Omega 8

Omega 8 Island. Base Camp. 2019

It finally found me.

It came sprinting out of the forest while I was sleeping off a hangover on the beach, the tropical breeze washing over me, tucked in tight above the waves, minding my own business. I opened my eyes in time to see it burst through the trees—terrible and with purpose—teeth sharp and menacing inside a bird-like beak. The head was large, like a mutant ostrich. Its neck was stretched low in a swooping attack, arms outstretched in a promise of bloody death. The body, green like the leaves of the forest canopy, with deep red and light green ruffled feathers that flashed in the sunlight as the beast bared down upon me. Two powerful, lean legs moved the creature forward on giant three-toed feet, a large black nail on the larger and inner toe.

It gripped my thigh in a bite as strong as any great white shark. I screamed in agony as it thrashed me against the sand and pulled me toward the forest. I went for my machete—my chosen weapon since arriving on Omega 8 for this cursed mission six months ago—but the leather grip slipped from my sweaty palm. The monster dragged me over a sand dune, a bloody smear in my wake.

I felt myself losing consciousness as my head cracked against the hard roots of a tree. A thick, low-hanging branch struck me across the cheek, and I spit out a gooey, bloody tooth to the ground. The blue sky disappeared beneath green canopy shortly before a cold blackness washed over me.

I awoke in a clearing deep in the jungle. An eye of sky above me announced the arrival of night. Stars blinked down upon me and strange chirping noises surrounded me. I rested upon an earthy, musky bed of debris. Half eaten bodies surrounded me. I feared to look too closely, for they might be the remains of Reba and the others.

I lifted my head up with all my remaining strength and turned my attention to my leg. Below the knee was nothing but shredded bone. I began to cry out, my shock turning quickly to panic. I turned my head to the left and right, but I saw no sign of the monster. And yet in the jungle distance I heard the most fearsome roar. Chills ran up and down my body. The starlight dimmed. The chirping grew quiet. The roar could only have come from one source: the monster I was sent here to find.

Omega 8 was not what I expected. I thought we were prepared. Bringing that bottle of whiskey was a bad idea. I drank the bottle the night before, shortly after Reba disappeared. Sober, I might have had a chance against the beast. At least as escaping.

Back at base camp, our research into this undiscovered island awaits. Will anyone find it before it’s swept under the sands of time? I was the last of us. The research is the only warning for those that follow.