Chapter One: Discoveries and Disruptions
Disclaimer: I don't own Jurassic Park in either its book or movie format. Anything you recognize was paraphrased or taken directly from the Jurassic Park Screenplay or from Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park novel.
It was hot. Maybe that went without saying as there was barely more than a shrub for miles around to keep the beating afternoon sun off them. Still at over one hundred degrees Harry thought the statement bore repeating. It was hot. Damn hot.
Harry adjusted his baseball cap and gave his ragged ponytail a judicious yank to keep it from disintegrating in the moaning gusts of high wind. He tugged the bandana that provided him some protection against the alkaline dust away from his nose and mouth and took a deep breath of the slightly fresher air in relief stretching out his cramping neck and back muscles.
Not a foot away from him Dr. Alan Grant crouched low with his nose mere inches from the ground. Alan was oblivious to the rivulets of sweat running down his neck and dripping onto the ground, all of his concentration was taken by the six inch square of earth he'd claimed for himself. He'd found something. After almost four years Harry had become very familiar with that single-minded intensity that meant a discovery, the way Alan was carefully daubing away at the earth with a dental pick and a soft brush was telltale.
Harry grinned when Alan reached for the rubber cement and stood to stretch his legs after being crouched down for so long. His own six inch square was empty so far and they would probably be bringing out the imaging equipment soon anyway.
Harry and Alan were perched on a hillside in the badlands not too far from Snakewater, Montana with nothing but blue sky and untold layers of eroding limestone and shale to see in any direction. It was beautiful in its own way, bleak and barren and harsh, of course, but what you saw was what you got. Harry could appreciate that.
According to Alan, back when the dinosaurs they were excavating had lived the land that they were standing on had been the shore of an enormous inland sea that had stretched from the Rockies to the Appalachians, covering the entirety of the American west in tepid water and giving rise to swampy bayou along the edges that was all about concealment. If you got Ellie going about it you were liable to get an excited earful about just what kind of plant made up which patch of green, botanists were like that Harry had discovered.
Harry glanced down at their camp. It was Harry, Alan, Ellie, three grad students and two undergrad students from the University of Denver who lived in camp proper. Alan and Harry bunked in the trailer that served as their field lab and office and Ellie and the students each got a four pole tipi, the only kind of tent that stood up in the face of the brutal winds. The camp was only semi-permanent, because in most cases it was easier to move up close to where the fossils were rather than bringing them back to camp, but they'd been parked in the same little gully at the base of the hillside for a week and a half.
Down below Ellie kicked open the stubborn door to the trailer with a clang that jolted him out of his musings, and waved at him.
"Harry," she called, her voice bouncing eerily off the hills.
"Get Alan down here would you? He's got a call. Sounds like it might be urgent."
Harry shot her a thumbs-up and moved back over to where Alan had finished uncovering the better part of a tiny, impossibly fragile looking jaw bone complete with a classic set of carnivore dentition. He was almost reluctant to interrupt. He knew just how much Alan had been looking forward to a discovery like this one, a chance to look at the nesting habits of carnivorous species when up until now they'd only found herbivores. Still the fossil had been waiting for at least sixty-five million years to be discovered, it could wait another few minutes while Alan took a phone call. With that in mind Harry nudged his guardian with the toe of his hiking boot, kicking up a small plume of white dust on contact.
"Alan. Hey Alan."
"What?" grunted Alan shooting Harry an annoyed glare from under his beaten up old cowboy hat.
"Ellie says there's a call for you. She says it's probably important."
A little bit of a white lie, but Alan wasn't about to leave his site without a prod and Harry wasn't above prodding.
With a put-upon sigh Alan stood, wincing as his joints creaked in protest after spending so long in the same position. The sunglasses came on and he tugged off his red bandana, using it to mop the sweat from his neck and brow and then tucking it into his back pocket carelessly.
"Mm. What time is it?"
"Er…around one. We've been up here for a good three or four hours now."
Alan looked surprised to hear that and glanced down at his watch and then up at the sun for confirmation.
"Huh. Alright, alright. Get Darren and Quinn up here with the Thumper and then come and get something to eat before we start digging again."
"Can do," agreed Harry, dashing off.
Darren and Quinn were both pretty cool if you were to ask Harry's opinion. Darren was a one of the grad students and had been with Alan's dig for two seasons now, tall and sun-bleached blond, he was one of Alan's most promising protégés. He'd transferred out of Georgia State University after his undergraduate and been accepted into Alan's lab almost immediately and had been based out of Denver for three years now but he still ran around with his twanging accent, hippy-esque ponytail and his redneck slang. And since Alan was less than impressed with Harry's ponytail emulation he tried to keep his diction from sliding as well.
Quinn was a newbie to the dig, a short Korean boy from Chicago in his third year majoring in something complicated to do with computer imaging. Despite his unmitigated computer nerd status he sported a dark tan, apparently the product of his unflagging love for baseball, and straight white teeth. Alan hadn't been too keen on him tagging along this year but Professor Gibbons had bullied his imaging equipment into the dig and they needed someone who could actually use the stuff. Quinn ended up fitting in with the rest of them right away, he was a fair genius with a computer and besides all that he was funny and enthusiastic.
The two of them were at Quinn's station sifting through the data on the herbivore excavations that had just been completed looking at things like depth and strata composition.
"Hey kid," said Darren tugging at the ratty end of Harry's ponytail affectionately.
"Hey, Alan wants the Thumper and the imaging equipment up by where we were digging just now. It looks like we've finally got ourselves a baby carnivore."
"It's about time," cheered Quinn, giving Harry a loud smacking high-five and then promptly flicking the brim of his worn green baseball cap, just so that Harry remembered his place in the whole scheme of things.
"What's the species? Do we know?" asked Darren, the same manic light of discovery that afflicted all true scientists entering his eyes.
"Alan didn't say and we don't have enough of the fossil uncovered yet for me to tell for sure," said Harry with a noncommittal shrug.
"It's gotta be a raptor," Darren insisted, "This is the perfect environment for them according to all the popular theories and Dr. Grant's own work. We've been looking for so long, it has to be."
"If you would stop drooling over the idea of it for two seconds and come and help me with this we'd know for sure," grumbled Quinn struggling with a heavy looking piece of computer equipment.
"Right," said Darren shaking his head and shooting Quinn a sheepish grin, "Here let me help with that."
"We're taking a short break, so how long will it take you guys to get set up?" asked Harry.
"If this guy stops spacing out on me I can have the probe in the ground in an hour, maybe less," Quinn answered taking a swig from his water canteen and then bending to unplug a bunch of cables.
"Great, I'll tell Alan and you guys call us when you're ready."
Darren grunted something vaguely affirmative in answer and with that Harry turned and made his way across camp, bypassing the flapping and fluttering of the mess tent, and headed straight to the trailer.
Alan wasn't in the trailer taking the call, as Harry had expected, instead his guardian was watching as a sedan, that had probably once been blue but after traversing the rutted dirt and, occasionally, gravel path that served as a road out here had been turned a dusty beige color, wind its way up the path.
"A visitor?" said Harry.
"A lawyer," answered Alan, wetting his bandana and using it to mop at the sweat on the back of his neck.
Harry immediately stiffened. He didn't like lawyers, well, not that anyone particularly liked lawyers he supposed, but he especially didn't like them.
Almost five years ago he hadn't lived with Alan, instead he'd been living in Surrey with his closest living relatives his mother's sister Petunia and her husband and son. It had been horrible. Harry hadn't even realized just how horrible it had been until one of the teachers in his primary school had brought him home one day and threatened to call social services on his aunt and uncle.
His aunt had immediately called all her relatives, there weren't many, trying to find someone who would take him off their hands before Mrs. McKinney could file her lawsuit and eventually Alan had agreed to take him. What had followed was a long line of lawyers both British and American who alternately wanted to bring him back to the Dursleys and put him in foster care.
Alan had always managed to turn them away with his good stable job and his stubborn refusal to believe that their odd way of living was damaging Harry's development no matter how many social workers and child psychologists told him otherwise. Especially when he pointed out to them that he wasn't the one making Harry sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Though no one actually had enough evidence to bring the Dursleys to trial for neglect and endangerment of a minor, Harry's doctor was always quick to point out that Harry was short for his age and this was likely because of malnutrition and had previously had untreated hairline fractures in the bones of his arms, hands, feet and ribs.
This past year and a half had been completely lawyer free though and Harry had been hoping that the matter was closed for discussion, as Ellie would say.
"Relax kiddo," said Alan, settling one big rough hand on the top of Harry's head, "This guy is from the EPA, and somehow I don't think you fall under their jurisdiction. I forgot I was supposed to meet with him today until I got a look at the calendar."
"I want to stay with you," Harry said quietly.
"Ellie's grabbing the three of us some sandwiches from the mess," was all that Alan said but he drew Harry closer to lean against his hip.
As the sedan bounced its way into camp the students working on the next hill over, breaking up bigger stones with a jackhammer, looked up from their work, curiously. They didn't get many visitors so it was always a big production when they had them. The older grad students usually managed to drag their families out here for a couple of days out of the summer, case in point the somewhat shiny green Pathfinder and the presence of the incredibly obnoxious Geordie in camp. Geordie and his father had been here for three days and already Harry was counting the days until they were gone.
With the strange brand of adult logic that Harry was glad Alan didn't subscribe to, Bethie and her husband had decided that since Geordie and Harry were around the same age they should hang out and play together. Harry had been willing to play nicely, even though he'd never gotten on with kids his own age, but Geordie's lack of interest in anything to do with dinosaurs had made the effort a chore and he'd been avoiding the kid all day.
The slam of a car door jolted Harry out of his musings, and he watched with some amusement as the lawyer coughed on the cloud of white dust that action generated.
He recovered quickly and strode over to where Alan and Harry were standing.
"Bob Morris, Environmental Protection Agency," he said briskly, extending his hand, "I'm with the San Francisco office."
"Dr. Alan Grant," said Alan, shaking his hand firmly, "My kid, Harry. You look hot, want a beer?"
"God, yes. That would be fantastic."
"Come on, my office is over here."
Morris was in his late twenties and had the typical slick look of a lawyer, sleek suit, stylish haircut, leather briefcase and black wingtips that crunched on the rocks as they picked their way over to the trailer. He was dripping in sweat but hadn't removed his jacket.
"You find the place alright?"
"Yeah, but when I first came over the hill there I thought this was an Indian reservation," Morris commented jerking a thumb at the tipis.
"Nah, it's just the best way to live out here. When we started coming out here we had the funding for top of the line octahedral tents that they use on the mountains but they kept on getting blown away. Finally we figured out that the tipis were the best way to go, we got a few of the Blackfoot four poles set up, and they were nearly perfect. The Sioux use the three pole tipis but we figured that since the Blackfoot were native to the area—"
"Uh huh," said Morris. "Very fitting."
Using one hand to shade his eyes he squinted out over the desolate landscape and shook his head.
"How long have you guys been out here?"
"'Bout sixty cases," said Alan automatically.
Morris turned and shot him a look and Alan, realizing his mistake, elaborated.
"We don't keep great track of the days so we started measuring it by cases of beer. We start out in June with a hundred cases, we've gone through about sixty of them."
"Sixty-three to be exact," Ellie put in from where she was leaning against the door of the trailer, two plastic wrapped sandwiches from the mess in hand, "Here you go boys." She added, lobbing the sandwiches at Harry and Alan.
Harry caught his sandwich deftly and grinned as Morris openly gaped at Ellie. She was dressed in cutoff shorts and a dusty blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up that she had tied off at her midriff. She was twenty-six and very pretty, her dark tan contrasted strikingly with her sun-lightened blonde hair.
"Thanks Ellie. This is Bob Morris. Mr. Morris, Dr. Ellie Sattler."
"Hey," greeted Morris, still looking a bit stunned.
"Ellie keeps us going," Alan said shooting her a fond smile, "She's very good at what she does, just received her doctorate last year."
"What does she do?" asked Morris
"Paleobotany," answered Ellie. "And I still do the standard field preps."
She wiggled the door to the trailer open and they followed her inside.
The trailer had air-conditioning but that was really all that could be said about it. Still, the air was cooler than it was outside even if it did smell strongly of vinegar. The trailer sported two rooms and a bathroom, the first room was the bulk of the trailer, a series of long wooden tables dominated the area littered with neatly tagged specimens and bits of bone fragment in ceramic dishes.
"I thought dinosaurs were supposed to be big," said Morris his eyes flicking over the bones.
"They were," said Ellie, "But everything you see here comes from babies. This site is so important primarily because it was a dinosaur nesting site. Before we started out work here only one other nesting site had been found in the Gobi Desert. Here we've discovered a dozen different hadrosaur nests complete with eggs and the bones of infants and juveniles."
While Ellie showed Morris the acetic acid baths they used to remove the limestone from the delicate bones Alan went to the fridge and grabbed three beers and Harry moved to the back end of the trailer which sported two worn couches, a coffee table, a desk complete with small personal computer, fax machine, telephone and piles of unfiled papers. Behind a beaded screen was Harry and Alan's room which sported nothing more than two cots crammed in side by side and a pair of open duffel bags.
"They look like chicken bones," Morris said, peering into the shallow basin and wrinkling his nose at the smell.
"Yes, they're very birdlike."
"What about the ones outside?"
Ellie glanced to the window, you could just make out the pile of large hadrosaur bones wrapped neatly in plastic through the grime.
"Rejects," she said with a shrug, "They were too fragmentary when we dug them up. We used to discard them but nowadays they get sent to a lab for genetic testing."
"Genetic testing? Really?"
"Here you go," Alan interrupted handing Morris his beer, and tossing Ellie the second one, "We can talk over here."
Alan flopped down on the couch next to Harry and a cloud of dust rose up as he propped his booted feet on the edge of the coffee table and took a swig of beer.
Morris dusted off a small section on the second couch the best that he could and then sat primly, gulping down a good swig of his beer. He glanced at Harry who was already tucking into his sandwich, dismissing him in the next breath, and then back over his shoulder at Ellie, who was picking bones out of the acid bath with a pair of long handled tweezers and was paying them no mind.
Finally, he opened his briefcase and rummaged through it bringing out a few papers and a legal notepad.
"You're probably wondering why I'm here Dr. Grant."
"It's a long way to come Mr. Morris," said Alan fixing the lawyer with an unreadable but undeniably piercing look.
"Well, then I'll get right down to it," said Morris, leveling an equally serious look at Alan, "The EPA is concerned about the activities of the Hammond Foundation. I'm given to understand you receive no small sum of funding from them."
"Fifty thousand a year for the past five years," agreed Alan, "They've been one of our biggest supporters."
"Do you know why they've been so generous? As I'm sure you're aware that the Hammond Foundation invests an inordinate amount in funding dinosaur research."
Alan snorted, taking a swig of his beer.
"That's because old Hammond is a dinosaur nut."
"You've met John Hammond then, in person?"
"Once or twice," shrugged Alan, "He's come down to see the dig a couple of times, but he's elderly. He's also eccentric the way the obscenely rich sometimes are but he's seemed genuinely enthusiastic the few times he's been here. Why?"
"Well," said Morris pausing slightly, "The Hammond Foundation is actually a very mysterious organization."
He handed Alan a map marked with red here and there across the top.
"Look here, these are all digs that the Hammond Foundation has financed in the past year. Notice anything odd?"
Before Alan could say anything Morris ploughed on.
"They're all located in the north. Not a single dig below the forty-fifth parallel, it's all Montana, Canada, Sweden, Alaska and it's the same year after year. Nothing in Utah or Colorado or Mexico ever gets funded. The EPA want to know why that is."
Alan rifled through the maps, frowning at them.
"That's certainly strange if it's true, there's some good research coming out of the warmer climates—"
"Oh it's true," Morris asserted, leaning forward in his seat and tapping the edge of the maps with a finger, "We've been very thorough about cross-checking this information. But that's not even the end of the story, there are other mysteries, like, just what do dinosaurs have to do with amber?"
"It's the fossilized resin of tree—"
"I know what it is, but why do you care?"
"Because," Morris said, "over the last five years, Hammond has purchased enormous quantities of amber in America, Europe, and Asia, including many pieces of museum-quality jewelry. The foundation has spent seventeen million dollars on amber. They now possess the largest privately held stock of this material in the world."
"I don't get it."
"Neither does anybody else," Morris said. "As far as we can tell, it doesn't make any sense at all. Amber is easily synthesized. It has no commercial or defense value. There's no reason to stockpile it. But Hammond has done just that, over many years. That's what makes it so suspicious."
"Amber," Alan said, shaking his head.
"And what about his island in Costa Rica?" Morris continued, on a roll now, gesticulating wildly. "Ten years ago, the Hammond Foundation leased an island from the government of Costa Rica. Supposedly to set up a biological preserve—"
"I don't know anything about that," Alan said, frowning.
"I haven't been able to find out much," Morris said. "The island is a hundred miles off the west coast. It's very rugged, and it's in an area of ocean where the combinations of wind and current make it almost perpetually covered in fog. They used to call it Cloud Island. Isla Nublar. Apparently the Costa Ricans were amazed that anybody would want it."
Morris went rummaging around in his briefcase again.
"The reason I mention it," he said, "Where is that—ah, here we go. The reason I mention it is that, according to the records, you were paid a consultant's fee in connection with this island."
Morris passed a sheet of paper to Alan and Harry leaned over to get a better look. It was a photocopy of a check issued in March from InGen Inc. Made out to Alan Grant in the amount of twelve thousand dollars. At the lower corner, the check was marked consultant services/Costa Rica/juvenile hyperspace.
Some of the confusion cleared from Alan's face as he handed the photocopy and the maps back to Morris, who tucked them neatly back away in his briefcase.
"I remember that. It was weird as hell, but I remember it. And it didn't have anything to do with an island that I was aware of."
"Can you tell me about it?"
"Sure. It was in 1984. I had just published my first findings about hadrosaur nesting habits and was something of a celebrity. Everyone loved the idea of motherly dinosaurs and cute baby dinosaurs. It was a nightmare of turning down interviews and books deals and other nonsense. InGen approached me around that time looking for a consultant."
"Had you heard of InGen before?" Morris asked.
"How did they contact you?"
"I got a phone call at my offices at the university. It was a man named Gennaro or Gennino, something like that."
Morris nodded as though he'd been expecting that response.
"Donald Gennaro," he said. "He's the legal counsel for InGen."
"Anyway, he wanted to know about eating habits of dinosaurs. And he offered me a fee to draw up a paper for him. Gennaro was particularly interested in young dinosaurs. Infants and juveniles. What they ate. I guess he thought I would know about that," said Alan shaking his head and taking a swig from his beer and setting the empty can on the floor in easy reach.
"Not really, no, and I told him that. We had found lots of skeletal material, but we had very little dietary data. But Gennaro said he knew we hadn't published everything, and he wanted whatever we had. And he offered a very large fee. Fifty thousand dollars."
Morris took out a tape recorder and set it on the coffee table. "You mind?"
"No, go ahead."
"So Gennaro phoned you in 1984. What happened then?"
"Well," Grant said. "You see our operation here. Fifty thousand would support two full summers of digging with the right budgeting so I told him I'd do what I could."
"So you agreed to prepare a paper for him?"
"On the dietary habits of juvenile dinosaurs?"
"Did you meet with Gennaro? Deal with him personally?"
"No. Just on the phone."
"Did Gennaro say why he wanted this information?"
"Yes, actually," Alan said. "He was planning a museum for children, and he wanted to feature baby dinosaurs, appealing to the age group or something. He said he was hiring a number of academic consultants, and named them. There were paleontologists like me, and a mathematician from Texas named Ian Malcolm, and a couple of ecologists. A systems analyst. Good group. Bright minds."
Morris nodded, making notes. "So you accepted the consultancy?"
"Yes. I'd agreed to send him a summary of our work to start out with, what we knew about the habits of the duckbilled hadrosaurs we'd found things like that."
"What kind of information did you send?" Morris asked.
"Everything: nesting behavior, territorial ranges, feeding behavior, social behavior. Everything."
"And how did Gennaro respond? Was he satisfied?"
"He kept calling and calling." Said Alan with a scowl, "Sometimes in the middle of the night. Would the dinosaurs eat this? Would they eat that? Should the exhibit include this? I could never understand why he was so worked up. I mean, I think dinosaurs are important, too, but not that important. They've been dead sixty-five million years. You'd think his calls could wait until morning."
"I see," Morris said. "And the fifty thousand dollars?"
Alan shook his head again.
"I got tired of Gennaro and called the whole thing off. We settled up for twelve thousand. That must have been about the middle of '85. By then I had Harry to think about and it just wasn't worth the headache."
Morris made a note.
"And InGen? Any other contact with them?"
"Not since 1985."
"And when did the Hammond Foundation begin to fund your research?"
"I'd have to look to be positive," Alan said. "But it was around then. Mid-eighties."
"And you know Hammond as just a rich dinosaur enthusiast."
Morris made another note.
"Look," Alan said. "If the EPA is so concerned about John Hammond and what he's doing-the dinosaur sites in the north, the amber purchases, the island in Costa Rica-why don't you just ask him about it? He's easy enough to get talking, believe me."
"At the moment, we can't," Morris said.
"Why not?" Grant said.
"Because we don't have any evidence of wrongdoing, and if he did say something incriminating he could try and sue us for entrapment," Morris said. "But personally, I think it's clear John Hammond is evading the law."
"Really?" said Alan, arching a brow.
Seeing his skepticism Morris was quick to launch into an explanation.
"I was first contacted by the Office of Technology Transfer. The OTT monitors shipments of American technology which might have military significance. They called to say that InGen had two areas of possible illegal technology transfer. First, InGen shipped three Cray XMPs to Costa Rica. InGen characterized it as transfer within corporate divisions, and said they weren't for resale. But OTT couldn't imagine why the hell somebody'd need that kind of power in Costa Rica."
"Three Crays," Alan said. "Is that some kind of computer?"
"Very powerful supercomputers. To put it in perspective, three Crays represent more computing power than any other privately held company in America. And InGen sent the machines to Costa Rica. You have to wonder why."
"I give up. Why?" Alan said.
"Nobody knows. And the Hoods are even more worrisome," Morris continued. "Hoods are automated gene sequencers—machines that work out the genetic code by themselves. They're so new that they haven't been put on the restricted lists yet. But any genetic engineering lab is likely to have one, if it can afford the half-million-dollar price tag and InGen shipped twenty-four Hood sequencers to their island in Costa Rica."
He shook his head, tapping his pen restlessly against his notepad.
"Again, they said it was a transfer within divisions and not an export. There wasn't much that OTT could do. They're not officially concerned with use. But InGen was obviously setting up one of the most powerful genetic engineering facilities in the world in an obscure Central American country. A country with no regulations. That kind of thing has happened before. You'll have heard of Lewis Dodgeson and the Biosyn case in '86."
"The company tested an obscure vaccine on a population of uninformed workers, in Mexico, right?"
"Right. Biosyn, moved the bulk of its operation onto foreign soil where they wouldn't be hampered by the regulations. We've been concerned that InGen is going to be more of the same so we began an official investigation," Morris said. "We started about three weeks ago."
"And what have you actually found?" asked Alan.
"Not much," Morris admitted. "When I go back to San Francisco, we'll probably have to close the investigation. And I think I'm about finished here. But I'll be damned if there isn't something going on."
He started packing up his briefcase.
"By the way," he added, glancing up, "What does 'juvenile hyperspace' mean?"
"That's just a fancy label for my report. 'Hyperspace' is a term for multidimensional space—like three-dimensional tic-tac-toe. I you were to take all the behaviors of an animal, its eating and movement and sleeping habits, you could plot the animal within the multidimensional space. Some paleontologists refer to the behavior of an animal as occurring in an ecological hyperspace. 'Juvenile hyperspace' would just refer to the behavior of juvenile dinosaurs—if you wanted to be as pretentious as possible."
At the far end of the trailer, the phone rang. Ellie answered it.
"Look I told you, he's in a meeting right now. He'll call you back. Yes. Yes, right away, I promise. Yes, thank you."
Morris snapped his briefcase shut and stood. "Thanks for your help and the beer," he said.
"No problem," Alan said.
Alan walked with Morris down the trailer to the door at the far end.
Morris paused there, with the door open, his eyes fixed on the small pile of reject bones going to the genetics lab in Utah.
"Did Hammond ever ask for any physical materials from your site? Bones, or eggs, or anything like that?"
"No," Alan said, "And we wouldn't have given it to him even if he did ask, not without properly processing it first."
"Dr. Sattler mentioned you do some genetic work here?"
"Not exactly," Alan said. "When we remove fossils that are broken or for some other reason not suitable for museum preservation, we send the bones out to a lab that grinds them up and tries to extract proteins for us, The proteins are then identified and the report is sent back to us."
"Which lab is that?" Morris asked.
"Medical Biologic Services in Salt Lake."
"How'd you choose them?"
"The lab has nothing to do with InGen?" Morris asked.
"Not that I know of," Alan said.
"Damn. Alright then."
Morris took a breath and fished his sunglasses out of his jacket pocket sliding them on to his face.
"One last thing. Suppose InGen wasn't really making a museum exhibit. Is there anything else they could have done with the information in the report you gave them?"
Alan laughed, "Sure. They could feed a baby hadrosaur."
Morris laughed, too, shaking his head. "A baby hadrosaur. That'd be something to see. How big were they?"
"About so," Alan said, holding his hands six inches apart. "Squirrel sized."
"And how long before they become full-grown?"
"Three years," Grant said. "Give or take."
Morris held out his band. "Well, thanks again for your help."
"Take it easy driving back," Alan said.
He watched for a moment as Morris walked back toward his car, and then closed the trailer door.
"Well," he asked, turning to Ellie, "What did you think?"
Ellie shrugged. "Naive."
"Crazy," suggested Harry.
Alan laughed at that.
"You like the part where John Hammond is the evil arch-villain?" he snorted, "John Hammond's about as sinister as Walt Disney. By the way, who keeps calling?"
"A woman named Alice Levin. She works at Columbia Medical Center. You know her?"
"No. What did she want?"
"Well, it was something about identifying some remains. She wants you to call her back right away in case you didn't notice. That last call makes three in the past two hours."
"Mm. Better get back to her now then."
"Then you should eat your damn sandwich, beer doesn't count as lunch and I know you Alan."
Alan waved her off and hit redial on the trailer phone while Harry and Ellie exchanged a long-suffering glance.
Ellie shook her head and brushed a strand of blond hair back from her face, turning her attention back to the acid baths. She had six in a row and had to keep an eye on the stronger solutions because they would eat through the limestone and begin to erode the bones if she wasn't careful.
Harry leaned back into the couch and contemplated fetching a bottle of water from the fridge, eavesdropping shamelessly on Alan's phone call.
"Miss Levin? This is Alan Grant. What's this about a…You have what? A what?"
He began to laugh.
"Oh, I doubt that very much, Miss Levin…No, I really don't have time, I'm sorry…Well, I'd take a look at it, but I can pretty much guarantee it's a basilisk lizard. But—yes, you can do that. All right. Send it now."
Alan hung up, and shook his head.
"What's it about?" asked Ellie not looking up from her work.
"Some lizard she's trying to identify," Alan said. "She's going to fax me an X-ray."
He walked over to the fax and waited as the transmission came through.
"Speaking of, I've got a new find for you. A good one."
"Hell yeah. Found it just before the kid showed up. On South Hill, horizon four. Infant velociraptor, jaw and complete dentition, so there's no question about identity. And the site looks undisturbed. We might even get a full skeleton."
"So it is a velociraptor? You're sure?" asked Harry excitedly.
"Yep, Darren will have kittens when he gets a good look at it. They'll probably be about done with the Thumper by now. God, I want to get back out there."
"That's fantastic," Ellie said, "How young?"
"Young. Two, maybe four months at most."
"And it's definitely a velociraptor?"
"Definitely," Grant said. "Maybe our luck has finally turned."
Harry knew that Alan, like Darren, was dying to study the nesting and young-rearing habits of carnivores, but despite the large prey population of hadrosaurs and years of searching they hadn't overturned a single carnivore nest.
"You must be pretty excited," Ellie said.
Alan didn't answer.
"Earth to Alan, hello? I said, you must be pretty excited," Ellie repeated.
"My God," Alan said.
He was staring at the fax.
Ellie moved to look over Grant's shoulder at the X-ray, and her eyes went wide as she sucked in a gasp. She breathed out slowly.
"You think it's an amassicus?"
"Yes," Grant said. "Or a triassicus. The skeleton is so light."
"But it's no lizard," she said.
"No," Grant said. "This is not a lizard. No three-toed lizard has walked on this planet for two hundred million years."
Harry hopped up and dashed over to see the fax. It was an X-ray of a small bipedal lizard and Harry even recognized what the skeleton would be.
"It's a Procompsognathus, right?" he piped up.
"It certainly looks like one," Alan agreed.
"But it has to be a hoax, right? Could this X-ray be faked?"
"I don't know," Alan said. "But it's almost impossible to fake an X-ray. And Procompsognathus is an obscure animal. Even people familiar with dinosaurs have never heard of it."
Ellie read the accompanying note aloud.
"Specimen acquired on the beach of Cabo Blanco, July 16. Apparently a howler monkey was eating the animal, and this was all that was recovered. It says the lizard attacked a little girl."
"I doubt that," Alan said. "But perhaps. Procompsognathus was so small and light we assume it must be a scavenger, only feeding off dead creatures. And you can tell the size, it's about twenty centimeters to the hips, which means the full animal would be about a foot tall. About as big as a chicken. Even a child would look pretty fearsome to it. It might bite an infant, but probably not a child."
Ellie frowned at the X-ray image.
"You think this could really be a legitimate rediscovery?" she said. "Like the coelacanth?"
"Maybe," Alan said.
"But could it be real?" she persisted. "What about the age?"
Alan made a considering noise in the back of his throat.
"The age is a problem. Procompsognathus flourished in the early Triassic, the world didn't even look the same. This isn't the vast tract of tropical and sub-tropical forests littered with ferns. The air would have been denser, the land warmer, volcanic activity would have—"
"We know animals have survived though. Crocodiles are basically Triassic animals living in the present. Sharks are Triassic too. So we know it has happened before."
"And the thing is," he said, "how else do we explain it? It's either a fake—which I doubt—or else it's a rediscovery. What else could it be?"
"Convergent evolution," suggested Harry.
Alan tugged on his ponytail but smiled.
"Doubtful, but there is that thought."
The phone rang.
"That'll be Alice Levin again," Alan said. "Let's see if she'll send us the actual specimen. If it is Procompsognathus I want my hands on that skeleton, yesterday."
He answered it, "Miss. Levin—Oh, sorry. Yes. Yes, that's me," he said into the receiver and looked over at Ellie, surprised.
"Yes, I'll hold for Mr. Hammond. Yes. Of course."
"Hammond? What does he want?" Ellie mouthed.
Alan shook his head, and then said into the phone, "Yes, Mr. Hammond. Yes, it's good to hear your voice, too. Yes." He looked at Ellie. "Oh, you did? Oh yes? Is that right?"
He cupped his hand over the mouthpiece and said, "Still as eccentric as ever. You've got to hear this."
Alan pushed the speaker button, and Ellie heard a raspy old-man's voice speaking rapidly: "—hell of an annoyance from some EPA fellow, seems to have gone off half-cocked, all on his own, running around the country talking to people, stirring up things. I don't suppose anybody's come to see you way out there?"
"As a matter of fact," Alan said, "somebody did come to see me."
"I was afraid of that. Smart-ass kid named Morris?"
"Yes, his name was Morris," Alan said.
"He's going to see all our consultants," Hammond said. "He went to see Ian Malcolm the other day-you know, the mathematician in Texas? That's the first I knew of it. We're having one hell of a time getting a handle on this thing, it's typical of the way government operates, there isn't any complaint, there isn't any charge, just harassment from some kid who's unsupervised and is running around at the taxpayers' expense. Did he bother you? Disrupt your work?"
"No, no, he didn't bother me."
"Well, that's too bad, in a way," Hammond said, "because I'd try and get an injunction to stop him if he had. As it is, I had our lawyers call over at EPA to find out what the hell their problem is. The head of the office claims he didn't know there was any investigation! You figure that one out. Damned bureaucracy is all it is. Hell, I think this kid's trying to get down to Costa Rica, poke around, get onto our island. You know we have an island down there?"
"No," Alan said, looking at Ellie, "I didn't know."
"Oh yes, we bought it and started our operation oh, four or five years ago now. I forget exactly. Called Isla Nublar-big island, hundred miles offshore. Going to be a biological preserve. Wonderful place. Tropical jungle. You know, you ought to see it, Dr. Grant."
"Sounds interesting," Alan said, "but actually—"
"It's almost finished now, you know," Hammond said. "I've sent you some material about it. Did you get my material?"
"No, but we're pretty far from—"
"Maybe it'll come today. Look it over. The island's just beautiful. It's got everything. We've been in construction now thirty months. You can imagine. Big park. Opens in September next year. You really ought to go see it.
"It sounds wonderful, but—"
"As a matter of fact," Hammond said, and Harry could almost imagine the way the old man's face must have lit up just from the tone of his voice, "I'm going to insist you see it, Dr. Grant. I know it's right up your alley. You'd find it fascinating."
"I've no doubt. It's just that the timing is bad. I'm in the middle of—" Alan started only to be cut off again.
He let out a huff of annoyance as Hammond continued to speak over him.
"Say, I'll tell you what," Hammond said, as if the idea had just occurred to him. "I'm having some of the people who consulted for us go down there this weekend. Spend a few days and look it over. At our expense, of course. It'd be terrific if you'd give us your opinion."
"I couldn't possibly," Alan said firmly.
"Oh, just for a weekend," Hammond said, with the irritating, cheery persistence of an old man. "That's all I'm talking about, Dr. Grant. I wouldn't want to interrupt your work. I know how important that work is. Believe me, I know that. Never interrupt your work. But you could hop on down there this weekend, and be back on Monday."
"No, I couldn't," Alan said. "I've just found a new skeleton and—"
"Yes, fine, but I still think you should come—" Hammond said, not really listening.
This time Alan was the one to plough over Hammond.
"And we've just received some evidence for a very puzzling and remarkable find, which seems to be a living procompsognathid."
"A what?" Hammond said, slowing down. "I didn't quite get that. You said a living procompsognathid?"
"That's right," Alan said with no small amount of relief, even Hammond couldn't deny that such a find would have to take precedence over consulting work. "It's a biological specimen, a partial fragment of an animal collected from Central America. A living animal."
"You don't say," Hammond said. "A living animal? How extraordinary."
"Yes," Grant said. "We think so, too. So, you see, this isn't the time for me to be leaving—"
"Central America, did you say?"
"Where in Central America is it from, do you know?"
"A beach called Cabo Blanco, I don't know exactly where—"
"I see." Hammond cleared his throat, "And when did this, ah, specimen arrive in your hands?"
"Today, I see. Today. I see. Yes."
Hammond cleared his throat again.
Grant looked at Ellie and mouthed, "What's going on?"
Ellie shrugged. "He sounds upset." She mouthed back.
Alan put his hand on the mouthpiece and hissed, "Harry, see if Morris is still here."
Harry went to the window and looked out, but Morris's car was gone. Alan was giving him a questioning look but he shook his head and Alan made a face.
On the speaker, Hammond coughed.
"Ah, Dr. Grant. Have you told anybody about it yet?"
"Good, that's good. Well. Yes. I'll tell you frankly, Dr. Grant, I'm having a little problem about this island. This EPA thing is coming at just the wrong time."
"How's that?" Alan said.
"Well, we've had our problems and some delays. Let's just say that I'm under a little pressure here, and I'd like you to look at this island for me. Give me your opinion. I'll be paying you the usual weekend consultant rate of twenty thousand a day. That'd be sixty thousand for three days. And if you can spare Dr. Sattler, she'll go at the same rate. We need a botanist. What do you say?"
Ellie looked at Alan as he said, "Well, Mr. Hammond, that much money would fully finance our expeditions for the next two summers at least. I'm sure Ellie would love to come, I would too of course but with everything going on, and of course there's Harry."
"My foster son," Alan elaborated, "I really can't just pick up and leave—"
"Foster son, good gracious, I had no idea you were a family man Dr. Grant. But your son, how old is he?"
"Harry just turned eleven last week."
"Well then that's perfect," Hammond declared, "This park is meant for kids, you should bring him along. Yes, most definitely."
Ellie was giving him a look, and Harry was mouthing say yes exaggeratedly, so he threw his hands in the air even as he said: "In that case Mr. Hammond I'm sure Ellie and I will both be seeing you shortly."
"Good, good," Hammond said blandly.
He seemed distracted now, his thoughts elsewhere.
"I want this to be easy. Now, I'm sending the corporate jet to pick you up at that private airfield east of Choteau. You know the one I mean? It's only about two hours' drive from where you are. You're to be there at five p.m. tomorrow and I'll be waiting for you. Take you right down. Can you and Dr. Sattler make that plane?"
"I guess we can."
"Good. Pack lightly. You don't need passports. I'm looking forward to it. See you tomorrow," Hammond said, and he hung up.
Alan was left holding the receiver and gaping slightly at the phone. Slowly he set it down in its cradle.
"Well, I guess that's that then."
A pounding on the trailer door startled them and the three of them nearly jumped out of their skins.
"Dr. Grant, Thumper's all set, we've been having some problems with the equipment again but Quinn's ready to try when you are," said Darren wiggling the trailer door open and poking his dusty head in without ceremony.
"We'll be right there," Alan said lowering himself into his desk chair. "It's not even two o'clock and already I'm exhausted. I must be getting old."
"Eat your sandwich before you head out there," Ellie said grabbing the, now slightly squished looking, package from the coffee table and dropping it into his lap.
AN: Okay, so this is meant to be a Harry Potter crossover with a fusion of elements from both the Jurassic Park books and movies, so if you're only familiar with one or the other you might see things that are different, don't worry about it I'm just mucking around with canonical events so that they suit my purposes.
It's actually fairly easy because the JP and HP timelines coincide beautifully. The plan is for this to be an AU epic spanning the whole of the JP and HP verses with characters from both sides coming in, but for now I'm starting out with small changes. So if people want to give suggestions about changes they'd like to see I'm all ears.
Please review, as I love to hear from you guys, the good and the bad, but more importantly please subscribe to story alert so you can enjoy the evolution of this story!