Day 1 – Weak and Fearful
I woke up groggy and disoriented on a beach. My hands looked scarred and burnt, but fortunately they didn’t hurt but my head is throbbing. Curious squirrels, tropical trees, and blooming flowers greeted me, drawing my attention to a trail. As I moved, each step takes twice as much effort as it should. My vision constantly went blurry and fever threatened to take over, reminding me why I’m here.
Going the slightest grade uphill made my legs burn. Already exhausted and dehydrated, I figured a dip in the bay would be less tiring. But within seconds, I started to sink beneath the surface–I am too tired to swim. After spitting out saltwater in the sand, my fever took over. I worry that I may have made a grave mistake.
I summoned what strength I had to limp along the visible trail and come upon a shed. My hope of finding help was deferred when I was greeted by a bloody note sitting on a table. Drops of blood pulled my eyes to a corpse with a knife in it. Overcome with dread my mind began to race. Who killed this man? Are they still here? Am I in danger too? Were they after the note? If so, why did they leave it? I searched for a shovel to bury the poor soul. But I found none. So I reviewed the note, it contained instructions on how to synthesize a cure for my terminal plague.
All I have to do is combine some wild indigenous plants and synthesize a cure.
In the distance, I saw an outpost. Inside, I discovered enough supplies to make my chemist’s heart flutter: examination trays, sample racks, and synthetic chemicals: complete with a synthesis station. It was all the things I would need to examine the local plant life and turn them into useful drugs.
Within minutes, I had found my first two flowers: a white/pink viola and a pink-white prairie flower. I could synthesize the viola into acetaminophen. This helped to put off the fevers for the time being. But if I added the pink-white prairie flower to the mix, it amplified the effects and served as something of an extra-strength pain reliever. I stocked-up before heading out.
I pushed further down the trail, thinking I could run like I used to. It was only a few seconds before I was exhausted and in desperate need of water. I found this tiny cabin that I’m now resting in. I’m still exhausted. But at least I found a canteen with some water in it. I shudder at the thought: it probably belonged to the murdered gentleman that I left rotting in the middle of the trail.
Day 2 – Learning to Find My Way
I woke up, checked my journal, and filled my canteen. In another wooden shack up the trail, I found a beginner’s guide to cartography. Next to it, I found a blank paper and a pencil: tools to start my map. Then I learned the most important lesson about making a map: triangulation.
As long as I can see two familiar landmarks, I can draw-in where I presently am on my map. This has served me very well though it is a laborious process. I am learning to take diligent notes of my surroundings and rely on my compass.
I explored the area for a bit, trying to get familiar with the concept of triangulation I start adding unfamiliar landmarks to my map from my present angle. I’ll have to spot them again from a different angle to get their exact location, but I am growing more confident in my ability to venture out into the jungle for plants without getting lost.
Day 3 – Medicine and Addiction
I found some sunflowers. I’ve never been so excited to find a plant before. Are these the kinds of things that are going to make me better?
Back at the outpost’s examination tray, I discovered that my sunflower is useless. But on the way back, I found a fungus that proved useful for creating a mental stimulant. I may still be weak, but I need to be on the lookout for whoever put the knife in that guy’s back. I’ll need all my wits. And I can’t shake the notion that I’m being watched. I just hope that I don’t get addicted to this stuff as I don’t have the time to conduct a full analysis of the stimulant.
Continuing down the path, I saw another shack in the distance. But I wasn’t watching the sun. It suddenly got very dark. I pulled my lighter out to see the path at my feet. I wanted to venture further, but the darkness was too dangerous, I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of me. I ducked into the shack and found a map leading to “Outpost Vega.” Maybe somebody’s there? Maybe that’s where the murderer is? There’s a grimy bed in this shack. I collapsed into it.
Day 4 – Getting Lost
I thought I was good at reading a map. I got terribly lost today trying to find the trail to Outpost Vega. I panicked and lost any sense of reference or direction. After several hours of panicked wandering, I finally found a path. I stuck to it, but it seemed to go on for hours.
Then at last, found two tents. In one, I found a map. It didn’t make much sense–it seems to only apply to a completely different side of the island from where I last triangulated my position. Fortunately I was able to use it to locate a few relevant landmarks.
Outpost Vega looks like pipe dream now. I don’t know how to get there. But I might be on the right path towards the murderer. I found another corpse, this time with an axe in it. Also, on a note in the other tent, I discovered the name of this island: Eden. I’m starting to feel like I’m the butt of some cruel joke.
Perhaps this “Eden” is exactly as Adam left it: full of humanity’s sin, murder, corruption, and disease. Yes, the beauty of God’s Creation is all around me. But I feel abandoned. Maybe God truly has left Eden? Maybe he has left me …
Day 8 – Running for My Life
Oh my God! OH MY GOD! So much has happened. So much.
Last night, the sun went down before I could find my way back to shelther and I panicked. My fever flared and I stumbled blindly for hours until I cam upon a tent. I woke up in a tent on a coastline with only a vague idea of where I was. I tried to head back the way I came, but I was lost again. In a stroke of madness, I left the trail. Stupid, I know. But my foolishness soon paid off: I soon found ancient ruins in a swamp with a peculiar flower in their midst. It almost seemed as if the ancients worshipped this bulbous fruit plant. Deep in my bones, I knew I found the first component to my cure.
I was so dehydrated that I drank some of the swamp water. My madness may have been heat stroke, now that I think about it. Above me, there was a clearing. Not one to miss a good vantage point, I climbed up and triangulated my position. In the far distance, I saw an outpost cabin that I stayed in a few days prior. In my excitement, I lost my footing and rolled down the cliff-side onto my face. My plague tried to take-over with a fever. I took what I had left of my acetaminophen.
I discovered that I had landed in front of a fleshy purple fruit. I knew from my collected notes that I could use this to make a muscle emphasis drug that would bring me back up to full strength. I grabbed it, and headed straight for the outpost cabin.
Suddenly my heart started to beat uncontrollably. I knew what it was: The Creature. This thing had been hunting me for days and I still have no clue what it is.
I ran. I tried to get to the sandbar, figuring it cannot swim at all. The water wasn’t deep enough. It followed me. As I tried to swim back ashore, I almost drowned. But I finally made it, dashing with all that I had in me. The creature took a swing at me and I went flying. Thinking I was going to die one way or another, I ran with absolute abandon. And when I couldn’t run, I ran some more.
I arrived at the outpost cabin the very moment I was sure I could not run any longer. I don’t know where the creature is, I never looked back.
Day 17 – I Am the King of Eden
This was my island now. My Eden. And I no longer cared about anything but synthesizing the cure to my plague. I’ve nearly forgotten about all the dead bodies I found across the island. I no longer care what happened to the scientists who set-up the outposts or the religious government who betrayed them. All I care about is the final fruit: the cure to my disease.
I pushed into the south-eastern reaches of my island with dogged single-mindedness. I got all of my strength back. I mapped the final unfamiliar stretches of the island. And as I stumbled upon an enormous flower that was as big as me, I knew I was close. This was the fabled Titan Plant. I knew it from its drawings. I stored the Titan Plant in a sample tray and pushed into the last outpost.
Conveniently enough, the outpost had a map to my final piece of the puzzle: the Carnivorous Pitcher Plant.
I dashed through the woods as nimble as a gazelle until I saw it: my tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
I grabbed it and immediately my heart started beating. I knew The Creature was only meters away. I ran like hell. I saw a steep grade ahead with no clear way down. So I lept.
I began tumbling blindly until a river bank slowed my fall. My fever began to flare violently, I scrambled to my feet and . My heart still beat like a war drum. The fever would soon win, but I had no time to stop. A bay laid out before me that was wide enough to deter the beast. So I swam until I reached the other side. I turned to see The Creature give up and retreat into the jungle.
I took my medicine and found a couple of landmarks I recognized that allowed me to triangulate my position. This allowed me to find a nearby outpost. To my surprise, it was the first outpost I found when I first arrived here. I ceremoniously synthesized my final agent: the Adjuvant. I combined all three completed agents and inserted the solution into a syringe. I had found the cure. It is finished.
Day 18 – Final Entry
It was time to get out of Eden. I took off at full sprint across the length of my dominion. Joy and remorse swashed around my mind like two components of one of my synthesizing drugs. Despite all the pain this island represented, it also represented hope and resilience. But ultimately, I felt joy that I would soon be freed from this prison.
As I ran past my familiar haunts, I was confronted with the sins of my scientist brethren: their bodies litter the island and rot in one accord. I felt complicit in the same cold-transgressions of power-pursuit and going to any length possible to survive, but I can’t help but feel like a changed man.
At the end of my final run through the island, I saw my escape. And I swam for it. But as I swam, I didn’t mind looking back. Almost afraid I’d be turned to stone like Lot’s wife, I couldn’t help but miss this terrible place.
Do I miss the fight for survival, the desperate quest for a cure, and the haunting notion that everybody else on the island is dead? I really do. Now, I sit here. I’ve made my final triangulation. But I don’t need to. I already know where I am. I’m on my way home.