“Why does it have to be children?”
Ibram puts two cards in the crib and looks at her over his remaining cards. “Cut the pack.”
She does, and he flips over the starter—a queen. “Two children, Ibram.”
“Two,” Ibram says, putting down the card. “Yes, both just before puberty, I don’t see why you’re so upset.”
She frowns at her hand and at his card. “Why’d you keep that?” He looks angelic, so she moves on. “Eleven,” she says, playing her seven. “And what happens when something goes wrong? The AZA visit was bad enough but they weren’t looking at a theme park, they were looking at a zoo. Kids’ll want a theme park.”
“When did you learn so much about children? Sixteen.” He puts down a five and she squints at it. Ibram beats her every time they play, and she wonders what he’s up to now.
“When did you?” she returns, putting down another five. “Twenty one and a pair is two.” She moves her peg two spots.
“Thirty one for two,” Ibram says, showing her his queen. “My point was, you can’t know what problems they will cause. Three.”
“Eight and ten is twenty three, with one for go.” She lays her last two cards down. “I’m not worried about them, I’m worried about everything else!”
He looks at her seriously then. “Good. What do we have here? Fifteen species, none of them full grown—one of them only hatched last week. You have the most experience of anyone on the island, but we already know Deinonychus, at least, react poorly to new people. You are right. Things can and will go wrong. And then what?”
Miriam blinks, mind working quickly. “I—they’ll get overwhelmed, they’ll be frustrated and aggressive.”
“And then you will call them back,” he says firmly, implacable. “We also already know that you can do that. And if they do so aggressively, then we will have to find a better place for you to stand.”
She looks at him, looks at her cards, and breathes. “I can do that.”
The visitors arrive two weeks later. Technically, everyone except the children is there to evaluate the park as a park and not as a zoo—they passed through the AZA, if not with flying colors, then with enough to spare to quiet most critics. In reality, Doctor Grant called Hammond the day the AZA released their report and all but demanded to be in the first group of visitors to the island.
What followed was a series of phone calls between Miriam and Alan Grant that bordered on the surreal, even after four years of a dinosaur filled life. The very first words out of his mouth were “Can they fly?” and the conversation progressed from there. Initially she was off balance from the sheer amount of information Grant had on dromaeosaurs and his questions were skeletal focused; then The New York Times printed their reveal of Jurassic Park, complete with full color photographs of the raptor quad, and she started getting calls on feather purpose instead. Finally she told him to just wait until he saw them for himself and hung up.
That was four days ago, and Miriam’s spent the time since then working feverishly with the raptors to prevent any repeat of the AZA visit.
While the AZA officials were a little concerned by the attack, they had been impressed by her ability to get the raptors back under control again. Walking back into the exhibit the next day had been hard, every hair standing on end, but she’d done it and the raptors had welcomed her back.
And now six strangers are going to come see them, and her stomach is twisted in knots. She’s not worried about Grant or his partner, Ellie Sattler; they might be in paleo but from her conversations with Grant, he’s got a good understanding of the unpredictability of animals. She doesn’t know much about Ian Malcolm, other than that he’s a mathematician, and she doesn’t know why he was invited. Donald Gennaro is an attorney by trade and by birth; she’s never met him in person but has read some of the memos he’s sent to the island and is unimpressed. It’s the kids that give her cold sweats.
She doesn’t have children, and all of her teaching experience is at the college level. The closest thing is her niece, but she’s all of two years and in Miriam’s opinion behaves more like a dog than a person. She doesn’t know what to expect from a 13 year old and a 10 year old, and would rather they hadn’t come at all.
In the end, she delegates aggressively and manages to legitimize staying behind in the exhibit while everyone else greets the visitors.
Shortly after the AZA visit, the raptor exhibit was completed and the problem of transfer came up. The Dilophosaurus exhibit was on the opposite side of the island, and certain individuals—namely Patricia—thought it would be better to put the raptors in crates and have them driven across the island. Miriam, fortunately, was able to override that. Instead she walked them over on leash.
In their booties and all following neatly behind her, she wasn’t sure whether to think of ducklings or dog walkers.
Either way, the transfer had gone without incident, and the raptors had settled down in their new enclosure.
She sits with them, gently tussling with Alpha—in both booties and gloves, to prevent incidents—and waits for news. Nervous she might be about the visitors, but uninterested she certainly is not, so she has a walkie-talkie by her side, while Ibram has the other one.
“How’s it going?” The nice thing about the raptors is that they’re not terribly neophobic; it only takes a few rounds of introductions to something new before they either eat it or ignore it. The walkie-talkies and radios in general have become such an accepted part of life—what with the exhibits opening up—that they completely ignore them.
There’s a long pause. Alpha breaks away and tackles Beta. “How much did you tell Grant?”
She laughs, then presses the call button. “Anything he wanted to know. Why?”
“He doesn’t want to take the tour.”
She holds down the call button just so he can hear her giggling, then lets it go to breathe again.
“It’s not funny,” Ibram says, sounding even through the static like he is trying to keep a straight face. “Hammond has been very clear that the point of this is for outsiders to experience a tour.”
“Well what can he do if Grant doesn’t cooperate?”
This time Ibram replies very quickly. “Not much, since the cars don’t lock.”
Miriam breaks into a fit of giggles. All four raptors stop playing and stare at her quizzically, heads titled. This only makes the giggles stronger, and it’s a long minute before she can respond. “Tell Grant he’s got a week on the island, and only one day of touring. If he plays nice, I’ll let him touch a dinosaur tomorrow.”
There was a long pause, and Miriam was sorry she couldn’t hear whatever was going on. “He accepts.”
She laughs and returns to sparring with the raptors. “Over and out.”
For several hours, the walkie-talkie is silent and she walks through the tour in her head. First, the entry building, then introductions, explanations about the genetic work, and a tour of the hatchery—unused to date, ironically—before a light lunch and the start of the tour of the exhibits.
But it’s in the middle of lunch that her walkie-talkie beeps, making all five heads pop up. She scatters treats for the raptors and answers. “What’s up?”
“Tropical Storm Bret.”
She frowns. “I thought that was in the Caribbean.”
“Not anymore. It dissipated over the mountains, but it’s started to reform just east of us.”
Miriam looks down and sighs. “Shit.” She releases the button, unable to think of anything better to say. It’s the worst possible timing, and while the raptors are used to storms, they’ve never been through anything like this. Ibram doesn’t say anything, so she adds, “Is the tour continuing?”
Ibram hits the call button in time for her to hear his bitter laugh. “Oh yeah. Hammond says it will dissipate again.”
She holds back some very uncomplimentary words on Hammond—more out of habit than anything—and glares at the walkie-talkie. “ETA to me?”
“The tour or the storm?” Ibram quips, but leaves his finger on the call so she can’t tell him what she thinks of that. “The tour should be two hours. The storm…” He trails off and the walkie-talkie beeps.
She sighs. She is glad the exhibit is where it is: being on the opposite side from headquarters meant it was one of the last constructed, and she was able to put on enough pressure to get two full concrete walls. But right now she’d rather she was much closer to headquarters. She walks through the tour again. “Before me: Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Rexy, and the mixed bag, yes?”
“Yup.” They both know the worrying point is the tyrannosaur. The triceratops have proven aggressive but intelligent enough to shy away from electric fences, while the stegosaurs have learned that cars are normal. The mixed bag is everyone’s name for an exhibit with four species in it: Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Gallimimus, and Maiasaura. The hadrosaurs are slow to panic, even a juvenile Brachiosaur is too big to care, and Gallimimus, while defensive and touchy, aren’t equipped to be a threat. Rexy, on the other hand, has been in her exhibit for all of five days, still can’t be handled by anyone other than Patricia, and to Miriam’s eye is worryingly erratic. When she’s on, she’s on—but most of the time she isn’t, and there’s no way to tell.
Miriam holds the walkie-talkie too tight. “Keep in touch.”
“Will do. Over and out.”
She breathes through her teeth and sets the walkie-talkie down. Gamma chirps and comes up next to her. They’re now six feet long nose to tail-tip, although fully half of that is tail. It’s hard to see, but regular measurements have told her that their arm proportions are changing, and they’ve stopped gliding everywhere. The flight feathers on their arms have remained, however, as has the brindle patterning. At last check-in, Alpha was the largest at 41 pounds, but none of them are under 35.
They’ve also started hunting live prey, an exciting experience if she’s out of the exhibit and a terrifying one the few times she’s been in it: they don’t attack her, but all of them are intensely possessive of their food, and Delta has a narrow scar on one thigh where she was clawed while trying to steal Beta’s rat. Officially they're on whole carcasses now, but the island's rat population has been precipitously dropping since the raptors were introduced to their exhibit,
All of that aside, they love scratching and are still interested in being near her, something she had thought would go away sometime after their first year. She runs her fingers through the long feathers on Gamma’s neck, and settles in for a wait.
Every half hour, Ibram checks in, but there’s no news until four in the afternoon. By that point, a light rain has started, and she moves the raptors inside. Miriam settles down against one wall and watches the dinosaurs play.
“Shit’s starting,” Ibram says bluntly.
She jerks so fast a muscle in her back seizes. “Explain.”
“Nedry, in tech, he—” At that point, the lights go out with a whistle, and whatever Ibram was saying gets lost in the shrieks of startled raptors. The room is pitch black; the moment she tries to move she gets snapped at by a raptor, hearing the click and feeling air rush past her hand.
Instead she sits very still and waits for the confusion to calm down.
The raptors eventually find their dog-door and head back outside, grumbling quietly, and by that point the walkie-talkie is silent.
“I didn’t catch a word of that but power’s out here and raptors are freaked. What’s going on?”
“Short version: tree hit generator, power down in HQ, Nedry went out to reboot, hasn’t been seen since, power is going down all over the island.”
She lets her head thump painfully against the wall. “Fucking shit. No idea where Nedry’s gone?”
Ibram snorts. “He’s not well liked, so theories are—” He cuts off for a moment, then comes back. Before he was stressed but not overwrought, focused on a problem and eager to act. The moment he starts speaking she can tell that things have changed badly. “The cars run off the electric grid.” She’s already gone extremely stiff but he keeps talking. “They’re at the tyrannosaur enclosure.”
“God damn Hammond,” she says quietly and without her finger going near the call button. With a heartfelt sigh, she presses it down. “Do they have radio?”
“Yeah,” he replies quickly, “but get this: they left the vehicles.”
Her eyes widen. “Why?”
“No fucking clue. They’re two exhibits over from you but the electric fences are down, so keep an eye out.”
“Will do. ETA on the power?”
“Well, if Nedry’s defected…”
He keeps talking, but Miriam is only half paying attention. Nedry gone, power out due to him, what depended on power? Fences, but surely that was a side effect, much more likely to be—no, fences were the right thought, fences are security and the CCTV will be down now too. She can’t cut him off on the walkie-talkie, so she waits for him to reach his conclusion—that the power may as well be non-existent for all the use they’ll get from it until the storm has blown over—before talking.
“I think Nedry stole something. Vials of DNA, or such. That’s what all this is about. He’ll take a motorboat and try and catch up with the supply ship before she’s too far away.”
She takes her finger off the call button, but there’s a long silence before Ibram replies. “Henry’s going to check the labs. If you’re right, Hammond’s got a radio that can reach the ship.”
An ounce of tension drops from her shoulders. “Good. That all?”
“Over and out.”
She clips the walkie-talkie back onto her belt and stands carefully. As she exits the shelter, she sees that the light rain earlier has progressed to a torrential downpour, and scowls. The raptors are all huddled under a nearby tree, looking wet but not soaked.
They trill at her and she jogs over to join them. Their booties have long since come off, but she’s far from worried about that: all four have come on many runs with her both bootied and booty-less, and predators they might be but they’re far more interested in staying out of the rainstorm.
She isn’t there for long when all four feathered heads pop up. They’re still for a moment, then Gamma moves first, head low and feathers flat. The others follow, Miriam not far behind.
The raptors aren’t hunting, and they’re moving slowly enough for her to keep up, but something’s clearly caught their attention.
She works it out a moment before they do. The access track is just on the other side of a now-useless electric fence, and the Jeeps that run on that don’t need electricity.
The raptors turn away, disgruntled—they’re used to Jeeps—but Miriam keeps running. “Patricia?”
The trainer spills out of the Jeep, looking wrecked. “You have to help me find them.” She has mud all over and her ponytail is sloppy; beyond that, there are tension lines on her face that weren’t there previously.
Miriam holds up a hand to stop her and takes a moment to scan the Jeep. In the back is Malcolm, looking like he had a bad encounter with a tree, and one of the kids—the girl. “What happened? Where is everyone else?”
“I was trying to say,” Patricia says, panic in her voice being replaced by dislike, “they’ve been attacked by the tyrannosaur.”
As hard as she tries, Miriam can’t keep from flinching. “Attacked?”
“It scratched me,” the kid says, holding up her arm. The flesh is bruised where it isn’t scraped off entirely, but the damage seems to be skin level and the bleeding is slow. “With its head.”
Miriam clenches her jaw and swallows hard. The wound isn’t deadly but it’s ugly all the same. “What happened?” she says again, for lack of anything better.
It takes time but she gets the story out of them: Patricia had just coaxed a cooperative Rexy to the fence when the power went out, Rexy had run along the fence-line until she worked out the humming of electricity was no longer there, then she went for the vehicles, whose inhabitants had understandably panicked. Rexy stands fourteen feet long and weighs as much as a large tiger, and if anything, her feathering is getting more colorful, currently in shades of russet and deep red. At that point everything went straight to shit, and the narrative she gets from the trio—all clearly in shock—is disjointed and unclear.
“And now I need you to find the tyrannosaur,” Patricia finishes.
Miriam can’t keep scorn out of her voice. “Not our missing guests? We are still missing four.”
Patricia sneers, covering her shock with bravado. “I don’t have anything from them. I do have some of the tyrannosaur’s shed feathers.” She holds up a bag from the glovebox.
Miriam’s eyebrows shoot upward. “You want me to get the raptors to track her down.” There are benefits to the idea—if Rexy is preoccupied with chasing Deinonychus, she won’t be attacking any more humans—but there are many downsides as well. Not the least of which being the raptors’ performance the last time they did a live search.
“Yes,” Patricia says, and sounds so intensely relieved that Miriam can’t help but unbend, just a little.
She nods slightly, reaching several conclusions. “That was some quick thinking, to get them to a Jeep. Well done.” Before Patricia can say anything in response, she turns to her passengers. “If you’ll follow me, I have a basic first aid kid and a place where you can stay safely.”
“And the dinosaurs?” the girl—Lex—asks hesitantly.
Miriam smiles at her, ruthlessly suppressing all other emotions. “Won’t hurt you when I’m here, and won’t be able to reach you when I leave.”
Lex nods, equally hesitant, and makes her halting way out of the Jeep.
Malcolm is more reluctant. “How should I know you have any better control than she does?”
Miriam wrestles with four responses and finally says, “You don’t. You’re welcome to take your chances with the T. rex if you want.”
He clearly doesn’t want, scrambling out of the Jeep.
She leads the way across the raptor exhibit, trailed by three humans and, more distantly, all four curious raptors. Ignoring them, Miriam settles Lex and Malcolm in the small kitchen-slash-break-room built off the raptor shelter, shows them how to lock and unlock all doors, gives them the first aid kit and a radio, and heads back to the Jeep.
At that point she remembers Ibram. “Hey. I’ve got Patricia with me, and Ian Malcolm and Lex in the raptor kitchen. They say the power went down and Rexy went nuts. No clear info on where or how the other four are doing. Gonna try to use the raptors to track Rexy down and hope the humans are near her.”
It’s a moment before he responds. “You’ve been fucking busy.”
She laughs. “Any other input?”
“Security has pulled everyone else in, it’s just those four and you guys out now. Six species have been contained. Want the list?”
Miriam swings into the Jeep, silently demanding keys from Patricia. “Please. And the storm?”
“Gonna get worse before it gets better.”
She snorts without interrupting him, hair plastered to her head.
“Six contained: Dilophosaurus, Procompsognathus, Segisaurus, Herrasaurus, Iguanodon, and Microceratus.”
Miriam nods, forgetting he can’t see her. Four of the species are the smaller dinosaurs, and the iguanodon and dilophosaurs are both under one month and haven’t been released to their exhibits yet. “Roger that. Over and out.”
She puts the walkie-talkie down and whistles for the raptors.
It takes a minute, Patricia fidgeting impatiently, but then they appear out of the rainy dark, four narrow heads, dark brown and sleek from wet.
Miriam takes the bag of tyrannosaur feathers and opens it, tossing the feathers on the ground. “Seek!”
All four gather around, sniffing and doing the side-to-side wiggle that meant excitement. Their heads pop up again almost together, and in the gloom she can’t tell who takes off in front, only that there’s very little noise and squabbling.
Not wanting to lose sight of them, she shoves the Jeep into gear and takes off through the dark. Patricia shrieks, which she ignores, and then begins lecturing, which she tunes out. The other trainer has a lot of ideas on how to get the raptors to stay close by, and how to keep them from attacking anyone, all of which Miriam dismisses as either outright trash or too distracting to implement.
Besides, the majority of her focus is, as it has to be, on maneuvering a large vehicle over unpaved and ungraded land. The raptors aren’t following the road, they’re headed straight for a scent, and the Jeep is unwieldy at best.
The drive takes forever. The rain is unceasing, pounding hard and fast against everything, and somewhere along the way the walkie-talkie fizzles out. Patricia is also unceasing, something she ascribes to panic, and she only half pays attention to the trainer’s prattle about proper handling.
Finally they come up hard against the electric fencing. The raptors scramble over, unfazed, while Miriam takes one look and slams on the gas.
There’s a moment of hesitancy and then they break through, roaring down the tour trail after the raptors. The dinosaurs have clearly got the scent, zooming along at—she checks the speedometer—twenty five miles per hour. The Jeep is easily able to handle that, and she settles in behind them.
The herbivore exhibit separating Deinonychus from Tyrannosaurus seems undisturbed, and they clip past it. It’s clear once they cross over into the tyrannosaur area: the raptors come to a halt, heads up and swivelling.
Miriam eases the Jeep around them and keeps an eye in the rear-view mirror as she checks out the tour cars.
Both are abandoned and their windshields shattered. One has claw marks all over and the other—with a quick, flickering glance at the raptors, Miriam throws the Jeep into park and jumps out.
The second tour car has blood splattered over one side, shining oddly in the glare from the Jeep’s headlights. She bites her lip hard and steps towards it carefully, keeping an eye on the muddy ground. A few feet away she stops and only barely manages to swallow back vomit.
“What is it?” Patricia demands, still in the Jeep.
Miriam breathes, slow and steady, through her nose. When she has control again, she says, “Donald Gennaro.”
It looks like he got out of the car somehow, and then knocked down at least once—from the bright red scratches on his face and tears in his shirt collar—before being pinned down and chewed on. His torso is out of shape and there are several gaping wounds in his stomach. She can’t see a specific cause of death but there are any number of options.
She backs away and almost stumbles into Alpha. The raptor chirps and begins stepping towards Gennaro’s body. “Leave it!” Miriam barks, not daring to move until Alpha turns back towards her. Then she scatters treats, and holds out a salvaged feather from Rexy. “Seek!”
Alpha sniffs and takes off once more, into the tyrannosaur exhibit. The others follow her quickly. Miriam makes her way back to the Jeep. “We’ll have to leave him!” she says, shouting to be heard over the sudden arrival of thunder. “Come back in the morning!”
Patricia was deadly white. “That wasn’t the tyrannosaur.”
Miriam doesn’t want to take the time to disabuse her of any inconvenient notions, and shoves the Jeep back into gear, roaring after the raptors.
“It can’t have been the tyrannosaur,” Patricia insists. “She’s dangerous but not like that.”
Studiously ignoring her, Miriam focuses on following the quick moving raptors. They’re not as fast now as they were on the road, but their size and agility gives them speed that the Jeep lacks.
Still, she manages to keep up until they all spiral into a large clearing and everything goes straight to shit, again.
Her first glance shows three people in a tree, one more backed against it, and Rexy in the middle of the clearing, head down. The raptors have come to a halt as well and are screeching loudly, feathers poofed.
Miriam slams on the brake, fishtailing the Jeep in the mud. However this goes down, hitting one of the dinos with a car is not an acceptable solution.
She’s unbuckling even as the Jeep shakes to a halt, but even over the wind and rain she hears a thump. Sliding out of the vehicle, she turns to look at Patricia and only then realizes that the other trainer has been silent since they entered the clearing.
What she sees makes her stomach cramp violently. At some point in the skid, Patricia had been flung forward and hit the dash. She’s now hanging limply from her seatbelt, blood welling on her forehead.
Miriam almost goes to help, but one of the raptors shrieks and that situation must be dealt with first.
The arrival of the Jeep has changed only Rexy—she’s now pointed towards the raptors. Everyone else is frozen and she runs through a dozen different ideas. The only one that makes any sense is trying one of Patricia’s cue words.
“Down!” she snaps, and as one the raptors lay down, tilting glances at her back over their shoulders. Rexy doesn’t respond. Miriam tries again, voice higher. “Rexy, down!”
Instead, the tyrannosaur steps toward her and roars. The sound reverberates through her, and she can only imagine what the dinosaur will sound like fully grown. As it is, she’s able to grit her teeth and stand her ground. “Down,” she says flatly, pitching her voice to carry.
Rexy shakes her head and snaps her jaw, making sounds almost like a seal. Then she steps forward.
Miriam flinches, and is sure she must reek of fear. No evolutionary drive prepared her for a predator at her eye level and she appreciates the instinct that drove the guests up a tree. “Down,” she repeats, not daring to try anything else.
Roaring again, Rexy breaks into a run straight for her.
She jumps back, slips in the mud and falls hard. For a second she thinks this is it, and then her vision clears enough to show only rain. Pulling in a faltering, shaky breath, she hollers, “Seek!”
For a second there’s a too-large face over her, too-long teeth and too-hot breath almost on her chest. Then something screeches and movement, and it’s too dark to see better, so she scrambles backward, hands and feet slipping in the mud.
It still takes a minute to figure out what’s going on. Rexy is fighting for the first time in her life, and the raptors are unified against her. Even collectively they still weigh less than she does, but their experience tussling shows, and it’s not long before Rexy pulls away, thrashing her head.
Miriam takes the opportunity to circle around—letting Rexy get between her and the Jeep, but she sees no other option—and head for the tree. The boy—Tim—is the one standing at the base, unable to get up, and all three seem unharmed aside from minor cuts.
“Climb down!” she yells over the wind. “I can get you back!”
Grant gives her a shaky thumbs up. “Working on it!” Dusk or no, she can see him look past her and tense. “Shit!”
She spins, barely managing to stay upright.
The raptors have let Rexy back off, although all four are as fluffed as they can get while also soaking wet. Rexy, for her part, shows a few lines of blood through her coat. But what got Grant’s attention is that she’s started moving towards the Jeep, and both Grant and Miriam can put two and two together.
The mud makes it impossible to run but she manages to move quickly. She’s shouting—nonsense she can never remember, but then eventually she screams, “Hold!”
For a split second Rexy twitches towards her, and she almost hopes—but then the tyrannosaur takes one last step forward and bites down on Patricia’s arm.
Miriam shrieks, the sound torn out of her. Patricia doesn’t move, doesn’t open her eyes and she can only think—
Rexy jerks and shakes her head until Patricia’s arm comes free with a spurt of blood.
Her whole chest tight, Miriam vomits until she dry-heaves, and can hear those behind her doing the same. Shakily, she shoves herself back upright, unclear when she fell to her knees, and starts walking towards the Jeep.
The vehicle is their only way out of this now, and as much as she hates the thought—unmoving, head trauma, now blood loss and shock—Patricia isn’t walking out of here alive. The raptors move out of her way, giving little worried chirps.
She doesn’t stop long enough to think about what she’s doing, just swings up into the Jeep and unbuckles Patricia’s body. Rexy is only a few feet away, worrying at the arm, but she looks up at Miriam’s movement.
Swallowing bile, Miriam shoves the body out of the Jeep. It hits the mud with a squelch and Rexy begins moving over. At 350 pounds, she’s still relatively agile and quickly lashes out with one foot to pin the body.
Miriam doesn’t move.
One large eye on her, Rexy grabs the body with a flexible foot and pulls it toward herself.
Miriam remains perfectly still.
Satisfied, Rexy bends her head to feed.
Slowly, Miriam slides into the driver’s seat and turns the key. The rumble of the engine makes Rexy pop her head back up.
In a second, though, Beta comes leaping over the hood of the Jeep, throwing herself into Rexy’s space and squawking.
Using the raptors as a welcome distraction, Miriam sides the Jeep through the mud towards the tree. Equally slowly and carefully, all three guests climb in the Jeep.
Rexy is watching them, but at the same time she’s focused on protecting Patricia’s body from the raptors. A tiny part of Miriam’s mind worries about letting the raptors eat human flesh, but the vast majority is focused on getting everyone—the survivors—out and safe.
She gets the Jeep turned around without incident, Grant sitting tense in the passenger seat, Sattler and Tim pressed tight together in the back. Then she faces the thought of squeezing past Rexy back out the way they came and changes her mind. What’s left of Patricia’s body can be collected in the morning, along with Gennaro’s; any attempt to take it would be like dangling steak in front of a wolf.
Keeping her movements slow until she’s almost out of the clearing, Miriam gets the Jeep pointed towards a sidetrack, one she can only hope leads to the access trail or the tour road. As they’re just entering the trees, she turns around and hollers, “Raptors, come!”
Two days later
In the end, that there were two fatalities from a complete power failure is a minor miracle. Alan—they can’t be on a last name basis after that night—has many words about Hammond’s security, but so does Miriam, and what it came down to in the end was Miriam’s control of the raptors.
Two other species—Baryonyx and Triceratops—had put lives in danger that night, but the worst injury was a twisted ankle.
Phone calls to families had to be made, something Miriam was quietly relieved could be left to Hammond. Escaped dinosaurs had to be recaptured, not the least of which being Rexy. Eventually Medical had provided an anesthesia, and they’d knocked her out and put her in her restored exhibit.
The raptors were, by any telling, one of the heroes of the story, but as far as they were concerned nothing had changed. Miriam made sure of that.
When she sleeps, she can see Rexy tearing Patricia’s arm off, and she fears she’ll never forget it. It’s the worst sort of victory, the absolute worst way to prove her training methods better, and the only scant redemption is that Hammond finally sees clear to putting her in charge of all training and hiring more behaviorists.
But what it comes down to, in the end, is being able to sit down with four predators and whistle at them.
And hear them whistle back.