The Lost World Chapter 11

Christ, he thought. He took another deep breath.

When he did not move, the animals began to inch forward. He stood up, and they backed away. But a moment later, they began to come forward again.

One came close. Dodgson kicked it viciously, sending the little body flying through the air. The animal squealed in alarm, but it landed like a cat, upright and uninjured.

The others remained where they were. Waiting.

He looked around, realized it was getting dark. He looked at his watch: 6:40. There were only a few minutes more of daylight. Beneath the jungle canopy, it was already quite dark.

He had to get to safety, and soon. He checked the compass on his watch strap, and headed south. He was pretty sure the river was to the south. He had to get back to the boat. He would be safe at the boat.

As he started walking, the compys chittered and followed after him. They stayed about five or ten feet behind, making a lot of noise as they hopped and crashed through the low foliage. There were dozens of them, he realized. As darkness descended, their eyes glowed bright green.

His body was a mass of pain. Every step hurt. His balance was not good. He was losing blood, and he was very, very sleepy. He would never make it all the way to the river. He would not make it more than another couple of hundred yards. He fell, tripping over a root. He got up slowly, dirt clinging to his blood-soaked clothes.

He looked back at the green eyes behind him, and forced himself onward. He could go a little farther, he thought. And then, directly ahead, he saw a light through the foliage. Was it the boat? He moved faster, hearing the compys behind him.

He pushed through the foliage and then saw a little shed, like a toolshed or a guardhouse, made of concrete, with a tin roof. It had a square window and light was shining through the window. He fell again, got to his knees, and crawled the rest of the way to the house. He reached the door, pulled himself up on the doorknob, and opened the door.

Inside, the shed was empty. Some pipes came up through the floor. Some time in the past, they had connected to machinery, but the machinery was gone; there were only the rust spots where it had once been bolted to the concrete floor.

In a corner of the room was an electric light. It was fitted with a timer, so that it came on at night. That was the light he had seen. Did they have electricity on this island? How? He didn't care. He staggered into the room, closed the door firmly behind him, and sank down onto the bare concrete. Through the dirty windowpanes, he saw the compys outside, banging against the glass, hopping in frustration. But he was safe for the moment.

He would have to go on, of course. He would somehow have to get off this fucking island. But not now, he thought.


He'd worry about everything later.

Dodgson laid his cheek on the damp concrete floor, and slept.


Sarah Harding laced the aluminum-foil cuff around the baby's injured leg. The baby was still unconscious, breathing easily, not moving. Its body was relaxed. The oxygen hissed softly.

She finished shaping the aluminum foil into a cuff six inches long. Using a small brush, she began to paint resin over it, to make a cast.

"How many raptors are there?" she said. "I couldn't tell for sure, when I saw them. I thought nine."

"I think there's more," Malcolm said "I think eleven or twelve in all."

"Twelve?" she said, glancing up at him. "On this little island?"


The resin had a sharp odor, like glue. She brushed it evenly on the aluminum. "You know what I'm thinking," she said.

"Yes," he said. "There are too many."

"Far too many, Ian." She worked steadily. "It doesn't make sense. In Africa, active predators like lions are very spread out. There's one lion for every ten square kilometers. Sometimes every fifteen kilometers. That's all the ecology can support. On an island like this, you should have no more than five raptors. Hold this."

"Uh-huh. But don't forget, the prey here is huge....Some of those animals are twenty, thirty tons."

"I'm not convinced that's a factor," Sarah said, "but for the sake of argument, let's say it is. I'll double the estimate, and give you ten raptors for the island. But you tell me there are twelve. And there are other major predators, as well. Like the rexes..."

"Yes. There are."

"That's too many, she said, shaking her head.

"The animals are pretty dense here," Malcolm said.

"Not dense enough," she said. "In general, predator studies - whether tigers in India, or lions in Africa - all seem to show that you can support one predator for every two hundred prey animals. That means to support twenty-five predators here, you need at least five thousand prey on this island. Do you have anything like that?"


"How many animals in total do you think are here?"

He shrugged. "A couple of hundred. Maybe five hundred at most."

"So you're off by an order of magnitude, Ian. Hold this, and I'll get the lamp."

She swung the heat lamp over the baby, to harden the resin. She adjusted the oxygen mask over the baby's snout.

"The island can't support all those predators," she said. "And yet they're here."

He said, "What could explain it?"

She shook her head. "There has to be a food source that we don't know about."

"You mean, an artificial source?" he said. "I don't think there is one."

"No," she said. "Artificial food sources make animals tame. And these animals aren't tame. The only other possibility I can think of is that there's a differential death rate among prey. If they grow very fast, or die young, then that might represent a larger food supply than expected."

Malcolm said, "I've noticed, the largest animals seem small. It's as if they don't seem to reach maturity. Maybe they're being killed off early."

"Maybe," she said. "But if there's a differential death rate large enough to support this population, you should see evidence of carcasses, and lots of skeletons of dead animals. Have you seen that?"

Malcolm shook his head. "No. In fact, now that you mention it, I haven't seen any skeletons at all."

"Me neither." She pushed the light away. "There's something funny about this island, Ian."

"I know," Malcolm said.

"You do?"

"Yes," he said. "I've suspected it from the beginning."

Thunder rumbled. From the high hide, the plain below them was dark and silent, except for the distant snarling of the raptors. "Maybe we should go back," Eddie said anxiously.

"Why?" Levine said. Levine had switched to his night-vision glasses, pleased with himself that he had thought to bring them. Through the goggles, the world was shades of pale green. He clearly saw the raptors at the kill site, the tall grass trampled and bloody all around. The carcass was long since finished, though they could still hear the cracking of bones as the animals gnawed on them.

"I just think," Eddie said, "that now that it's night, we'd be safer in the trailer."

"Why?" Levine said.

"Well, it's reinforced, it's strong, and very safe. It has everything that we need. I just think we should be there. I mean, you're not planning on staying out here all night, are you?"

"No," Levine said. "What do you think I am, a fanatic?" Eddie grunted.

"But let's stay for a while longer," Levine said.

Eddie turned to Thorne. "Doc? What do you say? It's going to start raining soon.

"Just a little longer," Thorne said. "And then we'll all go back together."

"There have been dinosaurs on this island for five years, maybe more, " Malcolm said, "but none have appeared elsewhere. Suddenly, in the last year, carcasses of dead animals are showing up on the beaches of Costa Rica, and according to reports, on islands of the Pacific as well."

"Carried by currents?"

"Presumably. But the question is, why now? Why all of a sudden, after five years? Something has changed, but we don't know - wait a minute" He moved away from the table, over to the computer console. He turned toward the screen.

"What are you doing?" she said.

"Arby got us into the old network," he said, "and it still has research files from the eighties." He moved the mouse across the screen. "We haven't looked at them...." He saw the menu come up, showing work files and research files. He began to scroll through screens of text.

"Years ago, they had trouble with some disease," he said. "There were a lot of notes about it in the laboratory."

"What kind of disease'?"

"They didn't know," Malcolm said.

"In the wild, there are some very slow-acting illnesses," she said. "May take five or ten years to show up. Caused by viruses, or prions. You know, protein fragments-like scrapie or mad-cow disease."

"But," Malcolm said, "those diseases only come from eating contaminated food."

There was a silence.

"What do you suppose they fed them, back then?" she asked. "Because if I was growing baby dinosaurs, I'd wonder. What do they cat? Milk, I suppose, but - "

"Milk, yes," Malcolm said, reading the screens. "First six weeks, goat's milk."

"That's the logical choice," she said. "Goat's milk is what they always use in zoos, because it's so hypoallergenic. But what about later?"

Give me a minute here," Malcolm said.

Harding held the baby's leg in her hand, waiting for the resin to harden. She looked at the cast, sniffed it. It was still strong-smelling. "I hope that's all right," she said. "Sometimes if there's a distinctive smell, the animals won't allow infants to return. But maybe this will dissipate after the compound hardens. How long has it been?"

Malcolm glanced at his watch. "Ten minutes. Another ten minutes and it'll set."

She said, "I'd like to take this guy back to the nest."

Thunder rumbled. They looked out the window at the black night.

"Probably too late to return him tonight," Malcolm said. He was still typing, peering at the screen.

"So...what did they feed them? Okay. In the period from 1988 to 1989...the herbivores got a macerated plant matter on a feeding schedule three times a day...and the carnivores got..."

He stopped.

"What'd the carnivores get?"

"Looks like a ground-up extract of animal protein...."

"From what? The usual source is turkey or chicken, with some antibiotics added."

"Sarah," he said. "They used sheep extract."

"No," she said. "They wouldn't do that."

"Yeah, they did. Came from their supplier, who used ground-up sheep."

"You're kidding," she said.

Malcolm said, "I'm afraid so. Now, let me see if I can find ou - "

A soft alarm sounded. On the wall panel above him, a red light began to flash. A moment later, the exterior lights above the trailer turned on, bathing the grassy clearing around them in bright halogen glare.

"What's that?" Harding said.

"The sensors - something set them off." Malcolm moved away from the computer, peered out the window. He saw nothing but tall grass, and the dark trees at the perimeter. It was silent, still.

Sarah, still intent on the baby, said, "What happened?"

"I don't know. I don't see anything."

"But something triggered the sensors?"

"I guess."


"There's no wind," he said.

In the high hide, Kelly said,"Hey, look!"

Thorne turned. From their location in the valley, they could look north to the high cliff behind them and the two trailers above, in the grassy clearing.

The exterior lights on the trailers had come on.

Thorne unclipped the radio at his belt. "Ian? Are you there?"

A momentary crackle: "I'm here, Doc."

"What's happening?"

"I don't know," Malcolm said.

"The perimeter lights just turned on. I think the sensor was activated. But we don't see anything out there."

Eddie said, "Air's cooling off fast now. Might have been convection currents, set it off."

Thorne said, "Ian? Everything okay?"

"Yes. Fine. Don't worry."

Eddie said, "I always figured we set the sensitivity too high. That's all it is.

Levine frowned, and said nothing.

Sarah finished with the baby, and wrapped him in a blanket, and gently strapped him down to the table with cloth restraint straps. She came over and stood beside Malcolm. She looked out the window.

"What do you think?"

Malcolm shrugged. "Eddie says the system's too sensitive."

"Is it?"

"I don't know. It's never been tested before." He scanned the trees at the edge of the clearing, looking for any movement. Then he thought he heard a snorting sound, almost a growl. It seemed like it was answered from somewhere behind him. He went to look out the other side of the trailer, at the trees on the other side.

Malcolm and Harding looked out, straining to see something in the night. Malcolm held his breath, tensely. After a moment, Harding sighed. "I don't see anything, Ian."

"No. Me neither."

'Must be a false alarm."

Then he felt the vibration, a deep resonant thumping in the ground, that was carried to them through the floor of the trailer. He glanced at Sarah. Her eyes widened.

Malcolm knew what it was. The vibration came again, unmistakably this time.

Sarah stared out the window. She whispered, "Ian: I see it."

Malcolm turned, and joined her. She was pointing out the window toward the nearest trees.


And then he saw the big head emerge from the foliage midway u one tree. The head turned slowly from side to side, as if listening. It was an adult Tyrannosaurus rex.

"Ian," she whispered. "Look - there are two of them."

Over to the right, he saw a second animal step from behind the trees. It was larger, the female of the pair. The animals growled, a deep rumble in the night. They emerged slowly from the cover of the trees, stepping into the clearing. They blinked in the harsh light.

"Are those the parents?"

"I don't know. I think so."

He glanced over at the baby. It was still unconscious, breathing steadily, the blanket rising and falling regularly.

"What are they doing here?" she said.

"I don't know."

The animals were still standing at the edge of the clearing, near the cover of the trees. They seemed hesitant, waiting.

"Are they looking for the baby?" she said.

"Sarah, please."

"I'm serious."

"That's ridiculous."

"Why? They must have tracked it here."

The tyrannosaurs raised their heads, lifting their jaws. Then they turned their heads left and right, in slow arcs. They repeated the movement, then took a step forward, toward the trailer.

"Sarah," he said. "We're miles from the nest. There isn't any way for them to track it."

"How do you know?"

"Sarah - "

"You said yourself, we don't know anything about these animals. We don't know anything about their physiology, their biochemistry, their nervous systems, their behavior. And we don't know anything about their sensory equipment, either."

"Yes, but - "

"They're predators, Ian. Good sense of vision, good sense of hearing and smell."

"I assume so, yes."

"But we don't know what else," Sarah said.

"What else?" Malcolm said.

"Ian. There are other sensory modalities. Snakes sense infrared. Bats have echolocation. Birds and turtles have magnetosensors - they can detect the earth's magnetic field, which is how they migrate. Dinosaurs may have other sensory modalities that we can't imagine."

"Sarah, this is ridiculous."

"Is it? Then you tell me. What are they doing out there?"

Outside, near the trees, the tyrannosaurs had become silent. They were no longer growling, but they were still moving their heads back and forth in slow arcs, turning left and right.

Malcolm frowned. "It looks like...they're looking around...."

"Straight into bright lights? No, Ian. They're blinded."

As soon as she said it, he realized she was right. But the heads were turning back and forth in that regular way. "Then what are they doing? Smelling?"

"No. Heads are high. Nostrils aren't moving."


She nodded. "Possibly."

"Listening to what?"

"Maybe to the baby."

He glanced over again. "Sarah. The baby is out cold."

"I know."

"It isn't making any noise."

"None that we can hear." She stared at the tyrannosaurs. "But they're doing something, Ian. That behavior we're seeing has meaning. We just don't know what it is."

From the high hide, Levine stared through his night-vision glasses at the clearing. He saw the two tyrannosaurs standing at the edge of the forest. They were moving their heads in an odd, synchronized way.

They took a few hesitant steps toward the trailer, lifted their heads, turned right and left, and then seemed finally to make up their minds. The animals moved quickly, almost aggressively, across the clearing.

Over the radio, they heard Malcolm say, "It's the lights! The lights are drawing them."

A moment later, the exterior lights were turned off, and the clearing went black. They all squinted in the darkness. They heard Malcolm say, "That did it."

Thorne said to Levine, "What do you see?"


"What're they doing?"

"They're just standing there."

Through the night-vision goggles, he saw that the tyrannosaurs had paused, as if confused by this change in light. Even from a distance, he could hear their growls, but they were uneasy. They swung their great heads up and down, and snapped their jaws. But they did not move closer.

Kelly said, "What is it?"

"They're waiting," Levine said. "At least for the moment."

Levine had the distinct impression that the tyrannosaurs were unsettled. The trailer must represent a large and fearsome change in their environment. Perhaps they would turn away, he thought, and leave. Despite their enormous size, they were cautious, almost timid animals.

They growled again. And then he saw them move forward, toward the darkened trailer.

"Ian: what do we do?"

"Damned if I know," Malcolm whispered.

They were crouched down side by side in the passageway, trying to stay out of sight in the windows. The tyrannosaurs moved implacably forward. They could feel each step as a distinct vibration now - two ten ton animals, moving toward them.

"They're coming right at us!"

"I noticed," he said.

The first of the animals reached the trailer, coming so close that the body blocked the entire window. All Malcolm could see was powerfully muscled legs and underbelly. The head was far above them, out of view.

Then the second tyrannosaur came up on the opposite side. The two animals began to circle the trailer, growling and snorting. Heavy footsteps shook the floor beneath them. They smelled the pungent predator odor. One of the tyrannosaurs brushed against the side of the trailer and they heard a scraping sound, scaly flesh on metal.

Malcolm felt sudden panic. It was the smell that did it, the smell that he suddenly remembered, from before. He began to sweat. He glanced over at Sarah, and saw that she was intent, watching the movements of the animals. "This isn't hunting behavior," she whispered.

"I don't know," Malcolm said. "Maybe it is. They aren't lions, you know."

One of the tyrannosaurs bellowed in the night, a frightening earsplitting sound.

"Not hunting," she said "They're searching, Ian."

A moment later, the second tyrannosaur bellowed in reply. Then the big head swung down, and peered in through the window in front of them. Malcolm ducked down, flattening himself on the trailer floor, and Sarah collapsed on top of him. Her shoe pressed on his ear.

"It's going to be fine, Sarah."

Outside, they heard the tyrannosaurs snorting and growling.

Malcolm whispered, "Would you mind moving?"

She edged to one side, and he eased up slowly, peering cautiously over the seat cushions. He had a glimpse of the big eye of the rex staring in at him. The eye swiveled in the socket. He saw the jaws open and close. The hot breath of the animal fogged the glass.

The tyrannosaur's head swung away, moving back from the trailers and for a moment Malcolm breathed more easily. But then the head swung back, and slammed with a heavy thud into the trailer, rocking it hard.

"Don't worry, Sarah. The trailer's very strong."

She whispered, "I can't tell you how relieved I am."

From the opposite side, the other rex bellowed and struck the trailer with it's snout. The suspension creaked with the impact.

The two tyrannosaurs now began an alternating, rhythmic pounding of the trailer from either side. Malcolm and Harding were thrown back and forth. Sarah tried to steady herself, but was knocked away at the next impact. The floor tilted crazily under each blow. Lab equipment flew off the tables. Glass shattered.

And then, abruptly, the pounding stopped. There was silence.

Grunting, Malcolm got up on one knee. He peered out the window, and saw the hindquarters of one of the tyrannosaurs, as it moved forward.

"What do we do?" he whispered.

The radio crackled. Thorne said, "Ian, are you there? Ian!"

"For God's sake, turn that off," Sarah whispered.

Malcolm reached for his belt, whispered, "We're okay," and clicked the radio off.

Sarah was crawling on her hands and knees forward through the trailer, into the biology lab. He followed her, and saw the big tyrannosaur peering in through the window, at the baby, strapped down. The tyrannosaur made a soft grunting sound.

Then it paused, looking in the window. It grunted again.

"She wants her baby, Ian," Sarah whispered.

"Well, God knows," Malcolm said, "it's all right with me."

They were huddled on the floor, trying to stay out of sight.

"How are we going to get it to her?"

"I don't know. Maybe push it out the door?"

"I don't want them to step on it," Sarah said.

"Who cares?" Malcolm said.

The tyrannosaur at the window made a series of soft grunts, followed by a long, menacing growl. It was the big female.

"Sarah - "

But she was already standing up, facing the tyrannosaur. She immediately began to speak, her voice soft, soothing. "It's okay....It's all right now....The baby is fine....I'm just going to loosen these straps here....You can watch me...."

The head outside the window was so huge it filled the entire glass frame. Sarah saw the powerful muscles of the neck ripple beneath the skin. The jaws moved slightly. Her hands trembled as she undid the straps.

"That's right....Your baby is fine....See, it's just fine...."

Crouched below at her feet, Malcolm whispered, "What are you doing?"

She did not change her soft, soothing tone. "I know it sounds crazy....But it works with lions...sometimes....There we are....Your baby is free...."

Sarah unwrapped the blanket, and took away the oxygen mask, all the while speaking calmly. "Now...all I have to do..." She lifted the baby up in her hands. " get it to you...."

Suddenly, the female's head swung back, and smashed side-on into the glass, which shattered into a white spiderweb with a harsh crack. Sarah couldn't see through it, but she saw a shadow move and then the second impact broke the glass free. Sarah dropped the baby on the tray and jumped back as the head crashed through, and pushed several feet into the trailer. Streams of blood ran down the adult's snout, from the shards of glass. But after the initial violence it stopped, and became delicate in its movements. It sniffed the baby, starting at the head, moving slowly down the body. It sniffed the cast, too, and licked it briefly with its tongue. Finally, it rested its lower jaw lightly on the baby's chest. It stayed that way for a long time, not moving. Only the eyes blinked slowly, staring at Sarah.

Malcolm, lying on the floor, saw blood dripping over the edge of the counter. He started to get up, but she pushed his head back down with her hand. She whispered, "Ssssh."

"What's happening?"

"It's feeling the heartbeat."

The tyrannosaur grunted, opened its mouth, and gently gripped the infant between its jaws. Then it moved slowly back, out through the broken glass, carrying the baby outside.

It set the baby on the ground, below their vision. It bent over, the head disappearing from view.

Malcolm whispered, "Did it wake up? Is the baby awake?"


There was a repetitive slurping sound, coming from outside the trailer. It was interspersed with soft, guttural growls. Malcolm saw Sarah leaning forward, trying to see out the window. He whispered, "What's happening?"

"She's licking him. And pushing him with her snout."


"That's all. She just keeps doing it."

"What about the baby?"

"Nothing. It keeps rolling over, like it's dead. How much morphine did we give him, the last time?"

"I don't know," he said. "How should I know?"

Malcolm remained on the floor, listening to the slurping and the growling. And finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he heard a soft high-pitched squeak.

"He's waking up! Ian! The baby's waking up!"

Malcolm crawled up on his knees, and looked out the window in time to see the adult carrying the baby in its jaws, walking away toward the perimeter of the clearing.

"What's it doing?"

"I guess, taking it back."

The second adult came into view, following the first. Malcolm and Sarah watched the two tyrannosaurs move away from the trailer, across the clearing.

Malcolm's shoulders dropped. "That was close," he said.

"Yes. That was close." She sighed, and wiped blood from her forearm.

In the high hide, Thorne pressed the radio button. "Ian! Are you there? Ian!"

Kelly said, "Maybe they turned the radio off."

A light rain began to fall, pattering on the metal roof of the shed. Levine was staring through his night-vision glasses toward the cliff. Lightning flashed, and Thorne said, "Can you see what the animals are doing?"

"I can," Eddie said. "It looks like they're going away." They all began to cheer.

Only Levine remained silent, watching through the glasses. Thorne turned to him. "Is that right, Richard? Is everything okay?"

Actually, I think not," Levine said. "I'm afraid we have made a serious error.

Malcolm watched the retreating tyrannosaurs through the shattered glass window. Beside him, Sarah said nothing. She never took her eyes off the animals.

Rain started to fall; water dripped from the shards of lass. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and lightning cracked harshly down, illuminating, the giant animals as they moved away.

At the nearest of the big trees, the adults stopped, and placed the baby on the ground.

"Why are they doing that?" Sarah said. "They should be going back to the nest."

"I don't know, maybe they're - "

"Maybe the baby is dead," she said.

But no, in the next flash of lightning they could see the baby moving. It was still alive. They could hear its high-pitched squeaking as one of the adults took the baby in its laws, and gently placed it in a fork among the high branches of a tree.

"Oh no," Sarah said, shaking her head. "This is wrong Ian. This is all wrong."

The female tyrannosaur remained with the baby for some moments, moving it, positioning it. Then the female turned, opened its jaws, and roared.

The male tyrannosaur roared in response.

And then both animals charged the trailer at full speed, racing across the clearing toward them.

"Oh, my God," Sarah said.

"Brace yourself, Sarah!" Malcolm shouted. "It's going to be bad!"

The impact was stunning, knocking them sideways through the air. Sarah screamed as she tumbled away. Malcolm hit his head and fell to the floor, seeing stars. Beneath him, the trailer rocked on its suspension, with a metallic scream. The tyrannosaurs roared, and slammed into it again.

He heard her shouting, "Ian! Ian!" and then the trailer crashed over onto its side. Malcolm turned away; glassware and lab equipment smashed all around him. When he looked up, everything was cockeyed. Directly above him was the broken window the tyrannosaur had smashed. Rain dripped through onto Malcolm's face. Lightning flashed, and then he saw a big head peering down at him and snarling. He heard the harsh scratching of the tyrannosaurs' claws on the metal side of the trailer, then the face disappeared. A moment later, he heard them bellowing as they pushed the trailer through the dirt.

He called "Sarah!" and he saw her, somewhere behind him, just as the world spun crazily again, and the trailer was upended with a crash. Now the trailer was lying on its roof; Malcolm started crawling along the ceiling, trying to reach Sarah. He looked up at the lab equipment, locked down on the lab benches, above his head. Liquid dripped onto him from a dozen sources. Something stung his shoulder. He heard a hiss, and realized it must be acid.

Somewhere in the darkness ahead, Sarah was groaning. Lightning flashed again, and Malcolm saw her, lying crumpled near the accordion junction that connected the two trailers. That junction was twisted almost shut, which must mean that the second trailer was still upright. It was crazy. Everything was crazy.

Outside, the tyrannosaurs roared, and he heard a muffled explosion. They were biting the tires. He thought: Too bad they don't bite into the battery cable. That'd give them a real surprise.

Suddenly, the tyrannosaurs slammed into the trailer again, knocking it laterally along the clearing. As soon as it stopped, they slammed again. The trailer lurched sideways.

By then he had reached Sarah. She threw her arms around him. "Ian," she said. The whole left half of her face was dark. When the lightning flashed, he saw it was covered in blood.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine," she said. With the back of her hand, she wiped blood out of her eye. "Can you see what it is?"

In another lightning flash, he saw the glint of a large chunk of glass, embedded near her hairline. He pulled it out, and pressed his hand against the sudden gush of blood. They were in the kitchen; he reached up toward the stove, and pulled down a dishtowel. He held 'it against her head, and watched the cloth darken.

"Does it hurt?"

"It's okay."

"I think it's not too bad," he said. Outside, the tyrannosaurs roared in the night.

"What are they doing?" she said. Her voice was dull.

The tyrannosaurs slammed into the trailer again. With this impact, the trailer seemed to move a lot more than before, sliding sideways - and down.

Sliding down.

"They're pushing us," he said.

"Where, Ian?"

"To the edge of the clearing." The tyrannosaurs slammed again, and the trailer moved farther. "They're pushing us over the cliff," The cliff was five hundred feet of sheer rock, straight down to the valley below.

They'd never survive the fall.

She held the dishtowel with her own hand, pushing his hand away. "Do something."

"Yeah, okay," he said.

He moved away from her, bracing for the next impact. He didn't know what to do. He had no idea what to do. The trailer was upside down, and everything was crazy. His shoulder burned and he could smell the acid eating his shirt. Or maybe it was his flesh. It burned a lot. The whole trailer was dark, all the power was out, there was glass everywhere, and he -

All the power was out.

Malcolm started to get to his feet, but the next impact flung him sideways, and he fell hard, slamming his head against the refrigerator. The door swung open and cartons of cold milk, glass bottles, crashed down on him. But there was no light from the refrigerator.

Because all the power was out.

Lying on his back, Malcolm looked out the window and saw the big foot of a tyrannosaur standing in the grass. Lightning flashed as the foot raised to kick, and immediately the trailer moved again, sliding easily now, metal screeching, and then tilting downward.

"Oh, shit," he said.


But it was too late, the whole trailer was groaning and creaking in metallic protest, and then Malcolm saw the far end sink down, as the trailer slid over the cliff. It started slowly, and then gathered speed, the ceiling they were lying on falling away, everything falling, Sarah falling, clutching at him as she went, and the tyrannosaurs bellowing in triumph.

We're going over the cliff, he thought.

Not knowing what else to do, he grabbed the refrigerator door, hanging on tightly. The door was cold, and slippery with moisture. The trailer tilted and fell, the metal creaking loudly. Malcolm felt his hands sliding off the white enamel, sliding...sliding....And then be lost his grip and fell free, dropping helplessly straight down toward the far end of the trailer. He saw the driver's seat rushing up to him, but before he got there he struck something in the darkness, felt a moment of searing pain, and bent double.

And slowly, gently, everything around him went black.

Rain drummed on the roof of the shed, and poured in a continuous sheet down the sides. Levine wiped the lenses of his glasses, then lifted them again to his eyes. He stared at the cliffs in the darkness.

Arby said, "What is it? What happened?"

"I can't tell," Levine said. It was hard to see anything in this downpour. Moments before, they had watched in horror as the two tyrannosaurs pushed the trailer toward the cliff. The large animals had done it with ease: Levine guessed the tyrannosaurs had a combined mass of twenty tons, and the trailer only weighed about two tons. Once they had turned it over, it slid easily over the wet grass as they pushed it with their underbellies, and kicked it with their powerful leg muscles.

"Why are they doing that?" Thorne said to Levine, standing beside him.

"I suspect, he said, that we have changed the perceived territory."

"How's that again?"

"You have to remember what we're dealing with," Levine said. "Tyrannosaurs may show complex behavior, but most of it is instinctual. It's unthinking behavior, wired in. And territoriality is part of that instinct. The tyrannosaurs mark territory, they defend territory. It's not thinking behavior - they don't have very large brains - but they do it from instinct. All instinctive behavior has triggers, releasers for the behavior. And I'm afraid that, by moving the baby, we redefined their territory to include the clearing where the baby was found. So now they're going to defend their territory, by driving out the trailers."

Then lightning flashed, and they all saw it in the same horrifying moment. The first trailer had gone over the cliff. It was hanging upside down in space, still connected by the accordion connector to the second trailer in the clearing above.

That connector won't hold!" Eddie shouted. "Not long!"

In the glare of lightning, they saw the tyrannosaurs up in the clearing. Methodically, they were now pushing the second trailer toward the cliff.

Thorne turned to Eddie. "I'm going!" he said.

"I'll come with you!" Eddie said.

"No! Stay with the kids!"

"But you need - "

"Stay with the kids! We can't leave them alone!"

"But Levine can - "

"No, you stay!" Thorne said. He was already climbing down the scaffolding, slippery in drenching rain, toward the Explorer below. He saw Kelly and Arby looking down at him. He jumped in the car, clicked on the ignition. He was already thinking of the distance to the clearing. It was three miles, maybe more. Even driving fast, it would take him seven or eight minutes to get there.

And by then it would be too late. He'd never make it in time.

But he had to try.

Sarah Harding heard a rhythmic creaking, and opened her eyes.

Everything was dark- she was disoriented. Then lightning flashed and she stared straight down toward the valley, five hundred feet below. The view swung gently, back and forth.

She was looking through the windshield of the trailer, hanging down the side of the cliff. They were not falling any more. But they were hanging precariously in space.

She herself was lying across the driver's seat, which had broken free of its mounting, and shattered a control panel in the wall; loose wires hung out, panel indicators flickered.

She was having trouble seeing, from the blood in her left eye. She pulled out the tail of her shirt, and ripped two strips of cloth. She folded one to make a compress, and pressed it against the gash on her forehead. Then she tied the second strip around her head, to hold the compress down. The pain was intense for a moment; she gritted her teeth until it faded.

From somewhere above her, she felt a thumping vibration. She turned and looked straight up. She saw the whole length of the trailer, suspended vertically. Malcolm was ten feet above her, bent over a lab table, not moving.

"Ian," she said.

He didn't answer. He didn't move.

The trailer shuddered again, creaking under a dull impact. And then Harding realized what was happening. The first trailer was dangling straight down the cliff face, swinging freely in space. But it was still connected to the second trailer, up on the clearing. The first trailer now hung from the accordion connector. And the tyrannosaurs, up above, were now pushing the second trailer off the cliff.

"Ian," she said. "Ian."

She scrambled to her feet, ignoring the pain in her body. She felt a wave of dizziness, and wondered how much blood she had lost. She began to climb straight up, standing first on the back of the driver's seat, grabbing for the nearest biology table. She pulled herself upward, until she could reach a handle mounted in the wall. The trailer swayed beneath her.

From the handle, she managed to grab the refrigerator door, putting her fingers through a wire shelf She tested it, it held, and she gave it her full weight. She raised her leg, until she got her shoe into the refrigerator itself Then she swung her body still higher, until she was standing up and could reach the handle to the oven.

It was like mountain climbing through a damn kitchen, she thought.

Soon she was alongside Malcolm. Lightning flashed again, and she saw his battered face. He groaned. She crawled over to him, trying to see how badly he was hurt.

"Ian," she said.

His eyes were closed. "Sorry."

"Never mind."

"I got you into this."

"Ian. Can you move? Are you okay?"

He groaned. "My leg."

"Ian. We have to do something."

From the clearing above them, she heard the tyrannosaurs roaring. It seemed to her that they had been roaring her whole life. The trailer lurched and swung; her legs slid out of the refrigerator and she was hanging free in space from the oven door. The far end of the trailer was some twenty feet below.

The oven handle wouldn't hold her weight, she knew. Not for long.

Harding swung her legs, kicking wildly, finally touched something solid. She felt with her feet, then stepped down. Looking back, she saw she was standing on the side of the stainless-steel sink. She moved her foot and the faucet turned on, soaking her feet.

The tyrannosaurs roared, pounding hard. The trailer moved farther out into space, swinging.

"Ian. There's not much time. We have to do something."

He raised his head, stared at her with blank eyes. Lightning flashed again. His lips moved, "Power," he said.

"What about it?"

"Power is off."

She didn't know what he was talking about. Of course the power was off. Then she remembered: he had turned it off earlier. When the tyrannosaurs were approaching. The light had bothered them before, maybe it would bother them again.

"You want me to turn the power on?"

His head nodded fractionally. "Yes. Turn it on."

"How, Ian?" She looked around in the darkness.

"There's a panel."


He didn't answer her. She reached out, shook his shoulder. "Ian: where is the panel?"

He pointed downward.

She looked down, saw the loose wires from the panel. "I can't. It's broken."


She could hardly hear him. Vaguely, she remembered that there was another control panel just inside the second trailer. If she could get in, she might be able to turn the power on. "Okay, Ian," she said "I'll do it."

She moved on, going higher. The floor of the trailer was now thirty feet below her. The tyrannosaurs roared, and kicked again. She swung in space. She moved on.

She intended to go through the accordion passage into the second trailer, but as she came closer to the top, she saw that it was not possible. In the harsh flare of lightning she saw the accordion passage was twisted tightly shut.

She was trapped in the first trailer.

She heard the tyrannosaurs bellowing, and slamming the second trailer above. "Ian!"

She looked down. He wasn't moving.

Hanging there, she realized with a sick feeling that she was defeated. Another kick, another two kicks, and it would be all over. They would fall. There was nothing they could do. There was no time left. She was hanging suspended in blackness, the power was out, and there was nothing -

Or was there? She heard an electrical hum, not far away in the darkness. Was there a panel Lip here, at this end of the trailer? Did they design it to have panels at both ends?

Hanging near the top of the trailer, her shoulders and forearms burning with strain, she looked around for a second power panel. She was up near the far end. If there was a panel, it should be nearby. But where? In the glare of lightning, she looked over one shoulder, then the other.

She saw no panel.

Her arms ached.

"Ian, please..."

No panel.

It wasn't possible. She kept hearing that hum. There had to be a panel. She just wasn't seeing it. There had to be a panel. She swung left and right, and lightning flashed again, casting crazy shadows, and then at last she saw it.

It was just six inches above her head. It was upside down, but she could see all the buttons and switches. They were dark now. If she could just figure out which was which -

The hell with it.

She released her right hand, and hanging from her left, pressed every button on the panel she could touch. Immediately, the trailer began to light up, every interior light coming on.

She kept pressing the buttons, one after another. Some shorted out; there were sparks and smoke.

She kept pressing more.

Suddenly the side monitor came on, just inches from her face, a streaky video blur. Then it came into focus. Although she was looking at it sideways, she could see the tyrannosaurs up on the clearing, standing over the second trailer, their forearms touching it, their powerful legs kicking and pushing at it. She pressed more buttons. The final one had a silver protective cover; she flipped the cover open, and pressed that button, too.

On the monitor she saw the tyrannosaurs disappear in a sudden flaring burst of incandescent sparks, and she heard them roar in rage. And then the video monitor went off, and there was a crackling explosion of sparks all around Harding, stinging her face and hands, and then everything in the trailer went off, and it was dark again.

There was silence for a long moment.

Then, inexorably, the pounding began again.


The windshield wipers flicked back and forth. Thorne took the curves fast, despite the driving rain. He glanced at his watch. Two minutes gone, perhaps three.

Perhaps more. He wasn't sure.

The road was a muddy track, slippery and dangerous. He splashed through deep puddles, holding his breath each time. The car had been waterproofed back in his shop, but you were never sure about these things. Each puddle was another test. So far, so good.

Three minutes gone.

At least three.

The road curved, opened out, and in a flash of lightning he saw a deep puddle ahead. He accelerated through it, the car kicking up plumes of water on both side windows. And then he was through it, still going. Still going! As he headed up a hill, he saw the dashboard needles swing wildly, and he heard the sizzle that he knew meant a fatal electrical short, There was an explosion under the hood, and acrid smoke poured out from the radiator, and the car stopped dead.

Four minutes.

He sat in the car, hearing the rain pound on the metal roof He turned the ignition key. Nothing happened.


Rain poured in sheets down the windshield. He sat back in his seat sighed, and stared at the road ahead. The radio crackled on the seat beside him. "Doc? Are you almost there?"

Thorne stared at the road, trying to guess where he was. He estimated that he must still be more than a mile from the trailer in the clearing, maybe more. Too far to try it on foot. He swore, and pounded the seat.

"No, Eddie. I shorted."

"You what?"

"Eddie, the car's dead. I'm - "

Thorne broke off.

He noticed something.

From around the curve ahead, he saw a faint, flashing red glow. Thorne squinted, trying to be sure. Yes, his eyes were not playing tricks on him. It was there, all right: a flashing red glow.

Eddie said: "Doc? You there?"

Thorne didn't answer; he grabbed the radio and the Lindstradt rifle, jumped out of the car, and ducking his head against the rain, began to run up the hill toward the junction of the ridge road. Coming around a curve, he saw the red jeep, standing in the middle of the ridge road, its taillights flashing. One of the lights was broken, glaring white.

He ran forward, trying to see inside. In a flash of lightning he could see there was no driver. The driver's door was not even closed- the side was deeply dented. Thorne climbed inside, reaching down with his hand for the steering wheel....Yes, the keys were there! He turned the ignition. The motor rumbled to life.

He shoved the Jeep in gear, backed it around, and headed up the ridge toward the clearing. It was only another few curves before he saw the green roof of the laboratory and turned left, his headlights swinging across the grassy clearing, and shining onto the dinosaurs pushing the trailer.

Confronted by these new lights, the tyrannosaurs turned in unison, and bellowed at Thorne's Jeep. They abandoned the trailer, and charged. Thorne threw the jeep into reverse and was backing away frantically before he realized the animals were not coming toward him.

Instead, they were running diagonally across the clearing, toward a tree near Thorne. Beneath the tree they paused, their heads turned upward. Thorne doused his lights, and waited. Now he saw the animals only intermittently, in the flashes of lightning. In one crackling burst, he saw them take down the baby from the tree. Then he saw them nuzzling the baby. Obviously his sudden arrival had made them anxious about the infant.

The next time lightning flashed, the tyrannosaurs were gone. The clearing was empty. Were they really gone? Or were they just hiding? He rolled down the window, stuck his head out in the rain. That was when he heard an odd, low, continuous squealing sound. It sounded like the extended cry of an animal, but it was too steady, too continuous. As he listened, he realized it was something else. It was metal.

Thorne turned on his lights again, and drove for-ward slowly. The tyrannosaurs were gone. In the pale beam of the headlamps, he saw the second trailer.

With a continuous metallic squeal, it was still sliding slowly across the wet grass, toward the edge of the cliff.

"What is he doing now?" Kelly yelled, over the rain.

"He's driving," Levine said, looking through goggles. From the high hide, they could see Thorne's headlamps cross the clearing. "He's driving to the trailer. And he's..."

"He's what?" Kelly said. "What is he doing now?"

"He's driving around and around a tree," Levine said. "A big tree by the clearing."


"He must be running the cable around the tree, Eddie said. "That's the only possible reason."

There was a moment of silence.

"What's he doing now?" Arby said.

"He's gotten out of the Jeep. Now he's running toward the trailer."

Thorne was down on his hands and knees in the mud, holding the big hook of the jeep winch in his hands. The trailer was sliding away from him, but he managed to crawl beneath it, and get the hook around the rear axle. He pulled his fingers clear just as the hook slammed tight against the brake cover, and he rolled his body away. Newly restrained, the trailer jumped sideways in the grass, the tires slamming down where his body had been moments before.

The metal cable from the winch was pulled taut. The whole underbelly of the trailer creaked in protest.

But it held.

Thorne crawled out from beneath the trailer, and squinted at it in the rain. He looked carefully at the wheels of the jeep, to see if they were moving at all. No. With the cable wrapped around the tree, the counterbalancing weight of the jeep was enough to hold the second trailer on the rim of the cliff.

He went back to the Jeep, climbed inside, and set the brake. He heard Eddie saying, "Doc, Doc."

"I'm here, Eddie."

"You manage to stop it?"

"Yeah. It's not moving any more."

The radio crackled. "That's great. But listen. Doc. You know that connector is just five-mil mesh over stainless rod. It was never intended to - "

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