Welcome back, agents. I would like to assuage your concerns over the lack of a briefing last week. Our special station had been hacked into and it was not safe to post anything. But not to worry, Agent Felicity led a team of techs and they were able to take down the enemy NEOs behind the attack and bring them into custody.
Now, onto the postponed briefing. Agent Williams and Agent Rogers are here to give us some insight and commentary on an excerpt from their story and the next case file to be released by our agency, Castaways. Agent Rogers, Williams, so glad you could join us today.
Agent Williams: Yes, well, we didn’t have much of a choice, now did we?
Agent Rogers (giving her partner a pointed look): Of course, it’s our pleasure. But what part of our adventure on the island are we revisiting?
Me: Oh, just the scene with you, your young cousin, and the boar.
Agent Rogers (shuddering): Oh, yes, a life-threatening moment. I suppose it would have been too difficult to find one that wasn’t.
Agent Williams (protectively placing his hand on his partner’s shoulder and glaring at me): If this is really necessary, can we just get it done and over with already?
Me: Very well. We’ll jump in right after Agent Rogers and young Mary-Ann went for the blueberries…
Mary-Ann reaches spazatically toward me until I hand her a coconut shell from breakfast. Then we both begin picking blueberries, the juicy bulbs round and soft beneath my fingers. My fingers which get stained blue each time I accidentally put too much pressure on the delicious smelling things. Mmm, blueberries...
Agent Rogers (frowning): How on earth did you get my inner monologue recorded?
Me: That’s classified. Let’s continue, shall we?
Suddenly, a piercing scream disturbs the pastoral scene.
I jerk up and whirl around to see Mary-Ann- and just a few yards past her, a huge, disgustingly hairy boar with massive tusks that does not seem happy to see us.
The creature has already seen us, but remains at a stand-still for now, eying us up even as I maintain eye contact, scared of making that creature of death charge. Mary-Ann remains equally frozen, staring at it in abject terror.
Agent Rogers (paling): I remember this all too well…
Agent Williams (squeezing Rogers’ hand): There, there- it’s all past now, remember?
“Mary-Ann,” I whisper so calmly I wonder if it's even my voice. “Walk toward me, sweetheart. Slowly.”
Mary-Ann obediently takes one faltering step backwards, still not taking her eyes off the boar. And the boar thankfully doesn't budge.
“That's a good girl now. Keep it slow.”
She takes another faltering step. Then she cries out in fear and rushes behind me.
Agent Rogers: To think, if I had done one wrong move…
Agent Williams (glaring at me again): How could you be doing this to her? You’ve read her medical files; you know what she struggles with.
Me (Well, this is awkward… Oh, is that my own inner monologue showing up? How unnerving. I need to stop thinking before I accidentally betray-)
The boar seems to take that as a challenge, and scrapes the dirt with his hooves, preparing to charge.
“Don't just stand there!” an unfamiliar voice calls. “Run!”
Frantic, I glance around for a tree we can take shelter in. Then I grab Mary-Ann and rush toward the nearest one I can find.
I can hear the sound of hooves hitting the ground behind us, then a whoosh, then a very angry pig grunt. But I don't stop. I don't look back.
I'm going to get gouged in the back.
Agent Williams (standing up abruptly): That’s it-
Agent Rogers (grabbing his hand): No, I’m fine. I want to see how this ends.
Agent Williams (frowning at her curiously before sitting back down): Very well then.
“Mary-Ann, I need you to grab that branch!” I yell, picking her up all the way and shoving her upwards, higher and easier than I normally could've.
I'm going to get gouged in the back.
To Mary-Ann's credit, she grabs on right away before just dangling there. Then I jump up and grab the branch myself and pull myself up.
I- I didn't get gouged in the back.
Breathless, I settle myself onto of the branch before helping Mary-Ann the rest of the way up and then clinging to her as the boar rams itself into the tree. I have to reach up and grab the next branch to keep us from falling backwards.
“Look!” Mary-Ann cries, pointing down.
At the arrows protruding from the boar's back.
Me: There, it’s over. That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
Agent Rogers: No, I suppose not. Just really eerie- Christopher?
Agent Williams (standing up broodingly and moving toward the door): I think it’s time to go now.
Agent Rogers (smiling to herself): I do believe we’ve stumbled across one of Christopher’s less favorite memories now. Well, if we’re relieved of duty-
Me: Yes, you are excused.
Emily Rogers thought nothing could be worse than her family moving across the ocean. When the unthinkable happens and the ship goes down, she realizes just how wrong she is. Now she’s stranded on a deserted island with her two young cousins and Christopher Williams, the boy who refused to leave until all the women and children were safe.
But the island hides many secrets and holds many dangers. As they fight to survive and hold onto hope, one unsettling question rises above the others. Is the island really deserted?
Join us next week, agents, for a spotlight on Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe, and how it inspired Castaways, courtesy of Agent Deanna. Until then, try not to do anything that might get you brain-wiped. Cio!