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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2003 1:54 am 
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Please feel free to read the Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7 before reading the following chapter. :) Anyway, here's Chapter 8:

Chapter 8: The Lab

Anne reaches the complex within minutes. She had kept running, even after realizing that the rexes weren’t following her. To her, the complex seems much smaller than it had appeared. When she reaches it, she sees that the river is only two dozen yards from her, and that the dinosaurs are closer than they had appeared.

They honk softly, bending and drinking. Several adults playfully nurture several juveniles, and she smiles. She turns to face the building, and says, “So this is an InGen lab? Well, let’s see what they got.”

She steps up a set of concrete steps, saying, “To me, this sounds a bit out of place. No path. Out in the middle of the plains. Hmm…”

Her hand wraps around the metal handle of the concrete door, and pushes it open. “You are now entering—the Twilight Zone.”

She laughs, entering the darkness of the building. “Come on girl, stop with the jokes.”

The building is submerged in the ground, and she has to step down three steps before placing her feet on leveled concrete. On the wall are a set of light switches, near the door. She reaches up, flicking each one. As she flicks the last one, the room becomes illuminated, dimly.

She looks up, at several hanging lights set up in the ceiling in a straight line from the door. The entire room is concrete, and she feels a slight chill. Running along both walls are desks, with papers, folders, and other assorted things all over.

On the walls she sees plaques, pictures, and some glassed objects. “You call this a lab?”

The entire room is like a stretched hallway. It’s only a few paces wide, and runs on for twenty or thirty feet, before ending at a built-in, underground staircase. She can see a dim light coming from below.

She pressed against one of the desks, looking at the files and papers scattered about. What catches her attention is a faded blue binder.

She pulls it out from beneath several papers, and reads the label:

Site B Dinosaur Record

She flips it open. Inside, the papers seem preserved, wrapped inside a plastic covering attached to the three rings in the binder. She unclips the plastic, opening it. The papers inside are attached to the rings as well, and she looks at the first one.

It is some sort of note, and she reads it aloud: “I’m keeping this for myself. It’s a record of all the dinosaurs we’ve currently bred here on Site B. Just pictures, and names. Easier to understand, I say. Be sure to check Rick’s notes if you need assistance.”

She turns the page. The next page is an image of a large, four-legged dinosaur. It has a small head, and it’s curved towards the camera in the image. Running along its back are two amazing rows of plates, which taper back into a thick tail. Attached to the end of the tail are several spikes.

She looks at the name scribbled below the black and white image: Stegosaurus.

She backs into the light, holding the binder open. She turns the page, seeing another image. It’s the horned dinosaur she had seen at the river, and that the raptors had taken down. Anne reads its name: Parasaurolophus.

“Hmm,” she whispers.

Anne turns page after page, reading the names scribbled below each image:

Triceratops.

Pachycephalosaurus.

Brachiosaurus.

Compsognathus.

Tyrannosaur.

Velociraptor.

As she turns the last page, she sees that several more had been attached inside. Inside the rings, she could see scraps of attached paper, like it had been ripped off.

“I wonder why.”

She closes the binder, dropping it down on the desk, and moves on. At another desk on the opposite wall, she searches through papers.

A folder catches her eye. It’s labeled “Private”, and Anne reads a note written underneath: “Rick! They did more than we expected. Check this. Do you think Henry knows?”

She opens the folder, finding papers attached to the folder by a paperclip.

Anne undoes the clip, pulling out the papers. She looks around at the desk, and brushes aside the clutter. She sets down the papers, and looks around. Nearby she finds a chair, which she pulls over and sits down in.

She looks back at the papers, shuffling through them. The papers, she notices, are actually records. They’re marked with “To J. Hammond, From H. Wu.”

On every paper, words have been circled. One catches her eye:

John, we were able to breed the Torosaurus species as requested. Unfortunatly, a disease affecting only the Torosaurs swept through. Only a few survived, and we did a bit of testing with the other dinosaurs. The disease never spread. We bred a new batch, with only several survivors. Surprisingly, the disease had not passed on, so we let them out into the island.

“Torosaurs?”

She read many of the circled notes, each one on a different subject. The next one that she read was from a person named C. Kantros, to an H. Wu titled ‘Re: Ankylosaurus Breed’:


Anky-A01 specimen adapted. Released. Anky-A02 and Anky-B05 are also adapted. Released.

Another was an untitled fax to John Hammond from H. Wu:

John, we went through with the Spinosaur clutch. Only three survived from birth, and we sent them over to the Complex. They reached monthly status as expected, but became extremenly aggressive. We released male and female year olds. The third died. Female found three weeks later near river, deceased. We lost track of the surviving male.

She continued reading, finding a note thrown into the back of the folder. It was crude; ripped off from another paper. A message spanned the length of one side of it. She read it: “Rick. They lied to us. Looks like Hammond and Henry were keeping it a secret. Rick, they’re breeding dinosaurs that weren’t on the list being planned. Why are they keeping it from us? Is there another group working on these dinosaurs?”

She flipped it over. Another note, written more clearly, read:

I think this is the complete list of species that they’re planning to breed and release not on the original list.

Following it, there was a list of names. Anne whispered them to herself, “Torosaurus. Spinosaurus. Ceratosaurus. Ankylosaurus.”

A final note was written small near the bottom:

Four species. I’m willing to bet there are a few more. I’ll try and look. Why didn’t they tell us?

Anne sets the note on the folder. “What is this all about?”

She looks back through, at the circled notes. After several moments, she closed the folder, and got up from the chair. She looked around the room once more, staring at the stairway leading down.

“This seems more like a record house, rather than a lab.”

She walks around, looking at the different papers, and then returns her stare at the stairs. “I wonder what’s down there.”

She moves away from a nearby desk, walking down the room to the stairs. She looks down, seeing that the bottom steps and the floor around it are illuminated dimly. “Looks like I turned on the lights down there too.”

She let out on foot, letting it drop onto the step below. It’s concrete. She starts walking down the several steps, finally coming upon the concrete floor. “What is this place?”

-----

Around her is a large, underground room. An aisle runs down from the base of the stairs to another flight at the opposite end of the room, where she sees a door. Something is on the wall next to the door, but she can’t make it out.

On her left are two more desks, pushed against the wall. Metal cabinets run against the wall alongside them, like file holders. Behind the desks, getting closer to the aisle, are three large, circular machines. Domed, see-through lids cover the tops of them.

She moves over to one of them, looking inside the lid. The machine’s inside is lined with grass, or some sort of dead plant. The plants have turned yellow. They’re dead.

She walks to each of the machines, seeing nothing inside but dead grass. “What are these?”

She backs into the aisle, inspecting the machines, and then turns around. On the right side of the aisle there are several wheeled table.

“Operating tables?”

Two of them are lying on the floor, little utensils spilled across the concrete. One of the tables is draped in a sheet, matted with a dark substance.

Blood.

Behind the tables, built into the right wall, are two large, wooden doors. The doors themselves are raised a few inches off the ground, and a few inches short of the ceiling. A wooden frame runs along the outside, where the doors are connected.

Anne pulls out one of the tables into the aisle, to get to the doors. She pushes towards one, putting her hands at the top. There’s a click from the other side, and it easily swings open.

She steps inside. The ground is concrete again, and the wall separating the two rooms is concrete as well. They are quite wide, nearly half the wall of the room for each. They go back seven feet, into a wooden wall.

“It’s like some sort of stable.”

She walks forward, moving away from the door, and puts her hands on the wooden wall on the far side. She pushes. “If this was for dinosaurs, they had to have some way to get them in.”

She looks back, thinking of the operating tables blocking the stable doors. “If those were there when these were in use, there’s no way they could’ve gotten dinosaurs in or out into that room. Even if they did, they couldn’t get them up either of those stairways.”

She pushes again. “There must be some other way they got them in.”

Anne gives up, turning to rest her back against the wall. She coughs, and then pushes off, back towards the door. She pushes it open, stepping out.

She looks across the room, towards the desks and the cabinets on the far walls. “Maybe there’s something I can use in those drawers.”

She pushes past the tables, crossing the aisle. She glances back through the lids of the circular machines, and then reaches one of the desks.

Anne starts to pull on the drawers, and then the cabinet drawers. She moves from cabinet-to-cabinet, and also tries the drawers on the second desk.

All locked.

She curses, kicking a cabinet with the side of her foot. It echoes lightly, a small reverberating sound ringing through the room. She spins around, looking back at the operating table.

“There had to be knives—scalpels, or something.” She moves quickly back to the tables, pushing each one aside to inspect the next. She looks at the trays attached to each table, and then the floor where all the utensils are spilled.

“Why me?”

She gets up, shoving a table. It rolls away, colliding with another. Anne stares at the door across the room. Her eyes focus on the poster on the wall.

She walks down the aisle, getting close to the steps under the door. She looks up at the poster.

“A map!”

She jumps up the steps, reaching out against the wall. She grips the top corners of the map, and slowly begins to pull it off. It’s taped, and it comes off easier than she had expected.

She holds it, turning and sitting down on the steps, her back to the door. In the light, she looks at the map.

“Great,” she says. “It’s unfinished.”

Much of the top quarter of the island is missing, not added yet. She scans the rest of the map, seeing that the rest of the map is like a child’s drawing.

In the south-east corner of the island, she sees a big H. It’s against the shore. “I’m willing to bet that’s the harbor.”

Her eyes slowly move up the map, locating a thick blue line trailing through the island. “The river.”

She studies it, following it as it moves north, and then she sees a small dot on the east side of the river. Rising from the dot is a single line, which curves to the river. Where the line ends, there is a D.

“Wonder what that is. If that dot is this place, then that D would be somewhere north of here. Along the river.”

She quickly looks over the rest of the map. “Well, this is pretty much useless.”

She shrugs, folding it up. After it becomes pocket-size, she slides it into her pocket, feeling a slight jam. She pulls it out, reaching in, and feels the note she had found earlier. She sets down the map, opening the note, reading it again.

I have forgotten when, why. We were trapped here, and they came. No choice, so we will run. May God be with us.

She refolds it, pinching it next to the map, and slides both easily into her pocket. She bends her elbows, pushing herself up.

Anne stretches; her arms rising above her head. She walks up the stairs, grabbing the door handle. She pushes, the door opening into the cool afternoon air. She closes her eyes, the breeze refreshing.

She looks back into the dim light of the lab, and then closes the door. It seems to swing shut, slamming. The handle clicks into place.

The river is off to her left; the jungle closing in from the right. Ahead of her she sees a gap in several of the bushes, where the jungle collides with the river. She walks across the grass towards it, realizing that the gap is not beaten, but a wood path.

She steps onto it, hearing the wood panel creak underneath her. She looks ahead, seeing that the path runs through the jungle, until coming out on grass again.

“This is weird.”

She walks down it, the jungle trying to push in on her. In several places, undergrowth has begun to crack through the wood. She steps over it, until reaching the grass. The wood trail continues, towards a large brown shack built against the river.

A dock is set up like a porch of the shack, and Anne can see a boat tied down to it. The river is wide, and the boat fills up only a quarter width. To her, it seems small.

“A boat!”

She runs towards the shack, glancing around on her side of the river, to see the jungle surrounding her.

Anne opens the door to the shack, stepping inside. Everything is dark, and she realizes there are no windows. She fumbles around, searching for a door to the porch-deck outside.

After several moments, she grips a handle, and pulls open the door. Straight out, she sees the lazy movements of the water sliding past to her right. The boat is tied down, facing upstream.

In the stern, she sees an engine. “God, please let it work.”

She steps out across the deck, into the boat. It sinks slightly when she gets in, and she prepares to jump.

Come on Anne, everything’s fine.

Anne sat down in the boat. She figured it was about seven or eight feet long, and had four boards running across so she could sit. She reached over to the deck, undoing the ropes tied against the cleats, locked into the wood.

The rope was surprisingly loose, like whoever had tied it up last was in a hurry, and after several moments she was undoing the second knot.

Her shin kicked an oar resting under the beams, and she noted it. Within a matter of minutes, the boat began to drift backward, downstream.

She picked up the oar, grunting as her back hit the engine digging into her back. She glanced at it once. She had been on boats like this before, and knew how to start it up, so she could control the rudder. She set down the oar, contemplating whether to just spin the boat around with the rudder and continue on, or just turn it using the oar.

“I should save it, just in case it does work. I think I’ll enjoy this little drift before I start it up.”

She turns away, grabbing the oar, and hoists it into the water. She awkwardly tries to turn the boat, failing several times, until she hears a crunch, and the boat slowly starts going downstream sideways. “Hmm…”

She pulls back the oar, setting it down under the board supports. She sits in the stern, resting against the wood and peering out over the bow.

Anne felt herself begin to doze off, as the boat moved gently downstream, carried by the lazy movement of the water.

She tried to keep herself awake, but in minutes, she was asleep.


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