"Rii you're walking too fast!…wait up!" cried Momo…"and where are you going?" Risako didn't slow her pace and instead just gave Momo a glance…an irritable one it appeared. Momo quickly rushed to catch up with her…"why did you?…back there…" she just couldn't bring herself to verbalize the words completely and she could feel her heart beating faster as fear had completely taken over her body. Without looking at her Rii finally replied…"we're not here for a show and there's something else on the island…I heard it earlier when we arrived." "If we're going to survive this we need as many useful items as possible and I don't think the intention is for all of us to leave here……..alive." With the last word she finally stopped walking and put her arms around Momo…"I'm doing this for you…for us…believe me." For the first time since they had arrived Momo sensed the Risako that she knew speaking to her and somehow it had a calming effect on her and when Momo looked up at Risako, Rii's eyes had welled up in tears and so much seemed to be spoken in the silence that passed and for these few minutes Momo dreamed of being back in the UFA studio with all of her fellow group members…if only she could make it back there.
Thunder broke the silence and as quickly as the moment had arrived it soon became an almost distant memory as Rii gathered herself…rubbed Momo gently on the back and once again started up in a quick pace heading deeper into the forest. The difference now was that Momo no longer allowed herself to trail Rii as she walked directly beside her despite having to walk-run a bit to keep up.
What started as a slight drizzle was now a downpour and Kamei used her arms and her uninjured leg to pull herself underneath a small tree that grew almost directly out of the cliff side. The shelter wasn't much and Kamei could still feel herself being drenched by the intense rainfall that had suddenly filled the skies. The day was beginning to look like night and the once lit forest terrain was now darkened by shadows and unknown. Yossi continued to aim the crossbow's site at the edge of the top of the clearing and time seemed to stand still for these anxious moments which now looked to stretch endlessly. The air was now filled with the pounding of rain and after a few more minutes passed the sound of a branch snapping came from directly up ahead. Mikitty strained her eyes to see through the thick follage…"did you hear that?" "I don't see anything….I don't see anything…" replied Yossi in haste. "There!" cried Mikitty…the overbearing sound of the intense rainfall no longer keeping her from raising her voice……and into the clearing the shape of a large animal carrying something in its mouth entered the top of the clearing. Yossi froze! It looked like Sayu she thought…but was she even in the studio earlier? Yossi's mind now seemed to be so cloudy with the day's events and she just couldn't remember…."what is that and what's it carrying?" "I don't know" Mikitty replied…"it looks like a body and some sort of tiger. Mikitty strained her eyes further trying to focus through the thick rain………………"It's Sayu." "Can you hit it from here?" The crossbow's site was now hazy…."but what if I hit Sayu?"…."I don't know how accurate this thing is." Yossi gripped the trigger firmly trying to get a lock on the large animal…."I can't do it………..I might hit Sayu." "Can you tell if she's still alive?" replied Mikitty in a shaky voice….."you have to save Kamei….she can't move…you have to try….you have to…" Yossi gripped the trigger once again but at that very moment the large beast dropped Sayu to the ground and it appeared to gaze towards the tree where Kamei lay although the distance between them was quite far. "Move behind the tree…" a broken voice suddenly spoke. Kamei who'd been weeping the entire time since the beast appeared out of the forest stared back at Sayu…shaking her head…"No you can't do this…" Sayu paused and then spoke again…"Don't forget me Kamei…." in a trembling voice. Just as the beast started to move once again heading in the direction of Kamei, Sayu used the last of her strength to kick the beast on one of its hind legs and it quickly returned its attention to her pouncing and completely covering her and the distinct sound of a metal pin was heard in the array of Sayu's last screams. Kamei quickly pulled herself behind the tree while trying desperately to pull her injured leg from sight…"It's a grenade she screamed up at Yossi and Mikitty!" While wincing in pain Kamei finally got her injured leg behind the tree and in an instant afterwards a loud explosion was heard…an explosion like nothing any of them had ever heard before….
Rii and Momo's pace was now a full sprint as they had been getting nearer and nearer to the voices up ahead…."can you tell what they're saying?" gasped Momo totally out of breath…"No…just keep up with me" replied Rii. And these words had been spoken must moments before a sudden loud explosion had seemed to vibrate the the very ground below them. Rii and Momo stopped abruptly, trying to hear through the thundering skies and endless rain but nothing came but dead silence…an eerie silence. "We should go back" Momo said while shaking uncontrollably….something awful has happened….I can feel it………………it's so quiet." Rii grabbed Momo by the shoulder…"Wait……somethings following us…did you hear that?" At these words Momo's heart froze and she found herself unable to move. "Momo I need you to listen to me very carefully…keep going straight in the direction we were heading I'll catch up…I promise." "I can't go without you Rii!…how will I know if I'm going in the right direction…I want to go with you." "You still have that compass right?….you can use that to make sure you're going in the right direction…it's north." Rii was now crying too…."you can do this Momo…I believe in you……….now hurry." "What are you going to do?" "There's no time to explain….keep heading north…please….I will find you I promise…go now Momo." Something in Momo's heart told her that she would never see Rii again as she headed away from her and towards the north of the island….alone.
Rii reached into her backpack searching for the then seemingly silly "Scoobie Snacks" that she'd been given upon arrival on the island…that bleached headed guy's going to pay she thought to herself. The "Scoobie Snacks" had an unusually strong odor and Rii began scattering a few pieces in a trail leading from where she and Momo had stopped, and from there heading slightly towards the west and she made sure to keep her pace as quick as possible. She then headed back towards the south and then towards the west again creating a decoy path that she hoped would buy them some time all the while making sure not to use all of the "Scoobie Snacks." Rii finally reached the westernmost part of the island where the terrain was rocky and instead of a beach being there she was greeted by a familiar cliff where she had led Aichan to…what seemed liked ages ago. Rii didn't dare look over the cliff's edge and instead led the path of "Scoobie Snacks" up to the very edge and then started backtracking the path she had made all the while making sure to keep a safe distance from the actual path of treats that she'd strategically laid down in case whatever had been following them was closer than what she'd anticipated. Rii finally reached the area in which she had parted with Momo and from there began her sprint towards the north….Please Momo be okay…she thought to herself as dread began to fill her mind in an uncontrollable manner.
Momo could finally see a clearing up ahead in the short distance and she slowed her pace…stopping….surveying up ahead…and then continuing cautiously. She could see a large mountainous region in the background but not much else through the trees as the rain hadn't let up….and she suddenly stepped into a puddle and upon looking down it didn't appear to be water…it was blood. Momo's heart started beating frantically again and looking around her the trees were covered in blood and many were splintered with what appeared to be flesh….fur….or what was it? Momo felt suffocated by the trees in their ghastly appearance and darted straight towards the opening but upon slipping in more blood she found herself falling forward and sliding right up to the edge where the clearing and forest met. "There!…it's another one" cried Mikitty…."hit it this time!" And without hesitation Yossi pulled the trigger in haste…."Nooo!!" another voice cried below and glancing back for an instant Momo once again, saw Rii………..as she dove in front of her…the arrow finding its mark straight through Rii's side. Yossi looked down in horror as she now saw clearly that it wasn't another beast but instead Momo…staring back at her………screaming "what have you done……….Rii!!!!!"
To be continued by wu-san…