Originally intended as part of my Unfinished Dreams of a Bard this little beauty came about because of my insatiable muse, my absolute love of all things Jurassic Park and my strange twisted little mind. Try not to get too bogged down by continuity, as I have used the age old cliched yet very reliable excuse that 'Magic Did It' so there. CHUCKLES Should I even admit to that? Anyway consider this on the edges of crack-fics. Though I wrote it with the absolute seriousness of intentions some of it is a little, off the beaten path of sanity as it were.
Congratulations to me on also makeing this puppy one of the longest fics I've ever posted up here as far as single chapter stories go. No sequel is planned for the immediate future, what is here is all there is for the moment, however I am toying with the idea of doing a few more one-off stories in this possible series. I have no interest in re-writting any of the Buffy episodes, my primary focus will be on Xander interacting with the characters from the Jurassic Park universe, I also might even re-write the third film to include Xander in it as well just because I have this brilliant idea of making him a second aide of Doctor Grant. (Plus I can't resist the thought of Xander telling off Paul Kirby the biggest annoyance of a character ever.)
Anyway I've said enough. One last thing though, if anyone would like to go through the full series of Buffy, Season Two -Seven and write a companion piece to this with Xander and his, ahem, 'new friends' in Sunnydale then by all means drop me a line. I'd love to work with a collaborator for a change instead of handling everything myself.Author's Edit:
Thanks to Morgomir I now have a beta for this series. So this story has been edited and reposted with minor grammar corrections. Thank you.Disclaimer: All characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions, all characters and situations from Jurassic Park belong to Micheal Crichton, Universal Studios, Steven Speilberg and whoever else has their hand in the cookie jar. I make no claims otherwise, this here is a work of fanfiction totally non-profit and hopefully top of the line, spared no expense... He, he, he.
When Xander had blackmailed Amy into casting the love spell he had not expected to wake up somewhere he’d never been before, point of fact he had really hoped that nothing untoward would happen at all. So it came as a rather unusual surprise to find not only had something gone wrong, but apparently he wasn’t in Sunnydale any more, the posh looking bedroom kind of made it apparent. He couldn’t even recall what had led to this to be honest with himself.
The absolute last thing he could remember was running away from Willow who had an axe, or was it Buffy? Hell for all he knew it could have been Joyce, he also seemed to recall Cordelia with him and something about telling Giles what he’d done, maybe he was in Cordy’s room? No, if he were he’d certainly remember that.
An arm snaked out from the covers on the bed and Xander realized he’d made a really big mistake, that mistake grew worse as a smiling face framed by dirty blonde hair poked out at him a dreamy look in the girl’s eyes; she couldn’t have been older than twelve at the most judging by that face. God he was lower than a vamp if he did it with a younger girl like this, but he had resisted Buffy’s advances as well as the advances of a lot of other girls, heck even Drusilla and that had not been fun.
“Mornin’ Xander,” the girl said moving in and kissing him chastely on the mouth.
“Ah, um, right good morning, ah, ah…” Drawing a blank he really hoped he didn’t piss her off on top of the whole sex with a minor deal. “Can’t accuse Angel of robbing the cradle now
,” he thought gloomily to himself.
“Lex, honestly Xander our names are practically the same. Don’t tell me you forgot last night already,” she grumbled climbing off the bed. Xander was extremely relieved to find out she was wearing pajama bottoms, unless she’d put them on after the fact which could have happened, but was a little doubtful seeing as how he was still wearing the pants he’d had on last night. In fact the only thing missing was his shirt.
“No, I mean of course not, when we, um… We didn’t get married did we?” he wondered suddenly terrified, it was legal in some places and he had no idea where the hell they were at the moment.
“Honestly mom was right, men are so, so impossible,” Lex exclaimed tossing Xander his shirt which he managed to catch. “You just about got killed by that mob of crazed women; they chased you and that other girl all the way to the airport where grandpa’s private jet had stopped to refuel after picking us up in San Diego. I suppose he’d used up a lot of the fuel when he went to pick up the other guests. Oh and then things really got ugly when the boyfriends and that showed up planning to lynch you, so I convinced grandpa to let you come along. The other girl managed to escape in the confusion I, um, we caused. Then…” The girl sighed dreamily. “You saved our lives, landed the jet in that nasty storm, I never knew teenage boys could learn how to fly, you crashed here after that you were totally wiped.” Xander could not believe the fantastical tale being told to him, it just screamed impossible… Actually it screamed cliché plot of a sappy Hollywood romance flick, but at least there wasn’t any sex involved.
“I think I must have, uh, blocked that out, so uh, where are we?” he asked as he got out of bed and glanced around for a window. Lex chuckled and tugged a baseball cap down onto her head; she’d been changing while she’d been talking so Xander had done his best not to look. She was way too young to be getting checked out like that even if she was developing, not that he’d noticed them.
“Grandpa’s villa in Costa Rica of course, he’s gone off ahead with the other guests already, I think they’re going to the island.” Lex grinned up at him and took his hand; Xander didn’t like the looks of that, partly because of the whole love spell thing partly because of the big age factor.
“Island huh, what kind of island?” he asked letting her lead him out of the room and towards the stairs.
“It’s this big theme park place grandpa built, he said you could join us for the weekend,” she replied happily. Xander blinked, it did sound kind of fun, but he had to get back to Sunnydale and make sure the love spell was kaput, not to mention check up on his girls.
“That would be kind of cool I suppose, but I should get back home my, ah, parents are probably worried sick.” He knew he was lying but he didn’t want to flat out refuse the girl’s gracious invitation he so didn’t need her to get all psycho killer on him.
“Oh but you’ve just got to come, I’ll be so bored if all I have to spend time with is my dopey kid brother,” she pleaded. Xander began to sweat; there was beginning to look like there was no way he could get out of this. “I promise you’ll have a really great time there, it’s a great place filled with a lot of neat attractions.”
“I notice you’re using the word great a lot, just what’s on this island theme park that’s so great? You’ve seen one theme park you’ve seen them all.” Lex bit her bottom lip with a look that said she definitely had a crush on him, plus he could tell she enjoyed keeping him in the dark.
“I promised grandpa I wouldn’t spoil it until we get to the island, but I can guarantee you haven’t seen its like before,” she stated in a giddy tone. “Besides it’s not like you have anything better to do, it’s the summer.” She smiled up at him. Xander stared at her almost horrified, that couldn’t be right it’d only been Valentine’s Day when the spell had been cast, how long was he out?
“Um, can you say that again?” he requested licking his lips free of the perspiration that had started to gather there.
“It’s the beginning of August,” she stated. Xander couldn’t believe it, he just couldn’t. But something told him it had to be true.
“Did we fly anywhere, uh, exotic before coming here?” he asked.
“No, but we did pass close to the outskirts of the Bermuda triangle when we flew through that storm,” Lex said.
“I’ve gotta use the phone,” he blurted and rushed off into one of the rooms hoping to find a phone.
“Ok, but you are going to come with us, oh please say yes,” she called after him pleadingly. Xander nearly snapped at her, but decided against it and grabbed the receiver dialing Giles’ house. Nobody picked up. Xander almost started to panic.
“Relax they’ll be fine Alexander,” a voice whispered in his head, “go with Lex trust me you’re needed here. You can return to the moment you left I promise,” the voice stated.
“Wait, who are you?” he demanded whispering so Lex couldn’t hear him talking to himself.
“You’ll find out at the proper time Alexander,” the voice told him.
“Uh, call me crazy but I don’t usually listen to mysterious voices from nowhere,” he stated nervously.
“Trust me Alexander, the Bermuda triangle is a very clever little tool when you know how to use it. Oh by the way don’t buy her little story too much, she fancies herself a romantic.” The voice chuckled and Xander nearly screamed in his rage and frustration, but then he decided to just accept what had happened to him. There was really nothing he could do, considering that his friends could have been killed by Angelus while he was gone it was better to get this over with fast and then figure out how to get back to the right time.
“Wow, I just became the first human to travel through time,” he said to himself in stunned realization.
“Don’t flatter yourself kid, now are you going to keep the fair Lex waiting?” the voice asked its tone implying a mischievous smirk would be gracing its lips if it had them.
“Right.” Turning he rejoined Lex in the main hall of the villa and put on his best smile for the girl who gushed thrilled at just receiving it. “Ok fine, I’ll tag along and find out what these attractions you’re so interested in showing me are. What’s the worst that could happen?” he asked with a shrug.
Two hours later and Xander was seriously regretting asking that question, if the landing didn’t kill him the constant questions about Xander’s life and whether or not he liked dinosaurs from Lex’s kid brother Tim would. Honestly didn’t the kid think about anything other than extinct lizards or whatever. Lex let out a scream as the helicopter bucked again and clutched his arm tighter; Tim rolled his eyes at the display and turned to look out the window. Xander just prayed they’d get down in one piece and as if to answer him they touched down just like that. A taller man with a backwards cap and a uniform composed of a tee and shorts opened the door for them with a big fake smile on his lips, Tim hopped out first followed by Lex then Xander who took a few moments to steady his stomach after that ride.
“Hiya Mister Regis,” Tim greeted with a big grin, “is grandpa here yet?”
“Yeah, he took his other guests through the lagoon area, I’ve been instructed to take you to the Visitors Center before I take off on the boat,” Regis told the kids.
“Oh cool, I call shot gun!” Time shouted rushing up to the jeep, Xander noticed it had a dark grey and red coloring and also that it had a strange symbol on the doors matching the one on Mister Regis’ uniform.
“Lex, what’s Jurassic Park?” he asked in a whisper as they both got into the back of the jeep.
“This whole island is,” she replied with a cheeky grin. Xander felt the sudden uneasiness brought on by the wild helicopter ride return and he resisted the urge to press for information further, his Sunnydale instinct told him he wouldn’t like the answer at all.
“Settle down Tim,” Regis told the younger boy, “stuck as a glorified babysitter I’d better get hazard pay for this.” Xander could tell this Regis guy wasn’t in the best of moods; the ride from the helipad was pretty quiet which only served to give Xander more stomach twinges. The place was primal looking not counting the gigantic sized electric fences; Lex thankfully lost interest in him and stopped clinging as she began to study the foliage beyond those fences intently. Xander could tell she was trying in vain to see something rather eagerly and he wasn’t sure he wanted to see just what those fences were designed to keep in.
The Visitors Center was an impressive domed building with the fossils of dinosaurs carved into the front pillars it really did look kind of neat, definitely not something Disney would have cooked up, and the entrance was even grandeur despite the unfinished walls. Lex and Tim ran up to an old man coming down the spiral staircase laughing and excited, since they called him grandpa obviously that was who the guy had to be. The group of people with him were definitely an interesting lot, there was a guy dressed up all in black with shades who might have been chewing some gum, another man with faded looking clothes and a really neat hat, a knock out babe with genuine blonde hair wearing a pink shirt over a blue tee and a pair of shorts that hugged all the right curves and the last character was a slick looking guy in a business suit that just seemed to scream lawyer. Although he could have been a tycoon for all Xander knew.
“Xander, Xander come on Grandpa wants to meet you,” Lex called beckoning the Sunnydale teen over to the group with a wide grin and a possessive gleam in her eyes.
“Oh, uh right.” He walked up to the older man noticing the cane for the first time, he smiled almost as though he hadn’t really grown up; embracing Xander he succeeded in taking the teen by surprise.
“Welcome my boy, my granddaughter seems quite taken with you I take it you’re a real ladies man,” he said tongue in cheek.
“Not typically no,” Xander said.
“Well I’m glad Lex could talk you into coming along on this little trip, I’m quite sure you’ll be extremely impressed with our park,” he said, “and you have the distinct honor of being one of the first to see our grand showcase,” he added with a broad smile. “The group of gentlemen and the lady behind me will be accompanying you as sort of a special early admission program. To make certain there aren’t any problems, apparently my investors are a tad concerned and wished some experts to sign off on the park to ease their less than perfect minds.” Lex’s grandfather almost looked like he wanted to roll his eyes at that; Xander was a little confused why he was explaining all of this to him a mere guest. “This distinguished looking gentleman to my left is Doctor Ian Malcolm a mathematician.”
“Hello,” Xander said politely shaking the man’s hand.
“Chaotician, Chaotician, I’m always correcting that man,” Doctor Malcolm returned with a playful smirk.
“Right, then of course we have our paleontologist Doctor Alan Grant, and Doctor Ellie Sattler the paleobotanist, and lastly this is my lawyer Donald Gennaro.” Xander shook each of the adults hand politely though Doctor Grant and the lawyer seemed hesitant about doing it, and then Lex’s grandfather who hadn’t bothered to introduce himself began leading them outside. “As I said earlier these are my grandchildren, Tim and Alexis Murphy to be precise.”
“Grandpa,” Lex groaned her cheeks growing hot.
“Of course, she prefers to be called Lex. And this intriguing young man is one Alexander Harris, we met him rather unexpectedly during a rather curious detour out of San Diego air port and Lex simply refused to leave him behind.” Once again Lex blushed and this time Xander was blushing right alongside her. He felt as though he’d been slapped in the face by Mrs. Summers, judging by the disapproving looks half of the male grownups gave him they had developed a rather low opinion of himself after hearing that. By now they were outside again only instead of the jeeps waiting for them two jungle patterned bright green Explorers were pulling up in front of the staircase, Tim and Lex had rushed forward when they noticed them. “Kids, come away not too close to the cars.” Xander blinked, nobody was driving them. “Aren’t they lovely, aren’t they glorious; these will be your transports for the afternoon,” Lex’s grandfather informed, Xander wished he’d thought to introduce himself but then he probably had last night, which actually was like six months ago from his perspective. No wonder he couldn’t remember anything.
“There are no drivers,” Gennaro observed nervously.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no drivers. They’re electric; they run on this track in the middle of the roadway here totally non-polluting, top of the line, spared no expense.” Xander had to grin at that description, it was kind of cool.
“It’s an interactive CD Rom, look see you just touch the right part of the screen and it talks about whatever you want,” Lex exclaimed excitedly from inside the car, Xander blinked while Tim rolled his eyes, mouthed the words computer geek and walked off after the adults.
“Neat I guess,” Xander said leaning closer to see and hear the screen. He was hoping to learn just what this Jurassic Park place was all about, but Lex had picked something that sounded kind of boring and technical to him.
“Lex darling you’re alright in there,” her grandfather called out distracting Xander momentarily, “Doctor Sattler come with me, Doctor Grant come in the second car.”
“I’m going to ride with, uh, with Doctor Sattler,” Doctor Malcolm said as he walked past Grant and Xander who was still trying to see what was on the display screen, he barely noticed the adults determined as he was to unravel Lex’s forced mystery. Lex’s grandfather started back up the stairs and Gennaro watched him go a little nervously before he pushed Xander aside to see what Lex was doing.
“Try not to break anything kid,” he instructed. Lex shot him a glare and Xander had to sympathize, the guy just did not seem to like kids. Grant was staring at Tim who looked kind of star struck with that goofy grin of his, Xander had to admit it made sense the kid was really into dinosaurs and Grant would be like an idol to him.
“I read your book,” he said as if that should be important to the man.
“Well that’s, that’s great,” Grant said walking past Tim who turned to follow him.
“Do you really think the dinosaurs turned to birds and that’s where they all went?” Tim asked following Grant into the backseat of the second car.
“Well a, eh, few species may have evolved along those lines.”
“’Cause they sure don’t look like birds to me.” Tim laughed. “I heard there was this, um, meteor, um, hit the Earth someplace down in Mexico and made this big crater.”
“Tim, which car were you planning on?”
“To the one you are,” the kid replied as if it should be obvious. “Then I heard about this thing in Omni about this, um meteor making all this heat and made a bunch of diamond dust, and that changed the weather and they died because of the weather.” Watching all of this was painful for Xander, he could kind of relate to the kid, he’d become so engrossed in watching the scene he hadn’t noticed Lex leaving the car and going over to Doctor Sattler or Gennaro getting into the passenger seat. He’d taken off his suit jacket at some point. The rear door slammed while Tim was still talking and the kid got a little dejected, Gennaro looked horrified as though he’d just been saddled with the check at a fancy restaurant.
“The boat is now loading, everyone must be on the dock for the nineteen hundred hour departure,” a voice said over the P.A. system. Xander turned to the lawyer and decided to just ask what the big deal was.
“So, what exactly are the attractions of Jurassic Park anyway, Lex won’t tell me,” he explained.
“You’re kidding right,” Gennaro said and Xander shook his head, “give me strength.”
“Grandpa’s head of Ingen the leading genetic research company, they’ve been spending years to build this place and fill it up with the greatest living attractions of all,” Tim explained, “Dinosaurs.”
“Dinosaurs,” Xander repeated not believing what the kid was saying. “Yeah right,” he scoffed chuckling a little.
“It’s true Grandpa cloned Dinosaurs,” Tim defended angry that Xander was mocking his grandfather.
“That’s impossible nobody can clone a Dinosaur, where’d they get the DNA from?”
“Should have been here for the earlier part of the tour kid,” Gennaro said mockingly.
“But, wait you aren’t joking and you’re not in on it?” he asked the lawyer.
“Do I look like I’d stoop to playing jokes on kids, now why don’t you go sit in the other car?” Gennaro said dismissively. Xander’s eyes bugged out and he turned to stare out at Lex who was talking to Grant and Sattler by the other car, she seemed to sense his gaze and she turned to look at him.
“Uh oh, looks like the secret’s out.”
“What?” Ellie asked the girl.
“Oh, uh, well Xander didn’t know about the dinosaurs.” She blushed and both Malcolm and Grant laughed.
“Poor kid, I know just how he feels,” Grant said.
“He’s in for the thrill of a lifetime once we get going,” Ian said, “so are we settled on who’s riding with who yet?”
“Right, ah sorry Doctor Sattler but I’d better go with Xander instead he looks like he needs me,” Lex told Ellie before rushing over to the first car and quickly getting into the back. Grant breathed a sigh of relief and Ellie shot him a look.
“They’re not that bad Alan,” she said.
“Maybe not, but nothing is going to make me spend time with two hyped up energetic kids and a cradle robbing teenager.”
“He doesn’t look too happy about Lex’s little crush either,” Ellie shot back, “honestly Alan don’t you remember being that young?”
“I try not to.”
“God I pity Gennaro,” Ian added with a very evil looking smirk.
“I don’t,” Grant stated getting into the car, “as far as I’m concerned it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” he added.
Xander had taken the revelation a little hard, but who could blame him, vampires and demons were one thing genetically cloned dinosaurs was something else all together. So he was studying the monitor intently learning as much info about Jurassic Park as he could, when the cars started up he hadn’t been expecting it and almost rammed into the dashboard. Lex and Tim had been discussing which dinosaurs they thought they’d be seeing; when Tim saw the car driving by itself he decided to be a kid.
“Hey lookit, a ghost. Oh no it’s driving,” he said in mock hysterics, Lex cried out playing along with her little brother.
“Turn in your fear at the door and join the future right,” Gennaro said with a little chuckle; Xander rolled his eyes and sat back straighter in the driver’s seat.
“Typical Harris luck, I escape a mob of love crazed women only to get shanghaied into the future on a tour of Godzilla’s fan club in the middle of nowhere,” he grumbled under his breath, “how does that even work Costa Rica isn’t that close to the Bermuda Triangle and then there’s the whole time travel thing in general.”
“Don’t question it just go with it and remember, have fun,” the voice whispered in his head with a light laugh.
“During most of your tour, the appropriate information will be automatically selected and displayed for you,” the computer stated.
“Hey look,” Tim said calling attention to the large doors in the center of the road their cars were now approaching.
“Holy shades of King Kong Batman,” Xander quipped marveling at the size of the doors.
“Simply touch the area of the screen displaying the appropriate icon.”
“Are we gonna hit that?” Lex wondered sounding nervous.
“Nah, probably just for show, like theatrics ya know,” Xander replied confidently, “I hope.”
“Welcome to Jurassic Park.” The doors parted opening to let their vehicles pass through and the Murphy kids breathed a sigh of relief, Xander chuckled to himself and returned his attention to the screen.
“Try not to smudge that,” Gennaro ordered.
“Hey, afraid I’ll leave fingerprints man,” Xander shot back.
“Yes,” Gennaro replied matter of factly, “this place is a gold mine and I don’t want you kids causing any problems with this equipment.”
“All right fine, geeze obviously you don’t have kids,” Xander muttered turning to the forested scenery outside.
“Are you ok?” Lex asked concerned for her new crush, “you’ve been kinda obsessed with that computer screen,” she added; Xander shot her a wide grin.
“Not on your life, just a little nervous about meeting the main attractions.”
“Well you shouldn’t be, that’s what the electric fences are for,” Tim stated.
“The voice you are hearing is Richard Kylie, we spared no expense,” their grandfather said cutting into the presentation of the tour.
“Should we be impressed?” Xander asked. “I’ve never heard of the guy.”
“That’s for the Doctors in the other car, now pipe down kid you’re making me nervous,” Gennaro spat frustrated. Xander sighed and shut up, he’d have preferred to be stuck with just Lex and Tim, maybe even that Malcolm guy. Anything would be better than the lawyer from hell or maybe he was from the Hellmouth.
“If you look to the right you will see a herd of the first dinosaurs on our tour called Dilophosaurus,” the Kylie guy’s voice informed. Excitedly they all turned to see the creatures; Xander had to admit he was a little anxious to be one of the first people in the world to see living breathing dinosaurs. Willow and Buffy would be so jealous when he got back to his right time.
“One of the earliest carnivores, we now know Dilophosaurus is actually poisonous. Spitting its venom at its prey, causing blindness and eventually paralysis. Allowing the carnivore to eat at its leisure.”
“Wow, that totally makes me want to see one now,” Xander quipped sarcastically, “keep the windows up people.”
“This makes Dilophosaurus a beautiful, but deadly addition to Jurassic Park.”
“I don’t get it, where are they Tim?” Lex asked turning to her brother.
“Uh, maybe they’re a nocturnal species,” the kid guessed with a shrug.
“Maybe they just aren’t there right now, how big is their enclosure?” Xander wondered turning back to the screen and hitting the icon, all he got was the same message as before. Disappointed he slumped in his seat. “Well that sucks.”
“Mister Hammond,” Gennaro spoke up addressing the video monitor and radio combination in their car, “um is there a problem we should be made aware of?”
“Just a minor inconvenience Donald, it appears that the Dilophosaurus aren’t in your area as young Mister Harris surmised nothing to be worried about,” Hammond replied with a false sense of good cheer. “The next attraction should be more impressive,” he added with a broad grin implied in his tone.
“That’s encouraging,” Lex said smiling at Xander.
“Uh, right,” he returned, “I wonder what the people in the other car are talking about?”
“The most famous predator in the history of the world is the mighty tyrant lizard known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. The mighty tyrannosaurs arose late in dinosaur history, dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a hundred and twenty million years, but there were only tyrannosaurs for only the last fifteen million years of that period,” Richard Kylie stated causing Xander to visibly stiffen in his seat.
“Couldn’t we stick to seeing the smaller ones first?”
“What’s the matter, scared?” Tim asked mockingly as their ride slowly passed through a tunnel and began to glide to a stop.
“I have this thing about meeting anything taller than my house,” he replied nervously eyeing the large fence and the area beyond it, “as in I don’t want to.” But as everybody studied the place intently it was beginning to look like T-Rex was a no show just like his smaller cousin, though Xander knew of course neither species were related.
“We’ll try to tempt the Rex now, keep watching the fence,” a stranger said over the intercom. Xander shrugged and decided to play along, a cage with a goat rose up from some underground bunker or something.
“They’re kidding right? That’s barely a snack for a guy as big as T-Rex,” he scoffed.
“What’s gonna happen to the goat?” Lex asked sounding horrified. “He’s gonna eat the goat?” she demanded turning to Gennaro with a shocked stare.
“Excellent,” Tim said smiling.
“What’s the matter kid, you never had lamb chops,” Gennaro stated.
“I happen to be a vegetarian,” Lex explained.
“A vegan, cool, “Xander said, “not my personal choice but I can respect ya for it Lex,” he added, “though I wouldn’t worry if I was a T-Rex I’d be insulted by such a meager offering. Goats are only good for satanic rituals, ah, or so I’ve heard you know in passing kind of.” Tim shot Xander an idolizing look and Lex leaned over to kiss him on the cheek.
“Quiet kid,” Gennaro ordered, “something better show up soon or the others might get this place shut down.” Nothing happened though and dejectedly they settled back into their seats, Xander could tell the kids were really upset about this and Gennaro was positive that this spelled the death knell for Jurassic Park judging by his expression. Xander was disappointed too, but not because he hadn’t seen the T-Rex, he was relieved it hadn’t shown up. But he was still disappointed because he’d gotten himself into this mess just to get back at Cordelia for dumping him on Valentine’s Day; if Amy hadn’t bungled that spell he’d never have even been here to do whatever the hell it was. Then again it was probably his fault, magic always did odd things around him, what was one more messed up spell in the grand scheme of things.
“Grandpa must be upset,” Lex said softly.
“Yeah he’s really proud of this place,” Tim added.
“Cheer up guys I’m confident we’ll see a dinosaur soon I mean they’re pretty big they can’t all hide in the trees and junk,” Xander said trying to cheer them up despite his own misery.
“Are you sure?” Tim asked skeptically.
“Of course, law of averages kid and trust me with my kind of luck we’ll see one.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that mess we found you in and then Lex went all goofy and mmmmppphhh…”
“Quiet Tim, Xander doesn’t need to know that,” Lex hissed in her younger brother’s ear.
“Srry,” Tim apologized still muffled.
“What are you two going on about?” Xander asked suspiciously.
“Oh it’s nothing Xander, nothing at all,” Lex answered with a goofy smile as she batted her eyes at him, nervously Xander turned back to face front wondering if that mixed up love spell was still active. After all he’d gone several months into the future, the effects should have conked out by now.
“Hey!” Tim suddenly shouted pointing behind them. “Doctor Grant just got out of the car.”
“What!” Gennaro blurted and before he could stop them Tim hopped out followed by Lex.
“Oh joy; let’s follow their example shall we?” Xander said sarcastically as he hopped out after the kids.
“Like I was saying there’s this other book by a guy named Bakker…”
“So where are you from Xander?” Doctor Malcolm asked cutting off Tim’s rambling from the front of the pack.
“Huh, oh Sunnydale. It’s in California.” Doctor Malcolm nodded.
“How do you know the Murphys?” Xander averted his gaze slightly unsure what he should say.
“I guess you could say I stumbled into their lives unexpectedly, you’re a Doctor on Chaos or something right?” Malcolm nodded and Xander chuckled. “You could say Chaos and I are intimately familiar with one another, maybe you could tell me why my luck with women always turns sour?” Malcolm laughed and slapped him across the shoulders.
“If I could answer that I wouldn’t be divorced three times.”
“Oh…” Xander bumped into Gennaro as the group collectively came to a stop.
“Pay attention,” he snapped.
“Everybody stay here,” Doctor Grant instructed slowly heading off further into the brush. Ignoring him Tim followed after at the sound of something up ahead.
“Timmy, hey Timmy,” Doctor Sattler said trying to get him to stop. Xander blinked wondering if they were in another carnivore’s enclosure, Malcolm grinned and shot him a wink.
“Relax,” he suggested.
“I’ll reserve the right to do that if we don’t get stepped on or eaten,” Xander shot back.
“Don’t be scared, come on its ok Muldoon tranquilized her for me she’s sick,” a voice called out and together they left the tall grassy area to discover a clearing with a living breathing dinosaur lying on its side. Xander just stared, it was real, a cloned dinosaur. He shouldn’t have really been all that surprised considering what he’d already been witness to in his life, but this was just way more impressive then learning the nightmares really walked the Earth.
“Is that, a Triceratops?” he asked.
“Better believe it kid,” Malcolm said with a laugh. Everyone else was obviously just as awed and impressed as Xander was, Grant and Sattler got down and close with the creature studying it, he decided to circle around to get a better view and knelt down curiously examining the creature’s feet.
“Told ya,” Lex teased coming up beside him.
“Ok, I owe you an apology and like a gallon of ice cream, your grandfather did clone dinosaurs,” he stated. Lex grinned and knelt next to him reaching out to put her hand in his. “Weren’t you crushing on Doctor Grant a couple of minutes ago?”
“Oh him, well he’s nice and all but he’s not you Xander,” she said her cheeks growing hot. Nervous Xander was about to say something when the Trike moved suddenly causing him to dive to one side out of reflex, he avoided getting kicked by the dinosaur. Just barely. “Xander, you did that on purpose,” Lex teased from her new position on top of him.
“What no, I, he I mean she… Now isn’t the best time for this,” he insisted nervously eyeing the twelve year old girl on top of his very seventeen year old body.
“I know, but it is a good time for another one of these,” she said shyly before quickly giving him a chaste kiss on the mouth again; Xander watched her get up and walk away before even trying to climb off the ground. Gennaro was shooting him a look, but Grant was too busy enjoying the dinosaur’s presence and Malcolm was indifferent.
“I really wish I knew if Amy’s spell is defunct right about now because otherwise I have no idea how to turn her down nicely without triggering psycho killer mode like what happened with Buffy,” he mumbled with a groan.
“Is this West Indian Lilac?” Doctor Sattler called out.
“Yes. We know they’re toxic, but the animals don’t eat them,” the veterinarian told her.
“Are you sure?”
“There’s only one way to be positive I’d have to see the dinosaur’s droppings.” Xander eyed the woman in a new light; you couldn’t pay him to check out a pile of dino shit.
“If the spell was still working wouldn’t she be all over me too?” he asked himself thoughtfully. “But then I don’t know what triggers it still and she hasn’t been around me too much, better not risk it… Hey Tim I’m going back to the car wanna come with?” Xander called to the boy.
“No way, I gotta see this,” he said enthusiastically following the adults. With a sigh Xander turned around to leave.
Thirty minutes later Xander was startled by an ominous and loud clap of thunder causing him to stop his study of the various species on the tour.
“Mister Harris would you be so kind as to get the others back in the vehicles please, we’ve got a storm on our front doorstep practically and Mister Arnold would like to get you back in one piece before it hits,” Mister Hammond told him via the communications video.
“Sure, ah, no problem sir,” he said opening the passenger door to get out. The group was already turning away from the Trike to join him so he really didn’t have to do much. “Hey! There’s a big storm almost here, Mister Hammond says we’re going back in until it clears up!” he called to the others.
“Terrific,” Gennaro complained as the others got back to the Explorers.
“We haven’t really seen anything anyway,” Grant pointed out, “personally I’d rather try again tomorrow rather than keep looking for dinosaurs in the middle of a downpour.”
“I concede to that Doctor Grant,” Gennaro said with a sigh, “would you care to take the children in your vehicle?” he asked hopefully.
“Sorry but the unwritten rule of any tour group is to stick with the people you came with,” Malcolm said, “better luck tomorrow Donald,” he added with a playful smirk before hopping in the passenger seat of his vehicle. Grant joined him in the driver’s seat and waved at the others with a little grin, Gennaro groaned and claimed the driver’s seat before Xander could get back in.
“Hurry up you three,” he barked.
“That guy could use a personality,” Xander grumbled circling around to the other side of the car.
“Shot gun!” Tim shouted racing up to the passenger’s side door, Xander chuckled and let him in then got in the back with Lex who shot him a shy smile.
“We’ll turn you around now, it’s all standard routine so no need to worry,” the technician from before informed and the Explorers started up again.
Tropical storms could make it as pitch as night for the most part, Xander was already getting bored by the long trip and the gloomy atmosphere didn’t make it any more bearable. A bunch of pamphlets were in the car, but he’d finished them hours ago and the loud onslaught of rain pelting the windows just added to his misery, not to mention the heat. Even with the air conditioning he could feel it, it had gotten so bad he tore the sleeves off of his best shirt just to try and cool off more.
“This is the longest ride back I’ve ever been on, I don’t remember it being this long to get out here,” he complained.
“We had to turn around, that was five miles the other way before we got to the switchback,” Gennaro reminded.
“Yeah I know, but… Hey the screen went off.” Xander was always rather observant so when the onboard computer’s screen switched off he was the first to immediately notice it, a second later the car silently coasted to a stop. “Now that can’t be good.”
“Why’d we stop?” Tim asked turning to Gennaro.
“How should I know kid, just, don’t panic.” Xander rolled his eyes and started touching the screen to see if he could get it back.
“You’d think they’d have surge protectors.” He sighed in frustration and sat back.
“They do,” Lex argued, “no way this storm could just knock out the power.”
“Maybe lightning hit the transceiver or the generator or something,” Tim suggested.
“I think Doctor Grant’s coming over,” Lex said noticing a figure moving through the rain. Xander’s stomach began to turn as he noticed something else, the goat, which meant they were back at the Tyrannosaur enclosure. Call him paranoid if you had to, but his Sunnydale danger sense told him this felt like a bad thing.
“Is everyone ok in here?” Grant asked sticking his head in the door.
“Of course,” Gennaro replied.
“We think the generator might have been hit,” Tim added helpfully.
“Maybe,” Grant conceded. “Do you think we should try and walk back?” he asked.
“No, no I’m sure they’ll have us going again in no time,” Gennaro said with some authority.
“Ok, I’ll tell Malcolm, does your radio work by any chance?”
“We didn’t try it,” Xander replied examining the dashboard he couldn’t see any lights on. “I don’t think so.”
“Fine, well try not to panic.” Grant shut the door and walked back to his jeep leaving the quartet behind.
“Who’s panicking,” Gennaro muttered settling into his seat he decided to get some sleep so he wouldn’t have to deal with the kids. Tim began rummaging around looking for anything he could use to help pass the time faster, Xander silently cursed his luck and eyed the dark jungle, it was almost as though the trees themselves were trying to make it more ominous.
“Boo!” Tim cried leaping up with a pair of battery powered goggles on.
“Gahhhh!” Xander exclaimed, Lex jumped and Gennaro jerked a little in his seat glaring at Tim.
“Hey where did you find those?” the lawyer demanded as Tim took the goggles off.
“In the box under my seat,” he replied.
“Your grandfather wasn’t kidding they did spare no expense,” Xander said with a grin.
“Are they heavy?”
“Then they’re expensive, put’em back.” Tim shot the man a sour look as he settled back into the driver’s seat and once again tried to rest. Crawling over the front seat and in between Lex and Xander Tim managed to get in the far back while putting the goggles back on.
“Don’t scare me,” Lex snapped bopping Tim with her cap. Xander ducked down to check under his seat, but all he found was a first aid kit and a water bottle which proved to be a godsend since they’d finished the water from earlier.
“Hey pass me those cups Lex; I’m so thirsty I could drink a lake.” Lex smiled and passed him the plastic cups from the cup holder under the glove compartment, Tim turned on the goggles and stared out the rear window his legs dangling in the air and almost hitting Xander in the head.
“Oh cool night vision,” he said.
“Want any of this?” Xander asked.
“Yeah just put it back in the cup holder ‘til I’m finished,” Tim requested. Lex fanned herself with her hat and Xander put the cup down along with his own which he’d finished off and refilled in case anyone else wanted some, then he turned back to eye the forest of the T-Rex enclosure wishing he had some kind of weapon just in case his danger sense wasn’t wrong. As the saying went it was quiet, too quiet. That’s when Tim felt the first tremor. “You feel that?” He got Lex to stop fanning her hat, she eyed him questioningly and the kid crawled back into the front seat staring at the cupful of water. Xander studied the trees carefully but couldn’t make anything out in the dark. The water rippled. Gennaro opened his eyes slowly, everything appeared to be rocking now, an uncertain and nameless fear filled the lawyer.
“Maybe it’s the power trying to come back on,” he whispered filled with a vain sense of hope.
“Maybe mister no-show decided to grace us with an audience,” Xander retorted resisting the typical fight or flight response. It was safer in the car.
“What is that?” Lex asked turning to him, Xander tried to give her some confidence but it wasn’t easy when he was scared out of his mind. She suddenly noticed something everyone else had missed, even though it was blatantly obvious since the bleating had stopped. “Where’s the goat?” A severed leg struck the roof of the car and Xander silently wished Hammond hadn’t picked the cars with the sun roofs. Reactions were typical from Lex and Gennaro, Tim was just staring out the window at something, Xander didn’t want to look, but some primal force compelled him. Something darker than the trees was near the fence, something big with a box like head and glistening sharp fangs.
“Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus,” Gennaro exclaimed climbing out of the car and running away.
“He left us, he left us,” Lex exclaimed trembling in fright.
“Hey you idiot where do you think you’re going!” Xander shouted out the door. “Yeesh, it’s not like the thing can get us through the fence.” That’s when Murphy’s Law chose to correct Xander’s preconceived notions and the cables comprising the electrified fence began to snap one by one. “Oh shit.” The fence started to sway, Lex and Tim watched it fearfully, Xander on the other hand decided now might be a good time for the power to come back.
“Doctor Grant,” Lex said turning to try and see the other car.
“Quick is there anything in here we could use, like maybe a key for this damn thing it’s got an ignition doohickey maybe we can drive it out of here,” Xander babbled digging through the back of the Explorer frantically. He and Lex stumbled onto a box full of road flares and a flashlight, grabbing the flashlight Lex fumbled with it until it snapped on.
“Light scares away the monsters,” she said naively waving the light around in frantic gestures Lex was trying, Xander grabbed for it as the dinosaur began to walk in their direction.
“I think in this case that is a very bad idea,” he said.
“Turn the light off,” Tim ordered fearfully.
“I would if your sister would just…” Xander froze. It was right outside the car and being a total idiot he’d forgotten Gennaro left the door open. Now wasn’t the time to fix that oversight though, it was too close, but Tim being nine years old didn’t get that and shut the door causing the creature to pay clearer attention to them. He heard the breath of the beast as it studied the vehicle, almost as if it didn’t know what to make of it, the head appeared in the window and Lex shone the flashlight in the eye staring at them. She was terrified. Tim was terrified. Xander missed vampires. The T-Rex roared right in front of them causing the kids to back up, Tim and Lex practically both pushed Xander out the car door and Xander tried his best to put on a happy face. “Just relax, it can’t get in, it’s. It’s way too big for that, just stay calm and don’t move maybe it’ll go away.”
The dinosaur slammed its nose into the side of the car and growled, both kids screamed, Xander paled visibly there was no Buffy to come in at the last minute and save them, it was up to him.
“T-Turn it off,” Tim begged fumbling with the almost forgotten light.
“I’m sorry,” Lex blurted as they both started to try and shut the light off causing the beam to escape out of the sun roof.
“Guys that might not be…” Xander started to say only for the Rex to make another sound, glancing up he saw the box like head leaning out over the sun roof both eyes staring intently at them. It came crashing down the nose breaking the sun roof clear off and pushing it into the car, Lex and Tim screamed fighting to keep the Plexiglas roof from crushing them or cracking up. Xander was on the floor the severed leg from the goat jamming into his rib cage, grasping it by the ankle he yanked it out and wondered if he could throw it into the trees and get the Rex to chase it like some overgrown puppy dog. He didn’t have time to question how a nine year old boy and a twelve year old girl could keep a Plexiglas sun roof from breaking under the force of who knows how heavy a dinosaur; it probably had to do with the creatures leverage anyway. It was a tight fit at present and there was definitely no room for lobbing severed limbs, heck Xander couldn’t even open the door if he wanted to.
The next thing he knew the car was flipping over and flares started smacking into his arm, Lex’s leg jammed into his shoulder blade, Tim’s arm slapped him across the face and something did a number on his groin; and then the Plexiglas sun roof cracked completely in half cutting his arm and leaving a long gash from tricep to bicep. All the while Lex and Tim kept screaming as if they could drive the dinosaur away, the ground had turned to mush, the Rex bit into the underside of the car one foot pressing into the front end, Xander heard the struts beginning to creak. The Rex pushed at the car, biting into the rear tire and shaking it like a dog with a bone, Xander tried to scramble out of the way as the vehicle started to sink into the mud a little but his leg was trapped under the seat and if he pulled too hard he could twist it or break his ankle.
“Help!” Lex screamed into the night and Xander heard all the windows explode outward.
“Tim where are you?”
“Somewhere in the front seat I think,” the kid answered in a terrified sounding voice.
“Listen your sister’s losing it and my leg is caught in the seat here, I’m just above you and to the right I think do you think you can get me loose?” Xander gasped slightly as he saw more mud start to pool in.
“I’ll-I’ll try,” Tim said bravely and Xander felt the kid’s hands reaching up in the dark. Infuriated at this meatless prey the Rex roared and started to press down on the car, it really buckled this time and started to sink even deeper, almost in a panic Lex and Tim scrambled towards the back window, Xander stretched as far as he could go to keep his head out of the muck.
“This is karma for messing with a love spell isn’t it,” he said talking to nobody except maybe the Powers, “you knew you couldn’t punish me at the time so you had me kidnapped and whisked away through some weird temporal thingy just so I could get eaten by a cloned Tyrannosaurus Rex.” Xander thought he could hear a voice over the sound of impending death and the Rex let out a mighty bellow that shook the car and rattled his ear drums. Everything became quiet for maybe three minutes and then he thought he heard a few more voices off in the distance, the ground shook with the Rex’s footsteps and Xander despite himself breathed a sigh of relief, but now he was cut off from the kids and buried up to his chest in mud, or it seemed he was it was hard to tell in the disorienting darkness. That plus he was bent at such an unnatural angle he could feel his entire body complaining.
“Doctor Grant,” he heard Tim say, “Doctor Grant I’m stuck the seats got my feet.”
“I’ll get you next,” Grant said, “what about Xander?”
“Don’t ask me how, but I think I got turned around in here, I’m trapped in the front now and I’m treading mud. So to speak, the Rex must have been pushing down on this end,” he called out from his position.
“Just relax we’ll get you out somehow,” Grant encouraged and then Lex screamed. It was cut off mid-shriek. “Don’t move,” Grant said, “it can’t see us if we don’t move.”
“Sure it can’t,” Xander quipped out of habit. He couldn’t hear everything going on and to be honest he was kind of glad for that, suddenly the vehicle was spinning and he popped somewhat out of the mud as the force of the creature caused it to rise briefly. Tim let out a startled cry and the Explorer moved some more, Xander felt dizzy and noticed his foot had come loose, but he literally had nowhere to go with the seat to one side and the dashboard to the other. Plus he had no idea which side was facing the Rex so he wasn’t about to blindly scramble for the door. His entire world shifted again and the sound of metal scraping against concrete assailed his ears, more jolts knocked him around and then he felt weightless, the car was airborne. Xander finally screamed unable to contain himself any longer, in the next instant the vehicle slammed into one of those really big trees and Xander felt and saw no more as the world went black.
Meanwhile, back in February…
“When I find Xander I’m going to kill him,” Buffy stated angrily as she marched through the library doors. Giles looked up careful to keep his concerns for the still absent boy out of his face.
“Get in line,” Cordelia snapped, “do you know what he cost me in dry cleaning bills running from all those mad girls?”
“I could care less Cordelia, if you hadn’t been so hung up on your social status he never would have come to me in the first place,” Amy shot back in a snarky tone.
“I hardly think killing him will help ingrain the lad as to the dangers of magic,” Giles said.
“No, but it’d make me feel better,” Buffy relented pouting.
“Are you sure you, um, reversed the spell’s effects Giles?” Willow asked nervously.
“Quite sure Willow, Amy’s spell wasn’t that hard to unmake after its effects stopped affecting all of you when Xander vanished.”
“But then… Where is Xander?” Willow asked fretting at his absence.
“Hiding somewhere far away if he knows what’s good for him,” Cordy complained.
“Do you think he could be dead?” Willow wondered petrified.
“Nonsense, if his body were anywhere around Angelus would be sure to make it easy for us to find it,” Giles stated picking up a large tome and indexing it back on the shelf properly, “at least I’ve been able to undo the mess he made of my books, honestly where did he learn to catalogue things.”
“Relax Willow, he’s probably just hanging around somewhere until the entire female population of Sunnydale cools off, I’m sure he’ll be back to school on Monday with that same goofy grin and the biggest box of apology donuts he can find,” Buffy reassured. Willow smiled half-heartedly and continued to worry for Xander’s safety; Oz silently patted her shoulder his thoughts on the matter as always kept to himself.
“If he is hanging around he’d better have a damn good explanation for ditching me when he gets back,” Cordy stated coldly, “that vampire bitch almost killed me.”
“What’s your idea of a good explanation I wonder Cordy?” Amy asked in a sickeningly sweet tone of voice.
“Almost getting killed by something worse than a vampire,” Cordy replied with narrowed eyes. “If there is anything worse than a vampire.”
And back in August…
“Xander, Xander, please wake up Xander.” Groaning Xander opened his eyes a faded dream about the Scoobies fleeing from his conscious mind as though a vision, he looked around, he was still in the car wasn’t he? It looked kind of weird as if it were vertical instead of horizontal.
“Wha’ happened?” he asked wiping mud off his face and turning to the kid.
“I think we landed in a tree,” Tim replied; he was huddled off to one side and looked visibly a wreck, but he didn’t seem to have anything broken. Shifting his weight Xander put his hand in something and grimaced. “I threw up,” Tim stated by way of apology.
“I don’t blame you.”
“Tim! Xander! Timmy!” Doctor Grant was shouting from somewhere below them.
“We’re ok, I think, but Tim’s a little shaken up!” Xander shouted back wiping his hand on the back of the seat.
“I’m coming up!” Grant called sounding nervous. “I hate climbing, I hate trees, way too high,” he grumbled barely audible despite the silence of the night. Xander turned around to find the driver’s side door facing him now, it swung open as Doctor Grant appeared and the severed goats leg fell out falling down to the ground. “Guys, can you move, nothing’s broken?”
“No,” Xander replied making his way out of the car and onto a different branch, “I feel a little stiff but all limbs accounted for Doc,” he added.
“Tim, what about you?” Grant asked.
“I threw up,” he repeated sounding forlorn.
“Oh, well that’s ok,” Grant said, “just give me your hand.” He reached out for Tim who still hadn’t moved, the kid just stared at him. “Tim I won’t tell anyone you threw up, just give me your hand,” he insisted reaching further in and grabbing the steering wheel, it turned in his hand causing the front wheel to shift. And Tim finally moved, Grant helped him out of the car and Xander watched to make sure Tim would be ok, he glanced down and then started searching for Lex or the T-Rex he couldn’t find either of them.
“Where’s Lex?” he asked concerned.
“She’s safe, I left her in the drainage pipe,” Grant revealed. Tim and Grant now joined him outside the car. “Ok, it’s not too bad right Tim?”
“Yes it is,” the kid shot back.
“It’s just like climbing out of a treehouse,” Grant insisted with a shake of his head, “did your dad ever build you a treehouse Tim?”
“Yeah me too,” Grant muttered softly. “The thing about climbing is you never, never look down, never.”
“This is impossible,” Tim said proceeding to look down, “how am I gonna do this? It’s about fifty, fifty feet.”
“I’m gonna help you,” Grant said. That’s when the branch holding the Explorer started to snap and Xander, who had been mentally preparing for his own climb down let out a startled yelp. “Oh no,” Grant said, “Tim, Xander go.”
“I seriously hate Tyrannosaurs,” Xander grumbled as they began to scramble down the tree. One wrong move could spell their downfall, the car seemed to catch on another branch, but that wasn’t to last. As they moved faster Xander lost track of his footing and he tumbled backwards away from the tree, Tim and Grant rushed past him Grant reaching out to try and catch him, but Xander was too far out of reach. Fortune seemed to cut him a break though as not more than fifteen feet from the ground he hit a protruding branch and managed to catch it. The car screamed past him just out of reach and Tim and Grant made a leap from the last few feet to the ground, they dashed forward a few inches or so and collapsed to their knees with Grant covering Tim. The car slammed into the gnarled roots of the tree and toppled forward, Tim and Grant vanished from sight and Xander started down again at a more reasonable pace.
“Well, we’re back, in the car again,” Tim said fighting to catch his breath.
“Well, at least you’re out of the tree,” Grant joked.
“Now what?” Xander asked as he reached the ground and helped Grant back to his feet; the Doctor looked around for a moment and started walking in a direction.
“We climb back out of here, but not where that Rex might come back,” Grant said; Lex came running up to them and hugged Tim hard.
“Timmy oh Timmy,” she said crying tears of joy and relief. Tim looked uncomfortable, but soon it was Xander’s turn as she threw herself at him and buried her face in his chest. “We could have died.”
“Yeah I know, at least it stopped raining, do you think they might get the power back on while we’re getting out of here?” Xander asked.
“If they could I think they would have by now,” Grant said thoughtfully. Lex let go of Xander and wrapped her arms over her shoulders eyeing the darkness around them nervously.
“Let’s get out of here,” she said.
“Right, if I remember the map correctly we can reach the herbivore enclosure by going in this direction,” Grant stated starting off into the trees; Lex and Tim were quick to follow him while Xander took a moment to check the crushed car for that first aid kid and the flashlight. The flashlight was crushed in the fall, but the first aid kit was still intact, which would definitely be useful. Hurrying after the others he was really hoping they could make it back to the Visitors Center in one piece.
There was one good thing about traveling in the dark on an island populated by Dinosaurs, no chance of running into any vampires still on a scale of one to ten a T-Rex was way worse than any vampire, getting Deadboy in the proximity of one might be fun to watch just for the possibility of seeing a vampire piss his pants. The trek through the jungle was tiring after all the excitement from before and it was still humid enough that they needed a source of water, there had to be one; a source of food was a big necessity also.
Xander yawned and nearly tripped on a root, he was seriously losing energy and keeping up the pace Grant was on made him feel like he was going to collapse; he hoped he didn’t have a concussion because that would not be good.
“Look, a gate!” Tim shouted drawing attention to a large gate in the center of the fence they had been following for the last two miles.
“Even better there’s a door,” Xander chimed in with a smile.
“Must be access for the employees,” Grant surmised, “it comes in from the place we want to be,” he added.
“It’s got a lock on it,” Lex said disappointedly.
“With the power out maybe the lock doesn’t work,” Xander returned and before Grant could stop him he pushed on the gate; it swung open without a problem.
“Well come on we should be safer on the other side,” Grant stated leading them through the gate. Xander shut the door behind them just in case, it didn’t take long though for them to stop again by a tree. Tim said he had to pee, Grant looked around trying to get their bearings, unfortunately the North Star was still covered by the slowly waning clouds. The distant roar of the T-Rex made everybody pause.
“Are you hearing this?” Lex asked. The dinosaur roared again, for some reason it sounded close.
“Come on Tim. Come on, hurry up,” Grant urged leading them to the base of a tree. “Let’s, uh, get up this tree.”
“Oh no.” Tim groaned.
“Come on Tim, it’s ok. Try up here,” Grant insisted as they circled the tree.
“I don’t want to,” Tim whined.
“Okay,” Grant said seeing the roots made it easier to climb on the new side they were standing by.
“Oh man.” Tim started to climb with Grant’s help as did Lex. “I hate trees,” he stated.
“They don’t bother me,” Lex said in a cheeky tone.
“Oh yeah, well you weren’t in the last one,” Tim shot back. Xander let out a sigh while the others continued to climb he waited.
“Xander you shouldn’t stay down there,” Grant called down.
“I’m not planning to, but the last tree we climbed I fell out of so if you don’t mind I’ll wait until I’ve got enough room to climb without bein’ rushed.” Xander crossed his arms and watched them climb.
“Fair enough,” Grant said.
“How high should we go?” Lex wondered.
“I’ll, ah tell you when we get there.”
“Please not as high as before,” Tim pleaded.
“So long as there’s room to sleep in I don’t care where we stop,” Xander stated as he began his climb. It didn’t take very long to find the best place and the view made sure they could see if the Rex was nearby before it got there. Sounds attracted their attention, Xander paused mid-climb and glanced around nervously, off in the distance long necks towered above the trees.
“Hey, those are brontosauruses. I mean, uh, brachiosaurs,” Tim exclaimed somehow still awed by the creatures despite almost getting eaten by the most stubborn T-Rex in history, made the one from The Land Before Time look docile in comparison.
“They’re singing,” Grant said smiling as the brachiosaurs kept calling to one another.
“I wonder if they know any rock and roll,” Xander quipped as he managed to get up with the others. Listening to the calls Xander started to feel lethargic, it was definitely safe to say the adrenaline and excitement wore off. Grant moved to a different branch, cupped his hands to make a trumpet and mimicked the call. More brachiosaurs popped up startling Xander at their nearness, Lex had a small fit.
“Shhh, shhhhh don’t let the monsters come over here!” she pleaded.
“They’re not monsters Lex, they’re just animals,” Grant corrected, “these are herbivores.”
“That means they only eat vegetables, but for you I think they’d make an exception,” Tim teased.
“Well I hate the other kind,” Lex declared.
“The other kind just… does what they do,” Grant said climbing back down to the kids.
“Yeah, predators are a really nasty bunch, being prey so isn’t of the good,” Xander spoke up checking his wound to make sure the bleeding had stopped, Soldier Boy’s field medic skills did have their uses.
“That’s an odd way of putting it,” Grant remarked.
“Just slang Doc, and I thought I’d only have to worry about ‘wild dogs’ in my life,” Xander muttered under his breath.
“Ooh, aah,” Grant exclaimed as he tried to settle down with the kids crowding him. Reaching into his back pocket he pulled out a claw, it was something he’d been carrying for a while and he’d forgotten all about it.
“What’s that?” Xander wondered.
“This is a fossilized Velociraptor's claw,” Grant explained.
“What are you and Ellie gonna do now if you don’t have to pick up dinosaur bones anymore?” Lex asked curiously.
“I don’t know, I guess… I guess we’ll just have to evolve too,” Grant said his tone sounding lost, Xander felt bad for the guy he hadn’t asked Hammond to go and clone live dinosaurs after all.
“What do you call a blind dinosaur?” Tim asked out of the blue.
“I don’t know what do you call a blind dinosaur?”
“Do-you-think-he-saurus,” Tim answered. Xander smirked and settled down to get some rest, without asking Lex moved from Grant to snuggle up next to him, he was just too tired to give a damn.
“What do you call a blind dinosaur’s dog?”
“You got me.”
“A do-you-think-he-saurus’ Rex.”
“Alan?” Lex called.
“Yeah,” Doctor Grant called back.
“What if the dinosaurs come back while we’re all asleep?”
“Well, I’ll stay awake,” Grant offered.
“All night,” Grant repeated in assurance.
“Hey don’t worry so much Lex, even if Doctor Grant does fall asleep my danger senses will alert us to any possible trouble,” Xander assured with a broad grin as he ran his fingers through her hair.
“Your what?” Lex asked in confusion.
“I grew up in Sunnydale, the place has, well I guess you’d call it a physical sense of foreboding. People tend to pick up when something bad is out there, you know kind of like Spider-Man.” Lex laughed thinking Xander was just trying to make her feel better and rested her head back on the seventeen year olds’ shoulder.
“I’ve heard of Sunnydale in passing,” Grant remarked turning to Xander partially, “it’s got a weird reputation but I can’t recall why, how’d you end up here kid?”
“Just lucky I guess,” he replied.
“Lex kidnapped him,” Tim said sleepily.
“Tim.” Lex eyed Xander nervously and tried to laugh it all away as a joke.
“Ok spill,” Xander ordered.
“Well I wanted you all to myself and all those older girls wouldn’t leave you alone, so I convinced grandpa to, um rescue you from them. When you wouldn’t come quietly I, uh, knocked you out,” she explained her cheeks glowing a rosy red in color. Xander groaned and Grant eyed him curiously.
“Ladies man like Malcolm kiddo?”
“Uh, not exactly, I tried to use this, um stuff that was supposed to make my ex fall back in love with me so I could dump her on Valentine’s Day in front of everybody like she’d done the night… Er day before and kind of pay her back for making her friends and just about everybody in school treat me like some kind of leper. I mean I was all set to go steady with her and be a real man for her and she turns around and dumps me because she’s more concerned with her damn social status, like it really matters how popular you friggan are in High School.” Xander trailed off with a sigh before he let slip something he didn’t mean to. “Anyway it backfired on me and every woman in Sunnydale fell in love with me, I have no idea if it’s even worn off yet, it was totally stupid to do, but hey God sent a T-Rex to mess me up and repay my act of petty vengeance. So yay me I learned my lesson big time and… They fell asleep.” It was true while he’d been talking Tim and Lex conked out; Grant chuckled and tossed the claw away to the ground.
“Seems to me you really did learn your lesson Xander, sorry it had to involve Hammond’s little theme park,” he said. He wasn’t judging; it wasn’t his job to that was for Xander’s father to do assuming they got home. “Good night Xander,” Grant said closing his eyes to fall asleep despite his promise to Lex.
“Kidnapped,” Xander muttered eyeing Lex who looked relatively harmless asleep. “Well at least it’s better than coming after me with an axe or coming on to me in nothing but a rain coat makes me wish I wasn’t seven months out of time with the rest of the gang so I could talk to Giles and get some advice. Oh crap, I really hope that spell isn’t still working, that’s all I need if I run into Doctor Sattler again.”
“It isn’t,” the voice whispered in his head again. He’d almost forgotten about it. “Good night Alexander, you’ll need your strength for tomorrow.”
“Terrific, and how do you know that?” The voice chuckled softly.
“You’ll find out in time, I’ve learned quite a bit of what the future holds considering I have plenty of time to just sift through time itself. Thanks to you and the Slayer,” the voice stated sounding a little bitter yet also a little regretful.
“Fine, keep your secrets, good night mysterious probably evil voice in my head,” Xander muttered before shifting slightly to get to sleep.
Grant smiled the next morning as a brachiosaur showed up for breakfast, the loud noises startled the children awake and Lex began scrambling up the nearest branch to escape, Xander however slept on oblivious to the noise.
“Go away!” Lex screamed while Tim watched fascinated.
“It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s a brachiosaur,” Grant said getting to his feet.
“It’s a veggie-saurus Lex, veggie-saurus,” Tim added trying to help calm his sister down.
“Veggie,” Lex repeated softly still on the brink of hyperventilating. Kicking at Xander she tried to get the teenager up thinking he could help her, Tim tried his hand at imitating the call from last night.
“Come on, come on girl,” the kid said trying to get her closer so he could touch her. Xander mumbled something in his sleep about a willow tree and tried to roll over, this caused him to lose his delicate perch on the tree and he fell down to a lower branch with a wet thwacking sound.
“Ugh, prehistoric sap,” he grumbled finally opening his eyes. Seeing the neck of the brachio in his view he let out a startled yelp and tried to get back up to the others, the sap on his hands made it harder to grab the branches. “What happened? What is this are we the dino’s show?”
“The only one putting on a show right now is you,” Lex teased slowly overcoming her petrified state. Grant came forward holding a broken off branch in his hands which he held out to the herbivore.
“Come on, come on baby,” he said beckoning the creature closer.
“And we want it closer because?” Xander wondered somehow managing to get up just as the brachiosaur came in for a bite of the bait.
“Yo! All right, I’m not letting go!” Grant said as the creature tried to pull back with the branch, he chuckled as the dinosaur fought with him for her food. Slowly it lowered its head closer and Lex smiled at the sight her fears beginning to fade away, Grant and Tim reached out to touch the dinosaur, Xander on the other hand decided to forgo that particular fun for fear the hardening sap on his hands might get him stuck, or worse make the brachio think he was a tasty bushel of leaves.
“Looks like it has a cold,” Tim noticed pointing at the air holes on the creature’s forehead.
“Yeah maybe,” Grant agreed.
“Dinosaurs can catch colds?” Xander said mystified.
“Any living thing can catch a cold,” Grant stated.
“Can I touch it?” Lex asked nervously.
“Sure.” Grant smiled. “Just think of it as kind of a big cow,” he said and Tim started laughing.
“I like cows,” Lex said.
“Do you think these guys would taste any good?” Xander wondered; Grant shot him a horrified look. “Sorry, I just got flashbacks of the Flintstones,” he said with a sheepish grin.
“Heh, I hadn’t thought of that,” Grant remarked. Lex tried to touch the dinosaur, but it pulled away seemingly uninterested in the little things in the tree now. Climbing out onto a longer branch she beckoned to it feeling the need to pat the creature to help forget about last night’s horrors.
“Hey come on girl, come on up here girl,” she called smiling at it. “Come on, up here.” The brachio wasn’t paying attention and without warning it let out a huge sneeze covering Lex in dinosaur snot, Xander stared unblinking at her doing his best not to laugh, Tim had a more novel approach he leaned forward and called out to the dinosaur.
“God bless you!” He smirked and turned to the others, Lex was just staring at the thing with a look on her face that screamed disgusted, Grant wisely chose not to say anything and led them down out of the tree. It took less time than it had getting up there and soon they were walking off through the trees again, Lex didn’t say anything at first until eventually the trees started getting smaller.
“Yuck,” she finally voiced her displeasure at the incident in the tree.
“Oh great, now she’ll never try anything new,” Tim stated, “she’ll just sit in her room and never come out and play on her computer,” he added.
“I’m a Hacker,” Lex defended.
“That’s what I said, you’re a nerd,” Tim shot back.
“I am not a computer nerd I prefer to be called a Hacker,” Lex snapped glaring at her brother as they stopped, Tim was about to say something when Xander clamped a hand over the kids mouth.
“Word to the wise kid never make fun of a girl who likes to mess with computers, she might change your grades and get you in trouble at school,” he told Tim with a little shake of his head.
“Oh, I never thought of that,” Tim said only it came out more like, “oh, ah nevah thgt tht.”
“Do you, uh, know a hacker by the name of RedWitch?” Xander asked trying to remember if Willow had changed her screen name again recently.
“Oh yes, she’s the greatest, she taught me a lot of the stuff I couldn’t figure out for myself,” Lex exclaimed with a broad grin.
“Yeah, that’s my Willow all right, always being helpful.”
“Your Willow?” Lex appeared puzzled.
“My best friend back in Sunnydale, she’s RedWitch,” Xander explained. Lex stared at him in awe and Tim rolled his eyes.
“Here it comes,” he warned and Lex started grilling Xander at a speed that would make Willow babble sound like slow motion video playback. Xander’s head started to spin just trying to make sense of it all, it didn’t help that she kept asking questions about the type of operating system Willow used and throwing out terms Xander was clueless on. “Hey what happened to Doctor Grant?” Lex stopped mid-sentence and looked around fearfully, it didn’t take long to find him, he was crouched near the root of a tree with a flabbergasted expression on his face, he was surrounded by eggshells and holding one in his hands for study.
“You know what this is?” he asked them absently.
“I’m guessing it isn’t a breakfast omelet,” Xander quipped.
“It’s a dinosaur egg,” Grant exclaimed. “The dinosaurs are breeding,” he stated as if that should be impossible, he passed the egg to Tim who took it curiously.
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what everybody does?” Xander asked cluelessly.
“All of the dinosaurs are supposed to be girls,” Lex said.
“Grandpa said so,” Tim chimed in.
“Huh?” Xander eyed the three of them baffled. “How’d they make sure that happened?”
“Doctor Wu told us that they genetically modify the embryos during the developmental stage to prevent it from becoming a male,” Grant explained.
“Oh, then what changed, ‘cause I hardly think females can breed without, well you know.”
“Amphibian DNA,” Grant stated.
“You lost me again Doc,” Xander informed.
“Well, on the tour the film said they used frog DNA to fill in the gene sequence gaps,” Grant explained; Xander was just grateful he got an A in biology class last semester even if he had kept it to himself. “They mutated the dinosaur genetic code and blended it with that of frogs. Now some West African frogs have been known to spontaneously change sex from male to female in a single sex environment. Malcolm was right, look.” Grant indicated the tiny footprints of the baby dinosaurs that had left this nest. “Look, life found a way.” He smiled.
“What species do you think this is?” Tim asked.
“Definitely not Brachiosaur,” Xander said his mind still reeling at what Grand had said. “Now, uh I take it this breeding thing wasn’t what they had in mind?”
“No, they wanted to control the population as much as possible to avoid over populating the island,” Grant confirmed.
“Looks to me they shouldn’t have used that frog DNA then,” Xander said with a nervous laugh, “can’t believe they didn’t know what you just told us.”
“We have to let Hammond know about this,” Grant decided getting back up, “come on the sooner we reach the others the better.”
“I’m hungry,” Tim stated.
“Me too,” Lex added.
“If I remember right there was a supply shed at the other end of the paddock, maybe they’ll have a vending machine there for the staff or something,” Grant suggested.
“Well you know what Mister Hammond kept saying,” Xander stated as the group began to press on, “they spared no expense.” Grant laughed at Xander’s joke and soon the kids were laughing right along, even in the middle of a crisis he still had the touch that’s why the Scoobies liked to keep him around. Or at least that was what he kept telling himself anyway.
“There is a God,” Xander exclaimed rushing over to the vending machine in the supply shed and hugging it as best as he could, “oh yes! They have Twinkies,” he praised reaching into his pocket and pulling out his wallet. Trying to insert a dollar he stared in horror when the machine refused to do anything, and he’d cleaned up all the sap on his hands and everything.
“The power is still out silly,” Lex reminded him. Xander let out a whimper and fell against the machine, Grant shook his head at the teenager’s antics and swung the fire axe into the glass breaking it, Tim scrambled for the food and soon all four of them were eating chocolate bars, chips and pastries of golden delight. Grant passed around some warm bottled water he’d discovered in a case and they enjoyed their bit of breakfast. Feeling full shortly after the group left the vending machine behind and prepared to head out, without warning a noise from outside brought them all to pause.
“What was that?” Lex asked clutching at Xander’s arm.
“I’m not sure, Xander keep them here until I call,” Grant ordered.
“Got ya doc,” Xander said. Grant slipped through the doors cautiously and glanced around, at first he didn’t see anything; and then a semi-large head poked around the corner of the shed munching on the nearby grass. It was a baby triceratops.
“It’s ok kids!” he called over his shoulder, “come out here you have to see this!” the baby trike eyed him placidly, the frill on its neck wasn’t as big as the adult he’d seen before and the horns were barely long enough to fight with, if anything Grant thought it looked kind of cute. When the kids joined him outside they stared in wonder at the infant, toddler, Tim took a step toward it but Grant stopped him. “Not so close Tim, we don’t know if the parents around yet.
“But I want to see if it’s a boy,” Tim complained.
“Hey look,” Lex blurted as she noticed something the others hadn’t, “it’s been in a fight.” She pointed out the large scabbed over wound on the trike’s side, Xander nodded.
“Think it’s the runt of the litter?” he asked.
“If it is I’d hate to see what a real baby triceratops looks like,” Tim said.
“You know I’m beginning to think it’s an adolescent,” Grant remarked, “it is a little big to be an infant.”
“Should we help it?” Lex wondered turning to Doctor Grant.
“It’s an old wound Lex, there really isn’t anything we can do for it now,” he replied. “We’d better get going, there’s no way to know if the power will stay out much longer,” he added turning away from the trike.
“Lex get back here,” Xander shouted.
“Wait a minute I just want to see if it’s ok,” she told him and slowly she approached the triceratops. It didn’t seem to even care as the girl sidled up to it and put her hand against the injured flesh, Grant kept an eye out nervously for any adult triceratopses and Tim stared at his sister in awe. She barely reached its full height; before anyone could react she’d climbed up onto the dinosaurs back peering intently at something near the base of the frill, something was circling its neck.
“Lex you’re crazy, get off of that thing right now,” Grant ordered.
“It’s got some kind of collar on,” Lex said reaching down and pulling at the thing.
“Must be for tracking, then it had to have come from the lab and not one of those eggs,” Xander guessed.
“Hey we could use it to get help,” Tim suggested with a grin.
“How, all the power is still out, besides they wouldn’t be able to tell it was us and not the trike,” Xander said pointing out the obvious.
“Oh no,” Lex screamed as the triceratops started walking off with her still on its back.
“Hey!” Grant shouted in surprise rushing after the duo.
“Help me it’s taking off for that plain,” Lex cried out. Tim and Xander raced after them both, but the trike could move fast when it wanted to. Barely managing to keep up the three of them watched as the trike and Lex sort of galloped off.
“At least she’s going in the right direction,” Xander remarked in an attempt to be positive.
“Get me off of this thing!” Lex screamed haplessly clutching the base of the collar. After another five minutes the trike came to a sudden halt next to a small pond and lowered its head down to drink, fighting a little for breath Xander, Grant and Tim reached them shortly afterwards. Lex quickly got off the triceratops with shaky legs.
“Thank goodness it didn’t take off with you,” Grant said, “climbing on it was a serious mistake; don’t let something like that happen again.”
“That was cool,” Tim said with a big grin, “can I go next?”
“No, we’ve wasted enough time already,” Grant shot back. Xander could tell he was scared, despite his earlier feelings towards them he was warming up to the kids now, Xander smiled and took Lex by the hand.
“You ok?” he asked, she smiled and gave him a little hug.
“Don’t tell Tim, but that was fun,” she whispered. Suddenly realizing what he was doing Xander let her go and quickly turned towards the rolling grassland.
“Right, ah time to keep going, so this way Doctor Grant?” he asked.
“Yes, let’s try to avoid any more problems,” Grant said taking the lead.
“I’m tired,” Tim complained.
“I’m dirty,” Lex complained.
“I’m hot,” Tim complained again.
“My legs hurt,” Lex complained again.
“I miss the trees,” Xander complained, “at least they kept the sun off.”
“Just keep going guys,” Grant encouraged rubbing his back slightly, “according to that map the Visitors Center is just about a mile over that rise there.” He began to slow down when he saw movement up ahead. “Just, keep… What is that? Tim, Tim can you tell me what they are?” Grant asked beckoning to the kid.
“You mean you don’t know?” Xander blurted wiping his brow.
“I’m used to seeing inanimate bones,” Grant reminded.
“Gr, Ga, uh, uh gala… Uh, Gallimimus.”
“Are, are those, um, meat-eating? Um, meat-asauruses?” Lex wondered nervously.
“Gallimimus is believed to be Insectivorous although there is a more popular theory that they were actually Omnivorous, it is speculated that they mostly ate insects although there is evidence to support the fact they also preyed on other dinosaurs eggs much like their cousin the Struthiomimus,” Grant replied falling into lecture mode. “They look a little bigger than I thought though,” he muttered to himself.
“Does that include Praying Mantises?” Xander asked with a slight hint of fear on his face.
“Look at the wheeling, uniform direction changes just like a flock of birds evading a predator,” Grant said as the Gallimimus herd shifted directions.
“They’re uh… They’re flocking this way,” Tim observed starting to back up.
“Oh that’s just great,” Xander grumbled backpedaling alongside Lex. Turning the three of them started to run with Grant slow to follow, in less than a minute the Gallimimus had surrounded them some of the dinosaurs nipping to get them out of their way. Hoping over a huge dead tree the four of them crouched down as the herd kept running along, once passed Lex led the way crawling under the log they stayed crouched down behind the log watching the herd as it fled. Xander saw the trees move off to his right and then the Rex exploded out of the jungle with a roar, it looked even more impressive and terrifying in the daylight.
“I wanna go now,” Lex said shaking in fear as they watched the Rex kill a Gallimimus that was too slow.
“Look how it eats,” Grant said amazed at the sight.
“Believe me I am,” Xander quipped his knees were actually knocking.
“Please,” Lex pleaded very softly.
“I bet you never look at birds the same way again,” Grant stated.
“Yes,” Tim agreed.
“Go now,” Lex insisted in as soft a voice as she could obviously she wanted to scream.
“Okay,” Grant relented, “keep low and follow me,” he ordered leading the way Lex was almost on his heels and Xander moved to bring up the rear but Tim kept staring and rose up to get a better view.
“Look how much blood,” the kid said in awe.
“Now’s not the time,” Xander stated wrapping his arms around Tim’s waist and dragging him off, “plus I’ve seen more than that,” he added letting the words slip out before he could get his mouth to stop listening to his brain.
“Where?” Tim asked skeptically.
“I’ll tell you some other time,” Xander promised resisting the urge to look back at the Rex; no way in hell was he tempting that fate.
Thirty-five minutes of forced running later the group reached what Grant claimed was the perimeter fence, it was quiet and foreboding and Xander had the good sense to keep his mouth shut while Grant studied it. The lights weren’t on, picking up a stick Grant hopped up onto the concrete divider and threw the stick at the fence, nothing happened.
“I guess that means they still haven’t got the power back,” he said with a shrug. Reaching out Grant took the fence in hand and started screaming while shaking it, Lex and Tim started to scream and Tim covered his eyes, Xander rolled his eyes.
“That’s not funny,” Lex said as Grant shot them a smirk.
“That was great,” Tim said with a laugh. Xander wisely kept his mouth shut, they were all tired and Grant was just trying to get them to forget about the Rex, which wasn’t working to well for him.
“Well maybe we could,” Grant started to say as he pulled at the vertical wires in an attempt to widen the hole. Without warning the roar of the T-Rex filled the air from somewhere off in the distance.
“It can’t be following us.” Xander’s eyes widened as he suddenly thought maybe the voice in his head had lied. Lex, Tim and Grant scrambled up to the fence and started climbing. “Hey wait for me,” Xander complained rushing to catch up with them.
“Timmy I bet I could climb over the top and be on the other side before you could even get to the top,” Lex bragged.
“What would you give me?” Tim asked.
“Come on guys, it’s not a race,” Grant said.
“What if I beat you?” Xander asked an idea forming in his head; he didn’t want to tip his hand too quickly though so he kept his tone carefully neutral.
“You can’t,” Lex stated as she drew closer to the top.
“Ok, if you beat me I’ll tell you how I got you to our place in Costa Rica the whole thing,” Lex said implying there was something there that Xander might want to know. Grinning Xander picked up his pace and managed to catch up with the others.
“Great, remember I’ve got a longer reach than you,” he teased.
“Good, here we go over the top,” Grant said. Xander got over first, but Lex was hot on his heels as Tim scrambled madly to keep up. “Take your time Tim,” Grant warned and the kid slowed down a little, “that’s better, come on. Find your footing, find your footing.”
“Can we do this without the running commentary doc,” Xander requested, “you’re making Tim nervous.”
“He is not,” Tim argued as he finally managed to get over the top.
“Ha I’m almost at the bottom,” Lex bragged.
“It’s not over yet,” Xander declared. Lex hopped off the gate and shot him a big smirk.
“It is now, so now you have to give me something, I’ll settle for a kiss.” Grant climbed off the fence next while Lex was still teasing Xander; suddenly the alarm started and Tim lost his footing. Xander didn’t know if he should go up after him or get off first and talk him down.
“Timmy!” Grant shouted.
“Get down now,” Lex ordered.
“You’re gonna have to jump,” Grant said.
“You crazy? I’m not gonna jump!” Tim shouted getting his feet back on the fence and freezing in terror.
“I can get to him,” Xander said.
“No, get off of there already,” Grant snapped.
“Do what Doctor Grant says, both of you,” Lex ordered shielding her eyes from the sun so she could glare at them better.
“Let go, I’ll count to three!” Grant said. “One, two, three!” Tim didn’t jump, Xander didn’t move and Lex’s glare darkened.
“Do it quick, get down now!” she screamed.
“I…” Xander paused glancing at Tim then at Lex; this had to be why he’d been brought here by whoever that voice was in his head it just had to be. “I’m coming up, I’m coming up to get you, Lex I gotta get Tim,” he declared.
“No Xander let me,” Grant argued. Lex grabbed him by the arm to stop him and Xander reached up to begin climbing back.
“Okay, I’m gonna count to three,” Tim said and Xander let out a sigh of relief.
“Good boy Tim,” he said and paused wondering if he should wait until Tim jumped or got off now.
“One,” Tim counted steeling himself for the jump. “Two.” Xander let go of the fence as his danger sense screamed at him and he looked up in horror.
“Tim!” he shouted in alarm as the fence buzzed with power and threw the boy down as electricity coursed through him, Doctor Grant caught him tumbling to the ground.
“Timmy, Timmy!” Lex screamed hysterically. Xander struggled to his feet and ran over to them, Grant was already performing CPR and Xander had a terrible flashback to the sight of Buffy laying face down in a pool of water.
“He’s not breathing.” Grant looked stricken as he straightened up.
“Again!” Xander barked and Grant nodded resuming the task.
“Please, please don’t die,” Lex begged watching with tears as Grant tried to save Tim; Xander took her in his arms to comfort her and watched as Grant switched from breathing into Tim’s mouth to pushing on his chest to get his heart started again.
“You better not, damn Powers or God or whoever you just better not take him too,” he snarled under his breath eyes clouding with tears as he thought of Jesse for the first time since the start of semester last year.
“Tim!” Grant bellowed. “No Tim!” And as if he could hear him Tim started coughing, Lex pulled away from Xander and knelt beside Doctor Grant. “Good boy, good boy,” Grant exclaimed his heart filled with relief as he ran his hand through the kids hair.
“That’s right,” Xander said glancing up at the sky with a look, “and if I’ve gotta take flak for it back home later, or earlier, or whatever, well I can handle that.” He smiled his famous lopsided smile and approached the others.
“Three,” Tim said once the coughing stopped and Grant burst into a wide smile.
“Better late than never kiddo,” he said.
“I’m sorry,” Lex apologized hugging Tim close.
“Tim.” Xander put a hand on the kids shoulder as he got up. “Now you can tell all the ladies you’ve got an electric personality.”
“What?” Tim blurted confused.
“Well, maybe when you’re older, and the best part is it won’t be a line,” Xander said with a chuckle. “Now what say we get our butts back to the Visitors Center because I seriously want to go home and it looks like they finally got the power back on.” Xander started off towards the dome covered building off in the distance.
“What line? Why would I want to tell girls that? I don’t get it Doctor Grant,” Tim said as the older man picked him up to carry him the rest of the way.
“I’ll tell you when you’re older kid,” he said.
“I think it was just stupid.” Lex pouted slightly and then put her hand on Tim’s knee as if he’d vanish any second. “Don’t ever scare me like that again, what would I tell mom if, if…” she started crying again.
“I’m really sorry Lex,” he said abashedly.
“You had better be,” she snapped hiding her true feelings behind a mask of anger.
“We’d better hurry up Xander’s getting ahead of us,” Grant cut in before the two could start fighting or worse.
“R-Right,” Lex muttered wiping away tears.
Xander was never more glad to see a man made structure in his life and judging by the looks of it neither did the others, passing into the main entrance Xander was disturbed to find the place totally empty, he had a serious question about the sanity of the people in charge.
“Hello!” Grant called out leading them further into the building.
“Where is everybody?” Lex demanded sounding tired.
“It looks like most of them left on the boat to escape the storm,” Grant said with a frown. “But Ellie and the others should be here.”
“The phone still isn’t working,” Xander informed hanging up the receiver to the phone he’d found behind the main desk, “if they got the power on why are the phones still out?”
“Good question,” Grant remarked, “come on I’ll take you to the dining room you should be safe there and I’ll bet you’re hungry again.”
“Running after a Triceratops will do that to you,” Xander agreed trailing after them. Once they reached the dining room Grant moved to the closest table big enough to hold Tim and put the kid down, Xander admired the large mural briefly when he caught sight of it, it was kind of neat.
“Ok I’m gonna have to find the others, get you to a doctor,” Grant said while Lex sat down at the table. “Lex you look after Tim, Xander you’re coming with me with two of us we can find them a lot faster.”
“What?” Lex cried out. “No, Xander stay with me, um, us, please,” she pleaded.
“Sorry Lex but Doctor Grant has a point, besides its perfectly safe here,” Xander stated confidently.
“Yeah I guess so.” Lex sighed and offered a wan smile.
“Hey, your hair is all sticking up,” Grant told Tim who looked a little out of it. “Big Tim the human piece of toast.” Tim smiled briefly and Grant nodded heading to the door. “We’ll be back soon, I promise.”
“Yeah, so hey, try not to worry,” Xander said following after the Doc.
“Be safe,” Lex called after them.
“How do you want to do this, you take left I take right or what?” Xander asked as they left through the doors.
“Other way around, but stick near the building, they wouldn’t be in the jungle,” Grant stated grimly. Nodding Xander headed off doing his best not to let his nerves get out of control, after the past thirty something hours he was looking forward to worrying only about vampires again. Assuming that weird voice in his head hadn’t lied to him about going back to the past where he’d come from, he still couldn’t figure out how they had managed to do all the time travel stuff.
“Mister Hammond!” Xander shouted out as he stood somewhere to the right of the Visitors Center a few minutes later. “Doctor Sattler!” Nobody answered him and it was way too quiet for his liking, in the distance he could just barely hear Doctor Grant shouting as well calling for Sattler. “Olly, olly oxen free!” he tried just for the hell of it. “Man it’s like deserted island central around here, what the heck has been going on while we’ve been gone? Did everybody get killed? Maybe those poison spitting dinos showed up.” He muttered to himself nervously glancing around.
“You should try that direction,” the voice insisted and his head turned towards the jungle not under his own power.
“That way leads to the jungle, I’m not going that way on your life strange voice which I still do not know,” Xander declared stubbornly.
“You’ll be sorry, trust me and go that way,” the voice stated seeming to fade away. Grumbling under his breath Xander, despite his better judgment listened to the voice in his head, he wasn’t going to hear the end of it from the girls or Oz when he told them about this. Rule number one, when hearing strange voices don’t listen to them. As he kept walking further in the sounds of the jungle faded away to be replaced with silence, deathly silence, beginning to get nervous now he slowed briefly and then sped up at an unfamiliar sound.
Almost tripping over a log in the path he froze when he heard a groan, it sounded human, rushing over to the source of the sound he found a man he’d never seen before lying prone on the ground. There were superficial bite wounds on his arms and a large gash across his belly spilling his intestines out, the man should be dead, the sight made Xander sick, but he fought down the bile and tried to help the guy out.
“Bitch didn’t kill me,” he managed to say in a low rasping voice.
“What the hell happened to you?” Xander wondered trying to figure out how to help the guy without accidentally killing him or throwing up.
“Raptor got me,” he said as if that explained everything, “who are you?”
“Xander Harris, from the tour,” he replied.
“Then Grant got you back good.”
“Sure thing, now hold still I’ve got to try something.” The man grabbed his arm when he got closer and feebly shook his head.
“Get out of here before they come back to finish the job,” he argued.
“No, now shut up and let me save you man we’re all getting off this island,” Xander decreed; the man laughed at his remark and stopped resisting.
“Not Arnold,” he said, “keep that shotgun close,” he added indicating a shot gun lying off to his right. Xander nodded and pushed the man’s intestines back into his gut, the sound and the feel of them made him almost hurl, but he managed just barely. Next he grabbed a few overgrown leaves off the trees and fashioned a makeshift bandage using his shirt to tighten it up and strengthen it, something must have gotten through from Soldier Boy because he doubted it’d hold much weight in the long run. The bleeding had long ago stopped which meant he’d lost a shit load of blood; still he might make it if they got a helicopter to show up like in the next ten to twenty seconds.
“I can help,” the funny voice whispered in his head.
“Who the hell are you?” Xander demanded mentally. “Can’t you tell me that now already? Some demon? One of the Powers? Who?”
“I am someone you should know quite well Alexander Harris, it was my daughter who cast that love spell after all,” the voice whispered sultrily the sex of the person finally being made known.
“Your daughter? Amy’s mother, oh God is this like a possession or something?” The woman laughed tonelessly and Xander shuddered at the sensation that caused in his head.
“No such luck, when Amy cast your little spell I used what power remained to me to piggyback on, we are connected spiritually you and I. But it has taken me quite some time just to re-gather my mystical strength by tapping into the magical remnants from those spells that have affected you,” Amy’s mother informed in an icy tone.
“Terrific now I’ve got the wicked witch of the west to nag me,” Xander complained with a roll of his eyes.
“Not for long Alexander, I have seen what my daughter is doing and I don’t want her to fall into the same traps I did. I’ve been stuck in that blasted trophy I won for Sunnydale High all this time and it has given me a lot of free time to think. I never meant to hurt anyone, the Hellmouth fed upon my loneliness after Mister Madison left and the regrets I had in staying in that dismal little town. It corrupted my own magical energies and twisted my soul; it will do the same to Amy if I can’t get her to move away from Sunnydale. That’s why I searched everywhere for a means to escape my prison, and then there was a report from Doctor Malcolm in a paper concerning the incident here at Jurassic Park… I realized that Ingen's technologies could be used to restore my body to me.” Xander had no idea what to say to that, and the guy lying in front of him didn’t have forever for him to waste time figuring out if Miss Madison meant what she was talking about.
“I’ll bite I guess, how can you help if you’re all the way in Sunnydale?” he asked. “Are you in the present or the past?”
“Both and neither,” she replied, “magic can heal some things but not completely. If you let me use you as a vessel I can restore enough of the blood lost to him that he can be moved safely,” she informed matter-of-factly. Xander had never heard anything about that before, it made him suspicious.
“How do I know you won’t just take over me completely?”
“You honestly think I would choose to live my life over as a teenage boy?”
“Touché, ok that I can buy, but why help this guy? And what do I have to do in return for this deed?”
“As I was saying if Ingen can clone dinosaurs then they can clone humans, my body was destroyed but if they were to make me a new one I could escape this blasted trophy and teach Amy the right kind of magic, prevent her from making the same mistakes I did,” she answered.
“Goddamn I never even thought of that all this time, if the vamps and demons found out they could make their own breed of humans to feed on, I’ve got to make sure the secrets of Ingen are lost forever… After I get out of here.”
“Not before you make me a new body!” Amy’s mother commanded. “Or I will erase your memories of this conversation and return you back to the past where you belong with no hope of preventing Ingen’s secrets from falling into the hands of those dark creatures.”
“I thought you weren’t evil anymore?” Xander remarked slyly.
“I’m desperate; do you think you wouldn’t be after living what feels like eternity in this cursed state?”
“You kinda brought it upon yourself,” Xander remarked, “how am I supposed to convince anyone from Ingen to clone you a body anyway?” he asked frustrated at the prospect he could be walking into a trap.
“That is why I must save this man Alexander, I learned too late of his fate and I won’t let him die this way again. You see he is my brother, also he can help convince Mister Hammond since he is well aware of magic and all things mystical,” the woman revealed taking Xander by surprise. He stared at the dying man for a moment and shook his head.
“Funny you never sounded Australian.” Was the only thing he could think of to say.
“Will you help us?” she demanded urgently.
“Yeah, yeah ok fine but you gotta tell me one thing. Why’d that love spell backfire so badly?” The woman smiled or at least she might have if she could and he thought she would have shaken her head if she had one.
“Your heart really wasn’t in it Alexander Harris, your intentions weren’t pure enough for the spell to take hold and do its intended work, when that happened I may have nudged the spell just a little to take you here on the path to this moment. I could never let my brother die this way we were close once, before I lost myself.” Xander felt tears on his cheeks and he quickly brushed them away, so he couldn’t hurt Cordy even after she dumped him like that. Guess that just proved he really was a white knight and he was definitely more than the sum of his parts, wouldn’t Anthony Harris be upset when he found that out.
“Fair enough, do it fast, I think those Raptors could still be around here.” His eyes flashed and Xander Harris lost all sense of himself, he found himself in a dark room with a television set showing what was happing outside his body, sitting in front of it was an insubstantial man in army fatigues fading in and out of site.
“Good job young man,” he said approvingly.
“Robert, Robert can you hear me?” Xander asked in a woman’s voice he hadn’t heard for a long time, Robert Muldoon blinked and looked up at the boy, he was on the edge he could feel it and he thought at first he might be going mad at the end as instead of a teenage boy he saw her shining in his vision.
“Catherine, impossible.” He coughed and his head lolled weakly to the side.
“We both got ourselves in big trouble brother,” Xander said shaking his/her head, “I’m going to stabilize you now so we can get you to a doctor. This time you won’t leave me.”
“They said you were dead Catty,” Robert mumbled.
“Not yet, I’ll explain when this is over, now close your eyes this kind of spell is rarely attempted for a reason and I have no ingredients with me to help,” Xander said before he/she began to chant in Latin. Robert felt strange, his heart beat slowed to a crawl almost stopping, but before that could happen a miracle did and his wound felt less severe as his heart beat strong again. “Praise the Lord it worked,” he/she said before the light in Xander’s eyes changed. “Hoo boy talk about a head rush,” Xander said back to himself.
“Catty, are you still there sis?” Robert asked sitting up, immediately pain shot through his stomach and he let out a gasp.
“She says not to move so fast,” Xander relayed, “now we’d better get back to the others and fix those phones before the Raptors get us.” Xander helped Muldoon to his feet letting the man lean on him, then they started back for the Visitors Center.
“Wait,” Muldoon barked and he reached down to collect his hat, “ok this way it’ll take us back to the emergency bunker where the others are waiting,” he said.
“Must be some hat for you not to leave it,” Xander remarked.
“Present from Catty,” Robert revealed, “so Sunnydale huh?”
“Yep good ol’ Boca Del Inferno itself,” Xander quipped with a broad grin, “so you didn’t want to take up the family business huh?” Muldoon chuckled and shook his head.
“Magic is only for the women in our family line kid,” he explained as the pair of them made it out of the jungle in one piece, Doctor Grant and Doctor Sattler spotted them as they were heading for the same bunker.
“Mister Muldoon you’re alive,” Ellie exclaimed in shock.
“Despite the girl’s best efforts,” Robert said with a grin.
“At least that’s some good news,” Grant said moving to help Xander, “I wonder though why they left you?”
“Well as good as it gets on this island at any rate,” Xander said before Muldoon could start talking, “so what’s the plan Doc?”
“We’re hunting the hunters,” Grant replied.
“I like the sound of that, I sure hope the kids are ok,” Xander said.
“They’ll be fine, unless the Raptors figure out how to open doors,” Ellie said with a shrug. A cold pit of dread filled Xander’s stomach and he quickened his pace, rule number two always trust the Sunnydale danger sense. Actually that was really rule number one, the not listening to voices thing was more like rule number six or something.
It didn’t take too long to get back to the Visitors Center, but it still wasn’t fast enough for Xander’s liking especially when Lex and Tim came running out of the kitchen with terrified expressions on their faces. Grant leveled his shotgun expecting the Raptors to come charging out eyeing Ellie briefly for a cue.
“Control room,” she said. Backing out the five of them rushed for the control room, Xander bringing up the rear despite Grant’s protest; the stairs leading down were bracketed on either side by windows. Losing his balance Xander fell backwards tumbling down past the door everyone else had gone in.
“Xander!” Lex cried moving to run after him.
“He’ll be ok,” Grant insisted shutting the door tight. Meanwhile Xander crashed into a different door and came to a stop hard against a solid object of some kind. Shaking his head he got back up and saw a Raptor at the top of the stairs, it didn’t seem to notice him. Readying his shotgun he prepared to take it by surprise only for a sound behind him to bring him up cold, slowly he turned around to find a bunch of dinosaurs at ankle height and one about dead even with his waist. More Velociraptors. The big one hissed at him the claws on its hands almost glistening in the light, behind them the door slammed shut and two more waist high Raptors circled him from behind.
“Uh, nice dino, good dino I’m not here to hurt you,” he said trying to keep all three of the bigger ones in his sight. “Er, you wouldn’t happen to be declawed or something?” The middle claw on each of the juvenile Raptors toes stood up and as one they let out roars or hisses and charged him.
“Let me help,” Catherine urged moments before they jumped him. Xander felt teeth biting at his leg or his arm and then he felt a familiar surge of power as Catherine intervened, the Raptor juveniles were thrown off of him and his eyes flickered yellow, Xander glared at the group of Raptors his teeth bared in a snarl. The hair on the back of his neck standing up and an echoing laugh escaping deep from his throat. At first it didn’t look like anything would happen, but then the juveniles lowered their heads recognizing an Alpha even of a different species as their better and instead of attacking him again they came up to him and nuzzled him with their noses.
“Ok, what just happened?” he asked softly so as not to incite his newly befriended attackers.
“Just a little gift from the primal I sensed in you, it won’t last forever as it is merely a remnant and a distant one at that, we’d better leave now,” Catherine stated.
“Right,” Xander agreed just as the door locked; turning to face it he rolled his eyes, “they pick now to get the systems working again,” he grumbled.
“An observation window is over there,” Catherine urged forcibly turning Xander’s head to the right.
“That’s got to be six inches thick,” he blurted. “Where are we anyway?”
“Use your gun stupid,” Catherine shot back. Reluctantly Xander took aim and fired, it took all of his ammo but the glass eventually shattered and he leapt out into a new hallway. The Raptors followed him, which probably wasn’t such a good thing, but now wasn’t the time to try and ditch them or worry about things beyond his control he had to get back to the others before they ran off without him. Not that they would. Running along the hall he passed by a door marked embryo storage and another one with lab on it, all the doors in this area were locked tight though and led nowhere he wanted to be.
Taking another left turn he ran smack into something and was knocked back, a familiar roar filled his ears and an adult Raptor lunged at him, it didn’t seem to be moving very fast though as if its limbs were cold.
The trio of juveniles leapt to defend their pack leader and a Raptor free-for-all started up in the hall, fascinated Xander couldn’t help but watch, the adult put up a decent fight killing a few of the really young Raptors who’d tagged along, but the juveniles had the better numbers and soon the adult was down while they tore into it. Feeling queasy Xander left his pack behind and got back to the main room with a bit of luck on his side for once, Doctor Grant, Tim, Lex and Doctor Sattler were all hanging onto the skeleton of the Apatosaur in the lobby.
Another adult Raptor roared at them from the mezzanine and leapt at the skeleton causing it to shift and begin to crumble as its moorings began to break.
“What is it with Raptors?” Xander complained rushing down the stairs to try and help. Tim dropped to the ground, Ellie fell and so did Lex, and last Grant tumbled down with the body of the skeleton. It crashed on top of Tim but broke apart before it could actually crush the kid; Xander scrambled over to Lex and helped her up despite the nearness of the Raptor.
“Xander you’re ok,” she said with a smile.
“Nothing’s gonna get me when we’re this close to freedom,” he returned ignoring the bite marks from his pack and shooting Lex one of his customary grins. The Raptor came up behind them both and roared, grabbing Lex Xander backpedaled into Grant and Tim and slowly they started to make for the door, but then Ellie’s third Raptor was also nearby letting out another roar. “We can’t catch a damn break,” Xander complained wanting to use more colorful language but controlling himself in front of Tim and Lex. All five of them started backing away from the Raptors. Just when the newcomer to the party was about to attack their old friend the Rex decided to join the party diving in snapping the Raptor up in his jaws and Grant actually sighed in relief. “Persistent bugger ain’t she. Are you sure that spell isn’t working anymore Catherine?” Ducking out of sight they watched as the Rex killed the Raptor and then the second one moved in to attack in a suicidal bid for revenge or something. Running past the Rex Xander glanced up briefly, this was probably the only time he’d get this close to it and he really wanted to commit the Rex to memory. All five of them ran out the door and down the steps to a waiting jeep with Hammond, Malcolm and Muldoon waiting for them.
“Hold onto me,” Ellie told Tim carrying him fast down the stairs.
“Mister Hammond after careful consideration I’ve decided not to endorse your park,” Grant said climbing into the passenger seat. Ellie and Tim joined Malcolm and Muldoon in the back and Xander scrambled rather uncomfortably onto the gearshift with Lex in his lap.
“So have I,” Hammond said.
“I thought there were more jeeps,” Ellie said as they roared down the road.
“Nedry took the only other one that was close by,” Muldoon explained, “the rest are parked in the garage by the docks.”
“So long as we’re getting out of here I don’t mind being cramped,” Xander told the others.
“The helicopter is waiting,” Hammond informed, “I’m sorry for getting all of you involved with this,” he apologized.
“It wasn’t your fault John, Nedry is to blame for all of this,” Muldoon stated.
“Who’s Nedry?” Tim asked.
“The programmer, he shut the power down for some damn reason,” Muldoon explained with a grimace. “Bloody fool, I hope the Rex got him.”
“Maybe he got away on the boat,” Malcolm said.
“He must have done it because of his financial difficulties, someone hired him to sabotage us,” Hammond noted with a tone of relief. “In a strange way I am glad they did, it proved that my vision was flawed.”
“It wasn’t flawed Grandpa,” Lex said. “You just, um, well, you made a few mistakes.”
“Yeah you really need to be careful who you trust out there, believe me I know a hell of a lot of people that would kill you just as soon as look at you,” Xander remarked.
“If we ever see that man again I shall have him arrested for complacency in murder,” Hammond declared.
“What if he didn’t get to the boat?” Malcolm wondered.
“Who cares?” Ellie demanded. “Let him rot here for all I care.”
“You know I really don’t want to bring it up, but if this guy had money problems maybe the competitors got to him to steal something, like your cloning process or some embryos and what happened wasn’t meant to happen?” Xander mused thoughtfully.
“Shrewd observation lad,” Hammond observed, “ah we’re here,” he added as they pulled up to the helipad. Everybody got out, Ellie helped Tim and Lex aboard, Grant helped Malcolm and Xander got Muldoon inside without too much trouble. The ride back to the mainland was silent, each of them grateful for going home, the sun was setting and Xander just watched it wondering what might happen once he got back to Sunnydale and his own time. He doubted the girls or Giles would believe him about this zany adventure, Amy might since her mom orchestrated the whole deal kind of, but the gang? Well maybe it was better to keep it to himself; Lex suddenly moved over in her sleep and rested her head on his shoulder, now there was another problem to deal with.
Maybe she’d be happy enough to let go of her spell induced crush once they landed? It was worth a shot. Hell a long distance relationship with a girl five years younger than him just couldn’t work.
“Oh that reminds me,” Ellie spoke up suddenly; she reached down into the pack Hammond had brought in the jeep loaded with first aid supplies and produced a battered and familiar looking hat. Grant smiled at her and took it back putting it on his head.
“Thanks Ellie,” he returned.
“You and Muldoon must really like hats,” Xander quipped with a yawn.
“Don’t knock it ‘til you try it kid,” Grant teased ruffling his head. “Besides this one’s been through a lot with me.
“Sure, sure whatever,” Xander dismissed. “Um, not to put a downer on our escape and all, but how do we explain our injuries away when we get back to the mainland?”
“A fair question,” Malcolm said.
“It works in Sunnydale kid, why not simply stick to the ‘wild dogs’ story?” Muldoon chuckled.
“You know about that too?” Xander’s face paled. He hadn’t wanted the whole group to find out about his native town.
“Catty and I did talk quite a bit over the years,” Muldoon pointedly remarked.
“Get a lot of wild dogs in Sunnydale Alexander?” Malcolm wondered.
“Uh, you could say that,” Xander lied.
“Highest death count in the country,” Muldoon said with a cough.
“What?” Ellie exclaimed in shock.
“How’s that possible?” Hammond questioned.
“Er, well…” Xander squirmed under the intense gazes from four out of five adults.
“We will have to tell them eventually considering Catty’s unique situation,” Muldoon pointed out.
“What the devil does your sister have to do with this?” Hammond demanded frustrated with the cryptic evasiveness of the teen.
“You might say she’s not exactly herself these days,” Muldoon replied cryptically.
“And that means?” Grant pried also beginning to get annoyed with the cloak and dagger routine.
“I have need of a new body, a cloned body to be precise, a spell of mine happened to go awry and I’ve been trapped in a cheerleading trophy ever since. Young Alexander has served me quite well actually as a means to relay this bit of information to my brother, for you see I Catherine Madison Nee Muldoon am a Witch and Sunnydale is a mystical convergence point known as the Hellmouth which attracts vampires, werewolves, witches and other creatures believed only to be myth,” Xander revealed speaking in a woman’s voice. Everyone except for Muldoon and the sleeping kids stared at him utterly amazed and Xander blinked slightly as he once again became himself. “I wish she wouldn’t do that without warning me first… Uh, was it something I said?”
When the helicopter landed in the middle of the night it was pouring rain, Xander felt exhausted and a little nervous since most of them knew about Sunnydale and the night life there thanks to Amy’s mom, but he’d at least kept Buffy and the others to himself. Not to mention the fact that Hammond, Tim, Lex and him had all kind of been involved in time travel. People were already there waiting for them, a lot more than Xander had expected and Mister Hammond did not look pleased, Doctor Malcolm and Mister Muldoon were rushed to a medical clinic nearby. Mister Hammond was ushered off be a couple of people, that Regis guy and a particularly sour faced looking man with a very expensive business suit and glasses on.
“Uncle Ludlow,” Tim muttered softly aside to Lex.
“How’d they find out so fast?” Doctor Sattler wondered curiously.
“Nothing travels faster than bad news,” Grant reminded.
“You come with me,” a woman ordered taking Xander by the arm and leading him off towards the medical center.
“Hey what are you doing?” he demanded.
“You’ve been injured too young man and I’d be a pretty poor doctor if I let that wound get infected,” she pointed out indicating his cut from the Rex attack.
“Oh man I’d forgot about that after dressing it,” he muttered letting the woman lead him into the clinic, “why aren’t you working on the others though they’ve been hurt worse than me.” The woman’s face fell slightly and she eyed Xander briefly with a look that spoke volumes.
“I failed once already, I guess Ingen and the other doctors think that’s one failure too many, besides those Ingen people have taken over at the moment,” she said.
“Oh, sorry to hear that.” Xander lowered his gaze as he was brought into her office. “I’m Xander Harris,” he introduced as he hopped up onto the table.
“Doctor Roberta Carter,” she returned with a smile. The examination proceeded in silence, Doctor Carter first removed his dressing which she commented as being fairly professional for an amateur and so she asked if he’d had any formal training. Xander could honestly say that he had not, next she cleansed the wound thoroughly and applied a new bandage to it and then she moved on to the few bite marks from the juvenile Raptors. While she worked they were suddenly interrupted by a three piece suit with a mustache carrying a stack of papers.
“Alexander Harris,” he stated pushing the papers in front of him, “Ingen has told me to make assurances that any needs will be taken care of; however should you fail to adhere to our policies that support will be taken away. If you would kindly sign these nondisclosure agreements we can begin necessary arrangements to escort you and the others home.”
“What?” Xander couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
“You work fast don’t you,” Roberta observed with a glare having been through this once before she knew just how Xander was feeling.
“As Mister Harris is not in surgery we felt it prudent to ensure his cooperation in the best interest of the company.”
“And what if I choose not to play nice? I can’t believe Mister Hammond would approve of this so fast,” Xander said a hint of disgust for this pencil pusher showing through.
“Mister Hammond follows the decisions of the board the same as everybody else, we have investors to consider after all and can the public really afford these types of revelations?” the man asked with an oily smile. Xander shook his head frustratedly and reached for the pen.
“Better this then being forced to find my own way home,” he told Doctor Carter with a grimace as he signed where indicated.
“Thank you Mister Harris, though I must inform you it may take several days to three weeks before you will be allowed to return home if the other patients prove recalcitrant,” the suit informed snatching up the documents and leaving the room.
“You got a private line?” Xander asked softly once he was gone, he had to figure the suits brought guards or something to watch over them all.
“As private as anything can be here,” she replied, “why?”
“I gotta tell somebody I might not be around for a while and I have to do it without any trained chimps listening in,” he explained. Smiling at the analogy Roberta pulled a phone from her desk over to the table and Xander quickly dialed Giles place. “I’m assuming you can make this a temporal call, I have a funny feeling I won’t be able to make it back to the exact date I left as you promised Catty,” Xander said to his other half.
“True, it may be a week later when I finally can get you back there.” Catherine’s presence seemed to fade briefly and then Xander heard something funny over the phone line, like voices talking in reverse at super high speed, he really had no idea magic could be this powerful. Maybe he should have paid more attention to those books when Giles asked him to index them for him.
“I’ll make sure nobody comes in,” Roberta offered and quickly stepped outside.
“This better not interfere in my body request,” Catherine complained, “I can’t get you back at all if Ingen the company proves difficult.”
“That’s all we need, Angelus is mucking things up back home as we speak, man I wish you could have just used the me of the present.”
“The you of the present wasn’t in the process of having a spell cast upon him in close proximity to my current resting place,” Catherine pointed out.
“Yeah, shouldn’t he I don’t know, know about all this?” Xander asked. “Forget it, I just remembered, basic time travel rule don’t mess with events that are meant to be and all that stuff, thank you Mister Spielberg.”
“Buffy?” Giles asked sounding slightly asleep, Xander had known it was probably late back on whatever day this was assuming the call made it to the day he’d left, but he’d been confident the Watcher would have been awake.
“No Giles it’s me, uh, Xander,” he replied, “sorry about waking you.”
“Xander? Good lord do you have any idea what time it is, where the bloody hell have you been, I still cannot believe the irresponsibility you demonstrated forcing Amy to perform that spell on you, do you have any idea how angry Buffy and Willow have been not to mention the never ending tirade of Miss Chase.”
“Hey, uh, Giles they didn’t um, do anything did they?” he asked nervously.
“If you call killing three nests of vampires and a Gn’arax Demon nothing,” Giles returned sounding a little less upset though not by much.
“Ouch,” Xander let out with a wince, must be the same day temporally speaking as it was where he was. In other words he was talking to Giles two days after Valentine’s Day while he was here in August; just thinking about it started his head hurting. “Ok well listen ‘cause I gotta talk fast. See the reason why the spell backfired was because I really didn’t want to hurt Cordy so instead it kind of caused the whole mess with every woman in Sunnydale wanting me, you uh remember Miss Madison right?” he asked.
“I hardly think I could forget her considering,” Giles said dryly.
“She’s here too; I mean she used the spell so she could talk to me and so I could help her out. She wants to get Amy away from the Hellmouth so it won’t corrupt her too; I kinda think she’s had a bit of an epiphany considering what happened to her.” Xander paused and glanced around to make sure no one was outside the room.
“I see, Xander are you absolutely certain you can trust the woman, she did try to kill Buffy if you’ll recall,” Giles reminded speaking as though to a child.
“Giles people change, I’ve gotta believe that,” Xander said a pain slipping into his voice; on the other end Giles looked stricken by his words the boy had a naïve view of the world but it stemmed from his large heart and so he really shouldn’t fault him for it. “Anyway I was, um, kidnapped by this rich guy’s granddaughter and taken to Costa Rica, turns out the grandfather can help out Miss Madison, so yeah. I’ve had a, um, pretty wild weekend, and no before you ask she isn’t a demon.” Xander decided to keep the whole time travel thing to himself, no sense in breaking Giles while he was already in enough trouble with the very laws of nature and all that jive.
“I can well imagine,” Giles said a hint of something in his tone.
“Not like that Giles,” Xander explained rolling his eyes, “she’s only twelve, I, ah spent the weekend on an island getaway,” he said figuring keeping as close to the truth as possible couldn’t hurt. Maybe he’d tell them all someday, like October or something this year, assuming this year didn’t wind up being the last year for the Earth thanks to Angelus.
“Some getaway,” Catherine commented in his head, “tell him to get me out of that damn trophy case I am tired of being stared at.”
“Quiet,” Xander hissed, “as I was saying, look it could take a few more, um, days to straighten things out at the moment. I bet that troll Snyder will be pleased, Giles don’t let him expel me,” Xander pleaded.
“I shall try my best Xander, what about your parents?” The seemingly innocent question had mental images of Anthony Harris meeting up with his ‘friend’ the Rex and he smirked maliciously at the thought.
“If they haven’t noticed my absence by now they probably won’t any time soon, just tell Willow to get my favorite clothes and stuff and have them stored at her place in case they try to sell it off,” Xander requested in a bitter tone.
“Why on Earth should they do that?” Giles asked.
“Please tell Buffy’s mom so she won’t worry at least,” Xander said ignoring the question, “how’s the Angelus situation?”
“Fairly quiet for the moment,” Giles replied suitably distracted from his previous question, “I believe he’s still trying to get Drusilla to, ahem, calm down from her infatuation with you.”
“Heh, right that’s great, so tell Cordy… Well I’m sure you can think of something, and as for Buffy, I’m really, really going to have to make up for putting that whammy on her aren’t I,” he said his cheeks flushing slightly with remembered embarrassment.
“Quite,” Giles said.
“Ok, well bye Giles I better go before anybody catches me at this,” Xander said.
“Xander wait,” Giles started to say but Xander hung up and put the phone back on Doctor Carter’s desk.
“You failed to mention my trophy,” Catherine stated.
“I’ll get it out of the case as soon as I get back, I figure the less people who know where you are right now in Sunnydale the better, Buffy or Amy might get it in their heads to melt it down or something and then I’d be stuck here… Or stuck there… Or something.”
“Point taken,” Catherine remarked. “You may be able to fool Mister Giles but I’m part of you at the moment,” she stated, “I know I’m not the best parent in the world myself, look at what I did to my own daughter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do something for you if you want.”
“They’re not that bad, besides I wouldn’t want mom to be hurt she’s a decent woman some of the time,” Xander muttered softly.
“I could still hex Tony Harris,” she offered and Xander felt almost like a hand was on his shoulder, “how would you feel about stray dogs constantly trying to hump his legs wherever he goes?” Xander laughed at the mental picture that conjured up but shook his head.
“Thanks for the offer but no, besides I’ll be legally an adult this time next year and I’m moving out so fast it’d make your head spin,” he said. “Want to check on your brother?” he asked.
“Thank you but it isn’t necessary, I can tell he’s fine by our spiritual link,” she said with an implied smile of gratitude. “You are a remarkable young man Alexander.”
“Yeah I get that a lot, don’t know why,” he said with a shake of his head, “now what about Lex?”
“You won’t be getting rid of her any time soon,” Catherine stated with a chuckle.
“Huh, what do you mean?”
“It’s not that easy to lose a soul mate Alexander.”
“Soul mate? She’s only twelve and I’m, I mean…” Xander trailed off in nervous fear. Catherine laughed.
“How else do you think the spell could affect her without making her turn ugly like all the rest in their attitudes? I’m afraid Alexis Murphy is going to want to be by your side for some considerable time to come.”
“But she can’t, Sunnydale, it isn’t safe for her!” Xander shouted.
“Then perhaps you need to consider what’s best for her and you Alex, maybe it’s time you gave up the dangerous life of helping the Slayer,” Catherine told him. Xander couldn’t begin to even think of that scenario, he could never abandon his friends or the fight now that he’d learned of it. “I could help you then if you’re so determined to help,” she whispered almost into his ear as though hearing his thoughts.
“What kind of help?” Xander demanded uncertainly.
“It’s hard for a vampire or demon to get to you when you have… Pets,” she stated.
“Pets?” Xander repeated in confusion, but after a moment his eyes shone with the light of clarity. “Pets,” he said again a gleam of something in his eye, “but if they started breeding too. I mean I hardly think Mister Hammond would approve and then there’s the whole hearing about dinosaurs on the mainland seven months before I got to the island.”
“He wouldn’t have to know and they could be mystically sterilized to prevent breeding.”
“But how could they even be… Well domesticated, these are still carnivores we’re talking about and how do you propose to get them to go with me to the past?”
“So are dogs and cats, but they have an advantage, they are intelligent more intelligent than you could believe,” she replied, “as for the time travel thing they wouldn’t be sent with you to the past, but sent to the you of the present.”
“How the hell do you know how intelligent they are?” Xander demanded. “I can’t believe I’m even considering this crazy plan.”
“You want to protect Lex from your other life don’t you? You can’t give up the damn lifestyle you stubborn child, but that doesn’t mean you have to completely throw your all into it until you get yourself killed, stop resisting this plan you have no true strengths in this endeavor. I’ve seen ordinary demon hunters before, they don’t last long and the ones that do are changed, made worse for their troubles… But you could have the greatest edge of all, something that would make you equal to the Slayer, something that could help you to protect all of your loved ones,” Catherine was ranting she was feeling a curious need to help protect this boy. Perhaps because he was such a selfless and kind hearted young man even enough to believe someone as wicked as she had been could be redeemed when in all honesty she didn’t deserve it from him, hell he’d wanted to cut her head off to protect the Slayer.
“If Lex found out, well I’d have to tell her eventually if we have this whole predestined future together,” he muttered, “but how could I control them and you didn’t answer the question about their intelligence.” He pointed out.
“Hyenas are not the only animals which can be called upon as primals, and as for their intelligence, well you did see them hunt. You noticed how they cut you off from possible aide by shutting the door on you, oh and of course the one locked in the freezer managed to get out.” Catherine’s tone was smug and Xander began to sway to her viewpoint, but he was still semi-reluctant, he needed something more to cave in and Catherine knew what that something was. “Then there is what they could do, what you could do, to Angelus,” she added casually. Xander’s gaze tightened in a flash and he smiled almost sinisterly, his mind was made up.
“Do it,” he said.
“We’ll need to make a circle first, in the jungle should do, it could take a few days, oh yes and we’ll have to purify you as it were, cleanse you of all tainted magics and their remnants,” she stated. Xander nodded along with what she was saying and he began to get visions of Angelus screaming out in actual terror, the demon being torn apart by Velociraptors. He wondered if a vampire turned to dust in pieces if the heart was still intact. It was going to be an interesting question to discover the answer to.The End