Weekly updates and the first three chapters are already posted up on my novels Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/Jurassic-Park- ... 430907880/
Any and all feedback is welcome
The first two chapters are below. Note gramma and final edits haven't been done yet.
Site B: Project Insight
Written By Brad Mull
Disclosure, the following is a fan made story set between the films Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Dates and Island details are taken from the Jurassic park wiki and Jurassic park legacy encyclopaedia.
Some characters from these films are used and no copyright infringement is intended. The Jurassic park trade mark, its characters and locations remain the property of Universal studios and no IP Infringement is intended.
Chapter One: The Isla Nublar Incident
Heavy breathing, thudding footsteps on a concrete floor. A males scream echoing down the hallway that rang through the kennel.
The snorts of a small animal breathing, walking while sniffing the air in front of it.
Matthew Ericsson tried to slow his breathing, trying to slow the heavy thumping of his heart in his chest. At 32 years old he wasn't old, but he was terribly unfit.
The room he was in was small, concrete walls and a small wooden door that he was now holding closed, No lock to secure it.
A cleaners closet.
It seemed his heavy panting was echoing around the tiny space, magnified by the smooth walls. He forced his eyes closed in a vain attempt to slow his breathing, but it only resulted in a loud cough.
He suddenly heard a loud scraping sound, and another snort from the animal. It was running its clawed hand down the door. Another snort, and looking down Ericsson could see a shadow form under the door. It was only then he realised where he was, and the door he was now holding closed. The Store room for the kennels cleaning equipment. And to his relief, he remembered the door only opens outwards. All he needed to do was keep it closed. The raptor couldn't get a purchase on the outside to pull the door open, well at least he hoped.
He quickly looked around the small room, mops, buckets, cleaning chemicals all lined the walls in various places. He looked closely at the shelve to his left, stacked with half empty chemical bottles. “That might do it.”
Outside of the door a juvenile Velociraptor stood sniffing at the gap under it. Although it was familiar with its surroundings it didn't know how to get through the door. A clawed hand slowly ran down the door again, tracing a line around the round handle.
A clear liquid suddenly started running out from under the door, and the response was immediate. The raptors head snapped up, it crocked its head to the side, looking down with with one eye. It shook its head and snorted erratically before letting out a bark and running off back down the hallway.
Ericsson heard the animal run off. He released the door handle and fell to his knees, heart still pumping, but his heaving chest was slowing. “Jesus Christ,” he breathed.
Gerry Harding leapt from the loading dock in one swift motion, landing hard on the concrete almost rolling his ankle. He felt a sharp pain but ignored it, sprinting through the open roller door and out into the morning light. At 57 years old he often spent time working out and jogging on Isla Nublar. There were two great jungle tracks that lead past the foot hills in the north, giving great views south over the island. He wished he was there now, in the safety of the Visitor Compound.
Beside him Brett Cameron landed more softly on the loading dock floor. Far younger than Harding, at 27 he was tall but fit. His white lab coat fluttering behind him as he ran.
Moments earlier, Harding and himself had been standing in a holding pen in the kennel, along with a third man, Matthew Ericsson. Two raptors were tranquilized in there but somehow one of them awoke, snarling. Panic struck and they'd all ran in different directions. Ericsson further into the building, Harding and Cameron towards the loading bay and the jungle beyond.
Harding pointed towards the rear of the building they'd just emerged from, “Go!”
On the loading dock behind them a small animal stopped by the drop off and sniffed the air. It then lept down and ran out the open roller door.
The pair continued to run hard, 60 feet to the edge of the building. Rounding the corner Harding saw what he was looking for, he was already unclipping his keys from his belt.
Several cages of differing sizes lined the wall of the building, some human sized, others larger. Unfortunately for them the cage doors were locked closed while being stored and Harding knew it. They didn't have much time, while one key opened all the cage locks Harding was fumbling for it as they ran. They'd have to share.
They stopped by the first cage large enough to take two people, Harding nervously bringing the right key up to the lock and turning it clockwise. Cameron shot a look back as the Velociraptor came around the corner of the building behind them, now only 30 feet away. It stopped curiously as it did so, taking in the unfamiliar surroundings as it proceeded forward.
Cameron tapped Harding on the shoulder, “we are out of time.”
With a click the cage door unlocked and Harding pulled the door wide open. He stepped inside and allowed Brett to enter before slamming the door closed behind him, just as the raptor arrived and lunged forward.
Before Harding could take his hand off the cage door the raptor swung its clawed hand downwards, passing through the horizontal steel bars and swiping across the top of Gerry’s arm. Three long bloody wounds suddenly opened up, blood dripping onto the grass growing up through the cages base. “Ahhhh,” he yelled.
Cameron grabbed Harding as he fell backwards. They pressed against the rear of the cage and slid down to sit on the floor. He quickly removed his lab coat and began wrapping it around Hardings wounded arm, the blood soaked into it instantly.
“We need to get that closed up,” he said.
Suddenly Cameron felt his leg being pulled. He looked down and saw the young raptor had its bloody arm reaching through the cage bars and was gripping the shoe on his right foot. It was trying to pull him through the bars.
They hadn't realised it at the time, but the cages they'd found to hide in were for the herbivores, larger spaces between the bars for animals less aggressive. Cameron fought the raptor for a moment before he slid his shoe off, giving it something to chew on for the time being.
They both pulled their feet back as close as they could towards them, and waited.
Inside the kennel area Ericsson slowly opened the door to the cleaners closet where he'd been hiding for the last 20 minutes. The space was quiet now save for a soft hoot and squawk, it had been for a while but he was airing on the side of caution. He looked down the hallway towards the raptor enclosure where he had fled from before. Several small animals moved in their cages, a soft hum of the air conditioning unit in the roof was the only other noise he heard. He could feel the cool breeze across his sweaty face.
Suddenly a noise behind him, he spun around on the spot to see the door at the opposite end of the caged hallway open. It was one of the cleaners.
Keeping to their habit of cost cutting, InGen regularly hired manual labor from Costa Rica. They were cheap, and often lasted a few months before quitting and heading back to the mainland. They rarely spoke English, the lab techs often just left them to their duties emptying bins and mopping the floors. Mainly they cleaned the kennels, removing used straw flooring material and taking it to the pit further north.
The cleaner stopped when he saw Ericsson standing In the quiet hallway, one of the cleaners mops in hand. The smell of bleach filled the space,
Ericsson ran to the cleaner, “do you have a radio on you?” He asked quickly.
The cleaner shook his head,”No English.”
He shook his head again, “lo siento no señor.”
Ericsson waved him forward, “never mind follow me.”
They began walking down the hallway towards the open raptor cage. The cleaner had a confused look on his face.
“Qué está haciendo a Señor?” He asked
Ericsson didn't look back towards him, his focus was solely on the hallway ahead.
“No espanol. You probably won't understand, but we have an animal out of containment.” He risked a quick look back, “animal escape.”
The cleaner looked at him blankly again and shrugged his shoulders. Mark shook his head and looked forward again.
Passing the closet where he was just hiding, the two men slowly walked forward towards the corner of the hallway. Mark could see the utility trolley lying on its side by the open cage door. Glass drug bottles, empty syringes and a box of rubber gloves lay across the floor, but there was something else there he was searching for. He found it just inside the open doorway, broken in two with what looked like teeth marks sunken into its handle. The prod stick.
He looked at the dripping mop in his hands, “looks like it's plan b,” he thought.
It was only then he noticed something, and he felt a chill right up his spine. Thirty minutes earlier when the attack had happened and he'd ran for his life, the second Velociraptor was tranquilized and lying unconscious in the cage. It was now empty.
He started to think, two raptors on the loose. He needed to get help. The guys in the containment teams were multi taskers, they were probably off doing maintenance somewhere on the island. He at least needed to let operations know, and the other workers in the lab.
Since they were remote and without any reason for intruders most of the doors in the lab had no locks. The raptors could wander through the building where ever they want, and god help anyone who gets in their way. But he need a radio, or a phone…..”The Loading dock.”
Ericsson really didn't want to head that way, if the cleaner came from the nursery without coming across the animals then it meant they'd escaped out of the loading area. He hoped to God they'd continued out and into the jungle.
Mop in hand they started walking down the hallway towards the loading area. Mark could see open space and the jungle beyond through the open door ahead but he couldn't hear anything.
He stopped at the open door and slowly peered through it into the loading area. It seemed deserted, the roller door leading to the outside was still fully open. He'd hoped maybe the animals were still in the dock, so he could lower the roller door and at least trap them there but that wasn't going to work.
A soft snort made him snap to the right, and he saw one of the raptors crouched by a locker, a pair of blue coveralls now lay on the ground. It was smelling them.
Ericsson pulled his head back from the door and gestured to the cleaner to look slowly, holding a finger to his mouth. “shhhh.”
He knew the cleaner still didn't get what he was saying, but as soon as he looked through the open door his skin turned white and he snapped back in response.
Ericsson kept his finger to his lips, and pointed across the dock to a small yellow box mounted on the wall by the roller door controls. He spoke softly, “we need to call for help. I need you to stay here and get ready to close the door behind me when I come back.”
He gripped the mob handle tightly and slowly stepped out onto the dock. The raptor stood with its back to him, still prodding the fallen uniform with its snout. For the time being it was occupied on something else other than him.
Slowly he stepped sideways, not taking his eyes off the animal. Making his way around the edge of the dock he finally came to the small yellow box. Now he was closer he could see the small telephone symbol printed on its front. He reached out and opened the box with a small click.
The raptors head snapped up, it sniffed the air and looked back towards the open doorway where he'd just come from. It sniffed the air and turned its head further around, and looked directly at him.
Ericsson realised instantly his mistake. It wasn't the the click of the phone box that alerted the animal to his presence, it was a bleach he'd soaked the mop in minutes before back in the closet.
The raptor snarled and slowly began moving forward. Mark grabbed the phone and pressed 0. A dial tone, then he could hear the call going through. “Come on pick up!”
As he listened, he reached out and pressed the down arrow on the dollar door panel. The raptor now blocked his retreat to the hallway so he needed another idea and getting out under the closing roller door was the only thing he could think off. He was totally exposed standing on the dock. It rattled as it began to move downwards.
Now the raptor was metres away, still moving forward cautiously put off by the strong smelling bleach.
“This is Matthew Ericsson at the kennel, we have a code red.”
He dropped the phone and put all his attention back on the approaching animal. He held out the mop pointing it at the raptors head. It stopped 2 metres away and crouched slightly.
The roller door was now level with the dock, 3 feet from the ground.
Ericsson moved quickly, jumping down off the dock into the concrete floor and dropping to the ground before rolling sideways and out under the closing roller door as the raptor lunged into the air.
The roller door hit the ground with a thud, but before Mark had a chance to stop rolling it bowed outwards as the raptor slammed into it.
He stopped rolling and looked at the bulge in the door, it had held.
The he heard a loud scream.
Inside the dock, with its prey escaping under the roller door the raptor had turned to see the cleaner standing in the open doorway leading back into the kennels. He let out a scream and turned to run down the hallway.
The raptor sprung back up into the dock and gave chase.
The cleaner ran, past the animal cages and towards the door he'd come through minutes earlier. As the raptor entered the hallway the other young animals in their cages begun honking and squealing again. They were startled more than scared, the sudden appearance of the raptor brought up a instinct in them most newborns had even though they were unaware of the danger.
2 full steps to the door, the cleaner reached out towards the door knob. Almost there.
A sudden force impacted him, sending the man forward. The sudden weight on his back forced him downwards towards the base of the door.
He screamed in pain as two clawed hands gripped his shoulders. Simultaneously he belt a sharp pain in his lower back. He hit the ground hard, managing to get his arms out to soften the landing onto the cold concrete floor.
As the cleaner slammed into the ground he heard a loud snap in his wrist and a new pain shot to his brain. His vision became fuzzy, he felt like he'd been drinking but the pain remained.
The pain in his shoulders subsided slightly, but was replaced by something far worse. He felt pressure on both sides of his head, a trickle of blood flowed down his forehead and into his left eye blurring his vision further.
And then the pain subsided. He felt nothing, and as his vision went to black his last thoughts were for his young son back in San Jose.
The communications room was dark, the blinds were closed. A single desk light eliminated the coms area. Mark Robertson sat tensely at the desk, beside him two technicians scribbled down rushed notes while flicking switches, Telephone handsets pinned to their shoulders by tilted heads.
Styrofoam coffee cups, food wrappers and open folders littered the bench space either side of them.
It was currently 8pm on a Friday night, normally the room would be deserted, workers back at their accommodations for the night. But not tonight.
A dull red glow lit up Mark's face as he took another deep draw on his cigarette. Corporate policy forbid him from smoking inside the facility but he did it anyway.
Mark Robertson was hired in 1983 as head of security for the Jurassic Park San Diego facility, at the InGen waterfront complex. He was good at his job, which is why after the projects shut down in 1985 he was re assigned to Site B on Isla Sorna.
Considering he bumped heads with InGen higher ups getting posted to a remote facility seemed like thier way of punishing him, but Mark loved the tropics and only dealing with a small facility. Less paperwork, no one constantly looking over his shoulder.
Except for one other person.
He held the highest position on the island, second only to Henry Wu who would only occasionally visit. But the two rarely seen each other, Wu would often spend all of his time on island over at the embryonics facility in the next valley over. They disliked each other, Wu was InGen’s chief Geneticist and he was arrogant.
Wu was on his way back to Sorna by boat currently with staff from the park. This amused Mark, knowing how much Wu preferred flying between the islands privately. But he wasn't smiling now.
One of the com tech’s gave a final nod to no one, and hung up the phone. “Report,” Mark said slowly.
The com tech flipped his notepad back to the front page, and slid his ball point pen behind his ear in one smooth motion.
“Okay according to HQ communication was lost at 1900 hours. Cause can not be determined, both HQ and our computers can't get a dial tone. Arnold reported in at 1730 hours confirming storm trajectory and the supply ship was ordered to leave early to clear the coast before the main front hit. Captain of the ship reports no issue prior to setting off. Crew vessel also departed prior to 1900 hours and is due in at 2030 hours. Radio communication was attempted from both vessels to Isla Nublar control but no reply was heard.”
Mark nodded slowly, “possible reasons for the busy signal? Damage from the storm?”
The technician flipped his notebook to the next page.
“The modems on Nublar are hard wired at the Visitor Center, satellite uplink provides comm’s to HQ and here. Both facilities have backup radio equipment but so far we aren't getting any responses from Arnold. Number one cause for both failures is a loss of power.”
Sitting up in his chair, Mark removed the cigarette from his mouth. “Loss of power? They have redundancies over there to stop exactly that. Even without the generators the geothermal grid still provides power to the Visitor Compound. I thought communications were on that grid?”
“HQ believes comm’s have been knocked out by the storm. They have requested we send a maintenance crew over there once the boat arrives to do a damage assessment and help Arnold get the phones working again. Priority one for storm damage assessment and repair.”
The second technician had by now finished on his phone and spun in his seat. “They want to send a team over tonight? They've been having computer issues over there for months. Hammond wanted automation out the wazoo and it's been nothing but trouble. Waters probably gotten into the system again and shorted something out, there's cables running all over Nublar it was bound to happen.”
Mark let himself smile slightly, his Comm’s officer was right, now the park was populated and opening day loomed, InGen was going over budget throwing money at contractors to get everything Completed and working properly.
While no one at InGen Headquarters would ever admit that, it was clear to Mark and the employees on Sorna. Vehicles continually breaking down, building damage from tropical storms and the jungle trying to come back. Countless request forms being denied or patch jobs being done just to get by.
To Mark’s surprise even the labs were falling apart. Inside the clean rooms everything looked fine, but as soon as you cleared the air locks paint was chipping and the wild rodents were crawling through the walls. Pest control was one of the biggest issues they had, only last week the geothermal plant needed to be shut down because a rat tried nesting in a substation control panel and it had lit a maintenance shed on fire.
While new vehicles were being shipped to Isla Nublar the same requests were being denied here, every couple of weeks a SUV or pickup would arrive on the supply ship. Most missing tags, barely running and about as safe as a go cart. James over at the garage was one of the busiest guys on the island, but he was a magician with cars and the little parts he had. There was a growing pile of dead cars beyond the workers compound that were beyond repair, but some of their parts remained useful.
But then there were the priority projects sent down by InGen that seemed to get full funding. Currently there were two new construction crews sent to the island. Their task was to build a perimeter fence around the worker village. Specs had been sent over from the engineers working on Isla Nublar. They were 24 feet tall and 30 feet long between posts and required to carry 10,000 volts. Generators needed to be installed in the geothermal plant just to run them. While geothermal power was an endless resource their plant didn't have the output needed to maintain that voltage. But it was being done, brand new generators had arrived, and crews were currently laying the concrete foundations.
Mark didn't understand it himself, and when he asked questions he got no answers. None of the animals ever got loose from the holding pens at the lab, all of the herbivores were shipped to nublar after 6 months of age before they hit their first growth spurt. The carnivores, mark wished he'd never heard the name Velociraptor. Although they were a smaller animal they were a constant hassle over at the lab. Problem solving intelligence was dangerous when you're trying to keep them contained. There had been several escape attempts, but each time Mark’s Security team had contained the animals and returned them to their pens.
He didn't know why InGen waited so long to transport them, they were lethal at 8 months old and there had been some close calls before. But it had finally happened, two weeks ago a handler on Nublar had been taken by a raptor. The animal was killed but the damage was done. The worker had died, and now the lawyers were halting progress in the park until several safety inspections were completed. Hell he could only imagine what would happen if they knew about this place.
The second technician turned to face Mark, “getting spread pretty thin once again. We already have a crew scheduled to start work at the gas station after yesterday's rain caused part of the ceiling to collapse. Lucky we got those two extra crews working on the perimeter fence project.”
Mark shook his head, “yeah well if they want a crew to head over tonight I'm picking the guys on that fence project. They haven't worked for two days due to the rain so they are rested and ready to handle Hammond and Arnold over on nublar.”
“They do get angry when things don't go their way,” the technician said as he grabbed his half finished coffee.
“The pressure's getting to them, organising a safety tour while running a full automation test was only asking for trouble.”
Mark had voiced his concerns to Arnold a week earlier when he visited Isla Sorna to check over the database and hard drives at the lab. He'd also dropped into the operations building to send a progress report back to Headquarters before returning to Nublar. Mark had managed to talk to him over a coffee while waiting for the helicopter.
Ray Arnold was the chief computer engineer at Isla Nublar, and was over qualified for the work he was doing at Site B. But Ingen liked using assets in location instead of getting more workers onsite. Mark himself had seen this first hand when he was told to assist in animal transport to the harbour. He didn't know anything about these animals, but the way Ingen saw it was you know how to hold a gun, so you can hold a shock prod. Just another way Ingen was cutting corners to save money.
He was surprised at the issues Jurassic Park was facing now even though construction at the park was almost finished. The computers had bugs, going fully automated proved to be more troublesome than anyone had thought was possible. It was expensive and if it all worked as described the park could run with a crew of 5 for three days.
Most of the automation was for animal feeding and welfare. Conveyors and trap doors would supply feed from storage bunkers to the herbivore areas automatically without human interference. Crews just needed to transport the feed from the harbour to those bunkers.
The carnivores were another issue, and they hadn't worked it out yet. Early on there was a issue with goats escaping thier pens and getting jammed in machinery when it would start up suddenly. One goat got free of its tether in the tyrannosaur paddock and touched the electric fence. It was lucky the Rex wasn't at the feeding site at the time because the goat had shorted it out and tripped the breakers. It was a wake up call Jurassic Park needed, the electric fences shouldn't shut off if something touches it.
And then there were the raptors. Before the incident at the start of the month they were being fed in their paddock out in the park. The trap doors and food delivery systems had been reinforced but they still tried to escape. They were moved into a smaller holding pen at the visitor compound until Ingen could figure out how to best handle the situation.
But even with them contained in a smaller pen, they had to be fed by crane, lowering food into the pen from above. The harness were destroyed every time. So that became expensive and often tied up staff for hours.
Mark was pleased when he heard after a fight among the animals only three raptors remained. That would soon be 4 tomorrow when the raptor in the transport area was shipped over. He would be a lot happier once it left the island.
He grabbed his radio from the desk beside him. “Okay well we can't do any more tonight. I'll go and let the fence crew know they are off to Nublar tonight. Make sure the vehicles are at the harbour to pick up the park staff.” He turned to leave the room, “I'll have my radio on if you re establish Comms with Nublar.”
The ground floor of the Boarding house was abuzz with chatter as workers and Jurassic Park staff ate breakfast. It was the kitchen and dining area, and because the extra staff were on the island seating was at a premium. They even had to double up in the sleeping quarters on the first level. The building was only built to house 20 people, but now there were 35 squashed around the tiny tables eating. Mark Walked down the stairs putting his security cap on. He was glad the 10 lab technicians had gone with Dr Wu to the lab and stayed in the accommodations there.
After grabbing a apple from the fruit bowl he made a beeline for the door and walked out into the bright morning light.
The worker village was unusually quiet considering the extra people. Eventually they'd leave the boarding house and roam the area but at the moment a lone jeep was parked in front of him at the gas station.
Andrew Parker was standing by the gas pump, hanging the nozzle back on its latch and closing the fuel cap. He was the island's mechanic, 48 and dressed in a pair of dirty blue overalls. As Mark walked down a small set of steps from the boarding houses verandah Andrew waved to him.
“Still no word from Nublar?”
Mark shook his head, “no, lines are still down.” He nodded at the jeep, “water in the tank again?”
Andrew opened the driver's door of the jeep, and in a gruff voice answered.
“Yeah, damn tropics get to these old babies. Condensation in the tanks lead to all sorts of troubles. It's why we do weekly tank drains to clear them out. I'm just heading over to the lab now to grab the Bronco, care for drive?”
Mark shook his head, “Another time, I need to get to the Comms room and see if the crew we sent over last night has any news.”
And with that he gave Andrew a wave good bye and walked towards the stairs leading up to the operations building.
The radio hissed, then more static. The radio operator turned a dial and listened as the transmission cleared slightly. “That's about the best we'll get. I can't boost the signal any more, the Emily sailed South of Isla Nublar just to clear the cliffs at thE base of the island.”
The Emily was a small ferry type ship, 100 feet long and able to carry 40 tonnes. It often made the 87 mile trip from Sorna to Nublar and back at least once a week. Now that most of the animals had been transported to Isla Nublar it's trips reduced. It brought the Island staff to Isla Sorna last night, and it would take them back on Monday.
The technician handed Mark the microphone.
“Emily, this is Mark Robertson. Report.”
A burst of static, then a crackly voice. “Crew dropped at East dock. Hand held radio and ship Comms unable to reach the control room. 4 has powered Jeeps parked in the garage, no one in sight, crews on standby waiting for your orders.”
Mark thought for a moment, it was common for vehicles to be left in the small maintenance garage there. Even though ships coming were expected, with the limited staff on the island if you wanted to go somewhere you drove yourself. At least one jeep was always left there just in case.
“Are there signs of storm damage?”
“That's affirmative, lots of debris scattered around the place. There's a tree fallen across the maintenance road heading west, a teams working on that now.”
“Okay once their done tell them to stay put, return to the harbour and wait a few hours. If communications aren't restored by 1200 hrs sail south again and await our call.”
“Understood, Emily out.”
Mark handed the radio back to the technician. Even though it was time consuming to dock and undock the Emily at the harbour, it was needed to get communications to and from the ship.
He looked at his watch, 8:15 am. Just over 13 hours since they lost contact with Isla Nublar. The problem was made worse since the workers that would normally fix such an issue where currently in the boarding house eating breakfast. Arnold knew all of the park systems, and Ingen had flown in a computer technician to work the weekend debugging the park system while the automation test was underway.
It was a troubling thought. Even with Arnold and the Computer tech onsite it appeared they still couldn't restore communications off the island. He had tasked his radio operators with brainstorming possible reasons why Comms were down, but it kept on coming back one answer. No power means no modems.
But there was still the radio. All that equipment had been moved to the emergency bunker once the modems were installed. Mr Hammond has wanted it taken off the island completely, but mark and Arnold were able to convince him that the equipment was needed if the communications system went down. And now it had, yet no radio calls were made.
“You don't think a animals gotten out?” One of the technicians asked.
Mark shook his head, “I don't see how. Even with the storm, a fence might of gone down but Muldoon’s got tranquilliser guns and enough drugs to stop a freight train. A animal escape doesn't explain the apparent loss of power.”
“A problem with the power plant?”
“That's the only reason I can think of that makes the most sense.” Mark replied.
“But the geothermal grid powers the computers so unless it was shut off I can't see how it would fail. We've had issues here with rats and mice getting into wires and causing problems. Maybe they are having the same issues over there now. For the moment we can only sit and wait.”
The door to the communications room opened and the secretary from the front desk walked in. She handed Mark a yellow curled postal note. “Sorry to make your day worse Mark, but I just got a call from the lab, Dr Wu is on his way over to see you.”
Mark took the note and sighed, that was just what he needed.
The laboratory facility was located in a deep valley, a small river snaked past it towards the ocean. Containing several large buildings it was the heart of Ingen’s operation in Costa Rica.
While most of the initial research was carried out at Ingen’s Headquarters in Palo Alto California, once the DNA sequencing was unlocked a larger facility was needed to carry out the task of bringing Dinosaurs back to life. With construction starting in 1982 after the lease of Isla Sorna went ahead from the costa rican government, it was only 16 months before the scientists moved in and the magic began.
With Jurassic Park San Diego under construction, Ingen Focused on smaller animals first. Velociraptor, Pachycephalosaurus, Procompsognathus and Dilophosaurus were the first on the list, and in February 1986 they finally did it, a baby Velociraptor was born. It was the moment Ingen and its investors was waiting for. Proof of concept and the first dinosaur to take a breath in 65 million years.
John Hammond and Henry Wu travelled to Japan with that little animal for two months, signing up new investors giving them a much larger budget to show their creation to the world.
This lead to construction being halted and eventually shut down on the San Diego Park Project. Hammond’s African Wildlife Park, and raising concerns from local government led Ingen to another location in Costa Rica, Isla Nublar. Located 87 miles to the Northeast, there they could expand Jurassic Park far larger than the San Diego location. And without prying eyes they could build and populate the park right up til opening time when they could reveal it to the world.
Dr Henry Wu headed was Ingen's chief Geneticist. An only child from Ohio, a prodigy, he gained early attention from his undergraduate thesis at MIT. It wasn't long before he was approached by Hammond and brought onboard.
Although his office was on Isla Nublar, the lab there was small and was only used to train new scientists recruited to the project. Site B was where he prefered to be. There his laboratory was a lot bigger, there was less interference and he was left alone to do his research.
He stood from his desk he unshouldered his white lab coat. His office was decorated with the tiny bodies of dead infant dinosaurs. Preserved in formaldehyde, they now stood as examples of his work on the island.
Walking past a row of filing cabinets Wu picked up a handheld radio and clipped it to his belt, slid a pair of sunglasses onto his head and walked out the door.
“Dr Wu, there's a car waiting for you in front of the Embryonics administration building. Mr Parker is heading back to the worker village and will give you a ride.”
One of his assistants, a young man named Liam Trent, handed him a folder. “Some reading material for the drive over there.”
Wu took the file from Trent and looked at the its front.
TOP SECRET: Eyes only Dr Henry Wu
TEST SUBJECTS 347-352
Wu smiled, “good, thank you Liam.”
The file folder was a inch thick, he put it under his arm and headed for the front door. “I'll be back in a hour or so.”
He watched as Liam nodded his head and started towards the end of the small hallway they stood in. At the end of the hallway the space opened out into a large area, the hatchery. Dozens of egg tables ran for the length of the space, half the size of a football field. Along one wall were several specimen tanks housing failed birthed animals that were kept for testing.
Right now several staff dressed in white jumpsuits moved from table to table, checking temperatures and scribbling notes on a clipboard. The air felt like a indoor swimming pool, the humidity was kept high to keep the eggs moist.
Wu turned and walked down the hallway, passing the reception desk and walking out the front doors into the morning light.
The Embryonics Administration building was a single story structure with large storm shields at its front. The building itself was built on stilts above a small pond. Well kept gardens lined the two terraces down to ground level. The valley the facility was build in was prone to high winds and flooding, so the building was designed to withstand the elements.
As he began down the stairs he seen a black ford bronco parked by the pond at the base of the stairs. Inside a older man dressed in dirty blue overalls patiently tapped on the steering wheel. But there was more activity in front of the building that caught Wu’s attention.
“Hey doc,” Andrew called out as Wu opened the passenger side door of the bronco. “Let's go,” was all he said.
Gerry Harding watched as the large roller door rattled upwards, the bright morning light flooded into the loading dock at the rear of the main laboratory building. Two small trackways were in the concrete and ran from the dock towards the rear of the dock where two large swinging doors were propped open, revealing several large cage like enclosures along the walls. He stood there for a moment, taking in a large breath of the fresh morning air, clearing out the stale taste of the lab.
Dr Harding was Ingen’s chief veterinarian. He was normally based on Isla Nublar but came to Site B on the staff boat the night before. While he was here he wanted to check on the juvenile animals currently caged awaiting transport to the park.
As he walked down the steel hallway, the animals inside each cage varied. A stegosaur, a hadrosaur, a pachycephalosaurus, and one that had about 10 small chicken sized dinosaurs hopping and chirping. Compy’s.
He came to a T intersection in the hallway, to the left the pens extended another 40 metres towards the rear of the hatchery. To his right he saw two of his junior vets, standing on either side of a trolley. Syringes, a electric shock stick, a box of white rubber gloves and a clipboard sat on top of the trolley.
Unlike other parks Harding had worked in previously, Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar were a nightmare. Being remote and a bottled ecosystem lead to all types of issues. The Triceratops on Isla Nublar were regularly getting sick, he'd only just found out the day before they were eating a poisonous berry and remnants were being passed with gizzard stones.
The Stegosaur’s were getting stuck in the mud in the parks south lowlands. The marshy area had to be fenced off to stop them from getting into trouble again. The Brachiosaurs kept getting a dry flu, the cause was unknown. The likely suspect was a small variety of tick that populated both islands, it would attach itself to the soft skin of a animals underbelly and nostril mucus often resulted. It had only been 6 years since the first animals were borne and they'd learnt a lot. But dinosaur wellbeing was still a new field.
Harding picked up the clipboard, not taking his eyes off the cage the three men now stood in front of. “They've grown fast since I last saw them, Wu’s growth hormones at work. Are they both infected?”
Matthew Ericsson nodded his head, he wasn't looking at the cage. “Both animals have signs of nasal discharge. It isn't the first time we've seen the ticks getting into kennels.”
“Don't ever take your eyes off these animals,” Harding said
Matthew looked at him for a moment blankly, then turned to look at the cage door.
He jumped backwards with a gasp, startled.
Standing at the cage door, with her long head tilted sideways, a single yellow eye looking out at them from between the mesh, was a juvenile Velociraptor. The animal was completely still, it just stared at Matthew with its front teeth barred. Harding watched the second raptor as it silently moved along the left wall of the kennel, looking directly at him. It was hunched over, walking low to the ground, lightly Bobbing its head.
Matthew grabbed the shock stick from the trolley and held it up to the cage door in front of him. The raptor watch, and then suddenly broke its stare and slowly backed away from the door.
“How many times have these two been shocked?” Harding asked.
“Only once,” the third man said. “Last week when we tried to feed them. They attacked the trap door to their cage, jamming the meat delivery arm. We had to give them a shock to get them off it.”
“Brett in time they would've left it alone. Putting volts into these animals is only meant to be a last resort. We need to be able to handle these things, not piss them off.”
Harding reached out and grabbed the shock stick from Matthew, putting it back down on the trolley. “The last thing we need is a high heart rate when the tranquilizers administered.”
The two young raptors were now standing by the pens rear wall still hunched low, watching the men through the mesh walls. They were both from the same batch of eggs, he sent why they shared a pen now. Harding didn't like the raptors being left to grow older then the other dinosaurs before being shipped to the park, they were aggressive and dangerous. But Hammond believed allowing more human interaction while they were young would help to tame them a bit not be so aggressive to humans. It wasn't working.
He had seen first hand what happens to a person when a raptor gets hold of them. Harding was called out to assist in the raptor incident a week earlier. After taking a handler the raptor was shocked and a couple of me. Were able to get shots off at the animal. It had been knocked out, but not before shredding the handler's legs and waist. There was a large pool of blood spreading across the loading dock of the raptor enclosure, and when he'd arrived Robert Muldoon was sitting in that pool of blood, holding his hat to his chest.
The transfer had been a screw up from the beginning. The truck transporting the raptor from the lab to the harbour on Sorna had gotten bogged, the crane on the harbour had failed to hook the cage correctly and it almost ended up in the water. All the while Matthew Ericsson had stayed with the raptor making sure it stayed tranquilized. It has received a dose before leaving the lab that should of kept her under for the duration of the trip, but with the delays it had worn off by the time the ship reached Nublar. And instead of knocking her out again the decision was made to let her travel the rest of the way awake and fully aware of her surroundings.
He watched on as Brett opened the bottom of the trolley and removed a small air pistol. He sat it on top of the trolley and took one of the syringes, filling it from a bottle. “25 millilitres per animal.”
Brett then turned and sat the barrel of the pistol on the mesh of the door, opened the breach and inserted the syringe. A small hiss could be heard as he pulled the trigger, and there was a immedient thwack as the syringe slammed into the top of the animal's neck.
The raptor shot backwards in surprised, shaking It's head from left to right. Brett repeated the procedure with the second raptor and after a minutes wait both animals were lying on the ground motionless apart from the slow inhale and exhaling of their torsos.
“I really hate this part” Matthew said as he pulled his keys from his belt clip. He'd retaken the shock stick, and turned the key in the door lock slowly clockwise. The spring mechanism clicked loudly and the door opened freely. Brett walked in first and picked up a small white bone from by the doorway. He threw it at the closest raptor, it remained still.
“25 mills should knock them out for at least half an hour.” Harding said.
He could remember back during the early days, when tranquilliser dosages wasn't an exact science. Too much and the animals would go into a coma. Not enough and they'd wake up right when you didn't want them to.
Matthew wheeled the trolley into the cage after Brett, and they both stood beside the first raptor. While Brett knelt down beside her, Matthew reached down and grabbed the raptors right arm and lifted it up into the air. As he did, Brett shone a small beneath at the soft skin under the animal's arm. There he saw 2 small red blobs about the size of a match head.
“We have two ticks here.”
Brett grabbed a small bottle of rubbing alcohol and tipped it upside down onto a white tissue. He handed the tissue to Ericsson and put the lid back on the bottle.
Harding held a clipboard in one hand, jotting down the animals serial number and the two ticks that had been discovered. He watched at Matthew removed the two ticks and put them in a small plastic container.
“They are only small still so I don't think they've been on the animal for long.”
Harding removed a syringe from the trolley, “best to give her a dose anyway just in case.”
Ericson stuck the needle into the sleeping animals thigh and pushed the plunger all the way down. He handed the empty syringe back to Harding and turned his attention back to the raptor.
He lifted the animal's rear leg, searching the soft tissue as he did previously under the arms. “Dr Harding, you need to see this.”
Gerry walked back to stand by his side and looked down at the animal's groin while Ericson continued to hold its leg in the air. “What the hell?”
The two men were now looking at the animals ground, where the genital slit was located. Just like modern birds and marine mammals, dinosaurs reproductive organs were on the inside of their body. All the animals created to date were grown to be female for population and security control in the park on Isla Nublar. There had been males grown in the early days but they became aggressive early in development so instead of making all the animals male Henry Wu and John Hammond had made the decision to go female only. Although the animals generally were better tempered, some of the carnivores still had vicious behaviours, especially the raptors.
Harding pulled on a pair of rubber surgical gloves and knelt down beside the animal. He reached down and gently touched the small lump that was just beneath the raptors skin. As he pushed harder a small reddish penis began to emerge from genital slit.
He pulled back in surprise, “A male?”
Brett stood behind them, “how, their all checked at birth.”
Harding shook his head, “I don't know, the animal's DNA is altered genetically before the embryo is implanted in the egg. And as you said they're all checked at birth and at 1 month old when medical checks are carried out.”
He stood and retrieved the clipboard from the trolley once again and flipped through some sheets of paper. “Both birth and one month examinations are noted as sex being checked and confirmed as female.”
“So it just changed sex some time in the last few month, just like that? Brett said.
“Genetics aren't my area of expertise Brett, that's something Dr Wu will need to look into. Until then we need to quarantine this animal until a decision is made to let it live or terminate.”
Ericsson grabbed the animal by the tail and began dragging it towards the door. Harding walked out of the cage first and moved the trolley clear. He then grabbed for his keys on his belt to unlock a neighboring cage.
Brett followed behind to get the cage door as they left, but a low snarl stopped him in his tracks. It was followed by a scraping sound. He turned around to see the second raptor shake its head and get to its feet.
Ericsson looked up from the animal he was dragging to see the second raptor come to also. Behind him Harding shouted, “Get out of there!”
Halfway out the door Ericsson released the raptors tail, not realising until he did so that it would prevent them from closing the cage.
Brett turned to run for the cage door. It leapt after him but was still groggy from the sedatives. It hit the cage wall beside the door and fell to the ground.
He leapt over the sleeping raptor on the floor and grabbed for the cage door as he passed. But it stopped before he could close it fully, hitting the sleeping raptors back. He swore and looked at Harding, “I can't close it!”
Harding face fell, “Run.”