Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Return to Matainui - Day 2

During the night I got little sleep, so I zipped open the tent door and tried resting with my head outside. I looked up at the black sky. And it was actually black. All of it. For some reason there were no stars at all. Just a pitch black sky. Then out of the corner of my eye, a stray silver light slowly moved across the night sky. It continued to progress until it was right above, then it paused. It stayed there for a few moments, then started to move in the same direction, then accelerated before it blitzed out of sight. What on earth was that? or more like, what out of earth was that? and why did it stop right above my head?. I decided to think about it in the morning and went back to sleep.

I woke up with my head still outside the tent, and heard a few birds chirping. More birds joined in. Their calls were so unique, like something i had never heard before. More and more birds continued contributing their calls to the symphony, and it got louder and louder. Then the noise got too loud. It still climbed in volume, until it was deafening. I zipped the tent closed to filter out some of the sound, but it was still deafening. Asser and Ben woke up to the dawn chorus, and quickly clamped their ears with their hands. I saw Ben's mouth moving but couldn't hear him above the ruckus. I don't know how but Marek was still asleep.

Half an hour had passed since the dawn chorus had started, and now we could hear each other if we shouted. It continued to get quieter and quieter until there were just a few birds singing. I opened the tent and walked out with the survival blanket wrapped around me. It was a bit windy. Asser and Ben walked out of the tent, and I could see that Marek was just awaking.

"Mornin' my boys. Any food left?"

"No. We need to find a tree with fruit or catch something and eat it." Ben sat down thinking, probably about getting food and probably because he was very hungry.

"We could hunt something" Marek suggested. I've got a hunting knife in my bag" He opened his backpack and pulled out a sharp knife.

"What are you planning on hunting?" I retorted, "there's probably only birds on this island. "

"Look over there!" Asser pointed at the treeline, and we all saw a small Moa. It was about 5 foot tall. Marek leaped out of the tent and ran at the Moa with the knife. It was to nimble and quick for him, and it fled into the forest. "Great. now what!?" Marek threw his knife on the ground in frustration.

"We can still get it" Ben rebutted. "We just need to think smarter. Look! there it is, behind those trees. Try sneaking up on it. Use stealth." Marek picked up his hunting knife, then crept a few metres along the tree line. He went behind the first tree, then slowly moved towards the Moa in a low stance. Me Asser and Ben watched him as he got a few feet away from the Moa. He then lunged at the thought-to-be extinct creature, but it was still to quick for him. It dodged his stab and fled deeper into the forest. Marek ccame out of the bush into the beach, shouting profanities at the air. "What if we tried attack it from long range, maybe with a spear?" Ben suggested.
Marek ran off and climbed up a tree, snapping off an elegantly straight branch, He ran back to the tent with the stick and hunting knife. Marek was fiddling around in the tent, then came out with a spear cheaply made spear put together from the branch, his hunting knife, and some nylon string to bound them together. He waited until he could see the Moa from the beach. He then launched his home made spear through the air. It flailed in the air, and hit the ground with its blunt end, missing the Moa completely.
"We've tried everything!" Marek complained. "We'll just starve to death. Stupid field trip"
"We haven't tried everything. What if we surrounded it so then it would have nowhere to run to." I suggested.
"One more try, then we call it quits and starve to death" Marek agreed.
We better catch it. I'm hungry as" Ben droned on. Asser didn't want to help kill it, so me, Marek and Ben took up positions surrounding the Moa in a triangle. We closed the gap around the Moa. It suddenly bolted, then Marek and Ben moved towards each other making a wall. The Moa halted and and tried to turn around, but I ran at it before it could and took out its legs. Ben helped me hold it down as it wriggled around like a fire hose. Marek stabbed it multiple times, even though it was long dead before he finished. I turned my heads toward the beach and saw Asser tending to a fire. "Help me carry this thing to the fire" Marek requested.

We were lucky enough to have Marek with us, because he had the skills to pluck the Moa, skin it, and gut it. It was quite gruesome, but food was food. He drove his spear through meat and spit roasted it through the fire. "I can't believe we caught a Moa" proclaimed Ben, with a proud look on his face. We all sat around the fire, and Asser came out of the tent with something in his hand. "We better get moving and find some of the others, if they're still alive. But first we need to find out where we are. Help me out here" Asser put a map down on the sand, and I examined it carefully with him like two archaeologists. Looking towards the treleine from the beach i could see a large mountain covered in forrest on the left hand side. On the map there were three mountains, two of them larger than the other. One of the larger ones was right next to the small mountan, and from our view, We could only see one. So we figured out that we were on one of the beaches on the side of mountain, but we weren't sure wich. One was a sort of a straight line, and the other one was like a bay. From where we were we had a lovely view, and the land curved in like a bay, so we fiured out we were on the bay by the lone mountain.
"Ok, we know where we are." Asser Remarked, "We should go to this beach on the other side of the mountain. There might be other people there."
"True. Should we go around the mountain or through the forrest?"I questioned Asser, they were both dangerous paths."
"Well the bush probably has no track to the beach and we cold get attacked by a Moa or giant bird. If we go around the mountain it could be rocky and narrow at some points, but we could find stuff that washed up on the cliffs. So we should go around the mountain."
"Alright. What you said." I was amazed by Asser's thinking, he wasn't usually like this in class. But this is something totally different to class.

After we gobbled down our Moa we packed up the tent and all the gear. Asser instructed what our plans were for the day.

On the way around the mountain, down a short rocky cliff, there were two bags. "Look!" I shouted.
"Sweet, some bags" Marek said. He carefully lifted them to ground level with his budget spear he had quickly reassembled.
"Oh my lord, it my bag!" While I was celebrating the discovery of my backpack, Ben was celebrating his afterMarek lifted up the second one. Luckily we had both wrapped all our gear in plastic so it was still dry, and there was some lunch. We also had some cooked Moa left over that Asser was carrying.

When we got to the beach, we were hungry again. Asser grabbed his flint and whipped up another fire. He got a metal bucket from one of the bags, and filled it up with salt water from the ocean and started boiling it so that when it was cool we would be able to drink it. We had some Moa and and some of the food from Me and Ben's lunch boxes that hadn't gone rotten. After our late lunch we still had enough Moa left to last us one or two meals. After seeing the weird light this morning, I was staring up at the sky looking for something suspicious. Then i saw a cylinder about two feet high and 7 feet across, descend from the sky into the centre of the sky.
"Look at that!" I blurted. Asser Ben and Marek all gazed in wonder at the cylinder, before it disapeared through the trees.
"What was that?" Questioned Asser, as confused as I was.
"Follow it!" Demanded Marek.
"No, we should go up the mountain and get a good vantage point" I suggested. We all agreed and went to the mountain. As we approached it we thought it would slope like a normal mountain, but it was stepped. And each step was about 5 foot 5 high, and covered in bush.
"What the-"
"lets get up there quickly. Before it gets dark. We still haven't set up camp" I interrupted Marek. Climbing the steps was hard, very hard.
We were about 10 or 20 steps from the top of mountain, and we were all exasperated. We climbed one more final step and found a clearence in the ground large enough for us to set up our tent. We couldn't see the mysterious cylinder thing from where we were, nor could we see any signs of other human life.

We devoured some of the cold Moa we had, and there was still enough left to last us until breakfast.
hhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm hhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm
"Do you hear that?" asked Marek. "Listen." There was a slight humming noise coming from the top of the mountain. We were all wondering what it was.
" I'm going to check it out" Marek scoffed the rest of his Moa and leapt up the stepped mountain. As he went out of sight I told Ben and Marek " This island is really...queer. Strange if you know what I mean. That flying cylinder, the weightlessness and mysterious weather on the plane, The stepped mountain. It's been grown over with bush, which means it's pretty old or someones gone out of their way to hide something" We exchanged our thoughts of the journey until dark fell, then Marek came running back down the step above us. "Guys you'll never beleive it - Haylee and stuff are in this square building thing in the top step of the mountain. It was Hi-tech as, I saw this forcefield thing, lots of screens and all this weird stuff! They kicked me out and locked their blast doors. Come check it out!" He was in a rush to get things out of his mouth.
"Why did they kick you out?" I asked Marek.
"I did kind of attack them"
"What were you thinking you fool! come on, lets go." Retorted Asser. As we were climbing up the steps Marek kept telling us things, like how it looked like a spaceship control room from a science fiction television show. We got to the top, and the last step was a large square with heavy blast doors. "When I was inside I could see stuff that was outside, it was like some sort of one way invisible wall" Marek walked up to the blast doors and banged on them with his fist. He tried miming that he wanted them to let us in. After a few minutes of banging and miming the blast doors slowly opened. Marek rushed in and Me, Ben and Asser, slowly followed him in.
We were astonished at the sight. Marek was right, it was very high - tech. I doubt that any human could have built this. There were buttons on a dashboard with strange markings on them. "Ok, Here are the rules you guys. You are in our shelter and you owe us full respect for giving you a place to stay" Hayley informed us. "And no, we do not know anything about this room or what it does, so don't bother asking." Sure, i thought to myself.
"If you're all up here why didn't you bother looking for anyone else!? They could be on the verge of death for crying out loud. You up high on this mountain, it's a great lookout point" I was unnecessarily speaking with the tone I was, but i thought I did make a clear point.
"Well we are more worried about ourselfs more than anyone else. We are-"
"Hey what do you think you're doing! get your mits of our stuff!" Marek outbursted, and ran at Maddi and co who were trying to steal our bags. He startd brawling with them. Maddi managed to escape Marek's grasp as he gaurded the bags. "Maddi, what was that for?" Haylee inquisited. I could tell she was lieing. They plotted to do this.
"What was that for! we aint done nothing, and try to take everything we have! you selfish..." I had a word to describe them, but it wasn't worth it. "We'll just stay here for the night, and sort things out in the morning."
"Fine then." Ben and Asser went back down the stepped mountain to retrieve some gear for us to sleep on while I stayed inside the control room with Marek incase he lashed out on Dilshen, Maddi, Kim, Haylee or Kieran. The moments were tense until Ben and Asser returned with survival blankets and what not.
"I'm just going to sleep in the tent. Someone has to look after it anyway." Marek said. As he approached the blast doors, Kieran pushed a blue square button and they slowly opened again.
"Now we're safe" Kieran sighed. Not another word was spoken and we slept in two different areas of the room.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Return to Matainui - Day 1

The engines started to grumble, the Grumman Albatross started to move, and my class had just started our journey to Matainui island. The hefty sea plane began circling around in the water. "this is your pilot speaking, secure your belongings and buckle your seatbelts, we are now departing for Matainui island" The voice that just rang over the plane's speaker phone sounded familiar. And young. I paused and pondered, then turned to Asser in the seat next to me. "Why is Sam our pilot? He's only 11!" I blurted.
"I know aye. this boat with wings won't even make it out of the water with him behind the wheel." Asser didn't sound too worried, and I don't even think he had realised that the Grumman Albatross had just gone airborne. We were flying at least, so Sam must have been trained somewhere by someone.

After about 20 minutesI pressed my head against the window next to me, and could make out the shore of the island. Then I turned my head right, and saw some grey storm clouds beginning to gather. The weather forecast didn't say anything about any storm clouds. In fact I recalled the forecast predicting a clear blue sky all day. As the time passed, the clouds got thicker and thicker, darker and darker. Before long the plane was completely engulfed in dark clouds. Suddenly, something strange happened. It was as if the gravity had bee turned off. Weight didn't exist any more. Some people in front of me and Asser took of their seatbelts and tried flying in the weightlessness. BANG! the loud sound of thunder reached our ears, followed by strikes of lightning. Rain started pounding down on the plane. The weather doesn't just change like that. It can't. I felt something weird happen to my body, and realised the gravity had switched itself back on. Marek had been thrown to the isle floor after his so called flight, and he got snagged on someone else's chair. The loud bangs continued, as did the forked flashes. Our trip had already turned into a disaster, and I was beginning to worry. There was another really loud bang. I looked out my window, and saw that the wing was on fire. One of the turbines exploded, deafening me and everyone around me. A small fraction of the wing blew off in the explosion, then it started to tear only a few feet from the plane body. A loud boom, and the wing was gone. the plane engines started to whine. This just emulated my panic. The plane swiftly began a dive on a 45 degree angle. The speed of the switch from regular flight to dive threw me against the roof of the cabin. I fell to the isle floor, rubbing my back to ease the pain. My ears tuned in to the screaming of all my classmates. I tried to stand up but stumbled backwards and began sliding down the isle. Asser tried to halt me by grabbing my foot. Gravity was against us and Asser fell out of his chair as he leaned to his left. Everything had happened so suddenly, it felt unrealistic. The plane's hatch was ripped off its hinges, and I was sliding staight for it. Before I knew it I was free falling, pointlessly yelling for help only to quickly find myself with a mouthful of water. I broke to the surface, and air appeared scarce to intake. There was nothing but strong water currents and dark skies to accompany me. I couldn't see a thing. There was no land insight, and I let the current carry me.

Half an hour after floating in the ocean's current, I saw signs of other life. Potentially dangerous life. Three, black dorsal fins, only 10 metres from my where abouts. Taking no risks I froze, and tilted my head to a beautiful sight. Land. Sweet land. A small sandy beach to be precise. The current was no longer with me, so I slowly directed my body towards land, avoiding the three fins. My feet were in the wet sand in the shallow sea, and I walked towards the shore. I collapsed myself on the beach, gasping for breath. After a few minutes, I yelled out. "Is anybody here!? Hello? its me! Jordan!" I lifted my head, and saw the beached turned straight to bush. And in that bush, there was something, 8 feet tall, moving about. I froze again, and kept my distance from the thick bush. I started to back away, and felt something against the back of my foot. Before I knew it I was on my back. I thought I had tripped over something, then lifted my head and saw two backpacks. Joy started to flow through my blood, I had never been so happy to see a backpack before. Examining the rather stuffed bags, I found out they belonged to Asser and Marek. Instantly my thoughts flashed back to when Asser had tried to save me but himself ended up on the verge of death. "Hello! Who are you!" I quickly turned around and saw Marek and Asser swimming towards shore. "Your alive!"I cried
"So are you" The sound of another human voice never sounded sweeter. You never really appreciate something until you don't have it anymore.
"Look! I found your backpacks" I Informed Asser and Marek.
"Sweet as, we could build some shelter" came the reply.
"Whos there!?" another new voice approached our ears.
"Ben! come join the party" said Marek as he ran towards shore in his dripping wet clothes to help him to his feet.
"Where is everyone else?" Ben gasped, shocked.
" No idea. It's just us four for now" I said in a tone that I hope would imply I was in control.
"Well then, what do we now?"
"I have a tent in my backpack, we should set it up and use it as shelter" Asser interrupted.
"great, but we can't do it in that bush because there's probably no clearance on the ground, and plus I saw something about 8 feet tall moving through there. I think it could be Moa, but I'm not entirely sure." Me and Asser began discussing ideas about setting up the tent.
" Why don't we set the tent up on the beach?"
" The pegs won't stay in the sand, its too fine." I replied.
" What if we hold them in the sand with something heavy?"
" Good thinking, Me Marek and Ben will go and find some heavy rocks or logs." Asser started to set up the tent while the rest of us gathered heavy stuff to hold down the pegs. After our temporary home was built, eating popped into our heads. Asser and Marek grabbed their lunch boxes and rationed their food with me and Ben.
"We'll stay here for the night, then tomorrow we'll have to find some food. After we've eaten we'll pack up the tent and look for the others" I stated.

I was looking out to sea and saw A huge, dark cloud. It looked as if it was encircling the entire of Matainui island. It was about a kilometre out. Then the clouds got closer. And closer. They kept advancing towards land until they were only 100 odd metres from the shore. Mysterious, I thought. A lot of mysterious things have happened so far. Weightlessness, sudden weather changes... how mysterious.

After the blackness of the night had taken over the sky, we hopped in the tent, and whipped out some survival blankets from Asser's backpack.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Return to Matainui - Preparation

After the discover of the 4 Matai islands, and the land claims by 4 classrooms, one of these class' decide to go back to their island, Matainui. My class. The island has never before been touched by human life, and is expected to have dense forest and plenty of bird life. There are 3 known mountains, a large lake, multiple rivers, beaches, and mixed vegetation. Due to transport methods to Matainui island, our luggage is limited to the clothes on our back and the contents of our backpacks, which in my case, is a rough 10 items. I have strategically chosen these items in accordance to my group, which consists of me, Josiah, Grayson, Samuel, and Leon. So, lets have a peek at what i am bringing to Matainui...
1. A 2 litre drink bottle, filled with water.
2. A swan dry
3. A 25 square foot tarpaulin
4. A roll of nylon string
5. A Hatchet (small axe)
6. 10 black rubbish bags/black sacks, in a roll.
7. A survival blanket
8. Another survival blanket
9. A metal, 3 litre bucket.
10. Swiss army knife.

Everyone is excited about their trip, yet at the same time a a bit nervous. We will be traveling in a Grumman sea plane, 1 week from now.
until then....

-Winged Hussar