"Grandpa!" Mr. Hammond was nearly knocked over by the two young children that pounced on him.
"Ah, Children. How I missed you!" The elderly man replied, laughing happily. "You've arrived just in time for our tour!" The children squealed in delight as their grandfather led the pack out the main doors.
Dr. Alan Grant felt his stomach churn as he heard the kids giggling. Ellie grinned at him, knowing his aversion to small humans. Grant scowled back.
It wasn't just because they were small, annoying, and extraordinarily good a breaking things...
Besides, wasn't an untested park full of possibly dangerous dinosaurs the wrong place for mayhem-inducing children?
"Children, where is Roxanne?" Mr. Hammond asked once they were outside in the fresh sunshine.
"She wouldn't get out of the car" The younger boy piped up. Mr. Hammond sighed heavily, then began to walk down the steps towards the jeeps assembled out front of the visitor's center.
"You said there were only two coming..." The lawyer said fretfully.
"A slight change of plans, Mr. Gennaro" The old man said, his voice once again jolly. The lawyer didn't seem convinced. He grabbed Hammond by the shoulder.
"Two kids is a handful, Mr. Hammond. Why bring a third into this environment?" Mr. Hammond opened his mouth, then looked pointedly to the two children hanging on his other arm.
Ellie got the hint first.
"Kids, why don't we go try to pry Roxanne out of the car. Save Mr. Hammond some time." The two shrugged, then followed Ellie down to the Jeeps, still looking back at their grandfather.
"Tim and Alexis' parents supposed to have adopted Roxanne next month, but through unforeseen circumstances, her foster parents... Well, they passed last week. The adoption was pushed through, but with the divorce finalizing this week, my son and daughter-in-law decided that Roxanne would travel with the children"
"That's harsh, poor kid" Ian said from behind Grant.
"Grandpa, she won't get out!" Tim whined from the second Jeep. Hammond sighed, traversing the rest of the stairs.
"That's all right Timothy, she can stay in her seat for the tour anyhow" The old man replied as he walked to peer in the window of the second Jeep. Grant followed his gaze to see a dark haired girl of fourteen or fifteen hunched over a book. She looked like she was doing fine on her own.
"HI" Dr. Grant looked sharply at the voice coming from his elbow. Timothy stood next to him, smiling brightly.
"I read your book!" The pipsqueak continued. Grant squirmed uncomfortably. He had issues with small children... Or any children for that matter.
In an attempt to shake Timothy off before the boy got the idea that it was okay to touch him, Grant got into the first jeep. Timothy followed him, beginning to chatter on about several books on dinosaurs he had read. Grant scooted right out the other side of the Jeep, shutting the door behind him and getting in the second vehicle.
As he buckled in next to Roxanne, he noticed the book she was reading. It was his own, funny enough.
"You like dinosaurs, kid?" He asked. Roxanne ignored him.
"You know, while I was writing that book on my laptop, I slipped and almost impaled myself on a Velociraptor skeleton embedded in a rock... Funny, eh?"
If Roxanne found his story funny, she made no inclination. Grant sighed. This kid would be tough to crack, but he wouldn't be the one doing any more cracking. Let Ellie or one of the other more social persons around bring the girl to the present.
Ellie got into the front seat of the car, swiveling around to watch his interaction with the little girl. He shrugged at her, and she made a sympathetic face before starting on her own crusade for the child's attention.
"So, Roxanne. Which era of the dinosaurs do you find the most interesting?" She asked. Surprisingly, the little girl answered.
"How fitting that your grandfather made this park for you to see, then." Ellie replied brightly.
Roxanne looked up at Ellie, revealing large light blue eyes that were so intense, they almost crackled with electricity. Ellie sat back in her seat, oddly disconcerned by the teen's unabashed stare.
Grant raised an eyebrow at the child's odd behaviour. Roxanne was obviously troubled, but not in the rebellious way children showed their anger.
"Hey, mind if I scoot in?" Ian's obnoxious voice came as he rapped on Roxanne's window. The girl ignored him until Ellie politely asked her to move, astounding the two men. Roxanne shuffled over to the middle seat, putting her nose back in her book.
The computer in the front began to speak, and the Jeep started trundling along at a mild pace. Grant sighed as Ellie and Ian led a collaborative attack to get Roxanne to speak.
The girl obviously had issues; he silence was proof enough of that. But her silence could also be attributed to other personality traits. Grant saw a shy, alienated girl who had recently undergone tragedy.
She would talk when she was good and ready.