The pilot flew as low as he could without putting them all in danger. The people that Johnathon Kendall had dealings with over the years were not always of good "manners." He had equipped his planes with defensive artillery in case he would ever encounter an "unhappy" customer. The side windows slid open near the front and rear of the plane. Machine guns slid out of the windows and two of the crew sat behind them.
"Shoot those beasts before they get my daughter!" The crocodiles had already spotted their prey and were moving downstream to claim it. Loud shouting from behind them made a few turn and try to swim upstream. Food seemed as if it were going to be plentiful this day.
"Sir, there is someone else in the water, behind your daughter. If we fire at the Crocs we might him him."
"I don't care who else or what else you shoot! Just make sure my daughter isn't harmed!"
The men looked at each other and then down at the river. They pulled the levers on the machine guns and began to fire. The first shots struck the two crocs that were closest to Melanie. The gunfire was antiquate enough to sink both crocs almost exactly where they were struck in the water. The next round hit in between the man in the water and the next two crocs. A few rounds struck a crocodile on it's tail, causing it to pull it's self half from the river and snap viciously at the air. The sound of it's jaws coming together could be heard inside the plane. Johnathon looked down into the river and saw Melanie struggling to stay above water. He looked upstream and saw the man behind her fighting off one of the crocodiles with his bare hands. As the man rolled to his back to fend off what was nearly a fatal clamping of the croc's jaws on him, Johnathon recognized the man in the water.
"My God... that is Shaun Turner. He is trying to save my daughter. He is risking his life for my daughter! Could I have been that wrong about him!? God, what have I become!?!?!"
Shaun fought his way past the croc that had just tried to kill him. He reached out and grabbed Melanie's shoulder and pulled her to him. He held on to her tight as four more of the behemoth's swam towards them.
"Oh God Shaun, don't let me go, please! I love you. Don't you let me go!"
"I have you now Princess. I am never letting you go. Not ever! We need to make it to that shore and get out of this river! We can decide what to do from there once we are safe."
"Shaun, I am sorry about your father. I am sorry about my father. I truly..."
"We can talk about this when we get to shore. Right now, I just don't want to be on the Croc's menu anymore."
The plane had circled one more time. The machine guns opened fired again and with Shaun and Melanie at a safe distance, they opened fired on the Crocs. Killing two more of the front Crocodiles the pilot told Johnathon he needed to land the plane.
"We will land as close to here as we can, Sir. We can back track in the jungle to where we last saw your daughter. Hopefully the commander isn't far from finding them. I am sorry Sir... we really have no choice."
Johnathon looked out of his window, staring at Shaun as he wrapped his arms around Melanie. Shaun looked up to the plane and saw Johnathon hanging out of the window.
"I have her Sir! I won't let anything happen to her. I promise you!"
Johnathon waved at him and then began to do something he was sure his father and time had beat or filtered out of him. Johnathon Kendall cried. The last sound he heard from the water was his daughters voice.
"I love you Daddy! I love yo-u-u-u-u-u-u-u..."
"Get this plane on the ground and lets' go save my daughter and that brave young man. I have a lot of sorries and changes to make after this trip."
Shaun managed to pull them to the side of the river. He lifted Melanie up onto the bank and pushed her away. He pulled himself from the water just as another Croc was coming in to attack him. Shaun heard the jaws snap shut and then... they were both onshore. Shaun turned Melanie over on to her back. He noticed for the first time the two cuts on her face. The cuts were deep and he had no doubts they would leave scars. he touched them with his fingertips and then leaned down to kiss them. He felt Melanie's hand on top of his.
"It's ok, My hero. They are the very least of what i almost lost. I could have missed a chance of a life-time, Mr. Turner."
"We still aren't safe yet, Princess. We have to stay alive long enough for your father to get here."
"That may be more difficult than you think!"
Shaun and Melanie turned to see who had spoken. There, in front of them, holding a knife and surrounded by his entire tribe, was the old man. Four of the men grabbed Shaun and held him. The old man walked over to where Melanie was laying. He reached down and took her face in his bent old fingers. Turning to his tribe, he smiled.
"Does this look like the face of a River Princess!!?? Does a Princess bleed!? For those of you unsure still, we will wait one night. When the Sun rises, if the God';s have not removed the cuts from her face, they will both die. They will be sacrificed to the River Gods and we shall know abundance and strength again!"
Shaun and Melanie just looked at one another.
"WE won't die, Melanie. This isn't over!"
"I know Shaun. I will spend forever with you."
The Commander stood in front of Johnathon. He was shaking his head as Johnathon spoke.
"They are JUST men, damn you! I watched their "River Crocs" die as we shot them. Those men will die just as easily as the Crocs did! My daughter and possibly four more men are out there right now! I saw them alive and they better stay that way! I can close your borders and make sure you never see another American industry in here again! Ever!"
"I wish you understood the strange powers these jungle people possess, Sir. They can bring terrible destruction to our land and our people."
"If they are so powerful, why do they hide in the jungles instead of coming out here and destroying you!? Either you go with us, or we go alone! If it is alone, you had better not interfere with what we do. We are wasting time. Time my daughter may not have. We are going Commander! Follow... or don't. It matters none to me.
"We are coming, Sir. I will not have your deaths on my dreams for the rest of my life. But... I am in charge! You follow me! IS this understood?"
"Clearly, Commander. Let's go."