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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:14 pm
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Please feel free to read the Prologue, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, and Chapter 13 before reading the following chapter. :) Anyway, here's Chapter 14:

Chapter 14: The Ravine

Anne came out onto a large hill, which ran down to what looked like some sort of large trail, running through the forest. The grass seemed yellowish, and there was a lot of dirt.

To the right, alongside the hill was a rocky outcrop, overlooking the trail.

The tire tracks followed the hillside up and down from the trail and back. She knew what this place was. “This is the game trail where the hunter’s caught most of those dinosaurs.”

The hill passed a few feet wide behind the outcrop, dropping down from view, although she could see several boulder tops peaking their way over the rise.

“Let’s have a better look.”

She walked across the hill, jumping up onto the rocks onto the outcrop. The game trail expanded to the left and right in front of her. She was surprised there weren’t any dinosaurs.

Something caught her eye to the right, along the hill where it dropped. She turned, moving back to the hill and walking to the drop.

She moved to the short bend, seeing that several boulders were resting in mixed places along the hill. Near the bottom, resting by the forest she could see something resting against one of the boulders.

At first she couldn’t see what it was: it was turned at too much of an angle, but as she slowly moved her way down the hillside, she saw that it was a motorcycle.

One of the hunter motorcycles!

She moved around it, inspecting it. There was no key, but it looked as if it was still intact.

Impossible Anne.

She stepped on something, nearly tripping, but caught herself against the boulder, just a few inches above the motorcycle. She stepped off it, turning and bending down to see what it was.

It was a small cage, like a mini version of the large ones back at the camp. But it wasn’t the cage that had got her attention.

It was the remains of a small creature inside. She identified it as the chicken-sized animal Compsognathus. She picked up the cage, which lifted easily, and the remains flopped down to the back. The door of the cage was locked by a small padlock.

She set the cage back down, watching as the remains once again rolled their way to the back of the cage, and then walked around the boulder.

Anne had been expecting to find nothing, but she gasped silently as she saw what was lying in front of her. The forest edge was only a few feet ahead, where another boulder jutted out three or four yards opposite from the boulder where the motorcycle was resting.

Just short of the boulder, resting on top of the mixed patches of grass and dirt she could see the lower half of someone’s torso. It wasn’t recent, she could tell, because much of the flesh was purely gone. Remains of the person’s pants were resting on the legs, but patches were lying on the ground around it. Much of the pants were still intact, including the back pockets.

From the waist up, there was nothing else, except for a few crushed bones which she guessed were ribs.

This person had obviously been one of the hunters.

“What could’ve killed this guy? He must’ve stopped or something, left his bike on the rock as well as that compy, which he probably caught. Maybe he was going to the bathroom or something, just never came back. Didn’t make it very far. Hammond wrote that there was a Rex nest nearby the camp. Maybe one of the adults found him before he could run. Nobody thought of looking for him, so the bike was left.”

She glanced back at the front of the motorcycle. “Maybe… Nah.”

It’s worth a shot. It wouldn’t be too much of a hassle just to look now, would it?

She looked back at the body and shivered. Slowly she crept forward, expecting the legs to start flopping around, as if trying to get up. Several raindrops plopped on her hair, and she looked back to see the plastic of the cycle sparkling with fresh drops.

She reached the body, crouching down next to it, extremely revolted. After reassuring herself nothing would happen several times, she finally managed to slip her fingers into one of the back pockets. It was extremely dry, and almost as quickly as she had started to put her fingers in, she pulled back.

Nothing.

Not wanting to do it again, she quickly patted the other pocket with one brief drop of her hand.

Nothing.

“Oh, great.”

What are the chances now girl? If they aren’t in the back pockets, why would they be in the front? Just leave.

Preparing to do so, she stopped herself, thinking better of it. She had to just see; to make sure. Anne crouched once more, and quickly flipped over the legs with a quick under-nudge of her hands. The legs slowly rolled off, the bones seeming to rub together, making a scratchy sound.

Now she could see both front pockets. She swatted one, feeling nothing underneath.

She reached across to the second, and patted it.

Expecting the same results as the other pockets, she pulled back, getting ready to leave, before doing a double-take after hearing a faint clink.

“No way.”

-----

Anne revved up the motorcycle about ten minutes later, after several attempts at trying to start it. The engine grumbled to life, and Anne felt the rain begin to drop harder, pattering on the plastic front-tire cover.

She wiped her eyes, realizing there was no helmet around. “Oh well then…”

She put her foot on the gas, steering left, away from the forest, throwing up a s mall puddle of mud as it turned. The cycle passed a boulder, and rumbled out onto the game trail. Anne stopped it, looking both ways.

The rain was falling harder now, and the yellowish-ground began to dim into brown haze. Far to the right, following the trail away from her, she could see a small herd of Triceratops. A rather large one was lagging behind, split quite a distance from the rest of its herd.

She revved the cycle, turning right, and felt the cycle begin to bump along the trail, as the lagging Triceratops seemed to get larger and larger as she got closer.

The rain started to fall down harder. She wiped out her hair from her eyes, closing in on the Triceratops.

Crack!

There was a flash of lightning, and Anne blinked through the rain, trying to see if her eyes were deceiving her. She rolled the cycle to a stop, squinting.

Several shadows had darted out of the forest on both sides, closing on the Triceratops. There was another crack of lightning and Anne suppressed a scream.

A raptor landed on the Triceratops’s back, slashing downward. As it did, the other shadows closed in, snarling, hissing, and growling. One by one they slashed at the Triceratops, which soon fell to the ground, without much of a fight.

It gave a last, haunting moan, which was blocked out by the shrieks of the raptors.

Anne cursed. I’m too close!

She looked around. “I have to get past them! I can’t take this into the forest…”

The raptors ripped at the flesh of the Triceratops, snarling at each other and snapping. Anne looked back at the frenzy, as another flash lit the sky.

“Ah, hell.”

A single raptor was flanking the others; its teeth bared, claws raised. It was snarling, moving towards her.

It’s now or never girl.

She kicked the gas, the cycle roaring to life once more. Another flash o lighting showed her that the other raptors were abandoning the kill. They quickly closed the ground, running right at her at an angle from the carcass.

With a shout from Anne, the cycle rumbled off, spraying up a wave of mud behind her. It passed the raptors, who snarled in confusion. She arched around the carcass to the left, looking back to see the raptors turning back to follow her on the other side.

They shrieked and snarled, closing in. She blinked, looking ahead. The Triceratops herd was only a few hundred feet ahead, and off to the left of the trail she could see it veered off into a large ditch of mud, wide enough to pass through.

She looked back, counting the raptors.

Six. Maybe seven. She couldn’t be sure.

Her gaze drifted ahead, where another flash of lightning revealed something darting out onto the trail ahead.

Another raptor.

“Oh, no.”

The cycle closed in quick, and Anne gazed off to the ravine on the left. Time seemed to move extremely fast.

Anne only saw the raptor jumping, claws raised high, ready to slash. She veered off to the left, the cycle almost tipping over too far, as the raptor slammed into the ground behind her. It shrieked, as the other group fanned around it.

The motorcycle rumbled off the trail, sliding down several feet into the ravine. The raptors snarled behind her.

The ravine curved left up ahead, and Anne led the cycle around it. She passed around curve after curve for several minutes, noting that the water was building up slightly.

Behind her, the raptors tried to claw up the ravine, to get on the ledge above and pass her. Around her, water and mud splayed up against the ravine walls as the cycle ran through it.

Something was rattling down by her right leg and—with one hand still controlling the cycle—she reached down. Her hands slipped over something leathery, bracketed to the cycle. She risked one glance down, seeing it was some sort of large pouch, just behind her right ankle.

She slipped her hand inside, and gripped a handle. She pulled the object out, looking back at the raptors, and then looked down at it. It was some sort of gun.

It was like a revolver, but the cases were elongated. She knew what this was.

A tranquilizer gun.

It was small, handgun size. She was surprised that they made tranquilizer guns this small, but then she remembered where she was, in the ravine.

She looked back, using her right hand to aim the gun, and quickly shot. A dart exploded from the end, racing towards the raptors. There was a shriek, and she looked back to see one drop down in the mud, trampled by the others.

Six left.

There were only five more darts.

She turned the cycle around another curve, and then aimed once more, firing the gun. The raptors snarled, hissing, but none dropped. Through the rain, she couldn’t see if the dart had hit any of them.

“Oh, great.”

She looked ahead, turning the cycle. The ravine straightened out, and she could see something brown blocking the ravine ahead. As the cycle drew closer, she could see it was a bridge, but the other side of the ravine was entirely blocked off by a large wooden wall under the bridge. At both ends of the wall, also supporting the horizontal runway on top, were two thick wooden poles on her side.

It was probably six feet tall, stretching the entire five foot length of the ravine. Water seemed to lightly spray through several cracks in between the boards.

There was no way she could continue on the cycle. She turned it, screeching on the brakes. It slid sideways, stopping in the mud after spraying up a wave of it. She looked at the raptors, who were drawing closer.

She aimed the gun and fired.

One raptor shrieked, backing off, wobbling. With a gurgling hiss, it dropped into the mud.

They were closing in.

She fired again.

It narrowly missed one of the raptors, who stopped for a second, pausing at the odd whoosh that had passed it in the rain.

Last dart Anne.

She fired the final dart, which placed itself right in the neck of one of the raptors. It snarled, preparing to jump. As it did, it tripped in the mud, tripping and crashing its entire head into the ground.

She dropped the gun, turning the motorcycle to face the wooden wall. The four remaining raptors behind her were only feet away, as the cycle roared to life, racing for the wooden wall.

She looked at the wooden posts through the falling rain. She could climb them if she had to.

I have to.

The cycle neared, rumbling straight for the wall. Water was trying to burst through the cracks.

Now!

She spun the cycle, right next to the wall, and drove alongside it. The cycle rocked upward as it hit the slope of the ravine, which was less sloped, leading to the hillside above. This was some sort of maintenance slope for the bridge, and Anne raced up it. Behind her, the raptors stopped, as the bridge cracked.

She stopped the cycle, getting off, and ran onto the bride, which shook, swaying under her weight and the combined force of the water. She looked over the other side, seeing that the ravine was full, and now trying to get into the other side.

She turned around, looking at the raptors, who were confused, trying to flee down the ravine. There was another crack, and the bridge jolted downward. The water rushed out below, and Anne jumped off the bridge, almost falling face-first. The bridge toppled, and Anne stood up.

The raptor shrieked as the water collided with them, and they disappeared beyond the bend of the ravine, alongside bits of wood and board. The bridge fell, crashing into the water, which pulverized it.

After several moments, the water clamed, the surface smoothing out. She looked down the slope she had driven up, smiling. She had noticed a change in the ground when she had looked at the bridge, but it had been concealed by the rest of the hill.

She looked across the ravine, where the bridge would have led to, and saw a dirt trail-way leading into the forest. Below her, the same trail led off into the forest as well on her side. The rain had lessened, now a light shower.

She picked up the cycle and climbed on. She kicked it to life, and it rumbled down the dirt pathway. It bent right, into the forest.

The cycle curved around the bend, and Anne wiped water off her face with the back of her wrist. The rain was becoming less, and the sky was becoming a golden-orange above, the clouds starting to part.

Anne lost track of time, how long she was driving. She guessed it had only been a few minutes when the trail had come out onto a straight lane, which was a bit more bumpy. Farther on she could see the gates of a large, barred structure looming on the road ahead. A small, cement shed stuck out of the forest to the right.

There were bits of gleaming water clinging to the bars, and Anne slowed the cycle as she drew close. There was a caution sign on the fence, showing a faded voltage amount she couldn’t make out. Below that sign, another sign attached to three bars read:

Park Vehicles In Designated Area In Front of the Facility.

“I’ve got to be near the northern area of the island… Maybe this road leads to that complex with the radio they used last year to call for help.”

Underneath the sign was a large, steel, sliding lock, with bars extending from it to the left and right. It needed to be released somehow. It was, no doubt, electronically locked.

She looked at the shed.

“Maybe…”

She rolled the cycle up against the wall of the shed, and pushed open the cold, metal door. It swung in, letting light shine through the open doorway. A glass window on the opposite side helped illuminate everything.

There was a signal, smashed computer against the wall to the right, on a desk. She walked in, looking at it, and turned to face the other wall. “This is it.”

On the upper half of the wall was a large switchboard, with six consoles aligned in two vertical rows of three on the right. Several small switches were positioned under a glass lid on one side of the board, while three switches took up the left side. The buttons under the lid were marked with little stickers, and a note above them read:

System Switch A Must Be Powered To Switch Circuit 3 To Control Lock System.

“Ok then…”

She flipped up the lid, and not bothering to read the tags on the switches, she flipped all of them. As she did, buzzing filled the shed from behind the board. The consoles on the right flickered to life with shots of the jungle and the gated passage outside.

As she flicked the last switch, a slow hum rose from the three large, pull-switches on the left. She dropped the lid on the switches, and then stepped over the three levers.

She pulled down the one on the left, and another, slow, distant hum filled the shed, coming from outside. She looked into the monitors, seeing that neither the lock on her side had opened, nor had the one on the far side opened.

“It must be the electricity.”

She tried to push it back up, trying to turn it off, but it had locked itself. She reached the second one, pulling it down, and heard a faint pang. On the monitor, the lock on her side had loosened, waiting to be pulled open manually.

“Now for the other side.”

She gripped the third handle, pulling it down, and, although she couldn’t hear the pang, she saw on the monitor that the second lock had loosened.

The droning hum from behind the switchboard was stopped for a second as a click filled the shed, before returning to its constant drone.

She stepped outside, walking to the gate, and slid the lock out of position. The gates swung open, and she pushed them farther, walking down to the opposite side. She felt the heat of the electricity zipping through the bars as she passed her arm between them, cautiously.

Her entire arm buzzed with the odd sensation of the pushing electricity. Her hand gripped the handle of the lock, and she tugged once, slightly, slowly. The lock shook, and she pulled again. The lock glided the rest of the way out, and the doors whirred open, extending outward.

The trail was fully open now.

“I did it! Only a little but more and I’ll get to the facility. I’ll be contacting help on that radio and I’ll be out of here!”

She ran to the shed, yanking the motorcycle onto the trail. She faced it forward, climbing on. In seconds she kicked it to life, and the motorcycle was rumbling through the open gates, passing away down the trail, toward the bend ahead.


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