Teagan looked back over her shoulder one last time before she boarded the tiny puddle jumper. It would be the last time she saw New York for quite awhile. And while she knew she would miss it, the prospect of what the future held for her was enough to make her board the plane without another thought.
Her plane ticket and the bus ticket to the airport had been bought by her new supervisor, who would also be personally picking her up at the airport in Montana. An unusual but pleasant occurrence. The fact that she would be working under this man was, in itself an unusual and mind-boggling occurrence to a 25 year old, recently graduated paleontologist.
"Teagan. Glad you could make it." A kid her age sat in one of the two back seats of the plane. He was tall, muscular and it was evident that he spent a lot of time outdoors. His hair was bleached blond and he carried a deep tan. Teagan smiled warmly at him and took the seat next to his.
"Hey Ryan. It's been too long," she said. She shoved one bag under her seat and kept one placed on her lap.
"No kidding. Mom says hi."
"Auntie? How is she?"
"She's good. So how's the museum treatin' you?"
"It was ok. But I was getting tired of putting old bones together, tagging them, putting them in the right drawers. I want to be out there digging them up." She had been climbing her way up the ladder of command at the Museum of Natural History. In a place like New York it was as close as she could get to dinosaurs, her natural love since childhood. Ryan had been less fortunate. He hadn't ever gotten out of his hometown museum which featured one triceratops skeleton on loan from a bigger museum in another city. He had kept on with his studies and research though.
Both of them, though limited when it came to resources, had caught Alan Grant's attention.
He had called them each about a month ago and delivered quite the opportunity into their laps. He'd offered to fly them both out to Montana to be a part of his current dig. Four years ago the prospect of unearthing a juvenile velociraptor had seemed great. He had thought he'd had one in the bag. In the middle of the dig he'd been interrupted to take a visit to John Hammond's park on Isla Nublar, Jurassic Park. He'd taken the necessary precautions to guard the tiny skeleton, but when he'd returned the fossil site had been washed away by heavy rain. Grant was furious but immediately began a new dig to find another juvenile.
Now, four years later he thought he had another one. He had wanted to bring out some new recruits to work on it with him, and someone had suggested Teagan Evens and Ryan Huntington from New York and Vermont respectively. Both of them were making their way up in the field of paleontology. The fact that they were cousins was just convenient.
That's what Grant had originally wanted the two young paleontologists for, to help with the dig. But things had changed in the past two weeks and now he needed them for something much more important. Much more, exciting wasn't the word of choice, risky perhaps.
The fact that plans had changed was still unknown to the two kids and they waited
for their plane to take of and fly them to unimaginable opportunities.
"Teagan. Ryan. Good to finally meet you." Alan Grant, now pushing on the age of forty-five but still spending every minute at the dig, walked up to meet the two kids as they came off the plane.
"Dr. Grant, it's such an honor to be here and to meet you." Teagan took his outstretched hand and shook it, then moved aside as Ryan stepped up.
"This is just amazing. It's great to meet you."
"And likewise. How was your flight?"
"Fine. Though it's good to be back on the ground."
"See, now that's something you and I have in common boy. The ground suits us better than the air."
"Speaking of the ground, when do we start?" Teagan looked around the desolate airport. She spotted a gray jeep across the parking lot and figured it must be Dr. Grant's car. When she squinted her eyes she could see that there was someone sitting in the passenger's seat. A blond woman who looked to be in her mid thirties sat there reading something that she had laid across the dashboard.
"Is that Dr. Sattler?" Teagan asked, taking a few steps forward.
"Sure is. Why don't we get going and we'll drive over to the site. I've got a lot to fill you two in on, and not much time to do it in." The two kids grabbed their bags and followed Grant across the parking lot. As they approached the jeep Ellie got out of the car and came towards them. She was dressed in her usual hiking boots and khaki shorts. The clothes had always suited her just fine and she saw no reason to change her style. She had stayed beside Grant since Jurassic Park. They hadn't talked much about their experiences but got right back to work. Until now that was.
"Hey there. Great to meet you two." Ellie took Teagan's hand and then Ryan's.
"Wow, no, it's great to meet you." Ryan threw his bag into the back seat and grabbed Teagan's, tossing it over also. Ellie walked back around and got in the front seat. Grant got into the driver's seat and Teagan and Ryan piled in back with the bags. Grant pulled out of the parking lot onto a long stretch of Montana highway.
"So, how much of the skeleton do you have uncovered?" Teagan asked. She leaned forward and raised her voice over the sound of the wind. Ellie turned around and faced the back.
"Just the skull. We only found it a few days ago. We had found a few new nests and were hoping to find a juvenile. We got lucky I guess. Let me ask you something, both of you. What do you know about Jurassic Park?"
Ryan smiled slightly and leaned back against the seat. "A lot."
"Like what, what exactly do you know?" Grant yelled from the front.
Teagan looked at Ryan then back at Ellie. "Built by John Hammond, took him about five years. He got dino DNA from insects trapped in amber and was able to genetically recreate a dinosaur after only ten years or so of research. The park was due to open in '94 but you two, and Hammond's lawyer, Robert Gennero, and Ian Malcolm went down to inspect it over a weekend. There were several deaths and the surviving people, you two, Malcolm, Hammond and his two grandkids, were forced to leave the island after barely surviving. Uh, there were 15 different species I believe. They weren't supposed to breed but they did due to West Indian frog DNA used to fill in the gaps in the gene sequence. They didn't actually produce the dinos on Isla Nublar, but on Isla Sorna, site B. Two teams, one from Hammond, one from InGen were sent to site B a couple years ago and that also ended horribly. I don't think anyone's been out there since. The dinos are surviving without lysine which they aren't supposed to be able to do. But then again they weren't supposed to be able to breed."
"Sounds like you've read up on this. You know a lot more than most people."
"Yeah, we've both been fascinated with the whole idea of there being real dinosaurs out there. Alive and walking around." Ryan once again leaned forward to join the conversation.
"Yeah, that's what I was saying about this time four years ago. Actually, four years ago…yesterday." Ellie looked down at her digital watch, confirming the date. "But you're right, it is fascinating."
"Why'd you ask?" Teagan slipped a hair tie off her wrist and tied her long hair back. She'd been meaning to cut it short for the hot trip out west but it always seemed to slip her mind. Now she would just have to suffer.
"We'll tell you all about it when we get to the site. It should be another hour or so," Grant yelled back, picking up another five miles an hour. "Or maybe forty-five minutes. I'm sorta in a hurry."
"Why? What?. It's not dark for another three hours. That's plenty of time to tour the site."
"Don't worry. You'll see when we get there." Teagan and Ryan looked at each other then settled back into their seats. Grant and Ellie started a quiet, private conversation up front. Ryan turned away to look out the window, enjoying the flat-out nothingness of Montana. Teagan continued to watch the conversation heating up in the front. She couldn't catch any of the words, but they sure were arguing about something. Grant seemed to be refusing something Ellie wanted. She gave up trying to figure it out and scanned around the interior of the car.
There was a folder tucked between the two front seats. She recognized it as the blue one Ellie had been reading out of before they met. She leaned towards Ryan so she could read what was printed on the tag. InGen.
She nudged Ryan's shoulder and pointed to it. He read the tag then looked at her with an arched eyebrow. 'So what' he mouthed. Teagan just gave him a shrug and mouthed the word 'weird' back at him. Ryan smiled and shook his head, then returned to his window watching. Teagan desperately wanted to grab the folder now. She'd always had a burning curiosity for the unknown and…well, the buried. Go figure, she was a paleontologist.
The rest of the ride was pretty much silent. Ellie told stories about some of the other guys at the site, warning them about some of the more interesting personality traits of a few. She mentioned one kid, Billy Brennan who was also new at the site. He had been one of Grant's students for a few years now and Grant had also been watching him. Ellie didn't get into details at all, just that the three of them should get along.
Forty minutes later the dusty jeep pulled off the highway on to an equally desolate dirt road that headed off to a huge pit about a mile or two off into the distance. Teagan stood up in her seat gripping the top frame of the jeep. Ryan stood up beside her. While the dust and flying dirt might bother some, it was the element the two young adults had been waiting for all their lives.
Grant pulled up next to a tiny trailer and parked the jeep. He and Ellie hopped out and waved for the kids to follow. They grabbed their things and tossed them to the ground, sending up another wonderful cloud of dust. They followed their supervisor over to a group of people standing under a tarp constructed tent. They were just sitting around in the shade drinking beers. One of their few relaxing moments of the day.
"Hey guys, I'd like you all to meet our new partners. Teagan Evens and Ryan Huntington." The group of people whistled and cheered their greeting. Grant turned to face his new students. "I'm sure you'd get along just fine with everyone. They're really a great bunch of people, as you can see. Although usually not that lazy." He turned to face the group in mock disapproval. "Now I'd like you to meet Billy and we can begin on our real item of business."
"Great. I've been itching to see this skeleton since…ha, since I was born." Ryan pulled a handkerchief out of his back pocket and wiped dirt out of his eyes. Not because it was bothering him, but out of necessity to see. He'd never been in one area with so much dirt before and he loved every little grain of it. Teagan was soaking up the sound her boots made crunching in the dirt. In New York she didn't get to hear that much, unless she wanted to go crunch around in the dirt in Central Park.
They followed Grant and Ellie back over to the trailer. The tiny tin box had one good thing going for it, it was air conditioned. Teagan walked in first and scanned the entire trailer with a quick glance before moving all the way inside. When everyone else was in Grant yelled towards the back of the trailer and another kid came out of a tiny room which could barely pass for a closet. Teagan figured the kid was her age, tall, muscular with curly dirty blond hair.
"Billy Brennan, this is Ryan Huntington," Billy shook Ryan's hand, " and Teagan Evens." Billy took Teagan's hand and smiled.
Billy was somewhat taken with Teagan. He'd grown up the youngest of 3 boys. Life with them had made him daring and tough. He'd never really had a girlfriend, his brothers took the gold in that department. So when it came to girls, he was a shy as a schoolboy. Plus most girls he ever had the chance to talk to found him to be too dull, dinosaurs on the brain. Girls in his hometown wanted the well dressed football quarterback. Teagan would be different though, he could tell.
Her long, brown ponytail was coming lose and she had fly-aways all over the place. She showed no signs of fixing them. Her shorts and shirt, hands and face were already covered in a fine layer of dust. She didn't even seem to notice. And she had shook his hand without a second glance to the calluses and dirt.
Teagan liked Billy instantly. She was like that with some people. Like her, he was coated in dust. Perfect. It suited their natural surroundings. She was so tired of city boys. She wanted someone who would be happiest out there on the dig with her.
"It's good to meet both of you. I'm glad your finally here. Now maybe Dr. Grant will let us all in on the secret he's been keeping." Billy stepped back to stand beside Teagan and looked toward Grant expectantly.
"I know that the three of you came here expecting to dig up a juvenile velociraptor. That isn't exactly true," Ellie said.
"It was the intended purpose of your trip. And I'm sorry that things have changed. A pressing matter has come up in the past two weeks. I think you three should take a seat." Grant motioned to a dusty couch against the back wall. Billy, Ryan, and Teagan took a seat without taking their eyes off Grant. "I'm offering you a different opportunity now, a chance of a lifetime to some. But it is just that, a chance, a risk, and truthfully something so dangerous if you want to say no and board a plane back home, I will think nothing less of you as a person or professional."
Billy had been waiting in the trailer all day for Teagan and Ryan to show up. He hadn't seen the skeleton and was told that when the other two arrived an explanation would be given. That only left him seven hours to think up a million and a half reasons for the delay. Teagan and Ryan only had known there was a change in plan for five minutes, but both of them had quickly formulated a million explanations each. Ryan leaned forward, elbows on his knees, and listened intently to Grant.
"I swore I would never come into any contact with Hammond again. His park, his ideas, his dinosaurs. Nothing. I would have to be crazy to put myself in that situation again. Well currently not only am I crazy enough to put myself there, but I'm crazy enough to bring you three along with me, back to his island."
"To…Jurassic Park," Ryan said. He began laughing. "That's rich."
"There will be a helicopter here in about ten minutes. Get your bags together and be ready." Ryan stopped laughing. After a pause Grant added, "I told you I was in a hurry."
"You're serious aren't you. You're going to drag us out to that God forsaken island."
"No, I'm not going to drag you. I told you, if you want to leave, go. You have ten minutes to decide."
"Wow, I thought you were brilliant, but man, you're crazy." Ryan stood up and put his hands on his hips. He walked to the middle of the trailer and began flinging cabinets open. "Where the hell do you keep the frickin' cups?"
"Ryan. Chill out. He said you didn't have to go," Teagan said. She didn't move from her seat on the couch. She was talking to the floor. Ryan stopped his frantic search and walked back to the couch.
"Are you kidding me? I don't even have to ask, I know you're going. And if you're going, I'm going. All I'm wondering is if Billy has enough brains to walk out that trailer door now."
"Not a chance."
"Okay, then. Ten minutes. I'll see you all outside." Grant stood up and walked toward the door. Before he walked out he paused. "I want you all to understand the extreme danger of what I'm asking you. There is every possibility you will not come back alive." When no one said anything he left the trailer. Ellie hesitated a moment and then followed.
"Don't you think what we're doing is a little unfair to those kids. They might think they know what Jurassic Park is, but Alan, they have no idea. They probably think like everyone else out there that they'll be safe. They know people died there, but they don't pay attention to that fact. We promised these kids a juvenile velociraptor skeleton, not an up close and personal, possibly deadly encounter with a live one."
"I know that. You know this was my last choice. I didn't choose people I didn't think could handle it. I've checked their backgrounds and in every possible aspect they are the best. We have to go out there and we can't go alone."
"Then why can't we take one of the guys. Edmund, or Josh, or geez, even Pete. Someone older, who can make a decision not based on what these kids are basing their decision on."
"And what's that?"
"They want to see a dinosaur. A skeleton would have meet their every expectation and now you're offering them a chance to see a walking, breathing one. You knew Alan, you knew they would come."
"You're right. In fact, I was counting on it."
"You should have told them everything, let them know what they're walking into."
"You and I both know that wasn't an option. There isn't time."
"There's plenty of time, this is not a time sensitive issue. The dinosaurs aren't going anywhere."
"Hammond wanted us out there last week."
"Screw Hammond. We should have told them."
A deep rumble echoed across the sky, cutting off any further argument. Ellie and Grant both looked up toward the west, shielding their eyes from the setting sun. A helicopter roared into view. There were no markings on the side but Grant new where it was coming from. He ran back into the trailer and grabbed an overnight bag off the floor. The kids were still sitting on the couch.
"'Copter's here, if you're coming, lets go." Grant walked out without waiting. Teagan got up and followed him, leaving the two boys behind. Billy stood up and dusted off his pants, showing dirt and grime onto the floor. He put his hand out to Ryan.
"It's been nice knowing you," Billy said.
"What, you're not going? But you just said you were."
"Oh no, I'm going. But like I said, been nice knowing you. Get a good look around, we might not make it back." Billy picked his bag up off the floor and walked to the trailer door.
"What? What do you mean we might not make it back. Are you serious?" Ryan walked up to Billy. He looked him straight in the eye. Billy just laughed and pushed open the door, letting the hot air pouring in.
"Hang on to your butts, we've got a long journey ahead," Billy said, walking out the door. Ryan followed, closing the door behind him. He jogged over to the jeep and picked up his bag. Teagan, Ellie, and Grant were already on the helicopter and Billy was throwing his stuff inside. Ryan ducked and made his was over, stopping once to turn and look at the sun set behind the mountains.
Teagan had a million questions running through her mind. She wanted to know why they were going, what the catch was, what would be waiting for her there. She knew something on that island was very important or she wouldn't be on a possible one way trip to it with Dr. Alan Grant.
He had many times since the first incident commented that no force on heaven or earth would get him to go back to Jurassic Park. Something had happened though, something only Grant could get a handle on, although apparently not without some help.
Billy sat staring out the window thinking much the same as Teagan. He wanted to scream all those questions at Grant, but knew that would get no one anywhere except for angry. So he just bit his tongue and waited. Ryan had no questions running through his mind about what was ahead. He only wondered what he was leaving behind, and what he may possibly never see again.
An hour into the trip Grant decided it was time to completely fill the kids in on the situation, before they reached their destination. Once the helicopter landed on Isla Nublar there would probably be no time for explanations, only action.
He cleared his throat and everyone looked at him expectantly. He glimpsed out the window, suddenly wishing he was anywhere but on that plane faced with all those questioning eyes. He suddenly wished he had never dragged the poor kids to their possible destruction. He wanted to turn around and yell to the pilot to turn back. But instead he cleared his throat once more and began speaking.
"I suppose it would have been more practical, if nothing more than ethical and moral to tell you what we're headed towards before I had you all on the helicopter. Truth is, there wasn't time. Not to try and ease the harshness of what I've done, but I needed you. You are the best for the task at hand. A lot rests on what we do on this island in the next few days. If the problem we're faced with escalates we could be looking at many more deaths, and a very real possibility of dinosaurs escaping. The problem we're facing is evolution."
"What about it. Everyone knew the dinosaurs would evolve. It was expected. Besides, it's not an imminent problem. No point in trying to stop it." Ryan said, leaning forward on his knees.
"I'm not talking about stopping it. It's too late for that."
"You mean they've already evolved. That's impossible. It's only been a few years. That would be the fastest evolution ever. That's mind bogglingly fast." Teagan commented.
"I know. No one could have ever predicted the rate and degree of evolution that these animals are undergoing. It is mind boggling. But it's happening. And if it continues without intervention, it won't be long until these dinosaurs are on the mainland, taking back what would have been theirs."
"You've got to be kidding me," Ryan said, shaking his head and leaning back into the seat. "I thought without human help they couldn't get off that island."
"I assure you, there is no kidding involved. These animals are taking on odd characteristics of evolution. They aren't evolving the way they were supposed to. It's almost more of a…" Ellie stopped, searching for a word. "Perhaps evolution isn't even the correct term to be associated with these changes. I would say mutation, abnormalities, those words are far more precise." Ellie ignored Ryan's inquiry about the dinos getting off the island. That was a concern for later.
"Mutation? Into what?" Teagan questioned, talking more towards Ellie than Grant. But it was Grant who answered.
"Raptor claws have been found in purely T-Rex territory. Traces of dilophosaur venom have been found in areas known to be inhabited by raptors only."
"So, they're migrating, changing their surroundings." Teagan said, stating the simplest and most logical of explanations.
"No, they aren't. That was the first possibility that was looked into. It was quickly and easily crossed off the list. Aerial photography, computer analysis proved all the dinosaurs are still in their intended habitats, even though there are no more barriers keeping them there. Plus-"
"Hold up. No more barriers. What do you mean. Like the fences aren't electrified anymore?" Ryan once again sat upright.
"The generators that supplied the power were cut off a long time ago. But most of the fences have also come down in weather, crosswinds. And the animals have done a fairly good job at taking them down themselves. Without the electricity, the fences were hardly an adequate enclosure."
"So we're going onto this island where the dinosaurs aren't even caged in anymore?"
"Right. Now I warned you this was going to be dangerous. I gave you the opportunity to leave."
"He did Ryan. You followed. And it's too late now." Teagan patted her cousin's hand, who returned the gesture with a slight scowl and turned away. "So you're sure they are all still where they were supposed to be?"
"Positive. They formed habitats while they were enclosed. They simply kept to their own places even after the park was shut down. A natures way sort of thing."
"So what other possibilities are on the list."
"Like Ellie was saying, mutation. The T-Rexes are taking on qualities of the raptors, the raptors are taking on qualities of the spitters. And who knows what else. Fact is, most of these dinosaurs where near unstoppable before, if they take on characteristics of each other, unstoppable won't be that far away."
"So the raptors can now spit venom or something?" Billy asked, bringing his voice into the conversation for the first time.
"That's what we think. It's a little bit of an imagination stretch but what if something like a raptor and a teradon crossed, a flying raptor. Could you imagine."
"No, because like you said, it is a major imagination stretch. The wings of a teradon couldn't support a raptor. A raptor's body isn't built to fly. So even if one was born with wings, it would do no good."
"To quote the words of a friend 'life will find a way'. I didn't believe him the first time he said those words. But I won't shove them aside a second time. I also see the numerous problems with a raptor trying to fly. I too don't see how it could work. But I don't feel like tempting fate."
"Is that what you're afraid of, the dinosaurs flying off the island?" Ryan asked with a slight smirk on his face. Grants only reply was a shrug of his shoulders.
Teagan had been watching and listening to the conversation, taking in every word. Now she spoke up again. "Dr. Grant, I follow all that you're saying. And I see the danger in it, assuming somehow the dinosaurs did leave Isla Nublar. But how are we to stop it, and more immediately, what caused it?"
"After the park shut down Hammond didn't pull all of his men out immediately. He kept researchers and scientists in the park for nearly a year. It was at the end of that year that these mutations began showing up. They were pretty much ignored, until last year. When another group of researchers was sent in. They reported back once, with the same results the previous researchers had given. They turned up strong evidence of rapid mutation. After that though they never received another contact from them.
"Hammond was afraid to send anyone else in. But with government and legal action pressing in on him, he had to find out somehow exactly how bad the situation was. He sent in one more team of five and two made it out."
"So what are we, another research team being sent in to battle the forces?" Ryan questioned.
"No, think of yourself as more of an extermination team. We're supposed to go in there and root out the mutations, the abnormalities."
"Why don't they just exterminate the whole island. Be done with the whole mess."
"That's what I thought. But it isn't my decision to make. I think, in fact I know, Hammond is still holding on to some minute hope that his island could succeed. It's ridiculous."
"So why did you agree to go along with this?" Teagan asked Grant.
"Because they needed someone with experience. And-"
"We don't have experience. We are as good as dead out there," Ryan said, cutting Grant off.
"No you aren't. We're going to fill you in on all we know. You know enough about dinosaurs to be smart about what you're doing. You'll know when to lead and when to follow. We took a long time to choose who would come along with us and we're fully confident in your abilities."
"I just can't believe that you would up and go with all of this. And bringing other people into it. You always seemed like you would do whatever it took to keep yourself and more importantly other people away from this mess."
"I would. Actually that is the point, as I was about to say. Hammond is sending us in to exterminate, I'm going in to destroy. I know from an inside source that Hammond is sending me to bottle the pressure he is receiving from legal matters. To make it look like he is taking a positive action. But in reality those legal matters haven't changed Hammond, he is ever the entrepreneur. Within two weeks from now Hammond is sending in another team."
"He's a busy guy," Ryan cut in.
"You have no idea. He is sending in another team to extract normal dinosaurs. He's going to bring them back to the mainland and start his park in San Francisco. Then after a matter of time, those dinosaurs will have mutated and he'll have mutated dinosaurs on the mainland. "
"He already tried to create the park over there. It failed."
"He's trying again. He thinks he's learned from his mistakes, but obviously not."
"How are they going to let him do that?"
"The same way they were going to let him do it before."
"But after all that has happened? San Francisco is still going to let him? I mean they had a T-Rex running loose through the city!"
"Well yeah, but you know politics and law. Since Hammond has laid low and not made any moves, no steps have been taken to prevent him from acting in the future. Technically there is nothing saying Hammond cannot open his park."
"So what is it you're trying to do. I'm so confused. Are you or are you not working for Hammond?" Billy asked, trying to clear everything up in his mind.
"I, we, are not. We simply mooched off Hammond, let him believe we were working for him, to get to the island and to get a moderate amount of supplies, with Hammond paying the bill. Once we're on the island, we're working for ourselves, destroying all that we can so that Hammond's next team won't be able to take dinosaurs off this island."
"You really think that'll work? That we'll be able to do enough damage." Teagan liked Grant's idea, but it was so large scale.
"We do what damage we can to the dinosaurs, and then buildings, and then docks and landing pads. Anything and everything that we can. We are a five person demolition team."
"You're risking all of our lives just to stop Hammond, why don't you leave it to someone else. Why don't you turn him in to the authorities?" Ryan asked.
"There is no one else to do it. No one else knows the island well enough, at least no one willing to destroy it. The authorities would just think I was crazy."
"Don't you think Hammond will press charges when he finds out what you did?"
"Most likely not. He wouldn't have a leg to stand on."
"Well I hope you have one darn good plan."
"If we work together and think this through we'll be fine. It's gonna be hard, I won't lie about that. But we can't leave a park for Hammond to come back to, there can't be anything here for his next team."
"We're gonna die," Ryan said, marking his statement with a sigh.
"If you listen, and pay attention you will make it off the island." The words sounded reassuring, but Teagan, Ryan and Billy noted the tone behind the words and the look in Grants face. Instead of feeling better, their stomachs dropped and they felt sure only their death lay ahead.
"Anyway, to answer your question about how this happened." Grant changed the subject and quickly gained the kids attention once again. "Research was extensive when they were creating these dinosaurs, extracting blood and DNA. But mistakes, human or nature, are inevitable. They obviously didn't show up immediately, but they are now. We think that perhaps the DNA was tainted. Two different species of dinosaur DNA mixed into the same blood sample from the mosquito, maybe such small amounts of one that it wasn't even picked up by the computers. Now though that DNA is being picked up in the dinosaurs and causing genetic mistakes. Then they begin breeding and before you know it, it isn't a genetic mistake, it's a new specie."
"So it's human error?" Billy said, rolling his eyes.
"Most likely. It may have been the mosquitoes they were extracting blood from had fed off of two different dinosaurs, so it was carrying two different types of blood with DNA. Scientists may not have filtered the blood as well as they thought they did. DNA was still mixed."
"It's sort of like when they added frog DNA. It only filled in small gaps in the gene sequence, but it's presence resulted in an enormous genetic mishap. It was its presence alone allowed the dinosaurs to breed. So if there were only trace amounts of dilophosaur DNA mixed in with the raptor DNA, it's easy to see the sort of mishaps that could occur." Ellie entered the conversation once again, relating the current problem to one that had already been accepted; the dinosaurs breeding.
"It makes sense, assuming that sort of genetic coding and genetic integration is possible," Billy took turns alternately staring at Ellie and then Grant.
Once again it was Ellie that answered. "All we have now are theories. What we've told you is pretty much all we know. I'm going on that this sort of genetic integration is possible, because it's happening."
"You are sure without a doubt it's a mutation and not a researching error. They were seeing things that weren't really there." Ryan asked, still not completely ready to believe what he was hearing.
"I've seen photos, I'm sure," Grant said. "I'll answer the rest of your questions when we get there, when the time comes. You've had a lot thrown into your lap in the last half hour. Take some time to absorb it." Grant leaned back and pulled his hat down over his eyes. "Resting might be a good idea too, who knows how much rest we'll get once landed."
The conversation ended there. Ellie leaned her head against the window and closed her eyes. Ryan's eyes were glued to the ocean passing underneath. Teagan turned to talk to Billy, but he was furiously making notes in a notebook. She tried reading them, but his handwriting was to scribbled. So she leaned her head back and tried to fall into a sleep. It didn't come easily, but it came.
The helicopter dropped suddenly, pushing Teagan hard against Billy. She awoke with a jerk and quickly righted herself. Billy was laughing and offered Teagan one half her seatbelt. She looked around and saw that everyone was now awake and quickly fastening their belts. She took the half from Billy and searched around the seat for the other half. Seconds later she was buckled and feeling more secure.
She leaned forward to look out the window past Ryan. The island was beautiful. Trees everywhere, all she could see was green. The helicopter was descending into a narrow and deep valley into which a waterfall crashed. Next to the waterfall was a helipad marked with a giant, yellow X.
"Once we land we'll do a quick check of equipment. All of our stuff was sent in yesterday. Then we'll get going." Grant was leaning forward as well. He didn't want to get off the helicopter for anything, but he couldn't help but look out the window with some degree of excitement.
The helicopter landed rather smoothly and Grant swung the door open. Memories rushed at him right then. He clearly remembered seeing the island for the first time. The two jeeps marked with the Jurassic Park logo, waiting to take them to the visitor's center. He pushed those thoughts away and turned to motion the others to get out. Once everyone was moved off the pad he gave a wave to the pilot and the helicopter ascended once again.
"Everyone wave goodbye to your last chance off this island," Ryan mumbled, watching the helicopter fly away.
Just like before two jeeps awaited the visitors. This time they were also accompanied by a high-tech camper/trailer, much like the one used by the team sent to Site B. Grant walked over to the camper and unlocked the door. Inside was everything Hammond had thought they would need for the next few days. Of course it wouldn't be enough to support Grant's plan. He was tempted to go check the weapon's closet anyway, but Billy and Teagan came in.
"So now we've heard the story, we've seen the goods, what's the action?" Billy asked. He walked around the trailer surveying everything. He flipped a few switches and turned the weather satellite on. Seeing the screen flick on he stopped and studied it. "Looks like we've got a storm coming."
"Well that would just figure. Because Murphy's Law hates me." Grant walked over and looked over Billy's shoulder. "Looks big, and it looks like it's going to hit by morning."
"So do we go ahead and start, or wait it out?" Teagan asked, wandering over to the weapon's closet.
"We wait. Once we get started I don't want to stop. I want to get it all done and get off this island."
"Then why don't we just start. We might as well get some stuff done while we can." Billy turned the monitor back off and turned to face Grant.
"Because I know we can't finish it all by the time this storm hits. It's very possible it will hit in the next few hours."
"So we go out and come back in when it starts to rain."
"Billy, please. I do not want to go out into the field twice. It will take enough to get all of us out there once."
The conversation stopped. Teagan was just about to open the door to the weapon's closet. "Come on. I want to get moving." Grant motioned for the two to follow him back outside.
Ellie had started one of the jeeps and pulled it into the lead on the trail. "Teagan why don't you come with me." Ellie waved her forward, she grabbed her stuff and threw it in the back. "Grant drive the camper, Billy and Ryan, you two follow me with the other jeep."
Grant handed Billy a set of keys and turned back to the camper, getting inside and closing the door. He didn't hesitate a second to lock the door behind him. Once everyone was in their respective vehicles they moved out.
They immediately passed through two extremely large metal gates. Signs warned of high voltage, but there was no longer any danger now that the power was out. The gates hung open and didn't slow them down any.
After fifteen minutes of driving the first building appeared. It was still in good shape, not much damage done to the outside over the years. Teagan guessed it was the visitor's center and voiced that much to Ellie.
"You got it, the scene of the final show down. We're going to base here. It's the most convenient spot. Plus there may still be things inside that we can use." She pulled the jeep up and over the automated track for the tour. She cut the engine and got out. Billy pulled in behind them and Grant parked the trailer a little further out.
No one moved up the steps. They all just stood there, looking around. Ellie couldn't bring herself to go inside. She remembered all too well what had happened last time she'd been in that very spot. And the memories did nothing to warm her insides. At last Billy moved forward and the other two kids followed. Ellie waited for Grant.
Ryan thought outside may have looked undamaged, but the inside was a whole different story. Pieces of an unknown skeleton lay all over the floor, after a closer look at some of the major bones Ryan identified it as a T-Rex. It looked like it had once hung from the ceiling, but had come down long ago. A banner lay across with length of the lobby saying something about dinosaurs ruling the earth. Teagan stepped over the banner into the center of the skeleton mess. She turned, checking out all angles of the room. Ryan cautiously moved a few steps up a curving staircase.
Ellie and Grant slowly moved in through the doors. The scene replaying in each of their minds. They stood in the center of the room, trying to guard Tim and Lex. They had raptors on every side. No where to go. A T-Rex burst in through the side wall and attacked a raptor, evoking an attack from the others. They escaped because their enemy had made a mistake.
Other than the mess they had made long ago, the front lobby seemed unharmed by the years. The dinosaurs hadn't seemed to pay it any mind. The plants in the lobby had even managed to survive by some miracle. Grant thought it highly unlikely that the dinos had ventured upstairs and hoped it would be in a similar condition.
Teagan was walking around reading various billboards that were put up for the education of visitors. Even though she knew how InGen had recreated the dinosaurs, reading it from the source was amazing. However, she noted that they had skimmed over a few of the more technical details. Billy had joined Ryan on the stairs and Ellie and Grant began walking toward them. Teagan heard their motion and looked over, following Grant and Ellie after one last glance at the billboard.
The group moved up the stairs, keeping their eyes and ears open for signs of dinosaurs. Just because Grant thought it was unlikely they were upstairs, didn't mean it was impossible. When they reached the top landing they all stood and took a detailed look around. Ellie turned around to look back down the stairs to make sure nothing was following them. No one saw anything so they moved forward.
The upstairs was mainly composed of offices and a few minor labs. Grant remembered there were also several playrooms set up for infant dinos. He vividly remembered watching a woman play with a juvenile velociraptor in one of the rooms. Billy and Ryan walked into the closest office. Things were still in order. When the workers had left work for that weekend long ago, they had fully expected to come back on Monday.
Billy opened a few drawers but found nothing of interest. He turned to leave the office but something in the corner caught his eyes. He took a few steps closer and squatted down to look at it. Dino droppings. They didn't look that old either.
"Dr. Grant," he yelled out into the hall. "I think we should definitely watch…out…" He trailed off then remained silent. Listening. The sound came again a second later. A low hiss. It sounded like a snake, but Billy knew better. He walked out into the hall, still intent on listening. The others all stood statue still, trying to figure out which direction the sound came from.
Teagan started back to the stairs. She put her foot on the first step then stumbled backwards. Two crests appeared, raised over sharp eyes. Then more of the pebbly gray head. It bobbed a few times as Teagan scrambled into a standing position and quickly backed up. She never took her eyes off the figure on the stairs. Not looking where she was going she backed right into Billy.
He grabbed her shoulders and lightly pushed her behind him, taking a few steps forward. He didn't have to go far to see what was standing on the steps, waiting for them. The slightly elongated snout filled with razor-sharp teeth, rusty colors striped down over its sides, and intelligent, piercing eyes gave the species away immediately.
"Raptor. He's just standing there."
"He's just blocking our exit. They're pack hunters. This one's not the attacker, it's the distraction." Grant turned in a circle, looking for the others raptors he knew were there. The kids walked over to Grant and Ellie and they all moved together into a tight group, someone looking in every direction. The only raptor they could see was the one on the stairs. With Ryan keeping an eye on that one, they slowly moved off down the hall.
They passed several offices on the right, the playrooms on the left. At the end of the hall was a single steel door. Grant realized his mistake the second he made it. They shouldn't have been moving down the hall. They were trapping themselves. Another hiss issued from an office back towards the stairs. They stopped, standing tense.
A raptor jumped lightly through the broken office window and blocked the exit out of the hall. It lowered its head down to the ground and took another step forward, its six-inch claw clicking on the linoleum. Without another thought the group broke and scattered into different rooms. While splitting up may not have been the thing to do, the raptor paused, not sure which to follow.
Teagan grabbed the door handle closest to her and pulled. Nothing happened. In her panic she figured it was probably locked. She spared a quick glance over at the raptor whose indecision was over.
Its head and neck were low, even with his outstretched tail. The two formed perfect balance for it as it ran, straight for Teagan. She grabbed the handle again and pushed, nothing happened. She yelled in frustration and turned to face the raptor, who was only six feet in front of her. The hall was narrow, very narrow, and Teagan prayed she could use that to her advantage. When the raptor was nearly on top of her she crouched as low as she could and moved to the other side of the hall, keeping one leg outstretched behind her.
Without time to react the raptor slammed into her leg and went down on the other side of it. Its claw caught Teagan's calf and she let out a wail of pain. She didn't have time for that though. She pulled herself up with a door handle turning it in the process. She took a quick moment to be grateful that the door had opened. She turned around and slammed the door, only catching a glimpse of the raptor struggling to get up. She turned the lock and leaned against the door, struggling to catch her breath. She slumped down to the floor.
Billy heard Teagan yell and started toward the door. He was about to open it and step out into the hall when he heard another door slam. He looked out the office window and Teagan was no longer in the hall. The raptor was sprawled on the ground, angrily hissing and growling, struggling to get up and turned around in the narrow hall. Billy didn't know where the others were, what rooms they had all run to. But he knew he was just going to sit tight until the raptor was long gone.
The raptor was angry. It had been tricked out of a meal and Ryan figured if it had any pride, it was severely bruised. He was leaning on desk in a tiny office trying to get his heart to stop pounding and his breathing back to normal. Grant stood by the door, looking out the tiny window. Ryan had been watching up to the point that he saw Teagan safely get away. He had been ready to charge out there and distract the stupid beast, but Grant had held him back.
"Start looking in desk drawers. I remember Hammond telling me every room in the place was equipped with emergency gear in case of a dino break out. Not that he thought it would ever happen."
With minimal light coming in from the hallway they began opening desk drawers and cabinets. All Ryan came up with was a flashlight from the bottom desk drawer. Grant came up a little more successful, a 9 mm in his right hand.
"That's supposed to stop a velociraptor?"
"Supposed to. It'd have to be to the head, or it would just slow the thing down."
"Aw man, I want something bigger than that. You brought something bigger than that right?"
"What do you want, a shotgun?" Grant moved back to the door. The raptor had righted itself and was snorting at the bottom of the door Teagan was behind. It began digging at the floor, trying to get under the door. After a second of that it began throwing its body at the door.
"No. I want an Uzi." Grant turned and smiled at the kid. Then turned his attention back to the raptor. Without making a sound he opened the door and put one foot out into the hallway. The raptor continued scratching and pushing at the door, then stopped as if someone had pushed a pause button. Grant raised his arms and aimed for the side of the raptor's head. Unaware of the danger it was in the raptor raised it's arm to the door handle and hooked its claws around it.
Grant didn't wait anther second, he already knew they could open doors. He pulled the trigger and held his breath. The raptor went down with a thud.
Ryan pushed his way out behind Grant. He looked down the hallway in both directions then took a few steps toward the raptor. He knew not to assume, but he was pretty sure it was dead, a pool of blood was collecting around it's head. After a moment of silence the door opened and Teagan walked out. She quickly stepped over the raptor and came up to Ryan.
"Screw Hammond. This island should have been bombed a long time ago."
"You have a whole different view of the things once they try to eat you, don't you?" Grant opened a few of the office doors, looking for Billy and Ellie.
"Sure do. Where'd you get that?" Teagan pointed to the gun in Grant's hand.
"In the office. We should check the rest of them, there's probably more."
Billy came out of an office next to the one Ryan and Grant had been hiding in. "That's more like it," he said, motioning to the dead animal. "I thought I would love seeing these things, thought it would be amazing. And it was, til they came after us."
"No kidding man." Ryan nodded in agreement. Grant had disappeared into another office and game out with another gun, identical to the one he held. "Those are not going to do us much good. Shooting at a charging raptor with that, is going to be like swatting a stick at a charging rhino."
"Would you rather walk around with nothing, or a stick?" Grant handed Ryan the gun and moved into another office.
Ellie came out of the last office in the hall, a shotgun in her hands.
"Oh sure, she runs into the office with the shotgun." Ryan mumbled.
"I think we should get out of this hall. Probably out of this building." She turned to the steel door and turned the handle sharply. The door swung open.
Ellie tentatively put one foot into the room on the other side of the door. She stuck the barrel of the shotgun through the opening and followed with the rest of her body. Grant walked in behind her, followed closely by the three kids. Ellie and Grant walked forward, scanning the room with the gun. Billy and Ryan followed.
Teagan stayed by the door, holding it open. Her knees were slightly bent, giving her the edge she would need to run if the need arose.
The room was crowded with computer terminals. Every available table top had a computer on it, those not covered with computers held stacks of printed paper and other mundane office supplies. There was one row of windows overlooking the tree tops, letting in the evening sun. Next to the row of windows, a single unmarked door. One other window looked into one of the playrooms. Ryan walked over to a computer and flicked the on switch. Nothing happened.
"No power, remember," Ellie said, turning in a slow circle, surveying every inch of the room for danger. The setting sun was throwing the corners of the room into shadow, making Ellie uneasy.
"Yeah, how could I forget. We're on this island without the dinosaur crispers." Billy gave Ryan an odd look. " The electric fences. No electric fences to help, no computers to help, no phones to call for help, not a single prayer for help. Not on this island."
"This used to be one of the main control rooms. They could virtually run the whole island from this one room. It was also designed to be able to be run with minimal staff," Grant explained.
Teagan had not strayed from the door. She was looking from computer monitor to computer monitor, like she thought one might suddenly flick on. She then began looking for another exit and entrance to the room and found only one, the door by the windows. She squinted to see through the small, dirty window but all she saw were tree tops. Which meant they were relatively high up. A look through the row of windows confirmed that.
Billy turned to see what Teagan was doing, why she had not followed the others the rest of the way into the room. He pivoted on his foot then froze. His breath caught in his throat and he could not make a single noise. He made a few frantic gestures to Teagan who caught them and looked at him quizzically.
"What?" Her voice and confused looks snapped Billy out of it.
"SHUT THE DOOR! SHUT THE DOOR NOW!" He ran toward Teagan who turned around to look behind her. She froze in fear for a split second then moved into action, grabbing the edge of the door. She slammed it shut and leaned her back against it. The others turned at Billy's shout.
The raptor that had been charging at her from down the hall slammed into the door, jarring Teagan slightly. Billy pushed his body against the door also and looked for a lock.
"The locks! They're computer automated aren't they?!" Billy pushed away from the door, Teagan put even more of her wait against it, bracing her feet against the floor. Ellie stood a few feet away, gun trained on the crack in the door, in case the raptor got in despite their efforts. Grant and Ryan were frantically pushing computer monitors to the floor, clearing off a large metal table. The monitors smashed into the floor and littered the surrounding area with shards of glass.
Billy ran over to the table and helped Ryan and Grant drag it over. Teagan moved out of the way, letting the door slip open against the raptor's force. Ellie fired one shot and then the door was closed again, barricaded with the desk.
Without wasting a second Grant turned from the blocked door and searched for another exit.
"There, over there." Teagan pointed at the exit she had seen earlier and ran over to it, the others following. They were nearly at it when it flung open. Another raptor stood perched on the fire escape that the door led to.
"They can open doors?!" Teagan yelled.
"If they aren't locked!" Grant yelled back.
The raptor let out a low hiss and took a step into the room. Teagan backpedaled and turned, looking for an alternate escape. Ellie raised the gun and let off a shot. She had not taken time to aim and the bullet harmlessly ricocheted off the metal doorjamb. The raptor continued to come at them, unfazed.
"I don't have any more ammo." The gun being useless to her in any other way, Ellie hurled it at the advancing raptor. It hit it in the chest, but did nothing to slow it down. The other raptor was still banging away at their only other exit.
Grant instinctively looked up. He knew exits sometimes had to be taken in an ascending fashion. They were in luck. There was a large skylight in the center of the ceiling. If they put a chair up on one of the desks, they could easily reach it. Of course if there was a raptor on the roof, their luck ran out.
Grant grabbed the chair closest to him that didn't roll and found a table situated under the window. He pushed two more computers to the floor and threw the chair up in their place. He looked around the room for one more tool necessary to make their escape. The gun would have been useful, but it now lay behind the raptor. Everyone stared looking at Grant, then taking quick glances back to the raptor inside the room and at the door the other raptor was trying to break down.
Billy was stuck staring at Grant, trying to work out the problem it was evident he was having. "The gun."
"We can't get it now."
"No, the one under your belt." Grant looked down and saw the 9 mm. I knew there was a reason I brought these kids along. He backed away from the table and fired one shot directly into the middle of the window. The glass shattered and rained down onto the table and floor.
"Come on, come on!" The shot had jarred the raptor and he hopped from foot to foot, agitated. Ellie ran forward and jumped onto the table.
"Ellie, here." Ryan handed her the 9mm Grant had given him and she shoved it under her belt, then grabbed the edge of the window and pulled herself up on the roof.
"It's all clear," she yelled back down, thankful she had no need for the gun...yet. Ryan pulled himself up next, followed by Teagan, who quickly stood up and looked around the roof. A light rain had begun to fall and mist was rolling down into the valley, the storm had arrived. She heard the raptor hiss again from inside.
Billy's fingers grasped the sides of the window. He immediately let out a shout of pain and pulled his hands away from the window frame. Blood was left behind where his hand had been. A large shard of glass had remained in the frame and had sliced open his palm. There was no movement at the window frame for a minute and Ellie began to worry.
Teagan walked away from the skylight and over to the edge of the roof and looked down. Below the edge was the fire escape and the still-open-door that the raptor had entered through. After a second of hesitation she jumped down onto the metal escape.
"Teagan! What are you doing?!" Ryan started after her but Ellie called him back.
"Ryan, I need your help with Billy. He can't pull himself up, his hand is cut too bad." Ryan didn't move, only stared at the edge his cousin and disappeared from. "Ryan! Now!" He pushed aside his concern for Teagan and jogged back to help Ellie pull Billy up onto the roof.
Teagan squatted down into the jump but quickly stood up again. The raptor had heard the metal clang and turned to face her. She didn't waste another second staring at it, but pushed the door shut. Trapping it inside. This door was equipped with a deadlock on the outside. A strange feature, but Teagan slid it into place and was thankful for it. She backed up against the railing and tried to see back up on the roof. A second later Ryan and Billy's faces appeared over the edge and they jumped down to join her, Billy's hand leaving a thin trail of blood behind. Teagan ripped off a strip of her shirt and began to wrap his hand.
Grant grasped the edges of the window and pulled himself up, Ellie helping as much as she could. He kicked the chair off the desk before pulling himself all the way out, knowing perfectly well it wouldn't help them at all. As soon as he was on the roof he jumped up and grabbed Ellie's hand. They ran to the edge of the roof and jumped down to the escape. He glanced around to make sure everyone was accounted for, then pushed Teagan towards the ladder that led down to the ground.
The raptor that Teagan had trapped inside had been banging against the door, trying to get out, much like the other raptor that had been trying to get in. As Ryan began down the ladder after Teagan the banging stopped. Grant heard one low growl and then nothing. He ushered for Billy to hurry and start down. Grant heard another hiss from the raptor. This time it reached his ears from up on the roof. The raptor had jumped through the window and onto the roof, probably with no problem at all.
"GO! The trailer!" He threw the keys down to Ryan then pushed Ellie to the ladder. As soon as she was out of the way Grant began to make his way down. Halfway to the ground he heard another loud clang of metal, he glanced up. The raptor stood at the edge of the fire escape, lowering his head down, hissing and growling. It had not yet figured out how to follow them down, but Grant had no doubt in moments the raptor would simply jump down.
"Ellie! Jump, just jump!" He turned as best as he could to watch her. She turned and let go of the railing, jumping and landing hard. She went down when she landed and rolled out of the way. Grant looked up once more and the raptor was gone. Without another thought he jumped and landed next to Ellie. He didn't stop to think where the raptor was, he just followed Ellie around the building to the front.
He didn't see the kids as they reached the front drive and took a moment to pray they had reached the trailer. Ellie was a few steps ahead of him, running flat out. As she passed the front steps she saw two heads bobbing lightly inside the glass doors. As Grant ran by, the two bobbing heads stepped outside and immediately gave chase. They were done playing games with their meal.
The trailer door loomed twenty feet in front of them…ten feet. At five feet the side door flung open and Ryan backed away to allow Ellie and Grant to stumble in. They fell to the floor, gasping for air, thankful to still be breathing. Ryan slammed the door shut and engaged the lock.
No one moved for at least five minutes. They all just sat there, catching their breath and letting their heartbeat return to normal. The raptors had circled the trailer a few times but made no attempt to get in. Now they were no where in sight.
Ryan and Billy sat at a small table built into the trailer wall. A small puddle of blood was forming under Billy's hand.
"We'd better get you cleaned up." Ellie got up off the floor and went to the medical cabinet. She pulled down some bandages and tape and some other things to clean wounds with. With her arms full she joined the boys at the table and began cleaning Billy's hand. A few minutes later it was neatly wrapped in gauze. Teagan pulled herself up off the floor and hobbled over to the table. Running to the trailer had reopened the gash she had received from the raptor.
"When did you do that?" Ellie asked when Teagan put her foot up on a chair.
"When I tripped the raptor, his claw caught me." Ellie cleaned some dirt out of the cut and bandaged it up.
"Anyone else?" No one moved.
"I think we should just leave. We haven't actually done anything yet and two of us have been hurt," Ryan suggested.
"That would mean we'd been hurt for nothing. I vote we stay and finish the job." Billy held up his uninjured hand in vote.
"I'm with him." Teagan also held up her hand. Ryan looked back and forth between Ellie and Grant. Ellie slowly raised her hand and Grant followed. Ryan shook his head then slowly raised his hand into the air.
Ellie put the supplies away and went into the kitchen. She opened some cabinets and pulled an array of junk food out. She threw the stuff on the table and everyone dug in. Eating correctly was not high on their list of things to do while on this island. It lay somewhere just above 'get eaten by a dinosaur'.
"So how are we going to get rid of enough dinosaurs to discourage the next team?" Ryan asked, wiping his cheese-doodle-cheese-covered-fingers on a napkin. "How many dinosaurs are on this island?"
"Somewhere between two and three hundred at the last count."
"Whoa. This is impossible."
Grant closed the bag of pretzels he'd been eating out of and folded his hands. "We just have to wipe out what we can. And give some degree of focus to nests."
"No matter what we do, there will be something for the next team to bring back to the mainland."
"I know. I'm hoping we can do enough to discourage Hammond, just get him to stop. Or shed more light on what he's busily been doing behind closed doors. Besides, like I said, we're going to take out the docks as well, his next team is going to have a hard time even getting on the island."
A beeping filled the trailer and pulled everyone's attention from the window. A red button was flashing on a phone attached to the wall. Teagan was closest so she picked it up.
"Hello. This is Teagan." There was a pause as she listened. When she replied her tone had dropped. "Yeah, just a second."
She got up and handed the phone to Grant. "It's our wonderful Mr. Hammond."
Grant took the phone from Teagan and put it up to his ear.
"I trust everything is going well over there?" Hammond asked in his usual cheery voice.
"Oh yeah. Perfectly. No trouble getting here." Grant stood up and turned his back to the rest of the trailer's occupants.
"Any trouble of any other sort?"
"Run in with some raptors. Only slight injuries."
"Good good. I knew I picked the right man for the job."
Grant rolled his eyes. "You sure did."
"Well I'm sure you're busy. I'll let you get back to work."
Grant suppressed a laugh at the irony of the whole conversation and hung the phone back on the wall.
"What did he want?" Ryan asked.
"Like you couldn't guess," Teagan replied.
"We don't have weapon power to do much damage," Ellie pointed out. "We just came equipped to wipe out isolated dinosaurs per Hammond's instructions."
"I know. We're going to have to pick up some more stuff."
"From where?" Billy asked. His face showed the fear he was feeling, already knowing the answer to his question.
"We'll have to go back out and check the weapons shed. I doubt they cleared anything out of there. Plus the maintenance shed, there were some weapons stored in there. There's an emergency bunker under the visitor's center. They're all equipped with heavy weaponry." Grant emphasized the word heavy.
"Wonderful. I swear, we are going to get killed before we even begin to wipe anything out." Ryan stood up and stretched out his arms and legs.
"We should have left you at home," Teagan said, glaring at Ryan. "All you do is complain and make comments."
"That's just the way I am and you know it. Lay off."
"You aren't helping matters at all."
"And I suppose you think you are?"
"Hey! Stop it both of you. Now is not the time to start this. There is no time for this. We're going to have to go out there tonight, and we're all going to have to go, and we're going to have to split up. There is too much to cover in a short time. Now we still have to plan out the process for tomorrow, so we can either plan now, or go out there now and get the weapons."
"Lets get the weapons. No sense in planning if we're just going to end up dying getting the weapons," Ryan said, dodging Teagan's flying fist.
"Fine. We figure out who goes where, and then we get this over with."
Grant turned once again to face the window. He was trying to figure out who would to where and with who. He knew he and Ellie would have to split up and split the kids up between them. He figured he would put Teagan and Billy with Ellie and he would take Ryan. His sole reasoning was that he believed if the cousins were together it could impair their judgment. Judgment was sometimes the only thing that could keep you alive.
"Ok, lets get this done with. Ryan you come with me, we'll go to the emergency bunker. The three of you go to the maintenance shed and weapons shed. As soon as you have what we need, get back to the trailer."
"What kind of weapons do you have that we can use now?" Teagan asked, looking around the trailer.
"Well here's the question we have to ask ourselves now. We have no idea what we'll find out there. So do we use any of the stuff we brought, or do we save it?" Ellie asked.
"Use it," everyone said in unison.
"Yeah, I think so too." She went over and opened the weapons closet.
Hammond was furious. Grant had lied to him. When the pilot had dropped off the team he had quickly made contact with Hammond to fill him in on Grant's plan, which he had learned by eavesdropping over the headsets. Hammond always tried to see the best in people giving them the benefit of the doubt, hence the call to Grant. But this time, despite Grant's claims that all was well Hammond knew Grant was up to something. What infuriated Hammond the most was the lack of control he had over the situation. Grant would go ahead and do whatever he wanted, and from California there wasn't a thing Hammond could do to stop him.
There were things he could do to Grant when he got back, but Hammond really didn't want to take any type of legal action with Alan Grant. He had a certain respect for him as a man and a professional, and the thought of being in a legal battle with him did nothing to calm John.
He picked up the phone and began to dial his lawyer. Before he hit the last number he stopped. In his fury he had overlooked Site B. Isla Nublar was the Disney Land, but Isla Sorna was the Disney World.
Even if Grant somehow managed to destroy ever dinosaur on the former Jurassic Park island, there would still be all of Site B. Site B held all the same species as Jurassic Park plus some. And these dinosaurs could prove to be even more useful and profitable, since they were completely independent of human help. Hammond could now imagine a theme park in San Francisco where he would only have to hire minimum staff to watch over the dinosaurs.
Hammond began to laugh. "You go right ahead Mr. Grant. You go ahead and make a game park out of my island." He stopped laughing and stood up. "Now why didn't I think of that before. A game park…"
Ellie pulled out a large gun and handed it to Teagan.
"What's this do? Doesn't look like anything I've ever seen," Teagan asked, putting the strap over her shoulder.
"It's actually a dart gun."
"A dart gun? You've got to be kidding me."
"No. It shoots darts with enough sedative in them to take out a charging elephant in about thirty seconds. It's never been tested, but two darts might do the same for a Rex. Any of the other dinos for sure. "
"Excellent. Ya know, except for those initial thirty seconds."
"During which I would suggest you run." Ellie took out another of the dart guns and handed it to Grant. She distributed other weapons to everyone and closed the closet door. She pulled open a drawer next to the closet and handed a box of extra darts to both Teagan and Grant. Extra ammo went to the others also.
"We should save the rest for later."
"Are we ready to do this thing?" Grant asked. He looked around at everyone. No one said anything, Teagan nodded her head then started for the door. Ellie and Billy followed her and walked out into the now torrential rain. Before they had moved off very far Grant and Ryan came out of the trailer and started towards the visitor's center.
Ellie took the lead from Teagan and began around the building. She kept her weapon at the ready and constantly moved her head from side to side looking for danger. Deep in her mind she knew she would never see an attack before it hit her anyway.
The maintenance shed was located behind the original raptor pen. They walked down a narrow dirt path that ran parallel to the visitor's center and came upon the big steel structure of the raptor cage. The bars of the cage were twisted up and out leaving a large gap in the holding pen, which no longer held anything. The raptors had escaped long ago.
"If that was where the raptor pen was then this area would most likely currently be the raptor's habitat, right?" Teagan asked.
"I'm sure of it," was Ellie's reply.
"So probably no other dinos around?" Billy walked slower than the two girls, keeping an eye on what they had their backs on.
"The Rex might wander into the territory occasionally. He did four years ago. He might have claimed some of it or lost it back to the raptors. Hard to say. I'm not entirely sure how territorial these dinosaurs are, so there could be overlapping habitats or territories."
Ellie couldn't tear her eyes off of the old raptor pen. She had seen the carnage those animals were capable of, in and out of that pen. A high pitched chirping interrupted her trance and she tore her eyes away from the pen. She turned her head toward the noise, then snapped it around in the opposite direction. If it was a raptor, the attack would be coming from the opposite direction as the distraction. She saw nothing, but heard the squeak again. It didn't sound like raptor.
"Compys," Teagan muttered. Ellie turned back toward the vocalization and saw a group of six or seven Compsognathus'. They only stood about a foot off the ground and could be characterized as a Jurassic chicken, but they could be nasty. Although they were scavengers, in large groups it was possible they would take the risk of bringing something down themselves.
"I don't think they'll do anything now. But if we get split up-" Teagan shot Ellie a look as she said that. "If we get split up and you see a group of them, run and make sure you don't trip."
The compys paused and watched them. Perhaps hoping in their tiny brains that one of them would suddenly fall to the ground injured or conveniently dead and supply them with a snack. When the foot-highs realized that was not a possibility, they moved along. As did Ellie, Teagan, and Billy.
They rounded the damaged raptor cage and Ellie recognized the trail that ran from the raptor pen to the maintenance shed. Last time she'd walked down it she had lost a friend and nearly her own life.
"Ok, you know that theory that you should never even try to outrun a dog or bear or anything. Cause you don't stand a chance?" Ellie asked. She knew she was just sorta blabbing, but she was scared.
"Yeah," Teagan said uncertainly. Billy nodded his head.
"Well at the moment, I say to hell with that theory. I'm running the rest of the way to the building. If I turn around when I get there and you're right behind me, great. If not, I'll be waiting for you inside."
"Ellie…" Teagan started to say something then stopped. She began again. "You've got to keep your cool."
"I know. And once safely inside, I'll take a minute to collect it once again. But not here, not now." With that she turned and began to run. Billy and Teagan followed without hesitation. They reached the shed door with none of the expected problems. Ellie flung open the steel door and waited for the kids to step in before she slammed it shut once again.
She leaned her back against the cool steel and took big breaths of stale air. Seeing the pen had shaken her. She couldn't figure out why. She'd already had a run in with the raptors and made it out without losing it. But as she had stood there looking at the pen, the trip to the shed with Muldoon had replayed and rattled her severely. As she continued to breath her heart slowed and her nerves calmed. She stood back up and looked around. Teagan and Billy were no longer around.
Ryan and Grant ran right back into the visitor's center without a pause. Ryan stayed a step behind Grant, since only Grant knew where he was going. He started towards the winding staircase they had gone up before.
"Whoa man, I'm not going back up there. Weapons or not, no way," Ryan said, stopping short.
"I'm not going up the stairs. I'm going under them." Grant walked to a door in the wall underneath the stairs.
"Well now that's a different story." Ryan jogged to catch up to Grant. They stepped through the door and closed themselves into a dark hall. Grant clicked on the flashlight he had grabbed from the trailer. The hallway lit up and they proceeded.
Ten feet down, the hallway turned into a staircase leading into the emergency bunker. Slowly taking the stairs one at a time the pair headed down. The closer to the bunker they got the colder it got, and a musty moldy smell filled the air. They finally reached the bottom and Grant stepped aside so Ryan could come up beside him.
The room was circular which kept shadows from forming. It was all concrete which made it very cold and made every minuscule noise echo. Bookshelves and metal cabinets circled half of the room. The bookshelves held candles, matches, flashlights, first aide kits and all sorts of emergency gear. Ryan could only guess at what was in the metal cabinets. Two cots were laid out side by side on the other side of the room. Insert two huge trunks and you had the decor of the room.
Grant handed Ryan the flashlight and walked over to the first metal cabinet. He pulled open the doors. The metal clang echoed through the room, hurting Ryan's ears. The cabinet was filled with weapons.
Ryan walked over his jaw slightly dropped. "I'm thinking coming out here was definitely a good plan. We're gonna be an army of five."
"We can't take all of this stuff. Too much to carry. And I'd rather not take multiple trips into here. We'll take the best stuff."
"Which would be?" Ryan never was and never would be a weapons buff. He could probably figure out how to shoot any of the stuff he was given, he was betting his life on that fact. But when it came to actually knowing what they did, he had no idea. Grant didn't answer him but handed him two large guns.
"Can you carry those alright?"
"Yeah, these aren't too heavy. Show me how to shoot." Grant stopped his trek to one of the trunks and turned around. He walked back over to Ryan and took one of the guns from his arms. He positioned the stock under his arm and pointed the forearm at the far wall. He wrapped his finger around the trigger and mock-pulled on it.
"Boom." He handed the gun back to Ryan and headed back towards the trunk. There was a rusted lock on it but he simply took the butt of one of his guns and slammed it against the padlock. It broke with no resistance and clattered to the floor. The lid creaked loudly when it was opened and dumped piles of dust and dirt to the floor. Grant pulled out a fabric bag and began throwing small boxes into it.
"What's that?" Ryan asked, coming forward.
"Oh, well that is a good thing."
"You bet." Grant filled the bag to the top and opened the other trunk, repeating the process. When he was done filling the second bag he handed it to Ryan. "Guns are loaded now, make sure the safety is off before we go back out there." Ryan gave him a blank look. Grant sighed and took a step closer, turning a knob. "Now it is off, to turn it back on you do this." Grant showed him and then switched it back off.
"Make sure you remember when you turn it off, so you don't go to shoot at a charging raptor and realize you have the safety on a fraction of a second too late." Ryan's breath caught at Grant's comment. He glanced down one last time to double check the safety was off and then followed Grant back towards the stairs.
"Teagan! Billy!" Ellie quickly stood up, wiping rain out of her eyes and off her face, and pushing some loose hair behind her ears.
"We're down here." Billy's voice floated up from down below.
Ellie took a few steps forward and saw the stairs leading down to the lower level. Holding onto the railing she made her way down stairs. She cursed herself for not bringing a flashlight, she could barely see the steps in front of her. When she reached the bottom she saw Teagan and Billy opening cabinets and boxes. The electricity panel for the fences caged in against the back wall. Ellie shuddered to think that there might be a rotting human arm back there. Ray Arnold, he was a good man. Didn't stand much of a chance out here though. Neither do we for that -
"We weren't sure how much time you would need, so we went ahead and started looking," Teagan said, interrupting Ellie's thoughts. Teagan closed the cabinet she was looking in and moved onto the next one. "We haven't actually found anything yet."
"Let me help." Together they opened all of the cabinets downstairs and came up with nothing. They went through every box and also came up empty handed.
"Are you sure they kept weapons in here?" Billy asked, closing up the last box.
"I'm positive. I'm just not sure where. Lets go try upstairs." Going slow to keep their footing they headed back upstairs. Facing the front door once again they could go left or right on a catwalk. Teagan and Ellie went right, and Billy went left.
Billy quickly made his way to the end of the metal catwalk which opened up into a full-closet sized room. His eyes, having adjusted to the darkness quickly picked out the important things. No weapons, but other necessities.
He picked out five walkie-talkies turning each one on. The batteries in all of them had held up and the room filled with static hisses. Turning them off he clipped two on to each front pocket and held the other three in his left hand. With his right hand he grabbed two flashlights, clicking one on. Another shelf on the wall held extension cords and extra batteries. He started to leave the room then stopped, setting his collected equipment down on the floor. He turned back to the shelf with the batteries and filled the lower pockets of his cargo pants with them. Feeling satisfied with his discovery and collection he picked up the rest of his gear and walked back down the catwalk.
Teagan and Ellie hit the weapons room. The maintenance shed had only been equipped with basic weapons. Nothing extraordinary and nothing to help them though what lie ahead.
"Ya know what, I almost don't want to waste room carrying these things. We should just go to the weapons shed and be able to carry a lot out of there," Ellie said, looking up and down the shelves of weapons.
"You want this trip to be a waste?"
"It won't be. I found some stuff." Billy came in arms loaded. He handed a walkie-talkie to Ellie and another to Teagan then handed Teagan and Ellie flashlights. He clipped the third walkie-talkie to his belt and fished out some batteries for Ellie and Teagan. "That's what was at the other end of the hall. Figured it would come in handy."
"For sure. So we just head out to the weapons shed?" Teagan asked, clipping her walkie-talkie down.
"We might as well." Ellie motioned for Billy to leave the room. They followed his flashlight beam back to the front door. Billy cracked it open and rain came pouring in, tilted by the wind.
"Why does it always have to rain?" Ellie wondered aloud. She started to push out the door then froze.
"What? What is it?" Teagan asked from inside.
"Is there a back door out of this place?"
"I don't know."
"I think we had better find one."
"What? Why?" Teagan shoved past Billy and out the door, coming up next to Ellie. She froze.
Twenty yards away, head bent to the ground was the Rex. Something had caught it's interest on the ground and it was busy sniffing it out. It gave one last loud sniff then raised it's head to the sky, squinting into the rain. From the tip of it's raised snout down to its feet the Rex stood nearly twenty-three feet tall. When it lowered it's head to normal level it still stood a terrifying eighteen feet tall. The Rex opened its mouth and let out an almost comical sneeze, but in the process reveled the not-at-all-comical twelve inch teeth. The Rex returned to it's sniffing of the treetops. Any remote possibility of escape behind it was cut off by its tail, which was stretched across the dirt path to the raptor pen.
Teagan started to back up toward the door. The rex stopped his sniffing altogether and slowly turned his head toward the two outside.
"Don't move," Ellie breathed out.
The Rex stood as statue still as Ellie and Teagan. He was waiting for the movement that would give his prey away. It had caught Teagan's slight movement, but now had lost her against a background of stillness. It began sniffing at the air again, this time focusing his nose at the area around the shed. He caught very faint whiffs of the prey through the rain, but could not locate it well enough without seeing it. The Rex waited for his prey to move. Teagan and Ellie waited for the Rex to move. It was not a match of strength or wit, but simply a match of patience.
Grant opened the door at the end of the hall and peered out. They hadn't run into any trouble getting to the emergency bunker but he had an uneasy feeling about getting back out. Seeing nothing he stepped into the lobby with Ryan right behind him.
"So are we just going to go back to the trailer and wait for the others?" Ryan asked. He held one gun out in front of him, safety off, with the others slung over his shoulder.
"Yeah, that was the plan."
"What if they're in trouble?"
"We can't start thinking that way. Not yet."
The game continued. Neither offense nor defense daring to move. Teagan sat studying her opponent. Moving only her eyes, she started at the head and slowly moved her way down it's pebbled back, noticing every inch of sturdy muscle. It's arms were small and more than useless, but it's legs were powerful and impressive. Teagan stopped at the feet, stumped. There was something wrong there.
"They were right," she breathed out in a hushed whisper.
"The Rex has mutated, look at it's middle claw." Ellie followed Teagan's instruction and looked down to the ground. The middle claw of the Rex's foot was raised up above the rest. It carried a vicious curve to it that only one dinosaur had ever laid claim to; the raptor. A raptor's middle claw was roughly ten inches long, however this rex's claw was at least twenty inches long, staying in proportion to the Rex's body.
"No way in hell am I seeing what I am seeing."
"We should just run back inside, it can't get us if we're in there." Teagan risked a slow glance behind her. The door was only four or five feet away. "I don't want to shoot it and piss it off. Not when we're standing this close to it. "
"Ok, on three. One…two…," Before three was even out of her mouth they had both turned and hurled themselves to the door. Billy yanked it back for them and slammed it behind them.
A vibration rumbled through the concrete floor as the Rex lunged at the building. But his prey was safely inside before he reached the door. He bellowed out a thunderous roar that was not stopped by the concrete walls.
Teagan breathed a sigh of relief that she was inside. "It'll just go away right?"
"No telling." Ellie sat down on the top step to the lower level. "That was close."
"You're not kidding-" Teagan was cut off by a deafening crash. She spun around to the front door which was now bent in at an odd angle. Billy scrambled away from the wall and over to Teagan. The crash was followed by a silence nearly as deafening as the crash itself. All eyes stayed glued on the door.
Concrete dust showered down from the ceiling and a few pieces of concrete fell from around the door frame, shattering as they hit the floor. More rumbling and vibrations as the Rex backed up for another go.
It backed up sixty feet or so then lowered its head and started running. As it neared the building it turned its head to the side and continued to run. It rammed the building with six tons of force. This time the front wall completely caved in and the front portion of the roof collapsed.
Ellie and the kids stood exposed for a second amazed at the force the Rex must have possessed to knock down a concrete building. As the Rex shook his head and cleared its vision, they were snapped out of their trance. As one they barreled down the stairs into the basement.
"Is there a back door?!" Teagan yelled as she ran.
"God I hope so," Ellie shouted back. At the bottom of the stairs a hallway extended into the darkness. Teagan fumbled for the flashlight at her side. Once she had a good hold on it she clicked it on, illuminating the hallway. The light reflected off a steel door at the end of the hallway, roughly 40 feet down. Teagan leaned forward, increasing her speed. Billy must have been less than a foot behind her, she could hear his frantic breathing. Ellie reached the door a fraction of a second before them and was leaning against it catching her breath. As Teagan ran up she shouted for her to open the door.
"Wait!" Billy yelled. "We don't know what's on the other side of that."
"Do we have a choice?" Teagan questioned. "We can go back the other way and get eaten by a Rex, sit here and wait for the building to collapse, or take our chances with door number one."
"Well when you put it that way."
"He's right though," Ellie said, looking back down the hall.
"Now is not the time. Just open the door Ellie." Teagan took a step forward and stretched her hand out to the handle.
Seeing that either way the door would be opened Ellie went ahead and twisted the handle. She opened it just enough for Teagan to peer out. "I don't see anything. It's raining so hard though I can't see anything past the first line of trees."
"We don't want to go any further into the woods than that anyway," Billy said, peeking out the door past Teagan's shoulder. "We should go just beyond it and make our way around the shed."
"We still have to get to the weapon's shed," Teagan said. "Which way is it from here?"
"We would have to go into the woods and walk to the right, half way around the building. There would be a trail there. About 20 yards down that trail is the weapon's shed." Ellie pulled the door open another foot. "The Rex won't be able to see us. But there's no telling what's watching from the woods."
"Sitting around here waiting isn't going to answer that question. Lets just get out to the tree line and go from there." Teagan shoved the door open the rest of the way. "We'll waste less time standing still if we all move together." She stood in the open door way and moved aside, allowing Billy and Ellie to step up next to her. "On the count of three."
"Oh hell, lets just go." Billy shoved Teagan forward and followed closely behind. Ellie was a fraction of an inch behind him. Crouched low to the ground, shielding their eyes from the driving rain they ran into the woods beyond the first tree line without a problem. Now out in the open and unprotected they used hand signals to avoid speaking.
Each of them gave the woods a thorough scan. Satisfied with the fact that if there was danger they'd never see it coming anyway, Teagan and Billy looked to Ellie for direction. She waved her hand and started walking, keeping the tree line and maintenance shed to her right. Teagan fell in behind her and Billy took up the rear, watching to make sure none of his steps fell onto a branch, breaking it and targeting their whereabouts.
Ellie moved quickly but quietly through the trees and in no time stood on the edge of the path to the weapon's shed. She stopped and waited until Billy and Teagan were standing beside her. Then she motioned back towards the ruined building they had escaped from.
The Rex was no longer charging the building, but once again had lifted its head to the sky and now stood still, sniffing. Even through the rain it could smell that prey was near. All it had to do was sniff it out, follow it's nose. With a giant boom that sent the ground rumbling the Rex took a step to the right. Catching another waft of prey it took two more steps around the right side of the building, quickly closing distance to the weapon's shed path.
Billy nudged Teagan's arm and when he had her attention motioned to the dart gun slung across her shoulder. She lifted the strap over her head and nestled the stock under her arm. Before lining up her sight she glanced at Ellie who simply nodded and then pointed down the path. Teagan nodded once, signaling that she understood and then turned back toward the Rex. She remembered Ellie saying one dart would take out an elephant, so at the very least Teagan would want to use two.
She lined the crosshairs up with the Rex's neck. Steadying herself as best as she could she tightened her finger around the trigger. She followed the Rex as he took one more step forward and then pulled the trigger, sending a dart flying. Without a moment of hesitation she pulled the trigger again.
The Rex's reaction was immediate. A bellow of pain, quickly followed by a second let Teagan know that both her shots had found their target. The Rex turned in a tight circle looking for the source of pain. Ellie had already taken off down the path and Billy was no longer standing next to her, but Teagan couldn't help but stand and watch. This magnificent animal looked so ridiculous spinning around chuffing and snorting.
"Teagan," Billy whispered. She turned around to face him and he emphatically waved her forward. With one more look to the Rex she took off towards Billy. The two kids were half way down the trail when a tremendous boom shook the earth and they knew the Rex was down. Ellie stood at the entrance to the weapon's shed holding the door open for them. As Teagan passed her and entered the compound Ellie said "good job."
"How long will that keep him out for?" Teagan asked.
"Well it'll keep an elephant down for about an hour. So I would say the Rex'll be down for at least half an hour, probably a little more."
"Well how about we not test that theory. Lets just grab some stuff and get out of here." Billy grabbed the flashlight from his belt and clicked it on. The light reveled shelves upon shelves of what would appear to any novice hunter an array of extremely high-tech weapons.
"Sweet," Billy muttered under his breath.
Grant and Ryan slowly moved across the lobby of the visitor's center, constantly scanning the room with their weapons. Out the front doors they could see that the rain continued to mercilessly hammer down on the earth. Thunder sounded in the distance. But there was another sound mixed in with the thunder, another rumbling. Ryan stopped to listen but at Grant's urging continued to move forward. He heard nothing else.
When the reached the front doors they shoved them open and advanced onto the front steps. Still shielded from the rain they took a second to look around for any signs of raptors. As they were about to get going the rumbling sound echoed through the air again. Ryan looked to Grant with a questioning expression.
"It's a Rex. And its close. We definitely need to get inside the trailer." Grant began to make his way down the steps, keeping his eyes glued to the forest in front of him. Once at the bottom of the steps he ran the rest of the way to the trailer. He and Ryan jumped in and locked the door behind them. With a second thought Grant returned to the door an unlocked it.
"Why did you do that?"
"In case the others need to get in here fast. They might not have time to wait around for us to unlock the door."
"Listen, don't turn any lights on. Don't run anything electric. And don't do anything that will give off any scent. With the Rex somewhere close we don't want to draw it closer."
"Why did we base right here. More than likely it is either Rex territory or Raptor territory."
"Because there probably isn't anywhere that's any better. And like I said, we needed to get into the visitor's center anyway."
Ryan went to the fridge and got a bottled water out. Then he sat at the kitchen table and looked out the window. What he saw made him stop, water bottle half way to mouth. "Dr. Grant, you may want to see this."
Billy walked up to the nearest shelf and began inspecting the weapons laid out on it. "What kind of stuff do we need to take?"
"The heavy duty stuff. No more dart guns, we need stuff to kill," Ellie said, bringing out her own flashlight. She walked across the room to another door at the far end of the shed. When she tried to open it she found that it was locked. "We need to get in here."
Billy dropped what he was looking at and walked over to Ellie, Teagan right behind him.
"Why, what do you think is in there?" Teagan asked.
"Oh, well of course."
"We'll need them to take out the dock. And most of the other stuff."
Billy began circling the room looking for something to break the lock with. Coming up empty handed he turned to tell as much to Ellie and Teagan, but Teagan was hunched over the lock, busily picking it. Before Billy could make his way back to the door Teagan had it open. "How did you know how to do that?"
"Just a little skill I picked up."
Ellie shined her flashlight into the room. "Bingo." Two walls were lined with boxes labeled 'danger! explosives'. The third wall held burlap sacks and various detonating wires. Ellie grabbed a burlap sack and headed to the nearest box. Using a crowbar conveniently left behind she pried the box open and let the lid fall to the floor.
The contents were packed in sawdust and she hastily brushed it aside. Her box was full of sticks of dynamite. Without much concern for safety she grabbed the sticks with one hand and shoved them in the bag in her other hand. When the box was empty, her bag was full. She set it on the ground and tied it shut. Then moved across the room to get another bag. Down on a shelf below the detonating wire she noticed a stack of belts. She bent down and picked one up. "Teagan, Billy," she said, tossing each a belt. "Find the box that has the babies we clip onto these."
Teagan and Billy each tied a strap down across their shoulder and in turn opened a box of their own. Billy struck home with a box of carefully packed grenades. Using extreme care he clipped them into place on his belt, then moved aside so Teagan could do the same. Ellie came over to fill a strap of her own. "These are going to be extremely handy. We should get a strap for Ryan and Grant as well."
Taking her cue Teagan got two more belts and filled them, carefully placing each strap in a bag with the rest of the grenades from the box. "What else do we need?"
"Lets get one more bag of dynamite and some of that wire." Teagan tossed a bag to Ellie and filled another bag with wire. When the bags were tied up and stacked by the door they began inspecting the weapons.
"Is this what I think it is?" Billy asked, hoisting a large bulky weapon off a top shelf.
"Flamethrower," Ellie replied, looking at it briefly than returning to her search.
"Now that's what I'm talking about."
"Half these weapons probably aren't even legal. I mean, is that a bazooka?" Teagan asked.
"I'm sure they aren't legal. Hammond doesn't have much sense for the legality of things. He just does what he wants. Although this shed was probably pushed by others working on the project. Hammond never would have seen the necessity of such a drastic back up measure." Ellie grabbed two heavy duty automatics, recognizing them as the type Muldoon had used. She handed two more to Teagan. "These will be good for anything raptor size or smaller."
Remembering that they still had to carry the bags of explosives Ellie turned back to the door. "I think we're good to go."
Billy grabbed two of the bags leaving Ellie and Teagan one bag each. Armed and ready they left the weapons shed behind the moved back onto the path.
Grant walked over to the window and lowered himself so he could look out. He didn't see anything. "What?"
"Just watch." Ryan put the water bottle back on the table and leaned forward on his elbows. "There, on the trail at the first bend. Raptors."
Grant would have missed it if he blinked. A raptor's head bobbed onto the trail and then disappeared once again into the foliage. "The others are going to have to come back down that trail."
"We gotta do something." Ryan stood up and lifted the gun Grant had given him earlier. Checking to make sure he had extra ammo in his pockets and walked to the trailer door.
"No wait. I have a better idea." Grant lifted his gun off the counter and walked to the rear of the trailer. He opened one of the tiny closet doors in the back and disappeared inside. "Come on."
Ryan joined Grant at the back and saw that inside the closet was a ladder leading up. Grant had climbed to the top and sounded as if he was disengaging locks. Moments later rain began to pour in through the top of the closet and Grant continued to climb up. Ryan was right behind him and ten rungs later stood on top of the trailer. He left the hatch open in case they needed to get back inside quickly.
"Once we get them over here we need to shoot. I'm placing no bets on how high they can jump." Grant walked to the edge of the trailer and looked out to where the raptors had last been. Then he began to make noises that sounded like a sick and dying animal; easy prey. The reaction was immediate. Four heads bobbed into view, focused on the trailer.
Years of ruling the island had stolen their caution and the raptors emerged onto the trail, running toward their expected meal. As soon as they were in view Grant and Ryan lifted their guns and set their sights. In unplanned unison they each fired a shot, but only one raptor went down.
Undaunted the other three raptors continued forward. Ryan set up again and pulled the trigger before he had truly aimed. Miraculously he still managed to find his mark and another raptor went down. The first raptor to go down had managed to struggle to its feet and was once again moving to the trailer. Grant shot it again, taking it down for good.
In the time it had taken Ryan and Grant to get off four shots the two unharmed raptors had made it to the edge of the trailer. Realizing that their prey was on top of it they began trying to jump. They managed to get their heads up over the top, but Grant didn't think they would ever manage to jump high enough to land. Keeping his gun raised he tried to time when he thought one of the faces would appear again, there was no way he was going to lean over the side to shoot down.
With a snarl and a hiss a raptor from the neck up appeared three feet in front of Ryan. Startled, Ryan let off a shot but missed. The raptor disappeared again. Aiming where the raptor had just been Ryan waited. Five seconds later the raptor reappeared.
It seemed to be frozen in the air and time seemed to slow as Ryan's finger tightened around the trigger. But before he could squeeze off a shot a searing pain shot through his shin. He jolted back, dropping the gun and the raptor dropped out of sight.
"What - oh God - what did it do?!" Ryan looked down at his leg. His whole shin was covered in a dark tar-like substance. He didn't want to touch it, but instinct told him to wipe the black goop off. He bent down.
"No, don't touch it. Just get back inside." Grant waited to get off one more shot but the raptor's didn't make another jump. Pausing to listen he didn't hear anything and crept to the side of the roof. He peered down but the raptors were gone. Lost to them in the woods.
Grant picked Ryan's weapon up off the roof and made his way down the ladder back into the trailer.
The Rex was still down. But not wanting to let their guard down for a second, Teagan, Billy and Ellie walked with their weapons ready. The Rex's breathing was shallow and Teagan wondered how much more sedative it would take for the Rex to slip into a coma and die.
"We have to kill it," Ellie said, rounding the Rex to face its belly.
"What?" Teagan asked, jarred from her thoughts.
"Its right here. We have to kill it. You could just shoot it a couple more times with the dart gun and it'll overdose on sedative and die. It'll never even wake up."
"How many more darts do you think that would take?" Teagan hoped Ellie would have an answer, cause she didn't know well enough to be sure.
"I would say three would do it, we can do four to be sure."
"Ok." Teagan walked over to Ellie who stood by the Rex's chest. She pinpointed about where the heart would be and aimed. Trying to ignore the fact that she was killing the most magnificent creature she had ever seen, Teagan fired two consecutive shots. There was no reaction at all, from the humans or the Rex. Teagan lowered her gun and walked away, Ellie trailing behind.
Billy stood at the end of the path that headed back to the trailer. "How many other Rex's are on the island?"
"None. Hammond only kept one here," Ellie said as she caught up to him. "So now there aren't any. Which is good. That would have been the first thing Hammond would have told the next team to load up and bring back to the mainland."
"Even after what already happened over there?"
"Like Alan said, Hammond thinks he learned from his mistakes. He would take care to have the boat more secure this time. Still a huge mistake though, no matter what precautions he took."
As they walked the trailer came into view. The three picked up their pace, eager to be back inside, safe. Behind them they heard a low snorting sound. Teagan whirled around, raising her gun as she did so. Two raptors were sniffing around the Rex's body. A third stood off to the side, clearly favoring one foot.
Teagan nudged Billy and Ellie off to the side of the path and pointed behind them. They edged their pace up another notch and prayed the raptors would stay occupied with the Rex. Of course, there were probably others stationed in the woods. The thought kept Billy from stopping and shooting the three raptors while they were distracted.
Luckily enough no trouble came and they made it to the trailer door. They walked in and set all their newly acquired gear on the floor in the kitchen. A low moan traveled up from the rear of the trailer. The group shot each other worried looks and headed back.
Ryan was sprawled across the back bench, eyes squeezed shut while tears poured down his cheeks. In his right hand he clutched a glass of water and in his left a paper towel.
Grant was bent over Ryan's right leg, gently wiping away at something. The floor around Grant was covered in paper towels smeared with black tar.
"What happened?" Teagan asked, kneeling down by Ryan's side. She took the glass from his hand and put it on the floor, clutching his hand with her own.
"Raptor attack," Grant answered, not looking up from his work.
"What is the black stuff?"
"I thought you said it was a - Oh. Those raptors out there are mutated."
Grant leaned back to get another paper towel. "Go get me some water. And bandages. Just get the rest of the first aid stuff." Billy went to get the supplies. Teagan leaned forward to see what damage had been done.
Grant had gotten all but a few spots of the venom off of Ryan's leg. His shin now lay exposed and it was badly blistered. Everywhere the venom had touched was now red, and bleeding. "How did that happen?" As Teagan voiced her wonder Billy returned with the water and other supplies.
Grant used the water to get the remaining venom off and cleanse the rest of the area. Ryan continued to squeeze Teagan's hand with bone breaking force. Once all traces of venom were gone Grant took a gel out of the first aid kit that was used on all sorts of burns. He lightly smeared it over Ryan's leg, forcing a hiss of pain from Ryan. Without comment Grant wrapped the shin with a bandage and fastened the end.
"Why did it burn like that?" Teagan asked, handing the water back to Ryan.
"It was an acid burn." Grant put the first aid supplies away and threw the paper towels into a garbage can next to him.
"I didn't think dilophosaurus venom was acidic."
Grant turned to face Teagan. "It wasn't." He got up and dumped the bowl of water into the kitchen sink. "But it is now."
"Is he going to be ok?"
"Yeah. I would say the venom is still low in acidic content. It's a burn alright, but nothing too serious. He should still be able to put weight on his leg. Just let him rest."
Teagan patted her cousin's shoulder and walked back out into the kitchen. Billy was looking out the windows trying to see the raptors but they had already disappeared out of view. The Rex still lay by the maintenance shed. "Did you guys get the weapons," he said, sitting down at the table.
"Yeah and extra ammo. It's all in the back. What did you manage to get?" Grant asked, motioning to the bags.
"Explosives, flame thrower, automatics, grenades. We're gonna need it. We took down the Rex. Shot it full of sedative, should be plenty to kill it." Ellie stacked the guns they had retrieved by the front door and shoved the bags so they were out of the way.
"Good. That means we have no Rex to worry about."
"Yeah, just everything else on this island."
"So we head out tomorrow morning. What's the plan." Teagan looked at the clock, it was nearly eight o'clock. Her stomach rumbled as if it too had just realized the time. As she listened to Grant she searched the kitchen for some sort of supper.
"We're going to take the jeeps and follow the automated track. It'll swing us by every paddock on the park. We shoot what we see, staying inside the jeep. That'll be our job tomorrow. Assuming that goes well, the next day we'll go in and start taking out nests."
"Sounds like fun. Who's hungry?" Teagan pulled out the fixings for sandwiches and spread them out on the counter. No one said anything else as they dug in.
Twenty minutes later everyone was full and as content as one could be while on an island of killer dinosaurs. Since Teagan had set up, Billy put all the food away and tossed the paper plates and plastic utensils into the trash.
Ryan had fallen asleep immediately after finishing the sandwich Teagan had brought him. Teagan and Billy followed suit, crawling into the bunks that lined the narrow hallway. Ellie and Grant stayed up a little longer, talking about the plan for the next day. It wasn't long until exhaustion captured them as well.
Billy woke up covered in sweat. He couldn't remember anything he had been dreaming, but judging by the disarray of the covers he had been trying to run from something. He could imagine the rabid, mutated, Tyrannosaur that must have occupied his dreams. Unable to swallow he jumped out of his bunk and headed for the kitchen. In the kitchen he opened the fridge, got out a jug of water, and poured himself half a glass. Then he sat at the kitchen table to slow his heart rate.
His mind wandered to the task at hand. He wasn't too worried about the coming day's mission. It seemed simple enough, they never even had to get out of the jeeps. It would be like when he used to play duck hunt on Nintendo, all he had to do was aim and shoot. He put his glass of unfinished water on the table. It would be when they had to get out of the jeeps and venture into the paddocks to destroy any nests that he might lose himself with fright. With every ounce of his being he kept a shiver from running up his spine.
When he stood up to bring the cup to the counter the trailer shook. He had his hand halfway to the glass, and the water inside vibrated out three consecutive rings. Now, sure that he must still be dreaming, Billy grabbed the glass and chugged the rest of the water. Half way to the sink, an earth vibrating boom sounded again. Billy ran back to the window and peered out. Between the absolute darkness and the rain he couldn't see anything.
Forgetting about the glass Billy ran to wake Grant.
"What?" Grant muttered, sleepily rolling over to face Billy.
"There's something out there. Another Rex or something." Grant was awake immediately. He jumped out of the bunk and shouted for Ellie. Instead of waiting for her to get up he ran to the front of the trailer. His shouts also woke up Teagan. Minutes later the four of them huddled around the kitchen window, straining to see some sign of motion. In the time it had taken them to converge four more booms had rattled the trailer. Each one slightly stronger than the last.
"I thought you said there was only one Rex," Teagan said, keeping her eyes glued to the window.
"Than what is that, we killed the other one."
"Maybe we didn't."
"Four shots of sedative, designed to put down an elephant. It should have died."
"Should have, doesn't mean it did."
"Maybe its something else," Billy mentioned.
"How are we ever going to know what it is if we can't see anything?" Teagan asked, backing away from the window.
"We'll just have to wait until morning, and then go have a look around. A quick look around." Grant stood up and started back toward his bunk. "Lets face it, we're never going to see what it is now."
"What if it decides to come attack the trailer?"
"There's nothing we can do to keep it from doing that, other than sitting tight, not drawing attention to ourselves. Most likely it won't even notice the trailer."
Teagan and Billy sat at the kitchen table, more than a little worried about what was making the noise. "He's right guys, we won't be able to determine anything until the morning. In the meantime we need the sleep." Ellie followed Grant back to the bunks.
After one last desperate look outside Teagan stood up and stretched. "Those bunks are just way to small to qualify as comfortable." Agreeing Billy stood up and headed back down the hall. "Better sleeping place than the inside of something's gut."
"Fair enough." Teagan and Billy settled back into their bunks and tried to sleep. At least two more shudders ran through the trailer before they had entered the darkness of sleep.
The next morning came with no further interruptions. Ryan was up before anyone else, not having been interrupted by the rumbles throughout the night. When Teagan woke up he was sitting at the table eating a banana. She quickly filled him in on the late night happenings. When she was done she got herself an orange and sat back down at the table. When the orange was gone she grabbed her duffle bag out from under her bunk and headed to the back to change. She passed Billy on the way, already changed and ready to go.
A couple minutes later she emerged back into the kitchen refreshed and eager to go outside to solve the mystery of the boom. Grant and Ellie were leaning against the counter eating a breakfast of fruit. In turn they each went to the back to clean up. Ellie took a minute to re-bandage Ryan's leg. "How does it feel to stand on it.?"
"Not too bad. It stings a little. But I can manage."
"Well we'll be staying in the jeeps today. So you should be alright. You should probably stay in here while we check around outside."
"Are you sure."
"Yeah, there's no telling what we're going to come up against and you need a little more time before you fully put your leg to the test."
"Alright." Ryan threw his banana peel away and went to the back to change. While he was gone Billy, Teagan, Ellie and Grant loaded up on weapons. When each was suited up they yelled to Ryan that they would be right back and went outside. The rain had finally let up to a light drizzle.
"All we're going to do is look for evidence of whatever was out here last night. No heroics. We get back inside as soon as we can." Grant took the lead and headed toward the raptor pen. Billy kept an eye on the left side of the path, Teagan an eye on the right. Ellie kept track of what was going on behind them.
When Grant reached the raptor pen he stopped. "Well there's our tracks." Several large Tyrannosaur tracks led of into the woods.
"The stupid thing didn't die. For crying out loud, we're standing right where it fell." Teagan walked over to a track and stood inside. Mud oozed up around her boots.
"Ok well, lets check dart gun off the destruction weapons list. Its good in a tight spot, we'll keep it around. But it won't kill a Rex and we won't chance it with anything else." Grant turned to walk back to the trailer. Teagan hopped out of the imprint and followed. When they got back to the trailer Ryan was dressed and watching out the window.
"I see the rain let up," Ryan said as the others came in the trailer and unloaded their gear.
"Yeah. That ought to make our job easier. Speaking of which, we should probably get going on that." Grant grabbed a duffle bag out of a closet and went to the fridge. He pulled several bottles of water out and tossed them into the bag. Then he turned to the rest of the group. "Teagan why don't you go pack up first aid gear. A little of everything. Billy grab extra ammo from the weapon's closet. Ellie, start thinking about how to distribute weapons." Grant moved on from the fridge to a cabinet and pulled down some bags of food.
Teagan and Billy moved off to the back. Each had a bag in hand. Teagan grabbed a roll of bandage, several tubes of various ointments and creams, and anything else in the closet that looked like it could, in any given situation, be needed. Billy loaded the bag full of ammunition then grabbed the guns out of the closet that the ammo went to. Back up front Ellie had the weapons that they had already acquired spread out on the floor.
"There were three more automatics in the back closets," Billy said, setting them down.
"Good, that means everyone will have one." Ellie asked for the bag of ammo. Then laid an extra box next to each weapon. "Get another bag and split the rest of the ammo between the two. We'll keep a bag in each jeep. If there was any more ammo in the closet go get it and put it in the bags." Billy did as he was told.
Teagan offered to help pack the jeeps. Grant had filled another bag with food and water and handed them both to Teagan. With an automatic slung over her should she left the trailer. The jeeps were parked only feet from the trailer door but Teagan remained on high alert. She threw the bags of food into the trunk in the back of the jeep. Then she jogged back to the trailer. Ellie handed her the two bags of ammo and the two bags she had split the first aid gear into from the door and Teagan stored one in the front seat of each jeep.
Once she was back inside Grant began to hand out more directions. He, Ryan and Billy would be in the lead jeep with Ellie and Teagan following behind. Everyone was to drive with the windows up until they were prepared to shoot, then they would roll down the window and aim; but no one was to ever open a door. The automatics would be used and each person was to have at least one box of ammo on their person. A heavier weapon would be stored in the trunk of each jeep for emergency use only. The explosives were staying in the trailer for a later use. They would make one sweep of the park that morning, and another later in the afternoon. Depending on their success, they would move on to the second part of the plan the next day.
With a sudden thought Billy grabbed one of the bags they had brought back from the maintenance shed. He pulled it open and took out two walkie-talkies. Grant told Billy to hold on to one and to give the other one to Teagan.
When everyone clearly understood what was about to happen they headed toward the door, picking up a weapon and the box of ammo as they headed out. Grant and Ellie picked up the heavy artillery in addition. They piled into their respective jeeps with Ellie and Grant driving. The windshield wipers were flicked on, but headlights remained off. Grant pulled over the metal track and onto the trail that lead into the park.
Excited about where they were headed but nervous at the same time all the kids looked expectantly out their windows. When they reached the Jurassic Park gate Grant stopped. There was nothing blocking them for the gates hung open like a mouth ready to devour. Grant simply needed a moment to brace himself for what lie ahead. Now they were actually headed into the heart of Jurassic Park.
Once Grant had regained composure he rested his foot on the accelerator and continued forward. In his mind he tried to remember the layout of the park. Trying to remember in what order the road passed the dinosaurs' paddocks.
"So this is Jurassic Park. This is Hammond's multimillion dollar project." Billy looked through each window and the sunroof in turn, trying to take in every inch of his surroundings.
"This is it. Grand idea, grand flop." Grant was still trying to organize the order of the paddocks. "The first few paddocks have mild tempered dinosaurs in them, not any that will be overly dangerous to us."
"You know what I'm not going to be able to do," Billy stopped, shaking his head. "How am I going to be able to look at a Triceratops for the first time and then shoot it dead. When it didn't do anything to me, and when if given the chance to try it would probably just stand there like a cow."
"No one said this would be easy. But it has to be done."
"Couldn't we just kill the carnivorous dinosaurs, and leave the harmless ones? So what if they made it back to the mainland. They put lions and bears in zoos and humans have been killed by those," Ryan suggested from the back seat. For the time being he had his leg extended across the seat, with his weapon resting across his lap.
"In all honesty I can't give you a good reason why we can't do that. I suppose from a scientist's point of view I would have to say look at the unstable situation we would create. There would be animals here with no enemies, nothing preying on it. They would completely overpopulate the island, most likely permanently damaging the island. It would create another huge mess on Isla Nublar."
"I see your point. But Billy's right, it's going to be hard."
Back in the other car, Teagan and Ellie weren't discussing the moral and ethical issues at hand, they were discussing why they had to be in the follow-up car.
"Do they not think we could handle being in the lead? I mean, you know just as much about this island as Grant does, and lets face it, I probably know as much as Billy and Ryan combined."
"They're men. Enough said." Ellie stayed a constant 20 feet or so behind Grant's car. Not wanting to crowd it, but not wanting to much space to fall in-between.
"I think in the 14 hours or so that we've been here we've proven ourselves to be more than adequate and capable."
"That's for sure. Besides, the attack is just as likely to come from the rear as it is from the front. You know what it is, they want the action first."
"So you think we might get some action from behind?"
"Do you know what dino we'll probably see first?"
"The first thing we saw on the tour was the dilophosaurus. So probably those. And they're going to be the tricky ones, because as soon as they sense a threat having the windows rolled down won't be an option. We have to aim and shoot as fast as humanly possible."
"Think Grant remembers that?"
"Hard to say. Why don't you radio them and send a friendly reminder."
"Yeah?" Teagan could see Billy turn around to face them.
"Just wanted to make sure you guys knew that the dilophosaurs would be first on this hunting trip. Aiming and shooting at warp speed is a must."
"Got that. We don't want any more acidic burns. We'll keep you posted on what we see."
Teagan clipped the walkie-talkie back to her belt and turned in her seat to look behind them. Nothing back there. She faced the front and tested her window, seeing how fast it would roll up and down. It turned out to be about as fast as car windows ever got. With the window once again rolled up to the top she stopped fidgeting.
After a few more empty minutes of driving a red and yellow sign came into view. It wasn't on the road, but behind a once-electrified fence, the sign announced in not so many words that the paddock they looked into held the dilophosaurus'.
The prerecorded informational track that had run in the original trucks on the tour ran through Grant's head. It ended with "making the dilophosaurus a beautiful but deadly addition to Jurassic Park." Yeah, they sure had that right.
Grant slowed to a crawl and placed his right hand on the window button. He thought he saw something about 20 feet out. He overshot it by 10 feet and then put the car into park. Ellie pulled up right behind him and did the same. Billy and Teagan covered the right side of the road from their windows, while Ellie, Grant, and Ryan covered the left side.
Grant aimed at the spot where he had thought he'd seen something. Nothing moved, including Grant. He was about to ask Billy to get something for him when he heard a shot fired. Then gun wasn't loud, but it sparked the interest of the dinosaur he had seen. It raised its head above the grass and looked around. Grant, already set, rechecked his aim and pulled the trigger. The dino went down with a thud, returning the forest to its original stillness.
After scanning the surrounding forest and seeing nothing Grant returned to his original request of Billy. "In the glove compartment there should be a small black box, with a lot of buttons on the front. Will you hand it to me."
Billy fished around in the glove compartment for a minute and then placed the box in Grant's hand. "What does that do?"
Grant didn't answer but set to work examining the buttons on the box. When he found the one he wanted he pushed it in, then flipped the box over. After pushing another button and twisting a knob a loud hooting escaped the box. "That's what it does."
Knowing the hoots would elicit an immediate response from any dinosaurs within hearing distance, Billy turned back towards his window. He took turns scanning with his eyes and then through the site mounted on the top of his weapon. He was rewarded with two dilophosuars side by side. Taking aim and thinking of nothing else he took them both down. Ryan, only seconds quicker than Grant took down another on the left side of the road.
More hooting arose from the surrounding grass, but nothing came into view. The hooting stopped abruptly and was replaced by a high pitched hissing. "Roll your windows up now!" Grant tugged his weapon back in through the window and mashed on the up button. Billy and Ryan did the same.
"Teagan, back in the car, roll the window up." Teagan set her weapon on the floor and looked at the armrest on the door, reaching for the window button. When her finger was on it she looked back up, out the window. No more than fifteen feet away stood a lone dilophosaur. His neck was surrounded by a brightly decorated frill that screamed poison. Now frantic Teagan pushed on the button as hard as she could, but of course the window could go no faster.
The dilophosaur leaned back and then launched forward with one step. Black tar went flying and covered the fifteen feet with ease. Teagan jerked back and acting on instinct covered her head with her arms. The expected pain didn't come and she reached for the window button again. Looking over she saw that the back right window was covered with the sticky tar. The dilophosaur arched its neck back again, preparing for another attack. Ellie slammed the car into drive and gently rammed into Grant's car.
Grant previously unaware of the mounting problem behind him started when the jeep rocked forward. Immediately knowing something was wrong he removed the car from park and drove forward yelling for Ryan to tell him what was happening.
"There's a dilophosaur spitting at their jeep. Go, keep going forward." Grant did what he was told and didn't stop until he was beyond the edge of the dilophosaur fence.
"Billy give me the radio." Without question Billy handed it over.
Grant's voice crackled at Teagan's belt. She unclipped the radio and pushed the send button down asking for him to repeat.
"Why didn't you tell me you needed to move? I had no idea what was going on."
"Well I didn't exactly have time to say 'wait, let me get my radio and ask Dr. Grant if he would kindly pull forward'."
"I was going to roll my window up and a spitter came up. Hit the back window once and missed the second time cause we moved our butts outta there."
"Are you ok?"
"Frazzled and wishing the windows operated at an increased speed, but yeah ok."
"How many did you guys hit?"
"I'm going to say good enough for me cause there sure isn't going to be a second chance right now."
"Agreed. Ready to move on?"
"Ready and out."
Teagan set the radio next to her on the seat and let out a rush of air. "That was a little close huh?"
"Yeah, next time scream or something to alert me of any problems. You didn't make a sound. I was watching Grant's car and didn't realize there was a problem until I heard the tar hit the window."
"Sorry. Next time there is impending doom before me I'll yodel."
"It would be appreciated."
The parade of destruction continued on. The next pen held both hypsilophodonts and othnielias. Both were rather small dinosaurs with no capabilities of destruction. The crew simply sat in the jeep and picked them off as they came to the fence.
To Teagan it was brutal and unfair. It seemed humanly typical to be sitting in a protected vehicle with weapons galore taking down small defenseless animals as they crept forward out of nothing more treacherous than curiosity. But she closed her moral eyes and continued to shoot.
The small animals were so unintelligent and primitive that they watched their fellow dinosaurs fall dead, and still they continued walking up to get a look at the cars. Those that didn't come to the fence remained perched up in the trees, still easy targets. After ten minutes in front of the pen all activity stopped. Nothing moved beyond the road, no sounds floated in through the open windows.
Teagan picked up her walkie-talkie. "Well I would say we got all of them. The stupid things just kept coming forward."
Billy answered. "Yeah. Grant figures they work in a pretty tight pack. They all would have been near the road."
"Lets get out of here."
Grant put his weapon down on the seat, safety on, and shifted into drive. He knew the next pen would hold a pair of triceratops. At least at last count there had been two. There could be more now. The triceratops had been his favorite animal as a kid, and when he had come here to survey the park he had been enthralled by the triceratops, sick as it had been. He didn't know how he was going to be able to shoot it when it was standing there defenseless and unsuspecting.
As they rolled into view of the triceratops paddock lightning cracked across the sky.
"Here we go again," Ryan mumbled from the back.
"Does it ever not rain here?" Billy asked.
"It would seem not." Grant looked around the field but saw nothing. Maybe he wouldn't have to face the triceratops dilemma quite yet. "Do you see it?"
"What are we looking for?"
"Nothing on this side. Well I guess our luck has run out. We'll have to wait for our next trip around to get this one."
"Luck running out?"
"Well you know. Up until now all the dinos have been right there. Ready and waiting. Not this time though."
"I'm not complaining." Grant had Billy radio to Ellie and Teagan that there was nothing in sight and that they would be moving on.
"Give it another look Teagan."
"Why? Grant said there was nothing."
Ellie glanced over at her quickly, then turned back to the field to look.
"You don't think he's lying do you?"
"No. But I think this mission is getting harder by the second." The conversation stopped there. Teagan looked out into the field as she was told, but what she saw only confirmed Grant's message. There was nothing out there.
The rain slowly began to pick up power. By the time they reached the next pen it was an all out storm once again.
"What was in this pen?" Teagan asked.
"The Rex was in it. But I don't really think he's in there."
"Me neither. I don't think we're gonna find the Rex on any of these trips. I don't think we're going to find the Rex at all."
"No. I think that the Rex will find us."
Up in the lead car Grant tried but could not suppress a shiver.
"Fences that high, had to be the Rex." Billy had to look out of the sun roof in order to see the top of the fence. "But he's not there now."
"Probably not. Lets just keep going. There's six or seven pens left. Then we'll rest before our next trip through."
"Stegs. Easy stuff."
"Ya know the easy stuff is the worst stuff. When its that easy, there's no way to mask the fact that its just murder and destruction."
"What do you call it when its hard stuff?"
"Self defense maybe. I'm not sure. You know those stupid human lines of distinction. We don't always draw the lines in the right places. So I'm just drawing my line between the hard stuff and easy stuff. Make sense?"
"We can't draw lines on this island. When you draw lines you subconsciously make a choice that some things are ok and some are not. And then of course you commit yourself to stay away from the things that are not ok. No matter what you think is ok or not ok here, you have to just do it. Shooting a dumb, half blind, defenseless herbivore may be on the not ok side of your line…but you had better do it anyway."
"I know that. Do you know that?"
"With all due respect, I'm asking if you know that."
"I'm prepared to do what I have to do."
"Good. Then so am I. I just wanted to make sure. Because if you can't do it, then I know I sure as hell can't."
"Ha, neither could I," Ryan added.
"Glad we're all on the same page here."
Billy shook his had a chuckled. "I sure wish I knew what book we were in."
After a few more minutes of senseless conversation the jeeps rolled into view of the Stegosaurus paddock. This paddock was much like the tric paddock, a large rolling field. The road only stayed along the field for a hundred yards or so, then took a sharp turn to the right. Grant stopped the jeep in the middle of the stretch of road by the field.
"I think the stegs are off partying with the trics," Billy said. Ryan offered an appreciative laugh from the back.
"Well I guess that makes us the party crashers," Grant commented, scanning across the field for a second time.
"Party crashers equipped with explosives and automatics; we sure would make the neighborhood cops welcome." Billy unclipped the walkie-talkie. "Should we let our accomplices know there's nothing to be shot here?"
"Sure. I think the road passes by the other end of this field, on the loop back to the visitor's center."
Billy made the radio call and Grant pushed forward again. He rounded the corner slowly, eyes off the road and searching the woods for the stegs, hoping they'd be there so that he wouldn't have to delay the inevitable any longer.
The woods proved to be as empty as the field had been. Grant turned his attention back to the road and jerked the wheel in response to a curve that had interrupted the road. If he hadn't looked up at that precise moment the jeep would have had a close and personal encounter with a tree. "Were either of you going to warn me that I might need to turn the car?"
"Actually, no. We were going to see how long you would ignore the fact that you're in control of a moving vehicle," Ryan said.
"We would have informed you before you'd actually crashed."
"Don't you think maybe you cut it a bit close?"
"Nah. You were all skill with the stunt curve-avoidance. We had faith."
"Are you having some road issues Dr. Grant?" Teagan's voice came through the radio with a burst of static.
"He's fine. Just enjoying the scenery a bit too much."
Grant took his eyes off the road once more to glare at Billy.
"Whoa, you should see the mastered look of death. I'm impr-"
Grant slammed on the breaks and sent Billy forward. He partially slid off the seat and bounced his head off of the door frame. When he righted himself onto the seat he grabbed his head and brought his fingers down, red with a small smear of blood. "Damn!" The walkie-talkie had flown from his hands and cracked against the dashboard. It now lay on the floor, a crack spider webbed across the front.
Once satisfied that his head wasn't bleeding profusely, Billy looked through the windshield to find the cause of the stop-on-a-dime action. His breath caught with what he saw.
Two adult stegosaurs blocked the road, a younger one between them. There was no movement; the stegs had already moved into a defensive position in front of the baby and now they were waiting for an offensive move from the unknown enemy before them.
Grant shifted into park and started to roll back the sunroof. "Get out your eraser and start erasing those lines Billy. You're going to have to take the shot."
"Me? Why me?"
"Because you can fit through the sunroof the best. I'm to big, Ryan sure can't do it. Just make sure you're aiming for the middle of the head."
"Are you kidding me?!"
"You know better than that."
"They're going to charge the second a shot is fired. Even if I actually hit one in the head, the other will still charge."
"Don't be so sure. It's going to be confused, it'll take a second to be agitated."
"Well how long does it take for agitation to turn into aggression?"
"That all depends on how long you give it. Be accurate and be fast." Grant handed Billy the rifle and moved as close to his door as he could, trying to give Billy room to create a helpful shooting stance.
"I need a couple more erasers and some white out here."
"Get rid of the line. Now." Grant pointed up to the sunroof. Billy shook his head and then set the rifle down so that he could move into a standing position.
Teagan watched from the other car as Billy's head came through the open sunroof. He looked down to Grant and took the rifle. It took him a second to maneuver the large rifle through the small sunroof, but once he had that accomplished he quickly set up, bracing himself against the car roof. Teagan couldn't tell which steg he was aiming for so she just held her breath, praying that the enormous animals wouldn't charge.
Billy held his breath and prayed that the enormous animals wouldn't charge before he could get off at least one shot. He took aim, putting all of his weight onto the roof of the car to prevent himself from shaking. When he was as sure as he was ever going to be that the shot would land between the eyes he pulled the trigger back. With the bang of the escaped bullet all of Billy's lines were erased. He let his breath out in a whoosh as the steg he had aimed for fell into a heap.
The steg's mate let out a groan and shifted its weight, showing Grant's predicted agitation. The baby began to bellow, clearly upset by the state of affairs. Billy tried to block out the baby's wail of despair as he set up his next shot and took it. Once again he was successful with his shot. When he had the sights on the baby he froze.
The baby walked over to the second fallen steg and sniffed it. It looked around and let out another wail. It was no longer in Billy's sights and he had to adjust. Once corrected he shut his eyes and waited just a moment. He hoped that in that moment the baby would move out of his sight, run away, get far away from the parade of destruction. Without opening his eyes to check his aim or the baby's position Billy pulled the trigger. After another sightless moment he opened his eyes. The baby lay on the ground, forever protected between the two guarding parents.
Billy cursed under his breath and then dropped back into the jeep. He clicked the safety on and shoved the rifle onto the floor.
"Nice shooting," Ryan commented.
"Don't talk to me about my shooting. And don't you dare call it nice! A trained dolphin could have stood there with a rifle and picked off an unprotected, dumb, harmless beast. There was nothing nice about it!"
"Whoa chill out. All I meant was, well I mean…you had nice…aim."
Billy spun around and leapt over the armrest between the front seats. He reached for Ryan's throat but with his front seat in the way he couldn't get the angle necessary for an attempted strangulation. Knowing he'd never get his hands around the kid's neck he began swinging. The second swing connected with Ryan's jaw and he let out a yelp of pain.
"How do you like my aim now?" Billy turned back around in his seat. Ryan rubbed his jaw, but made no comments to Billy. He knew that Billy hadn't really been angry at him or his remarks, he had just been deeply affected by having to kill three innocent creatures. Even though he was hurting, Ryan remained completely understanding.
Grant said nothing as well for a few minutes. He didn't look at Billy, or Ryan, but he could hear Billy breathing deeply in and out. After giving several minutes for everyone to become calm Grant spoke up. "I'm sorry you had to do that. I have nothing else to say about it, but we do need to move on." Grant got no response from either of the boys.