It took a while before anyone wanted to poke the elephant in the room, but eventually George could stand it no longer. He brought himself to a seated position by locking his arms behind him and asked Summer, “Is Simon going to die?”
“Ah man, George. I don't know. I hope not. His fever is probably from an infection. Probably all he needs is a little antibiotic cocktail. Hell, even Advil would help. But these are not exactly available to us at the moment, so he's going to have to fight it off by himself.”
“But can he get a fever just from being injured?”
“Not that bad. It's common for people with broken bones, for example, to get a low grade fever because their body is suddenly going through a lot at the moment, but Simon's was exceptionally high.”
“Oh God. Like he contracted some exotic tropical bug?”
“Well... that would certainly explain the fever.”
“Now hold on for a second, George. Sickness from a bug wouldn't present itself this quickly. There's no way Simon's got some tropical disease.”
This seemed to mollify George enough to keep his questions at bay for the time being.
Until James wondered aloud, “Unless he was sick before he even got on that plane.”
“James!” Summer nearly punched him for saying that.
“Well, think about it for a sec. We were on the mainland for what, three days? That's plenty of time to pick up... something. And Simon is a great pilot, right? I mean, he's flown us all over the place and we've never ever had even a hint of a problem, right?”
Nobody answered, so James prompted again, “Right?”
“He's a great pilot, yes,” Summer said.
“So how does a great pilot crash in the middle of nowhere unless there's a storm or some kind of equipment failure. And let me remind you guys, we haven't seen a drop of rain since we left the States, so it wasn't a storm. But if he was already sick – feverish, judgment impaired, what have you, then it makes total sense that we end up on this deserted island.”
“Maybe,” was all Summer could say. The night of the crash she had been pretty inebriated, just as James and George had been, and the events of the crash had happened so quickly that all of it was like a miasma of bad flashes of memory inside her skull. Simon had made sure they all got into their parachutes safely before pushing them out the door. She remembered tumbling through the night sky like a lottery ball until the chute popped open, whereupon she was pretty sure she had then puked all over herself. She remembered seeing the lush canopy of trees as they approached the island.
But everything was a jumbled mess inside her head.
Then George asked something she was surprised she hadn't even thought of, “Are we sure this IS an island? How ironic would it be if we were only ten miles away from some swank Miami resort?”
“We're in the Pacific, hon.”
“Then Hawaii, I don't care! You're missing the point, Summer.”
“No, no, I get it,” she turned to James and asked, “are we even sure this is an island? Is there a mountain or hill or a really tall friggin' tree we can climb to get our bearings?”
“Nah. Just a pissload of fauna. I can't see twenty feet from me when I'm in that jungle, but from what I can tell this place is flat as a board.”