AUGUST CORBETT, a noted Victorian explorer, undertakes a mission of great scientific importance, guided by CHINUA and his crew into the heart of the jungle. The adventure sheds its gallant trappings as one by one the men are killed.
There was a time when maps were unfinished, vast areas uncharted, when the world still held secrets. Africa in 1880 saw the fevered heights of exploration and exploitation. Heroes of that era were men willing to brave the unknown like Stanley and Livingston, men like AUGUST CORBETT, renowned explorer and Englishman. With his feckless benefactor, MAXWELL, Arthur organizes his most important expedition. CHINUA, a clear eyed and capable guide, feels a rush of excitement when August chooses him as crew chief over his brutish rival. SESE. Chinua is enchanted by August's vast knowledge and noble bearing. He feels a reverence for the exquisite precision of the scientific instruments used in collecting flora and fauna. Chinua will do anything to insure the success of this expedition, anything to escape the gloomy ignorance of his own world. August is a generous mentor but friction arises as he demands a faster pace. This is maddening since August refuses to reveal their destination. Chinua's stern discipline and loyalty to August draws the ire of the crew led by the fearsome Sese. Normally cautious, Chinua puts the crew in danger by taking a treacherous route to save time. A crewman is lost to the ferocious river currents. Chinua struggles to contend with the natural hardships, a demanding employer, and a mutinous crew. Then a second body is found. A murder. Now Chinua must contend with the possibility that there is a killer amongst them. Anger and suspicion strain the crew. Sese demands to know where they're going, nearly coming to blows with Chinua. The next morning Chinua's only friend on the crew is found murdered and all eyes are on Sese as the perpetrator. Sese maintains his innocence and accuses Chinua of being blind to the real danger in their midst. At last, August reveals their true destination - LAKE TELE, a fabled place that time has not touched. Or more precisely, an uncharted glacial lake where environmental conditions have not changed in millennia. August's obsession is built on simple logic. If the flora is intact then so too the fauna. August hunts for an ancient beast, a dinosaur. The Africans fear Lake Tele and have heard whispers of MOKOLE, a lethal god living in the water. More concretely, the territory is fiercely guarded by the FAM, a tribe of flesh eaters. There is no going back and Chinua drives the crew hard on the arduous journey to Laker Tele. Chinua assists August in surveying the vast "inland ocean" constantly on guard for any danger from Fam warriors or worse, one of his own crew. Sese's friend is found dead. Thinking this was an act of retribution, Sese attacks Chinua. Chinua takes a nasty beating before Sese is finally restrained. Chinua binds him to a tree as a prisoner. Suspicion and fear cloud the men's judgement. August questions Chinua's capabilities and Chinua feels his aspirations slip away. He must restore order to the expedition. But another crewman is killed. It can't be Sese and the crew's HUNTER is implicated. Chinua needs help in capturing the Hunter so he releases Sese. The hunter becomes the hunted. Sese avenges his friend by killing the Hunter. They are finally safe and Chinua hopes he will be redeemed in August's eyes. That is until August's cohort, Maxwell, is found trussed to a rubber tree. The murderer can't be the Kid or Sese. That leaves the unimaginable - August. Chinua must confront his understanding of the world that he covets. A world of timeless beasts and murderous Englishmen. The only certainty is that he will protect the Kid against any and all danger. But he didn't know that there would be a dinosaur.