Aldabra… kind of sounds like a noise made during a sneeze doesn’t it? Or maybe a special word of power used by magicians to conjure things from beyond our realm. The reality however is a little more innocuous.
Aldabra is a remote island located in the middle of the Indian ocean some 400 miles off the middle-eastern coast of Africa. It is a small secluded oasis of about 60 square miles tucked in a thick coral atoll. A tiny green pin point on the map among an ocean of endless blue. Officially it is part of the Republic of Seychelles, although the nation’s capital is over 700 miles away and closest neighboring island is over 400. Poor little Aldabra is left all alone in quite literally the middle of nowhere as one of the most secluded places on earth.
It is a little-known lush haven, with quite the extravagant and tender ecosystem. The island is famous for its large population of giant tortoises as well as the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod in the Coconut crab. The island has been largely untouched by human hands for over a century, although this was not always the case.
In the late 1800’s, a man by the name of W. J. L. Wharton of the British navy landed on Aldabra with the expressed intention of conducting hydrographic surveys of the island. Some 10 years on and a small settlement was established in order to exploit the natural resources of the island, specifically that of the tortoises who were nearly hunted to extinction. This is where most experts will tell you that an abrupt lack of information is available on the settlement. However, what most don’t know was that Wharton was not the only one to keep records of their time on the island.
A Shipwright by the name of William James Bellevue also kept detailed notes on the events which transpired upon the island and on Wharton’s ship known as the HMS Shepherd. He starts by detailing the long voyage which took them almost five months, and that was only to reach Madagascar. Old colonial Britain had many territories, alliances and colonies set up all over the world, among them was a small outpost in northern Madagascar. The original goal was to resupply the outpost and abridge the increasingly perilous relationship with locals in the area, but by the time they reached their destination, they had a new mission statement awaiting them. Wharton and his crew pulled into the bay there, only to be greeted by an ambassador of the British Royal Parliament.
The crew unloaded and received some much need R&R in the port after almost half a year on the ocean. It was then that the ambassador informed Wharton and his officers of their new destination. A string of islands north, known as Seychelles. Britain had recently acquired the islands from France, and naturally were eager to explore their new haven. Scout ships and eccentric mercenaries had already been sent to secure the area, but Wharton and his men were to be the first large force to make port. According to reports, Wharton was altogether less than thrilled about the new orders, especially knowing his crew had already been away from home for so long. Eventually however he complied and the Shepherd set rudders northward, bound for an uncharted territory.
The Shepherd was able to reach Seychelles with little intrusion or event of specific note. What they found when they landed, was a colony on the brink of all-out war. The locals and inhabitants of the island were of course wholeheartedly displeased with their new overlords, and the mercenaries who had arrived first were not the most eloquent of men. Both groups of course had only known power as a fist and neglected the aspect of diplomacy. Luckily for them, or perhaps unluckily depending on who it is you’re rooting for, Wharton was there to settle things down. He and his men quickly gained control of the islands, and swept away all that dared resist them.
Keep in mind too, at this time in history Britain was the world’s foremost military, and boasted ridiculously efficient methodology and tactics. When the dust had settled, some 10,000 locals were dead, along with 500 disobedient anarchist mercenaries. Wharton’s crew however lost only 39 men. The territory swiftly bent the knee to Wharton, and complete and utter domination was achieved.
The crew of the HMS Shepherd quickly developed a trading outpost, as well as primitive parliament on the island, with none other than Wharton himself serving as governor. He appointed one of his first officers; a man by the name of Blake Hastings as the new Commodore. He was tasked with exploring and mapping the new colonies, a task equal parts pioneer as cartographer. Meanwhile our dear William Bellevue, began to take a shine to his new port of entry. The warm and tropical island paradise was night and day difference with his old rainy English countryside, and in time Bellevue would come to have his family join him on the island with intention of making it their new home.
Years of subjugation, exploitation and exploration ensued, with the knowledge gained from scouring the land for natural resources always but a measly step ahead of the ever-increasing hostility of the locals. Some 7 years on and Hastings and his men had all but mapped the entirety of the peninsula. Raiding parties had been sent ashore on each subsequent island in order to root out anything of value worth trading, and of course raw materials were found.
The systematic robbery of the indigenous people then began, with locals unable to do anything but watch as the new colonists pillage and plundered their islands, drinking several dry in a capacity that has never allowed the ecosystems to recover. During this time Bellevue, ever the prudent man, took it upon himself to learn the language of the locals. He soon was fluent in Seychellean, and able to converse with the people almost as well as he could his fellow sailors. He developed a close bond with a local man, who he identifies in his journal as Wavel. He was an elderly man, assumed by Bellevue to be in his late sixties. A man who had lived his entire life on the island, and knew little of the world beyond his tropical shoreline home. The two exchanged much with one another, developing what Bellevue would consider a close friendship. Whether or not Wavel ever shared that sentiment is unknown, but considering what he told Bellevue, it is considered unlikely.
The two men shared much with one another, from origin and life experiences to religious practices and beliefs. Bellevue was optimistic, but not naïve. He knew the locals were most certainly no fans of their new governors, and took it upon himself to attempt to mend the wounds of colonization. It was a discussion he and Wavel, as well as other Seychellean locals would often discuss at great lengths. The soldiers and navy men were cruel, and often treated the Seychellean people with great disdain. Wharton was known for ruling reasonably, but with an iron fist. Any dissent from the locals was punished severely and even his own men feared to try his patience.
Bellevue did his best to listen to the grievances of the indigenous people, knowing that Wharton would never abandon the territory, but also that he could be reasoned with. An unhappy local populace was not good for anyone, and Bellevue did his best to make Wharton see that. Resources were regularly plundered from the islands to be sold to the highest bidder in Cairo and Damascus. Rumor had even circulated about Seychelleans who complained too much, or caused one too many a ruckus, to be taken. It was true that people had been disappearing from time to time, and word on the street was that rogue mercenaries who had not been fully assimilated into Wharton’s platoon were back to their old tricks, taking locals as slaves and concubines. Bellevue knew that if such a thing were to exist, he would hold little sway in stopping it, but what he could do, was listen, and so listen he did.
One day, Wavel embowed the knowledge of something truly extraordinary upon Bellevue. It arose after extensive conversation of foreign mystical places, and old forgotten lands. The intel: as Wavel told Bellevue, was a well-kept secret among the locals, perhaps even the very last. He told Bellevue of an island, an old sacred place some great distance away. So far that it was not able to be navigated towards, and only those who knew of it could lead someone there. Bellevue was intrigued and prodded Wavel for more intel. Wavel was all the eager to oblige, and spoke at length of the riches which existed deep within the jungles of the island. Wavel called the place “Aldabra,” a name supposedly meaning “the hidden place,” in common Seychellean. Appropriate, as neither Bellevue nor any man from the Royal Navy seemed to be aware of its existence at the time.
Bellevue continued to ask his friend about the place, and why it was that it was only spoken of in hushed tones. Wavel confided, that the place held a great religious significance to many people of Seychelles, and they would be remiss to divulge information regarding it. Wavel claimed the place to be flowing with streams of the purest most invigorating water, with birds the size of horses flying about, great turtles which were said to be the offspring of gods and golden statues hidden deep within. Wavel claimed to be the place the gods had first made when they molded the world from clay. He placed great emphasis on the beauty of the island, something he continued to reiterate again and again.
Bellevue was perplexed, if such a place were to exist, then why leave it unattended? Why even talk about it? What Wavel had described to him seemed to be heaven on earth. He questioned Wavel, on why he would not live there himself, and furthermore why no one would choose to live there. Wavel smiled that same kind and warm smile he had always done, and said only four words.
“Because they are afraid.”
Bellevue was never given an explanation to the statement, but this newfound data intrigued him. His dear friend had made some incredible claims, and Bellevue wondered whether his rumors were true or not.
Not long after he caught up with Hastings, who had just returned from a two-month voyage across the territory. Bellevue told Hastings about what Wavel had said, telling him about the hidden place over the horizon. Hastings was skeptical, denying that such a place could or did exist. He had been all over the territory, and not once had he seen anything suggesting a mysterious unexplored island. Bellevue continued to pry, eventually convincing Hastings to take his findings and present them to Wharton. Hastings was still reluctant, but eventually agreed, lulled in by the promise of golden statues and riches beyond imagination.
The two of them soon took their intel before Wharton himself. Wharton was not convinced, and with resources and manpower already stretched thin, he refused to allow the Shepherd to leave port on a wild goose chase. He needed solid evidence, which admittedly would be hard to come by. Defeated and dispossessed by his rejection, Bellevue returned to his old friend. He asked him whether or not he was able to provide proof of his claims. Wavel smiled, seeming to have anticipated the question. He rose from his old carved mahogany chair and sauntered out of the room.
Soon he returned, clutching a small object tight to his chest with both hands. He slowly pulled them apart, revealing a sight which Bellevue could scarcely believe. It was a small golden totem, perhaps six inches in length. Decorated with archaic runes and various symbols, which were all but alien to Bellevue. At the top of the totem, a small likeness of a wide eyed being was carved. Wavel referred to it as the guardian of the islands, and said that his trinket was a sort of offering to gain its favor. He handed the item to Bellevue, who tenderly admired it in his hands. The workmanship and details were immaculate, better than any stone mason or sculptors work he had ever seen. Bellevue handed the totem back, but Wavel waved his hand. He told Bellevue to take it, a symbol of their newfound friendship. Bellevue had indeed come to view Wavel as a friend, and not a simple translator as was initially intended. Over time he had begun to see the plight that the man and his people faced, and had even begun to sympathize with them. He was hesitant to accept the gift, and one question had lingered.
“Why? My people have come to your island uninvited, and taken what was not ours, why would you bestow this information upon me?” Wavel sat back in his chair, his old grey eyes and stubby beard resolute in the sands of time. Ever the sagacious man, he gave only a simple response.
“You are explorers, go explore.” Wavel smiled, possibly the biggest smile which Bellevue had ever seen. He thanked his dear friend, and promptly left to update Wharton on the development.
Wharton at first shook his head upon seeing Bellevue again, but as soon as Bellevue drew the glistening figurine from his bag, Wharton’s eyes grew wide as dinner plates. Suddenly his interest had increased tenfold. Bellevue of course relayed all the info which his friend had told him, about the island hidden far from view, but close enough to sail to. Wharton sat back, pondering the implications and possibilities of the potentially wealthy island. If just 10% of what Bellevue had claimed was true, he and his men would become wealthy beyond imagination. He knew the opportunity was too great to pass up, and thus agreed to the to invest on Bellevue’s venture. He summoned Hastings’ to the council as well, and told him to take Bellevue and set sail for the isle of Aldabra.
Hasting’s and Bellevue wasted little time preparing for their journey, and within a week had assembled a crew and prepared the Shepherd for yet another voyage. On the day in which they were set to depart, Wharton intervened and stopped them. It would seem he had decided that allowing his crew to be the first to find the island was not something he was willing to do, and thus decided to join his men on the mission. A local man, Tano, was left in charge of the affairs of Seychelles. And so the crew set off, under the blessing and guidance of the Seychellean people.
The Shepherd set sail, aimed southwest directed in the supposed location of the mysterious island. A route that normally would end in the landing on the eastern coast of Mozambique. No records nor historical encyclopedia at the time made any mention of the elusive island, at least not that Wharton and his crew had available to them. Their entire expedition was quite literally a shot in the dark, and the only navigation for them to utilize was that of an elderly Seychellean man. Soon the island of Seychelles had long since vanished beyond the horizon, and in all directions, nothing but the limitless teal green sea was visible. The Shepherd maintained its course for a month, and then two months, and still nothing was found. Supplies and patience had begun to run thin, especially on the part of the captain. Bellevue writes that he could feel the restlessness from the crew grow with each passing day, making him more and more uncomfortable and anxious to reach their destination which they still had little concrete proof of.
On the first week of the third month, and equinox of winter for the southern hemisphere, a mast man spotted something upon the horizon.
“Land Ho! 30 knots north by northwest!” He called from the crow’s nest. All the crew immediately had dropped what they were doing, and scrambled to the starboard side of the Shepherd to get a look. A spec of green and brown stood amongst a forest of rippling blue. A monolith alone in the vast expanse of the ocean. The crew and its captain stood awestruck, as the lone island came closer and closer. None more so than Bellevue, who had believed his friend, but was of course concerned about the legitimacy of his claims. An island which had never before been mapped by the western world was theirs for the taking. The men shared a toast to their good fortunes and within the day touched down upon the shores of Aldabra.
The island was quickly discovered to be a lush coral atoll, alone within the vast ocean for hundreds of miles. The crew calculated it’s position to be about 1,100 kilometers southwest of their original starting point of Seychelles, and mapped it at a point which would later translate to -8.4508 degrees south and 47.2378. Quickly a base of operations was established with the crew branching and being orchestrated into factions to better explore and map the island.
Hastings and his men assembled and began to trek up the eastern side of the island. Bellevue on the other hand took another group and set off up the western coast. The two groups split off a day after the initial landing, while Wharton and the remainder of the crew stayed behind to tend to the ship. It did not take long for Aldabra to reveal some of its wonders. The island was a lush untouched oasis in the middle of a salty expanse. A menagerie of wildlife inhabited the island, the most distinctive of which of course was noted by Bellevue as the giant tortoise of Aldabra. How or why such magnificent archaic specimens had arrived at a location so remote was anyone’s guess, and some two hundred years later and scientists are still not sure. Hundreds of the lumbering leviathans dotted the island, slowly waltzing to and frow for new grazing pastures. With no natural predators, the tortoises had grown to conquer the landscape. Bellevue admired the tortoises, and made several entries concerning them. He referred to them over and over again as the “guardians of the hidden oasis.” A title which even hundreds of years later is known as their unofficial moniker.
Other species were found as well including the coconut crab, the largest and likely meanest of all terrestrial arthropods. The coral snake, with red, yellow and black markings that signified an extremely venomous organism. Several species of finches and a few species of bat were also spotted around the atoll. Bellevue notes the prominence and illustrious beauty of the islands butterflies as well. He writes that they existed in much greater density than any he had seen before. Entire flocks of them whirled and fluttered about as he and his men traversed the island, marveling at the beauty the land had revealed.
Not everyone was captivated by mother nature however, and soon the men who accompanied Bellevue began plotting on how they could best profit from the local wildlife. When night had arrived, the men had seized and slaughtered one of the magnificent tortoises, despite the vehement protests of Bellevue. The 300 pounds reptile was able to easily satiate the groups hunger for a night. Bellevue meanwhile stuck to a diet of berries, coconuts and bananas which had been collected along the way.
The two groups continued their expeditions independent of one another, originally planning to rendezvous on the north side of the island where they would both meet. This plan however was cut short, when Bellevue and his men stumbled upon a waterway with several islands dotting the path between them and the other side of the island. With no boats or rafts in their possession, Bellevue and his men had to devise a plan to cross the straight.
Bellevue and his crew spent several days constructing crude rafts and boats, which they hoped would be enough to ferry them across. Soon they were completed, and together they set sail through the small strain of islands. He named many of them after friends he had made while stationed in France. Ile Lanier, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Emili and Ilot Parc were the names given to the five largest islands which guard the entryway on the western side to the inner sanctum of the atoll. The island was eventually mapped as a vaguely elongated ring shape, with several waterways allowing passage including two on the northern coast and several more on the western discovered by Bellevue and his squad. The inner portion of the island was a small shallow sea, with several jutting islands scattered about. The island was mapped at just over 155 square kilometers, a remarkably accurate assessment even by today’s standards.
The group established a small settlement on the island, and for years began the process of exploration. Wavel had spoken true about the tortoises and lush environment, and yet the waters of purity and birds the size of horses appeared distinctly absent. In fact, no waterways at all were on the island as there was no source of fresh water available. This meant that their endeavors were limited to only a couple months at a time before they would be forced to return to Seychelles to resupply. Pert of Bellevue wondered whether or not his friend had knowingly deceived him or not. He questioned Wavel on each returned voyage to Seychelles, but Wavel only ever told him that he must “look harder, and trust the gods.”
For years Bellevue divided his time between Seychelles and Aldabra. Each subsequent voyage uncovered fewer notes of interest, and the cons of journeying there began to almost eclipse the pros. It was on their fourth outing, that it finally happened.
Bellevue had spent the day researching several types of flora, when Hastings excitedly approached him. He spoke to Bellevue with an eccentric almost wild luster in his eyes. He told Bellevue of yet another small island, located in the middle of the peninsula. What Hastings told Bellevue about what they saw left him in a state of bewilderment. Hastings claimed to having seen a building on the small island, something clearly manmade. For what purpose or by what means he could not say. Hastings called it a temple, and said that the roof glimmered like gold in the sunlight.
Bellevue eyed Hastings with a look of skepticism, wanting to believe his claim, yet knowing full well of Hastings’ colorful history of embellishment. In fact, many sailors had been known to recount extraordinary tales of treasure and monsters in their time. Not to say that they are inherently untrustworthy, but yet the prolonged exposure to an endless sea for months at a time has a way of playing tricks on a man’s mind. Bellevue demanded to see this development for himself.
The next day they returned to the northern coast of the southern part of the island. The island is laid out in an almost broken ring pattern, with the land forming into a crescent shape allowing for the middle to hold an open shallow sea. A small lone island stood in the center of the bay, with a single small building sitting alone. Hastings and Bellevue exchanged a glance of curiosity. Hastings handed over the looking glass.astingsH
Bellevue almost immediately noticed a glint coming from the sunlight beaming off a reflective surface on the island. After adjusting his position, he saw what indeed appeared to be, a temple of some sort. The roof was formed with a pyramid shape, and several obelisks protruded from the sand marking the path up to the doorway.
This finding perplexed Bellevue, as no one had ever seen the little island there in any subsequent expedition. Had they truly neglected to find it on their first three outings? The notion didn’t seem possible, and yet there it stood as if seemingly manifested itself out of nowhere. No signs of human settlement aside from that of the Shepherd’s crew had been seen anywhere on the island. Bellevue writes of a strange almost foreboding feeling in his chest, but with pressure from Wharton and the crew mounting, he knew he had to see this place for himself.
The men set sail for the island straight away. Awhile later they arrived at the shore, and stared in wonder at the construct before them. The roof was lined with what appeared to be gold plating, and rubies of various sizes were etched into the monolithic walls. At the front of the temple was a large stone slab which had been sculpted into a large door.
Now you may think that the crew would’ve savagely desecrated the shrine and appealed to common pirate tropes of seizing whatever valuables they could. Maybe you think that the place was cursed and would release some vengeful spirits to deal with them, right? I mean sure it was the royal British navy, but in those days such a title barely constituted more than acquiring a piece of paper and uniform. Plus, several of the crew were admitted mercenaries. But that’s not in fact what happened. You see the crew of the Shepherd was a superstitious lot, and knew all too well of the misfortune levied upon greedy sailors according to English folklore.
Gingerly they made their way up the beach and onto the marbled stairs of the temple. Slowly Bellevue walked, inspecting each step before footfall commenced. The island was unextraordinary aside from the temple, and appeared as little more than a sandbar with an ornate decoration placed upon it. The architecture did not appear similar to Seychellean, in fact it appeared as nothing Bellevue had ever seen before. Weird multifaceted glyphs and spiraling characters the likes of which he could not place. At the top quadrant of the door, was what appeared to be a depiction of some sort of animal. It had a large shell and vaguely reptilian head. Dozens of writhing tentacles surrounded it and protruded in all directions.
Directly in front of the door, was a small podium with no incredible features beyond a small hole in the center. The men tried to push the door open, but were met with impenetrable movement. They all took a step back and pondered the seen. Bellevue thought to himself, still uncomfortable with the whole development. Suddenly a memory flashed in his mind. It was one of many conversations he had with Wavel, and the words rung out to him as if from the London bells of big ben itself.
“The guardians watch over the island.” The quip was a reference to when Wavel had first gifted the small golden totem to Bellevue. A totem which Bellevue always kept with him. He pulled the totem from his bag and admired it in his hands. The runes upon it seemed to loosely correlate to those etched upon the walls and door of the building. Bellevue took the totem, and deposited it within the slit at the center of the podium.
The totem fell about halfway and came to a stop. Nothing happened for a moment, but then a distant rumbling sound was heard. The minor rumble soon rose in power and volume to an earthshaking cacophony. The men fell to the sand and braced themselves for an unseen force. Bellevue turned his attention back to the temple. The rumbling continued to grow, until the doors of the temple slid slowly open, revealing a trove of golden trinkets within. Just as soon as the noise had begun, it stopped.
The men peered inside, looks of wonder and bewilderment upon their faces. Hastings turned to Bellevue and the two men shared an ear to ear grin, knowing the fortune they had just revealed. Hastings made his way towards the stairs, but before reaching them, his foot sunk in the sand. He paused, confused by the development before suddenly and without warning crying out in pain. He tugged at his foot and other men quickly approached to assist him. Hastings cried a terrible cry and fell backwards before the men could assist him. The group stared in horror, at the stump which know defined Hastings’ right leg.
Without warning the ground opened up, and another man was swallowed whole by the earth. His screams were heard echoing from below before a sudden crunching noise silenced them. The men began to panic, and took off in a mad sprint towards the boats. Bellevue moved to assist Hastings, but before he could the ground opened and Hastings’ sunk below with a haunting final scream. Bellevue then watched as the temple on the island crumbled into broken fragments, before plummeting into a heap below.
Bellevue reached the boat and the four ships took off rowing with all their might. Behind them the island began to sink down into the shallow sea which had birthed it. The men rowed with all their might, a combined unit hellbent on survival at all costs, but it was not enough. For the boat upon the far-left side was upheaved, and it’s occupants flung headlong into the water. A fleeting thought of returning to save his comrades passed through Bellevue’s mind, but before he could act he watched in terror as their bodies melted and eroded away into liquified piles of slag and coagulated viscera.
Below the boats the water had begun to boil, and parts of the little row boats had begun to be eaten away. One of the men’s oars had splintered and broken from his hands, a result of the now caustic water below. Bellevue’s boat along with another was able to land upon the quaking shores, but the final boat remained crippled in the water by broken equipment. As soon as his foot made contact with the dry land, a gargantuan sound boomed through the landscape, as if it were god himself screaming. The stranded boat then exploded into a shrapnel cloud of debris and indistinguishable body fragments as the immense calamity rose another dozen octaves. The sound was a grumble of the earth, and yet mixed within it was something too uncanny to deny. The screech of a beast.
The men took off running through the jungles and woods in a desperate scramble to escape the rampaging madness behind them. Bellevue ducked and dove through the landscape as trees fell and quandaries opened at random. All the while he was surrounded by the haunting serenade of his men being torn asunder and annihilated by whatever force it was that pursued them. By the time they reached the beach, their numbers had been reduced to only himself and five others. Several boats sat anchored on the shoreline, with the Shepherd drifting carelessly in the bay.
Bellevue paused at the boats and took a glance behind him as the depths of the very earth parted and steam began to pour from within. The trembling of tectonic plates rose in frequency and from the shoreline, the men watched as it congregated around their awaiting vessel in the sea. Helplessly they watched as an impossibly large form rose from beneath the waves. A pillar of salt and flesh shelled in a thick layer of coral and aquatic floor dwelling life. The humongous structure stood upright, extending far into the expansive skies above head. From it’s side sprouted four distinct digits, an age-old vestige which had awakened from countless eons below the surface. And with one final display, the immense structure swooped downward directly into the bow of the awaiting Shepherd. An orchestra of panicked screams and sirens emanated from those trapped helplessly onboard, and with one thunderous clack the ship was demolished wholeheartedly, and pulled to the depths and its eternal slumber of a watery grave.
Bellevue stood, broken and at a loss for what to do. As the sight vanished beneath the waves another form was seen rising from the eastern end of the island. This time it was stunted and bulbous, unlike its elongated and thin counterpart. The men stood in abstract horror, gazing as the hideous form turned to meet their gaze. Part of the form split open, revealing the glow of an enormous green orb. A lens which mimicked the coloration of the sea and all her majesty, an eye that saw all the land had to offer. For a moment they stared, Bellevue and the leviathan beast of indescribable proportion. And then just as soon as it had awakened, it returned to its slumber and disappeared beneath the waves. One final aftershock shook the land, and again serenity returned.
Bellevue and the remaining men said a few parting words for their companions and took the boats, vowing never again to return. A red sun hung low in the sky, and trees swayed gently in the breeze as the men drifted far from the murderous landscape. A blood red scarlet sky blanketed the heavens and in the nimbus clouds, Bellevue could almost swear he saw his old friend Wavel, smiling down upon them.
For days they drifted, certain that death would be not far behind. But fate had other plans for them. A trade ship bound for Madagascar intercepted them, sparing their lives but not their minds. The Arab caravan questioned them upon their destination, and means in which they had become lost. But there was no answer Bellevue, or any could give to quell the curious minds. What they had seen, no one would believe.
History would note that the people of Seychelles would soon retake their land, and forever banish the conquistadors that had so naively believed themselves true. All those who stayed were slaughtered, and Seychelles returned to its way of life. Bellevue never went back. Never again tried to contact his old friend Wavel. Whether his old friend knew of the disaster that awaited them or not he could not say, but when one considers the events which followed their departure, one can make a valid negative conclusion.
The island of Aldabra still sits alone within the Indian Ocean. A single solitary mound hidden by a canopy of blue seas. A picturesque landscape which has since rebounded in the aftermath of the cataclysm, and thrived in the absence of man. The original coordinates recorded of -8.4508 degrees south by 47.2378. degrees east were later discovered to be inaccurate, as the islands true coordinates are -9.4237 degrees south by 46.3433 degrees east. Over one hundred miles southwest of its originally mapped location. While it is possible the cartographer on board the Shepherd made an error in calculation, it is also possible that he did not. Some even claim that the island’s shape is reminiscent of a sea turtle’s shell. I suppose the truth will reside in whether or not you choose to believe the testimony given by a shipwright known as William James Bellevue.