In the tangled embrace of the jungle, Damien, Thomas, and Oscar trudged forward, each step a testament to the inexorable pull of their circumstances. The air was thick with humidity, heavy with secrets, as the trio navigated the labyrinthine terrain. Yet, even the lush beauty of the surroundings couldn’t mask the tension that rippled through their trio, as Oscar’s frustration swelled, igniting a furious exchange.

“I should kill you right now,” Oscar said to Damien.

“Oh the things we do for money,” Damien quipped, a wry smile dancing upon his lips in a vain attempt to quell the mounting discord.

Oscar was having none of it, his words searing with incensed fervor. “You lied to me, you son of a bitch” he spat, his voice a mixture of indignation and vulnerability.

Damien, the puppeteer orchestrating this tense dance, brushed off Oscar’s accusations with practiced tolerance. His every retort was a familiar parry, deflecting Oscar’s anger as effortlessly as a matador evading the bull’s horns. And then there was Thomas, a silent observer caught in the crossfire, wrestling with his own memories and doubts. Had Damien truly said “field” or had it been “airfield” during their meeting? Even Thomas’s mind was rattled with uncertainty.

As their journey deepened, the trio came upon a chasm that yawned wide before them, a gaping maw that seemed to mock their predicament. Thomas couldn’t help but voice his exasperation, “What now,” his words dripping with regret. His eyes then flicked to Damien, the opaque figure who promised riches, but had led them to the precipice of doubt.

“Ah yes, this is it,” Damien declared, his voice a siren’s call as he gestured to the abyss below. He pulled from his satchel three vials full of dark, thick liquid.

Confusion clouded Oscar’s features as he stared at the vial Damien extended towards him. “And just what is this?” Oscar demanded, suspicion etched into every syllable.

“It’s an old remedy,” Damien replied. “A little something to help with the landing.” He lowered his chin and looked into the dead of Oscar’s eyes.

“You’re crazy if yo-” Oscar began but Damien cut him off.

“If you don’t drink you aren’t good for anything,” Damien drew his weapon. “If you aren’t good for anything, then you’re just, dead, weight…” He gently laid the blade on Oscar’s shoulder, “Am I right?”

The tension danced between them like a live wire, and conviction overcame Oscar’s face. Oscar caught the eye of Thomas and a silent confirmation passed between them. The only way to survive was to follow Damien. If they didn’t play his game, they would die.

Thomas and Oscar kicked back the repulsive vials and swallowed the precious liquid. The empty bottles clattered to the ground like their hollow hopes.

“Come, come closer my friends,” Damien beckoned, his voice now honeyed and inviting. They complied hesitantly, drawn in by fear and intrigue. Their gaze shifted into the deep abyss that loomed before them, a gateway to the underworld.

“Long way down…” Damien murmured, his words heavy as a stone as he peered over the edge. The realization swept over Thomas and Oscar like a tidal wave of dread.

Thomas tried to move back, but the iron grip of Damien’s hand anchored him in place, betrayal manifest in the man’s touch. An agonizing epiphany overtook Thomas. In that heartbeat, the charade shattered and Damien pushed Thomas over the chasm’s edge, and into the darkness.

Oscar, upon seeing his colleague thrown into the sea of nothing, began to desperately fight against Damien’s intent. His struggle was futile as he too succumbed to gravity’s grace and was pulled into the seam of the earth.