Somewhere in the shuffle of Lexi and Sam's attempts to fix the thing, followed by Sam's great fall from the radio tower, a circuit was completed. Whether it was due to deliberate tinkering or serendipitous happenstance, the tower began pulsing with light and sending out a mayday signal at the top of its transmitting capacity.
The signal was immediately picked up by a nearby cargo ship who veered out of their way to investigate. Twelve hours later they landed on the mysterious island and began the search for survivors.
Stragglers and their horses were loaded onto the ship as they were found. Some saw the blinking light on the radio tower and approached; others had grown paranoid on their month-long stay on the island and chose to stay rather than risk meeting the helpful crew members of the generous ship.
Later, the government would send investigators to look for additional survivors of the ill-fated cruise-ship and to figure out what had happened there. They pieced together notes and journals and other scraps of information and eventually began to piece together a semi-coherent timeline of events.
The island, secluded with no native large animals, was deemed a perfect spot for an experimental lab which might otherwise have attracted protesters and undue scrutiny. Scientists worked towards cloning extinct animals. The source of their funding- and the reason behind their massive undertaking- remains unknown. It appears that around two decades ago, something went wrong. The electrical system operating the gates failed, or perhaps the cloned animals simply grew too large or numerous to contain. Haast Eagles, the largest eagles to ever roam the earth, along with other carnivores made short work of the scientists living in the compound. Time and damp made short work of the laboratory facilities, and the animals quickly made the island their own.
The investigators also found a group of people on the island who were not survivors; or at least not the survivors they were expecting. These were survivors of another shipwreck, around a decade earlier. Their ship's fate had never been recorded because their ship was not a wealthy cruiseliner but a desperate group of pirates making a living by raiding cargo lanes in the area. These survivors had stumbled upon an island teeming with dangerous animals and the few that survived formed a small reclusive society which worshiped the animals and offered them sacrifices in hopes that they themselves wouldn't become a meal for giant eagles. This group did not welcome the arrival of new shipwrecked residents, fearing there were not enough resources to sustain them all or, worse, that the new survivors would bring unwanted attention to the island where the former pirates simply wished to live in peace.
Of course, time is a funny thing in the Bermuda Triangle, where the tiny island is located. While the survivors of the cruiseline swear only a month had passed, some of their friends and families back home argue that they had been gone for far longer yet none could agree exactly how long. Most of the survivors chose to return home on the cargo ship, though a few stubborn souls insisted on staying.
That's the end, folks! My apologies for the time lapse; originally the players were supposed to uncover the information that the investigators revealed at the end but unfortunately too many people in key locations dropped out just a tad too early.
You are welcome to have your survivors return home a little worse for wear, or be killed off, or stay on the island, or pretend it was all a bizarre dream. Players who officially registered but didn't continue to the end are welcome to come back and answer the rest of the chapters if you would like, though there might not be a lot for you to do at this point.
It's been a fun ride! I really enjoyed reading every one of your responses and have been amazingly impressed by those of you who stayed active for this who behemoth of a thing. I never intended to or was really prepared to take over this group as sole admin, so thank you very much for sticking with me for this crazy journey and I hope you had as much fun as I did