The Lost World Chapter 6

mRNA, complete cds. [GALRERYF1 1068 bp ss-mRNA VRT 15-DEC-1989]


Gallimimus bullatus (Male) 9 day embryonic blood, cDNA to mRNA,

clone E120-1.

ORGANISM Gallimimus bullatus

Animalia; Chordata; Vertebrata; Archosauria; Dinosauria;



1 (bases 1 to 1418) T.R.Evans, 17-JUL-1989.



/note='Eryf1 protein gi: 212629"




206  a  371  c  342  g  149  t

"It's a reference to a computer database," Malcolm said. "For some dinosaur blood factor. Something to do with red cells."

"And is that the sequence?"

"No," Malcolm said. He started shuffling through the papers. "No, the sequence should be a series of nucleotides....Here."

He picked up another sheet of paper.


























Distribution [DIS]

Wu /HQ-Ops

Lori Ruso /Prod

Venn /LLv-1

Chang /89 Pen


Sequence is final and approved.

"Does this have something to do with why the animals survived?" Thorne said.

"I'm not sure," Malcolm said. Was this sheet related to the final days of the manufacturing facility? Or was it just something that a worker printed out years ago, and somehow left behind?

He looked around by the printer, and found a shelved stack of sheets. Pulling them out, he discovered that they were memos. They were on faded blue paper, and they were all brief.

From: CC/D-P. Jenkins

To: H. Wu

Excess dopamine in Alpha 5 means DI receptor still not func-

tioning with desired avidity. To minimize aggressive behavior in

finished orgs must try alternate genetic backgrounds. We need

to start this today.

And again:

From: CC/D

To: H. Wu/Sup

Isolated glycogen synthase kinase-3 from Xenopus may work

better than mammalian GSK-3 alpha/beta currently in use.

Anticipate more robust establishment of dorsoventral polarity

and less early embyro wastage. Agree?

Malcolm looked at the next one:

From: Backes

To: H. Wu/Sup

Short protein fragments may be acting as prions. Sourcing

doubtful but suggest halt all exogenous protein for carniv. orgs

until origin is cleared up. Disease cannot continue!

Thorne looked over his shoulder. "Seems like they had problems," he said.

"Undoubtedly they did," Malcolm said. "It would be impossible not to have them. But the question is..."

He drifted off, staring at the next memo, which was longer.

INGEN PRODUCTION UPDATE 10/10/88 From: Lori Ruso

To: All Personnel

Subject: Low Production Yields

Recent episodes of wastage of successful live births in the

period 24-72 hours post-hatching have been traced to contami-

nation from Escherichia coli bacteria. These have cut produc-

tion yields by 60%, and arise from inadequate sterile

precautions by floor personnel, principally during Process H

(Egg Maintenance Phase, Hormone Enhancement 2G/H).

Komera swing arms have been replaced and re-sleeved on

robots 5A and 7D, but needle replacement must still be done

daily in accordance with sterile conditions (General Manual:

Guideline 5-9).

During the next production cycle (10/12-10/26) we will sacri-

fice every tenth egg at H Step to test for contamination. Begin

set-asides at once. Report all errors. Stop the line whenever

necessary until this is cleared up.

"They had problems with infection, and contamination of the production line,' Malcolm said. "And maybe other sources of contamination as well. Look at this."

He handed Thorne the next memo:


From: H. Wu

To: All Personnel


Live births will be fitted with the new Grumbach field tags at

the earliest viable interval. Formula or other feeding within the

laboratory confines will no longer be done. The release pro-

gram is now fully operational and tracking networks are acti-

vated to monitor.

Thorne said, "Does this mean what I think it means?"

"Yes," Malcolm said. "They were having trouble keeping the newborn animals alive, so they tagged them and released them."

"And kept track of them on some kind of network?"

"Yes. I think so."

"They set dinosaurs loose on this island?" Eddie said. "They must have been crazy."

"Desperate, is more like it , Malcolm said. "Just imagine: here's this huge expensive high-tech process, and in the end the animals are getting sick and dying. Hammond must have been furious. So they decided to get the animals out of the laboratory, and into the wild."

"But why didn't they find the cause of the sickness, why didn't they - "

"Commercial process," Malcolm said. "It's all about results. And I'm sure they thought they were keeping track of the animals, they could get them back anytime they wanted. And don't forget, it must have worked. They must have put the animals into the field, then collected them after a while, when they were older, and shipped them to Hammond's zoo."

"But not all of them...."

"We don't know everything yet," Malcolm said. "We don't know what happened here."

They went through the next doorway, and found themselves in a small, bare room, with a central bench, and lockers on the walls. Signs said OBSERVE STERILE PRECAUTIONS and MAINTAIN SK4 STANDARDS. At the end of the room was a cabinet with stacks of yellowing gowns and caps. Eddie said, "It's a changing room."

"Looks like it," Malcolm said. He opened a locker; it was empty, except for a pair of men's shoes. He opened several other lockers. They were all empty. Inside one, a sheet of paper was taped:

Safety Is Everybody's Business!

Report Genetic Anomalies!

Dispose of Biowaste Properly!

Halt the Spread of DX Now!

"What's DX?" Eddie said.

"I think," Malcolm said, "it's the name for this mysterious disease."

At the far end of the changing room were two doors. The right-hand door was pneumatic, operated by a rubber foot-panel set in the floor. But that door was locked, so they went through the left door, which opened freely.

They found themselves in a long corridor, with floor-to-ceiling glass panels along the right wall. The glass was scratched and dirty, but they peered through it into the room beyond, which was unlike anything Thorne had ever seen.

The space was vast, the size of a football field. Conveyor belts crisscrossed the room at two levels, one very high, the other at waist level. At various stations around the room, clusters of large machinery, with intricate tubing and swing arms, stood beside the belts.

Thorne shone his light on the conveyor belts. "An assembly line," he said.

"But it looks untouched, like it's still ready to go," Malcolm said. "There are a couple of plants growing through the floor over there, but, overall, remarkably clean."

"Too clean," Eddie said.

Thorne shrugged. "If it's a clean-room environment, then it's probably air-sealed," he said. "I guess it just stayed the way it was years ago."

Eddie shook his head. "For years? Doc, I don't think so."

"Then what do you think explains it?"

Malcolm frowned, peering through the glass. How was it possible for a room this size to remain clean after so many years? It didn't make any -

"Hey!" Eddie said.

Malcolm saw it, too. It was in the far corner of the room, a small blue box halfway up the wall, cables running into it. It was obviously some kind of electrical junction box. Mounted on the box was a tiny red light.

It was glowing.

"This place has power!"

Thorne moved close to the glass, looking through with them. "That' s impossible. It must be some kind of stored charge, or a battery...."

"After five years? No battery can last that long," Eddie said. "I'm telling you, Doc, this place has power!"

Arby stared at the monitor as white lettering slowly printed across the screen:


He typed:


There was another pause.

He waited.

More letters slowly appeared:


He typed in his name.


You're kidding, he thought. This was going to be a snap. It was almost disappointing. He really thought Dr. Thorne would have been more clever. He typed:


After a moment:


Sure thing, Arby thought. You bet I will. There was no paper on the desk in front of him; he patted his pockets, found a scrap of paper, and wrote it down.


He typed in the series of characters and numbers.

There was another pause, and then more printing appeared across the screen. The speed of the printing was oddly slow, and halting at times. After all this time, maybe the system wasn't working very -


The screen flashed, and suddenly turned dark blue. There was an electronic chime.

And then Arby's jaw dropped open as he stared at the screen, which read:




It didn't make any sense. How could there be a Site B network? InGen had closed Site B years ago. Arby had already read the documents. And InGen was out of business, long since bankrupt. What network? he thought. And how had he managed to get on it? The trailer wasn't connected to anything. There were no cables or anything. So it must be a radio network, already on the island. Somehow he'd managed to log onto it. But how could it exist? A radio network needed power, and there was no power here.

Arby waited.

Nothing happened. The words just sat there on the screen. He waited for a menu to come up, but one never did. Arby began to think that perhaps the system was defunct. Or hung up. Maybe it just let you log on, and then nothing happened after that.

Or maybe, he thought, he was supposed to do something. He did the simplest thing, which was to press RETURN.

He saw:





  F/Field Rec   10/09/89

  M/Maintenance 11/12/89

  A/Administration  11/11/89


Rl/Research (AV-AD)   11/01/89

  R2/Research (GD-99) 11/12/89

  P/Production (FD-FN)  11/09/89


A, 1-20 CCD   NDC. 1. I

So it really was an old system: files hadn't been modified for years. Wondering if it still worked, he clicked on VIDEO NETWORK, And to his amazement, he saw the screen begin to fill with tiny video images.

There were fifteen in all, crowding the screen, showing views of various parts of the island. Most of the cameras seemed to be mounted high up, in trees or something, and they showed -

He stared.

They showed dinosaurs.

He squinted. It wasn't possible. These were movies or something he was seeing. Because in one corner he saw a herd of triceratops. In an adjacent square, some green lizard-looking things, in high grass, with just their heads sticking up. In another, a single stegosaurus, ambling along.

They must be movies, he thought. The dinosaur channel.

But then, in another image, Arby saw the two connected trailers standing in the clearing. He could see the black photovoltaic panels glistening on the roof He almost imagined he could see himself, through the window of the trailer.

Oh, my God, he thought.

And in another image, he saw Thorne and Malcolm and Eddie get quickly into the green Explorer, and drive around the back of the laboratory. And he realized with a shock:

The pictures were all real.


They drove the Explorer to the back of the main building, heading for the power station. On the way, they passed a little village to their right. Thorne saw six plantation-style cottages and a larger building marked "Manager's Residence." It was clear that the cottages had once been nicely landscaped, but they were now overgrown, partially retaken by the jungle. In the center of the complex, they saw a tennis court, a drained swimming pool, a small gas pump in front of what looked like a little general store.

Thorne said, "I wonder how many people they had here?" Eddie said, "How do you know they're all gone?"

"What do you mean?"

"Doc - they have power. After all these years. There has to be an explanation for it." Eddie steered the car around the back of the loading bays, and drove toward the power station, directly ahead.

The power station was a windowless, featureless concrete blockhouse, marked only by a corrugated-steel rim for ventilation around the top. The steel vents were long since rusted a uniform brown, with flecks of yellow.

Eddie drove the car around the block, looking for a door. He found it at the back. It was a heavy steel door, with a peeling, painted sign that said: CAUTION HIGH VOLTAGE DO NOT ENTER.

Eddie jumped out of the car, and the others followed. Thorne sniffed the air. "Sulfur," he said.

"Very strong, " Malcolm said, nodding.

Eddie tugged at the door. "Guys, I got a feeling..."

The door opened suddenly with a clang, banging against the concrete wall. Eddie peered into darkness inside. Thorne saw a dense maze of pipes, a trickle of steam coming out of the floor. The room was extremely hot. There was a loud, constant whirring sound.

Eddie said, "I'll be damned." He walked forward, looking at the gauges, many of which were unreadable, the glass thickly coated with yellow. The joints of the pipes were also rimmed with yellow crust. Eddie wiped away some of the crust with his finger. "Amazing," he said.


"Yeah, sulfur. Amazing." He turned toward the source of the sound, saw a large circular vent, a turbine inside. The turbine blades, spinning rapidly, were drill yellow.

"And that's sulfur, too?" Thorne said.

"No," Eddie said. "That must be gold. Those turbine blades are gold alloy."


"Yeah. It would have to be very inert." He turned to Thorne. "You realize what all this is? It's incredible. So compact and efficient. Nobody has figured out how to do this. The technology is - "

"You're saying it's geothermal?" Malcolm said.

"That's right," Eddie said. "They've tapped a heat source here, probably gas or steam, which is piped up through the floor over there. Then the heat is used to boil water in a closed cycle - that's the network of pipes up there - and turn the turbine - there - which makes electric power. Whatever the heat source, geothermal's almost always corrosive as hell. Most places, maintenance is brutal. But this plant still works. Amazing,"

Along one wall was a main panel, which distributed power to the en-tire laboratory complex. The panel was flecked with mold, and dented in several spots.

Doesn't look like anybody's been in here in years," he said. "And a lot of the power grid is dead. But the plant itself is still going - incredible."

Thorne coughed in the sulfurous air, and walked back into the sunlight. He looked up at the Year of the laboratory. One of the loading bays seemed in good shape, but the other had collapsed. The glass at the rear of the building was shattered.

Malcolm came to stand beside him. "I wonder if an animal hit the building."

"You think an animal could do that much damage?"

Malcolm nodded. "Some of these dinosaurs weigh forty, fifty tons. A single animal has the mass of a whole herd of elephants. That could easily be damage from an animal, yes. You notice that path, running there? That's a game trail going past the loading bays, and down the hill. It could have been animals, yes."

Thorne said , Didn't they think of that when they released the animals in the first place?"

Oh, I'm sure they just planned to release them for a few weeks or months, then round them up when they were still juvenile. I doubt they ever thought they - "

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They were interrupted by a crackling electrical hiss, like static. It was coming from inside the Explorer. Behind them, Eddie hurried toward the car, with a worried look.

"I knew it," Eddie said. "Our communications module is frying. I knew we should have put in the other one." He opened the door to the Explorer and climbed in the passenger side, picked up the handset, pressed the automatic tuner. Through the windshield, he saw Thorne and Malcolm coming back toward the car.

And then the transmission locked. " - into the car!" said a scratchy voice.

"Who is this?"

"Dr. Thorne! Dr. Malcolm! Get in the car!"

As Thorne arrived, Eddie said, "Doc. It's that damn kid."

"What?" Thorne said.

"It's Arby."

Over the radio, Arby was saying, Get in the car! I can see it coming!"

What's he talking about?" Thorne said, frowning. "He's not here, is he? Is he on this island?"

The radio crackled. "Yes, I'm here! Dr. Thorne!"

"But how the hell did he - "

"Dr. Thorne! Get in the car!"

Thorne turned purple with anger. He bunched his fists. "How did that little son of a bitch manage to do this?" He grabbed the handset from Eddie. "Arby, God damn it - "

"It's coming!"

Eddie said, "What's he talking about? He sounds completely hysterical."

I can see it on the television! Dr. Thorne!"

Malcolm looked around at the jungle. "Maybe we should get in the car, he said quietly.

"What does he mean, television?" Thorne said. He was furious.

Eddie said, "I don't know, Doc, but if he's got a feed in the trailer, we can see it too." He flicked on the dashboard monitor. He watched as the screen glowed to life.

"That damn kid," Thorne said. "I'm going to wring his neck."

"I thought you liked that kid," Malcolm said. "I do, but-"

"Chaos at work," Malcolm said, shaking his head. Eddie was looking at the monitor.

"Oh shit," he said.

On the tiny dashboard monitor, they had a view looking straight down at the powerful body of a Tyrannosaurus rex, as it moved up the game trail toward them. Its skin was a mottled reddish brown, the color of dried blood. In dappled sunlight, they could clearly see the powerful muscles of its haunches. The animal moved quickly, without any sign of fear or hesitation.

Staring, Thorne said, "Everybody in the car."

The men climbed hurriedly in. On the monitor, the tyrannosaur moved out of view of the camera. But, sitting in the Explorer, they could hear it coming. The earth was shaking beneath them, swaying the car slightly.

Thorne said, "Ian? What do you think we should do?"

Malcolm didn't answer. He was frozen, staring forward, eyes blank.

"Ian?" Thorne said.

The radio clicked. Arby said, "Dr. Thorne, I've lost him on the monitor. Can you see him yet?"

"Jesus," Eddie said.

With astonishing speed the Tyrannosaurus rex burst into view, emerging from the foliage to the right of the Explorer. The animal was immense, the size of a two-storey building, its head rising high above them, out of sight. Yet for such a large creature it moved with incredible speed and agility. Thorne stared in stunned silence, waiting to see what would happen. He felt the car vibrate with each thundering footstep. Eddie moaned softly.

But the tyrannosaur ignored them. Continuing at the same rapid pace, it moved swiftly past the front of the Explorer. They hardly had a chance to see it before its big head and body disappeared into the foliage to the left. Now they saw only the thick counterbalancing tail, some seven feet in the air, swinging back and forth with each footstep as the animal moved on.

So fast! Thorne thought. Fast! The giant animal had emerged, blocked their vision, and then was gone again. He was not accustomed to seeing something that big move so fast. Now there was only the tip of the tail swinging back and forth as the animal hurried away.

Then the tail banged against the front of the Explorer, with a loud metallic clang.

And the tyrannosaur stopped.

They heard a low, uncertain growl from the jungle. The tail swung back and forth in the air again, more tentatively. Soon enough, the tail brushed lightly against the radiator a second time.

Now they saw the foliage to the left rustling and bending, and the tail was gone.

Because the tyrannosaur, Thorne realized, was coming back.

Re-emerging from the jungle, it moved toward the car, until it was standing directly in front of them. It growled again, a deep rumbling sound, and turned its head slightly from side to side to look at this strange new object. Then it bent over, and Thorne could see that the tyrannosaur had something in its mouth; he saw the legs of a creature dangling on both sides of the 'aws. Flies buzzed in a thick cloud around the tyrannosaur's head.

Eddie moaned. "Oh, fuck."

"Quiet," Thorne whispered.

The tyrannosaurus snorted, and looked at the car. It bent lower, and sniffed repeatedly, moving its head slightly to the left and right with each inhalation. Thorne realized it was smelling the radiator. It moved laterally, and sniffed the tires. Then it lifted its huge head slowly, until its eyes rose above the surface of the hood. It stared at them through the windshield. Its eyes blinked. The gaze was cold and reptilian.

Thorne had the distinct impression that the tyrannosaur was looking at them: its eyes shifted from one person to the next. With its blunt nose, it pushed at the side of the car, rocking it slightly, as if testing its weight, measuring it as an opponent. Thorne gripped the steering wheel tightly and held his breath.

And then, abruptly, the tyrannosaur stepped away, and walked to the front of the car. It turned its back on them, lifting its big tail high. The tyrannosaur backed up toward them. They heard the tail scraping across the roof of the car. The rear haunches came closer...

And then the tyrannosaur sat down on the hood, tilting the vehicle pushing the bumper into the ground with its enormous weight. At first: it did not move, but simply sat there. Then, after a moment, it began to wriggle its hips back and forth in a quick motion, making the metal squeak.

"What the hell?" Eddie said.

The tyrannosaur stood again, the car sprang back up, and Thorne saw thick white paste smeared across the hood. The tyrannosaur immediately moved away, heading down the game trail, disappearing into the jungle.

Behind them, they saw it emerge into the open again, stalk across the open compound. It lumbered behind the convenience store, passed between two of the cottages, and then disappeared from sight again.

Thorne glanced at Eddie, who jerked his head toward Malcolm. Malcolm had not turned to watch the departing tyrannosaur. He was still staring forward, his body tense. "Ian?" Thorne said. He touched him on the shoulder

Malcolm said, "Is he gone?"

"Yes. He's gone,

Ian Malcolm's body relaxed, his shoulders dropping. He exhaled slowly. His head sagged to his chest. He took a deep breath, and raised his head again. "You've got to admit," he said. "You don't see that every day."

"Are you okay?" Thorne said.

"Yeah, sure. I'm fine." He put his hand on his chest, feeling his heart. "Of Course I'm fine. After all, that was just a small one."

"Small?" Eddie said. "You call that thing small - "

"Yes, for a tyrannosaur. Females are quite a bit larger. There's sexual dimorphism in tyrannosaurs - the females are bigger than the males. And it's generally thought they did most of the hunting. But we may find that out for ourselves."

"Wait a minute,"Eddiesaid."What makes you so sure he was a male?"

Malcolm pointed to the hood of the car, where the white paste now gave off a pungent odor. "He scent-marked territory."

"So? Maybe females can also mark - "

"Very likely they can," Malcolm said. "But anal scent glands are found only among males. And you saw how he did it."

Eddie stared unhappily at the hood. "I hope we can get that stuff off," he said. "I brought some solvents, but I wasn't expecting, you know...dino musk."

The radio clicked. "Dr. Thorne," Arby said. "Dr. Thorne? Is everything all right?"

"Yes, Arby. Thanks to you," he said.

"Then why are you waiting? Dr. Thorne? Didn't you see Dr. Levine?"

"Not yet, no." Thorne reached for his sensor unit, but it had fallen to the floor. He bent over, and picked it up. Levine's coordinates had changed. "He's moving...."

"I know he's moving. Dr. Thorne?"

"Yes, Arby," Thorne said. And then he said, "Wait a minute. How do you know he's moving?"

"Because I can see him," Arby said. "He's riding a bicycle."

Kelly came into the front of the trailer, yawning and pushing her hair back from her face. "Who're you talking to, Arb?" She stared at the monitor and said, "Hey, pretty neat."

"I got onto the Site B network," he said. "What network?"

"It's a radio LAN, Kel. For some reason it's still up.

'Is that right? But how did - "

"Kids," Thorne said, over the radio. "If you don't mind. We're looking for Levine."

Arby picked up the handset. "He's riding a bicycle down a path in the jungle. It's pretty steep and narrow. I think he's following the same path as the tyrannosaur."

Kelly said, "As the what?"

Thorne put the car in gear, driving away from the power station, toward the worker compound. He went past the gas station, and then between the cottages. He followed the same path the tyrannosaur had taken. The game trail was fairly wide, easy to follow.

"We shouldn't have those kids here," Malcolm said, gloomily. "It's not safe."

"Not much we can do about it now," Thorne said. He clicked the radio. "Arby, do you see Levine now?"

The car bounced through what had once been a flower bed, and around the back of the Manager's Residence. It was a large two-storey building built in a tropical colonial style, with hardwood balconies all around the upper floor. Like the other houses, it was overgrown.

The radio clicked. "Yes, Dr. Thorne. I see him."

"Where is he?"

"He's following the tyrannosaur. On his bicycle."

"Following the tyrannosaur." Malcolm sighed. "I should never have gotten involved with him."

"We all agree on that," Thorne said. He accelerated, driving past a section of broken stone wall which seemed to mark the outer perimeter of the compound. The car plunged on into jungle, following the game trail.

Over the radio, Arby said, "Do you see him yet?"

"Not yet."

The trail became progressively narrower, twisting as it ran down the hillside. They came around a curve, and suddenly saw a fallen tree blocking the path. The tree had been denuded in the center, its branches stripped and broken - presumably because large animals had repeatedly stepped over it.

Thorne braked to a stop in front of the tree. He got out, and walked around to the back of the Explorer.

"Doc," Eddie said. "Let me do it."

"No," Thorne said. "If anything happens, you're the only one who can repair the equipment You're more important, especially now that we have the kids."

Standing behind the car, Thorne lifted the motorcycle off the carrier hooks. He swung it down, checked the battery charge, and rolled it to the front of the car. He said to Malcolm, "Give me that rifle," and slung the rifle around his shoulder.

Thorne took a headset from the dashboard, and put it over his head. He clipped the battery pack to his belt, placed the microphone alongside his cheek. "You two go back to the trailer," Thorne said. "Take care of the kids."

"But Doc..." Eddie began.

"Just do it," Thorne said, and lifted the motorcycle over the fallen tree. He set it down on the other side, and climbed over himself. Then he saw the same pungent, pale secretions on the trunk; it had smeared on his hands. He glanced back at Malcolm, questioningly.

"Marking territory," Malcolm said.

"Great," Thorne said. "Just great." He wiped his hands on his trousers.

Then he got on the motorcycle, and drove off.

Foliage slapped at Thorne's shoulders and legs as he drove down the game trail, following the tyrannosaur. The animal was somewhere up ahead, but he couldn't see it. He was driving fast.

The radio headset crackled. Arby said, "Dr. Thorne? I can see you now."

"Okay," Thorne said.

It crackled again. "But I can't see Dr. Levine any more," Arby said. He sounded worried.

The electric motorcycle made hardly any noise, particularly going downhill. Up ahead, the game trail divided in two. Thorne stopped, leaned over the bike, looking at the muddy path. He saw the footprints of the tyrannosaur, going off to the left. And he saw the thin line of the bicycle tires. Also going off to the left.

He took the left fork, but now he drove more slowly.

Ten yards ahead, Thorne passed the partially eaten leg of a creature, which lay at the side of the path. The leg was old; it was crawling with white maggots and flies. In the morning heat, the sharp smell was nauseating. He continued, but soon saw the skull of a large animal, some of the flesh and green skin still adhering to the bone. It, too, was covered with flies.

Speaking into the microphone, he said, "I'm passing some partial carcasses...."

The radio crackled. Now he heard Malcolm say, "I was afraid of that."

"Afraid of what?"

"There may be a nest," Malcolm said. "Did you notice the carcass that the tyrannosaur had in his jaws? It was scavenged, but he hadn't eaten it. 'There's a good chance he was taking the food home, to a nest."

"A tyrannosaur nest..." Thorne said.

"I'd be cautious," Malcolm said.

Thorne slipped the bike into neutral, and rolled the rest of the way down the hill. When the ground leveled out, he climbed off the motorcycle. He could feel the earth vibrate beneath his feet, and from the bushes ahead, he heard a deep rumbling sound, like the purr of a large jungle cat. Thorne looked around. He didn't see any sign of Levine's bicycle.

Thorne unshouldered the rifle, and gripped it in sweating hands. He heard the purring growl again, rising and falling. There was something odd about the sound. It took Thorne a moment to realize what it was.

It came from more than one source: more than one big animal, purring beyond the foliage directly ahead.

Thorne bent over, picked up a handful of grass, and released it in the air. The grass blew back toward his legs: he was downwind. He slipped forward through the foliage.

The ferns around him were huge and dense, but up ahead he could see sunlight shining through, from a clearing beyond. The sound of purring was very loud now. There was another sound as well-an odd, squeaking sound. It was high-pitched, and at first sounded almost mechanical, like a squeaking wheel.

Thorne hesitated. Then, very slowly, he lowered a frond. And he stared.


In the midmorning light, two enormous tyrannosaurs - each twenty feet high - loomed above him. Their reddish skin had a leathery appearance. Their huge heads were fierce-looking, with heavy jaws and large sharp teeth. But somehow here the animals conveyed no sense of menace to Thorne. They moved slowly, almost gently, bending repeatedly over a large circular rampart of dried mud, nearly four feet high. The two adults held bits of red flesh in their jaws as they ducked their heads below the mud wall. This movement was greeted by a frantic high-pitched squeaking sound, which stopped almost immediately. Then, when the adults lifted their heads again, the flesh was gone.

There was no question: this was the nest. And Malcolm had been right: one tyrannosaur was noticeably larger than the other.

In a few moments, the squeaking resumed. It sounded to Thorne like baby birds. The adults continued to duck their heads, feeding the unseen babies. A bit of torn flesh landed on the top of the mud mound. As he watched, Thorne saw an infant tyrannosaur rise into view above the rampart, and start to scramble over the side. The infant was about the size of a turkey, with a large head and very large eyes. Its body was covered with a fluffy red down, which gave it a scraggly appearance. A ring of pale-white down circled its neck. The infant squeaked repeatedly and it crawled awkwardly toward the meat, using its weak forearms. But when it finally reached the carrion, it jabbed, biting the flesh decisively with tiny, sharp teeth.

It was busily eating the food when it screeched in alarm and started to slide down the outer wall of dried mud. Immediately, the mother tyrannosaur dropped her head and intercepted the baby's fall, then gently nudged the animal back inside the nest. Thorne was impressed by the delicacy of her movements, the attentive way she cared for her young. The father, meanwhile, continued to tear small pieces of meat. Both animals kept up a continuous purring growl, as if to reassure the infants.

As Thorne watched, he shifted his position. His foot stepped on a branch: there was a sharp crack.

Immediately, both adults jerked their heads up.

Thorne froze; he held his breath.

The tyrannosaurs scanned the area around the nest, looking intently in every direction. Their bodies were tense, their heads alert. Their eyes flicked back and forth, accompanied by little head jerks. After a moment, they seemed to relax again. They bobbed their heads up and down, and rubbed their snouts against each other. It seemed to be some kind of ritual movement, almost a dance. Only then did they resume feeding the infants.

When they had calmed down, Thorne slipped away, moving quietly back to the motorcycle. Arby whispered over the headset, "Dr. Thorne. I can't see you."

Thorne didn't answer. He tapped the microphone with his finger, to signal that he had heard. .

Arby whispered, "I think I know where Dr. Levine is. He's off to your left."

Thorne tapped the mike again, and turned.

To his left, among ferns, he saw a rusted bicycle. It said "Prop. InGen Corp." It was leaning against a tree.

Not bad, Arby thought, sitting in the trailer and watching the remote videos as he clicked on them. He now had the monitor divided into quarters; it was a good compromise between lots of views, and images large enough to see.

One of the views looked down from above on the two tyrannosaurs in the secluded clearing. It was midmorning; the sun shone brightly on the muddy, trampled grass of the clearing. In the center he saw a round steep-walled nest of mud. Inside the nest were four mottled white eggs, about the size of footballs. There were also some broken egg fragments, and two baby tyrannosaurs, looking exactly like featherless, squeaking birds, They sat in the nest with their heads turned up like baby birds, mouths gaping wide, waiting to be fed.

Kelly watched the screen and said, "Look how cute they are." And then she added, "We should be out there."

Arby didn't answer her. He was not at all sure he wanted to be any closer. The adults were being very cool about it, but Arby found the idea of these dinosaurs very unnerving in some deep way that he couldn't analyze. Arby had always found it reassuring to organize, to create order in his life - even arranging the images neatly on the computer monitor was calmlng to him. But this island was a place where everything was unknown and unexpected. Where you didn't know what would happen. He found that troubling.

On the other hand, Kelly was excited. She kept making comments about the tyrannosaurs, how big they were, the size of their teeth. She seemed entirely enthusiastic, without any fear at all.

Arby felt annoyed with her.

"Anyway," she said, "what makes you think you know where Dr. Levine is?"

Arbv pointed to the image of the nest, on the monitor. "Watch."

"I see it."

"No. Watch, Kel."

As they stared at the screen, the image moved slightly. It panned to the left, then centered again. "See that?" Arby said.

"So what? Maybe the wind is blowing the carMera or something."

Arby shook his head. "No, Kel. He's up in the tree. Levine's moving the camera."

"Oh." A pause. She watched again. "You might be right."

Arby grinned. That was about all he could expect to get from Kelly. "Yeah, I think so."

"But what's Dr. Levine doing in the tree?"

"Maybe he's adjusting the camera."

They listened to Thorne's breathing over the radio.

Kelly stared at the four video images, each showing a different view of the island. She sighed. "I can't wait to get out there," she said.

"Yeah, me too," Arby said. But he didn't mean it. He glanced out the window of the trailer and saw the Explorer coming back, with Eddie and Malcolm. Secretly, he was glad to see them return.

Thorne stood at the base of the tree, looking up. He couldn't see Levine through the leaves, but he knew he must be somewhere up above, because he was making what seemed to Thorne like a lot of noise. Thorne glanced nervously back at the clearing, screened by intervening foliage. He could still hear the purring; it remained steady, uninterrupted.

Thorne waited. What the hell was Levine doing up in a tree, anyway? He heard rustling in the branches above, and then silence. A grunt. Then more rustling.

And then Levine said aloud, "Oh, shit!" Then a loud crashing sound, the crack of branches, and a howl of pain. And then Levine crashed down on the ground in front of Thorne, landing hard on his back. He rolled over, clutching his shoulder.

"Damn!" he said.

Levine wore muddy khakis that were torn in several places. Behind a three-day growth of beard, his face was haggard and spattered with mud. He looked up as Thorne moved toward him, and grinned.

"You're the last person I expected to see, Doc," Levine said. "But your timing is flawless."

Thorne extended his hand, and Levine started to reach for it, when, from the clearing behind them, the tyrannosaurs gave a deafening roar.

"Oh, not" Kelly said. On the monitor, the tyrannosaurs were agitated, moving swiftly in circles, raising their heads and bellowing.

"Dr. Thorne! What's happening?" Arby said.

They heard Levine's voice, tinny and scratchy on the radio, but they couldn't make out the words. Eddie and Malcolm came into the trailer. Malcolm took one look at the monitor and said, "Tell them to get out of there right now!"

On the monitor, the two tyrannosaurs had turned their backs to each other, so they were facing outward in a posture of defense. The babies were protected in the center. The adults swung their heavy tails back and forth over the nest, above the babies' heads. But the tension was palpable.

And then one of the adults bellowed, and charged out of the clearing. "Dr. Thorne! Dr. Levine! Get out of there!"

Thorne swung his leg over the bike and gripped the rubber handles. Levine jumped on behind, clutched him around the waist. Thorne heard a chilling roar, and looked back to see one of the tyrannosaurs crash through the foliage and charge them. The animal was running at full speed-head low, jaws open, in an unmistakable posture of attack..

Thorne twisted the throttle. The electric motor whirred, the back wheel spun in the mud, not moving.

"Go!" Levine shouted. "Go!"

The tyrannosaur rushed toward them, roaring. Thorne could feel the ground shake. The roar was so loud it hurt his ears. The tyrannosaur was nearly on them, the big head lunging forward, jaws wide open Thorne kicked back with his heels, pushing the bike forward. Suddenly the rear wheel caught, throwing up a plume of mud, and the bike roared up the muddy track. He accelerated fast. The motorcycle fished and swerved treacherously on the trail.

Behind him Levine was shouting something, but Thorne didn't listen. His heart was pounding. The bike jumped across a rut in the path and they almost lost their balance, then regained it, accelerating again. Thorne did not dare look back. He could smell the odor of rotten flesh, could hear the rasping breath of the giant animal in pursuit....

"Doc! Take it easy!" Levine shouted.

Thorne ignored him. The bike roared up the hill. The foliage slapped at them; mud spit up on their faces and chests. He was pulled over into a rut, then brought the bike back to the center of the trail. He heard another roar, and imagined it was a bit fainter, but -

"Doc!" Levine shouted, leaning close to his car, "What're you trying to do, kill us? Doc! We're alone!"

Thorne came to a flat part of the path, and risked a glance back over his shoulder. Levine was right.They were alone. He saw no sign of the pursuing tyrannosaur, though he still heard it roaring, somewhere in the distance.

He slowed the bike.

"Take it easy," Levine said, shaking his head. His face was ashen, frightened. "You're a terrible driver, do you know that? You ought to take some lessons. You almost got us killed there."

"He was attacking us," Thorne said angrily. He was familiar with Levine's critical manner, but right now -

"That's absurd," Levine said. "He wasn't attacking at all."

"It sure as hell looked like it," Thorne said.

"No, no, no," Levine said. "He wasn't attacking us. The rex was defending his nest. There's a big difference."

"I didn't see any difference," Thorne said. He pulled the bike to a stop, and glared at Levine.

"In point of fact," Levine said, "if the rex had decided to chase you, we d be dead right now. But he stopped almost immediately."

"He did?" Thorne said.

"There's no question about it," Levine said, in his pedantic manner. "The rex only intended to scare us off, and defend his territory. He'd never leave the nest unguarded, unless we took something, or disrupted the nest. I'm sure he's back there with his mate right now, hovering over the eggs, not going anywhere."

"Then I guess we're lucky he's a good parent," Thorne said, gunning the motor.

"Of course he's a good parent, Levine continued. "Any fool could tell that. Didn't you see how thin he was? He's been neglecting his own nourishment to feed his offspring. Probably been doing it for weeks. A Tyrannosaurus rex is a complex animal, with complex hunting behavior. And he has complex childrearing behavior as well. I wouldn't be surprised if adult tyrannosaurs have an extended parenting role that lasts for months. He may teach his offspring to hunt, for example. Start by bringing in small wounded animals, and letting the youngsters finish them off. That kind of thing. It'll be interesting to find out exactly what he does. Why are we waiting here?"

Through Thorne's earpiece, the radio crackled. Malcolm said, "It would never occur to him to thank you for saving his life."

Thorne grunted. "Evidently not," he said.

Levine said, "Who are you talking to? Is it Malcolm? Is he here?"

"Yes," Thorne said.

I "He's agreeing with me, isn't he," Levine said.

"Not exactly," Thorne said, shaking his head.

"Look, Doc," Levine said, "I'm sorry if you got upset. But there was no reason for it. The truth is, we were never in danger - except from your bad driving."

"Fine. That's fine." Thorne's heart was still pounding in his chest. He took a deep breath, swung the bike to the left, and headed down a wider path, back toward their camp.

Sitting behind him, Levine said, "I'm very glad to see you, Doc. I really am."

Thorne didn't answer. He followed the path downward, through foliage. They descended to the valley, picking up speed. Soon they saw the trailers in the clearing below. Levine said, "Good. You brought everything. And the equipment's working? Everything in good condition?"

"It all seems to be fine."

"Perfect," Levine said. "Then this is just perfect."

"Maybe not," Thorne said.

Through the back window of the trailer, Kelly and Arby were waving cheerfully through the glass.

"You're kidding," Levine said.


"Approaching the chaotic edge, elements show internal

conflict. An unstable and potentially lethal region."



They came running across the clearing, shouting, "Dr. Levine! Dr. Levine! You're safe!" They hugged Levine, who smiled despite himself. He turned to Thorne.

"Doc," Levine said. "This was very unwise."

"Why don't you explain that to them?" Thorne said. "They're your students."

Kelly said, "Don't be mad, Dr. Levine."

"It was our decision," Arby explained to Levine. "We came on our own."

"On your own?" Levine said.

"We thought you'd need help," Arby said. "And you did. He turned to Thorne.

Thorne nodded. "Yes. They've helped us."

"And we promise, we won't get in the way," Kelly said. "You go ahead and do whatever you have to do, and we will just - "

"The kids were worried about you," Malcolm said, coming up to Levine. "Because they thought you were in trouble."

"Anyway, what's the big rush?" Eddie said. "I mean, you build all these vehicles, and then you leave without them - "

"I had no choice," Levine said. "The government has an outbreak of some new encephalitis on its hands. They've decided it's related to the occasional dinosaur carcass that washes up there. Of course, the whole idea is idiotic, but that won't stop them from destroying every animal on this island the minute they find out about it. I had to get here first. Time is short."

"So you came here alone," Malcolm said.

"Nonsense, Ian. Stop pouting. I was going to call you, as soon as I verified this was the island. And I didn't come here alone. I had a guide named Diego, a local man who swore he had been on this island as a kid, years before. And he seemed entirely knowledgeable. He led me up the cliff without any problem. And everything was going just fine, until we were attacked at the stream, and Diego - "

"Attacked?" Malcolm said. "By what?"

"I didn't really see what it was," Levine said. "It happened extremely fast. The animal knocked me down, and tore the backpack, and I don't really know what happened after that. Possibly the shape of my pack confused it, because I got up and started running again, and it didn't chase me."

Malcolm was staring at him. "You were damn lucky, Richard."

"Yes, well, I ran for a long time. When I looked back, I was alone in the jungle. And lost. I didn't know what to do, so I climbed a tree. That seemed like a good idea - and then, around nightfall, the velociraptors showed up."

"Velociraptors?" Arby said.

"Small carnivores," Levine said. "Basic theropod body shape, long snout, binocular vision. Roughly two meters tall, weighing perhaps ninety kilos. Very fast, intelligent, nasty little dinosaurs, and they travel in packs. And last night there were eight of them, jumping all around my tree, trying to get to me. All night long, jumping and snarling, jumping and snarling...I didn't get any sleep at all."

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