Chapter 4
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Isla Nublar, Costa Rica

(Maria)

Our campsite at the beach was a mess. The table was flipped over; the chairs were broken. Lying in a pool of blood that had seeped into the sand was Clarke. It had torn his chest and neck open. His left shoulder had been ripped away from his body.

Beyond him, the zodiac was ripped apart, and a long, slender leg was hanging limply over the side. I walked stiffly towards the zodiac, knowing what I’d find but unable to not check for myself. Emilia lay in the remains of the zodiac, her face and body mauled beyond recognition, but I knew it was her. I felt my stomach flipping over and over. I fell to my knees and threw up my breakfast, lunch, and maybe the previous night’s dinner, too. Sandra was by my side, holding my hair back.

“Now, what are we going to do? Our boat's gone and Cassy told the crew we’d be fine here on our own. Who knows if they’ll even come looking for us? Not to mention all this blood will attract more predators.” I could feel hot tears burning a trail down my cheeks. I couldn’t muster enough strength to care. Emilia was dead, Clarke was dead. I didn’t know them all that well, but they didn’t deserve this.

“How was I supposed to know this would happen?” Cassy asked indignantly. “I mean, they were supposed to be dead. I thought maybe if we were lucky, one or two might have survived and we’d take a few pics but not all this.” She said, motioning to Clark and Emilia.

“Look, it doesn’t matter who’s blaming right now,” Samuel said, getting our attention. “Right now, what matters is getting out of here. We need to find shelter and then find help. They built a park or something on this island. The map legends said something about a visitor. Center, maybe there’s something there we can use to call for help or at least let the ship know to come to pick us up.”

I nodded my head. “You’re right. Even if there isn’t anything at the Visitor Center, it’s still a shelter.”

“Then let’s go already,” Jake said impatiently. “I want to get the hell out of here. And we.” He said, motioning to himself and Cassy. “Are so done.” He stormed off in the road.

“What do you mean done?” Cassy called after him. She stomped off down the beach.

Sandra helped me to my feet. We followed behind at a distance, not wanting to get drawn into the fight. They quieted down after an hour. The walk to the visitor's center was peaceful once Jake and Cassy shut up. It was thankfully uneventful, except when a herd of stegosaurs crossed our path. They ambled across the road, ignoring us, mostly. It was an awe-inspiring sight to see them, just walking, not a single care in the world.

By the time the sun was getting low in the sky, we faced a large gate. The words Jurassic Park in big bold letters hung on an arch over two gates modeled to look like wood. They left the gates wide open as if the park was expecting us. When we arrived at the Visitor Center, I felt my heart plummet. The building was covered in ivy, several of the windows were broken and even parts of the roof was missing.

What kind of help could we hope to find in this place? It was an impressive dump, but still a dump. Did this place even have the means to call the mainland?

“We should get inside find a place to hunker down before it gets dark,” Samuel said. He and Jake ran up the steps and opened the doors to the Center. They squealed in protest, making me cringe and look around for any signs that we alerted something hungry to our presence. There was nothing aside from a flock of birds that were startled from their roosts up on the roof.

Inside the building was a dusty mess. A skeleton of a tyrannosaurus lay crumpled against the side of the stairs case that led to a second floor. The remains of a second skeleton were strewn about the floor, and parts of it still hung from wires in the ceiling. I shuddered. Whatever caused all this damage, I hoped I never had to meet it.

We started our search on the first floor. We found a dining area, a gift shop, and even the kitchen. We tried the lights and were all startled when they came on. The building had power. We checked the freezer and received another shock when we found the frozen body of a Velociraptor. Even frozen, I recognized it from my childhood. Frozen meat littered the floor and the racks, but after nine years in this freezer, I would not try it.

We closed the freezer back up and tried for the second floor. On the second floor, we followed a hallway down several doors marked Security Chief, Supply Closet, and Public Relations. We passed through a door marked Laboratory. Inside, I could see computers. Some were working, others weren’t. Refrigerators and incubators dominated the room. We passed through the lab into another room marked Hatchery. The moment we entered the room, we were all sick. I couldn’t help it. The smell of rotten eggs made me throw up. Everyone threw up. I pointed at a door at the far end of the room, and we dashed for it. The room on the other side smelled so much better. This must be a control room. The setup reminded me of NASA's mission control.

The place looked like it might have what they needed. We searched the different stations till Jake called us over. He found a workstation with radio equipment. It did not convince me that jake knew what he was doing, but his hands moved confidently over the dials and switches. After some time, he directed me to record a message. He felt my voice might garner a quicker response. I’d be offended later. I had much more pressing matters.

“Alright, the message will loop. Now, all we have to do is wait for rescue.” Jake informed us. He stood and started walking to check another station with some monitors when there came a clang from above him. He stopped and looked up. The sound came again before something came crashing down from the ceiling. For a second, I thought it was a Velociraptor, but the head was too narrow, and it had five toes on its feet while Velociraptor had three. I realized in the next moment what it was. Its skeleton was on the brochure, Herrerasaurus. Its arms reached out and grabbed Jake, digging its razor claws into his back before its jaws descended on his neck ripping it open. Cassy screamed before running towards the door to the hatchery.

At the other side of the room was another door. I grabbed Sandra's and Samuels' hands and dragged them towards the door. The Herrerasaurus was ignoring us mostly, but I didn’t want to risk it changing its mind. I all but pushed them through the door, closing it behind me. We descended a long, partially dark staircase that led to what looked like the inside of a bunker.

The space had a table in the center of the room with shelves lined with supplies. I could see old hand radios on one rack. In a set of drawers were maps and blueprints for the buildings in the park. It looked fortified. I collapsed against the wall and slid down it utterly exhausted. Sandra joined me on the floor, wrapping her arms around me. It might be a horrible thing to wish, but I’d be fine if just the two of us made it out alive.

It was dark out and we were all tired. Samuel found some emergency blankets, and we wrapped ourselves up and hunkered down for the night. We hoped the morning would bring a miracle with it. But the morning was as unforgiving as the previous day. Samuel had spent the morning poring over the old schematics in the shelves. He found one for a Safar Lodge. It looked like a hotel and if the maps we found were right it was close by.

Sandra wanted the three of us to go together to see if there was some food and anything we could use to survive or even escape. But Samuel wasn’t hearing it. They fought, and he left alone while Sandra sulked in the corner muttering for hours.

When night fell and Samuel didn’t return, I knew in my heart he was dead. But Sandra wouldn’t give up on him. We took a couple of crowbars and went in search of him the following morning.

The Safari Lodge was a low building with the same thatch-roofed rotundas on top as the visitor's center. A swimming pool was outside. A fence enclosed the Lodge, twelve-foot electric fences with thick iron bars in a grid pattern like the perimeter fence we had passed the other day. The gates were open slightly, which gave us hope Samuel had just spent the night here. Murky green water filled the swimming pool next to the structure.

Inside the lodge, beige tones and rattan furniture with jungle-type motifs decorated the main lobby and rooms. As we began our search from room to room, we found that most of the rooms were in an unfinished state. One room had pieces of electrical conduit all over the floor and stacks of lumber in the corner.

The farther into the building we searched, the more we noticed a familiar smell. It didn’t take us long to remember the blood. When we found the source of the smell, Sandra broke down in tears. Samuel lay face down on the floor in the room. The back of his head was smashed in and most of his body had been picked at by scavengers. There were still a few there, picking away at his flesh.

 

Procompsognathus. A small dinosaur about the size of a chicken to be the scavengers of the Triassic period. I once saw an artist drawing of a Compy and thought that it looked cute. Now watching them tear into Samuel's meat dangling from their little jaws, I didn’t think they were cute anymore. I swung my crowbar at them, scaring them off. I pulled a tarp from the corner and laid it over Samuel’s corpse.

I walked over to Sandra and held her close, rocking her gently in my arms. After some time, she settled down, and we returned to the lobby.

“Look girl, just wait here. I’m going to check out back for some tools or supplies. I’ll be back.” She nodded her head slowly, a far-off look on her face. I worried about leaving her alone, but she should be fine for a moment. I walked to the back of the building, hoping to find something we could use. But all I found was more building material, hammers, a few wrenches, some hard hats, and a stack of steel pipes.

Disheartened, I returned to the Lobby to collect Sandra and return to the bunker. When I opened the door, I found Sandra laying on the floor, blood haloed around her smashed in the head. Standing over her was Cassy. A steel pipe in one hand. A malicious smile dominated her features. Never in my life had I been prompted to violence. I wasn’t the fighting type. I used my words, not my fists. But in that moment, I saw red. A fierce cry of rage erupted from somewhere primal within me and I charged Cassy.

She jumped with fright, and I could see the pure terror on her face before she matched my rage with her own. The lodge echoed with the sounds of our fight. I was sure our clamor was going to attract attention, but I didn’t care. She blocked my crowbar with her pipe. At one point, she got so Cassy screamed her frustration at me.

“Why won’t you just die!?”

“What the hell did I ever do to you!?” I shouted back.

“You fucked my boyfriend, you book reading slut!”

“I never did anything with your ass-wipe boyfriend!”

She sneered at me. “It doesn’t matter anymore I got you all. I got that bitch Emilia for turning the girls against me and her no-account boyfriend. Jake got what he deserved, and now I got the uppity bitch and her stuck-up boyfriend.” She bared her teeth at me. “Now I’m going to kill me a nerdy slut!”

She was crazy; she was bat shit crazy. Cassy charged me again and this time I was going to finish this bitch. I blocked her strike at my head and threw all my weight against her, knocking us both to the ground. The moment we hit the ground, I stumbled atop her and punched her again and again. I cried out with every hit the sound of my fist connecting with her stupid face satisfying some primal part of me. At one point I had my crowbar in my hand and I was hitting her over and over, smashing her face in like she had my friends.

I don’t know how long I had been swinging the crowbar into her face, but when I was done, she didn’t look human anymore. Not that she was human, to begin with. The next week had been a blur after that. I remember burying my friends, searching, and finding food in the Visitors Centers kitchen. I ate, I slept, and at some point, I gave up hope of seeing my family again.

 

Isla Nublar, Costa Rica

(JJ)

When Ms. Sullivan came to the end of her tale, she lost consciousness. I didn’t blame her. She looked so pale and I’m sure the emotional stress of her ordeal took it out of her. It would have been nice if more had survived. At least one family would get their kid back. We carried her out to the ATV and tried to make her as comfortable in the back as we could.

I turned on my headset and radioed the LCU to prep for departure. I had just turned on the ATV when I felt something. I turned the ATV off and listened. I felt it again. A tremor shook the vehicle slightly. We looked behind us to see the massive head of a Tyrannosaurus breaking through the foliage. It looked left, then right, before focusing on us and bellowed. I turned the ATV on and tore ass out of there.

The rex gave chase, lowering its head and roaring its rage. The speed at which it could move startled me. But Our ATV would not lose out. It was going to take us ten minutes tops to reach the LCU. The rex showed no sign of slowing down.

LB took a smoke grenade and threw them behind us. He timed it perfectly because the smoke distracted the rex enough for us to get a lead on him. When the access road ended, and we reached the beach, I didn’t slow down, breaking hard once we drove the ATV into the LCUs deck. The ramp closed, and we pulled away from the beach moments before the rex reached the beach. It bellowed at us but made no move to enter the water after us.

We were home-free. Time to get Maria Sullivan home.

 

Epilogue

island of Kauai, Hawaii

 

“It’s a remarkable story of tragedy and survival.” The newswomen said over the TV. “Maria Sullivan and her friends were lured to the infamous island Isla Nublar, where the troubled youth Cassy Hargrove murdered her classmates and attempted to murder Ms. Sullivan. Hargrove’s parents have denied the validity of these allegations and are engaging in legal battles with the Sullivan family.”

“Boo!” Loni cried, throwing popcorn at the screen.

“Hey, you’re cleaning that,” I said from my seat. She threw popcorn at me instead. I picked a kernel off my shirt and popped it into my mouth. It sucked. The Sullivans couldn’t get peace. But if life was all sunshine and rainbows, everyone would have a pot of gold. Still, with time and counseling, Maria Sullivan will find her peace.

But like the Sullivans, there would be no peace for me. They flooded my email with requests from private individuals and various government agencies to rescue people. Soaring Star Rescue was going to be very busy for a while.

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