in an adobe base some humans had built for them months ago. Most amazing of all is that none of them were ever tamed. They were all wild, even that Red Alpha.”

 

“She asked me about Draco and Paragon. She was most surprise when I told her that you two were raising a family. That had never happened before.”

 

“She then told me her story of what happened the day of her capture and what happened after I left. ‘When I woke up in the arena, I killed the beast master, then struggled to break the chain on my leg restraint. It was so painful pulling on it with those spikes digging into my leg, but I finally snapped the chain holding me to the dungeon pit. Nero’s guards then attacked me, so I flamed them all and flew off to the mountains. Shortly afterwards, a great quake hit the land. The border of the mountain and the Dune Desert split open sending up an ash cloud with lava bombs that destroyed all of the structures and the humans living in them on Scorched Earth. After I burned the camp where the humans that had captured me was living, I flew back to where the other dragons were hiding in the mountains. I spent the next 40 miserable years trying to get that dreadful shackle off of my leg to no avail.’”

 

“‘Then, one day, I became aware of humans once again living on Scorched Earth. My friends wanted to observed them instead of letting me kill them. The pain in my leg got steadily worse until the day I saw humans flying over The Great Split on Argies. I was so sure that the nightmare of stolen eggs was going to start all over again that I ordered the other dragons to attack. When I saw Sleeper fall from the sky, I took out my frustration on Electra for her suggesting that those humans could help me get rid of the shackle. I was screaming from the pain when the chain got caught in the rocks as I flew back to see what had happened to Sleeper. Two days later I was in so much pain that I decided to fly to their camp to ask the humans for their help. It hurt so bad that I no longer cared what would happen to me. I just wanted that awful pain to end. You can imagine my shock when I saw Electra come out to see me with a human riding on her. Even though she was so scared of me, I could see that he was riding her using no restraints at all. So, I asked him for his help. He told me to land in their camp, that he would do what he could to help. I was so disoriented from the pain that the chain got caught on the pen wall as I came in to land. I fell into it screaming from the pain of that impact. It was so bad that I was begging those humans to put me out of my misery. Michael knocked me out with something called a Shock Lance. When I came to, his friends had removed the shackle and were cleaning up the infection it has caused to my leg. Halsey gave me something called Super Test Meat to ease the pain. Michael then gave me some raw meat and water, then asked me how I was feeling. I fell asleep totally exhausted. Michael stayed with me all night. I woke up the next morning pain free for the first time in 40 years. It felt so wonderful that I decided to take Michael for a ride. It was so hard to believe how enjoyable that experience turned out to be.’”

 

“I got to see Electra and the rest of the Scorched Earth Dragons. It was so different to be among them as friends, to ask them questions about their lives. To even be asked to ride on them so that they could show me their nest and other places of interest.”

 

“Most amazing of all was Electra’s mate, Halsey. He was the first frost dragon I have ever seen. Even more amazing is that he told me that he is an Avatar, a human in a dragon’s body created by The Keepers just for Electra when their experiment to see if humans could get along with dragons far exceeded their expectations. He told me that he has direct contact with his human form back on Earth where it is the year 2017, some 64 years into our future.”

 

“I asked him what life was like back on the Earth of 2017. He told me that the Cold War had ended when the Soviet Union had collapsed under the burden of Communism and the cost of the Arms Race. Most of the countries under Soviet control had regained their independence. Germany was united again. China was now an economic superpower trading with the rest of the world. But the world was still not free of the threat of war. There was Islamic terrorism taking place daily. North Korea was still a slave state that now had nuclear weapons and was threatening to go to war with them. Iran was closely following suit. The former Soviet Union was threatening its neighbors again. North Africa and parts of the Middle East had major problems with wars, famine, kidnappings, and refugees fleeing from it all. The world was still a dangerous place where all out war could still take place with the US now sharply divided politically and heading towards the same bankruptcy that had destroyed the Soviets.”

 

“I also found out that there are other human settlements still on the Ark. Nomad and his family, survivors of the Great Quake in a remote area of Scorched Earth, were now living on a nearby place called The Center. The dragon clan of Tammy and Tarmac were living with them. I got to visit them and heard their story of survival after the Great Quake had hit. I flew over there on that amazing Red Alpha who Nomad called his Pretty Girl. Halsey brought me back to the Red Obelisk afterwards so I could get back here.”

 

“What a remarkable difference that experience was with these creatures that had wanted me so dead some 40 years ago.”

 

“I never knew that Tarmac was wild,” answers Draco. “I had always heard that he was Nero’s egg tame.”

 

“He wasn’t,” answers Helena. “He pretended to be one so that he could learn about their behavior so the rest of the dragons could formulate a plan to stop Nero’s beast hunters from kidnapping them and stealing their eggs.”

 

“Did you steal us as eggs out of our nest?” ask Draco.

 

“No,” answers Helena. “I stole your eggs, along with Dragon Milk, from a street vendor, during the night before I left that awful place to live in the wilderness for a while.”

 

“I hate to think what our life would have been like had the street vendor sold us to someone else.” answers Draco.

 

“You really don’t want to know what those people did to their egg tames,” answers Helena. “They were so brutal even to each other.”

 

“Have you been to any of the other Arks besides Scorched Earth and The Center?” ask Larry.

 

“I had made a visit to an alternate Island where Halsey had first visited before he had made the trip to Scorched Earth to be with Electra. In the same area, where our village is located, a tribe of Inca warriors and their families have formed a settlement that became quite advanced using Victorian Era technology. They have turned that Ark into an ecological paradise. Their leader took me to an observatory located deep in Far Peak where they could observe what was happening on other Arks. They told me about Halseys tribe being there before them, how his tribe had defeated a group of raiders known as the Marquis Tribe, then banished them to another Ark. Those raiders continued to advance so quickly in technology as they formed two factions that fought against each other. They turned their Ark into a living hell.

 

I also saw another ark where Sir Edmund Rockwell had gone to visit at the same time I did. It’s inhabitants has damaged it while trying to escape and were forced to live underground. Rockwell went insane in his quest for power turning himself into a monster worse then Mr Hide and killed everyone living there. The surface of that ark became a burning radioactive wasteland by day and a living hell of vicious devils at night. This is where I had Einstein set the control to after we were teleported back to this Ark.

 

“Then, it sounds like each of these thousands of Arks that you, Joe, and Yamahara have seen from the ship are not only self contained worlds, they all work on different time periods with different climates.”

 

“And, time travels at different rates on each of them,” answers Helena.

 

“Do you think that we should go visit any of the different Arks as you did?” ask Joe.

 

“No,” answers Helena. “After that scare I had materializing in front of the Red Alpha, I now realize that such travel can be far too dangerous.”

 

“What if we materialized in front of some creature that promptly ate us for its meal? What if the atmosphere of that Ark was poisonous, or not there at all? What if it was another radioactive death trap like the Aberration Ark? What if we got trapped in a time warp where a day turned out to be a million years on this Ark?”

 

“I was lucky going back to Scorched Earth to find it had advanced 40 years into the future, that the Earth had advanced 64 years, only to come back here the next day, in the same amount of time I spent over there. It is not worth the risk, now that I have a child to raise, Joe as a lifelong companion, my wonderful dragons with their kids, and the rest of you as a family.”

 

“There is plenty to do here to keep us busy for a lifetime. Lets make the most of it and pass that knowledge on to our kids and theirs for generations to come.”

 

And, that is a whole other story in this Land of the Lost.

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