Elsa of the jungle: The legend begins @mbcarver
Chapter 33

It was the middle of the afternoon when Jack, Tadashi and Kristoff had left Powaton's restaurant. The four friends cruised through town with what seemed to a complete waste of time. They're desire and their will to further the research of professor Adgar was met with a barrier that seemed too great to overcome. With the knowledge that what they were searching for grew so far in the jungles of Africa, the cost of the trip far exceeded their expenses. With the University's refusal to support them, they were left helpless and confined in a position that left them without any way to continue the study of the herb.

Jack was but silent, speaking not a single sound that resembled any words what so ever. He continued to ponder over the situation and try to find a way around. However this seemed to be a challenge for he knew very well the lack of money and resources was what kept them from achieving their goal. He sat back in the driver's seat and glanced over to the folder that sat atop the dash board. He sighed as he thought of all that it could have done for him and his family. He had high hopes over continuing the professor's work and even helping his parents and his young siblings. But it seemed that he had too high of expectations.

"Hey, are you alright?" Kristoff asked, looking over to him.

"Not really." Jack answered, shaking his head a bit.

"I really thought that this was going to be a chance for us."

Kristoff nodded his head. He too thought the same way as he did over this herb. But now it seemed as if it was too good to be true.

"Yeah." Kristoff said as he faced forward.

"I know what you mean."

"Well guys, we kind of knew this was going to happen." Tadashi added to the conversation.

"I mean this is way out of our league to handle."

While Jack was somewhat opposed to that, e too had to face reality. This was something for a professor at the level of Adgar could handle. He could cover all the expenses and had the resources to conduct the research. They however did not. They lacked all that Adgar had in taking on this task. However he still felt the urge to follow through and obtain whatever it held for his loved ones.

"I guess." Jack admitted.

"But... I don't know..."

"Jack, I think Callahan is right about this." Tadashi suggested.

"Maybe this needs to be buried in the past where it belongs."

As he thought, Jack felt so much grief. He really wanted to make this work somehow, but it seemed as if this was indeed far out of their league. The barrier was too great and dense to be broken and their life here was what needed to be their focus.

"Yeah, you're right." He said.

Just ahead of them was Tadashi's Aunts Cafe. Jack drove through the crossing roads and pulled up at the left sidewalk. As the vehicle halted, Kristoff and Tadashi unbuckled their seatbelts.

"You want to come in and get a coffee or..."

Jack shook his head no.

"I'll pass." He said.

"Don't get yourself stressed over this, Jack." Kristoff advised.

"It's the way it has to be."

"Yeah, I got it." Jack said.

"Alright, see ya tomorrow." Kristoff said as he and Tadashi got out of the jeep and began walking down the side walk.

For a short period of time, Jack sat in his seat motionless. He gazed over to the folder one last time and gave a sigh. He was so unravelled by this fantasy that he couldn't open his eyes to the truth. Maybe this was all just that, a fantasy, a wish that seemed to be out of any way of being reality. This was but a ghost that they were chasing, nothing more. Jack then gazed forward and shift his jeep into drive, pulling away from the sidewalk.

Jack drove to the rink where Riley's hockey tryouts were taking place. After he had found a parking spot for his jeep, He walked into the cold arena from the lobby doors. He approached the boards that surrounded the ice and gazed out to the rink where he saw ten girls dressed in hockey gear, skating along the ice. Each of them wore separate pennies over their jerseys, five of them red while the other half was yellow to distinguish them into separate teams. As the girls played their coach, Kevin, a tall man in his early fifties skated along with them. He was tall with a hockey helmet over top of his head. He wore a black coat along with track pants.

Kevin had been Riley's coach for about three years. It was said that he has a great passion for hockey; Jack knew that to be certain after seeing how well he taught the team how to play. He was always on the, pushing them hard to bring out the potential he knew that they had. It was the same way he did for his older daughter, Megan. Jack turned and gazed rightward to the benches where several of the team member's parents all watched their daughters play. Sitting high at the top was his other Jill along with Jamie.

"Go Riley!" Jamie cheered on.

Jack smirked to his younger brother. He turned and walked up the short stairway before he turned to long second set that lead up to where his brother and mother sat. As he climbed up the steps, it was then that Jamie's head cocked in his direction where he spotted his older brother.

"Jack." He called to him.

The young white haired man came up to same level where his mom and brother sat. He walked over to his Jamie's side.

"Hey, Jamie." He said to his young brother.

Jack leaned across Jamie and kissed his mother upon his cheek before he sat down beside his half brother.

"What did I miss?"

"She magnet to get a couple shots in." Jill said turning back toward the practice.

"Really?" Jack asked turning to his mom.

"Yeah." Jamie insisted.

"You should have seen her, she was skating down the ice and she managed too get the puck past four... No, five other players and then she slapped the puck right into the net."

Jamie imitated his sisters shot, swinging his arms up as if he was holding a hockey stick and swinging it down as if he was making a shot on net. Jack smiled and gave a slight chuckle as he gazed back down upon the Ice. It was then that a whistle was pulled and Kevin went to recover the puck. As Riley skated down the rink, she gazed up to the stands and waved to him and Jamie. Jack waved back to her.

Jack then turned to Jamie, who was gazing toward the rink. He thought for a moment as he knew he hadn't really had much time with his brother recently. He had been so caught up with his work at the university and with some part time jobs. Now seemed like a good time to actually talk to him for there may not be an opportunity other then now.

"So...' Jack said as he shifted his head to Jamie.

"How have things been?"

"Huh?" Jamie asked curiously.

"You know... How are things?" Jack said.

"Like how's school going?"

The young boy only shrugged in response.

"I don't know." Jamie said, having but little idea of what to make of it.

"It's... Easy I guess."

Jack smirked and nodded his head.

"Well that's grade three for you." He said, knowing what it was like for himself.

"But just wait till you get up to University, it gets very hard then."

"Really?" Jamie asked curiously.

Jack nodded his head yes.

"Yeah." Jack said.

"But don't worry about it, you got a long way to go before then. Gives you some time to decide what you want to be."

"But I already know what I want to be." Jamie insisted.

"Really?" Jack said.

"Like what, a fire man or a... Police officer?"

"No." Jamie said shaking his head.

"You, Jack. I want to be just like you."

Hearing that from his brother, Jack smiled and gave a slight chuckle he put his arm around his brother's shoulder and pulled him in close to him. To him it meant so much for his bother to see him as an idle of his. It gave Jack so much pride and happiness to him despite that it was nothing new for him to know. If there was anyone in the world who Jack treasured most, it was his younger brother and he wanted nothing more but to show him that he was someone worth looking to.

"Yeah." Jack said.

"That's even better."

Jamie chuckled as he put his arm around her older brother. He meant every word to him for he did indeed feel that his brother was the one whom he looked to and wished to be. There was but more to Jack then being half related to him, he was the best of all the friends he had. There was no one in the world whom he would rather have to be his older brother then Jack.

The time was seven O'clock when the practice had ended and they got home for the night. Jack was sitting upstairs in his room, facing to his desk. Down below on the desk top was the folder of Professor Adgar's research. Jack sat and though back to the hockey rink and heard what his brother had said. He gazed down to the folder that sat before him. He took hold of it with both his hands and held it up atop the folded bottom. The more he thought of the problem, the more eager he was to find a way to overcome the barrier before them.

After hearing what Jamie said to him today, he felt as if he was encouraged to no bounds. Knowing well that his young brother and sister all looked to him in such a way, he wanted to give time something to look up to. The barrier may seem impossible to overcome, but all Jack cared of was bringing hope to people while also helping his family.

"I can't." He said to himself.

"There's just... Something about this..."

Jack sat back in his seat has it leaned backward. It was true, there was but no will for him to let go of the opportunity. Somehow in some way, the promise of the research presented and the will to give hope and a chance for people to be given a new medicine that could potentially help them be relieved from their sickness they suffered seemed to drive Jack to push on despite the barrier before him. Yet the reason that

"I can't give this up." Jack said, thinking mostly of his family

As he sat thinking to himself, it was then he heard the echoing voices below of Jamie and Riley. They were each bantering on about the tryouts and how Riley had preformed.

Jack turned to his open doorway as he set the folder back down. He rose up from his desk chair and walked out of his room and down the stairs. As he came down to the main floor, he gazed over to the living room where he found Jamie and Riley reacting the hockey practice. Jenna was prancing along with the, barking and leaping around as they played. They ran around the open space between the TV and the couch, each of them holding small plastic hockey stick and pretending to pass the puck around to each other.

"Jamie comes in to take a shot!" Jamie said as he ran and dribbled the imaginary puck with his stick.

"Riley moves to intercept!" Riley said as she dashed in front Jamie ad pretended to snatch the puck from him.

"She takes the buck and moves it ahead!"

"Hey!" Jamie said as he turned and followed after his sister.

Jill, who was sitting on the couch, watching them play, turned to Jack. She smiled at him just as he did back to her. He turned back to Jamie and Riley and watched for another short while of them playing. It was then he came down the rest of the way and grabbed a hockey stick that sat up against the couch.

"But Jack comes in and steals the puck!"

The two turned to their eldest brother.

"He monomers the puck as he moves in for his daring shot.'

"I don't think so!" Riley said as she came forward.

Jack quickly moved aside from her.

"He skates down the ice, he's closing in!"

Jamie comes in front and tries to retake the puck from his older brother.

"Nu ah!" Jamie said as reached his stick out.

"Oh, but Jack monomers around him!" Jack said as he swung around Jamie.

"He shoots..."

Jack flung his stick up, shooting the imaginary puck to the net he envisioned was facing him. The puck flew and dug into the nets before it fell to the ice below.

"He Scores!" Jack cheered as he raised his stick above his head.

He then ran forward to his half siblings, scooping them up in his arms. He held them both up and twirled them around in the open space, right then he fell back and landed on the couch. For about a short while, they laid back on the long, comfortable furniture as they continued to laugh along with each other. Jill followed along with them.

"Well, that was quite the game." She commented, as their red fur husky came up on the couch.

The female red husky came up and licked Jamie, who laughed as he placed his hands upon the back of her neck.

"Jenna." He said, laughing.

Jack smirked and nodded his head.

"What can I say?" He asked.

"I'm the best at hockey, where do you think she gets it from?"

Riley chuckled and punched his side.

"Hey take it easy." He said, as he released them from his hold.

"I bruise easily you know."

Riley moved back from Jack, settling between him and their mother.

"I've got to say." Jack said.

"You never cease to impress me on the ice. You did fantastic; I won't be surprised that you make the team."

The young blond haired girl smiled.

"Thanks, Jack" She said.

"You promise that you'll come to every game?"

Jack shook his head yes.

"There's no way on earth that I'd miss any of them."

Jenna suddenly looked to the open widow across the room, her ears erect from the faint sound of a car's engine outside. Her near suspicions led to her to let out several woofs, leaping down off the furniture as she came before the window. Her sudden and familiar action was noticed by Jack and the family, who looked to her curiously.

"Jenna?" Jack said.

"What is it girl?"

The female husky continued to stand in front of the window, gazing out the front yard where the evening was turning into night. She only proceeded to bark, looking back at them for only a short second.

The young white haired man turned to his mother, who looked as curious as him. Jack turned and rose up from where he was sitting, Jamie followed suit. He came up behind his dog and gazed out to the front yard to see a long white limo parked at the side walk. He saw the driver walk up to the door at the very back of the vehicle. He opened the door and it was then he saw a man with brown hair and side burns, dressed in a white tuxedo step out of the limo and approach the house.

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