EIGHTH FRACTION

Grant

Grant looked around, cursing wildly as the pitter patter of rainfall began to fall on him. He gave the gate another shake but it was stuck fast, slowly realisation dawned on him. He was stranded. Worse still, he had no way of contacting anyone. Alan Grant was completely alone. The rain was getting heavier now, striking his face with such force that it stung briefly. Grant pulled his jacket over his head and began to run towards a cluster of trees where he hoped to take shelter until the storm passed. For now however, it showed no sign of wanting to relent. Instead the shower was becoming heavier and heavier; thunder cracked loudly, echoing in the sky accompanied by the dangerous flash of lightning. The weather was showing all the signs of wanting to erupt into a full blown Costa Rican storm.

"Shit!" Grant cried out as hailstones began to bombard him mercilessly. He quickened his pace but the torrent of rain and hail met his every move. Another thunderclap followed by a flash of forked lightning. A northeasterly wind was blowing the rain into Grant's face. It was cold and uncomfortable. "Alan Grant you are a fool!" Grant yelled as he dived under cover. "You knew what would happen if you came on this trip. Idiot!" He was furious not just with the MutaGen company for coercing him here but also with himself for allowing it. His curiosity had once again got the better of him. He hated himself for it. Breathing heavily, Grant sat down underneath a tree, his clothes dripping with cold water. He sighed. Looking up at the blackened sky, Alan Grant began to laugh in spite of himself.

Ellie

Ellie wiped her eyes with a tissue. They were stinging, blotched and red. She sat alone on her bed, her suitcase, half packed, lying open on the floor. Her head was spinning. She didn't know what to think or do, although it was clear that crying her eyes out had made no difference to her feelings. On one hand she had known her mother was on borrowed time but on the other, Ellie had not expected her to go so soon. Ellie was torn between being ready and total shock. She closed her eyes, attempting to take her mind back to her last conversation with her mother. There was nothing. Ellie screwed up her eyes in concentration but no memories came to light; she could see her mother's face in her mind but it was blurred and out of focus. She knew she had been distant with her in the last few years but it terrified her how little survived in memory and dream. With horror, Ellie realised that her mother had died both physically and spiritually. The memory of her was fading every faster by the second and not even Ellie's grief could save it. A new tear trickled coldly down her cheek.

"Ellie?" Ellie looked up in the direction of the voice, there was a sharp knock on her door. "Ellie?" it was Malcolm. Ellie marched rigidly towards the door and yanked it open. Malcolm stood towering in the doorway. "How are you feeling?" he asked softly, his eyes taking in how red and puffy hers were.

"I've been better," Ellie said slowly. She attempted a smile but found that her lips would not curl up.

"Do you want me to ask if we can send you home?" Malcolm asked uneasily, he had noticed the semi-packed suitcase. Ellie nodded.

Control Room

Henderson was yelling into a satellite phone as he watched the tropical storm worsen from inside the control room. The screens were flickering on and off and he could barely hear the voice on the other end of the line.

"I need more time!" Henderson shouted. "I promise I can get your money by the end of the week!" The phone went dead. Henderson stared at the screen but there was no sign of power. Then he looked up at the computer screens. They too were dead. Power was failing all over the complex. Henderson reached over for his radio and turned it on. To his relief it crackled reassuringly.

"What's going on?" he called into the receiver, there was a brief crackle of white noise and then Peterson's voice replied solemnly.

"Sir we've lost power in the fences if we don't get it back up soon we're in deep shit. And I mean dino shit!"

"How the fuck did that happen?!" Henderson raged. His face was purple, the veins in his forehead bulging hysterically.

"It was the storm sir! The lightning must've short-circuited the power," Peterson replied uncertainly.

"What are you doing to get it back up and running?" Henderson replied in a voice of forced calm.

"Smith's gone to check out the main generator," Peterson said immediately. "I've got radio contact with him."

"Good. Let me know when you get the power back!" Henderson said hotly. The radio fell silent.

Smith

Smith pushed open the thick heavy metal door to the generator complex. The air was musty and smelled rank. Smith started to walk down the stairs, letting the metal door swing shut behind him. As he walked further into the depths of the complex, Smith did not notice the door fail to close. Something was preventing it. A clawed scaly foot. Smith continued to walk towards the generator controls. Behind him the reptilian foot nudged the main door wide enough to allow itself through. Smith was still oblivious to it all. He switched on his radio.

"Peterson! Peterson! Are you there?" The dinosaur edged closer towards him, tiptoeing across the metal floor. Smith's radio crackled and then Peterson's voice filled the air.

"All receiving, where are you?"

"I'm at the generator controls, what do I do?" Smith asked urgently. Peterson was looking at a map of the complex, studying it thoroughly.

"There should be a small metal box next to the generator. Open it." Smith opened the box, revealing three switches. "You see the switches?" Peterson's voice asked.

"Affirmative," Smith replied stoically.

"Pull the top one to the left, the middle to the right and the bottom one to the left," Peterson instructed him. "That should give the generator a boost. Then when it starts to hum, return the switches to their original position. Over." Smith did as he was told, his heart pounding. He turned his head wildly looking up at the stairs behind him. He was imagining it, Smith told himself. There was no one else here but him. He turned back to the generator. It had started to hum nicely. The dinosaur was now clinging to the ceiling above him, its bright yellow eyes watching him with fascination. Smith flicked the switches back into their original position before replacing the metal casing. Beside him, the generator whirred into life, the humming becoming a gentle vibration as the complex was suddenly flooded with light. Smith clicked the radio on.

"I've done it!" He called out excitedly!

"Power is restoring," Peterson's voice told him delightedly. Smith opened his mouth to reply when all of a sudden the watching dinosaur pounced. It leapt onto his back, its claws piercing his back and forcing him to the ground, immobilising him. Smith's radio fell to the floor and smashed as the dinosaur increased the pressure on top of him. He struggled to move, blood seeping from the gashes in his back. The dinosaur unexpectedly climbed off him. For one brief second, Smith thought he had been spared, but then the dinosaur flipped him over casually with one foot. Smith stared up into its scaly face. He could smell its putrid breath as it raised a claw and without mercy sliced him right across the middle. Warm blood washed over him and a strange sense of bliss entombed him as he felt his intestines drop to the floor. For all his fears of dying, Smith was surprised to find how calm he felt as the dinosaur's claw came cascading across his stomach the other way, ripping it open further. His insides were spilling out all over the cold metal and he knew that it would all be over soon. The colour drained from his face and he began to feel sleepy. His eyes flickered open and shut. With the last vestiges of his strength he saw the dinosaur's jaws cover his whole head and knew that when they snapped shut, his life would be extinguished. He did not have to wait another second. The jaws closed with terrifying power, fangs piercing his neck and in that moment, Timothy Smith was dead. The dinosaur shook his head in its jaws and with terrible strength it ripped it clean from the body. Discarding the head, the dinosaur bent down upon Smith's lifeless body and began to eat him, tearing huge chunks of flesh with its teeth. Blood dripped from its fangs as it snarled grotesquely.

TO BE CONTINUED