Okay, warning: This chapter contains the graphic mauling of someone by dinosaurs. This is Jurassic Park, that's actually normal for these movies. If this disturbs you, skip over this chapter entirely. Seriously, don't read it. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Chris Pratt, any of these characters, the US Navy, Sam Neill, or a dinosaur. It'd be so cool if I did though. You know, if it didn't eat me on sight. That kind of puts a damper on having a pet T-Rex. In all seriousness, the only thing that's mine is any original plot ideas I come up with. Consider this a blanket disclaimer for the whole fic. I'm not writing this more than once.
Of Astronomers and Astronauts
Chapter One: Crash Landing
Eric Kirby couldn't help but blame himself for this situation.
He had been the one who wanted to go parasailing, after all. Ben had told him to pick any event, and they'd do it, together.
"Guy bonding time," he had said with a wink. "Just the two of us."
And Eric had chosen the Dino-Soar Parasailing Tour.
He had always loved dinosaurs. Growing up he had come home everyday, rattling off facts about whatever dinosaur he had researched. He had watched every documentary he could find about them, and read paleontology books way above his age's reading level. Some kids obsessed over cars or trains, he obsessed over dinosaurs. Finding out that InGen had actually made dinosaurs was fascinating, even if he thought it was an absolutely terrible idea that would backfire on them repeatedly.
The Jurassic Park and San Diego Incidents had only proved him right.
Ben had agreed to the idea immediately. Eric had known he would. The man was so desperate for Eric to like him, he would have agreed to just about anything. After all, the entire reason they had come to Costa Rica was because his mother had been trying to make Eric more accepting of Ben's role as her boyfriend.
She didn't seem to get the fact that Eric did accept him. Ben was nice, and seemed to really love his mother. And for the first time in a long time his mother was smiling and laughing; she was happy. Besides, Ben was funny, adventurous, and cool; Eric liked him. While he could never see Ben as a father, he could think of him as his mother's boyfriend. It was strange to think of her dating someone who wasn't his dad, but he understood why they had gotten a divorce. They didn't work well together. The divorce had actually been a relief. All the screaming and fighting had finally stopped, and his parents were happier apart.
Ben had been so excited leading up to the tour. He had taken the camera with them, saying they'd want to film all the dinosaurs they'd see. On the way to the docks, he had quizzed Eric about every dinosaur he knew (which wasn't nearly as much as Eric knew, but the boy hadn't minded. It had been fun to see Ben get so into it). Then, he had promised the tour guide extra if he managed to get them close to the island. And for one minute, it had been a wonderful, exciting event that Eric had loved.
And then that minute ended.
Everyone on the boat was dead. Eric wasn't sure what had killed them, but whatever it was must have been very, very dangerous. There wasn't even anything left of the crew. Only shredded cloth and streaks of blood.
Then, somehow, things had managed to get worse.
They were headed straight for the rocks. The boat would crash. The boat that Ben and Eric was tethered to would smash against the rocks and lose all the momentum it had, effectively causing them to smash against the rocks.
Eric panicked. Ben didn't.
He managed to unclip the parasail from its tether, and a breeze swept them over the island. The island that was completely inhabited by dinosaurs. And absolutely nothing else. That is, until Ben and Eric ended up landing there.
And it was all Eric's fault.
They crashed into a tree. At first, Eric had struggled against the branches, twisting and shaking in the harness. Then, Ben managed to capture his attention.
"Eric. Eric! Listen to me! Everything is going to be alright. We're going to be fine, do you hear me? I won't let anything happen to you, okay?"
Eric didn't believe him. He had read the books, knew just how dangerous dinosaurs could be. Ben couldn't stop a Tyrannosaurus Rex from swallowing them whole. But, Eric wanted to believe Ben. He wanted to think Ben could fix everything, keep them both safe. And sometimes, wanting it was enough. So he believed in the illusion that everything was under control. "O-okay," he stammered, wrestling his beating heart under control. Freaking out wouldn't help them. He needed to remain calm.
"Okay," Ben breathed back. "I'm going to drop you down now. Ready? One, two, three."
Eric fell to the ground with a thud. He stumbled to his feet and looked up at Ben, who was still dangling from the tree like a Christmas ornament.
Or a rack of meat in a butcher's shop, hissed the pessimistic part of his brain. Eric promptly told that part of him to shut up.
"Alright, now I'm going to drop myself down, okay Eric?"
"The camera's still on," he stammered in reply. The bright red light was still shining a small pinprick of color, momentarily distracting Eric. His mother had always been nagging him about that. If her camera wasn't being used, then it should be off. She didn't want the batteries to run out when she was using it just because someone (Eric) had left it on. The problem was almost comforting in its normalcy.
Ben fumbled with the camera, and the light flickered off. "Okay, I'm coming down now. Ready? One, two, three." At three he squeezed tight on the plastic buckle holding him in place, and Eric backed up quickly to avoid being struck.
Ben stayed in the tree.
With a frown, he squeezed the clip again. Still, nothing. "It looks like the belt is jammed, bud. I'm going to need you to find something sharp to cut it with, a rock or something." Ben was purposefully trying to keep his voice even, Eric could tell. It was the same voice his mom used to use when he was a kid and she was trying to convince him that mommy and daddy aren't fighting Eric, we're just talking, now go back to bed and I'll read you your dinosaur book.
It hadn't worked then either.
Eric took a deep breath and forced himself to concentrate. "Okay, give me a second." He stumbled away from the tree, yanking off his life jacket as he went. He tossed it aside as he walked toward the tree line. For several minutes, he looked through the leaves, stones, and dirt that covered the ground until he found a rock that seemed like it would do the job. Smiling, he turned around to rejoin Ben. And froze.
Four of them.
They hadn't seen him, not yet at least. They had seen Ben though. They had surrounded him in fact, approaching him with wicked sharp teeth and claws.
Ben was staring at the raptors. Eric wasn't sure if he knew what they were (Velociraptor mongoliensis, identifiable by the shape of their skull and bodies, males identifiable by the feathered quills on the crest of their heads, apex predators, pack hunters, carnivores), but he did know that anyone could tell these animals were killers. Their razor teeth and sickle claws made them unmistakable for anything else.
"Eric," Ben called lowly, not looking away from the predators, "I don't want you to make a sound. They don't know you're here yet. I need you to turn around quietly, go into the jungle, and get away from here as quickly as possible."
Eric automatically began shaking his head, even though he knew Ben couldn't see him. No. This wasn't happening. Ben wasn't supposed to die. He was supposed to get out of the tree, be the adult that takes charge and saves the day. They were supposed to get off the island together.
"I'm sorry, Eric," Ben continued, his voice cracking slightly. He knew, Eric realized with a start. He knew he was going to die. There wasn't going to be some last second intervention, no saving grace to stop the monsters like in an action movie. But Ben wasn't panicking. He still was trying to protect Eric. "I wish I could be there for you, but I can't. But you can get off this island, bud, I know you can. You're the most resourceful kid I know. Find somewhere safe to hide for the night. Your mom knows where we went, she'll send someone out to get you as soon as we don't come ba—"
The raptor lunged.
Eric stumbled backwards, falling to the ground. The first raptor attacking had seemed to be a signal for all the others to attack. Suddenly, all of them were on top of Ben, snarling and biting and tearing. One of them sliced across his stomach with its massive sickle claw, and something long and dangling and red came pouring out of Ben.
His intestines, Eric realized hysterically. The raptor had pulled out Ben's intestines.
Ben was making a noise, something deep and primal and full of pain. But amongst his screams, Eric could make out Ben's voice.
"Eric, run! Ru—"
And then the largest raptor ripped out his throat.
Eric wasn't sure how long he had been running for when the velociraptors noticed there had been a second person, but he could hear them chittering to one another when they began to follow him. Eric knew he could never outrun them. (The Velociraptor mongoliensis runs on average 42-60 miles per hour. It's been known to track its prey for days on end. It rarely needs more than a few minutes, though.) He needed to do something, or he would die, just like Ben.
His parents had always had terrible trouble grounding him. The main problem was due to the tree that was outside his window. Eric hated being trapped inside, and took every chance to escape by climbing up and down that tree. He had become incredibly good at climbing because of this. It had gotten so bad that his parents put an alarm on his window that went off whenever he opened it.
(The alarm had been magnetic. Eric would always just take a magnet off the kitchen fridge and stick it on the alarm so that the device wouldn't realize the connection had been interrupted. It didn't stop him from sneaking out. His parents never figured it out.)
Eric saw a tree large enough about fifteen feet ahead of him. The branches were out of his reach, but that wasn't a problem. He kicked off the truck and shot up his hands to grab the lowest branch. Moving quickly, he swung up his legs and started to climb. Just in the knick of time, too. The raptors arrived just as he began to climb, and Eric felt the breeze of their snapping jaws as they tried to bite him.
Eric didn't look down. He didn't stop climbing. He just kept moving until the branches got so thin that they risked snapping. Finally, he stopped. Leaning against the trunk as he caught his breath, he looked down at the ground below.
The raptors were still there.
They were snarling and pacing below the tree, their claws still bloody from the mauling. Then, the largest raptor leapt towards the tree. Its claws dug into the bark and held.
It was climbing the tree.
Eric pressed against the tree in fear. He had to tightly cover his mouth with his hands to keep from screaming. He had been wrong. The tree wouldn't save him; it just made it harder for them to get to him. But he had trapped himself in the process. He couldn't climb anymore, the branches would snap if he went up and he'd pass right by the raptor if he went down. He couldn't jump to the ground, it was too high and there were still three raptors at the bottom. He closed his eyes and prayed to any deity that may be listening to save him.
A crashing sound answered him.
The velociraptor was on the ground again, even angrier than it had been before. It was limping slightly on one foot, snarling and snapping at its companions. The deep gouges in the tree answered Eric's unspoken question. It had fallen.
The raptors stayed for several more minutes before leaving. Eric waited with bated breath for any sign of them before beginning the trip back down the tree. Carefully, he placed his foot on a branch.
It snapped under his weight, and the branch fell to the ground with a dull thud.
The velociraptors swarmed out of their hiding place.
Scrambling to pull himself back up, Eric beat a hasty retreat up the tree. They had set a trap, he realized. Velociraptors could set traps.
They were so much smarter than he had thought. Than anyone had thought. And that scared him more than anything else that had happened that day.
It rained that night.
Tropical storms tended to come out of nowhere, and leave just as quickly as they came. But while they were there they were fierce, howling things that battered you with rain and wind until all you could do was cling, shivering to yourself as you waited for it to pass.
It was in that manner that Eric spent the night.
The only good outcome of the storm was that it drove the raptors away. He had seen them disappear into the trees, illuminated by flashes of lightning. They must be returning to their nest, Eric thought. Or they could just be setting another trap, chimed in his pessimistic side.
Before leaving the tree, he broke off branches and threw them to the ground in hopes of causing any waiting raptors to reveal themselves. None came, but Eric feared that was because they had learned to wait before pouncing.
Still, he couldn't spend the rest of his (quite possibly very short) life in a tree. Cautiously, he moved down the branches and hopped the remaining distance to the ground.
A bush rattled.
His heart stopped.
A small snake slithered out of the foliage, and Eric sighed in relief. While turning to leave the area, he saw it.
A large sickle claw was lodged into the bark of the tree.
The velociraptor had been limping, Eric remembered. At the time, he had thought it was due to the fall, but apparently it had lost a claw in the process, causing the limp.
The claw still had Ben's blood on it.
With an amazingly steady hand, Eric reached up and yanked it out of the wood. He stumbled backwards with the force of it, but he had achieved his goal. The claw was now resting in the palm of his hand, just as wicked sharp and deadly as it had been the day before.
Wiping it on his pant leg, Eric realized that the claw could be incredibly useful to him. It could be used as a weapon while he was on the island. It could be used to cut. If he had had it before, Eric recognized bitterly, Ben may not even be dead. He could have used it to cut him free of the sail. They would have been gone before the raptors ever found them. This claw could help him survive.
Eric knew that would be difficult. This island had been declared the most dangerous place on the planet, beating out even Isla Nublar. But he also knew he would fight until his last breath. He wasn't exactly a slouch when it came to the wilderness. Eric had always loved camping (just not with dinosaurs), and was an avid Boy Scout. Between what he knew about dinosaurs and that, he could survive until the rescue teams came.
And that had to be soon, right? He and Ben had disappeared yesterday. His mother had known where they were going, and she would have called the police the moment they didn't return from the docks. Help was probably already on its way.
Okay, the first few chapters of this fic are going to be about Eric's experiences on the island. They weren't really explained in the movie, past Eric ominously saying "You don't want to know," about T-Rex pee, so I'm going to be giving you my interpretations of it. There is a book about Eric's life on the island, but it's not written by Michael Crichton, not considered canonical by the Jurassic Park movie verse, and I haven't read it, so therefore I won't be using it. Once he gets off the island, I'll have a few chapters depicting his life post-Sorna, and eventually getting to the events that resulted in him changing his name to Owen Grady and becoming a velociraptor trainer for Jurassic World. His experiences before and after the island come into play later in the story, I promise I'm not just doing this to annoy you people.
Also, if any of you have read my other fic, then know that these chapters will be shorter than those but there should be more frequent updates. I promise I won't neglect either of my fics in favor of the other. Updates won't stop for either.