This chapter will alternate between Melissa's and Robert's point of view.
Chapter 3: The Beginning Of The EndMelissa’s POV
I head downstairs and into the lobby. There I see John, Ian, Dr. Grant, and Ellie. The only person missing is Donald.‘He must be elsewhere.’
I also see Lex and Tim, John’s grandkids. They see me and run over.
“Melissa!” They shout as they hug me.
“My goodness, you guys have gotten big.” I say with a smile.
“Come now kids, don’t bother her.” John says.‘They weren’t doing any harm John.’
“Aw, grandpa.” Lex says.
“Just listen to him, we’ll talk later.” I say.
“Ok.” Tim says.
They run off and join the group. As I go to head outside, I brush past John. As I do he grabs my arm.
“Where are you going?” John asks.
“To tranquilize the triceratops so Dr. Harding can look at her.” I say.
“Be careful.” John says.
I nod my head in response.
I then pull my arm out of his hand and say, “If you ever grab me like that again I’ll sue you for harassment.”
I then turn and walk outside. I hop in my Jeep and drive off down the service roads. My thoughts are my only company on my journey. They drift to my dad. He’s been a little ‘off’ this past week.
Something’s not quite right with him, but I can’t put my finger on what it is. I know he’s schizophrenic, but he’s had it under control for years. It seems to me like he’s either off his meds or they’re not working anymore.‘Dad, I’m worried about you.’
I arrive at the triceratops paddock and park my Jeep. I sit there for a few minutes to collect myself before getting out of the Jeep. I get out of the Jeep and start my walk into the field.Robert’s POV
I sit at my desk in my office with my head in my hands. I’m trying to calm my racing mind, but it’s not working.‘Keep it together Robert.’
The voices in my head, which I’m trying to ignore, are saying something different.
“Robert, is this a bad time?” John asks.
“No, not really.” I say with a sigh.
“Are you feeling alright?”
“No, I’ve got the start of a bloody migraine.” I say lying.
“Are you sure?”
What is with all the questions? My hands ball into fists and I’m about ready to hit someone, namely John. I slam my fist on the desk making John jump.
“Stop asking bloody questions and tell me why you’re here!” I shout.
“I was just wondering if you had any update on that storm.” John says worried.
“I’m still getting the printouts, but things aren’t looking good.” I say.
“What do you mean?” John asks.
“It’s still too early to tell, but it looks like the storm may hit us.”
“That’s no good.” John says.
“Like I said, it’s too early to tell.”
John lets out a huff and I stand up. I grab the printouts and we leave my office. I look at them as we walk to the control room.
“National weather service is tracking a tropical storm about 75 miles west of us.” I say as we walk into the control room.
“Why didn’t I build in Orlando?” John asks.
“I’ll keep an eye on it, maybe it’ll swing south like the last one.” I say as I look at a computer screen.
“Ray, start the tour program.” John says.
“Hold onto your butts.” Ray says.
I walk to the other end of the room and plop down in a chair and put my feet on the desk.Melissa’s POV
I finish up in the triceratops paddock just as Dr. Harding arrives. He gets out of his Jeep and walks over to me.
“I thought your dad was going to take care of this.” He says.
“I told him I would take care of it because I needed some ‘alone’ time.” I say.
“Someone or something bothering you?” Gerry asks.
“A little bit of both.”
“What did Robert do now?”
“Nothing, it’s just that he’s been acting a bit off this past week.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed. You think it has something to do with Dennis?”
I give a shrug of my shoulders as an answer. I guess I never thought of that.
“You don’t know?” Gerry asks puzzled.
“Gerry, there’s a number of things I don’t know. Most of them have to do with my dad.” I say.
“What are you saying?”
“There’s more to my dad then meets the eye.” I quietly say.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Look, I know he’s not quite right in the head.” Gerry says.
I say nothing and look at him shocked.
“I’ve heard him talking to himself.”
“I talk to myself too, does that make me crazy?” I angrily ask.
“You don’t talk to yourself like your dad does. I’ve heard him telling someone to be quiet when nobody is around.” Gerry says.
“Gerry, he’s schizophrenic. He hears voices in his head.” I quietly say.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“How could you know? He never tells anyone.” I say.
“Not even John?” Gerry says.
“I doubt it.”
“Oh.” Gerry quietly says.
“Well, I have to get back to the control room before John starts missing me.”
Gerry says nothing and I walk back to my Jeep. I get in, start it, and drive off.‘Why did Gerry bring up that fat slob Dennis?’
I haven’t liked the man since he started. I let out a long sigh and swear under my breath. All I want to do is go back home. I really don’t want to be stuck on this island 24/7 like I have been for the past five years. Sometimes it seems like I’ve been here longer.
I guess dealing with John will do that. By now I’m at the visitor’s center. I pull around to garage and park the Jeep. I get out and walk into the visitor’s center. I head up the stairs and go to the control room.
Before I go in, I take a quick peek in the window. My dad is sitting with his feet up on the desk staring off into space. Everything else is running as it should. I unlock the door with my ID badge and go in. John looks up at me.
He seems worried about something. I walk over to my dad and take a seat next to him. Soon, I’m lost in my thoughts. Something seems off to me, but I can’t quite figure out what. John, Dennis, and Ray’s arguing brings me out of my thoughts.
My dad quickly puts a stop to it.
“Quiet, all of you! They’re approaching the tyrannosaur paddock.” My dad says. ‘They’re gonna try and tempt the rex.’
“That won’t work Ray, she just ate.” My dad says.
“We can still try.” Ray says.‘Not like it will work.’
I’m proven right and the cars drive off. After that, my dad gets up and starts pacing around the room.Robert’s POV
My mind is racing as I pace around the room. The voices in my head chime in with their opinions on what’s going on.
“I don’t care what you think.” I whisper.
John looks up at me worried.
“You ok Rob?” Ray asks.
“Fine.” I say.
I go back to my pacing, but stop when I see everyone jumping out of the cars.
“Stop the program. Stop the program.” John says.
“I told you how many times, we needed locking mechanisms on the vehicle doors?” I ask.
“They saw the triceratops, didn’t they?” Melissa asks.
I give a nod of my head as an answer.
“I thought Gerry would be done with her by now.” John says.
“John, it’s going to take him some time to figure out what’s wrong.” Melissa says.‘You’re going to die tomorrow.’
This voice in my head says.
“No.” I mumble.
“What did you say dad?” Melissa asks.
“Nothing.” I say.
She says nothing and stands up. She walks over to me and grabs my arm.
“We need to have a word outside.” Melissa whispers.
We walk out of the control room. I lean against the wall and cross my arms.
“Dad, you need to keep it together.” Melissa says.
I let out a sigh through my nose. Is it really that obvious that I’m having a hard time keeping it together? I thought I was hiding it pretty well.
“I’m trying my hardest, but it’s getting worse.” I say.
“What?” Melissa asks shocked.
I know I have to tell her that my meds aren’t working right anymore and things are getting rougher.
“The meds aren’t working right anymore. I’m having a really rough time keeping it together.”
The look on Melissa’s face says it all. She’s shocked and saddened by what I’m telling her. I feel like I’ve failed her as a dad.
“You need to try harder, or John is going to suspect something.” Melissa quietly says.
“If he doesn’t already.” I say with a sigh.
Melissa lets out a long sigh through her nose and looks at the floor. She seems disappointed in me.
“Look, I’m sorry.” I say.
“It’s fine.” Melissa says.
It’s not fine. Nothing is fine. I’m a failure as a father and a husband. This is why my wife left me, not because of my job. My wife left because she couldn’t take my mental problem.
I turn and unlock the control room door with my ID badge. Melissa and I walk into the control room. As we walk in, the phone starts ringing. I walk over and answer it. On the other end is Steve from the National Weather service.
“Yeah, got that.” I say.
Melissa, John, and Ray look at me worried.
I put the phone to my shoulder and say, “That storm center hasn’t dissipated or changed course. We’re going to have to cut the tour short I’m afraid, pick it up again tomorrow where we left off.”
“Are you sure we have to?” John asks.
“It’s not worth taking the chance John.” Ray says.
I put the phone back to my ear. Things aren’t looking good at all.
“Sustained winds 45 knots.” I say.
John and Ray are talking in the background.
“Yeah, got that. Thanks Steve.” I say and hang up the phone.
I sit back down just as John slams his cane into the ground and shouts, “Damn!”‘It could be worse.’
But worse for who? Me or John? There’s something off about the vibe in the control room and I know it’s not me. My gut is telling me something is about to go down.‘Dennis is about to pull something.’
“What’s on your mind dad?” Melissa asks.
“Lots of things.” I say.
I say nothing and look at Dennis. Melissa looks over at him and rolls her eyes. Is she thinking what I am?
“He’s going to pull something, isn’t he?” Melissa quietly asks.
“And if he doesn’t, what then?”
“I don’t know.”
Melissa lets out a long sigh and swears under her breath. I shake my head and go back to my thoughts. The voices in my head start screaming at me? What if they’re right? What if I’m meant to die tomorrow?Melissa’s POV
As my dad sits there lost in his thoughts. I begin to wonder what Dennis is going to pull. As I’m thinking I barely notice my dad getting up and moving behind John and Ray.
“So much for our first tour. Two no shows and one sick triceratops.” John says.
“It could have been worse John, a lot worse.” Ray says.
My dad raises his eyebrows at this remark. What the devil is going on here? Is he trying to tell me something? Is he saying that Dennis is about to pull whatever it is he’s going to pull right now?
“Anybody want a soda or something?” Dennis asks.‘Oh my God, he’s right. Dennis is about to pull something now.’
Oh crap, thanks a lot dad. Dennis babbles about something I don’t quite understand and then leaves the control room. My dad starts pacing around the room and I walk over and join him.
“That’s odd.” Ray says.
“What?” John asks.
“Door security systems are shutting down.”
“Well, Nedry did say a few systems would go offline didn’t he?” John asks.‘It’s started. Things are going to hell.’
Right in the middle of that thought, I see the map of the fences. They go from green to red. My dad and I both turn around to face John and Ray.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. What the hell? What the hell? What the hell?” Ray asks.
“What now?” John asks.
“Fences are failing all over the park.” Ray says as he shakes his head.
“Find Nedry! Check the vending machines!” John shouts.
I run from my spot and head out of the control room. I head around the visitor’s center looking for Dennis. I don’t find him anywhere, but in my searching I do find Ellie.
“What’s going on?” Ellie asks.
“Dennis, our computer guy, is missing.” I say.
“That’s not good.” Ellie says.
“No, it’s not. Things have gone to hell.” I say with a sigh.
“How long have you been here?” I ask.
“Not long. Have the others come back yet?” Ellie asks.
“No, not yet.” I quietly say.
“Oh no.” Ellie says panicked.
“Let’s go back to the control room and regroup.”
Ellie nods her head and we walk off. We walk upstairs and head to the control room. I open the door and we walk in.
“Did you find him?” John asks.
“No.” I say with a sigh.
“Damn.” John says.
‘Yeah.’ I think.
Ellie takes a seat on an empty table and I walk over to my dad.
“How are you holding up?” He asks.
“Ok, but I’m worried about Grant and the kids.” I say.
“If they stay calm, they should be fine.”
“That’s a big if.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Ray working at Dennis’ computer.
“What’s going on?” I ask.
“Ray’s trying to figure out what Dennis did.” My dad says.
“Did the cars stop somewhere safe?”
My dad gives a shake of his head as an answer. That can only mean one thing, they’re near the rex paddock.
“Where did they stop?”
“Near the rex paddock.”
My heart drops into my stomach when he says this. How could this happen?
“Oh no.” I whisper.
That’s when Ray starts going on and on about what’s wrong with the system and having to go through all the computers lines of code one by one.
“How many lines of code are there?” Ellie asks.
“Bout two million.” Ray says while exhaling cigarette smoke.
“Great.” Ellie says with a sigh.
“Robert, I wonder if perhaps you would be good enough to take a gas Jeep and bring back my Grandchildren.” John says.
“Sure.” My dad says.
He walks over to the door and Ellie and I follow him.
“I’m going with him.” Ellie says.
“So am I.” I say.
I don’t want to be anywhere near the control room if things get worse. For that matter, I don’t even want to go into the park. God only knows what we’re going to find when we get to the rex paddock.
We walk out of the control room and head down the hall to our office. My dad goes in and comes back out a few minutes later with three raincoats. He then hands one to Ellie and another to me. We put them on and head to the garage. The only sound that can be heard on the way there, is our boots thudding on the floor.