Landon had the most terrible time in Peru, but this went according to plan.  Of course, his memory wasn’t allowed to extend pass certain events anyway. They disallowed him any one-on-one time with his supposed wife, and was soon drugged on the Jungle floor.  Landon, of course, wouldn’t know how he was knocked unconscious, but many saw how it was done this time.

The tall man stooped in for a victorious kiss, and the Companion, true to her role, met her lips with his. They kissed for an especially long time, but Anna had pricked the back of his exposed neck with a dart, and Landon soon collapsed to the leaf laden ground at their feet. Two people picked him up and packed him away like luggage, but the Companion was absorbed not on her pretend husband, but the Leader who suffered a terrible fall.

She was navigating her way through the thick foliage of the jungle, and would have made it to her destination had the Writer not interfered.  They argued for a long while at the base of a large tree before being scooted away by people she didn’t know, but recognized only as helpers. These people set things up, packed things away, and provided things for the actors, but did not speak to them about anything.

The Companion wasn’t present when Jan recounted the horrible news about the Leaders’ demise, nor was she around when he introduced himself.  The actors disregarded this; they heard the second argument between the Writer and the Companion and decided she had tucked herself away for the time, or was rehearsing lines, or perusing her wardrobe. The Companion was particular about this adventure. 

But now the entourage was half-way across the world, zipped there via the Venture Craft that seemed to jet them to their destinations faster than they realized.  Of course, the time was broken apart by conversation.  The actors spoke at length between each other, brainstormed, shared stories, and yes, mourned the death of the Leader. 

At one point, a bottle of strong German liquor was passed between the actors.  The Writer quaffed his share, plus one more for the Companion who never drank, then another because he was cold and the substance warmed his inside. 

Then the Writer took one last swig and shoved the remains of the bottle to the Invigilator.  He got up, stumbled his way through the Venture Craft, and out into the holding bay.  The Writer barely knew they landed, but he did know that the group was someplace very cold, even though he couldn’t find any windows to assure him of this discovery.

He found the Companion pacing between large cargo boxes.  The helpers were busy setting up things, but did not heed the lady, nor the other actors. However, the Writer did, and he picked a path through the debris to his girl. 

“Elizabeth, babe,” the Writer began, “Listen .. alls I’m saying is that you seem to be getting close to this Landon fellow.”

Elizabeth sighed for the tenth thousand time, “Edward, listen. I’m just trying to do my job here.”

They were about to argue for the third time in forty-eight hours, but the Writer noticed, even through his alcohol induced buzz, that she was troubled by something completely different than Landon. The way she paced to and fro, her emotionless gaze, and even the tone of her voice signalled this clearly. 

But Edward slammed his fist on a cargo box, attempting to captivate her attention.  The sound reverberated loudly through the holding bay, and some actors took heed to the couple.

“The way you kissed him!” Edward stated, as if he was asked what the underlying issue was, “You don’t even kiss me like that.”

Calmly, Elizabeth turned to Edward, as if finally noticing her fiance’ for the first time. She bit her lower lip, and shook her head in disgust. He anticipated a firm retort,  an angry barrage of words, or even a slap, but she gave neither.  Instead, he was met with more silence, and a troubled look plastered across her face.

“Wha, .. what is it?”  Edward ultimately asked.  He was defeated by her unfaltering speechlessness.

Etched across her face was a genuine look of perplexity, but she spoke assertively,  drawing about her words as if she had knowledge of something he, nor any other actors had.

“Did you happen to see the Leaders’ body?”

The End

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