Disclaimer: Same as before...
"Target 775 meters away..." the spotter whisperred, "Two clicks right, wind at 4.5 kts."
The target was young, barely older than the man stalking him. He was an Iraqi artillery spotter that had been calling in rounds earlier on US forces. His face was covered with barely a stubble of beard since puberty was barely past.
"Wind's at half value." Scammon replied. The target area was small, the aperture of a bunker and couldn't be seen from the air. But the sniper knew that he could hit the target.
He placed the crosshairs on target, centering the middle of the man's face on the Mil-dot reticle. Christ, the man was the same age as a college kid for goodness' sake. It was the eyes that first jumped out at him. They were a deep shade of brown and were the haunted eyes of a man who had hunkered down in his position while Coalition warplanes bombed everything in sight.
He was God, with supreme domain over the life and death of the man in the bunker. He was over half a kilometer from his target, but he was still closer to him than any living man.
"Take the shot, man." the spotter urged.
The sniper breathed in, like he'd been trained to do. He applied a steady pressure on the trigger, not anticipating the recoil. He kept tightening as he exhaled and the M24 SWS bucked in his hands, sending a 173 grain 7.62 mm round downrange into the head of his target. Through his optics, the sniper saw blood splatter out of the back of his target's head.
Flight 78, 2004:
Hal Scammon jerked awake from his nap. For a brief time he was nineteen years old. This was the first time he had ever killed a man. His flashback apparently disturbed the lean, bald man sitting beside him. They turned and faced each other and in the cold, ice blue eyes of the occupant of the other seat, he recognized a fellow hunter.
"Sorry." Hal said.
A moment after, a recognition of a different sort flashed through Hal's mind. The man sitting next to him was Roland Tembo, a renowned big game hunter who had taught a few snipers from the 82nd Airborne Division the basics of shooting with .300 Magnum caliber weapons.
"Do you hunt?" Roland asked.
"Yes." Hal replied.
"Really, what do you hunt?" Roland replied.
"Only dangerous quarry." Hal replied.
"As do I." Roland replied, "But sadly that quarry no longer exists for me anymore. Hunting no longer is of any sport, merely execution. Myself and Ajay have hunted all things. Lions on the veldt, tigers in India, jaguars in Brazil, name it. My trophy room is lined with the heads of dangerous animals who've found out the hard way that I'm more dangerous."
"My quarry is forever the most dangerous quarry." Hal replied, "Ever inventive, ever adapting, always lethal and dangerous."
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Roland replied.
"Ernest Hemingway." Scammon replied.
"The sniper, one breed of hunter I've worked with before." Roland Tembo said, "I'll leave you to your reading then."
"Thank you." Scammon replied.
They say that for a sniper the sight pictures of those he has killed never go away. But for a sniper only one sight picture really matters. The first. Whatever innocence Harold Scammon had that day was forever lost in the deserts of Kuwait. Another three in Somalia followed, one in the Balkans. There were also two, classified ones, that he'd gained in South America. He'd also attained another eight in Iraq in 2003 when his National Guard unit had been called up and attached to the 101st Airborne. Fourteen men had died in his sights since Desert Storm. For a brief time, Hal Scammon was nineteen years old again, and had killed a man for the first time.
Kate shifted her slim frame in the chair she sat in. Beside her sat a man in his forties, with brown hair and wearing a red flannel shirt and blue jeans. A slender blonde woman in her early thirties sat beside them and judging by the way they spoke they had to be married or at least seeing one another.
It jumped up and bit her just then, she recognized the man at least. He was Doctor Alan Grant, the scientist who approved Jurassic Park back in 1993. She didn't want to be obtrusive and went back into her copy of Diseases of Dinosauria, by Dr. James Harding.
"Is that the latest edition?" Alan Grant asked.
Kate smiled politely, "Yes it is."
"I gather you're a vet." Grant replied.
"I am." Kate replied, "I'm actually interviewing for one of the veterinary positions on the island. It's supposedly on the cutting edge of the field."
"I've actually met Dr. Harding once, when he was treating a sick triceratops." the blonde replied, "It was due to their injestion of West Indian lilac berries."
"From swallowing gizzard stones, right?" Kate asked, at the blonde woman's quizzical look she added, "It's in the start of the book. You must be Dr. Sattler."
"It's Dr. Sattler-Grant, actually." Ellie replied, "But I use my maiden name at work to avoid confusion among the volunteers."
"It's weird how dinosaurs are a blend of crocdile, bird, and other species on this planet." Kate replied, "But my curiousity was piqued and I applied for the job. They liked my resume and my degree in toxicology especially."
"Some dinosaur species actually were a lot closer to birds, especially velociraptors." Alan replied, "Now I've proven it. They move in a bird-like manner, lightly bobbing their heads when they walk."
"But they apparently have Jacobson's organs or something similar." Kate replied, "I saw a media clip where one was flicking it's tongue around to find a hidden piece of meat."
"They reinforced the velociraptor area. They've turned it into a self contained fortress called The Raptor Containment Area." Ellie said.
"Actually," Kate said, "I guess I'm more interested in working with the maiasaurs more than anything else."
"Why?" Alan asked.
"I guess the 'good mother lizard' sounds appealing to me." Kate smiled, "When I was at the zoo one of my colleagues who worked in Africa for over a decade told me about hyenas having wonderful maternal instincts. Its actually fascinating, really, to know that animals other than humans have parental instincts of sorts."
"Tell me again how chaos works?" Danny asked the enigmatic man in black at his side.
"It deals with unpredictability in a complex system." Ian Malcolm said, "Something engineers, such as yourself, are unprepared to deal with."
For almost the entire flight, after noticing the InGen employee promotional literature Danny had been reading, this guy had been rambling on about chaos theory. Non-linear dynamics it was called and it was the one course Danny had failed in college.
"Really, and how are we unprepared? We now have computers that can predict the tiniest variation in any model." Danny replied.
"The Malcolm Effect always makes itself manifest when least expected." Malcolm replied.
"Didn't you say that ten years ago, but Jurassic Park still opened." Danny replied, "And receives thousands of visitors yearly without incident."
"A recipe for disaster, if you ask me." Malcolm said, "Even the best chaotician is wrong from time to time. I was expecting the Malcolm Effect to manifest itself early on. But now that the park is open, the expected teething troubles have passed, we now assume it can never occur. And that, my dear Mr. Castaldi is when it is most likely to do so."
"You've shown me computer models, pages on pages of calculations, statistical predictions and the like. It seems like to think that at any given point the systems controlling Jurassic Park will fail and cause a catastrophe that will cost thousands of lives."
"I don't think, I know." Malcolm replied.
Annoyed, Danny leafed through the promotional materials he had been given as an InGen employee. But inwardly he felt uneasy. What if Dr. Malcolm had been right all these years?