I managed these last days to wrote a translated version of the prologue (roughly a dozen of pages) and I leave it here, along with the opening scroll.
Enjoy the read !
In May 1997, when worldwide medias showed footage of an adult tyrannosaur rampaging through San Diego, humanity realized that dinosaurs walked once again the Earth.
It soon learned that there was an entire ecosystem thriving on an island off the coast of Costa Rica, Isla Sorna, and that this miracle was due to advances in genetics by the InGen corporation, founded by John Hammond.
Despite a speech in which he encouraged to not disturb this lost world, Hammond couldn’t prevent the public opinion from taking an interest at the island while InGen, weakened as ever, was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Faced with the insufficient means provided by the United Nations to monitor the island and fearing for the future of his legacy, Hammond summoned one of his closest friends, the Indian billionaire Simon Masrani. Just before he died, he left him InGen and asked him to find a way to protect the prehistoric fauna of Sorna from outside interferences.
At the dawn of the 21st century, Masrani turned his attention to another Costa Rican island owned by InGen, Isla Nublar.
Abandoned following the escape of Jurassic Park dinosaurs, no one has returned there for years but Masrani had big plans for the island ...
Prologue : The End of a Reign
On that morning of September 2002, the loose soil covered with dead leaves and the trees attacked by climbing plants were bathed in the humidity of the jungle while the canopy rustled with the wind.
Its rings wrapped around a branch of a kapok tree more than fifteen meters above the ground, a boa constrictor was inert. Waiting for the arrival of the sun's rays on its cold body, the reptile was digesting a tree frog, which it had caught during its hunting night.
The boa had not reached its adult size yet : it was only one meter and twenty centimeters long where the largest members of its species could reach more than four meters.
It could have reached that size if Death had not hit it so soon.
The snake felt the claws of a huge bird dug into his flesh and before it had time to retaliate, a powerful beak pierced its skull.
The serpentine body was raised before being laid at the top of the crown of a larger tree that dominated the others by its size.
The animal that killed the boa was a gray-headed bird of prey with a black plumage on its back and white on the underside : A harpy eagle, one of the largest predators of the New World’s rainforests.
Before beginning its meal, the bird of prey looked around it while below, many calls and songs resounded under the shade of the trees.
The day had risen three hours ago and the diurnal animals living in the undergrowth had already started their daily activities, including hunting.
But the harpy was the undisputed master of this jungle’s skies and nothing would have dared to steal its meal without taking the risk of suffering the raptor's fury and become in turn a potential prey.
Carefree, the harpy began to feast on the flesh of the snake but during its meal, the jungle became silent.
A flock of white birds flew away from a nearby tree, screaming, and passed by the one where the bird of prey was perched without paying attention to it while a dull and repeated sound was getting closer.
Alerted, the harpy raised its head and closed its grip around the body of the reptile. It looked in the direction of the noise but saw nothing beyond the mist that was so thick that even the sharp eyes of the raptor could barely distinguish anything beyond a dozen of meters.
The noise was getting closer and louder, almost deafening for the harpy.
Suddenly, a gigantic tapered, khaki creature pierced the mist, flying just a few feet above the canopy, shaking the branches beneath it. Its eyes were huge, the tail was long and the skin had a hard, smooth appearance while the wings were turning so fast that the bird of prey couldn’t see its precise outlines.
Frightened by this unknown monster which had just burst onto its territory, scaring all the animals of the canopy in its wake, the harpy flew with the body of the boa between its claws and fled.
When the khaki AgustaWestland AW101
helicopter emerged from the cloud of mist covering a large part of the jungle, one of the lateral door was slid and a man pulled his head from inside the aircraft.
Wearing fatigues and a headset on his head, he scanned the jungle around while chewing his gum.
When he saw trees moving two hundred meters from their position, he turned to inform the pilot of it :
« There’s movement at eleven o'clock ! »
The pilot answered him with a nod and the helicopter took the direction of the moving trees while the other spoked in his microphone :
« Ground team, I spotted the target. It is at the foot of the foothills and tries to get back the mountain. »
He was speaking of a mountain with a bare top and jagged edges behind him in the east.
« Okay, we're heading to its position. », someone answered in the headset.
On the ground, the low-lying plants on the forest floor were crushed on the passage of a small group of speeding all-terrain vehicles, all khaki-colored and sporting the gray logo of InGen
on their doors.
There were several Hummer H1
and Jeep Wrangler
as well as a Mercedes-Benz U1300
with a cage in which two men were standing, dressed in fatigues just like all those participating in the operation that was going on.
In addition to a shooter equipped with a Lindstradt
rifle, there was also one who led the operation by giving orders through his microphone and making large gestures distinct with his hands.
Victor Hoskins, or Vic as he was nicknamed, was a stout man in his forties and had a military haircut with short brown hair. As his cut and ease of command suggested, Hoskins was a former member of the US Army Special Forces.
By enlisting himself at the age of seventeen, he wanted to follow the example of his G.I. father, killed in an ambush in Vietnam.
Vic had been involved in several conflicts, including the Panama’s invasion in 1989, the Gulf War, and the two United Nations peacekeeping operations in Somalia, lasting from 1992 to 1993. It was in Panama that he met his ex-wife, also part of the army and they had a daughter, born in 1991.
However, he left the army after being badly injured during the Battle of Mogadishu and going from bad to worse, Hoskins went through a period of unemployment in the middle of which he divorced from his wife, one year after Mogadishu.
What was a dark period for him came to an end in early 1995 when he was hired by InGen to fill the position of an executive of the company's security division who died a few months earlier on an expedition that the company had sent on an island one hundred and ninety-three kilometers off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Isla Nublar, the same where Hoskins and his men had been busy for more than seven months.
When he was told what InGen had left behind on this island and on Isla Sorna, Hoskins did not believe his ears.
The company he was working for had cloned dinosaurs which escaped during a hurricane and proliferated against all odds, but several years passed before Hoskins would have a prehistoric animal in flesh before his very eyes.
He should have also participated to Operation Harvest on Isla Sorna in May 1997 but a car accident prevented him to do so, which given the grim fate that fell on many of those who went there, saved his life indirectly.
In August 2001, he had been summoned by the Board of Directors which charged him with a delicate mission.
Following an incursion by imprudent tourists on Sorna, pteranodons had been released from their aviary and soldiers on board of the US Navy helicopters sent rescuing the survivors had seen them fly to new horizons.
No one knew where they were going but they represented a risk if they came to settle near an inhabited area and the pterosaurs had to either be captured or killed if necessary.
Hoskins assembled a small team and together they tracked the pteranodons across the Pacific coast of the North American continent for three months using testimonies collected in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, California, Oregon and the Washington State, up to the Canadian border. The pteranodons were only stopped in November at Horseshoe Bay, a locality north of Vancouver, more than five thousand six hundred kilometers from their birthplace, through the concerted effort of Hoskins team, the Canadian police and a local wildlife control office.
To save a young boy captured by the pteranodons and taken to their nests, Hoskins had no choice but to shoot the animals and he was immediately surprised by the fact that the locals considered him a hero whereas he had only done what the board described as a "cleaning operation".
Like the San Diego incident, the Horseshoe Bay incident hit the headlines, although the damage and casualties, two deaths and three seriously injured, were much smaller and the impact was more political than material or human, questioning the effectiveness of Isla Sorna’s confinement by the United Nations.
Sometime later, Simon Masrani contacted Hoskins to offer him to be the chief of security of the huge project that Masrani Global and its subsidiaries would undertake on Isla Nublar for InGen.
If Hoskins successfully carried out his mission, the Indian would ensure that he would be appointed head of InGen's security division and the ex-serviceman could then enjoy an enviable lifestyle.
Thus, less than a year after the pteranodon attack in Canada, Hoskins was directing a capture operation of the utmost importance.
While watching the jungle in front of him through the bars of the cage, he ordered :
« He's soon on us. Get in formation ! »
The vehicles organized themselves to form an arc with the U1300
in the center and the jeeps and hummers on the wings, then stopped.
A few dozen meters in front of the vehicles, something big was making its way through the jungle, cracking branches under its feet.
« Wait !», Hoskins said.
A tree fell and one began to hear the raspy breath of a large animal.
The men began to get nervous and the shooter in the cage held his rifle firmly against him.
« Don’t forget that the big boss ordered us to capture him alive.», Hoskins reminded him.
The animal they had to capture was coming closer and there was a deathly hush among the men.
« You wait !», Hoskins repeated.
The animal was twenty meters away, then fifteen, then ten, and its pungent smell reached Hoskins' nostrils.
As their target was about to pierce the wall of vegetation separating it from the vehicles, Hoskins bellowed into his microphone :
« Now ! »
On board of one of the vehicles, a gray box-like device was activated, producing a sort of high-pitched whistling.
Those who did not wear earmuffs covered their ears and the massive animal turned around with a short, plaintive roar, bothered by the ultrasound produced.
Its long, scaly, brown tail passed over the cage, raising a swearing from the shooter, and Hoskins, speechless following his brief face to face with the animal, watched it flee.
He gave new orders:
« Enveloping maneuver! Everyone stick close to him ! Repel him out of the jungle ! »
The vehicles started quickly and chased the animal to force it to go in the desired direction, to the west, where the jungle was less dense.
While adrenaline rushed through their bodies, the men in the vehicles couldn’t help but to look at the animal.
Biped, thirteen meters long and five meters high, huge jaws counterbalanced by a thick and rigid tail, clawed three-legged feet ending powerful legs, it was a creature that the average person considered extinct since millions of years a few years earlier.
It was a dinosaur and not just one from any species : A Tyrannosaurus rex
, the king of dinosaurs.
The individual that Hoskins and his men were chasing was actually a female although he and his subordinates spoke of her by saying "he". Others nicknamed her "The Queen in the North" in reference to the fact that the dinosaur roamed mainly in the northern half of the island.
They had learned through the hard way that the tyrannosaur hated intruders and many times the dinosaur had fiercely defended its territory against human incursions and as long as she was free, the construction sites that had started to be undertaken on the margins of its territory were frozen.
Annoyed by the human's harassment, the Tyrannosaurus
kept growling ferociously at them and even tried to bite the hood of one of the Jeeps, which was then too close to Hoskins' taste.
« Keep your distance, dammit ! », he muttered into the microphone.
But the dinosaur gave a violent headbutt to the vehicle that swerved, threatening to go straight into a tree.
The Jeep then made a sharp turn to avoid it but rolling on a big root, it turned on its side and stopped.
« Continue the chase, we're almost there !», Hoskins said after looking at the jeep behind him.
The man who spotted the T.rex
from inside the helicopter grabbed his airgun and opened a box containing several hypodermic darts.
He took one and loaded the rifle with it before sitting on the edge.
A hundred yards ahead, the jungle gave way to meadows and when he saw a brown shape moving under the trees, the shooter took aim and once it was in his line of sight, he pulled the trigger.
The shooter felt the rifle’s recoil against his shoulder and saw the pink tassel of the dart disappear almost instantly in the middle of the foliage.
He waited a few seconds but the animal showed no sign of slackening.
As they continued the chase, Hoskins saw the tassel stuck into a trunk. He informed the shooter :
« You missed the target. »
The shooter reloaded his rifle and following the dinosaur through the gun sights, saw him exiting the jungle by spreading the palm trees on its path.
Being thus exposed, the tyrannosaur became an easy target and the shooter did not miss it.
The dart went to get stuck itself in the neck of the dinosaur, which roared plaintively in reaction.
Passing above the T.rex
standing in the fog, the shooter saw the vehicles bursting out of the jungle and describing large circles around the tyrannosaur while spotlights were pointed on it.
From the safety of the cage, Hoskins saw the animal shake his head and heard him snort. A few minutes later, while he was still surrounded, the tyrannosaur began to stagger and wobble.
Knowing that the tranquilizer was starting to take effect, Hoskins motioned his men to move away. Split between fear and fascination, they watched the tyrannosaur slowly surrendering to sleep.
When another group of vehicles, including a grey livestock truck, arrived on the scene, the tranquilized animal was already lying on its side and breathing slightly while two armed men watched it closely.
In addition to the truck, there were two hummers, a tipper containing transport equipment, a 712 M Pinzgauer
and a white Mercedes Unimog
with a red caduceus logo reading "Isla Nublar Veterinary Services
A veterinarian and her two assistants came out and immediately came examine the tyrannosaur whereas a dozen of men and women in light colored field clothes were getting off the Pinzgauer to unload the material in the tipper.
Having made sure that the Tyrannosaurus
was in good health, the vet gestured to the truck to come forward and touched the T.rex
’s snout, feeling the rough skin under her plastic glove.
A transport net was passed under the tyrannosaur, which had been pushed so that it layed on its stomach.
The net was hooked to the slings of an hovering flying crane and slowly, the body of the dinosaur rose in the air towards the livestock truck that had been designed to be able to contain and transport an adult Tyrannosaurus
The removable roof of the truck opened and the flying crane gently placed the tyrannosaur inside the truck where the slings were seized to unhook them from the net.
As the noise of the flying crane moved away, those inside the truck fixed the huge inert body to a platfrom on the bottom with solid straps. When it was done, everyone went out and closed the heavy doors, letting the light of the day reach the Tyrannosaurus
only through the thin openings left within the metal walls.
Her film camera in hand, Eduarda Mena was wandering among the vehicles parked in the grass, filming everything that was of interest to her.
Close to Hoskins' age, short curly brown hair, dressed in a white tank top and beige trousers, Mena was the documentalist in charge of filming the operations on Nublar and there was only one thing she couldn’t wait to do : Looking at the footage she had filmed aboard one of hummers during the chase and the capture of the tyrannosaur.
Thinking again about it, she had chills but having been a war reporter, she was used to thrills and had even taken taste of them over time.
When she passed her camera in front of a small group of hunters joking, they looked at her and one of them said :
« Hey guys, say hello to Leni Riefenstahl's camera »
They waved hands at the lens.
« What did I tell you ? Avoid doing this comparison please. », she retorted in a friendly tone.
Mena walked towards the truck.
The closer she came, the more the dinosaur's breathing, like the noise produced by the bellows of a forge, became louder.
She looked inside the container and put the lens of her camera in front of one of the openings.
« I cannot wait to see your footage, Edu. », Hoskins said behind her back. « It must be fantastic. »
« I hope so, Vic. »
She turned to him.
« It's not like I was entitled a second take. », added the documentalist jokingly.
« You think that if you filmed like someone with Parkinson's, I wouldn’t have talked to Masrani about you. »
Hoskins and Mena were longtime friends.
They had met during the Gulf War and kept in touch ever since.
When Hoskins had learned that Masrani was looking for a documentalist to film the progress of his project on Nublar, it was naturally that he told him about Mena.
« Speaking of him, I will have to call and inform him that his star is within our walls. », he said.
Hoskins turned to face all the people scattered around the vehicles:
« Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please ? »
All interrupted their discussions and came closer.
« You did a good job today… at least most of you at least, isn’t it Lambert ? », he said in a teasing tone at the driver of the crashed jeep, a black man of about fifty years, sitting on one of the hoods, looking sore. « But I'm proud of you. Tonight, rounds are on me ! »
The assembly applauded and uttered exclamations of contentment.
« Let’s go !» Hoskins said as a conclusion to his speech.
He made his way to one of the hummers, sat behind the weel and put the key on the ignition while Mena got in the back and the vehicles were prepared for leaving.
When they were all ready, Hoskins Hummer took the lead of the convoy and drove northward first before encountering an old asphalt road, black band partly hidden under the grass, and then turning west, towards a three kilometers deep valley bounded by two mountain arcs forming a cirque around a patchwork of groves and verdurous meadows that stretched under the cloudy sky.
On their left, they quickly encountered the remains of an old three and a half meters high electrical fence that followed the road and whose wires were rusted and some pylons lying.
As they drove through the valley, Hoskins looked briefly into the central mirror and saw one of his men reading a paperback copy of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
while Mena checked her gear.
At the end of the valley, they turned left and took a tunnel to pass under the southern mountain arc and they came out of it a few moments later before crossing the jungle in a straight line.
However, they had to leave the road a little more than half a kilometer later because a landslide had taken a chunk of the road and the convoy forked right across a small clearing just before the jungle leaved room for hilly meadows.
When they arrived at the top of a ridge, Hoskins saw Mena lower the window to take a picture of the bones of what was once a gigantic animal with a very long neck, long forelimbs and a skull characterized by a bony and tall arch anterior to the eyes.
It was the skeleton of one of the animals that InGen had long considered as brachiosaurs (*).
Hoskins had already seen pictures of live specimens, taken when Site B on Isla Sorna was active and Jurassic Park under construction.
Mena asked her backseat neighbor to open the window and she held out her arm in front of him to take the picture of another brachiosaur’s remains, half-sunken in a waterhole bordered by the jungle in the west down of the ridge.
It was far from being the first time they passed there, but each time, some had a twinge in their hearts, imagining the brachiosaurs in their lifetime, imposing and magnificent.
The convoy continued southward to the edge of a cliff overhanging for a few kilometers a valley at the bottom of which flowed a river with murky waters, clasped on both sides by the jungle : The Cartago.
They returned to the road there and drove along the cliffs for a while before turning south-west, towards the large plateau which occupied an entire part of the south of Isla Nublar.
The convoy soon reached the edge of a gorge at the bottom of which ran another river about twenty meters wide. A sturdy steel bridge, recently restored after being abandoned to the elements for years, spanned the gorge at its narrowest point about forty meters above the river.
At its end on the southern bank, the bridge was barred by a tall portal crowned with barbed wire and flanked by watchtowers connected to each other by a footbridge.
Armed sentries were watching for the arrival of the convoy and when it began to cross the bridge, one of the guards ordered the others to open the gate and it slid to the side.
Even with the windows closed, the passengers heard a low growl, that of cascades upstream, and downstream, while looking east, some saw the blue of the ocean a few miles away.
One by one, the vehicles crossed the bridge and crossed the gate, taking a track leading them south.
They passed between the plateau’s escarpments and a rocky promontory where cranes were busy around the foundations of a building which, once its construction completed, would overhang the surrounding area like a citadel but for the moment the bushy vegetation prevented one to see what the valley to which the convoy was heading looked like.
The convoy descended a gentle slope and once down, entered a village of khaki tents and portacabins lying at the foot of the promontory and the wooded slopes, on the fringes of the gigantic construction site in the valley whose sounds filled the air.
Monumental would have been the first adjective crossing the mind of anyone seeing it for the first time.
A hundred hectares, almost the entire bottom of the valley and some of its slopes, had been largely deforested and cleared.
Machines and men in sheer numbers were busy in what looked like a city under construction on the edge of a huge twenty-five-hectare pit that occupied the heart of the construction site and from which came dump trucks loaded with earth. Between and in spranging up buildings or the excavations, hundreds of workers were working relentlessly, building, cutting, digging, welding, hammering or erecting scaffolding.
In one spot, yard waste but also dilapidated fences, obsolete signs and rusted vehicles, all of them being abandoned elements of Jurassic Park, were piling up. The old was giving way to the new.
At a junction, the convoy divided itself and only the truck carrying the Tyrannosaurus, the veterinary ambulance and the Pinzgauer continued their journey through the construction site while the others went to park at the heart of the camp in front of a set of several portacabins contiguous to each other and surmounted by a sattelite dish. Inside, a satellite phone was given to Hoskins.
The capture of the Tyrannosaurus
was just one of the first steps along the path of the Indian tycoon’s audacious undertaking but also one of the most crucial since this particular dinosaur was going to be one of the main attractions of the future tourist complex being built.
While conversing with a cheerful Masrani on the other end of the line, Hoskins walked across the site towards a blockhouse-like structure beside which the containment truck had stopped.
The blockhouse was attached to an area enclosed by high concrete walls, the quarantine paddock where the tyrannosaur would live until the completion of the construction of its main enclosure, located a little further and with which it communicated through a corridor.
As a crane lowered the T.rex
’s body behind the concrete walls, Hoskins thought of the other dinosaurs still roaming free and reminded of the pre-1993 incident list of Jurassic Park’s animals.
There were fifteen species on that list and he reviewed it again to determine which fauna’s members could still being an issue for the safety of the construction sites or the camp.
He first re-examined the herbivores case :
Of the five species living in the park at the moment of the incident, brachiosaurs, triceratops and stegosaurs could have been potentially dangerous, but during an expedition in November 1994, mainly skeletons and carcasses were found.
Isolated individuals had been encountered but they were so weak that there was no chance that the species would have survived for long and the scouts sent by Hoskins shortly after their landing in January 2002 reported that these three species of large herbivores had become extinct.
The other two herbivore species, Gallimimus
, had relatively thrived because of their greater adaptability and the lack of competition from larger herbivores. It often happened that teams of workers or hunters ecountered them, grazing peacefully in the valleys or the meadows.
Hoskins went on to the carnivores that made up the rest of the park's collection and thought again about their respective cases.
He automatically removed four species: The Tyrannosaurus
, which they had just captured; the velociraptors, which name’s mere mention made InGen's employees shudder because of their reputation of fast, fearsome, cruel and terribly intelligent hunters but thankfully, all of them were killed during the incident; the metiacanthosaurs, driven to extinction by the tyrannosaurus, which considered them as undesirable rivals; and the pteranodons which, not having been able to leave their aviary, killed eachother or starved to death.
Among the carnivores, there were two small species : Segisaurus
. Where they were both insectivores and scavengers, the first were no more dangerous to humans than foxes or badgers, but the latter were particularly reckless and sneaky and it was better not to meet a troop while strolling alone in the middle of the jungle. By applying strict precautionary measures, the threat posed by Compys, as they were nicknamed with some affection, should be considerably limited.
There was also an old Baryonyx
bigger than the average, twelve meters long instead of the usual nine. The latter haunted a portion of the river near the Pteranodon aviary, but the animal was timid by nature, hunting rather at night and avoiding men even though Hoskins suspected it must be very territorial and thus, refused to send men run up the river without an armed escort and ordered them to bypass his territory by the road. His case would be settled in time, once they will have a temporary pen being ready.
All that remained were the Herrerasaurus
, the Proceratosaurus
, and the Dilophosaurus
. It was those three species which could have troubled Hoskins on that day.
They were at once small and agile enough to easily hide themselves in the jungle or to sow possible pursuers, and big enough to consider a healthy adult man as prey. But in the presence of vehicles and other noisy and odorous machines or too many humans, they were fearful and preferred to stay in the shadows and that was without counting their more nocturnal or crepuscular behaviours, in the opposite of those of men who returned to the safety of their camp at night.
Thus it was rare for Hoskins and his hunters to see them in the daylight, and when they did, there was only one individual or a handful at most and frightened by the sounds of the engine and the loud discussions, they immediately retreated to the woods.
With an adequate number of men, rifles and vehicles, he would be able to organize hunts throughout the jungle and secure their former hunting grounds by doing so.
The task musn’t have to be taken lightly and strategies will have to be established but they were only animals, not guerrillas or some Resistance fighters...
The reconquest of Isla Nublar by InGen was no longer a fantasy, it was a reality and nothing seemed to stand in its way.
As the sun went down, the work stopped and the workers returned to the camp with a nonchalant air while conversing with each other in high and playful spanish voices : They were eager to join the big tent serving as a refectory and an improvised tavern for dinner and tantalizing scent came to them when they arrived nearby.
When the dinner began at around seven, the nocturnal animals concert had already started and the moon had appeared behind the clouds, lighting the building with its pale glow.
At the top of a ridge line in the east, beyond the river, the tapetum lucidum of a pair of eyes glowed in the midst of darkness.
The eyes were looking towards the construction site and more particularly the camp, lit by many floodlights.
The creature they belonged to was a wolf-sized biped dinosaur with a slender physique and arms ending in three clawed fingers.
Its black-spotted body was of a dark brown color while the head and the neck were pinkinsh but the more proeminent feature of this species was the crest topping the snout, different in size and shape by gender and in the individual spying on the territory that humans had taken over, it was only a small tip at the end of the snout : the animal was a female Proceratosaurus, a young adult that haved reached sexual maturity earlier in the year.
She stood there for a few moments, glancing around the building site with a certain apprehension towards the large machines that the men had brought from beyond the ocean aboard the steel leviathan that the cargo ship was in her eyes.
Then she turned away and started scampering north through the jungle, treading on the dead leaves, jumping over branches and running over slowly rotting lying trunks.
Lurking in a thicket, she had watched the men taking away the terrible Tyrannosaurus
, ending its absolute reign on the island.
During all these years after the departure of the men, it was it which had starved them and forced to live in the shadows and feed on lizards and small mammals, preventing them from satisfy their hunger. Many times the proceratosaurs had tried to steal pieces of food from the Tyrannosaurus
, but at almost every attempt, they left behind one of them, usually those which were too greedy or not quick enough to escape the T.rex
’s wrath. They didn’t know, but the men had just put an end to this and had freed the proceratosaurs from the kings of dinosaurs yoke.
Now, they could venture under the sun and hunt all prey they want without fear of becoming the meal of some bigger predator. There were some herrerasaurs and dilophosaurs that also lived in the island, but these potential rivals had their own territories, making inter-species conflicts rare and ephemeral. The former had settled in the desolate lands of the north, at the foot of the volcano, while the latter roamed the swampy plateau of the south and the jungle east of the Cartago river, the very same that the Proceratosaurus
was crossing at speed, all senses in alert, her hearing looking out for the slightest suspicious hooting.
Curiosity had led her to discreetly follow the men's convoy up to the bridge she had not dared to cross, and in doing so she had moved far away from her clan's lair, somewhere hidden in the north.
She had rested a few hours in an disused pipe before going hunting to the river mouth, in the middle of the mangroves, searching for frogs or waterfowl, but there, the view of the sinister fin of a bulldog shark sailing between the mangrove trees frightened her and the belly empty, she moved away from water as the sun was setting.
However, during her ascent to the heights, she ran into a freshly landed rat and burst onto him before swallowing it voraciously.
When the proceratosaur heard the disturbing hoots of dilophosaurs north and east, she stopped and tilted her head to one side, listening carefully before heading west, towards the Cartago.
She quickly arrived there and swam across the river, undulating her body and frantically swinging her hind legs to cross the twenty or so meters separating the two banks as swiftly as possible, fearing that the long-snouted monster with the big claws that haunted it would swoop on her if it was nearby.
When she reached the west bank, the proceratosaur straightened quickly and jumped to the thickets where she turned.
Upstream, near the aviary whose arches overhanged the surrounding jungle, she heard the surface of the water boiling and then two bright red dots appeared there before disappearing as suddenly as they appeared and without further delay, the proceratosaur rushed toward the line of cliffs in front of her.
She found an old corniche road and began to follow it, climbing the cliffs in the direction of the aviary.
Reaching the top of the cliffs, the Proceratosaurus turned west and leaved the jungle, sprinting under the stars in the windswept Central Fields.
She passed near the brachiosaurs skeletons and continued west, towards a line of bushy trees and after having traveled a few hundred meters under the trees, she forked to the north.
After spending an hour and a half running through woods and meadows from her viewpoint on the construction site, the proceratosaur reached a dried artificial body of water at the bottom of which trees had grown.
On the other side of it, was the hideout of her clan, located among the ruins of a large concrete building topped with three thatched roofs with the largest being in the center, sheltering a large entrance hall : Jurassic Park’s Visitor Center.
Since its abandonment, nature reclaimed her rights over this place as showed by the climbing plants that had stormed the walls and roof, obstructing the large tinted windows that lined the entrance facade or concealing much of the fake fossils engraved around the door or the relief that adorned the top, representing a Tyrannosaurus
The fountains on each side of the staircases leading to the door were buried under a layer of dead leaves, just like the steps themselves, which the proceratosaur climbed in small leaps.
One of the panels of the door being ajar, she slipped into the space between it and the other panel and entered the silent hall.
Due to the fact that most of the windows and openings were obstructed, the rare light provided by the moon or the stars was unable to penetrate the hall and the darkness was such that a human being would have been unable to distinguish anything but a pair of bright eyes in the dark observing him from above, those of a sentry guarding the entrance to the lair and which, in a call, could summon its kin to repel any intruder ... or surround and tear into pieces anything that might look like a prey.
The proceratosaur quietly walked around the skeleton debris and headed for the stairs leading up to the balcony and mezzanine overhanging the hall.
The sentinel, a male with a scarlet head and whose crest stopped just before the eyes, straightened up and watched her climbing up the steps.
When she was upstairs, he greeted her with a small grunt and the female proceeded, passing through the open door of the projection room where, lying on the dusty carpet between rows of torn seats, other Proceratosaurus
She did not pay attention to them and went to an opening at the rear of the room, next to a screen embedded in a wall of artificial rock, and beside which was lying a door leaf.
Leaving the projection room, she faced a broken glass window overhanging the laboratory and its array of abandoned equipment, including a few computers and Mitsubishi Movemaster RV-M2
robotic arms, deployed over several incubators with mold-covered edges and of the eggs they once contained, all that remained was scattered pieces on the floor.
However the laboratory was far from being devoid of life because it was there that the clan had made its nests.
More than twenty pairs of eyes shone in the dark, indicating the presence of a dozen couples, each having built its own nest with ferns or moss harvested outside or stuffing and sheets of paper found in the building.
Passing through the breach, the proceratosaur entered the room and climbed down a metal staircase, heading towards the rear of the room, and those next to whom she passed made somekind of cooing to greet her.
She was walking toward a male waiting alone beside one of the nests, his eyes half-closed. When he saw her coming, he got up and came to sniff the female before rubbing his snout affectionately against hers and she returned the favor.
A creak was heard from the nest and both parents leaned over it.
It was their first brood and there were about twenty eggs in the nest, organized concentrically. The surface of one of the eggs had begun to crack and the being contained inside was struggling to split its shell.
After making a small opening, the newborn proceratosaur took out one of his little clawed hands out of the egg’s inside and used it to remove other pieces of shell. When it managed to clear his head, he began to make a series of chirps to call its parents.
As they watched him open its eyes, they noticed that they were as red as embers and not brown as theirs.
Other crackings informed them that the rest of the brood was about to hatch.
(*) In the mid-2000s, it was discovered that InGen had in fact cloned specimens of Giraffatitan, a closely-related genus living at the same time period but native from Tanzania and not from the American West, unlike Brachiosaurus.