Hoskins ordered his boys to hurriedly pack everything up. He cursed repeatedly in his head. How had everything turned into such a shit-fest so quickly? First the Indominus had gone completely off the wall, then it had fucked his day up more when it had completely shat all over his raptor-squad idea. The only thing good that had come out of this, was that the board was at least impressed with the Indominus' abilities in combat situations. So, it turned out the prototype had worked after all.
That now meant that he had to get all the gear, data, and everything related to Wu's research and haul it off the island before the authorities could get their hands on it. He'd been unable to find the scientist himself, but Hoskins was sure he'd come crawling back as soon as the smoke cleared. That weasel always followed the money.
With the Indominus now captured – from what he'd heard over the radio channels – ACU and mainland authorities were sweeping in to contain the rest of the animals and evacuate all the guests and staff. In the midst of the chaos, Hoskins window was perfect but short to get his stuff and go.
"Come on, people!" he yelled to the last of his boys as they all finally filtered out of the room. "Let's move it out!"
He paused before following them, alone in the lab. He turned back to look at one of Wu's computers. The image of the Indominus was branded right on the screen, with all the lists of specific requirements and genetic code fragments needed for the perfect result. The one on the screen was not anything like the one now locked up. There had been a few tweaks made. Less dependability, slightly reduced intelligence so as not to have the side-effects of mental instability, and most importantly, a fraction of the size – perfect for getting up close and personal.
"Hold on tight, baby," he murmured to the screen, an excited grin plastered across his face. "Here we come."
He turned around, and was startled to see that he was not alone.
A woman, dirty, clothes torn, her gold-brown hair a mess, stood in the doorway. Her eyes had dark circles, her cheeks were burned red with tracks of tears. A light flickered above her, making her skin turn pasty and pale. Oddly enough, a stool from the labs was in her hand.
Despite the fact that she looked a state, Hoskins recognised her from the vids in the control room, as well as the reports he'd seen. "Miss Teerly? Wha–"
Joanne roared and swung the stool upwards. It smashed across Hoskin's face and a shower of blood sprayed into the air from a shattered nose, dislocated jaw and flying teeth. The fat man dropped to the ground, barely conscious as he moaned and gurgled in a growing pool of his own blood. Joanne stood coldly above him, her sneer almost sadistic in nature as she watched him suffer. Carelessly she dropped the stool onto the ground with a gunshot-loud 'BANG'.
She spat. "Burn in hell."
And with that, she turned around and walked out of the room.
Two Weeks Later…
The news anchor shuffled her papers, dark blue blouse and pristine white shirt pressed into perfect place to make her brown hair and eyes stand out. Beside her sat a middle aged man, his skin worn and weathered and now slightly wrinkled with age. He wore denim jeans and a jacket, and his face was rather grave as he awaited to be spoken to.
The anchor-woman smiled into the camera to greet her viewers. "Hello, good morning. Today, our top story: Jurassic World is closing. Yes, after ten highly successful years of open gates, the ground breaking, world recording holding theme park/zoo is going extinct for good. This comes just fourteen days after the accident in the park which caused animals to break loose, resulting in several human deaths. Joining me today is palaeontologist Dr Alan Grant, a survivor of the previous Jurassic Park tragedy." She gestured to the man beside her and all cameras focused on him. She swivelled in her chair to face him properly. "Dr Grant, what are your thoughts on this recent development?"
"Well," Dr Grant cleared his throat and shifted in his seat to sit a little straighter. "In all honesty, I say it's about time. I was against the original park after everything that happened. Dinosaurs and humans have been separated by millions of years of evolution, how could we possibly know what to expect from them? And here we were shown again, that where these animals are concerned, no matter how much control we exert – as a friend of mine once said – life finds a way."
"Yes, you survived both the original tragedy on Isla Nublar and then ten years after that when you were kidnapped to Isla Sorna–"
Dr Grant winced. "Kidnapped is a bit of a strong word, but… yeah."
"Considering the cost to human life these animals are causing, there are many who are calling for them all to be exterminated. What are your thoughts on that?"
"Well, who has the right to do that?"
"Several lawyers and critics say that these animals were created in test tubes. You yourself have said how they are so changed from their fossil ancestors, that they are more, quote: 'theme-park monsters then actual dinosaurs'. Tell me, if these creatures aren't natural, why shouldn't they be rounded up and humanely terminated for the safety of humanity?"
"Because, you see," Grant leaned forward, his words inflected with his passion and slight agitation. "Right there lies the problem. All of this death, all of this destruction, it was all caused because of man's inability to show humility and respect. These animals were taken advantage of, put through insanely cruel circumstances into a world they can't understand anymore. I believe that the specimen in the park that started this whole mess, was mentally unstable due to her poor treatment – I noticed you didn't tell your viewers that."
"Back on point, Dr Grant?" The anchor-woman snapped, her eyes flashed in warning.
"Sure. The point is: when humans have tried to take these animals for granted, to do what we want with them, it's always ended in disaster. Ingen would claim that these animals were made, painted, packaged and produced by them, so therefore they own them. But then you have to look at where that's gotten them. Jurassic Park, San Diego, Isla Sorna, now Jurassic World. It will never end unless we change the loop."
"And how do you propose we do that?"
"We already took a step in the right direction when we made Isla Sorna a protected sanctuary for the animals on the Site B. With Jurassic World closing, I can only assume and hope that the same is happening over at Isla Nublar. But the crucial step we need to take is to give these animals back their rights."
"You want to give extinct animals rights?"
Alan Grant nodded severely. "I want to give these animals the proper respect, dignity and freedom that they deserve. Only when we do that, when we can coexist safely on this planet without having to dominate or interfere with each other, only then will we no longer be hearing stories of men getting eaten by dinosaurs."
"Well thank you for joining me, Dr Grant." The news-woman nodded her gratitude to him and returned her eyes to the camera in front of her. "And you as well. If you want to hear more news on this story as it develops, then please stay tuned."
White was placed back in a temporary holding paddock, where most of the animals were kept for a maximum of a few hours for vet check-ups. It was barely big enough for her to take a few steps to walk around. Not that she took the opportunity to do so. The Indominus had hardly moved since she'd been placed there, the only time she even shifted was when she needed to relieve her bodily functions, and sometimes not even then.
Her scales were cracked, scabbed and flaking. Her ribs and hips poked through her skin where she refused to eat. They only kept her living through a constant I.V that fed her water. Fresh food was given to her every day, but she never touched it. She just sat on the concrete floor and stared aimlessly at the wall.
It broke Joanne's heart. She'd been down here every day, even slept over in the bunker, to try and stimulate her broken baby back from the brink. But in two weeks of work, she'd had little luck. White only responded to the simplest touches or noises, and even then it was only with a tiny noise or movement of her own. It was as if she was deaf, dumb and blind, and only moved towards warmth because she could feel it.
But the professor wouldn't give up. The possibility was just not an option. One of the walls had a large square hole lined with thick titanium bars so that vets could reach inside. Joanne sat on the ledge and reached her arm into the cell to softly stroke her hand down the side of White's neck. The Indominus' spines quivered, but otherwise she didn't move.
"Hey, baby. How're we doing today?" Joanne asked in a quiet and soothing voice. She reached in and held out a slab of meat, one side coated in a sticky brown substance. "Are you going to eat for me? I remember how much you loved peanut butter. I brought some especially for you."
There was no response. The dinosaur's eyes were wide open, but unseeing. Her nostrils twitched at the familiar scent but she didn't react. It was as if the lights were on but nobody was home. Joanne slumped. She shifted a little and reached further into the cell and placed her hand more firmly on White's cheek.
"Little White… can you feel that?" Joanne tried to swallow the lump in her throat. The Indominus hummed, but it sounded a little uneasy. "I'm right here, baby. I'm here. Just give me a sign, come back to me. Please."
Nothing. Joanne bit her lip to hold back hopeless tears.
"Joey?" she heard Barry call from the door behind her. "Can you come out here for a second?"
She nodded without taking her eyes off White. She smiled to her dinosaur, and petted the scaly cheek. "I'll be back soon, baby. Okay?"
Reluctantly, she scooted off the sill and made her way into the other room. It felt like a reception area, complete with a desk, computer and phone. Barry sat on one of the chairs that lined the wall. He offered the seat beside him, and Joanne practically collapsed onto it. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had a proper night's sleep.
"It's still not working?" the black French man asked her softly.
"What do you think?" she snapped. Immediately she regretted it, but couldn't stop the angry tears that threatened to blind her. "It's been two weeks, Barry. Her mind completely collapsed out there. She won't eat, she won't sleep. No matter what I try, it's like she's–!"
"Hey, hey, shhhh…" he whispered and held her shoulders in his large hands. "I'm here, Joey, I'm here."
He pulled her against him, and Joanne folded into his embrace. She cried against his chest. Just released all the rage, the grief, the despair that she contained. The professor once prided herself that she never cried like the stick-thin plastic dolls from the movies, but lately, it seemed like all she ever did was cry.
The door cluttered open and a figure popped into the room. "I'm sorry to disturb you–"
Joanne pushed herself up and glared. "What do you want? Come to gloat?"
Claire didn't look good. She had circles under her eyes, and her pale skin looked waxy and unhealthy. Her white, pristine clothes were gone, and in their place was more of a practical outfit that was an odd shade of black. As if she were in mourning.
She looked down at the folder she cradled in the crook of her arm, unable to meet Joanne's eyes. "Professor, I know that you have every right to be angry with me."
"No!" Joanne shouted. She wanted to punch Claire in her pretty little face, but Barry held onto her wrist. "You have no idea how angry I am with you! This is all your fault! If you had just listened to me back when this all started, my girl wouldn't be suffering right now."
"I see that now," Claire tried to say. "Trust me, Joanne, I've… had a change of perspective. Mr Grady and I found the Apatosaurs. They weren't just numbers on a spread sheet."
"Am I supposed to cheer for your change of heart?"
"No. I've come to give you some news. The board of directors only informed me this morning."
Joanne went silent. It was today? So soon? Her numbness made her unable to respond, so Barry spoke up for her. "What did they say?"
Claire sighed. "Due to the catastrophic damages, the compensation we now have to pay out to the families of dead guests and employees, as well as the public completely turning on us; the board had decided to close Jurassic World. For good."
"What does that mean for the animals?" Joanne asked thickly.
"They've managed to salvage this with the local government by declaring that Isla Nublar will become a protected haven for the animals. It will keep both sides safe as well as maybe turn the public's opinion back in our favour."
The tension in the room grew, and Joanne felt her stomach drop with fear. "There's something else, isn't there?"
"There is." Once again Claire wouldn't meet her eyes.
"After everything you've done to her, she deserves for you to give her the respect of saying her name."
Claire wet her lips, nervous, but nodded. "White caused a lot of damage. She killed a lot of people. Or at least, her actions were the cause of it. She's a danger to human life. The government's one non-negotiable condition–"
"They gave us no choice." Claire looked pained.
Joanne shook her head, tears streaked down her face. "You can't!"
"Before our staff completely abandons the park, the Indominus… Little White… must be euthanized."
"NO!" Joanne howled. Her knees buckled underneath her, and she would have crashed to the ground if Barry hadn't caught her. He held her in his arms and rocked her back and forth as the woman vented her utter misery.
"The date's already set," Claire murmured and tried to hide the way her eyes glistened. "Our vets will be here tomorrow morning… I'm sorry, Joanne."
And with that, she left the two on the floor. The business woman swore that no matter what she did next with her life, she would never again do anything that would cause someone the sorrow that she could hear in Joanne's screams.
"Okay girls, time to hit the road."
Owen tried to keep his voice upbeat and positive. But it was difficult. It was like watching a toddler wander off to kindergarten for the first time. His girls were being released, going into the world for the first time, to never see him again. It broke his heart.
He climbed up onto the top of the large truck. He could hear his girls shrieking and bickering inside. They were desperate to get out. He knew they could see and smell their new environment through the grating on the door. He'd stopped at the edge of a large meadow, picturesque with how peaceful and tranquil it looked.
"Look at that," he said more to fill the silence then to actually talk to the girls. "Plenty of room to run around – which will be great for you Echo. Charlie, you'll love the pond just over that ridge, it's got all the bubbles you can ever want. Delta, I even know there's still a rat population lurking somewhere here. Maybe you can fix that, yeah?"
The truck shuddered as the girls bounced around inside, he could hear them excitedly chattering to one another. Melancholy filled his heart as he reached down and pressed his fingers against the grating.
"And you, Blue… I know you'll be making mischief everywhere you go."
He heard a growling purr and felt a warm, moist puff of air against his fingertips. He closed his eyes and dipped his head. Damn it, he was a military man. His father had been old fashioned and taught him not to cry for anything. But in that moment, it was really hard.
To distract himself, he quickly straightened and got the controls all ready for him to work the magic. "Now remember to steer clear of Rexy. The old Queen's still got a lot of life left in her. Knowing my luck that old girl will never die. You do what she says and keep your heads down. But then, you'll probably prove what an ass I am and go be best buds, right?"
"Owen. You ready to do this?"
The walkie-talkie blurted a bunch of static at him, and he snatched it up to answer. "We're ready, Lowry."
He watched the panel. It all hinged on this moment. All he had to go was wait for the green light to appear, the signal that Lowry had given the clearance for the equipment so that he could push the dreaded button. It all hinged on this. The light flickered to green, and he hit the red button.
The truck door rolled upwards, and the raptors bolted out of it and into the bright sunshine. They cawed to each other in surprise and stopped. They circled for a moment, confused at the sudden change of scenery.
Blue was the one who spotted him first. Her nostrils twitched and her head snapped up to look at him. She gave a piercing cry and all the others followed her line of sight to look up at him. They reminded Own of kittens following a piece of string from all those videos on YouTube.
He made a shooing motion with his hand. "Go on then, girls. Time to go."
They didn't move. In fact, Blue got a little impatient. She snarled and snapped her jaws, as if yelling at him for making them wait for him to come down and join them.
"Hey, Blue! Don't give me any of that shit." He snapped. The raptor looked at him, and cocked her head. Her golden eyes were bottomless and brilliant. It made him smile. "There's my best girl."
With his whispered, sad words, it was as if they understood. Slowly, one by one, the raptors reluctantly walked off further into the meadow. Blue was the last to leave. She looked up at Owen one last time, as if waiting for him to join her. He shook his head. She looked at the floor, and gave one, high-pitched, mournful keen and then jogged away to re-join her sisters.
Owen watched them go until he could see them no more. "Till next time."
Her leg refused to stop bouncing. Her eyes stared aimlessly into the distance. It was as if she were a perfect replica of the dinosaur in the other room. Joanne felt she had to be. If she didn't, she feared the damn that held her emotions at bay would break and everything inside her would come rushing out and destroy her.
Barry was beside her, his hand on her knee. She hadn't even realised he'd come into the room. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
"No." she whispered. Finally, she broke her stare with the wall and looked over at him. "But I won't let her do this alone. I was there when she came into the world. I ought to be there when she…"
"Hey… if you want, I can come in with you."
"Thanks. But, I think I need to be alone right now."
"I'll be just outside."
She nodded and closed her eyes. Everything was so messed up. She wasn't ready for this.
A door opened and a middle aged man dressed in white scrubs stepped with one foot on each side of the doorway. "We're ready for you now."
Joanne didn't know if her legs would support her as she stumbled into the other room. The holding cell had been transformed into a make-shift vet's surgery. White lay sprawled across the floor, various machines and I.V's hooked up to her. She was pretty much out of it, her pupils wide from drugs that helped to keep her unresponsive. The beep of a machine played the rhythm of her heart, and Joanne didn't even realise that she walked in time with it.
She'd made a deal with the vets to be here, so the group of four doctors gave her the space she needed for privacy. Her nod of thanks was the only acknowledgment she gave them. All too soon she was stood beside White's head and knelt down so that she could gaze into one of her gorgeous red-gold eyes. The eye shifted to regard her and the quietest hum escaped the dinosaur to acknowledge her carer.
"Hey. There's my big baby." Joanne smiled to hide the tears that stung the back of her eyes. She reached up and stroked the scaly cheek. "Sorry, White. I know how much you hated doctors. But this will be the last time… I promise."
She looked away. It was suddenly so hard to speak. The lump made her want to be sick, a cough lingered at the back of her throat every time she tried to draw breath. She took several steadying breaths. It was all an elaborate attempt to regain some control. But what could she do? Everything reminded her of the heart-breaking reason she was here. And in the face of that, she felt the guilt swarm her for what was about to happen to her precious Little White.
"I'm sorry." She whispered and bit her lip. "I'm so sorry baby. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. I'm sorry I had to leave you in the first place. You've had such a shitty life, all because of my mistakes. If I could do anything to make it right… I'd give up a thousand and one things if I thought I could…"
She trailed off. The tears overflowed from her eyes, no matter how many times she tried to blink them away. Angrily she wiped them clean of her face. She refused to make White scared or upset just because she couldn't have a little self control.
"But I'm here now. And I promise, I'll stay right until the very end. I'm not leaving you again."
She smiled for the dinosaur and pressed herself against the cheek in a form of embrace. A purr rumbled around her, and she scrunched up her face to keep her emotions at bay. Her touch lingered for a long while, unable to let go. As if, if she did, then it would be time.
"Professor?" said a quiet voice. "We're ready."
"Okay." She nodded and drew back. Her fingers stroked over the scales absentmindedly. She tried to smile even as tears spilled down her face. "It's okay, White. You're just… you're just going to go on a little trip now. And when you wake up, you'll be in the best place possible. You'll be warm, and there'll be plenty of room to run around. And all the puzzles in the world for you to solve. I know how much you loved to show off how smart you are."
The doctors had their vials in hand and began to link them to the main I.V's that led into White's precious life-giving veins. Joanne felt panic engulf her. She wasn't ready to say goodbye.
"Shall I sing to you? You always liked my songs to go to sleep – Darwin knows nobody else did."
Her chuckle was sad. But Little White cooed sleepily. Joanne bit her lip as memories of a tiny, adorable little therapod swam up from the abyss. A little creature that snuggled into her arms, enjoying every moment of her favourite lullaby. It was a song Joanne's grandmother had sung to her when she was small. She didn't know the whole song, just the last two verses. But Little White had still loved it.
So now, she reached out, stroked the snow-white cheek and sang even as her voice croaked and shook and tears and snot made her mouth stumble over the words.
"Aww, take good care of my ba-a-a-by
Now don't you ever make her cry-y-y-y
Just let your love surround her
Paint a rainbow all around her
Don't let her see a cloudy sky..."
The vials were compressed and the liquid inside disappeared into the tubes. Little White gave a small shudder. For a moment, her eyes looked to Joanne with perfect clarity, and there was a fear and sadness in them, for a life ill-spent, for opportunities lost.
Joanne didn't want her to think that. So, she smiled, and made her think of a simpler time. Of a time filled with love and family and beauty. She gazed into that red gold eye, and refused to break that gaze, not even to blink as she sang.
"So, take good care of my ba-a-a-by
Be just as kind as you can be-e-e-e
And if you should discover
That you don't really love her
Just send my baby back home to me"
Little White hummed, a smile played at the edge of her scaly lips. And with a look of content, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep…
Author's Note: Yes. We have finally reached the end. I'm sorry it's taken us so long. But I hope you have enjoyed this short story, regardless.
In truth, this is how I've always seen this story ending. A very sad, tearful ending. I don't know about you guys, but I'm crying just writing this, and I knew it was coming! This for me, was always to show how I find the Indominus to be such a tragic character, and I wish Jurassic World writers had been more daring to tell her story and take her theme to its full potential. But as it is, I can give you this.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been following, reviewing, and sending me their thoughts. You guys make my world what it is, and you make my writing what it is. And I thank you for it with all my heart.