I've always wanted to write something that involved my two favorite characters from Jurassic Park, and I've finally been able to sit down and do just that. This is a prequel to Jurassic Park, that begins in 1991, when Ellie Sattler first meets Alan Grant.
It is an in-depth look into their relationship and how it progresses. It will incorporate things from the novels, the films, and several versions of scripts. It will conclude with Hammond's proposal, in 1993, when Hammond asks them to go to that "mysterious" island, that is Jurassic Park.
So I hope you enjoy it. And please, comment and let me know how I'm doing. Comments (either here or through email) are excellent helpers for an inspiring writer, so please don't hesitate to tell me what you think.
Thanks, and now on with the story!
ALAN & ELLIE
by Yvonne Bartha
Chapter 1: A Hero In The Night
May 17, 1991 - Friday
Ellie Sattler was driving on a very dark and narrow road. It was about 10:30pm, and she was trying to be cautious on the dangerously winding road. She was on her way to her new summer place in Northeastern Montana. She had been accepted as one of the new student volunteers, at one of the many dig sites located there, and she was ecstatically happy about it. She was only a thesis away from becoming a Paleobotanist. She planned on getting some field research in this summer and then submitting her thesis, back in California, the following semester. It would be a lot of hard work, being that a thesis was one of the toughest parts of any Ph.D., but she was determined and quite happy with the situation she was able to get herself into. She was expected to be there in two days, but her mother had assisted in getting her an apartment near the dig site, and that's where she was heading now. She wanted to have a few days to get to know her new surroundings, before reporting to the dig site on Monday morning.
She had the driver's side window rolled down, so that she could take in some of the fresh air. Her medium length blonde hair danced around as the night air entered the car. Even at night, on this lonely two-lane highway, she felt as though she belonged. Montana was a very scenic state, full of mountains and beautiful canyons, especially where she was headed, and she was anxious to take in everything the state had to offer. Her mother had tried to talk her out of moving so far away from home, in Georgia, but Ellie had promised that it would only be for the summer.
She was about to slow down and pull over, to look at her map again, when one of her tires on her car gave way, exploding with a loud "pop". Ellie's car sharply veered off to right and headed for the small cliff on the side of the road. She grabbed hold of the steering wheel and yanked it back the other way, but the car continued to go toward the cliff. She never panicked. She just kept pressure on the brakes and on the wheel, until the car slowed down enough for her to regain some control. It skidded to a stop, along the shoulder of the country road. Her body was jerked to the side, as the car stopped moving. She sat in the driver's seat, slightly shaking, as she thought about how close she came to driving off the cliff. It probably would have been considered suicide, she thought to herself.
She opened the car door and stepped outside, to survey the damage. The left rear tire was blown out and pieces of it were scattered all over the road. She walked to the edge of the cliff and reluctantly looked down, instantly regretting it. The sheer drop almost made her dizzy, as it shook her up even more. She walked shakily to the trunk and opened it, looking for the spare. She swore to herself, when she remembered that it was taken out about 2 weeks before. She had needed the extra space in the trunk to transport something for her mother, and she had forgotten to put the tire back. She swore silently again, and closed the trunk, hitting the top of it over and over in frustration.
She got back in the car, and reached over to the passenger seat, where her purse was. She opened her purse, revealing a portable phone. Her uncle was in the electronics business, and had insisted that she take one of his portable phones, if she was set on going to the middle of nowhere. She turned it on and called information. There was some static, but she was able to hear adequately. Information connected her to a local tow truck service station. She requested a tow truck, but couldn't figure out where the hell she was exactly, so the dispatcher told her they would be there when they could. She left the phone on and placed it back into her purse. She left the car accessories on, so that she could leave the headlights of the car on. That way, people could see her on the side of the road. She didn't like the idea of sitting out in the middle of nowhere . . . alone . . . so she turned the radio on, to distract herself.
She was about to give the tow truck place another call, when she saw headlights appear a short distance ahead of her. She smiled and put the phone down. For a precaution, she also casually grabbed the mace can from her purse. She was in the middle of nowhere in the pitch blackness, after all. She got out of the car and began to wave her arms in distress. The headlights become brighter and brighter, as the vehicle got closer. After a few seconds, Ellie could see that the headlights belonged to a truck. The truck slowed down as it approached, and then came to a stop right next to her. Now that she could see the truck clearly, she sighed as she saw that it wasn't the tow truck. She could see a man inside, which caused her to become a little alarmed. The window rolled down. The man had to roll it down by hand.
"What seems to be the problem here?" The man asked.
He had a hint of an Australian accent.
"Oh, well, my car blew a tire."
The man looked over at her car.
"Looks like you nearly ran off the side of the mountain."
Ellie slightly bent down to see the man's face more clearly. He had messy brown hair and was in need of a shave, as he had the beginnings of a beard. Her first impression of him was that he was nice looking, even with the messy appearance. She found herself staring at his mouth as he spoke. She snapped out of it, after realizing what she was doing.
"Yeah. I was frightened for a few minutes there. But I managed to get the car stopped."
"Do you need some help?"
Ellie wasn't sure why she felt so at ease with the stranger, but the plain fact was that she did feel safe.
"Oh, yes. Could you? I don't have a spare tire. I could really use a ride into the next town, if that isn't too much trouble?"
The man smiled.
"It's no trouble at all. Just get your things and we'll head out," he said.
Ellie turned and went to her car. She put the mace back in her purse and grabbed her portable phone. Then she grabbed one of the bigger bags from the backseat. She put the bag on the ground and closed all of the car doors, locking the car with her car keypad. When she went to pick up the large and heavy bag, the man from the truck appeared next to her, and grabbed the handle of the bag. His sudden appearance startled her and she almost screamed, as she reached her hand into her purse, securing the mace. The man could see that he frightened her, and so he tried to make conversation.
"I'm just trying to help here, so you can relax a little bit, okay? The name's Alan."
Ellie smiled at him. His face seemed vaguely familiar to her, but she couldn't place where she might have seen him. She decided to stop thinking about it for right now, as the man continued to look at her, waiting for her introduction.
"Well, pleased to meet you Alan," she said. Then she let the mace can go and pointed at herself, "Ellie."
"Well, welcome to Montana, Ellie," he said, smiling again.
She nodded. He picked up her bag, over-exaggerating its heaviness, and then carried it toward his truck. After putting the bag in the truck bed in the back, he walked around to the passenger side of the truck and opened the door for her. She smiled and got into the truck. As he was walking around to the other side, he began to think about the perfume she was wearing. It was mesmerizing really, and she was a very beautiful woman . . . he noticed that instantly. He opened the driver's side door and got inside, glancing over at her and smiling again.
"So, where are you heading?"
Ellie had no idea. It was then that she remembered the map was sitting in the passenger seat of her car.
"Well, I was on my way to Jordan, but I'm afraid to say I'm a little mixed up as to which direction that might be."
"Ah, Jordan. Nice little city. I know where it is."
"Oh, good. About how far, do you have an idea?"
"About another hour, a little bit less. You don't have that much farther to go."
He put the truck in gear and they began to drive away. Ellie didn't know what to do with her car. It probably wouldn't be wise to leave it here, in the middle of nowhere. As she was thinking about what to do, Alan spoke.
"When we get to the next town, you can call for a tow truck. It's only a few miles away."
"Oh, I already did that," she said, holding up her portable phone. "But because I have no idea where I am, I don't think they'll be coming anytime soon."
Alan glanced at the device in her hand. It was very big and clunky looking, making him snicker.
"That thing is a phone?"
Ellie laughed, too.
"Yeah, my uncle made me bring it. And I'm happy that I did now. I'll call the tow truck guy again, if you could tell me where we are."
Ellie dialed the operator again, and was connected to the tow truck dispatcher.
"Holanda Tow Services. Jack speaking."
"Uh, hello, Jack. My name is Ellie Sattler. I called a little earlier . . . about a car with a blown tire?"
Alan continued to drive, as he listened to the conversation. Now he knew her last name.
"Sure, ma'am. I remember you. Did you figure out where you were yet?"
"Very funny. Yes I have the location now."
"Care to share it with me, ma'am?"
Ellie rolled her eyes, and then she looked at Alan.
"Where is it again?"
"Off Highway 59. About 60 miles south of Jordan, off Exit 203."
Ellie nodded and repeated the location to the dispatcher.
"Okay, ma'am. It looks as though I have a truck in the vicinity. He'll be there in about an hour."
"An hour?" Ellie yelled into the phone, "In the vicinity . . . means a damn hour?"
Alan glanced at her while she was screaming, and then brought his attention back to the dark road ahead. He found her to be very outspoken, and he admired her for that. She was not only beautiful, but she seemed to be able to take care of herself.
"Whoa, ma'am, look, don't start swearing at the messenger. An hour is the best that I can do. Would you rather he didn't show up at all?"
"Of course not," she said into the phone, somewhat calmer than the previous outburst.
"Okay, good. Then he'll be there in an hour, ma'am."
Ellie turned the phone off and stewed in the truck for a few seconds, before blurting out how she felt about the situation.
"If that damn guy ma'am's me, one more time, I'll track him down and punch him."
Alan chuckled and Ellie looked at him.
"Oh, don't worry. I'm not about to call you ma'am," he stated.
"Well, thanks for that."
"You're welcome," he said, and then he changed the subject, "So, since the tow truck will be here soon, why don't I just take you to the nearest town and treat you to a late dinner?"
Ellie wanted to accept the invitation immediately, but she let the question linger in the air for a bit, before she responded.
"Sure. Only it's not necessary to buy me dinner."
Ellie decided to let him have his way for the time being.
"Good, it's settled," he said, smiling.
He glanced at her a few times, while talking with her, but now he paid attention to the winding road outstretched in front of him. He couldn't seem to stop thinking about how beautiful and vibrant she was. He hadn't really thought about a woman, since his wife had passed away a few years ago. He found himself wanting to know more about this particular woman, whom he found on the side of the road.
He drove the truck several miles down the road and pulled into a small roadside diner. Ellie looked at the rickety old building.
"This place is open?"
"Yeah, I think so. Everything around here kind of looks old and run down."
Ellie looked at him and spoke before she even thought about what she was saying.
"Not everything is old and run down."
Feeling completely stupid, she turned away from him, opened the truck door and got out. Alan sat there for a minute smiling, and then he opened the driver's door and followed her toward the building. He jogged up past her and opened the aging door. She nodded and smiled uneasily, and then went through the door.
As she went inside, she took in the environment. It was very casual, with a few people sitting in the small room. There were only about 7 booths and a bar toward the back, complete with about 10 bar stools. It looked as though there was just one waitress, which was adequate for a place of this size. It was somewhat run down, but it had a very nice homey feeling to it. She felt comfortable there, that was for sure. Alan walked toward one of the booths. When he found the one he wanted, he gestured for her to sit down.
She nodded again, as he played the gentleman part and waited for her to sit down first. He really was a very nice man, she kept thinking to herself. Whenever he would look away, she would stare at the features on his face, trying to decide how old he might be. She thought about asking him directly, but then decided she would just wait until another time.
"So, what kind of food do you like?"
"Oh, a lot of different things really. I'm not all that fussy."
Alan nodded and a few seconds later the waitress was at their table.
"What can I get for you two?"
Alan looked at Ellie, so she ordered first.
"I'll have a cheeseburger and fries, please."
The waitress nodded, but didn't write it down. She was one of those people who didn't have to write things down.
"And what to drink?"
"Some iced tea, please."
The waitress nodded, indicating she got the order, then she looked at Alan.
"And for you, sir?"
"Same," he said.
The waitress walked away and began to yell the order to the kitchen.
"Nice place here," Ellie said, looking around.
Alan looked around, too.
"Yeah, pretty nice. I've never been here before. I hope the food is good . . . so you don't hold it against me."
"Don't worry, I won't," Ellie said smiling at him.
She found herself smiling at him quite often and she told herself she needed to stop that, before he thought she was some crazy person.
Alan had been thinking about how much she smiled at him, too. He didn't find it crazy, though. He rather enjoyed it. There was something about Ellie that made him very comfortable, as well. He was beginning to feel like he might be able to talk to her for hours in this little dump.
They continued to talk about mostly nothing, and then the food came. They quickly ate, and then Alan went to the payphone to check on the progress of the tow truck. When he came back to the table, Ellie was getting money out.
"There's no need for that. Really. I told you I wanted to treat you to dinner."
"Oh, well, it's okay. I wouldn't feel right having you pay."
"It would be my pleasure," he said, staring into her eyes.
Ellie didn't say anything for a second, as she just stared back. Alan broke the silence.
"Besides, it would allow me to properly greet you into town. How's that?"
"Okay, then," she said, putting her money away, "Thank you."
Ellie changed the subject.
"So, did they get to my car yet?"
He was still staring into her eyes. When he heard the question, it took him a minute for it to register.
"Oh . . . uh, yeah. They found the car. He said they were fixing it right now."
"We should be heading back then," Ellie said.
Alan nodded in agreement. He went to the register and paid for the meal, and then he walked her outside. She quickly got in the truck and he did the same. They began to drive back the way they came.
"Can I at least give you some money for gas?"
"You're a very difficult man," she joked.
"I've been told that before."
"I bet you have," she countered.
Alan playfully slapped the dashboard.
"And I thought my people skills were improving," he said. Then looking at her, "Guess I was wrong."
She laughed at him. She enjoyed his company and she was getting disappointed, now that they were getting close to where her car was. Soon, they would depart and go their separate ways.
"Well, maybe someone just needs to work closer with you, in regards to those people skills of yours."
"Yeah, possibly," he said, watching the road and Ellie at the same time.
Ellie noticed that he was looking at something ahead of them. She looked that way, too, and saw the tow truck lights flashing. Alan drove about another mile and then slowed the truck down, as they grew closer. A few seconds later he stopped the truck, put it into park, and looked at Ellie.
"Well, it looks as though they fixed it already."
"Yeah," Ellie said, disappointed.
Ellie opened the passenger's side door and got out of the truck, putting a cease to Alan's questions. She walked up to her car. The tow truck driver was still messing with something near the rear of the car.
"How's it coming along?" She asked, as she approached him.
The tow truck driver was hunched over, looking at something on the back of the car. Ellie startled him, causing him to jump to his feet quickly. His sudden movements startled Ellie in return, causing her to take several steps backward.
Alan was still in his truck, just waiting for her to get back into her car and drive away safely. When he saw her defensive movements, he quickly got out and headed toward her. He could hear her verbally disagreeing with the man, as she continued to shake her head in defiance. He reached Ellie and then walked past her.
"Everything all right?" He asked.
The tow truck driver looked up in a rush, as if the sudden presence of someone else was in no way possible.
"No, everything is NOT all right. The lady owes me money and she won't pay."
Just from uttering the first few syllables, Alan could tell the man was drunk. Very drunk. In fact, it surprised him that the man could even drive.
"I'm sure she's going to pay you . . . ," Alan looked at the name tag sewn into the man's shirt, "Raymond."
Ellie was happy to see that Alan hadn't driven off yet. It was well past midnight now, and being alone with this man on a deserted highway was certain trouble. She looked at Alan.
"He wants five hundred bucks. Or he says he'll flatten the new tire."
"Five hundred dollars?" Alan said, sort of laughing. He looked at Raymond, pulling some money out of his own pocket, "How about 30 dollars, Raymond? That's fair."
Raymond shook his head.
"I don't think so, mister."
Alan noticed the man had a crowbar in his hand and it made him a little uneasy. He backed off and joined Ellie, who was still keeping her distance. Raymond moved closer to them.
"If the lady doesn't have the money, she could pay it off in another way," Raymond slurred.
Ellie couldn't believe what the man just said. Alan became understandably angry.
"Raymond, I think you should quit while you're ahead."
"How am I ahead, mister? I haven't been paid. Now if she comes home with me, then . . . then I'll be ahead," Raymond said, snickering and still holding the crowbar.
"Well, I can tell you this much. She's not going anywhere with you."
"Mister, you want me to beat you to death with this thing?" Raymond stated gesturing to his crowbar.
Ellie already had a bad feeling about the situation, even before Raymond started to threaten people. She grabbed Alan's hand and pulled him away from Raymond.
"Let's just get back in your truck, okay?"
As Alan looked toward her, just for that second, Raymond made his move. He stepped forward, swinging the crowbar toward Alan. Ellie could see the whole thing. She screamed and pulled Alan toward her. The crowbar missed him and smashed into the backseat side window, causing glass to fly everywhere.
Alan rushed toward the drunk man, but wasn't able to do anything to him. Ellie was already doing something. She sprayed Raymond with her mace. They watched him grab for his eyes, lose his footing, trip over his own feet, knock himself out on Ellie's car door, and then fall to the pavement hard. Ellie was beside herself, as she tried to take everything in that had just happened.
"Holy shit! Are you okay!?" Ellie yelled from behind Alan.
"I'm fine," Alan said, looking at Raymond's unconscious body, and then glancing over at Ellie and her mace can.
"That damn guy tried to kill you!" She yelled.
"He's just drunk," Alan said, still trying to comprehend what had happened.
"Yeah, but he was a drunk with a damn crowbar."
"Where did you get that?" He asked, gesturing toward Ellie's mace can.
"I carry it with me for protection."
"Well, it certainly came in handy."
"Yeah," Ellie said, and then she snickered, "And to think, I was toying with the idea of using it on you when you first pulled up."
"Remind me to never upset you," he stated.
Ellie laughed. Alan smiled and then surveyed the damage to her car.
"The bastard broke your window."
"Better than your head," Ellie offered.
Alan looked at her. She still couldn't believe what had just transpired. She was full of energy and quite alert.
"Holy shit," she repeated, much softer than before.
They stood in the road, uncertain of what to do next. Ellie finally made the first move.
"Well, let's get him back in his tow truck at least. I'll call them and let them know where he is."
Alan nodded. Together, they were able to get Raymond back into his truck. Alan slammed the door of the tow truck and Ellie could hear the door hit Raymond in the head. She figured he did it on purpose, but didn't question him. She only snickered. Alan looked at her, laughing a little bit himself.
"You going to be okay driving that car?"
"Oh, yeah. No worries," she said in her best fake Australian accent.
"Was that some sort of Australian joke?"
"Good, because it was awful."
"Note to self. No more Australian humor."
After she achieved the desired response from him, she opened her car door and got inside, careful to check for glass that might have flown into the front seat. He closed the door for her and then leaned down to talk to her.
"I guess that's it then," he stated.
"Thank you very much for all your help . . . and dinner."
"You're welcome, Ellie."
She really liked how he said her name. She didn't want to just let him drive away, possibly never seeing him again.
"Perhaps we'll meet again," she said.
"Yes. I would like that."
Ellie went for it.
"Could I call you sometime, maybe?"
Alan took the bait and happily went along.
"Sure. Hold on, I'll write my number down for you."
Ellie opened her glove compartment.
"Here. Here's some paper and a pen."
He smiled and took the paper and pen from her, quickly scribbled a number on the paper, and handed it back to her. She didn't read it. She just put it in her pocket and thanked him. He nodded and walked toward his truck. Ellie started her car and put it into gear. She slowly drove toward his truck, where he was just getting in. He looked at her.
"If I'm ever attacked by an over-priced, drunk, crowbar-wielding madman again . . . I'll give you a call, okay?"
He laughed. She really liked his laugh and she found herself staring at his lips again, as he spoke. Now she wished she had figured out how to get a good-bye kiss from the endearing stranger.
"Okay, that's a deal. Hope to hear from you soon," he answered.
"Sooner than you might think actually. Which way to Jordan again?"
He pointed to the north.
"Okay, got it. Thanks again, Alan."
"It was no trouble. Well, not much trouble anyway."
He started his truck and began to drive away. He held his arm out of the rolled down window and waved at her. She waved back and began to drive her car down the two-lane highway, in the opposite direction.