Jurassic Park Broken Lives
Chapter 46: Trouble Abound
Disclaimer: I do not own Jurassic Park
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Author Note: Sorry for the delay but I went on a vacation and was without Internet access.
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Kari leapt off the ladder and bit down on the sizable chunk of her kill so that she didn't drop it. A few bloody drops of saliva fell from her jaw and stained the concrete floor. Slowly, she looked to the top of the ladder in time to see Cassandra lock the hatch and begin her slow descent. Kari felt terrible for not being able to reach Cassandra before the herrerasaurus attacked her and that terrible feeling grew with the thought of a possible infection because of the bite. Raptors, she knew, had resilience to infection because they too were predators but it always depended upon the bite, every one was different and every one could be the last.
At last Cassandra reached the bottom of the ladder and followed Kari down the tunnel to their home, though that became a source of trouble to Kari. What if the other raptors had stayed around and found out where she and Cassandra were hiding? What if they had a pack nearby? Kari was troubled but at least Cassandra was alive. If she wanted to stay alive however, they needed to find some way to communicate. For now however it seemed they were safe and hopefully that would last the night. Until morning, Kari would just focus on caring for Cassandra, all else could be put aside for now.
Halfway down the tunnel, they were greeted by the soothing songs of the marine creatures. It helped to ease some of Kari's worry but not all of it. She still felt tense about the fact she was under so much water but the tunnel seemed safe enough and it had held since the humans left. As they entered the observation area overlooking the pool, Kari felt just a little calmer and shifted her jaws slightly, moving the flesh between them and tempting her with the taste of blood. She did not eat it however. Kari had decided that the chunk of meat was for Cassandra because if she was going to survive with a raptor, then she would need to feed like one.
Cassandra headed down the stairway first to where she had her belongings and a makeshift bed. Kari soon followed but felt less at home. She longed for the soft earth under a nest made of mud and grasses. It somehow felt more forgiving than the solid floor she hoped not to grow accustomed to. In moments, Kari reached the bottom of the stairs and then watched as Cassandra walked to and sat upon her bed. It was not long before Cassandra reached for the last few bars beneath her pillow.
Kari decided this would be the best time for her to at least try to get Cassandra to try real food. Kari walked over to Cassandra and set the chunk of bleeding flesh beside her only to receive a disgusted look from Cassandra. "Of all the places you have to place that, you had to place it on my bed!"
Kari would not be deterred by Cassandra and instead nudged the flesh towards her. Cassandra however only moved away and went to open a bar. Kari acted quickly to seize the bar and set it out of reach before picking up the meat and setting it on Cassandra's lap. In an instant, the color drained from Cassandra's face and she turned as pale as she was after the attack.
"Are you giving this to me-e-e?" Cassandra said with a stutter and nearly gagged on the mere thought of eating raw flesh. The only response she received was Kari nudging the flesh over her leg, causing juices to roll down her legs. Cassandra cringed as the chunk, warm enough to know it was fresh but cool enough to send chills up her spine, continued to ooze blood and saliva. "I really hope that you don't expect me to eat this!"
Kari nudged the meat again and grabbed the other bars when she saw Cassandra eying them. Again, she set the bars out of reach and watched patiently for Cassandra to at least try it. Humans had better not be this stubborn all the time, Kari thought while she licked her lips of the remains of her kill, her tongue slipping between her teeth and dislodging smaller chunks. Cassandra seemed unable to even touch it and only stared blankly at Kari. After a minute passed, Kari's patience was running low and she picked up the chunk of meat and pressed it against Cassandra's lips and tried to force a small portion into her mouth. The meat however bent upwards and prevented Cassandra from breathing from her nose and after a moment, Kari was able to force part of the meat into Cassandra's mouth as she gasped for air.
Cassandra immediately tried biting down to stop the meat from entering her mouth but it was too late and her teeth cut through a softened area. A sizable chunk became lodged behind her teeth. She tried but was unable to spit it out. Something inside her told her to just get it over with while the rest of her screamed to spit it out and get away from this creature. She looked at Kari and saw a look in her eyes that was similar to what her mother would look on her with. The look was calm and caring and most of all soft, nothing like that of a mindless monster. At last, Cassandra felt there was no other way to get out of it because the creature before her may just try again later. And so, she shifted her jaws and began to chew it. The taste was like nothing she had ever tasted before, it was bland at first with only the metallic taste of blood but then she found a taste not so different from a light exotic spice she had had only once before but had left a lasting impression in her mind.
Kari looked on with approval as Cassandra swallowed bit by bit the meat in her mouth. After a while, when she finished, Kari presented her with more. It seemed she had changed the human's mind about meat because she took it but unlike a raptor, she tore pieces off with her hand instead of digging into it with her mouth. It didn't matter to Kari, she finally found a proper source of food for Cassandra and it was something she could get easily. After a few moments, Kari rested beside Cassandra and began to lick her gently on the neck as a mother would when cleaning a hatchling after a day of play. Kari began to make a purring sound; she had truly found someone to share a home with.
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Tessa stopped outside the entrance to the cave and sniffed the air before snarling. She smelt human, an injured human, one she didn't recognize. Slowly, Tessa stepped into the cave, keeping a watchful eye on the interior more than the exterior. She proceeded slowly and carefully, checking the large boulders as she went just in case something was waiting in ambush.
Soon, Tessa found the bag that Ellie had needed but when she looked inside, she found it lacking the one item she needed, the medical items that Ellie had described. The injured human must have taken it. Then suddenly, a painful cry came from deeper within the cave and Tessa snarled. Quickly but not so quietly, she raced deeper into the cave and leapt over the boulder hiding the human. She stopped short of digging her claws into people when she realized just who they were, or at least one of them. Tom was knelt over a man wiping a foul smelling liquid over the wound.
Tessa took a moment to look over the stunned and frightened people before she grabbed the case in her mouth and raced out of the cave. They were not a concern of hers, it was getting dark and she would have to find Zenith and Ellie.
Amanda sat quietly, stroking Silver Claw's head and listening intently on her surroundings. She was hiding between several large boulders that provided a well protected refuge from carnivores. Tall trees stood on either side of the five entrances while thick shrubs grew around their base and made it impossible to get in without making a sound.
With a soft sigh, Amanda leaned over and kissed Silver Claw on his red crest. She had stopped crying a few hours earlier but every now and again, a tear would slip out. He was alive and as far she and Sophia could tell only unconscious. Silver Claw seemed as if he had gone through hell and back just to reach them but even more troubling was then fact that he had collapsed suddenly. Amanda hoped that the slight twitches of his eyelids were a good sign that he would wake soon.
The jungle was unusually quiet but there seemed to be no carnivores around which seemed odd to Amanda unless the wildlife was fearful of her and an unconscious velociraptor. A distant honking made her very aware of the area and overly cautious. She knew that the parasaurolophus were frightened by something and shortly after, the tyrannosaur's roar confirmed her original idea. It was far enough away that she didn't have reason to fear it but she also knew that other carnivores were hunting and at any moment she could be found by one.
Her fears were soon confirmed when the brush nearby rustled. Immediately, Amanda let out a ferocious raptor call in a hope to scare away what ever it was but her fears were soon eased when she heard a voices reply to her call.
"Settle down Amanda," Sophia said as she peered through the brush. "I couldn't find Ellie or Zenith. I did find blood however and I think it is from both a human and velociraptor. It may not have been Ellie though." Sophia emerged from the brush and laid a young compsognathus before Amanda. "I thought you could use some real food. It was sniffing around here." Sophia settled down not far from Silver Claw and looked him over quickly to see if anything had changed since she left.
"He's still the same as when you left." Amanda placed her hand over his feathers and gently played with them. "I think he might wake up soon though. His eyes seemed to me moving a lot under his eyelids." She sighed sadly. "Do you have any idea were Zenith may have gone?"
"I think he returned to the cave but I can't be sure. I wasn't about to leave you and Silver Claw alone for any length of time. After I heard that tyrannosaurus I decided it was best to come back and check on you."
"Thank you," Amanda said and picked up the compsognathus. She examined the bite marks in its neck and it seemed that Sophia had come up behind the creature and killed it before it could make a sound. When she went to take a bite, a sudden feeling made her sick to her stomach and she couldn't bring herself to eat it. With a sigh, Amanda said, "I can't eat it. I'm not feeling... maybe Silver Claw will need it more than me, that is when he wakes up."
Sophia noticed a tremor go through Amanda's body. She cocked her head and said softly, "Are you cold Amanda?"
"A little," Amanda said softly, "the air is pretty cool and I think the temperature is still dropping." Amanda looked down at Silver Claw and back at Sophia. "Are you feeling a little bit of a chill at all?"
"I feel fine," Sophia replied. "Let's see how Silver Claw is doing." Sophia stood up and moved to Silver Claw's side. Slowly, she lowered head and rested the bottom of her jaw against his neck. "His breathing is fine but he too feels a little cold." Sophia settled down right against Silver Claw, "I think it would be best if we were to sleep close together tonight. I think both of you could use the warmth." Sophia shifted so that a space large enough for Amanda was between Sophia and Silver Claw. "Sleep here, I'm not sure how humans warm themselves but I think it would be best if you were between us."
Amanda wiped a tear from her eye and crawled between Sophia and Silver Claw. She slipped under one of Silver Claw's arm and placed her legs between his. However, she rested with her back to his stomach and brought his scaled, three-fingered hand to her face and settled in for the night.
"Thank you Sophia," Amanda said softly. She reached out and touched her hand to Sophia's jaw before gently rubbing it. In response, Sophia purred softly and then nuzzled Amanda's hand. After a moment, Amanda pulled her hand away and placed it over Silver Claw's hand. "Good night Sophia."
Sophia watched quietly as Amanda's eyes closed sluggishly until finally, she was asleep. Sophia then moved herself so that she was not pressed against Amanda but close enough to help keep her warm. However, Sophia did not sleep, something was close but she couldn't identify it. Every once in a while, she sniffed the air and then turned her head to check the entrances to the area. Finally she had enough of the feeling and stood up quietly. She made sure Amanda was not waking up and then slipped through the brush.
The jungle was dark, made darker by the thick canopy above. The birds had all fallen asleep but the insects were as alive as during the day with a constant song made quiet only as a potential predator passed by. Sophia circled the boulders to ensure nothing was in the immediate vicinity and once she had ensured it was clear, she headed further outward following a circular pattern from the shelter. She stopped momentarily in a small glade and observed a small hairy creature scampering amongst the branches of a nearby tree before disappearing into a hole in a tree. Only the large eyes appeared from the hole to watch cautiously as Sophia passed by. However, Sophia was uninterested in killing such a small prey.
Sophia felt a stronger sense that she was being watched and looked around warily. For a moment, she looked into the sky where the canopy had opened. The sky was a brilliant display of stars in bright clusters and of course the lonely stars that seemed dim by comparison. A bright light streaked across the sky so quickly and faded just as fast that if Sophia had not been looking, she would never have seen it. But her attention was soon drawn back to the ground and she could hear a soft rustling in the brush across the glade.
From the dark emerged a lone figure, the female raptor that had been trapped beside Amanda. She had her head hung low and her body was in a submissive position. She showed no sign that she was going to strike. "Your name is Sophia, is it not?"
Sophia cocked her head but soon answered, "It is. Why were you following me?"
"I'm sorry but I thought that if I appeared in your shelter that you would have killed me on sight." The female showed her throat and made a low rumbling sound. She then stood upright and said, "My name is Fire Fang and I am the hatchling of Swift Strike, my father, and The Scarred One, my mother."
"What do you want and why did you present yourself as if this were a meeting between pack leaders when one pack was defeated?" Sophia said in almost a harsh manner. She turned most of her attention to the jungle around her in case the male was nearby. However, she wanted to return to Amanda in case she was the one in danger.
"I mean you no harm Sophia. That is why I did it. Unlike my brethren, I am not stubborn beyond reason. I have come to ask forgiveness for troubling you, Amanda, and Silver Claw. I also hope that I may be allowed to join your group. It is obvious that you are able to take care of one another and I do not wish to return to my pack. I will die if I should return." Fire Fang lowered her head and exhaled deeply. "I do not wish to die, at least not yet."
"Even if I considered the idea, how do I know I could trust you?" Sophia snarled. She became increasingly concerned that an ambush was going to take place at any moment.
"You have only my word," Fire Fang replied and bowed her head in submission. "If that is not enough to get you to trust me then I shall leave and not bother you again. But you should know Thrascar will not stop until you are dead and should it come down to it, he will personally come for you. Myself however, once he finds I have deserted the pack, I too shall be hunted down. Farewell," Fire Fang turned to leave.
Sophia watched as Fire Fang began to move away slowly but for some reason, she felt sympathy for the raptor. She knew she shouldn't but for some reason she felt as if the raptor was in a similar situation as she was in after the death of her pack. "I will let you come with us but only as long as you do what I tell you."
Fire Fang perked up and looked at Sophia almost excitedly. "You mean it?" Sophia slowly nodded but almost felt like she regretted it. Fire Fang walked towards Sophia and stopped a meter away. "Should I walk in front of you or beside, I believe you do not trust me enough to follow you."
"Beside me, and when, I mean we reach the shelter, you must be quiet because Amanda is asleep." Fire Fang nodded. "You'll be sleeping alone where I can see. If you have to leave for any reason, tell me and I shall escort you. For now, you have to do what I say, understand?"
"I do, I have basically traded one master for another less aggressive one." Fire Fang exhaled softly and looked down. "I will do as you say."
Sophia snorted in acceptance and gestured for Fire Fang to walk. It took them only a few minutes but they reached the shelter and Sophia quietly slipped in. Once she was assured of Amanda's and Silver Claw's safety, Sophia allowed Fire Fang to enter.
Fire Fang entered slowly with her head down and soon found that she was looking at Sophia standing over the sleeping Amanda. With a silent look from Sophia, she knew where she was sleeping, an area against the boulder that was near one of the exits. Once she had settled down, then Sophia felt at ease enough to lie beside Amanda. However, Sophia had lain with her head facing Fire Fang. She would not sleep easily if at all that night.
Thrascar snarled excitedly as he looked out over his slain enemy, most if not all of the brown pack. He had led his pack out of the caves near to the enemy territory and from there they found four raptors of which he personally killed three. Only hours after the first blood had been shed, they found the nesting grounds and killed every male, female, and hatchling. Shortly after, the pack feasted on the graveyard of carcasses that surrounded the nesting grounds.
Now they only had to find the pack of the blue and white raptors and then the island would he his. Thrascar snarled again and looked to his pack which had lain down for a break after their effort. It had been just over hour since they had killed the enemy and eaten their fill. They were simply resting before they moved on from the area. There was something different however. Much of the pack was trembling and others were sprayed out in an unnatural position.
"What is going on? To your feet," Thrascar roared, but none did. In rage, he walked over and kicked one on the raptors. The body simply rolled over and then he could see the glazed look in the eye. The raptor was dead. A cold realization crept over him and he saw that his pack was dying or dead. Many sneeze and gag before keeling over and becoming still. "No, no, no!" Thrascar shouted and ran away from his pack. He would not die because of some illness.
In moments, he reached the edge of the field of tall grasses. He hesitated though. A feeling of being watched crept over him and he looked around. Then suddenly a ripple drifted through the jungle and a bright red carnotaurus revealed itself and charged. Thrascar roared and ran from the threat. He had to survive this day...
Dawn came slowly to Isla Sorna. The red sun crept from the horizon casting morning rays across the soft pink sky. Light whiffs of cloud drifted lazily on gentle breezes while the last of the stars faded out of sight. A light fog, clinging mostly to the coast and refusing to relinquish its grip, surrounded the island and held its grasp as long as it could. The sweet and almost sorrowful songs of parasaurolophus and brachiosaurus drifted and echoed amongst the valleys and mountains. Among the canopy of the jungle's interior came the exotic song of the original island residents.
Silver Claw's eyes slowly opened. He exhaled sharply as the extent of his muscle aches hit him in full. His eyes shut and he just wanted to sleep again, that way he wouldn't hurt anymore. For a while, he just remained still but then a sound made him fill with excitement and he felt warmth roll over him. He heard a soft moan.
His eyes opened suddenly. Very quickly, Silver Claw buried his snout into the top of Amanda's head. She giggled softly in a sleep-like state as he continued rubbing against her and taking in her scent. In a moment, Silver Claw sat up and then began to nibble on her neck. The stiffness and soreness in his body seemed to disappear and instead was replaced with feelings of compassion and love for his mate.
Amanda said nothing when she awoke fully but instead embraced Silver Claw in a tight hug. However, she quickly released him and then just as quickly reached for his head. She pulled it before her face. Amanda could think of no other way better to express how she felt at that moment to see that he was alive. In a deep rush of emotion she placed her smooth lips against his scaled. His scales felt soft however and not like the harder scales which covered his body that were more for protection. She could taste the carnivore's scent that she had grown to love as his own that made him distinct from all others. Together they held tight the loving embrace until Amanda had to break away for air with a sudden and deep gasp as the rush of passion had taken her breath away. Before she could fully regain her breath, Amanda locked eyes with Silver Claw and then in a graceful motion, she buried her head into his welcoming neck, whispering, "I love you so much. I love you, my Silver Claw. Don't ever scare me like that again."
A grunt however broke the romantic moment and both Amanda and Silver Claw were filled with surprise as well as fear. A female of the greens stood over them and it was not Tessa. Silver Claw snarled and tried placing himself over Amanda to protect her. Sophia however was woken by the snarl and in thinking they were in trouble, stood up. She hit Fire Fang hard and collapsed to the ground while sending Fire Fang onto her side.
Sophia groaned and looked around. She saw only Silver Claw, Amanda, and Fire Fang. "What's going on? Where is the danger?"
"What is she doing here," Amanda hissed before Silver Claw could answer.
"Sophia was kind enough to allow me to join your group," Fire Fang answered. "I hope that in time I may be able to earn your trust. I am sorry for any inconveniences I may have caused recently." She then stood up and bowed her head in a submissive showing.
Sophia slowly stood up and looked at Amanda and Silver Claw. "You both were both a sleep and so I watched her all night, she didn't try anything."
"Actually Sophia," Fire Fang said softly, "You fell asleep before the moon had reached its peak in the night. I however remained awake the entire night and scared off some procompsognathus that were becoming a little too curious of this place. You seemed to be very tired."
In the distance came a call that instantly drew Sophia's attention. "Sophia, Amanda, Silver Claw?" The voice was Zenith and was soon followed by Ellie calling out in English, "Amanda, Sophia, Silver Claw where are you? If you can hear this, please answer!"
"Over here!" Sophia shouted with excitement in anticipation of seeing her Zenith again. She watched enthusiastically as within minutes the brush began to rustle and from it emerged Zenith with Ellie on his back. Ellie quickly hopped off and Zenith rushed to greet his mate with caring nuzzles of her snout.
Ellie smiled to see that Amanda, Silver Claw, and Sophia were alive. It took only a moment for her to notice the raptor out of place in the group but instantly recognized her. "What is that thing doing here? It tried to kill me!"
Fire Fang looked at Ellie and snarled. "Murderer! You're without honor!" She raised her killing claws in an angered display and readied her shorter claws at the end of her fingers. "You attack at distance like a coward with weapons of shame just like my captors!"
Ellie didn't catch most of what had been said but she knew the general tone. With a quick reach behind her she drew the knife she had injured the male with and held it so that the blade was along the side of her arm instead of pointing outward. "I left your friend crippled so don't think I can't do it to you!"
"Stop it both of you," Sophia snapped, her reunion with Zenith had been disrupted by their bickering and she was not in the mood for any aggravation. She then stood up.
Fire Fang bowed her head and in a soft tone said, "I am sorry, it is just this human is a source of anger for me." Fire Fang showed her teeth and hissed at Ellie. "She attacked us when we were following the human trials of stone that are everywhere on this island."
"I don't have time for this," Ellie said and looked at Amanda. "We have to get you back to the cave Amanda, your father is there. He isn't doing too well." Ellie kept a hesitant eye on the raptor watching her but soon put away the knife. "He was shot and I am way over my head when it comes to this sort of thing. I can basically bandage something but he needs surgery. I made a call but they won't be able to reach us until tomorrow.
Amanda's lip began to quiver. Even though he had made those comments about her, he was still her father and she loved him no matter what. If he was dying, she had to be there and if he wasn't she had to be there for him anyway. Amanda looked at Silver Claw and knew he may be too weak to make it there quickly. Amanda gulped some air and tried to hold back the tears. "We have to go then. Is some one watching over him?"
"Yes," Ellie replied. "Tessa and Tom are keeping an eye on him."