Hey guys, we will have another chapter next week!
We're finally off Sorna and back to Nublar by the end of this chapter. I thank you for your patience with this island. I know it hasn't been the most fun. I hope you're all having a wonderful week wherever you are. Thank you much and mighty for your reviews and constructive critiques!
'They had to contain the story within the frame; the best picture contained a whole war within one frame.' – Tatjana Soli
The man startled awake before softly sucking in a deep breath at the way his leg jostled with being so suddenly moved.
Tylenol. He wanted Tylenol right now; it didn't matter what time it was. It was time for painkillers, but the soft hand on his shoulder forced the man to blankly stare at the redhead leaning over him.
Owen immediately glanced over to the dark blue raptor, completely unaware of the intruder, and he turned back to softly growl, "Claire, you could get killed if you startle Fuego. Wild. Velociraptor."
"I did something really illegal."
Owen squinted to make sure he was actually talking to his redheaded girlfriend, who did absolutely everything by the rules, and he was completely shocked to see it was indeed Claire before him.
What time was it? Why did he hurt even more than yesterday? How was it that Claire's soft voice was what woke him, and not the horrendous snoring practically roaring from Fuego's jaws?
There was no way on God's green earth that silence loving Rexy was going to even humor a half hour with this monstrosity, but Owen couldn't stop the lulling strokes of sleep from gently reclaiming him as he mumbled, "It can't be…that bad…"
Claire lowered her brows at the man ready to give his own snores, and she flatly retorted, "I broke into a house and stole some things."
She expected the shocked look as Owen immediately lifted his head, but confusion took over when he asked, "What? What house is here? Whose house? You're a CEO, what could you possibly want to steal that you can't just buy?"
They flickered their gaze over to the dangerous raptor when his loud snoring momentarily paused with a slight adjustment, and Claire tried to keep herself quiet, "I…found a key in the main office, and I broke into Bridges' house. It's not far from here."
Owen scoffed as his head rested back onto the snowy scales acting as a pillow, and he sighed, "Claire, you could empty a gun into his corpse for all I care. Put the stuff back you little grave robber."
Claire rolled her eyes at the man going back to sleep, she was half-tempted to lightly kick his leg, but Fuego would end up on the ceiling from the man's screaming. Elise was still fast asleep, and she looked precious with her arm tilted just right to keep Owen from rolling off.
The swelling wounds looked less precious, but Claire was determined to get the man up. If there was anything she had learned in her line of work, it was getting people to do what she wanted without having to do more than say a few convincing words.
And she wanted Owen to wake up and go through the spoils attained by her sticky fingers.
"It's all in my room. With hot food, a shower, and a bottle of Tylenol."
Claire expected no less when the man stiffly rolled off Elise's snowy arm with a soft groan, and Fuego briefly cracked open his crimson eyes. The raptor's sleep wasn't disturbed by Owen's heavy limping, but the carnivore did briefly lift his head at the door shutting just a little too hard.
His body ached terribly from all the running around yesterday, and Fuego decided today would be a lazy day as he hobbled over to the warm spot on the Indominus' arm. The fogged mind did nothing to comprehend that their human was gone because it was safe in this little room.
Just a few more minutes of blissful sleep…
Claire rolled her eyes at the unimpressed man who dryly added, "I better hide my valuables and change the locks when I get home. How much is Patches here going to get on the black market?"
Owen raised a brow as he leaned down to get a better look at the old bear that had seen its better days. Missing the right arm and an eye with poor stitching keeping the torn body together, the teddy bear had not been fortunate to call a gentle creature its owner. Even the blue and white plaid bowtie was tattered to shreds from milky teeth.
"It belonged to Tacet, and that house has to be searched by the authorities. I could get into trouble for compromising something."
The man glanced to her in surprise at the valid point though the early morning fogged alarm bells, "I have no idea how you live so dangerously. Breaking into homes, stealing items of sentimental value, and how do you know this is Tacet's? Could be Bridges'. He's weird enough to keep his own bear."
Claire shook her head as she walked over to the humble desk pressed against the wall and returned with a thick envelope filled to the brim with crisp photos before handing it over to Owen.
Kids today would never understand how the world would always seem to pause when in the presence of a stack of photos. A little magic in the art of storytelling was lost to digital pictures, and Owen slowly sat on the bed with Claire next to him as he began to flip through this short story.
One picture at a time.
It was a beautiful start to life with not a worry in the world as a tiny life blinked in confusion at the camera. Garnet eyes sparkled with an intelligent warmth that almost looked odd on an animal, and silver scales were lovingly hugged by a fluffy pink blanket. The baby had been born into gentle hands despite her purpose in the world, and Owen flipped to the next picture.
She was fearless and happy. How soon she had learned to work her little legs wasn't known, but there was an immediate love between this little ball of energy and her old bear who had seen many years before her. The quieter of her two teachers, the old bear had attempted to teach a rambunctious hatchling a lesson or two in being mindful of those sharp claws of hers.
He had the scars to prove it took her some time to learn said lessons, but she was a better student, unlike his former, fire scaled owner.
The next chapter was family. She had a father she loved very much, and her charming, bright personality was more than enough to entice a sincerely warm smile from the human face she pressed close to. The little silver body twisted in a way only babies could, and the jaws full of milky teeth were wide open in a gaping smile. The large pillow dented from two heads always sharing it at night, and the man's face crinkled mid-laugh when that camera button snapped.
They were a goofy duo. The baby didn't know how to be serious while the man just couldn't keep the grin off his face whenever she was around. She made him happy.
Food was always played many a chapter in life as the next picture took its time in telling of her non-existent table manners. The silvery scales were no more as every inch of her was coated in rich marinara, noodles, and delicious meat. Those garnet eyes were unashamed with being caught, and the content look spoke volumes of a father who understood it was easier to laugh at a mess rather than grow angry.
"That's my favorite picture."
Owen smiled at the soft voice as Claire gently rested her head on his shoulder. The little baby sprawled on the dinner plate of spaghetti was endearing, and the man flipped to the next picture before replying, "I think this one might be my favorite."
What was life if it didn't include the colorful, outside world? The dark emeralds were practically lit by the abundant flowers of rich gold, and the silver head seemed to fit just right among earth's treasures. She had grown since her first picture, and the silver creature didn't understand how beautiful she looked with a yellow honeysuckle resting on her snout.
Happy days when golden pollen powdered the silvery scales rather than a harsh talon to rip the flesh apart. The rich earth provided all the natural makeup for this pretty little girl to play in from thick mud to grass stains and crystal clear waters.
The chapters were as many as they were happy and colorful while Owen continued to go through each one. The silver scales quickly grew from a tiny infant who could fit in two hands to a very beautiful child just eager to see the whole wide world. Her stuffed bear shared in all the adventures, and now they understood why the chocolate fur was so worn and patchy.
This was a bear who had seen the entire world right by his owner's side.
It wasn't long before the photos became fewer, but the silvery scales seemed just as happy. Sometimes she appeared a little warier of the world, her eyes darkening to a serious gleam, but the camera didn't lie.
Not a single scar blemished those shiny scales.
But the story's joy ended just as suddenly as it started, and Owen blinked in surprise at the young baby looking afraid in the fourth to last photo. Clearly she had been caught doing something she wasn't supposed to with her delicate hand resting on a dull handle to a simple door, and her loyal bear resting on the ground. Owen was most confused by the plastic water bottle poking from under the stuffed animal.
Owen frowned at it until Claire offered, "That's the basement door…it's pretty creepy down there."
The man turned the photo over in hopes of finding more information as he said, "Bridges could have scared her on accident with the camera. I'm not sure she would go in there if he didn't want her to. Did it look like it used to be a play room? Maybe she stayed there when he was at work…could explain why she had the bottle of water."
It didn't explain that gut feeling that she knew she was doing something she wasn't supposed to. Owen just couldn't fathom what that would be from a baby's point of view.
Claire allowed herself to shrug her shoulders, "She's not very old in that picture. If it was a playroom, it doesn't look like one now. It's cold, the walls and floor are cement, and it's not lit very well. It's creepy down there. I was afraid something would pop out from behind the stairs, but it just had files. I found the bear and the photos in an old cardboard box in the back."
Owen shifted his dully aching leg while retorting, "She can't be more than a year old. Elise is a teenager at six years old…Tacet would be…three or four years old mentally in this picture? Bridges had time to change this room. Whatever she was interested in could be gone…assuming she even knew what was down there. Was it just one room down there?"
"I saw a door, but it was blocked up by boxes. It just goes to the backyard. I went around to open it from the other side, but it was locked with a passcode."
Claire slowly nodded as Owen flipped to the next picture as he added, "That doesn't mean Bridges wasn't up to something in that basement. I don't care what he said, Tacet didn't get these problems on her own. Look at this."
What was obvious to others wasn't always so clear at the time as the silvery child held her worn bear for comfort, but she no longer had the courage to meet the photographer's gaze. At a passing glance, she was simply looking to the side, but her head was turned submissively; a defenseless creature's attempt to look small and unimportant in hopes of being left alone.
Her shortened thumb had been tenderly wrapped with a thin, white bandage, and she tried hiding it in the rough pelt of her loyal friend, but the chocolate fur had become too short to offer such comforts.
"She's stressed, Claire."
Claire took the photo as she furrowed her brows in thought, turning the picture this way and that in search of more telltales, but no such clues would be found. The silver scales looked sad, even a little tired, and Claire asked, "Think he abused her emotionally?"
Owen wanted to blame everything on the blonde, but he knew Bridges wasn't stupid enough to intentionally do that. The man was fully capable of being that cruel, but he wasn't a stupid businessman.
Damaged goods weren't as valuable.
Owen frowned, "I would go back to those papers to see if he has anything on selling Tacet, Claire. Maybe his computer has something. I don't think Bridges would lay a finger on her if he wanted to sell her, but if he lost his buyers…"
"She'd lose all her value to him. It wasn't like he could put her in the paddock to replace Elise's sister since we already knew she was dead, and hiding something like Tacet would get him fired at the very least. Why would he keep her if he lost his buyers?"
Owen flipped to the next photo as he unintentionally snapped, "Because Bridges was a sick, sadistic bastard who got a kick out of feeding people to Carnifex. He wasn't sane in the head, and he had this little, innocent baby to take care of…"
Claire wasn't fazed by the tone; she only wrapped her arms around the tired man to offer what comfort she could. He was injured, angry, and in need of someone to lean on. Claire felt better when he gave a small sigh with muscles loosening, and the kiss on her cheek was tender.
The photo wasn't.
It was the calm before the storm with everything in place; a serious scene void of any emotion as that silver child coolly eyed the camera with an unusually blank expression. Those vivid, garnet eyes had dulled with exhaustion as she draped herself on the neat bed, and her loyal bear sagged on the nearby nightstand. She would come to a man's hips at full height with clean teeth gleaming in the dim light and a single feather plucked from her own arm.
The broken tip had accidentally smeared a delicate drop of blood on the sheets near her hand.
Her thumb had already healed, not much time had passed since the previous photo, but she looked older. She was worn and tired. The baby, who had yet to see her first birthday, lacked that energetic luster to color her bright soul. Life from Lonicera's point of view had neared its conclusion.
Owen flipped to the last photo, and a sad sigh escaped him. Few details were crystal clear as the camera had swung away when the button clicked, but that said everything he needed to know about the situation. The Indomitus, who hadn't aged since the last photo, had finally snapped into lunging at the camera. Teeth coated with her own blood rushed the photographer, but her head was angled just right to allow a glimpse at the recently sutured throat. Owen didn't have to be there to know she wouldn't have made a sound.
Cruel without reason.
"This was everything you could find?"
Claire pressed her lips before admitting, "I just saw the pictures and the bear…I was hoping you would see something I didn't, but I didn't think to look for anything about selling her. I wonder if he was going to sell her to BioSyn."
"Why would BioSyn buy her like this?"
Claire crossed her arms to think as Owen flickered his gaze to the sad bear, and he wondered if Tacet would even want this back. Would it be smart to just shove this back in Tacet's face and hope for the best? He didn't think so, but maybe she would want it later; the man knew Elise would like to see these photos for herself.
It added a little good to Tacet to know she used to be a happy creature. It was just a hair easier to find that extra patience she needed when they could envision who she had been.
"To cover his trail?"
Owen blinked, and Claire shrugged, "I'd have to go through his paperwork, but moving ownership could have given him a lot of loops even if he was caught with Tacet. Mrs. Dodgson is a widower, I bet Bridges was just using her to take the heat of his own back. I'll tell Judge Knight after I eat my breakfast."
Owen nodded as he silently slid his hand into Claire's for no reason other than to simply touch her. He never understood how such a strong woman could have hands this soft, but he was content to run his thumb along hers.
He needed to check Elise's slashes again, feed the duo, keep a lookout for the boy…
"Think Tacet would want the bear back?
Owen glanced back to the stuffed animal before clearing his throat, "I don't think it'd be a good idea to give her the bear right now, but we'll hold onto it. Did you ever talk to Tony about Tacet and Carnifex?"
The look on Claire's face suggested not, but she slowly asked, "You really think Tacet is going to get pregnant?"
Owen was sure life was having a grand time of spitting in his face when it came to large projects like this. The odds were not in his favor, and the man just wasn't comfortable assuming nothing would happen. Why would nothing happen? Would they be that lucky?
"Carnifex was with her for an entire day, Claire. Tacet is healthy."
The redhead raised her brow, and Owen quietly added, "Physically. She's got the body weight to support a pregnancy. You have a backup plan for that, right? Jurassic World has massive dinosaurs, what do you do when you need to prevent a pregnancy?"
Owen knew his girls hadn't done anything as far as egg laying went; even unfertile eggs weren't deemed important enough to bother creating without ever seeing or hearing another male. That wasn't the case with other species on the island, and Claire slowly said, "Owen, Sobek is the only male dinosaur on the island, besides the scavengers, and Fuego. Is he fixed?"
"He will be if Tony never got him."
The redhead glanced to the side before saying, "Sometimes it's a lot cheaper to breed a female rather than create the baby in the lab."
"Raptors lay an average of twelve eggs, Claire. I want to keep it at a nice, controlled four maximum."
He held up four fingers just to make sure the point got across loud and clear, and Claire nodded patiently as she gently pushed the hand down, "My point is we keep things simple. No boys, no breeding. All the dinosaurs with frog DNA have either changed sex already or didn't change at all, and most of them are too old for reproduction, like Rexy. I doubt she'd change her sex."
"So as far as a day after pill kind of solution…?"
Claire knew Owen was just being desperate at this point when she kept her tone quiet like she was talking to a little kid, "Jurassic World has not fully explored the reproduction field simply because we've never had the need to. We carefully monitor what females we choose to breed. If an egg isn't deemed healthy or worth saving, we freeze the eggs before disposing of them."
Owen opened his mouth before lowering his brows when she gently cupped his face to slowly add, "Dr. Gerald Harding absolutely will not perform surgery on an animal unless necessary. That is his line, he has already torn my board members to bits over it, and I know he won't do surgery on Tacet unless her life is in danger. Surgery is the very last option for him, and we don't have anything to give her to prevent or terminate a pregnancy."
She gently squeezed his face, mostly because the man's cheeks looked hilarious when they were mushed, and Claire finished, "Medically speaking, it's just safer to let the dinosaur lay her eggs, and then we interfere. Dinosaurs don't handle surgery well, Owen, they don't. It's why they're so tough to begin with."
That was not comforting to Owen, and he sighed, "So if Carnifex has strong swimmers?"
The redhead almost rolled her eyes as she answered, "We deal with it if that happens. Besides…Tacet has human rights, and California believes a woman has the right to her own body."
Owen opened his mouth again only to have her firmly say, "So if she gets pregnant, keeping the babies is up to her unless she's deemed unfit, and even then I'd have to double check."
The redhead blinked when Owen slowly rolled flat onto the bed and sighed, "I'm stressing…"
"You'd have a heart attack if you did my job."
She smiled when he only agreed, and the man groaned just to show how tired he was with the growing problems. He felt less ready to face the day, but life felt just a little better when those soft fingers began to lightly trace his sore face.
It was going to be okay, and maybe life had enough of ripping them to bits.
Today was not a good start to being a good Alpha.
Blue was a little more than disappointed to learn young Trickster was not actually a good actor, but in fact an animal with a sincerely weak heart. It had a taken a good chunk of time to get the pack of clouds to safety in the plains, and Blue went back to the nest feeling proud of herself.
All Oreo-Clouds were left safe and sound in the lush grass with a nearby pond, but the Beta had come back to discover Trickster did not survive the night. The pack of clouds didn't seem too broken about it, that was good, but Blue now knew that Stern One's looks apparently could kill.
That was also good to know, and she would warn Stupid Alpha about the fatal gaze to prevent more unneeded deaths.
The sheep weren't thrilled about the massive Velociraptor turned part time sheep dog, but most of the wooly family understood how to be herded. Not that it really helped when their terrifying guardian was still learning even if she was a fast learner. The leader of the herd was less than happy with the forced acquaintanceship, and the old bellwether had dubbed the carnivore 'Terror' while Blue named her new Beta 'Angry Oreo'.
Currently, the little herd grazed at a distance from Blue and the fallen Trickster. The blue raptor was content to know their elder had woken to patrol like normal even if the movement seemed a little forced, but today Stupid Alpha would come back. Stupid Alpha always returned.
Her scales were crawling with disgust at knowing Ugly One was deep in their territory, and the Beta paused to glance back at the remaining, fourteen sheep. She would have to hide them always or they'd be eaten or stolen. These clouds made her happy, and they had cheered up Stern One. To Blue, the sole purpose of this fluffy pack was to cheer up hurt pack members when no one else could.
She'd move them soon, and hopefully they wouldn't be too terrified of her after she finished her meal.
He didn't taste anything like an Oreo, but Blue still counted Trickster as absolutely delicious.
He was awake, he was hungry, and he wanted to see some beautiful blue skies. That fair wind would kiss his nose today, and Elise cracked her eyes open at feeling the cool breeze before flicking her gaze over at the proud chirp.
He was a brilliant creature, yes he was, and Fuego gave a loud bark to get up! The water here had no flavor compared to the crisp, laughing river, and he went through all the trouble of guessing the correct pattern on the screaming box.
He was so smart, Fuego couldn't help licking his own chest in self-praise. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Humans were not the smartest things in the world, nope, he could work their little boxes just as easily.
The snowy Indominus gave a small sigh as she continued to lie still; her body somehow knew it was in for a world of hurt if she moved, but Fuego was a believer in tough love as he walked over with a firm bark to get up. He would take care of hurt family always, but she could walk.
He couldn't bring water to her, and the dark scaled raptor gave a firm nip on the cheek. No lazing about! Today wasn't a lazy day anymore! It was only a slightly lazy morning.
Elise puffed air through her nose at the hard headbutt on her shoulder, and Fuego loudly snarled. Move! Big things needed lots of food and water, and Alpha Elise was a very big thing! She was in the process of healing, and the raptor wouldn't be satisfied until she drank.
Another headbutt into the cheek forced the Indominus to lift her head, and the stiff pain was something else entirely. Why hadn't she hurt like this yesterday? Elise felt like a crusty, sore mess. She wasn't hungry or thirsty; Elise just wanted to rest.
Life was painful again…
Fuego chittered to get up or die, and the Indominus sighed her own retort that sleeping was not dying. She wanted to rest, but Fuego knew better. Sleeping was for after eating and drinking.
Water was very important; Fuego understood that much very easily.
The river wasn't too far a walk; they wouldn't have to go to the same spot as yesterday, and he gave an unbearably loud, long yowl until she tilted her head in irritation. His lungs were beautiful, healthy, and Fuego was content to show just how large they were until his snowy Alpha moved.
Maybe his throat hurt a little by the time Elise forced herself up and slowly after the pleased raptor. Now the Indominus was seeing the differences between Fuego and Blue. Both were incredibly stubborn when it came to what they wanted.
But, Blue was content to go about her day if the rest of the pack didn't want to bask in her presence.
Fuego wasn't about to leave anyone behind even if he had to yell, bite, and headbutt the pack member who outweighed him by more than a few tons. She gave a low moan in wonder of how Rexy was going to react if she ever decided she wanted to sleep in.
All things beautiful, it wasn't going to end well for Fuego, and the Indominus followed the perky little thing into the jungle without a second thought about the wide open doors. She didn't wonder why they were suddenly open.
Elise was more focused on what tree she'd plant on Fuego's mushed body after Rexy was done with him. Maybe a stubborn weed for his persistent personality. Elise liked that idea.
Perhaps a pretty dandelion.
"It's a good thing you didn't see Alex, Baby."
Elise gave the man a dry look as he shamelessly added, "It means Alex is off doing his own thing, far away, and you're right here where you belong. Away from him. He's probably making sure Carnifex won't come back. Way on the other side of the island."
The Indominus gave a sigh as she lowered her head; she wasn't feeling very cheery despite the calm walk to the river. She didn't get to see any Brachiosaurs this time, that made her a little sad, but no Compys felt angry enough to follow them.
That meant they probably found another meal, and that was a good thing.
She was still sad about Dr. Wu's death, and she hurt knowing that Tacet didn't like her.
It wasn't a good day even if she didn't count it as bad, and she had hoped to find Alexander to cheer herself up. Elise had wanted to talk with the male one more time before leaving, but everyone was content to stay close to base in hopes of making the time go by a little faster.
Fuego was happy to chitter his Alphas' ears off after discovering just how incredibly important and wonderful Owen's hands were.
A perfect backscratcher, and the dark scaled raptor threw his head back with a delighted trill when the fingers dug just right into his spine. This was a good, wonderful human who had figured out how to merge with his own kind. Good human, and Owen couldn't help a small smile at the chitters of praise.
He liked Fuego, and the man sincerely hoped the raptor would mesh well into the pack. He felt the Velociraptor would get along with patient Delta as long as Blue didn't despise his very existence. Maybe mellow Echo would prove willing to befriend the new member.
Or everything would work out and Blue would happily welcome Fuego with open arms.
Owen snorted; that wasn't going to happen even if he pleaded and begged the Beta, but he glanced over when Elise gave a small sigh. He hated it when she wasn't herself, and this was something more than getting sick from injuries.
Elise was bummed, and he didn't blame her.
Fuego gave the man a dangerous look when he dared to pause from backscratching, but the carnivore was appeased with resumed affection as Owen quietly said, "Hey…Elise, it'll be fine. I'm sure Alex is off doing his own thing."
The Indominus gave a small sigh, and he paused before trying, "I went and saw the little baby Ankylosaurus. She tried taking a swing at me. She's doing better. Did you think of a name for her?"
Elise slowly opened her eyes as a little warmth of happiness seeped into her chest. It did make her happy to know the little baby was doing better, but she felt guilty for not thinking of a name and lightly shook her head.
"Well, let's think of one right now, Baby. We've got time to spare."
Elise shifted slightly to better face the man, and Owen gestured to the bed of wood shavings, "Got any ideas?"
She lightly shook her head, and he insisted, "Come on, I hate seeing you like this. She's a cute, fiery little girl. I bet ten bucks that says she won't be afraid of anything when she grows up. How about Amber?"
Elise paused to think as the man reached into one of his many pockets for a small notepad he nabbed from Claire's office this morning. It was already half full of bored doodles, but he wrote the name down while adding, "Sophie, Honey, Brooke, Belle…maybe Matilda?"
The Indominus slowly lifted her head and began to lightly tap her talon in thought; she did want to give the baby a very meaningful name like Owen had done for her. It had to be a good name, one easy to remember so all guests would know it, but with a good reason.
Honey was pretty, but it was a nickname, and she didn't want to give a name without reason. Brooke was very simple and beautiful, and the baby hadn't been found too far from a river. The names Matilda, Sophie, and Belle meant very little to her, and she shook her head.
Elise was named after her favorite song after, technically, being saved by Owen. Now she had saved this baby, and she wanted to do the same in giving a meaningful name.
But…she doubted the baby had a favorite song…maybe a favorite food?
Lettuce? Carrots? Grass?
Naming was hard, and Owen smiled at the soft sound from a stumped dinosaur before he offered, "Eve, Blossom…Butter…Rocky…"
Elise gave a dry look; butter was a food…but so were tater tots, and Owen sheepishly replied, "What? All the cartoon Ankylosaurus are yellow like butter. She's going to have a pretty mean swing with that tail. We can name her after Rocky Balboa. He's a great fighter who could overcome anything."
It was a cute name…but she wouldn't name a baby Butter. There was no meaning, and it'd only be cute as long as the tater tot was a baby. No, she wanted to give a good name.
But Owen had given her an idea…maybe she could name the little herbivore after someone important. Someone good who brightened the world in their own way. The Indominus had a feeling she wouldn't see the tot after this trip…she could get away with using any name, but it felt odd.
How confusing it would be to have more than one Owen, Claire, or Tim. Very confusing, and the Indominus paused when Owen chuckled, "How about Olive? Kid looks like one."
Elise snorted at the man; the baby looked like a grey tater tot, and she wouldn't be convinced otherwise.
…It was odd to give someone's name to someone else. Carlos had expressed it as a form of gratitude, and Elise had many humans to be grateful towards, but to use a living creature's name for another?
It almost didn't feel right.
There was Claire, the epitome of a determined woman, Rexy was a wonderful mother…Jackie was the rainbow everyone needed…Owen was her father, Lowery her godfather, Barry a good cuddler, her nephew was bright eyed Tim who took care of the family…Rosie, Charlotte, Ted…Dr. Wu created her.
She wouldn't even have family if it wasn't for Dr. Wu. She wouldn't have her sister, her pack, her parents, or anything. No wad of dirty paper she didn't care about, no chance to decide the future of her kind, not that chunk of amber, or even knowledge of her other sister's existence…
Wu gave her a lot when she stopped to think about it.
Owen raised his brows when the Indominus carefully stretched her arm to write out the name she liked, and he couldn't help his smile.
Owen knew Elise was only familiar with one Henry, and yet he found it fitting from the Indominus' perspective. It was a bittersweet feeling of relief in knowing that Elise was not only willing to forgive the man who caused so much harm, but honor the much good he had created in the world.
From the tiniest Compy to the largest carnivore to have ever trembled this earth. Every tall Brachiosaurus to graze on treetops owed its second chance at life to a brilliant man who breathed life into a near insane vison of a man who remained a child at heart.
Dr. Henry Wu had hurt the world plenty with his callousness, but he paid the ultimate price of his own life. Whether he had a change of heart in his last moments wasn't something Owen could know for sure, but Elise was willing to believe Wu changed for the better. It was a naïve, but admirable thought.
"I think Dr. Wu would like that."
Elise crooned as she lightly traced the name again before freezing in realizing that was only the first name. Why humans insisted on full names was beyond her, but Elise would never deprive another living being of the same rights.
Baby tater tot needed a full name.
Owen raised a brow when the Indominus wrote, 'MIDDLE NAME'
He leaned back with pressed lips, and the Indominus made a soft sound as she immediately took a liking to Amber. It was a pretty name, but Dr. Wu had given her a beautiful chunk of amber special to him. The first chunk to hold dinosaur blood.
Elise didn't think middle names were as important as the first, but she was named after an apparently fantastic country. It was Lowery's way of extending that same glory to her despite never setting foot on such land.
Amber. Simple, beautiful, and very, very important to Jurassic World. To the man who brought back dinosaurs, amber had been essential. For Elise, the amber chunk was the second most sentimental thing Wu gifted her.
She owned the first chunk of amber, and this was the first dinosaur she was going to name.
Owen couldn't help the crooked smile at the light, happy feeling filling him. The adorable innocence Elise was capable of showing time and time again never failed to make him stop and smile.
Despite her intelligence and ability to quickly grasp human culture, Elise never allowed herself to be strictly bound by culture norms she deemed to be pure nonsense. This baby girl would be named after a deceased, intelligent man, and that was final regardless of gender.
Granted, it helped that none of the Ankylosaurus would beat up Henry Amber-
He raised his brows high as Elise gently swiped the dirt over before writing out the full name, and Owen counted the little girl lucky that no Ankylosaurus would beat up Henry Amber Tater Tot for having an odd name.
Owen would have taken a little more control if this had been a human or fellow Indominus, but this was a simple herbivore. Elise was given presiding power over naming said herbivore, and he used his foot to draw a short line between the last name before saying, "There we go."
HENRY AMBER TATER-TOT
A jumble of odd names with so much meaning that strangers would be completely confused. To humans who put everything in its own category, a full identity consisting of a boy's name, a girl's, and a food was a very odd combination.
Yet, he wasn't at all surprised to see it from Elise.
Owen just hoped she wouldn't be given too much grief over it, but he made a mental note to hold just a little more control over the naming the eventual additions to the pack.
He had to hide a light snort at Elise's content look. She was very pleased with herself, proud for having reasons on why she chose what, and the man leaned back while lightly tracing the scarred indents of Fuego's back.
He approved of the name Henry, Owen liked the sound of Amber, but he was completely lost on why his baby girl concluded Tater-Tot sufficed as a last name.
Did she even like tater tots?
Owen startled awake at the harsh bark as the Velociraptor leapt up with eyes wide, teeth bared, and claws itching to slash the idiotic creature who dared breathe his name without permission.
The feathers perked up with interest at seeing that familiar face, and Romano smiled, "Vieni qui, Fuego."
Owen raised his brows high at the thick steak being offered as the vet added, "It's your favorite. Ribeye."
"Tony, what are you doing?"
Elise stared, head tucked between her hands, as Fuego practically flew to meet the tossed meat with excited vigor before those jaws snapped shut on the rare prize.
Tender kill from Teacher! Delicious!
Romano snorted while leaning against the door frame; he was sad life in the wild hadn't worked for the raptor, but Romano didn't think twice about the animal's fate on Jurassic World with caring people, intelligent vets, attentive handlers, and healthy packmates.
Plus, Romano couldn't help but to like an intelligent creature who knew a good cut of meat. Fuego deserved to have it, and the vet tucked his hands in his pocket while answering, "Miss Dearing said the ship would be here soon. I hate darting Fuego, he doesn't need to be shot at, and those tranquilizers are gentler. I'm just glad he forgot that trick."
Owen would remember that as Fuego joyously groomed his claws clean and chittering self-praise over snagging such a great late lunch. He loved these kinds of kills from Teacher.
So tender, juicy, and delicious. Why could he never find the creatures who yielded such delicacies? It had been too long since he last tasted these joys. Fuego lovingly flickering his gaze to Teacher before pausing at the pressed lips.
He faintly remembered that expression…from what?
The raptor slowly swiped his tongue over sharp teeth once more before the slightly guilty vet also gave a shrug of his shoulders. Fuego knew what that meant.
If he was going to sleep… What was going to happen to him? What were the humans planning?
Fuego bolted out the large doors with a petrified shriek; this was supposed to be a calm day! He wasn't going quietly! They wouldn't take him alive!
Elise lifted her head at the shriek fading into the jungle, and Romano rubbed the back of his neck, "Maybe he does remember…we should have closed those doors…but the tranquilizer should hit soon enough, and he has a tracker."
The Indominus sighed at the silent question when Owen glanced to her, and she rose with stiff grace to follow her panicking packmate. With her luck, Fuego would fall face first into the river, but her sharp nose managed to avoid being damaged in the fights. She would find their drugged raptor and bring him home before Compys could eat him as payback for yesterday's rough treatment.
And she made a mental note to never take food from Romano.
It was also a comfort knowing that Fuego, despite being so intelligent, wasn't very bright when it came to evading capture.
Elise couldn't help another snort as she gently puffed the ground to confirm the raptor's arrow-like trail through the jungle, but he had made something of a slow arch around the settlement. It was a very easy trail to track with the many plants betraying his path by holding the musky scent.
The Indominus felt a little better knowing the Velociraptor wouldn't drown in the river behind them, but the nervous concern returned when her foot sank into warm sand holding a vast ocean at bay.
Fuego had allowed no obstacle to slow his escape with his footprints far apart and deep, but the silhouette of a lone carnivore pacing along the waters enticed an amused rumble from Elise. She couldn't help glancing down the beach and a soft laugh escaped her throat.
Despite all that effort to put so much distance between himself and Romano, Fuego hadn't done very well in actually getting away from the settlement that was just a short walk away. She could actually see Repair making final touches on the dock where a large ship was meant to be.
She was happy to see said ship in the distance, and the Indominus moved to give some kind of comfort to the sluggish animal who probably thought he was going to die.
Maybe talking of home would help him.
This was not good…not good at all.
What were they plotting against him?! Fuego was ready to kick himself for so foolishly forgetting about Teacher's sleepy meat. How could he forget that the valuable lesson?! How to open the cages, and to not eat any human kills!
Foolish! Fuego let out a low garble as he ignored the way his legs gracelessly stumbled, and the raptor snapped his gaze further down the beach. It was dangerous to sleep here; the sandy grounds held many little pickings for cowardly scavengers.
He'd practically be a feast if he stayed here!
Maybe he needed to swim…could humans swim?
Fuego snapped his gaze back to the waters with a low whine. He didn't want to wake up with sore skin, bitten skin. He didn't like being forced to sleep.
Clever Teacher catching him when he was unsuspecting; Teacher would live a long time, but Fuego couldn't say the same for himself after his leg suddenly gave out. It was mere luck and sheer will that he forced it back into place.
His head felt so light…what creatures hunted the salty waters? Were they bigger than him? Was he food? Fuego felt he would be food, but the sudden, soft chitter was delightful music to his ears.
Incredible! She managed to tack him despite his speedy evasive tactics! The raptor wobbled over with waves of praise for her skills as he ignored his swimming vision.
Fuego was very happy to see Alpha Elise again. How long had it been since he last saw her? Wait, where was their Brave Idiot? Idiots needed to be watched; Fuego knew that much. Dawn was an idiot even if he was fond of her.
Where was Dawn again?
Fuego paused to glance around as his fogged mind failed to bring up the details of her whereabouts. What about Cheshire? That lazy oaf would sleep the day away if he wasn't put to work.
The raptor made a low sound when he nearly lost his balance, almost face planting into the sand, as he wondered where the duo were. Cheshire was going to love Brave Idiot and his hands that scratched in all the right places. Dawn would be a little afraid of the human at first, but she was going to get along great with Alpha Elise.
Dawn would love to have another female in the pack; especially one so confident and protective. Maybe Alpha Elise was experienced in raising hatchlings, and she could help Dawn with next season's clutch.
What happened to them?
Fuego made a slow turn in hopes of seeing the duo, whose faces he couldn't quite recall in this disoriented state, but he happily forgot all about it at a comforting chitter.
A very good Alpha was always there for pack members; even the bottom of the pack. Alpha Elise was good, and Fuego stumbled closer to her while chittering his growing affection for her.
He was very happy that she found him so the humans couldn't bite his neck, and Fuego barked a stern order to keep watch because he couldn't. The sleepy meat had finally gotten the best of him, but Fuego felt he put up a good fight this time.
Next time, he would resist the temptations of sleepy meat.
Elise tilted her head when the raptor simply succumbed to the tranquilizers by flopping onver, and she turned her gaze to the blue waters softly chuckling as if amused by this one of many creatures it had seen over the long, endless years.
The ocean had seen dinosaurs, and the Indominus took a deep breath in hopes of coaxing the dancing sapphires into telling her a story of such times. Wind was incredible at painting tales for her, but the ocean spoke a difficult language.
Maybe it was because she wasn't a creature of the ocean. Perhaps Lilly spoke water's words; she understood the soft songs deep below the surface. What wonders could the lizard behold if she was free to roam the earth's oceans?
Could Lilly make herself fit in the world if anything happened to Jurassic World?
Elise didn't know, and she took another deep breath as the breeze shifted. The jungle's lullabies were her first tongue without words, a comfort in the night, and the Indominus closed her eyes as the wind painted the picture.
Humans worked tirelessly despite being exhausted in a scarred settlement, but the strong smell of trauma was slowly fading. Not far was a fresh river where life made merry in times of plenty and new neighbors reluctantly got to know one another.
Even if she couldn't hear them, Elise could faintly catch the rich scent of herbivores releasing a pleasant perfume into the world through broken leaves and trampled grass where it collided with the ocean's crisp scent.
That jungle smell…that was home to her, and Elise took another, deep breath to bring herself closer to peace. It was a harmonious scent, a strong one that brought forth happy memories along with a warmth to her chest.
Towering trees, cool soil, all the little lives calling the same place home…he smelled wonderful…
The jungle was bound by no gender, and Elise turned her head in confusion towards the thick tree line in search of the source of that musky smell.
Fuego lightly twitched in his drug induced sleep as Elise shifted to face the wall of emerald where a craftily camouflaged creature remained invisible in all ways but smell, and curiosity tempted her to move for a closer inspection
Why did this smell so familiar? She knew this scent…
The Indominus also reminded herself not to stray far from vulnerable Fuego as she gently poked her snout into the thick leaves. She would puff air in hope of catching another hint before moving down to repeat the pattern of Guess and Check, and the pleasant scent grew stronger until a shiny dribble of saliva on a large leaf caught her attention.
Maybe a carnivore who saw an easy meal in Fuego? But, Elise wasn't alarmed by this scent…it was a good one.
The Indominus carelessly shoved her face into the thick brush before freezing at warm scales meeting her snout. No sharp teeth made to sink into her skin for the rude invasion of space, but the large creature's snout gently pushed against hers to reveal healthy, emerald scales.
A handsome personification of the jungle, and Elise brightened when those warm amber eyes met her own.
"Do you know if Fuego's fixed?"
Romano glanced up from his dart gun to think as Dr. Grant continued to stare down the beach through binoculars belonging to the vet, and Owen crossed his arms. Tacet was slowly going down from her own tranquilizers, and Elise needed to help put her sister in the large cage.
…To put her own sister in a cage. The bitter shame weighing heavy in his gut was hard to ignore, but the vet shrugged, "He is. We never fixed any of the other males because Fuego was so aggressive. We had to try something, but I believe Dr. Salvador's intern performed that surgery."
Romano squinted in thought and nodded, "I remember because Fuego didn't mellow until after he took that intern's arm a week later. I've learned male animals on this island have amazing intuition when it comes to figuring out who took their balls. It's incredible really."
Grant snorted as he glanced around just to make sure no sneaky carnivores were prowling about for easy prey, and Owen raised a brow, "You mean the same vet who let Elise's sister die? The one who botched Tacet's throat? Any way I can convince you to double check?"
Romano snorted and replied, "Dr. Salvador was intelligent but lazy and indifferent. That intern wasn't incompetent even if that was our first time castrating a Velociraptor…I wasn't there for the surgery, but he signed off the records saying it was a success."
Owen was not comforted by the way Romano paused to recall the intern who hadn't lasted long on the island. The vet remembered complaints regarding the man's younger age and inexperience, and the Italian added, "It's not that difficult to castrate, Owen. I did it with Sobek after he got cancer."
Owen opened his mouth to point out how much easier it was to pick out big boulders compared to little pebbles before Grant suddenly said, "Speaking of males…has Elise ever shown any interest in seeking a mate like Tacet?"
"No…" Owen leaned over to dangerously eye the oblivious paleontologist still looking through binoculars as he added, "Elise doesn't like any boys. At all. None. She doesn't…why?"
Romano raised a brow as Grant shrugged, "Guess I'm looking at a very masculine female Tyrannosaurus rex. Not that-"
Owen immediately snatched the binoculars away to gape down the beach where drugged Fuego baked in the sun while Elise gave a slobbery kiss right on the scaly cheek of the boy…
Sonofabitch! The bastard had caught him sleeping, and Owen made to rescue his daughter from the sneaky cradle robber before a strong hand gripped his vest as Grant sighed, "I'm going to pretend you didn't just try running towards the Tyrannosaurus, Owen."
"I'm not leaving Elise alone with that male! Dart him, Tony!"
Owen had to admit he was amazed by the strength of Grant's hand, and Romano snagged the binoculars for his own look before dryly saying, "Calmati, Owen. I studied Tyrannosaurus rex couples when we had them. I've never seen a male bold enough to be aggressive with a female. They are like…the, what's the word? Not the boring husbands…"
Owen raised a brow as the Italian's brain attempted to sort through the double dictionary of two languages before he shrugged, "Un mazzolino di fiori. They're like the sweet boys who always bring flowers and wait for the girls to make the first move, you know? Do not fret over Alexander. They are only grooming."
The vet glanced to the dark gun by his side and added, "Besides, this a small dosage meant for Fuego if he decided to fight what I already gave him."
"Elise is not ready-"
The Italian impatiently waved a hand as he cut in, "Are you seeing any mating behavior out of either of them? I won't provoke Alexander."
Owen rolled his eyes, and Grant snorted before asking, "How old is that male? He's smaller than Rexy and Elise. Is he full grown?"
"Males are usually smaller. Leonardo was and so is Mario. I don't know how old Alexander is, but…I wouldn't put him at anything older than maybe…early twenties?"
Owen went white as a sheet as Grant nodded, and Romano glanced over to joke, "I'd ask him myself, but English was hard enough to learn. I can't imagine how my Tyrannosaurus would sound."
The paleontologist gave a crooked grin at the truth of it before the vest suddenly became much lighter when Owen took his opportunity until the sharp click of a gun forced him to freeze. Grant couldn't stop a wide grin when Romano sternly snapped, "Hands in the air, on your knees, and walk back slowly."
Owen blinked in confusion as Grant leaned over to quietly ask, "Is that what the authorities say in Italy?"
"…Of course. You can't run if you're on your knees."
The paleontologist had to give a small chuckle before Owen took another step towards the oblivious dinosaurs, and Romano snapped, "We don't have another body bag, Owen. You want this dart in your butt or not?"
"I'm not leaving Elise alone with the boy."
Romano was tempted to simply fire the dart gun as he argued, "It's not even breeding season for Tyrannosaurus, Owen. I can promise Alexander won't make a move unless Elise gives him permission. Come back or I shoot."
Owen refused to budge, and Grant eyed the gun, "He's not running with that leg. We can catch him pretty easy, and Elise can come pick him up. How fast will that work?"
Owen couldn't hear the vet softly murmur, "Fuego is three hundred pounds roughly, but Owen's taking plenty of painkillers that I don't want mixing with this stuff."
"Ah, we're bluffing."
Romano nodded as he adjusted the powerful dart gun, "Owen, you come back or you get the dart."
Owen risked glance back at the duo still grooming one another, and Grant pulled out his phone, "I wonder what your mother would say if she got a picture of you going after Alex…"
"That's low, Dr. Grant."
The paleontologist only gave a crooked grin as he retorted, "Remember that little plastic dinosaur toy you made me dig up? Think of this as harmless payback."
Romano raised a brow, and Owen tried, "If you tackle Tony, I'll let you dig up Alex after I bury him. No plastic toys this time. He's even a Tyrannosaurus."
Grant only snorted at the hopeful bribe.
Now Elise considered this a very good day as the teeth carefully nibbling across her shoulders with a soft rumble. Elise wasn't sure if it was coincidence that Alexander was happened to be here or if he was looking for another conversation, but she was all too happy to have a grooming session.
Elise was completely oblivious to the nearby hostage situation as she gave a low rumble that Alexander returned. They hadn't spoken more than simple greetings, preferring to let body language get the message across, and both were content with everything said.
There was a little click between them that required little words and effort.
With a verbal language lacking the complexities humans took for granted, the act of grooming was a perfectly acceptable excuse to get to know one another; the foundation they would build their relationship on. What it would grow into wasn't something either were concerned about at the moment.
The male moved to better nip between the sharp weapons dotting her neck as he allowed his gut to say what it pleased. It actually didn't have much to say, but he liked what he felt around her. Bright Scales suddenly appearing added in unexpected flavor to his life, and the Tyrannosaurus swiped the snowy scales again as he pondered if she was something he wanted to indulge in or ignore.
After leaving the river, Alexander had found himself patrolling back home with an empty feeling in his gut. A quiet warning to go back or risk missing an important opportunity. What Alexander wouldn't admit was he had gone and blown bubbles in clean water at every opportunity in hopes of enticing that unique flavor back to his senses. Bright Scales had woken him in a way he liked; she was fun, and Alexander never realized how boring his life had grown until he met her.
How unusually silent his life was without need for his own language until now. She definitely held the potential to be very important in his life, that concern he felt after hearing her furious roars yesterday was all the proof he needed for that argument.
Alexander made a soft sound when she moved to nip his own neck. He was happy to see her again, and the Tyrannosaurus wished to at least earn her favor enough to make these grooming sessions a regular thing. How he missed grooming, and her thorough, careful nibbles soothed all the aches he never realized he had. That terrifying itch in his gut, that blaring alarm that he could be the last of his kind, was abated for the moment.
A little more flavor to his life, and right now, he could freely enjoy this fun, new flavor to his simple life. No worries, no plans, only grooming and whatever entertainment she brought with her besides the fainted pack hunter over there.
The duo startled at the sharp snap, and Elise blinked at Owen frantically waving his arms where the settlement met the beach. She didn't understand that signal, but the shining gleam of a large gun caused her to tilt her head.
Did they think Alexander was a danger to her? That couldn't be right…surely they knew she'd give a roar for help if the Tyrannosaurus was being aggressive, but the Indominus was confused.
Maybe it wasn't good to leave Fuego in the sun…
Alexander made a low rumble as his lip curled; gross humans. His belly was already churning in realizing just how close he was to their scarred territory, but the Tyrannosaurus froze at the sunlight rolling down the barrel of a gleaming weapon.
He knew what those were, and he knew how they left deep holes in the defenseless living. This wasn't safe, and the male began to leave an agitated sound before Owen suddenly leapt into the air with a howl.
The large carnivores simply froze in shock as the man landed flat on his back while frantically shaking his leg, and Elise made a low whine of concern. The carnivores were confused when Owen began to tear at his leg, and Romano glanced to his dart gun.
Elise never knew her human could be so…dramatically flustered when he managed to yank the would-be assassin crab from his pants before throwing it towards the ocean waves, and Grant began to laugh. It only seemed to make Owen angrier when he tried moving towards the carnivores only for Romano to lift his gun again.
Now Elise was very bewildered. She thought the vet liked Owen. Was he being held hostage? Sam and Derick hadn't trained her for that situation yet; she wasn't sure how to help him, but Dr. Grant was a friend.
Was her human in danger? He just looked…furious…
Owen snarled at the fearless vet who made his own, sharp retort with a nod of his weapon, and the other man gestured back with a wave of his own hand. Of course, an offensive wave of the hand towards a hot-blooded Italian was just as dangerous as thumbing one's nose at a short tempered raptor.
It was begging for a fight.
Alexander was growing nervous with the loud yelling from both parties, and Elise began to realize her own profanity library was very bare and dry compared to the former Navy's vast, colorful collection of curses. And she had learned some Italian today even if she had no idea what the words meant.
The amount of combinations and intricate selection was something very…artistic if one had the ear to appreciate it. Truly, words were a versatile weapon in a battle of wits. Curse words were the extra spice and hard punches in conversation battles when used intelligently, and Elise wondered why Owen left her hanging with such few curses for her own use.
A simple middle finger was so dull and boring compared to the words she was hearing now. Elise wondered if his mother knew all those words. Would Romano be willing to translate those long, fluid words for her?
She couldn't be certain the vet was cursing, but Elise was willing to assume the loud words had nothing to do with the blue sky above.
Alexander, despite his massive size and irrefutable claim to top of the food chain, didn't like all this yelling and drama. It had nothing to do with Bright Scales, and the male turned with a low rumble. He would come back later when the loud squabbles had stopped, and he could resume peaceful grooming with the snowy dinosaur. This was her territory even if he hadn't caught any scent markers, and Alexander assumed she'd want to dedicate her attention to putting the humans in their place.
It'd be nice if she simply drove them all away. He'd even help if she wanted.
He only paused when the Indominus made a soft sound of disappointment, and the male glanced to the snarling humans. Wasn't she bothered by the disturbance of her quiet space? Alexander waved his tail as his gaze fell to the unconscious pack hunter, and he supposed humans and pack hunters were very similar.
Angry, little, loud, and fearless. Maybe Bright Scales felt human fights were just as normal as pack hunter squabbles. Still…Alexander never liked loud even if she obviously wanted to continue the grooming. Maybe he could entice her to a quieter part of the jungle for the sake of their hearing.
The Indominus turned her gaze back over as Owen angrily yelled, "We're leaving right now! Tell the boy to go away!"
Elise blinked in confusion when she realized the vet had already stormed off, and Owen snapped, "He's going to get the wrong idea!"
He bristled when she refused to move; Elise wasn't being stubborn, but she wasn't about to let the man assume something so low of Alexander. He was very well mannered and gentle. They were just grooming one another. There was nothing wrong with that at all. If Alexander got the wrong idea, Elise would correct him.
It was that simple.
"Elise, I'm not in the mood to chaperone you! Move!"
Grant continued to stare through his binoculars, and Elise didn't stop herself from throwing her middle finger into the air in response; a beautiful rocket sailing into the vast sky while the smoke left behind formed all the words needed to form her inarguable retort.
Grant dropped his binoculars, and Owen gaped.
"Elise America Grady!"
Elise wasn't sorry as she turned her nose to Alexander; Owen had taught her that people rude to her for no reason deserved to see her classy middle finger. His words were blunt, and that tone hurt so much. Owen wasn't about to get away with this unprovoked lashing. Father or not, she wouldn't tolerate that tone he saw fit to use on her.
Like she was acting incredibly stupid or naïve. Elise wasn't about to disregard the male who saved a lot of lives, including her own. The Indominus didn't owe Alexander her affections, but he at least deserved sincere manners.
She loved the idea of being friends with the mellow male. He was an incredible ally and a perfect gentleman as far as she was concerned. She would get to know him whether Owen wanted that to happen or not.
Owen wouldn't get away with acting so ungracious, and she had plenty more rockets to launch at him if he wanted to continue this battle. He earned all the respect as her parent, but she was her own creature, and Elise didn't budge when Owen snarled her name again.
What irritated the Indominus was she knew Owen wouldn't dream of using that tone with anyone else. Not Blue, not Rexy, not Charlotte, not Claire.
Especially not Claire.
Alexander lowered his head as he took a step back at the dangerous growl; this wasn't his business. Obliviously Bright Scales wasn't in the mood to groom, but he'd try again later. Hopefully after Howler was squished or sent swimming.
Elise immediately sagged at the unsure behavior, and it made her all the angrier at Owen for being this dumb. She didn't want Alexander to leave like this.
The Indominus wanted to part on a good note, and Elise couldn't help but to be a little smug when Lopez and Claire walked over to the fuming man. Even from here, Elise could see the redhead wasn't pleased, and she unsympathetically crossed her arms when Owen attempted to sway her to his side.
The man's one sided story hardly held up against neutral, dry Grant who pointed down the beach before stepping onto the sand with Lopez. That was the final line for Alexander, who was already melting into the thick brush without even shaking a delicate leaf from scraping branches, but the male paused to wait.
He was curious to see how the snowy dinosaur would deal with invasive humans; maybe he'd learn something helpful in getting rid of the loud things.
"Is he going to charge us, Ghost?"
The Indominus flickered her gaze to the Tyrannosaurus before shaking her head; Alexander obviously would have preferred no humans at all, but if they stayed over there…he'd tolerate them for now.
Dr. Grant continued to stare at Alexander evenly meeting his own gaze. The Tyrannosaurus had a unique air, but he lacked that hair raising, blood chilling, natural presence Rexy effortlessly wielded over all lesser creatures. Grant would have never stared Rexy down like this, but Alexander was content to hide in the bushes.
He wondered why. Why hide in the bushes from two little humans? Grant was incredibly curious, and he was always happy to fish for ornery details just to push Owen's buttons.
"Is his leg hurting him?"
Elise blinked as Lopez glanced over to the tall trees, and Grant continued, "I noticed he limps a little. Did he hurt his leg in that fight with Carnifex?"
The Indominus immediately moved to carefully inspect the muscled leg leaning against a strong tree as she made low rumble of concern; she hadn't smelled blood last time they talked… Maybe he found his own trouble?
Elise only pulled away after the male gave the soft warning growl; it wasn't angry or aggressive, but his way of establishing a line. It's how they got to know one another, and Alexander didn't care for dangerous weapons near his leg, but he did like how their snouts bumped again.
He couldn't recall if his parents bumped noses, but it was friendly.
Were the humans not a problem to her then? She wasn't paying them any mind, and Alexander poked his head from the thick leaves to get a better look at these rude, brave intruders.
They weren't impressive.
He preferred it when they ran away…maybe he needed to squish one with his jaws, but it was always so hard to get that terrible ick off his scales.
Elise shook her head at the paleontologist, who was more thrilled to simply observe the duo's soft conversation. It was incredibly fascinating even if Grant kept in mind the good possibility that Alexander wasn't a mirror of his ancient predecessors.
Still, Alexander didn't look like a theme park monster…a little too tame, but maybe male Tyrannosaurs weren't as aggressive when there wasn't food or young to guard.
"I'll guess that's an old wound considering injuries to the leg would be pretty hard to recover from given his size. Do you know how old he is? Was he here when Jurassic Park used the old labs north of here?"
Elise almost found it funny how Grant was a harmless curious, and she adored it. She was even happier that Alexander didn't seem to be bothered by the paleontologist's gravelly soft voice.
Grant was a calm creature, and Elise suddenly remembered Alexander had left this island on his own adventures. Dinosaurs leaving an island was big news, and she wondered if maybe the older man had heard of said news as she wrote in the sand, 'LEFT ISLAND AS BABY'
"That…doesn't make sense." The older man crossed his arms in thought before continuing, "Obviously he came back… he's not old enough to be on the official records of Jurassic Park. There's no reason to bring a Tyrannosaurus hatchling off the island unless it was someone trying to start their own park. Who raised him? People?"
Elise shook her head, and Grant pressed his lips, "Hammond did have a couple Tyrannosaurs on this island just in case something happened to Rexy and that youngling she was raising…that'd explain who his parents are…"
'FATHER LEFT ISLAND WITH HIM'
Grant furrowed his brows as he risked glancing back at Lopez leaning over Fuego, "Did Hammond have any reason to transport male Tyrannosaurus off this island?"
The Commander knew the history of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World like the back of his hand and answered, "Hammond never wanted a male on Nublar."
"Alexander here says he left the island with his Tyrannosaurus father."
"Well, I'd go out on a limb and assume he was the infant that InGen tried taking with a big buck. San Diego Incident. It explains why he's…weird around people."
Elise brightened with excitement, and Grant couldn't help a small smile as he gestured to the Tyrannosaurus crinkling nostrils shut as if smelling something foul, "Does Alexander remember breaking his leg? Are you able to…ask him if he remembers people wrapping something really stiff around his leg after it broke?"
The Indominus gently nipped the jungle jaw for his attention before rumbling her question, and Grant couldn't help but to be amazed again; he loved studying the complex world of communication.
Rexy remembered breaking out, but what was Alexander's memory? The male would only be an infant. Was the Tyrannosaurus capable of remembering that far back?
Alexander made his own, soft rumble at the gentle questions, and Elise turned back to Grant as she swiped over the sand before writing, 'GENTLE FEMALE MALE WHO ALWAYS TALKED'
She blinked when the man almost let a snort slip, and Grant just couldn't stop his grin. He knew it. He knew all along Malcolm couldn't resist the sound of his own voice, and all Grant pictured was the talkative mathematician chittering an infant's ear off.
No wonder poor Alexander was so wary of loud, talking people.
Why was it so funny to imagine the mathematician blathering Chaos Theory to a sedated baby? Malcolm was a respected college professor, and Grant snorted again in realizing stereotypical college students were probably like sedated Tyrannosaurus infants.
Hardly aware of what was going on around them, zombie-like, and unwilling to move until rescue came. Some weren't even ready to leave the nest.
It was the perfect audience for Ian Malcolm in Grant's opinion, and a short laugh escaped the man as he fished through his pocket. Alexander retreated further into the jungle when the sun caught the silvery sheen of the older phone, but Grant only smiled, "Elise, thank you very much."
The Indominus didn't know what she was being thanked for, but Grant snapped a photo of those wary amber eyes. As much as he hated this island and being around dangerous carnivores, this was a forever treasured memory.
Besides, the terrorizing Spinosaurus was already on the other island.
"Tell Alexander to stay safe out there, and don't worry too much about Owen. He's just being overprotective. Claire's the one with common sense here."
Elise didn't think Owen would back down so easily, but Lopez kneeled next to the sedated raptor as he said, "I love pushing Grady's buttons just as much as the next guy, but we're pressed for time, Ghost."
The Indominus tried not to sag, and the Commander shrugged, "Believe me, if we had the time, I'd tell you to take your conversation with Alex out of Grady's sight just to make him sweat."
Grant gave a rough chuckle, but Lopez nodded to the jungle male, "You give him a kiss goodbye, and if Grady threatens to roll over dead, you tell him that kiss is from everyone Alex saved last night. The ship docks in twenty, and I want everyone ready to go, alright?"
Grant had already moved to have a good look at Fuego when the Indominus turned her head before warming at the accidental bump of their snouts. It made her feel giddy in a light-hearted way. It was a light touch, and she couldn't help but to playfully bump her nose against his once more just because it was funny.
She would have made a game of it if she thought Alexander was that patient, and the Indominus sagged when she realized it really was time to go.
She didn't want to say goodbye. The Indominus had wanted to see the lush valley, explore the wild, rescue more babies, and it would have been much safer with her newest friend acting as a guide.
Elise just wished she could have spent one day with the male before leaving. She enjoyed his company, and the Indominus didn't know when she'd be back. He lived in the wild…his life was dangerous even if Bridges was gone.
What if she didn't get a chance to see Alexander again? Elise was sad to think that, and she made a soft rumble of farewell.
Alexander wasn't surprised with the sudden departure. The air had been put off by the nosey humans…maybe he could see her in a few suns, but the male startled at a loud, blaring horn of an arriving ship in the distance.
He knew exactly what that was, and the male wouldn't be caught anywhere near it.
It'd draw far too many humans, and Alexander backed further into the jungle before flinching when strong fingers carefully snagged his jaws. He began to curl his lip in warning until the gentle tongue washed up his cheek.
That was a goodbye kiss because Elise liked him enough, and she crooned that she'd see him again, but she was leaving on that human carrier.
Alexander really didn't like that. If she was going, then so would his opportunity to make any kind of relationship with her. Companion or simple grooming; he was going to be alone again. Bright Scales was leaving so soon? With the humans and pack hunter?
…It was technically no loss to him if he really paused to think about it beyond simple gut feelings. She talked like him, smelled something like him, but her lifestyle was not like him. He didn't want humans nor pack hunters in his personal life, and she lived with both species.
That life wasn't for Alexander; not now it wasn't. If he paired with her, he would have to follow her lead in their hunts, where they nested, and how they parented. She was going to lead him right to humans, and he didn't want that.
He just couldn't see the benefit to it, and the snowy dinosaur gave another kiss before she left to scoop up the fallen pack hunter. How odd her front limbs were compared to his own…how useful.
She was really leaving, wasn't she? She was going away...
Elise startled to a stop at the soft growl, and she glanced back to the male taking a single step from the treeline as he made the same growl again. It was a simple growl with only one meaning.
It wasn't an order, but a humble request by a male who didn't want to be alone for the rest of his life. Alexander had no idea what he currently felt for the snowy creature, but he didn't want that door to shut for good. He didn't know what the future held; if she'd only make for a good neighbor, a grooming partner, or his future life mate, but Alexander couldn't let her leave without making that growl again.
It wasn't desperation that motivated him, but that knowledge of how important clicks were between two companions. Clicks transformed surviving into thriving, ordinary into extraordinary, and existing into living. Alexander knew because his parents had clicked. From they met until his father died protecting his loving mother, they had brightened each other's lives. Even if they died tragically, they had lived happily.
Alexander couldn't live a complex life of adventure, spicy romance, and thrills, but he understood joy. He realized the importance of happiness, and if this creature could make him happy just from blowing bubbles in a river, then her name Bright Scales no longer had anything to do with the snowy scales.
She brightened his life, and Alexander didn't want to lose that. The gut-wrenching fear of losing that light made it crystal clear; it was that simple, but he had to offer everything before she would even consider leaving her home across the endless waters. This island hadn't been kind to her, he could see the wounds, and she had the tired look of one strayed too far from home. He could see that now, but she could make a life here.
He took another step from the trees as he made that growl again. Stay. That click would be her advantage over any normal female of his kind. She made him happy, and he knew he could do the same for her. If it would make her stay, he would happily make a kill and offer it to her. He would go make that kill right now if she would just wait for him.
If she would stay, Alexander would willingly learn to appreciate and adore everything unique about her. He would take all the challenges in stride, he'd be more patient with neighboring pack hunters and humans, and he'd proudly call any healthy baby his own; no matter the color of their scales. The difficulties of survival could always be overshadowed by a warm, happy light. He'd protect her until his last breath.
Alexander would do all this and more, if she would stay with him and continue to be that bright light in his life. It wouldn't always be that simple, but he wanted to try. If she would stay just one more day, give him a bit more time, he could show her exactly what he saw in their future.
Because he didn't have the words or ability to say it, but he could make that single growl in hopes that she'd understand.
Elise lost her breath, and she didn't know why. It was gone in that humble plea as expressive amber pools said everything she needed to understand. To stay with him, and Elise didn't know what to do. She had to leave obviously, but her hero...
Alexander had no place on Jurassic World right now, and she couldn't stay on this island. It was black and white; this was the part where she corrected Alexander. This is where she would argue that didn't know the male well enough to make that kind of decision. Where she would explain that she wasn't ready for a mate, babies, or even leaving her mother's safe shadow.
But, that sound of gentle rejection stuck in her throat because her gut had only a single, irrefutable statement.
She felt safe with Alexander. Humans complicated everything, but every other creature in her blood wasn't so complex; even the Velociraptor. The human in her was such a slow, philosophical thinker, but basic instinct was a snap of the fingers. It wasn't the human in Elise that held the sole decision on her potential mate, and the fear of leaving her mother's shadow wasn't as terrifying when she had someone else's to walk with. Elise wasn't ready for babies, but she was ready to find a companion.
In human terms, a boyfriend or girlfriend who would become her life partner in the years to come. Who better to try that path than with her handsome hero who had a gift in making her crummy day happy? He smelled so good, he had kept his word to come when she called, and he treated her with respect. He sincerely wanted her to stay.
The blaring ship horn startled the Indominus into yelping, and she snapped her gaze to the docks as Fuego limply lied in her hands. Lopez slowly flickered his gaze between the duo, and Elise let out that lost breath. She had to go back to Jurassic World to protect the island from her sister. She was an Alpha to the Velociraptor pack, and Elise couldn't say goodbye to her entire family; she'd miss them so much.
Was it wrong that she wanted to ask Alexander to come with her? Was that selfish of her to ask the male who had traumatizing experiences with humans? She'd give Owen a heart attack.
It probably was selfish, and now Elise realized she no longer had the right to mock Disney princesses. She actually wanted to leave with Alexander on a whim. She adored the image of cuddling this male whenever she pleased, making a nest with him, and even having a nest full of loud babies in the years to come. She could see her life on this world happily passing by with Alexander by her side. To wake up every day to those vivid amber eyes and to kiss that cheek every night before sleep.
But, in reality, he was a stranger she didn't know; a friend at the very most right now. She had to go back, and he was needed here. Elise could only hope that this opportunity would present itself again in the future because, this time, she had to say no.
She would not stay, and he could not come.
Lopez furrowed his brows before realization dawned on him when Alexander glanced away in disappointment, and Elise turned to leave. Grant only smooshed his hat down as he began to follow the Indominus, but Lopez continued to stare at the male Tyrannosaurus. The pity was overwhelming, and the Commander glanced back to Elise before giving a soft whistle.
It was foolish, but the Code of Brothers demanded he take action.
Alexander blinked at the man as Lopez lightly patted his chest, "I know you've got no idea what I'm saying, but, Buddy, you better come back every time you hear that ship's horn because I can promise she'll be back one day. Got it?"
Was the human actually garbling at him? Alexander was confused, but the man was already trotting down the beach after Bright Scales. The Tyrannosaurus wanted to leave, but he couldn't move. He simply watched as the brightest creature in his simple life slipped away with the two humans walking alongside her like family. Maybe it was for the best. Alexander had heard a faint roar on the winds earlier; two more of his kind. He could always fight for the female, but...
Bright Scales had hesitated, and that was enough to light a burning determination in his chest. It would remain there in her absence, and the male settled into the brush just in case she changed her mind.
He was a simple creature who enjoyed his life of hunts, patrols, and sleep. Alexander would go about his day like every other for the years to come, but he would learn to heed that ship's horn echoed across the island. The captain of the ship would quickly establish a pattern of using that horn only when a certain creature sailed here.
Only then would Alexander break from his simple routine to find the bright scales. And, for every trip she graced him with, for every time she would leave on that ship, Alexander would always give a simple, single growl.
To stay with him.
"And if Owen ever pulls that again, you just throw him over, Elise."
The Indominus tilted her head at the smoldering redhead who firmly added, "Don't you dare let him back on, have the captain radio home, and I'll send a helicopter for him…eventually. He's a former Navy, he can swim and think about his attitude."
Elise made a gentle croon as she gently brushed her hand against Claire before Lopez trotted over, "Praise God, Jesus, and Todd the crane guy, we can finally leave. Let's move, quickly, before something else happens. Please."
He lightly jabbed the snowy scales in an almost desperate way as if terrified more tragedy would strike in last attempt to thwart them from going home, and Elise almost snorted. She was sad to say farewell to Alexander, but her mood had been severely dampened by seeing her slumbering sister in a cage.
It hurt to see someone so much like herself deemed an incompetent hazard to basic life. Elise sincerely hoped Tacet would sleep as much as possible, and she glanced down when Claire gently said, "You'll be fine, Elise. Keep Fuego calm, and I'll make sure we have everything ready when you get home."
The Indominus lowered her face to lightly nudge the redhead in gentle affections before warming at the soft kiss on her sore scales. Nothing was better than a mother's kiss, and Claire gave a small smile as she began to walk up the docks to take her helicopter back home.
She was half-tempted to leave Grant after he riled Owen with pictures of Alexander, but the redhead figured revenge would be better in the form of a fully designed Yutyrannus attraction and paddock. All on paper with expenses calculated by next week.
"Alright, Ghost, let's move. Please."
Elise snorted as she turned before Lopez startled at seeing the newly appointed Commander of Isla Sorna's small ACU team standing in their way.
Lopez couldn't resist pushing the serious man's buttons with a smirk, "Come to kiss me goodbye on the docks? You romantic you. How are you still single?"
Elise couldn't help a glance back down the beach. Austin raised his brows as if he was going to snort but instead gestured to the snowy dinosaur, "I want a word with her. Alone."
Lopez blinked before actually deflating; he had failed to get Elise on the ship before the final strike of disaster slapped them silly for even thinking they could leave so easily. He had almost made it, he thought Alexander was their last hurdle, but the man tried, "Austin…we need to leave, and I know you don't like-"
"Got it. I'm just talking."
The rich skinned man waved a hand in dismissal now that he and Lopez stood on equal grounds, but he still tugged the tired Commander into a brief, fierce hug. Austin wasn't one for affection, but he respected his former leader.
Elise tilted her head when Lopez's gave her a warning look to keep the peace before trotting away, and Austin crossed his arms, "I'll cut right to the chase because I still don't like you. The next time you see Blake, I need you to ask him about building a memorial."
She blinked at the sudden request, but the Indominus lowered her head to better eye the man who continued, "He and I sometimes talked about it when he was Commander, but when he comes back to ACU, he won't have Commander duties to keep himself busy, and when he gets bored, he drinks; not enough to get in trouble, but he doesn't need that temptation anymore."
The Indominus began to lift her hands, but Austin shook his head, "I don't want a conversation with you. I'm not ready for it, but I know Blake has been dying to whip you into shape. If you two have this…little project to bond over, I'm sure you'll be the best of friends before the year is over."
Elise couldn't tell if that was sarcasm or not, and the man nodded to the waiting ship, "You got him on the bottle, you got him off the bottle, and you are going to keep him off the bottle. This memorial project is just the thing to keep him busy and your sharp nose in his business."
Austin crossed his arms before finishing, "Will you do that for Blake? Keep him from drinking since I'm going to be busy with this not so shabby island?"
He wasn't surprised when Elise immediately nodded; she would happily do what she could to make sure Blake wouldn't take poison from the brown bottle. She could still feel that sharp, ugly stench biting into her nostrils, and Elise knew she could get others to help if a problem ever arose.
She wouldn't need to involve Blake in an incident for help, and the Indominus made a soft sound as Austin suddenly turned to leave, "Great, and try not to let your sister destroy Nublar. Earn those wings and halo, Ghost. Blake will be calling you Angel by this time next year."
Elise blinked at the departing man's back as she contemplated asking if she really had to earn wings to help Blake. Austin knew she was terrified by the mere thought of flying, right? And what use had she for the little, orange fruits children were fond of?
Maybe those were supposed to be Blake's treats for good behavior. It made sense to Elise.
The Indominus startled at a quick whistle from Lopez already on the ship with everyone else, and she stood to leave with a sense of relief filling her. They would return home with half the help and twice the work, but Elise found tremendous comfort in knowing her mother's shadow was on the other island. Elise would never take the safety of that shadow for granted, and she briefly paused to glance back to the beach where that rich, jungle smell enticed her sensitive nose.
If it wasn't such a bad time, Elise couldn't say she wouldn't have asked to stay a few days with Alexander just to see what would happen.
It was an unending nightmare, and he didn't know how to wake up. The horrors just wouldn't end, terror after terror, and his temper were growing all the more volatile; it was poisoning his very soul with a bitter burn.
Carnifex curled his lip in a hurtful rage. He wanted to just bare his teeth at everything to instill fear, he wanted to be safe, but life wasn't cooperating. It was a horrific wake up call to realize he wasn't as strong as Father allowed him to believe.
Why would Father allow that to happen? His parent was supposed to prepare him for the world…
The Spinosaurus paused to sniff the swampy grounds before limping down the trail again; he had no idea what to do. He was desperate for any kind of meal, but prey was sharp and he was focused on finding his human. If he found Father, he'd find his old life once again.
Carnifex wanted that, but he also wanted food…he needed food. His gut had never ached so badly before with hunger clawing deep and unforgiving, and the Spinosaurus startled to a stop at hearing the familiar growl of a human carrier.
Maybe it was Father, and the Spinosaurus did his best to shake the exhaustion off as he softly walked on the marshy ground muffling his steps. He knew how to sneak up on humans, and Carnifex wasn't sure if this was his human or a different one with the loud sticks that hurt his nose and face.
And underside; he still wasn't over that unprovoked attack. Sure, they had all tried to kill each other, but Carnifex never thought to attack any male there.
Just…that wasn't right. Even in his mind.
The Spinosaurus quieted his breathing as he stalked close to the thicker foliage with the unfamiliar voices growing louder the closer he drew; none were Father. Father wasn't here. Just other humans, and Carnifex curled his lip as his belly burned with heavy anger.
Salt deep, deep in his emotional wounds in realizing these humans had wasted his time. Filthy trespassers wasting good air and soiling clean earth… Carnifex had never despised something so bitterly in seeing those worthless no goods cruelly raising his hopes for nothing.
They had teased him.
"How was I supposed to know everything would go to shit when we arrived? We're just lucky the big Spinosaurus got shipped to the other island."
"Old sonofabitch is going to get fat and lazy over there; I saw him not too long ago, and all he does is fish."
Carnifex narrowed his eyes when the group of five fell silent until one added, "A real shame, he would have made a hell of a hunt. Did you know he downed supply planes? It's why they couldn't build anything up here; Sobek wouldn't let them."
"I think he's got a son here, but there's no way I'm going to fire a gun with all the guards on this island. Can you imagine the fine we would get?"
The first poacher snorted dryly before he retorted, "I can imagine how pissed I am with all the money I spent for nothing. Not even a raptor."
He paused to inspect his gun and sighed, "I wanted a shot at that big Tyrannosaurus buck."
"Come on, he's the last one on this island. I think he needs to be left alone."
The man rolled his eyes as he stoked the fire, glancing up for any signs of smoke, before he replied, "You sound like Roland; he turned into a preachy thing when someone asked him about hunting dinosaurs at that Hunting Expo."
"Okay, but he's kind of earned that right. I remember someone saying Roland wrestled crocodiles, and like, I believe it even if the guy is in his seventies."
One of the poachers suddenly frowned as he glanced over his shoulder to blink at the thick brush before turning back when the first waved a hand as he snapped, "I don't see what the big deal is, it's not like they can't come back, right? InGen can always make more Tyrannosaurs again if they need to. So what if I get the buck?"
They reeked like pests…
Filthy vermin were not welcome here, never welcome to this land, they were not worthy to breathe this air because that's what Father had taught him. Carnifex learned that hatred from his human. He couldn't allow filth to live, hunt, or even flee from here. Never. No pest would find mercy from him, and the Spinosaurus relished the numbing knowledge that this island was full to the brim with this…garbage.
This poisonous meat of the island, this agonizing sickness that needed to be put down, and Carnifex knew exactly how to cleanse this island of its unfortunate infestation.
He had found a purpose beyond the safe walls with Father.
"You know what I'd pay good money for? Hunting Elise. She would have been a real challenge out here."
One of the poachers raised his brow when he replied, "She's got enough human in her, that's murder in my book."
The poacher glared before the other waved him off with a sigh, "Whatever, it's not like I can get to her anyway, she's dead from what the news is saying."
"The news still isn't reporting the same thing. Half of them are-"
The Spinosaurus allowed a ruthless snarl to fall from salivating jaws as he parted from the thick brush, and the poachers froze in horror. Cowards! All of them!
Here or in his old home, pests were all equal in Carnifex's eyes. They all deserved to die.
They never expected him in all his rightful glory, and the Spinosaurus relished his wounded pride stitching back together with that sheer terror acting as a gentle needle and thread. He just couldn't help it. That thrill of knowing he was vastly more powerful was so fulfilling.
Crushing pathetic prey like this just soothed his soul; it calmed him. Did he kill because it pleased Father or because it felt so good?
The Spinosaurus quickly snapped his jaws into the first poacher as he lashed unforgiving talons through another while the remaining three scrambled for their car. The hot blood in his mouth was exhilarating, and Carnifex was lost in the intoxicating thrill.
Maybe he'd take their carcasses to that nest Old One left behind. It made him feel good to see those bleaching bones drying in the sun. Maybe he'd add Limper's bones one day.
It was too bad pests rarely good meals, but Carnifex was famished; this pitiful plague was a feast tonight, and the Spinosaurus turned his attention to the car desperately spinning its wheels in the swampy mud.
So worthless were these cowards, they couldn't even properly escape.
Carnifex made a low sound as his long talons speared the roof of the car, and the screams of terror acted as a gentle bandage to the pride Limper had so viciously destroyed during their fight. Carnifex felt as if he hadn't even been a challenge to the powerful one, but this was the elixir to cure all emotional wounds. The key to life, and his reason to live.
He felt like he was still important if he could instill terror into these humans; he still had power over something familiar.
The car was slowly flipped onto its side as Carnifex began to pull it apart, and he felt his muscles relaxing. He was making Father happy, and that euphoria tingling down his long spine was addicting.
Pests. Edible plague. Filth.
It didn't deserve to exist, it had no right to breath, and the Spinosaurus hissed when his talon speared the soft flesh of a shrieking poacher. Father always rewarded him after dealing with the unworthy vermin fouling the air. If…if he hunted pests out here, then maybe it would entice Father into finding him. If he killed enough, his human would bring him home. They could hunt together.
Carnifex liked that idea as he ripped the poacher from the car before the hot blood burst from a crunch of his long jaws.
He would hunt what didn't belong on this island, and a firm snap silenced another poacher as Carnifex glanced to the last one desperately trying to hide himself. Carnifex could smell the fear; it was an enticing perfume as thick string of bloodied saliva dribbled from his parted jaws.
No coward would be allowed to leave this island alive.
He would survive; Carnifex was determined, and Limper couldn't win every fight. The Spinosaurus would learn all his tricks eventually, and every trespassing human would be exterminated from this island before he would die a very old animal.
Carnifex would rule after Alexander, and this land would one day be free of poachers because of his obsessive, bloodthirsty nature. Bridges had taught the Spinosaurus everything he needed to know in order to survive Isla Sorna's most dangerous predator.
Rexy gently swished her tail again as she continued to watch the oblivious, very bored, and tired Spinosaurus mindlessly drool over the large branch. The old male continued to entertain himself by chewing and slobbering over the wood, but it was funny to catch the normally so proud carnivore acting like a bored fool.
Maybe Rexy had grown concerned with the Spinosaurus' whereabouts when he made no responding calls today. Now it was late, time for sleeping with her little oddball terrors, but Blue One vanished again.
She was busy with trouble, and Rexy wouldn't bother worrying over the hatchling's business as long as the trouble stayed away from her territory.
Still, the Tyrannosaurus found herself wandering White One's home once more in dwindling hope that she'd come across her baby, but she found bored Rude One obviously waiting for something.
Or someone. Rexy didn't question how she knew he was waiting for a bright scaled hide, but it did make her fonder of him for it.
At least he hadn't vanished, but he had resorted to hatchling behavior in attempt to keep his attention. Chewing an old, dry branch like it was a meaty bone…it was entertaining.
The Spinosaurus froze with wide eyes when she allowed a rumble to escape her throat, and she silently begged him to pretend he hadn't been caught acting foolish. She wanted to see how he'd save his mountainous pride, and Rexy tilted her head when the branch was promptly snapped by strong jaws before the old male held his head high as if he intended for her to witness the entire thing.
He didn't chew branches for fun…his tooth was sore…that was Sobek's story whether he could tell her that excuse or not. All his actions had purpose…only idiotic hatchlings chewed tree limbs for entertainment…
He wasn't a hatchling.
Sobek didn't count himself an idiot either. So there. He was brilliant and damned handsome too.
Rexy lowered her snout to the ground as Sobek promptly decided to groom his claws to make sure she knew he was a mature adult who could care for himself. She had to know he was brilliant, yes? Maybe she thought he was damned handsome too? Even if they weren't the same kind?
Sobek liked to think he was so handsome that even females of other species couldn't resist his charm. It was settled then. Sobek, once more, deemed himself gorgeous.
The Spinosaurus paused from self-worship when the Tyrannosaurus made a soft, sad sound, and he immediately huffed. No! No being…this. Sobek had it under control, and he made a low hiss in attempt to communicate that much.
Wise One needed to be her grand, glorious self while he, the mature, brilliant, and gorgeous adult, handled this situation. He'd find Twisted One, and he'd bring her sorry hide back to her mother so he could challenge her to another fantastic fight.
That was the plan, and Sobek intended to see it through despite his hurting, full bladder. He needed to leave again…because maybe he was a little old, but he'd be right back to catch Twisted One. He knew she'd return, his gut promised him, and his gut had never led him astray.
The Spinosaurus curled his lip before pausing when the forest snout lightly bumped his. Sobek didn't mind, he adored her enough to welcome this invasion of space, but the male blinked when the powerful jaws gently bit his own.
Sobek was so dumbstruck that he couldn't react. She had half his snout in her mouth for…no apparent reason other than to give a little light chewing that he almost couldn't feel. He didn't process a threat with this odd action, and Sobek only grew more confused when she lightly bobbed her head with a soft rumble until realization dawned on him.
Did she honestly believe his beautiful nose could substitute as a tree limb for chewing amusement?
Hilarious! Sobek was as close to sarcastic as an animal could get when he gave a warning growl. Enough. He needed his snout to survive, and her jaws were just a little too dangerous to be chewing said snout.
She had her fun, he wanted her to spit out his nose now. Come on. Spit. Now.
The Spinosaurus huffed when the sharp teeth released his snout with an amused rumble before the Tyrannosaurus turned to leave. Rexy sincerely wanted to sit here and wait for her youngling to appear, but it wasn't smart.
The Tyrannosaurus had to trust that her intelligent daughter knew where to go, when to come home, or maybe even move on as an adult. She was large enough, but Rexy startled from her sad thoughts when sharp ivories gently trapped the tip of her tail.
An emerald eye evenly met the burning gold as he flicked his own tail before giving the softest squeeze just to prove they remained on even ground. She wanted to chew his nose? He got to chew her tail.
Sobek only released the forest tail when it lightly waved in warning, and he leaned forward in order to admire the departing view. Such grace with each step, she hardly looked old despite the heavy sadness, and the Spinosaurus rested his gaze on the slightly boney hips.
She would recover the lost weight; it would be fine as soon as Twisted One returned, and he rose to find food and water before coming back.
Sobek was a determined creature; he would catch the duo at these doors if it was the last thing he did.
"Alright, last stop of the night…"
Owen nodded tiredly as the lead ACU vehicle slowed to stop, and Lopez asked, "Am I going to get a call at three in the morning about a loose Velociraptor?"
"It's Blue proof, and Rexy isn't here to give Fuego a boost over the walls. We won't get the test results for his blood until the day after tomorrow, Commander. Fuego stays put."
Lopez glanced into his rearview mirror where Elise longingly gazed to a particularly comfortable patch of grass, and he asked, "You taking Ghost home after we get Fuego settled?"
Owen didn't need to look at his baby girl when he answered, "She's not taking two more steps after walking all that way to drop off her sister."
They hadn't acknowledged their fight, and Owen regretted getting so snappy with her. He had no idea the boy had asked her to stay, and Elise felt no need to mention it to him.
"…At least Tacet was quiet the entire time. I almost thought we overdosed on her sedatives."
Owen let out another sigh as he resisted the urge to recline in his seat; Tacet, who had done exactly what they prayed for, unintentionally ravaged even the most steeled nerves on that endless trip.
They gave her silence, a comfortable tarp tied over her body for protection, and she had rewarded them with docile behavior all the way. The Indomitus ended up sleeping most of the time after exhausting herself with worry before the trip.
Owen felt like he had been playing the worst game of Jack-in-the-Box with Tacet; every minute had seemed like that one where she would simply explode with a rage filled fury in retaliation for being bound like some animal, but no.
Tacet slept soundly, only waking once to give a soft sneeze that startled a guard into tripping over Elise's own tail.
A loud shriek from the transport vehicle startled Owen from his thoughts, and he couldn't stop a small snort. Fuego, for all the unusual patience he had, was a very outspoken animal who hadn't taken so kindly to waking in a cage. Owen even learned a few new curse words after Elise did her best to explain the situation to the wronged raptor. Fuego had refused to hear any excuses as he was the only one in the cage while his Alphas strolled about as they pleased.
The dark scaled male had been mildly appeased only after ACU, desperate for constant silence, locked Owen up in his own cage for a few hours in hopes of making everything a little fairer to the loudmouthed animal.
Owen hadn't consented to being locked in a cage, and Elise might have found it a little funny to watch the two males sulk in their separate prisons while the golden ray of sunshine, Shakira, occasionally graced their ears through a crackly radio.
"We better get Fuego before he decides to chew me out again."
Owen couldn't help a wide grin as he slid out the armored car; maybe Fuego had attempted a little bargaining when he realized Lopez was technically the big Alpha of the ship. What better way to prove himself than through a good old-fashioned fight for the right to walk around freely?
The proud raptor had been more than merely insulted when Lopez sanely declined, and Fuego refused to keep his voice below an earsplitting screech unless Alpha Elise kindly translated all his insults to the weak willed, scrawny coward.
What Owen had to love, admire, and fear about Fuego was the fact that he was gifted in quickly handling a situation, even for a Velociraptor. The girls sometimes forgot Elise could translate their words, but Fuego had demanded she sit put to make sure Lopez knew exactly what he thought of him.
Owen wasn't sure if Fuego was a little more intelligent than his girls, but he knew Blue wouldn't take kindly to the male. Fuego was many things, humble in the presence of others wasn't one, and Blue's pride wouldn't tolerate anyone better than herself.
It wasn't going to be pretty, and the man sighed, "Alright, just back the truck up. I'll open the door and the gate so he can head into the paddock. The truck can leave after I shut the gate."
Lopez was all for it as he walked over to talk with the driver, and Owen startled at Barry's voice, "You're finally back."
Owen blinked at his best friend trotting over to give a sudden, tight hug, and Barry added, "Thank god you're both back safe and sound."
Owen flickered his gaze over when he caught sight of Tim exiting the old office, and he was immediately suspicious of the sheer relief coloring Barry's voice. Sure, a heartfelt welcome back was always warming, especially after brushing with death, but Owen couldn't stop himself from asking, "What did Blue do this time?"
Barry's silence was his warning to brace, and Tim walked over with a sheepish grin, "We, uh…got into a little trouble with Blue, Owen."
Owen wasn't surprised as Barry moved to give a tender hug on Elise's scales while Tim explained, "So…last night, our new delivery guy had a bit of a mix up, and he turned twenty animals loose into Rexy's paddock, but the girls were right by the door."
Elise gave a soft croon when Barry's fingers found all the soft spots on her face; she missed the gentle strokes, but Owen bluntly shrugged, "I'm not paying for twenty animals the girls ate, and you know they brought whatever was left to Rexy, so that's all on you two."
The Indominus made a low croon to be patient, mistakes happened, and Fuego gave a loud snarl as Barry sighed, "We got five goats back, but Blue and the girls took all fifteen sheep into the jungle. We couldn't go after them because we don't know where Sobek is."
Owen raised his brows, and Barry added, "I know some of those animals scattered, Owen, and that paddock isn't safe for anyone until we get another tracker in Sobek. We need you and Elise to rescue the surviving sheep as soon as possible."
Elise hardly heard any of it; she was ready to fall asleep right now, but she startled when Owen suddenly let out a laugh, "You two are hilarious. I almost believed it."
The duo blinked, and Owen grinned, "Good one. I needed a laugh. Thanks, guys."
Lopez gave an impatient whistle, and the man moved to help unload Fuego before Tim turned to the sleepy, snowy dinosaur, "Elise, you have to believe us. There really are sheep in that paddock."
Elise wasn't sure she even knew what a sheep was at the moment; she didn't know why Tim would lie. She also couldn't fathom why Blue would see fit to hoard live food like that, but a faint roar echoing on the wind startled her.
It was Sobek, and he was furious.
Flower gave an impatient bleat that was met with a rude snarl before Sobek shoved his nose into the cool river, and the Boer buck waggled his short tail with another, reprimanding sound.
If this big scaly kept leaving, the little scalies were going to swarm this place! Flower wasn't about to put up with that as he stomped a heavy hoof into the hard stone. He wanted his grass, his water, his protective tree over there, and this old scaly to sit put and eat the swimmers.
Honestly, was that so much to ask? Flower felt it wasn't as he gave a toss of his large head, crowned by strong, proud horns. He was an old man who found another old man to enjoy company with. He was done with being patient.
As a former petting zoo animal, who had clunked one too many grabby toddlers, Flower wanted his forever home to remain the same with that dumb scaly sitting put! Where was he going?!
The Boer buck gave a long, loud screech as he hopped after Sobek before huffing when the Spinosaurus responded with a furious roar to shut up. Worthless screamer! It didn't even smell appetizing, and the large carnivore curled his lip when the goat argued with an earsplitting retort.
Flower could play this game too. He wanted the big scaly to stay and that was final.
Sobek curled his lip to simply snap up the annoyance before freezing at a far off, responding call suddenly echoing on the winds, and he stood as tall as possible to intently listen. Could it be? At long last she decided to show some life?
The Spinosaurus gave another roar, and he perked up when that faint, echo of a roar graced his ears.
Glorious hunts! He knew she was alive!
Sobek loved it when he was right, and the Spinosaurus immediately turned to leave for those doors with newfound vigor. He doubted Wise One heard her youngling's calls, but that didn't matter. Twisted One was in for a thorough chewing to-night! He knew that sly youngling was going to try sneaking in to avoid trouble, but he wouldn't allow that to happen after everything she put them through! Not on his watch!
Stupid, selfish youngling wasn't ready to wander off! How dare she worry her wonderful, glorious, busy warrior of a mother, who already had enough to stress about with this soft island? Twisted One was spoiled, and he wouldn't tolerate it! The Spinosaurus was just dying to hear what pathetic excuse was actually good enough to justify-
Sobek startled from his thoughts when a hard thump smacked into his foot, and he glanced down half-expecting to see a log, but the Spinosaurus blinked in shock at the impatient gaze actually scolding him.
Flower snorted before ramming his hard horns into the scaly foot and glancing up again.
Now he had the scaly's attention, and Flower easily dodged the jaws snapping shut right where he had stood not two seconds before. He was old, but the goat was agile as he thumped the hard leg once more before bolting into the brush. He could outsmart this creature. Flower hadn't survived as long as he had by being a dunce.
Flower was observant, intelligent enough to open gates on his own, and patient enough to sit through simple puzzles in order to get what he wanted.
He wanted Sobek to sit put to scare away the raptors, and Flower would make sure that would happen even if it meant antagonizing the Spinosaurus into staying. It wasn't the first time he used an old, cranky creature to get peace of mind. Flower had once avoided the horrors of his travelling petting zoo by making nice with an old cow who liked to kick. He learned that where she went, the grabby humans did not go.
Where this dummy went, the little scalies did not go, and that meant Flower would follow Sobek to the ends of the earth because little scalies were going to rip him to shreds if they grabbed him. The Boer goat would follow faithfully, and he leapt over another log with grace as Sobek attempted to shove his face through the thick brush.
Child's play to Flower, and he gave a loud shriek just to let the dummy know he wanted his attention.
No scalies would eat Flower tonight.