Hi! I'm Nathanoraptor, and this is my first real fanfic, I've had the account for several years now, and posted some stuff, but just haven't the time to write more stories, what with school and health problems, amongst other things. This is my first real attempt at writing a full story; so don't judge me, OK?
Chapter 1 – Welcome To Prehistoric Park
Nigel Marven, quoted in Louis Theroux's documentary Prehistoric Park: Inside The Sanctuary that Time Forgot
"Yes of course, we were always going to open to the public. And, whenever I get gloomy about the state of the world, I think about the guests. I imagine the pure uncomplicated wonder people from all over the world feel as they experience it, together with their friends and families. It's the one thing that makes me keep on doing this job. And, sometimes, I've got a sneaky feeling, if you look carefully, you'll find that some of the most unexpected things happen…
Somewhere above the Cerro de la Muerte mountains, Costa Rica
2 Hours Ago
The plane rocked through turbulence. Nathan Jackson woke from his sleep caused by the plane's turbulence. His father was still snoring next to him oblivious of the high altitude winds rocking the aircraft. It was boiling. He could see beads of sweat trickling down his forehead and slowly trickle down, each bead leaving a little dark trail as it rolled down his head. Bored as hell, he decided to look out of the window at the circular window to his right to see mist lazily rolling over the Costa Rican Cerro de la Muerte mountain. Over ten hours of flying, excluding the six hour stay in Grenada, he was finally going on his dream holiday.
He remembered the day, four weeks ago, that his father announced he had booked the holiday. When he had made the announcement that they were going to Prehistoric Park, Nathan had been so excited, he was bouncing. He didn't even know what his father or anyone had said, just that they were going to Prehistoric Park. Nathan himself had said something about how excited he was at getting to see real dinosaurs in the flesh and had been thanking everyone for making this possible.
His excitement had been deflated when James, his sister's boyfriend, had said, with his trademark mocking grin, "Yeah, you might meet the raptor trainer. You know, the one you have a mancrush on."
Nathan still felt angry at the snub. Owen Grady was Nathan's personal hero. Nathan had read every article, watched every TV show appearance, seen every interview about him that he possibly could. Owen Grady had, initially, been a dolphin trainer for the US Navy Marine Mammal program, when he had caught the eye of John Hammond, who recruited him as an animal behaviourist for Prehistoric Park. In interviews, Owen had always been cynical about his time at the Navy, describing himself as "basically a dogsbody" and that he had left because he had become disillusioned as to the true goals of the project, describing his former employers as "short-sighted" and "a jingoistic computer which views everyone and everything around it as a statistic". However, now, he had become a prestigious figure in behavioural science, just like Jane Goodall had been fifty years previously. He was considered the most prevalent dromaeosaur expert in the world and had written endless papers about the creatures. In his knapsack, Nathan had a copy of his book, Being The Alpha, a world bestseller. In photographs, Grady always stood with a friendly grin and a large, powerful dromaeosaur (usually a Dromaeosaurus or a Utahraptor) by his side. Posed like this, he looked rugged but amiable at the same time. At least that was how he appeared to Nathan, who studied the pictures minutely, taking in every detail.
When Nathan read about Prehistoric Park, he felt like he could drift away. In his mind, he wasn't just a chubby, socially awkward, fourteen-year old boy with no-one who really understood him. He was somewhere different. Somewhere glamorous. Somewhere else. He was Owen, winning the respect of a pack of deadly predators. He was Nigel, travelling back in time at risk to life and limb and rescuing species on the brink of extinction.
He was someone else.
His mind returned to the television embedded in the plane's roof. It was still flashing bright colours, even after so many hours had passed. At least it had stopped playing various cartoons in five different languages. Lazily, Nathan reached into his shirt pocket for his complementary headphones and plugged it into the audio jack in his armrest. He cringed when he realized that the channel was an American celebrity news programme. He felt like saying that if he had wanted to know about Miley Cyrus he would have stayed in Britain. Well it was either Miley Cyrus or the rhythmic snoring of his father, next to him. He chose Miley Cyrus. The woman on the screen was chosen purely for her looks and definitely not her rapport, with her very irritating sing-song voice that was trying to mimic a Californian accent. Ignoring the woman, he sat back and waited, wondering about the wondrous time that was to come…
Nathan eagerly stepped off the yacht and onto a lavish dock. Looking around, it briefly occurred to him that John Hammond really did spare no expense. He looked around to see flag poles had fluttering flags on the end with the now famous Prehistoric Park logo printed on it. A set of escalators in front of him led up to a gleaming white monorail. He could hear many exciting sounds: the call of seabirds, the ecstatic chattering of people in a multitude of languages all around him and a voice speaking in different languages over a speaker system and a faint sound of trumpets. He recognised the tune from the trailer when Prehistoric Park was announced, almost three years ago. After cycling through Chinese, German, French and Russian, the speaker system finally chimed in a language that he recognised.
"Welcome to Isla Nublar, home to Prehistoric Park. Please go to the monorail carriage on your ticket and begin your ride through prehistory."
He looked down at his ticket. Next to the formidable skull of a T Rex there were the letters 06 printed in red ink. Looking for carriage six, Nathan and his family travelled up the escalator. A courteous staff member took their luggage as they went to take a seat on one of the chairs in the carriage. Nathan had sped ahead, to make sure he took the seat by the window. The trumpets continue over a speaker system inside the monorail. The doors slid closed and the monorail set off silently. Nathan looked around him to see the cliff face and sea were devoured by tropical trees and thick fog. Fittingly, it looked like he had entered prehistory. A voice comes over the speaker system as the trumpets become louder and more triumphant.
"There is something missing from our world. The amazing animals that time has left behind. But what if extinction didn't have to be forever?" Looking out of the window, Nathan noticed that the tropical trees had become replaced by monkey puzzles and conifers. He could also feel the monorail going up higher. "You will now set off on a safari with a difference which will take you from the dawn of animal life to the Ice Age. Your first stop will be Wyoming 155 million years ago in the Late Jurassic."
The monorail stopped and Nathan's heart skipped a beat with it. He turned his head out of the window to see a plain full of ferns and horsetails. However, the plants were not the things that Nathan, or indeed anyone else in the carriage, noticed. Their attentions were more focused on the long necked behemoths making low grumbling noises. They were easily the tallest things Nathan had ever seen. On the windows of the monorail light blue fact sheets suddenly appear. Nathan noticed that the sheets had emerged from tiny projectors on the walls. Anyway, he didn't need the fact sheet to know what the giants were. He knew they were Brachiosaurus. He also knew that Apatosaurus, Diplodocus, Stegosaurus and Dryosaurus, among others, also lived in this plain but he couldn't see them. For a few minutes, he was speechless. Seeing them on television was one thing, but seeing them close up was another thing entirely.
After a few minutes, much to Nathan's disconcertment, the monorail started again. Eventually, the sides of the monorail became swallowed by tropical trees again. After fifteen minutes or so, the monorail stopped in front of a building, with a straw roof and grey walls. The walls had imprints of different fossil animals ranging from pterosaurs to ammonites, for decoration. The doors to the monorail slid open and Nathan was almost knocked over by the heat from outside as it greedily seeped through the carriage. He heard a voice instruct the guests to head to the building where they would watch an introductory video. As Nathan took his seat, the lights dimmed and on a screen, the late billionaire John Hammond started talking.
"Welcome to Prehistoric Park, where extinction doesn't have to be forever! Before we start you might be wondering how Prehistoric Park came to life. It started when I had an idea for a preserve called Jurassic Park but I'll need my friend to help explain." Nathan zoned out. He'd read about the whole story before.
In 1955, Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein had planned to, using quantum fusion, create an alternative to nuclear energy. What they instead created, in 1958, was the secret to time travel. The only people who knew about it, besides them, was a twenty-three-year-old John Hammond, an assistant at the lab and a mysterious researcher called "The Green Stripe". After they died and Green Stripe disappeared, Hammond was left as the sole custodian of the secret. Hammond's mind drifted away from physics and he became interested in the, then-rising, science of genetics. In 1982, weeks before his fiftieth birthday, Hammond formed the genetics company InGen. However, his mind kept drifting back to the portal, still in storage in one of InGen's high-security rooms. He couldn't change time, obviously, but he could bring objects back from the past. In the 1980s, where conservation of the world's endangered species was starting to enter people's minds, the phrase "Extinction is forever" was often banded around. Hammond wondered; what if extinction didn't have to be forever? What if we could bring back the species we had lost?
In 1989, John Hammond purchased the Los Cincos Muertas y Nublar island chain off of the Costa Rican government to create what he had, enigmatically, called "the greatest conservation project in history". Calling his preserve Jurassic Park, Hammond planned to use the time portal to rescue dinosaurs from the past and maintain them in the present. Concerned as to what people would use his time portal for, Hammond planned to make a cover story about the dinosaurs being cloned from blood found inside amber. Any… discrepancies with palaeontology known at the time could be explained away with the "fact" they'd used DNA from modern animals to fill in the sequence gaps. In 1993, however, after his first grandchild was born, Hammond had an attack of conscience about, basically, lying to the public and pulled the plug on the project. Jurassic Park had ended, but Hammond's dream had not.
The story picked up again in 2010, where Hammond was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. His diagnosis made him ponder what his legacy would be. He came to a realisation; he would only be remembered as a figure of hate, mocked by anti-GM activists and environmentalists the world over. In order to prevent this, Hammond looked at the islands again and began planning what would be his ultimate legacy. Hammond, when pondering this, had an epiphany: Why save only dinosaurs? What made them so special? When he could use the portal to save all extinct animals, from trilobites to mammoths? It was a more grandiose plan, yes, but one that would be, ultimately, far more rewarding. But from there came another problem; who to do the job of actually bringing back the animals? And who to run the project, which would surely outlive him? Hammond's greedy, ambitious nephew Peter Ludlow was certainly not a worthy candidate. He had already tried to oust his uncle from his position as CEO of InGen (ultimately, failing) and had been trying to steer the company into darker waters (an increased focus on military programs and "consumer-based" products). Who knew what havoc he could wreak if given the project? These questions wracked Hammond to no end.
The answer came when Hammond, by pure coincidence, viewed a programme starring wildlife adventurer Nigel Marven. Marven's bravery, skill and devotion to animals made him a shoe-in for the job. Ludlow had never forgotten nor forgiven his uncle's snub and even tried to sabotage the park's construction, in order to show that Nigel was an inappropriate choice to run the project.
In 2013, Prehistoric Park used the time portal to start rescuing extinct animals and in early 2015 preparation began to start opening Prehistoric Park to the general public. On the 11th June 2015 Prehistoric Park opened and the rest, as they say, was history (pun intended).
Nathan tuned back in to see Hammond prick his finger with a comical ouch which causes some children to laugh and Nathan to smile. From his finger, a cartoonish DNA strand with googly eyes flew from Hammond's finger and started to fly around him. "Mister DNA! Where did you come from?"
"In your blood silly! DNA strands like me make up all forms of life…", Mr DNA responded, in his trademark Texas drawl. What follows is a video of Mr DNA explaining cloning and genetics. After explaining why Jurassic Park failed he starts to talk about how Prehistoric Park acquired its animals and how it avoids changing time. Nathan zoned in at the part of the video where Hammond and Mr DNA explained park safety, ending with a comic image of Mr DNA running away from a pack of raptors, all the time earning laughs from kids.
Nathan walked out and was soon handed a bracelet, as described in the video. Nathan and his family were escorted to your hotel. After briefly unpacking, he stood outside the balcony, watching a Costa Rican sunset. Nathan was so excited, he was bouncing. His ultimate holiday began now.
Dedicated to Gerard Anthony O'Neill (1934-2015) and Harry Ralph Jackson (1930-2015). Two selfless men who I will miss greatly, to who I owe so much to and who will always serve as an inspiration to me. You both always said I had potential, and all I needed to do was have a chance to show it… and, when you said that, I somehow don't think you imagined this. Ah, well.
Sorry, this seems rushed. One, it's my first real full story and two, me and writing 11 at night do not go well together.
This series will be updated regularly; if possible, there will be a new chapter every Sunday. If you come in and don't find one, expect it to be up some time during the week.
And, in case someone gets angry, I apologise for the retcon. I thought if Mortal could retcon the reason Hammond made the portal and if the Iron Bar Park retcons Lewis Dogdson's backstory, I could retcon the Jurassic Park stuff. The retcon will not be mentioned again.
It also would explain Ludlow's obsessive desire to sabotage the park, if not rationalise it. Because, think about it, you're going to be upset, hurt and angry if your own uncle considers a complete stranger a better candidate to run an important project than you. It's a bit sad because, rather than prove himself worthy, Ludlow instead chose to sabotage others, in order to prove them unworthy. Surely money isn't that important.