The Lost World Chapter 12

"I know, Eddie. I'm working on it." Thorne climbed out of the car again. He ran quickly through the rain toward the trailer.

He opened the side door, and went inside. The interior was inky black. He could see nothing at all. Everything was overturned. His feet crunched on glass. All the windows were shattered. He held the radio in his hand. "Eddie!"

"Yes, Doc."

"I need rope." He knew that Eddie had all sorts of supplies squirreled away.


"Just tell me."

"It's in the other trailer. Doc."

Thorne crashed against a table in the darkness, "Great."

"There might be some nylon line in the utility locker," Eddie said. "But I don't know how much." He didn't sound hopeful. Thorne pushed his way down the trailer, came to the wall cabinets. They were jammed shut. He tugged at them in the darkness, then turned away. The utility locker was just beyond. Maybe there would be rope there. And right now, he needed rope.


Sarah Harding, still hanging by her arms from the top of the trailer, stared up at the twisted accordion connector, leading to the second trailer. The pounding from the dinosaurs had stopped, and the other trailer was no longer moving. But now she felt water, dripping cold onto her face. And she knew what that meant.

The accordion connector was beginning to leak.

She looked up, and saw a tear had begun to open in the mesh fabric, revealing the twisted coils of steel that formed the connector. The tear was small now, but it would rapidly widen. And as the mesh broke, the steel would begin to uncoil, to lengthen, and finally snap.

They had only minutes before the hanging trailer broke free and fell to the ground below,

She climbed back down to Malcolm, bracing herself to stand beside him. "Ian."

"I know," he said, shaking his head.

"Ian, we have to get out of here." She grabbed him under his armpits, and pulled him upright. "And you're coming with me."

He shook his head, defeated. She had seen that gesture before in her life, that futile shake, giving up. She hated to see it. Harding never gave up. Not ever.

Malcolm grunted. "I can't..."

"You have to," she said.


"I don't want to hear it, Ian. There's nothing to talk about. Now let's go." She was pulling him, and he groaned, but he straightened his body. She pulled hard, and got him up off the table. Lightning flashed, and he seemed to find some energy. He managed to stand on the edge of the seat, facing the table. He was unsteady, but standing. "What do we do?"

"I don't know, but we're going to get out of here....Is there any rope?"

He nodded, weakly.


He pointed straight down, toward the nose of the trailer, now hanging in space. "Down there. Under the dash."

"Come on."

She leaned out into space, and spread her legs so she was braced against the floor opposite her. She was standing like a rock climber in a chimney. Twenty feet below her to the dashboard.

"Okay, Ian. Let's go."

Malcolm said, "I can't do it, Sarah. Seriously."

"Then lean on me. I'll carry you."

"But - "

"Now, damn it!"

Malcolm hoisted himself up, grasped a wall fitting, his arm trembling. He was dragging his right leg. Then she felt his weight on her, sudden and heavy, almost knocking her free. His arms locked around her neck, choking her. She gasped, reached back with both arms, grabbed his thighs, and lifted him while he adjusted his arms better around her neck. Finally she could breathe.

"Sorry," he said.

"It's okay," she said. "Here we go."

She started to make her way down the vertical passageway, grabbing at whatever she could, In places there were handholds, and when there were no handholds, she clutched at drawer handles, table legs, window latches, even the carpeting on the floor, her fingers tearing the cloth. At one point, the carpet came away in a big strip, and she slipped before her legs tightened wider, and she halted her downward slide. Hanging behind her, Malcolm wheezed; his arms around her neck were trembling. He said, "You're very strong."

"But still feminine," she said, grimly.

She was only ten feet from the dashboard. Then five. She found a wall grip, hung, dangling her legs. Her feet touched the steering wheel. She lowered herself down, easing Malcolm onto the dashboard. He lay back, gasping-

The trailer creaked and swayed. She fumbled under the dashboard, found a utility box, popped it open. Metal tools spilled out, clattering. And she found a rope. Half-inch nylon, easily fifty feet of it.

She got up, staring down through the windshield at the bottom of the valley hundreds of feet below. Directly to her side, she saw the driver's door to the trailer. She twisted the handle, pushed it open. It clanged against the outer surface of the trailer, and she felt rain on her face.

She leaned out and looked up the side of the trailer. She saw smooth metal paneling, with no hand grips. But underneath the trailer, there must be axles and boxes and other things to stand on. Gripping the wet metal of the doorjamb, she bent over, trying to look at the underside of the trailer. She heard a metallic clanking, and she heard someone say, "Finally!" And a bulky shape suddenly loomed in front of her. It was Thorne, hanging on the undercarriage.

"For Christ's sake," Thorne said. "What are you waiting for, an engraved invitation? Let's go!"

"It's Ian," she said. "He's hurt."

Typical, Kelly thought, looking at Arby in the high hide. When things got tough, he just couldn't handle it. Too much emotion, too much tension, and he got all trembly and weird. Arby had long since turned away from the cliff, and now was looking out the other side of the shelter, toward the river. Almost as if nothing was going on. Typical.

Kelly turned back to Levine. "What's happening now?" she said. "Thorne just went in," Levine said, peering through the goggles. "He went in? You mean, in the trailer?"

"Yes. And now...someone's coming out."


"I think Sarah. She's getting everybody out."

Kelly strained in the night, trying to see. The rain had almost stopped; there was only a light drizzle now. Across the valley, the trailer still swung free in space. She thought she could make out a figure, clinging to the undercarriage. But she couldn't be sure.

'What's she doing?"



"Yes," Levine said. "Alone."

Sarah Harding came out through the door, twisting her body in the rain. She did not look down. She knew the valley was five hundred feet below her. She could feel the trailer swinging. She had the rope slung around her shoulder. She edged around, lowered her leg, and stood on a gearbox. She felt with her hand, gripped a cable. Swung around.

Thorne was inside the trailer, talking to her. "We'll never get Malcolm up without a rope," he said. "Can you climb it?"

Lightning flashed. She stared straight up at the underside of the trailer, glistening wet with rain. She saw the slick learn of grease. Then blackness again.

"Sarah: can you do it?"

"Yes," she said. She reached up, and started to climb.

In the high hide, Kelly was saying, "Where is she? What's happening? Is she all right?"

Levine watched through the glasses. "She's climbing," he said.

Arby listened to their voices distantly. He was turned away, staring off at the river in the darkened plain. He waited impatiently for the next lightning flash. Waited to see if it was true, what he had seen earlier.

She did not know how, but slipping and sliding, she somehow got to the top of the cliff, and flung herself over the side. There was no time to waste; she uncoiled the rope, and crawled beneath the second trailer. She looped the rope through a metal bracket, quickly knotted it. Then she went back to the edge of the cliff, and threw the rope down.

"Doc!" she shouted.

Standing at the trailer door, Thorne caught the rope, and tied it around Malcolm. Malcolm groaned. "Let's go," Thorne said. He put his arm around Malcolm and swung them both out, until they were standing on the gearbox.

"Christ," Malcolm said, looking upward. But Sarah was already pulling him, the rope tightening.

"Just use your arms," Thorne said. Malcolm started to rise; in a few moments, he was ten feet above Thorne. Sarah was up on the cliff, but Thorne couldn't see her; Ian's body blocked his view. Thorne began to climb, his legs struggling for purchase. The underside of the trailer was slippery. He thought: I should have made it nonskid. But who would ever make the undercarriage of a vehicle nonskid?

In his mind's eye, he saw the accordion connector, tearing...slowly tearing...opening wider....

He climbed upward. Hand over hand. Foot by foot.

Lightning flashed, and he realized that they were close to the top.

Sarah was standing on the edge of the cliff, reaching down for Malcolm. Malcolm was pulling himself up with his arms; his legs swung limp, free. But he was still going. Another few feet...Sarah grabbed Malcolm by the shirt collar, and hauled him up the rest of the way. Malcolm flopped over, out of sight.

Thorne continued up. His feet slipped. His arms ached. He climbed.

Sarah was reaching down to him.

"Come on, Doc," she said.

Her hand was extended.

Fingers reaching toward him.

With a metallic whang! the mesh ripped on the connector, and the trailer dropped down ten feet, the coils widening.

Thorne climbed faster. Looking up toward Sarah.

Her hand still reached down.

"You can do it, Doc...."

He climbed, closing his eyes, just climbing, holding the rope, gripping it tightly. His arms ached, his shoulders ached, and the rope seemed to become smaller in his hands. He twisted it around his fist, trying to hold on. But at the last moment he began to slip, and then he felt a sudden burning pain in his scalp.

"Sorry about that," Sarah said, and she pulled him up by his hair. The pain was intense but he didn't care, he hardly noticed, because now he was alongside the accordion connector, watching the coils pop free like a bursting corset, and the trailer dropped lower but she still pulled him, she was immensely strong, and then his fingers touched wet grass, and he was over the side. Safe.

Beneath them, there was a sharp series of metallic sounds - whang whang! whang! -as the coiled metal rods snapped one after another and then, with a final groan, the trailer broke all connection, and fell free down the cliff face, growing smaller and smaller, until it smashed on the rocks far below. In the glare of lightning, it looked like a crumpled paper bag.

Thorne turned, and looked up at Sarah. "Thanks," he said.

Sarah sat heavily on the ground beside him. Blood dripped from her bandaged head. She opened her fingers, and released a handful of his gray hair, which fell in a wet clump onto the grass.

"Hell of a night," she said.

The High Hide

Watching through the night-vision glasses, Levine said, "They made it!"

Kelly said, "All of them?"

"Yes! They made it!"

Kelly began to jump and cheer.

Arby turned, and grabbed the glasses out of Levine's hand.

"Hey," Levine said. "Just a minute - "

"I need them," Arby said. He spun back around and looked out at the dark plain. For a moment, he couldn't see anything, just a green blur. His fingers found the focus knob, he twisted it quickly, and the image came into view.

What the hell is so important?" Levine said irritably. "That's an expensive piece of equipment - "

And then they all heard the snarling. It was coming closer.

In pale shades of luminous green, Arby saw the raptors clearly. There were twelve of them, moving in a loose cluster through the grass, heading in the direction of the high hide. One animal was a few yards ahead and seemed to be the leader; but it was hard to discern any organization in the pack. The raptors were all snarling and licking the blood off their snouts, wiping their faces with their clawed forearms, a gesture oddly intelligent, almost human. In the night-vision glasses, their eyes glowed bright green.

They did not seem to have noticed the high hide. They never looked up toward it. But they were certainly headed in that direction.

Abruptly, the glasses were yanked out of Arby's hands. "Excuse me," Levine said. "I think I'd better handle this."

Arby said, "You wouldn't even know about it, if it wasn't for me."

"Be quiet," Levine said. He brought the glasses to his eyes, focused them, and sighed at what he saw. Twelve animals, about twenty yards away.

Eddie said quietly, "Do they see us?"

"No. And we're downwind of them, so they won't smell us. My guess is they're following the game trail that runs past the hide. If we're quiet, they'll go right past us."

Eddie's radio crackled. He hastily reached to turn it down.

They all stared out at the plain. The night was now calm and still. The rain had stopped, and the moon was breaking through thinning clouds. Faintly, they saw the approaching animals, dark against the silver grass.

Eddie whispered, "Can they get up here?"

"I don't see how," Levine whispered. "We're almost twenty feet above the ground. I think we'll be fine."

"But you said they can climb trees."

"Ssssh. This isn't a tree. Now, everybody down, and quiet."

Malcolm winced in pain as Thorne stretched him out on a table in the second trailer. "I don't seem to have much luck on these expeditions, do I?"

"No, you don't," Sarah said. "Just take it easy, Ian." Thorne held a flashlight while she cut away Malcolm's trouser. He had a deep gash on his right leg, and he had lost a lot of blood. She said, "We have a medical kit?"

Thorne said, "I think there's one outside, where we store the bike."

"Get it."

Thorne went outside to get it. Malcolm and Harding were alone in the trailer. She shone the light into the wound, peering closely. Malcolm said, "How bad is it?"

"It could be worse," she said lightly. "You'll survive." In fact, the wound cut deep, almost to the bone. Somehow it had missed the artery; that was lucky. But the gash was filthy - she saw grease and bits of leaves mashed into the ragged red muscle. She'd have to clean it out, but she'd wait for the morphine to take effect first.

"Sarah," Malcolm said, "I owe you my life."

"Never mind, Ian."

"No, no, I do."

"Ian," she said, looking at him. "This sincerity is not like you."

"It'll pass," he said, and smiled a little. She knew he must be in pain. Thorne returned with the medical kit, and she filled the syringe, tapped out the bubbles, and injected it into Malcolm's shoulder.

He grunted. "Ow. How much did you give me?"

"A lot."


"Because I have to clean the wound out, Ian. And you're not going to like it when I do."

Malcolm sighed. He turned to Thorne. "It's always something, isn' t it? Go on, Sarah, do your damnedest."

Levine watched the approaching raptors through the night glasses. They moved in a loose group, with their characteristic hopping gait. He watched, hoping to see some organization in the pack, some structure, some sign of a dominance hierarchy. Velociraptors were intelligent and it made sense that they would organize themselves hierarchically, and that this would appear in their spatial configuration. But he could see nothing. They were like a band of marauders, shapeless, hissing and snapping at one another.

Near Levine in the high hide, Eddie and the kids were crouched down. Eddie had his arms around the kids, comforting them. The boy especially was panicky. The girl seemed to be okay. She was calmer.

Levine didn't understand why anyone was afraid. They were perfectly secure, high up here. He watched the approaching pack with academic detachment, trying to discern a pattern in their rapid movements.

There was no doubt they were following the game trail. Their path exactly matched the paras earlier in the day: up from the river, then over the slight rise, and along the back of the high hide. The raptors paid no attention to the hide itself. They seemed mostly to interact with each other.

The animals came around the side of the structure, and were about to continue on, when the nearest animal paused. It fell behind the rest of the pack, sniffing the air. Then it bent over, and began to poke its snout through the grass around the bottom of the hide.

What was it doing? Levine wondered.

The solitary raptor growled. It continued to root in the grass. And then it came up with something in its hand, something it held in its clawed fingers. Levine squinted, trying to see it.

It was a piece of wrapping paper from a candy bar.

The raptor looked up at the high hide, its eyes glowing. It stared right at Levine. And it snarled.


"You feel okay?" Thorne said.

"Better all the time," Malcolm said. He sighed. His body relaxed. "You know, there's a reason why people like morphine," he said.

Sarah Harding adjusted the inflatable plastic splint around Malcolm's leg. She said to Thorne, "How long until the helicopter comes?"

Thorne glanced at his watch. "Less than five hours. Dawn tomorrow."

"For sure?"

"Yes, absolutely."

Harding nodded. "Okay. He'll be okay."

"I'm fine," Malcolm said, in a dreamy voice. "I'm just sad that the experiment is over. And 'it was such a good experiment, too. So elegant. So unique. Darwin never knew."

Harding said to Thorne, "I'm going to clean this out now. Hold his leg for me." More loudly, she said, "What didn't Darwin know, Ian?"

"That life is a complex system," he said, "and everything that goes along with that. Fitness landscapes. Adaptive walks. Boolean nets. Self-organizing behavior. Poor man. Ouch! What are you doing there?"

"Just tell us," Harding said, bent over the wound. "Darwin had no idea..."

"That life is so unbelievably complex," Malcolm said. "Nobody realizes it. I mean, a single fertilized egg has a hundred thousand genes, which act in a coordinated way, switching on and off at specific times, to transform that single cell into a complete living creature. That one cell starts to divide, but the subsequent cells are different. They specialize. Some are nerve. Some are gut. Some are limb. Each set of cells begins to follow its own program, developing, interacting. Eventually there are two hundred and fifty different kinds of cells, all developing together, at exactly the right time. Just when the organism needs a circulatory system, the heart starts pumping. Just when hormones are needed, the adrenals start to make them. Week after week, this unimaginably complex development proceeds perfectly - perfectly. It's incredible. No human activity comes close.

"I mean, you ever build a house? A house is simple in comparison. But even so, workmen build the stairs wrong, they put the sink in backward, the tile man doesn't show up when he's supposed to. All kinds of things go wrong. And yet the fly that lands on the workman's lunch is perfect. Ow! Take it easy."

"Sorry," she said, continuing to clean his wound.

"But the point," Malcolm said, "is that this intricate developmental process in the cell is something we can barely describe, let alone understand. Do you realize the limits of our understanding? Mathematically, we can describe two things interacting, like two planets in space. Three things interacting - three planets in space - well, that becomes a problem. Four or five things interacting, we can't really do it. And inside the cell, there's one hundred thousand things interacting. You have to throw up your hands. It's so complex - how is it even possible that life ever happens at all? Some people think the answer is that living forms organize themselves. Life creates its own order, the way crystallization creates order. Some people think life crystallizes into being, and that's how the complexity is managed.

"Because, if you didn't know any physical chemistry, you could look at a crystal and ask all the same questions. You'd see those beautiful spars, those perfect geometric facets, and you could ask, What's controlling this process? How does the crystal end up so perfectly formed - and looking so much like other crystals? But it turns out a crystal is just the way molecular forces arrange themselves in solid form. No one controls it. It happens on its own. To ask a lot of questions about a crystal means you don't understand the fundamental nature of the processes that led to its creation.

"So maybe living forms are a kind of crystallization. Maybe life just happens. And maybe, like crystals, there's a characteristic order to living things that is generated by their interacting elements. Okay. Well, one of the things that crystals teach us is that order can arise very fast. One minute you have a liquid, with all the molecules moving randomly. The next minute, a crystal forms, and all the molecules are locked in order. Right?"


"Okay. Now. Think of the interaction of life forms on the planet to make an ecosystem. That's even more complex than a single animal. All the arrangements are very complicated. Like the yucca plant. You know about that?"

"Tell me."

"The yucca plant depends on a particular moth which gathers pollen into a ball, and carries the ball to a different plant - not a different flower on the same plant - where it rubs the ball on the plant, fertilizing it. Only then does the moth lay its eggs. The yucca plant can't survive without the moth. The moth can't survive without the plant. Complex interactions like that make you think maybe behavior is a kind of crystallization, too."

"You're speaking metaphorically?" Harding said.

"I'm talking about all the order in the natural world," Malcolm said. "And how perhaps it can emerge fast, through crystallization. Because complex animals can evolve their behavior rapidly. Changes can occur very quickly. Human beings are transforming the planet, and nobody knows whether it's a dangerous development or not. So these behavioral processes can happen faster than we usually think evolution occurs. In ten thousand years human beings have gone from hunting to farming to cities to cyberspace. Behavior is screaming forward, and it might be nonadaptive. Nobody knows. Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species."

"Yes? Why is that?"

"Because it means the end of innovation," Malcolm said. "This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they'll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behavior. We innovavate new behavior to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That's the effect of mass media - it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there's a McDonald's on one corner, a Benneton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there's less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity - our most necessary resource? That's disappearing faster than trees. But we haven't figured that out, so now we're planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it'll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. Oh, that hurts. Are you done?"

"Almost," Harding said. "Hang on."

"And believe me, it'll be fast. If you map complex systems on a fitness landscape, you find the behavior can move so fast that fitness can drop precipitously. It doesn't require asteroids or diseases or anything else. It's just behavior that suddenly emerges, and turns out to be fatal to the creatures that do it. My idea was that dinosaurs - being complex creatures - might have undergone some of these behavioral changes. And that led to their extinction."

"What, all of them?"

"It just takes a few," Malcolm said. "Some dinosaur roots in the swamps around the inland sea, changes the water circulation, and destroys the plant ecology that twenty other species depend on. Bang! They're gone. That causes still more dislocations. A predator dies off, and its prey grow unchecked. The ecosystem becomes unbalanced. More things go wrong. More species die. And suddenly it's over. It could have happened that way."

"Just behavior..."

"Yes," Malcolm said. "Anyway, that was the idea. And I had this nice thought that we might prove it....But now it's finished. We have to get out of here. You better tell the others."

Thorne clicked on the radio. "Eddie? It's Doc."

There was no answer.


The radio crackled. And then they heard a noise that at first sounded like static. It was a moment before they realized it was a high-pitched human scream.

The High Hide

The first of the raptors hissed as it began jumping up, clattering against the high hide shaking the structure. Its claws raked against the metal, and it fell down again. Eddie was astonished at how high it jumped - the animal could leap eight feet straight up, again and again, without apparent effort. Its jumps attracted the other animals, which slowly came back to circle the hide.

Soon the hide was surrounded by leaping, snarling raptors. It swayed back and forth as the animals slammed into it, clawed for purchase, and fell back again. But more ominously, Levine saw, they were learning. Already, some of them had begun to use their clawed forearms to grip the structure, holding on while their legs got footing. One of the raptors came within a few feet of their little shelter before finally falling back. The falls never seemed to hurt the animals. They immediately leapt up, and jumped again.

Eddie and the kids scrambled to their feet. Levine said, "Get back! Don't look out," and he pushed the kids into the center of the shelter.

Eddie was bent over his knapsack, and held up an incandescent flare. He poppcd it and flung it over the side; two of the raptors fell away. The flare sputtered an the wet ground, casting harsh red shadows. But the raptors kept coming. Eddie pulled up one of the aluminum bars from the floor, leaned over the side railing brandishing the bar like a club.

One of the raptors had already climbed high enough to dart forward, jaws gaping, at Eddie's neck. Surprised, Eddie shouted and jerked his head back; the raptor narrowly missed him, but its jaws closed on his shirt. Then the raptor fell back, jaws clenched tight, and its weight pulled Eddie forward over the failing.

He yelled "Help me! Help!" as he started to topple over the side; Levine threw his arms around him, dragging him back. Levine looked past Eddie's shoulder at the raptor, which was now dangling in space, hissing furiously, still gripping the shirt. Eddie pounded the raptor on the snout with his bar. But the raptor held on like a bulldog. Eddie was bent precariously over the railing; he might fall at any moment.

He jabbed the bar into the animal's eye, and abruptly the raptor released its grip. The two men fell back into the shelter. When they got to their feet, they saw raptors climbing up the sides of the hide. As they appeared at the rail, Eddie swung at them with the strut, knocking them back.

"Quick!" he shouted to the kids. "Up on the roof! Quick!" Kelly started climbing one of the struts, then pushed herself easily up onto the roof. Arby stood there, his expression blank. She looked back down and said, "Come on, Arb!"

The boy was frozen, his eyes wide with fear. Levine ran to help him, lifted him up. Eddie was swinging the strut in wide arcs, the metal smacking against the raptors.

One of the raptors caught the strut in its jaws and jerked it hard. Eddie lost his balance, twisted, and fell backward, toppling over the side. He cried "Nooo!" as he fell. Immediately all the animals dropped down to the ground. They heard Eddie screaming in the night. The raptors snarled.

Levine was terrified. He was still holding Arby in his arms, Pushing him up to the roof "Go on," he kept saying. "Go on. Go on."

From the roof, Kelly was saying, "You can do it, Arb."

The boy gripped the roof, pulling himself up, his legs churning in panic. He kicked Levine hard in the mouth and Levine dropped him. He saw the boy slide away, and drop backward to the ground.

"Oh Christ," Levine said. "Oh Christ."

Thorne was underneath the trailer, unhooking the cable. He released it, crawled out, and sprinted for the Jeep. He heard the whirr of a motor and saw that Sarah had gotten onto the motorbike, and was already racing off, a Lindstradt rifle slung across her shoulder.

He got behind the wheel, turned on the engine, and waited impatiently while the cable winched in, the hook sliding across the grass. It seemed to take forever. Now the cable was snaking around the tree. He waited. He looked over and saw the light from Sarah's bike moving off through the foliage, heading down toward the high hide.

At last the winch motor stopped. Thorne threw the car in gear, and roared away from the clearing. The radio clicked. "Ian," he said.

" Don't worry about me," Malcolm said, in a dreamy voice. "I'm just fine."

Kelly was lying flat on the angled roof of the shed, looking down over the side. She saw Arby hit the ground, on the other side of the structure from Eddie. He seemed to hit hard. But she didn't know what happened to him, because she had turned away to grip the wet roof, and when she looked back down again, Arby was gone.


Sarah Harding drove fast on the muddy jungle road. She wasn't sure where she was, but she thought by following the terrain downward she would eventually come out onto the plain. At least that was her hope.

She accelerated, came around a curve, and suddenly saw a big tree blocking the road. She braked to a stop, spun the bike around, and headed back again. Farther up the road, she saw Thorne's twin headlights, turning off to the right. She followed his Jeep, racing her engine in the night.

Levine stood in the center of the high hide, frozen with terror. The raptors were no longer jumping, no longer trying to climb the structure. He heard them down on the ground, snarling. He heard the sharp crunch of bones. The boy had never made a sound.

Cold sweat broke out all over his body.

Then he heard Arby shout, "Back! Get back!"

Up on the roof, Kelly twisted around, trying to see down on the other side. In the dying light of the flare, she saw that Arby was inside the cage. He had managed to close the door, and was reaching his hand back through the bars, to turn the key in the lock. There were three raptors near him; they leapt forward when they saw his hand, and he pulled it back quickly. He shouted, "Get back!" The raptors began to bite the cage, turning their heads sideways to gnaw the bars. One of the animals got its lower jaw tangled up in the looped elastic band that hung from the key. The raptor pulled its head away, stretching the elastic, and suddenly the key snapped out of the lock, smacking against its neck.

The raptor squealed in surprise and stepped backward. The elastic was now looped tight around the lower jaw, the key glinting in the light. The raptor scratched at it with its forearms, trying to pull the elastic loop off, but it was caught around the curved back teeth, and the animal's efforts just made the elastic snap on the skin. Soon it gave up, and began rubbing its snout in the dirt, trying to get the key off.

Meanwhile the other raptors managed to pull the cage free from the superstructure, and knock it over onto the ground. They ducked their heads, slashing Arby behind the bars. When they realized that wouldn't work, they kicked and stomped the cage repeatedly. More animals joined them. Soon seven raptors were clustered over the cage. They kicked it and it rolled away from the hide. Their bodies blocked her view of Arby.

She heard a faint sound, and looked up to see two headlights in the distance. It was a car.

Someone was coming.

Arb was in hell. Inside the cage, he was surrounded by black snarling shapes. The raptors couldn't get their jaws through the spaces in the bars, but their hot saliva dripped down on him, and when they kicked their claws came through, slashing his arms and shoulders as he rolled. His body was bruised. His head hurt from banging against the bars. His world was swirling, terrifying pandemonium. He knew only one thing with certainty.

The raptors were rolling him away from the hide.

As the car came closer, Levine went to the railing and looked down. In the light of the red flare, he saw three raptors dragging what remained of Eddie's body toward the jungle. They paused frequently to fight over it, snapping at each other, but they still managed to haul it away.

Then he saw that another group of raptors were kicking and pushing the cage. They rolled it down the game trail, and into the forest.

Now he could hear the rumble of the jeep engine, as the car came closer. He saw Thorne's silhouette behind the wheel.

He hoped he had a gun. Levine wanted to kill every one of these damned animals. He wanted to kill them all.

Up on the roof, Kelly watched the raptors kicking the cage, rolling it away. One raptor remained behind, turning around and around in circles, like a frustrated dog. Then she saw it was the raptor that had caught its jaw in the elastic loop. The key still dangled along its check, glinting in the red light. The raptor jerked its head up and down, trying to get free.

The Jeep came roaring forward, and the raptor seemed confused by the sudden bright lights. Thorne accelerated, trying to hit it with his car. The raptor turned and ran off, out into the plain.

Kelly scrambled off the roof, and headed down.

Thorne threw open the door as Levine jumped into the car. "They got the kid," Levine said, pointing along the trail.

Kelly was still coming down, shouting, "Wait!"

Thorne said, "Get back up there. Sarah's coming! We'll get Arby!"

"But - "

"We can't lose them!" Thorne grinned the engine, and started to drive down the game trail, chasing the raptors.

In the trailer, Ian Malcolm listened to the voices shouting over the radio. He heard the panic, the confusion.

Black noise, he thought. Everything going to hell at once.

A hundred thousand things interacting.

He sighed, and closed his eyes.

Thorne drove fast. The jungle was dense around them. The trail ahead began to narrow, the big palms edging closer, slapping the car. He said, "Can we make it?"

"It's wide enough," Levine said. "I walked it earlier today. Paras use this trail."

"How could this happen?" Thorne said. "The cage was attached to the scaffolding."

"I don't know," Levine said. "It broke off."

"How? How?"

"I didn't see. A lot happened."

"And Eddie?" Thorne said grimly.

"It was fast," Levine said.

The Jeep plunged through the jungle, bouncing hard as it followed the game trail; they banged their heads on the cloth roof. Thorne drove recklessly. Up ahead, the raptors were moving fast; he could hardly see the last of the animals, sprinting in the darkness up ahead.

"They wouldn't listen to me!" Kelly shouted, as Sarah pulled up on the motorcycle.

"About what?"

"The raptor took the key! Arby's locked in the cage and the raptor took the key!"

"Where?" Sarah said.

"There!" she said, pointing across the plain. In the moonlight they could just see the dark shape of the fleeing raptor. "We need the key!"

Get on," Sarah said, unshouldering her rifle. Kelly climbed behind her on the bike. Sarah thrust the gun into her hands. "Can you shoot?"

"No. I mean, I never - "

"Can you drive a bike?"

"No, I - "

"Then you have to shoot," Sarah said. "Now, look: trigger's here. Okay? Safety's here. Twist it like this. Okay? It'll be a rough ride, so don't release it until we get close."

"Close to what?"

But Sarah didn't hear her. She grinned the engine, and the bike accelerated, heading out into the plain, chasing the fleeing raptor. Kelly put one arm around Sarah, and tried to hold on.

The Jeep bounced along the jungle trail, splashing through muddy pools. "I don't remember it this rough," Levine said, clutching the armhold. "Maybe you should slow down - "

"Hell no," Thorne said. "If we lose sight of him, it's over. We don't know where the raptor nest is. And in this jungle, at night...Ah, hell."

Up ahead, the raptors were leaving the trail, running off into the underbrush. The cage was gone. Thorne could not see the terrain very well, but it looked like a sheer hill, going almost straight down.

" You can't do it," Levine said. "It's too steep."

"I have to do it, " Thorne said.

"Don't be crazy," Levine said. "Face facts. We've lost the kid, Doe. It's too bad, but we've lost him."

Thorne glared at Levine. "He didn't give up on you," he said. "And we're not giving up on him."

Thorne spun the wheel and drove the Jeep over the edge. The car nosed down sickeningly, gained speed, and began a steep descent.

"Shit!" Levine yelled. "You'll kill us all"

"Hang on!"

Bouncing, they plunged downward into darkness.


"Order collapses in simultaneous regions. Survival is

now unlikely for individuals and groups."



The motorcycle raced forward across the grassy plain. Kelly clutched Sarah with one hand, and held the rifle with the other; the rifle was heavy; her arm was getting tired. The motorcycle jolted over the terrain. The wind blew her hair around her face.

"Hold on!" Sarah shouted.

The moon broke through the clouds, and the grass before them w as silver in the moonlight. The raptor was forty yards ahead of them, the animal just within range of their headlamp. They were gaining steadily. Kelly saw no other animals on the plain, except for the apatosaur herd in the far distance.

They came closer to the raptor. The animal ran swiftly, its tall stiff, barely visible above the grass. Sarah angled the bike to the right, as they came alongside the raptor. They moved steadily closer. She leaned back, her month close to Kelly's ear.

"Get ready!" she shouted.

"What do I do?"

They were running parallel to the raptor, back by its tail. Sarah accelerated, passing the legs, moving toward the head.

"The neck!" she shouted. "Shoot it in the neck!"


"Anywhere! The neck!"

Kelly fumbled with the gun. "Now?"

"No! Wait! Wait!"

The raptor panicked as the motorcycle approached. It increased its speed.

Kelly was trying to find the safety. The gun was bouncing. Everything was bouncing. Her fingers touched the safety, slid off. She reached again. She was going to have to use two hands, and that meant letting go of Sarah -

"Get ready!" Sarah shouted.

"But I can't - "

"Now! Do it! Now!"

Sarah swerved the bike, coming alongside the raptor. They were now just three feet away. Kelly could smell the animal. It turned its head and snapped at them. Kelly fired. The gun bricked in her hands; she grabbed Sarah again. The raptor kept running.

"What happened?"

"You missed!"

Kelly shook her head. "Never mind!" Sarah shouted. "You can do it! I'll get closer!"

She angled the bike toward the raptor again, moving closer. But this time was different: as they came alongside, the raptor abruptly charged them, butting at them with its head. Sarah howled and twisted the bike away, widening the gap. "Smart bastards, aren't they!" she shouted. "No second chances!"

The raptor chased them for a moment, then suddenly turned, changing direction, racing away across the plains.

"It's going for the river!" Kelly shouted.

Sarah gunned the engine. The bike shot forward. "How deep?"

Kelly didn't answer.

"How deep!"

"I don't know!" Kelly shouted. She was trying to remember how the raptors looked when they crossed the river. She seemed to remember they were swimming. That meant it must be at least -

"More than three feet?" Sarah said.


"No good!"

They were now ten yards behind the raptor, and losing ground. The animal had entered an area marked with thick Benettitalean cycads. The rough trunks scratched at them. The terrain was uneven; the bike botinced and jolted over the bumps. "Can't see!" Sarah shouted. "Hold on!" She angled left, moving away from the raptor, heading for the river. The animal was disappearing in the grass.

"What're you doing?" Kelly shouted.

"We have to cut him off!"

Shrieking, a flock of startled birds rose up in front of them. Sarah drove through flapping wings, and Kelly ducked her head. The rifle thunked in her hand.

"Careful!" Sarah shouted.

"What happened?"

"It went off!"

"How many shots do I have?"

"Two more! Make 'em good!"

The river was up ahead, shimmering in the moonlight. They burst out of the grass and came onto the muddy bank. Sarah turned, the motorcycle swerved, slipped, and the bike shot away. Kelly fell, hitting the cold mud, Sarah landing hard on top of her. Immediately Sarah jumped up, running for the bike, shouting, "Come on!"

Dazed, Kelly followed her. The rifle in her hands was thick with mud. She wondered if it would still work. Sarah was already on the bike, gunning the engine, waving her forward. Kelly jumped on, and Sarah headed up the riverbank.

The raptor was twenty yards ahead of them. Approaching the water. "It's getting away!"

Thorne's Jeep crashed down the hillside, out of control. Palms slapped against the windshield; they could see nothing at all, but they felt the steepness of the incline. The Jeep fished sideways. Levine yelled.

Thorne gripped the steering wheel, tried to turn the car back. He touched the brake; the Jeep straightened and continued down the hill. There was a gap in the palms - he saw a field of black boulders looming directly ahead. The raptors were scrambling over the boulders. But maybe if he went left -

"No!" Levine shouted. "No!"

"Hang on!" Thorne yelled, and he twisted the wheel. The car lost traction and slid downward. They hit the first of the boulders, shattering a headlight. The car swung up at an angle, crashed down again. Thorne thought that had finished the transmission but somehow the car was still going, angling down the hillside, moving off to the left. The second headlight smashed on a tree branch. They continued down in darkness, through another layer of palms, and then abruptly they banged down on level ground.

The Jeep tires rolled across soft earth.

Thorne brought the car to a stop.


They peered out the windows, trying to see where they were. But it was so dark, it was hard to see anything. They seemed to be at the bottom of a deep gully, a canopy of trees overhead.

"Alluvial contours," Levine said. "We must be in a streambed."

As his eyes adjusted, Thorne saw he was right. The raptors were running down the center of the streambed, which was lined with big boulders on both sides, But the bed itself was sandy, and it was wide enough for the car to pass through. He followed them.

"You have any idea where we are?" Levine said, staring at the raptors.

"No," Thorne said.

The car drove forward. The streambed widened, opening out into a flat basin. The boulders disappeared; there were trees on both sides of the river. Patches of moonlight appeared here and there. It was easier to see.

But the raptors were gone. He stopped the car, rolled down the window, and listened. He could hear them hissing and growling. The sound seemed to be coming from off to the left.

Thorne put the car in gear, and left the streambed, in moving off among ferns and occasional pine trees. Levine said, "Do you suppose the boy survived that hill?"

"I don't know," Thorne said. "I can't imagine."

He drove forward slowly. They came to a break in the trees, and saw a clearing where the ferns had been tram led flat. Beyond the clearing, they saw the banks of the river, moonlight glinting on the water. Somehow they had returned to the river.

But it was the clearing itself that held their attention. Within the broad open space, they saw the huge pale skeletons of several apatosaurs. The giant rib cages, arcs of pale bone, shone in the silver light. The dark hulk of a partially eaten carcass lay on its side in the center, clouds of flies buzzing above it in the night.

"What is this place?" Thorne said. "It looks like graveyard."

"Yes," Levine said. "But it's not."

The raptors were all clustered to one side, fighting over the remains of Eddie's carcass. At the opposite side of the clearing they saw three low mud mounds; the walls were broken in many places. Within the nests they saw crushed fragments of eggshells. There was the strong stench of decay.

Levine leaned forward, staring. "This is the raptor nest," he said.

In the darkness of the trailer, Malcolm sat up, wincing. He grabbed the radio. "You found it? The nest?"

The radio crackled. Levine said, "Yes. I think so."

"Describe it," Malcolm said.

Levine spoke quietly, reporting features, estimating dimensions, to Levine, the velociraptor nest appeared slovenly, uncared for, ill-made. He was surprised, because dinosaur nests usually conveyed an unmistakable sense of order. Levine had seen it time and again, in fossil sites from Montana to Mongolia. The eggs in the nest were arranged in neat concentric circles. Often there were more than thirty eggs in a single nest, suggesting that many females cooperated to share a single mud mound. Numerous adult fossils would be found nearby, indicating that the dinosaurs cared communally for the eggs. At a few excavations, it was even possible to get a sense of the spatial arrangement, with the nests in the center, the adults moving carefully around the outside, so as not to disturb the incubating eggs. In this rigid structure, the dinosaurs were reminiscent of their descendants the birds, which also displayed precise courtship, mating, and nest-building patterns.

But the velociraptors behaved differently. There was a disorderly chaotic feeling to the scene before him: ill-formed nests; quarreling adults; very few young and juvenile animals; the eggshells crushed; the broken mounds stepped on. Around the mounds, Levine now saw scattered small bones which he presumed were the remains of newborns. He saw no living infants anywhere in the clearing. There were three juveniles, but these younger animals were forced to fend for themselves, and they already showed many scars on their bodies. The youngsters looked thin, undernourished. Poking around the periphery of the carcass, they were cautious, backing away whenever one of the adults snapped at them.

"And what about the apatosaurs?" Malcolm asked. "What about the carcasses?"

Levine counted four, all together. In various stages of decomposition.

"You have to tell Sarah," Malcolm said.

But Levine was wondering about something else: he was wondering how these big carcasses had gotten here in the first place. They hadn't died here by accident, surely all animals would have avoided this nest. They couldn't have been lured here, and they were too large to carry. So how did they get here? Something was tickling the back of his mind, some obvious thought that he wasn't -

"They brought Arby," Malcolm said.

"Yes," Levine said. "They did."

He stared at the nest, trying to figure it out. Then Thorne nudged him. "There's the cage," he said, pointing. At the far side of the clearing lying on the ground, partially hidden behind fronds, Levine saw the glint of aluminum struts. But he couldn't see Arby.

"Way over there," Levine said.

The raptors were ignoring the cage, still fighting over Eddie's carcass. Thorne brought out a Lindstradt rifle, snapped open the cartridge pack. He saw six darts. "Not enough," he said, and snapped it shut. There were at least ten raptors in the clearing.

Levine rummaged in the back seat, found his knapsack, which had fallen to the floor. He unzipped it, came out with a small silver cylinder the size of a large soft-drink bottle. It had a skull and crossbones stenciled on it, Beneath, lettering read: CAUTION TOXIC METACHOLINE (MIVACURIAM).

"What's that?" Thorne said.

"Something they cooked up in Los Alamos," Levine said. "It's a nonlethal area neutralizer. Releases a short-acting cholinesterase aerosol. Paralyzes all life forms for up to three minutes. It'll knock all the raptors out.

"But what about the boy?" Thorne said. "You can't use that. You'll paralyze him."

Levine pointed. "If we throw the canister to the right of the cage, the gas'll blow away from him, toward the raptors."

"Or it may not," Thorne said, "And he may be badly injured."

Levine nodded. He put the cylinder back in the knapsack, then sat, facing forward, staring at the raptors. "So," Levine said. "What do we do now?"

Thorne looked over at the aluminum cage, partially blocked by ferns. Then he saw something that made him sit up: the cage moved slightly, the bars shifting in the moonlight.

"Did you see that?" Levine said.

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