alexs_storybook: (Default)
alexs_storybook ([personal profile] alexs_storybook) wrote2017-02-16 10:32 am

FIC: UNgovernable Science (Jurassic Park)

Title: Ungovernable Science
Author: alexcat
Type: General
Rating:PG
Disclaimer: I do not own nor I profit from the use of these characters.
Warnings: None
Beta: None
Characters: Alan Grant, ellie Sattler, Ian Malcolm and Lex Hammond
Archive: Alex's Story Book, Ao3
Author’s Note: For 2016 yuletide
Spoilers: No
Summary: There are dinosaurs in Wyoming.

~~~


“Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers. Life breaks free. Life expands to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even dangerously. But life finds a way.” ~ Ian Malcolm



Alan grant had not heard from Ian Malcolm for a long time. He and Ian had gone back to Isla Nublar once in 2002 and that had been enough. He heard from Ellie a little more often but not more than once or twice a year. She was divorced and still very busy as a mother and a professional woman.

The message he got from Malcolm was a text.

‘Call Lex. Going to WY. Dinos there.’

That was enough.

Alan called Ellie and read her the message.

“Did you call Ian back? Does he mean Lex Hammond?” He could hear airport noises in the background.

“Where are you?”

“On my way back home. I was lecturing in Beijing. Just landed in DC.”

“Call Ian or Lex then call me back. I’ll go with you if there are really dinosaurs there. I wish I could see live dinosaurs just once again… I wish it often.”

‘I am too old for this crap,’ Alan thought to himself as he cut off the call to Ellie. He texted Malcolm. ‘Call me. I hate texting.’

His phone played a t-rex roar. Ian Malcolm was calling.

“You are hopelessly old-fashioned, maybe so old as to be called a dinosaur,” Malcolm said by way of hello.

“I am that. Now what is this about dinosaurs in Wyoming?”

“You know I’m still watched somewhat? I prefer to talk in person.”

“So lose your watchers and come see me.”

“On my way now. I’ll be in Denver in an hour. Text me your street address.”

Two hours later, Alan Grant and Ian Malcolm were sitting in Dr. Grant’s kitchen, drinking straight bourbon from coffee cups.

“Okay, Malcolm, tell me what’s going on.”

“It seems that Lex Hammond, for some reason unknown to me, has a ranch in Wyoming. On that ranch, she has some dinosaurs. Triceratops and Stegosaurs to be exact. Security is very tight there, so tight that her neighbors don’t even know about her exotic herds.”

“Lex didn’t even like dinosaurs.” Alan remembered how terrified she’d been of even the gentle brachiosaurs.
“That seems to have changed.”

“So if you’re telling me, then there’s a problem. Right?”

Ian smiled, looking more his old self than he had since he’d arrived. “Right you are.” He took a long drink from the thick tumbler. “A few of her herd are missing.”

“Missing? How do you lose something that big?”

“That’s the problem, I suppose.”

“So why call me? I’m an old man.”

“You, Ellie, me – we are the survivors of Jurassic Park. You and Ellie are the only dinosaur experts on earth who have worked with actual live dinosaurs. I don’t count those morons who reopened Hammond’s park. They were more short-sighted than the men who made Jurassic Park. I’ve heard that Henry Wu is responsible for those dinosaurs, too.”

“How did you know that?”

“People tell me things. What can I say?”

“What people?” Alan pressed.

“Just people,” was Malcolm’s only answer. “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you,” he joked.

“So were they stolen then?” Alan leaned forward.

“No one knows. There are two Triceratops missing and one Stegosaur missing so far.”

“And we’re going to find them?”

Ian nodded. “Us and Ellie.”

“When?” Alan had the feeling that all the arrangements had already been made and he was the last to know.

“Now.”

“You already talked to Ellie then?”

Ian nodded. “Just before I called you.”

“The airport? She was on her way here when I called her then?”

Ian nodded. “She thought it would be better if I told you. She will meet us in Gillette. Lex has a staff of zoologists on the ranch as well as a hunter like Muldoon.”

Hunter? What was Ian not telling him?

“My bag is packed. Let’s go,” was all he said to Ian.

Ian actually had a car and driver waiting outside for them. Alan looked at the dark SUV, something like the FBI or some secret government agent drove. He shrugged and got in. Ian slid in beside him.

They had been driving in silence for about an hour when Alan finally said, “All right, tell me the rest of the story.”

Ian opened a small bar and poured himself another drink. Alan took one as well. After each man had taken a sip, Ian began to talk.

“About ten years ago, someone approached Lex and offered her an ungodly amount of money to let them raise a few dinosaurs on her farm in Wyoming. They were associated with Dr. Wu. They paid for all the enclosures and setup. All Lex had to do was provide the land for them. But over time, they actually disappeared. The money was there to care for them but no one called or contacted her in any way. She finally hired her own people to take care of the dinos.”

“How does she have a herd?”

“They bred.”

“So these were different from the Jurassic Park dinosaurs?”

“Were they? They bred, too, didn’t they?”

Alan nodded. “Even though they weren’t supposed to.”

“So some of them are missing now.”

“Stolen?” He hoped that was all they were, stolen.

Ian shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

He refused to speculate further and they rode in silence for many miles. They reached Gillette and met Ellie at an A&W Restaurant. She was waiting, having a root beer float and reading from her tablet. She looked up and smiled as Alan and Ian entered the restaurant.

Ellie had aged well. She had few wrinkles and her blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Both men were a good 20 years her senior, but both acted a bit like boys around her. They sat on either side of her instead of one beside and one across. When she spoke, she had to turn her head toward one or the other.

“I talked to Lex. She is expecting us. She says she can’t wait to see you, Alan. Better grab a bite here before we go.”

They ordered burgers and fries, talking about old times as they ate. They talked about the good parts, leaving the death and destruction of Jurassic Park in the past. After lunch, Ellie got in the SUV with Ian and Alan and they headed toward Lex’s ranch.

Lex came flying out of the house when they drove up. She lived in a big, old, two-story farmhouse that had been remodeled to be modern but look old. She was a beautiful woman now, her childhood cuteness still lingering here and there. She hugged Alan first.

“It’s been too long!” She said, as she kissed his cheek. “You all come in and I’ll fill you in.”

She got them all settled in a comfortable den with drinks and she began to talk.

“I was contacted and offered a lot of money to give a home to a small group of herbivores.” She smiled at Alan. “I remembered they were the ‘good’ dinos. Since we lost our family wealth with all of Grandfather’s lawsuits then my stupid cousin’s disaster with that T-rex, I needed the money. This ranch was a working ranch but it rarely made more than just enough to keep the tax man at bay, so I said yes.

“They came in with their own equipment and people and set up enclosures and feeding systems, much like Mr. Arnold’s systems on Jurassic Park. I was paid by what I figure was some sort of a shell company designed to hide the true ownership of the company. Money came in monthly to pay expenses.

“Things went well for quite a long time, then the people who worked here all packed up and left. The money kept coming in, still is, as a matter of fact, but I have hired my own staff to care for the herds now.

“The thing is, over the last six months, three of the herd have come up missing. Maybe more. We think some of the juveniles are missing too. My staff is excellent and I have a big game hunter here as well.”

That was the question Alan wanted answered. “Why do you have a big game hunter? What is the need?”

“Well, we think that something is killing the dinosaurs.”

“Really?” Alan dreaded the answer.

“We’ve found some evidence that they were eaten.”

“By what?” Alan asked, but he saw the haunted look on Lex’s face as she said spoke.

“Raptors. We think there are velociraptors here.”

Ian made a sound, a strangled sound. The color drained from Ellie’s face. Alan leaned forward. “Really? Why?”

“Well, the marks on the bones indicate something with claws like a raptor. We know it can’t be a T-rex. We’d have seen something that big, or heard it anyway.”

“And you want us to hunt them?” Ian asked.

“We need to find them. What if they get loose?”

Ian shook his head. “They probably already have.”

*

Lex introduced them to Cameron Heller, her huntsman, and they all piled into her Jeep. They had to stop and unlock massive gates to get into the enclosure. It was not a green as Jurassic Park but there was still the feeling of something prehistoric, otherworldly.

They came upon an open meadow with as many as thirty triceratops and nearly as many stegosaurs heading toward the lake down in the center. Ellie grabbed Alan’s hand.

“How well do they winter here?” Alan asked.

“There are huge heated barns that they can stay in. They come and go as they please but the younger ones are usually in the warm barn in the harshest weather. Once in a while we lose one to the cold but not often,” Heller said.

“Do you know who is responsible for this, Mr. Heller?” Ian asked. “It all certainly smells of Henry Wu’s creations.”

“I don’t know for sure, but I think it may have belonged to Masrani, the man who bought InGen Technologies from Lex’s cousin’s estate,” Heller answered.

“The one who died at Ilsa Nublar? At the new Jurassic World?” Ellie asked.

“Maybe that’s why the input stopped. Maybe there was no one to input anything anymore,” Ian said, almost as much question as statement. “I heard that the disaster there shut down Misrani, for the most part.”

They kept riding until they came to something that might have been a carcass once. It was now just a few bones strewn about. Alan hopped out before the Jeep was at a full stop.

“Triceratops maybe. Deep claw marks on the bones.” He rooted around in the debris. “Don’t know what it is but it’s certainly not anything as small as a wolf!”

Ellie got out as soon as they did stop and looked too. “Alan, those really do look like raptor claw marks.”

Alan looked at Heller. “How did velociraptors get in here?”

Heller shrugged. “I’ve only been here since the original staff left. They packed up all their computers except the ones running the enclosure and left. Lex found some paleo-zoologists to help us with what to feed them and medications. They’ve been on their own, more or less, though.”

“Lex, still a hacker?” Ian asked, eyebrow raised.

“Not as much. Why?”

“Maybe there is something on their computers here. A name, something.”

“We can check them. The computers are in a shed outside the paddock,” Lex answered. “Dr. Malcolm can go with us.”

Ellie and Alan were still picking through the bones. “Give me your rifle, Heller. Ellie and I will be somewhere in this area.”

Heller shook his head and got out. “I’ll stay with you. Dr. Malcolm and Lex can go to the shed alone. They should be safe.”

It was settled.

Alan headed toward the more heavily wooded areas, areas with underbrush. Ellie was right behind him. Heller was amazed that a man his age could move so quickly. Alan stopped and looked in all directions and turned left. Heller had to move fast to keep up. When he did catch him, Dr. Grant held up a piece of an eggshell.

“Velociraptor egg. Are you sure there are only supposed to be herbivores here?”

“Yes. They are the only population listed in the computers and all that Lex authorized. Perhaps they were brought in just prior to whatever caused the staff to desert the ranch?”

“Whatever… they are here and they are killing and eating and when all this population is gone, they will range out of this compound and hunt elsewhere.”

“They can’t get out,” Heller said. “The enclosure will hold them.”

“They always get out, boy. Raptors are smart that way. They work together and solve problems and they’re intelligent as hell. And meaner than hell when threatened.” Dr. Grant said. “We have to find a way to kill the raptors or they will spread.”

Dr. Grant headed back toward the road. Heller was still running to keep up.

“How are we going to kill them?”

“Aren’t you a hunter? What would you do?”

“I don’t know since we don’t know their numbers.”

“Gas? Tainted food supply? Burn them all, including these herbivores, bomb them?”

“It must be done.”

Lex and Ian came driving up in the Jeep.

“The operation was a part of EnGen and Masrani’s company. The raptors were introduced shortly before Masrani died at Ilsa Nublar,” Ian said as he jumped down out of the Jeep. “No one thought that telling Lex anything was important. Adding the raptors here smells of Henry Wu and his god complex.”

“Let me guess. They brought in a mating pair?” Alan said.

“Bingo!” Ian said. “Two mating pairs actually.”

They all got into the Jeep and headed back to Lex’s house. They had things to discuss and decisions to make. Lex made coffee and found some sandwich foods along with fruits and veggies. Everyone washed up and sat down around her big kitchen table. Cups of coffee first then sandwiches handed back and forth as they talked.

“So what is first?” Ian said.

“Destroy the eggs. We need to get out there and get rid of as many eggs as we can find.” Alan wasn’t eating. He was writing on a scrap of paper as he talked.

“We’re going to have to hunt the raptors as well,” Ian added.

“But how?” Ellie asked. “Can we kill them without killing the others?”

“I don’t see how,” Alan answered. “What we need is some form of military grade gas, one that will dissipate quickly.”

Ellie looked at him. “I might can get that done. My ex would possibly help out. He did help you in 2002.”

Lex looked stricken. “I hate to lose the others though. They’re sort of like big dogs.”

“Suppose we take out a couple of breeding pairs and then put them back after the gas is gone?” Alan asked her. “You can start again.”

She nodded. It was the best she was going to get.

*

It took weeks to set up everything. The first order of business was to destroy all the eggs that could be found anywhere. They turned up seven nests and got rid of all the eggs. Alan finally saw a raptor and Heller shot it. A few more were spotted and killed before the operation to kill them all.

They used Jeeps and some trucks to separate several of the dinosaurs from the others and put them in a makeshift compound on the far side of the ranch, well away from the enclosure. These would be Lex’s breeding stock for later.

“Are we ready?” Alan asked Ellie on the last day.

“Yes, the gas will be delivered by air in four hours. We all should go to Gillette for a few days. After the gas is gone, earth moving equipment will dig huge trenches and crews will burn the carcasses. Since fall is coming on, the live dinosaurs will stay in their compound until spring.”

“Is there enough money for this?” Lex asked. She was worried about being able to keep the ranch.

“Actually there is. We were able to utilize some federal funding set aside for training to handle such a gas emergency to help pay for it.” Ellie’s ex-husband had pulled a lot of strings. “Ian said that your funding is still coming in, so that should help with the live ones.”

When they got to Gillette and checked into a motel, Ellie followed Alan to his room.

“Would you like to come in for a drink?” He asked her as he unlocked the door with a keycard.

She laughed and pushed past him. “I’m staying with you.” The room did have two beds, though they hadn’t needed both beds when they’d traveled years ago.

Alan stepped in after her. “All right. Whatever you say.” He was smiling.

*

Epilogue –

The gas worked and all life on the ranch perished in a few hours one early fall evening. All traces of it disappeared over the next few weeks as a classified operation cleared the entire area of all traces the dinosaurs had ever been there. Everything sat empty for the remainder of the winter. In the spring, dinosaurs would be returned to the ranch.

Outside the compound, out in the northwest corner, about half a mile outside the original enclosure was a nest that no one had seen. It had five eggs in it. Depending on the time of day, there were two parents who cared for the eggs. They were very attentive, keeping the eggs warm at all times and protecting them from any predators.

The parents were velociraptors, a male and female, young enough to lay many more sets of eggs before they were done.

~end~

Post a comment in response:

From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.