"Sergeant" called Charlie again, "We're ready to go!"
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"Alex, can you see the jeep?"
"Nope. How far did we walk anyway?"
Feeling a little uneasy now, Charlie said "let's retrace our steps and get back to the Jeep."
What he didn't say was if the Jeep was still there. The Sergeant should have heard him, but then he hadn't seemed all that enthusiastic to assist them either, but had to follow the Captain's orders. The Captain, himself, was not very forthcoming with information either.
Having made their way back to what passed for a road in the midst of the jungle-like surroundings, they discovered that indeed the Jeep was gone.
"Well, now that sucks," said Alex, as they both started checking their cell phones...no signal.
"We start walking" said Charlie. He estimated they were about five miles from main road. "We'll just walk out and maybe we can get a ride back into town."
Being the senior agent, Charlie figured the odds of getting a ride were slim to none. These people didn't want them here, and locals who would otherwise do a good turn for someone needing help, would think twice now. This only confirmed his theory that someone here was behind the plane crash and didn't want their secret revealed.
What had started out as a recon of the crash site, turned into a forced march through a jungle filled with hazards, armed with their guns and cell phone with no service. Still the odds were in their favor if they reached the road before dark.
Aloud he said "at least we're not naked and lost in the jungle."
As they trudged along the rutted dirt road, each absorbed in their own thoughts, a couple of brightly colored parrots squawked loudly, startling them.
"Did you jump, Alex" teased Charlie.
"Of course not. I just stumbled over a root."
"Me too." admitted Charlie. "I've been thinking about the case. First nobody in the States had any information, then there was the crazy housekeeper who kept talking about aliens, and now we are stranded in a South American jungle. I hope Jorge has some information, but we'll process the briefcase before question him."
Alex was silent and sensing his concern, Charlie said "Don't fret, this may be your first field case, but I've been around the block a few times. We keep walking...we should reach the main road in about half an hour. We'll have cell service so we can call for a taxi."
"You hear that? Sounds like a truck so, the road must be close by. Check your phone. I've got signal."
"You call us a taxi, Alex. I'll call the Captain to inform him of his Sergeant's behavior, that is unless he's in on it too. In which case we've just tipped our hand. No, on second thought I'll hold off on making that call until I know who we can trust."
Check back tomorrow to see how they wrap up the case.
To catch up with the story so far:
Beyond the Window