Episode Two: Nublar
The heat of the sun hanging high in the sky was causing Xander to sweat something fierce as he trudged along through the tropical jungle, he hadn’t run into any other dinosaurs since his brief encounter with the Brachiosaurs, for which he was grateful. Still it would have been nice to stumble across that river on the map, he could use a drink of water desperately, and he still hadn’t found the first of the two sheds located on the path he’d chosen.
He was getting tired, hungry and downright ornery as he marched single-mindedly towards his goal. Escape the island, escape the island, escape the island; it had become a mantra silently repeated in his head. There were a lot of things he wanted to do still in his life, for one thing he had to tell Willow and Buffy all about the dinosaurs he’d seen. The girls’ would love it.
“Just keep putting one foot, in front of the other.” Xander was prepared to deal with anything, or at least he hoped he was. His muscles were starting to ache from falling into that dinosaur, he was beginning to think he bruised every bone in his body after the impact. Any ordinary human would have surely not survived a fall from that height, whatever helped prevent his death, be it the Hellmouth energies his body might have absorbed living on it for so long. Or the almost mutated fish genes thing from the swim team incident, he didn’t care, just so long as he was able to keep moving. And then he came to a sharp stop.
The map had told him where he should be going, since the place had been built up by this INGEN company Xander had figured he might stumble across a man made road or something to serve as a landmark. Unfortunately for him he didn’t just stumble onto a man made road, no it couldn’t possibly be that easy, instead he found himself looking up at a very high fence. A very high fence with a very real warning sign concerning electrical voltage.
Xander stared up at the warning indicator light and noted that it was on, power was indeed flowing to these fences. Shaking his head he didn’t know what he should do now, he couldn’t very well climb a live fence, not when ten thousand volts coursed through it. To a dinosaur that was probably only a tickle, or something equally uncomfortable, but for a human being it spelled certain death.
“I’m not about to circle around this thing, it would take me too far out of the way.” Xander frowned and studied the nearby area, the fence was designed to keep the dinosaurs contained and protected. Looking to the left he saw it continue all along the roadway, but when he glanced to his right he noticed a rather large gap in the fence where something had burst through. The broken wires of the fence sparked and shot off electrical bursts every few seconds, how he managed to miss that he couldn’t be sure, of course he was dehydrated and slightly delirious.
Moving towards the large gap Xander made sure he could get through without being hit by the flailing cables. Whatever had broken through hadn’t been neat about it, almost as if it’d been afraid of something. Carefully stepping over the large concrete divider Xander felt a growing sense of accomplishment and relief. The road was well paved, it had an odd track in the middle of it and it veered off from his straight path through the jungles. Now he had another decision to make. If he kept walking straight he’d reach the docks, but there was no telling if he’d find anything edible or any water along the way.
On the other hand, a manmade road had to lead to manmade buildings, where food and plumbing were known to exist. Reaching into his pocket he pulled out a Costa Rican penny, or whatever they called the local currency, which he’d picked up off the road back on the mainland and flipped it as high as it could go.
“Heads I keep walking through the jungle. Tails I follow the road.”
The coin fell to the Earth and made an almost deafening sound in the stillness of the jungle, it spun for several tense seconds and then came to a stop. Xander grinned pleasantly surprised to discover that it had landed tails side up. Traveling the manmade road it was then.
“f ou’ o k t r gh, yo nd er f Stegosaurs. A powerful herbivore with large sails on its back, paleontologists believed these sails were designed to absorb solar energy from the sun, we now know that they are predominantly for defense against large predators.”
Xander turned at the sound of someone speaking as it grew closer and closer. He found a vehicle running without anyone driving it, dark red and green in coloring with black stripes and the logo from his rucksack clear as day and larger than life on the hood. Jurassic Park. It was traveling down the paved roadway at a leisurely pace, not going faster than maybe fifteen miles an hour.
He couldn’t believe his luck, not to mention he couldn’t believe that the island he was on had some sort of Theme Park ride running with nobody around. Approaching the vehicle as it drew closer he quickly hopped into the passenger side, which was open, and took a moment to catch his breath. This had to be either the luckiest break of all or someone out there was hurt and in need of medical assistance.
Frowning at the thought Xander debated going back to see if anyone had emerged from the vehicle injured. The voice kept droning on and on about the attractions in the ‘park’ and the dinosaur species that were in the paddock they were passing through.
“This is beginning to make a little bit more sense,” Xander said to himself as he studied a pamphlet from the glove compartment. “Ingen cloned dinosaurs to make some sort of Theme Park and for some reason they’ve suffered some kind of set back, I hardly think this thing would be running around on its own if there were any Tourists around. Hmmm, wonder what else is in here.” Climbing over the front seat wasn’t as easy with his sore muscles as he would admit to, but he managed to reach the back without too many groans or gasps of pain. What he found wasn’t much, there was a large case in the back of the vehicle loaded up with more flares, a battery operated flashlight, numerous pamphlets detailing all of the wonders of Jurassic Park and two canteens filled with water in a small cooler.
Grinning Xander took a grateful sip after discovering that and noticed an odd looking box sitting under the passenger side seat. Curious Xander bent down to retrieve it, inside was a piece of impressive looking night vision equipment matching the colors of the vehicle.
“And remember while you’re in Jurassic Park, we spared no expense, so please feel free to use any of the equipment you find which is standard for all park rides. As the sun slowly sets into the west you can still enjoy the sights of the park with our night vision goggles. Recommended if you’re here with your significant other to enjoy a romantic evening in the park, might we also recommend the Jungle River Ride and the Cretaceous Cafe. Now if you’ll look to your left you can see the lagoon from the Herbivore paddock if you use the binoculars found in your glove compartment.”
Xander smirked at the helpful litany of information and reached into the glove compartment to fish out the binoculars. “Let’s see now, if the lagoon is to the left that means its North from our current position. Or is it West?” Frowning slightly he turned and tried to focus on the distant sight. It wasn’t too difficult to make out, he could see a large herd of herbivores huddling around the body of water, there were Brachiosaurs, Parasaurolophus and even a Triceratops nursing a nasty wound on its head. Apparently one of its horns had been torn out.
The vehicle came to a jerking stop briefly and a loud klaxon rang out from the nearby electric fence.
“Please do not be alarmed, we are merely experiencing slight technical difficulties. Rest assured your safety is foremost in our minds as our systems reboot.”
Xander shot a glance to the computer display and shuddered briefly. “Something tells me they didn’t plan ahead when they made that recording.” Shaking his head he shot a glance at the fence again. The indicator lights were now dead. “Shit! Looks like they lost the systems governing the electric fences. Guess that means the dinosaurs have free reign of the island. So is this thing going to take me all the way North or am I going to have to take a chance and get out to walk?” Xander asked himself.
The vehicle began rolling again. “As you can see all systems have been re-re-restored. Do not be alarmed, the vehicle shall be returning to the Visitor’s Center within another six hours. Until then, please enjoy the sights of Jurassic Park, and if you’re interested in any souvenirs of your stay, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop once we reach our final destination.”
“I really wish it hadn’t said that,” Xander muttered. Taking another sip of water to take his mind off the fact that he was getting really hungry again Xander settled into the passenger seat and did his best to tune out the constant droning of the recorded voice from the onboard computer, a fact made difficult as it constantly kept bringing up useless facts about the park’s many features and attractions. As well as the constant plugs for the gift shop at this visitor’s center place.
After a half hour of this Xander found himself dozing off in the heat of the mid-day sun.
David Banks was an employee of Ingen, a member of their geneticist staff and assistant to Doctor Laura Sorkin; together they were currently trapped in the Northern section of the park at Dr. Sorkin’s private lab. All indications of the park’s systems had indicated that power had returned to every system in the park.
Dr. Sorkin however believed that this was merely a temporary situation and had said as much to David. Ignoring her theories of park system failures caused by the catastrophic failure and Nedry’s virus, David left her to check on the Quarantine Pens despite being warned off.
Sadly for David Banks, Dr. Sorkin had been correct in her concerns. The fences of the park failed once again as pressure was currently building in the geothermal power plant designed to operate all of the systems of the park, with the Rex having destroyed a number of fences while the power was initially out in order to prevent imminent explosion and severe damages to the facilities in the park the fences were shut down again.
This meant, that while he was making sure the new shipment of Raptors from Sorna had not escaped during the initial power shut down, mostly for his own piece of mind, David Banks was attacked by the raptors and brutally killed.
Dr. Sorkin was so preoccupied with her research and plans for the dinosaurs while Hammond was gone, she failed to prevent her assistant’s rash actions, or his terrible demise. Prior to the moment of his end however David stumbled across something incredible while working with the park’s security systems to determine how many of the animals were loose from their paddocks.LOADING...
Staring at the video feed from the onboard computer David blinked utterly astonished. “Where the hell did he come from?” He didn’t recognize the young man sleeping in the passenger seat of the tour car still running around the park after Dr. Sorkin reactivated it. “He’s not an employee, but he is alive. And that’s something he won’t be able to call himself if he just keeps riding around in that thing, I’ll just tell the tour vehicle to stop when it reaches the desalinization complex and we can meet up with him and Ingen’s rescue team there.” Quickly typing in the commands on the keyboard for the tour program, David then logged off from the cameras and made his way down to the quarantine pens to double check on the dinosaurs being kept there.
Xander opened his eyes a few hours later, something had managed to beat through the haze of his restless night and he wasn’t sure what it was. Groggily he glanced around; noticing that the sun was sinking into the horizon, and the vehicle he’d bummed a ride from was driving past the first of two roads leading to an impressive looking gate. Instead of turning off back to the visitor’s center it was moving once again into the park, though Xander was unaware what lay on the path leading through the gate.
Blinking away his lethargy Xander realized he’d left the driver’s side door open this entire time. What had finally gotten him awake was the fact that a tiny green dinosaur no bigger than a chicken had leapt in and was making noises at him.
Xander stared at the dinosaur. He was hungry, ravenously so, having not had anything to eat since the previous afternoon at Rowena’s villa. Memories flooded him of a time when’d felt a hunger as equally demanding. Xander let his instincts take over, the dinosaur let out a scream as it was plucked off the seat and before it had the chance to defend itself Xander had bitten off its head.
Spitting the thing out he started gnawing on the creature’s midsection. “I don’t know if this is a remnant from the swim team incident or the hyena situation, but I don’t care right now. If Soldier Boy can eat a snake raw in the jungles of Vietnam I can deal with this… I just hope I never have to do it again.” Shuddering Xander resumed his gruesome meal while at the same time reaching for the nearest canteen. “I don’t care if it is as big as a chicken, it sure doesn’t taste like one,” he complained.
While Xander ate at long last something filling enough besides potato chips the sun finished sinking beneath the horizon bringing on full night. Xander decided he’d stick with the car for now, and while he was busy finishing off his ‘snack’ the group of Ingen survivors were dealing with their own issues over at Sorkin’s lab.
Within less than an hour’s time, due to David Banks’ quick thinking, Xander Harris would soon be meeting up with other people on the island. What he was going to do after that was something he’d figure out when the time came, for now he was busy dealing with his body’s immediate needs.To Be Continued…
Yep this one's shorter folks. Two more chapters are still in the pipeline waiting to be written, and as I said the trek wouldn't be easy or a retelling of events from the game with Xander thrown in. To a lesser extent that is still true, and althought Xander is currently on the road to meeting up with Nima and Dr. Harding after the incident at the Troodon nest, take heart, in the exciting action filled third episode I guarantee there will be dinosaurs, narrow escapes, a few bits of dialogue between Ingen's veterinarian and our resident Sunnydale white knight and the mother of all cliffhangers (provided my muse can pull it off/out the way I'm semi-envisoning it as I type).
Quick querie, does one need to do anything special to put up an image along with the story? I found a map of Nublar over at the Jurassic Park Wiki Park Pedia, I wanted to modify it a bit to add a few indicators where Xander's travels take him while on the island and share it so you have some idea of where he is in relation to the events of the film and the game. Just wondering if I had to put the image up on a photo hosting site like Imageshack first or if I could just add it to the last chapter here when it's done.