The Lost World Chapter 4

"No," said the voice, "this is Thorne. And I think you better get over here right away."

The Five Deaths

"I knew it," Malcolm said, coming into Levine's apartment, and glancing quickly around. "I knew he would do something like this. You know how impetuous he is. I said to him, don't go until we have all the information. But I should have known. Of course, he went."

"Yes, he did."

"Ego," Malcolm said, shaking his head. "Richard has to be first. Has to figure it out first, has to get there first. I'm very concerned, he could ruin everything. This impulsive behavior: you realize it's a storm in the brain, neurons on the edge of chaos. Obsession is just a variety of addiction. But what scientist ever had self-control? They instruct them in school: it's bad form to be balanced. They forget Neils Bohr was not only a great physicist but an Olympic athlete. These days they all try to be nerds. It's the professional style."

Thorne looked at Malcolm thoughtfully. He thought he detected a competitive edge. He said, "Do you know which island he went to?"

"No. I do not." Malcolm was stalking around the apartment, taking things in. "The last time we talked, we had narrowed it down to five islands, all in the south. But we hadn't decided which one."

Thorne pointed to the wallboard, the satellite images. "These islands here?"

"Yes," Malcolm said, looking briefly. "They're strung out in an arc, all about ten miles offshore from the bay of Puerto Cortes. Supposedly they're all uninhabited. Local people call them the Five Deaths."

"Why?" Kelly said.

"Some old Indian story," Malcolm said. "Something about a brave warrior captured by a king who offered him his choice of deaths. Burning, drowning, crushing, hanging, decapitation. The warrior said he would take them all, and he went from island to island, experiencing the various challenges. Sort of a New World version of the labors of Hercules - "

"So that's what it is!" Kelly said, and ran out of the room.

Malcolm looked blank.

He turned to Thorne, who shrugged.

Kelly returned, carrying the German children's book in her hand. She gave it to Malcolm.

"Yes," he said. "Die F¨¹nf Todesarten. The Five Ways of Death. Interesting that it is in German...."

"He has lots of German books," Kelly said.

"Does he? That bastard. He never told me."

"That means something?" Kelly said.

"Yes, it means a lot. Hand me that magnifying glass, would you?"

Kelly gave him a magnifying glass from the desk. "What does it mean?"

"The Five Deaths are ancient volcanic islands," he said. "Which means that they are geologically very rich. Back in the twenties, the Germans wanted to mine them." He peered at the images, squinting. "Ah. Yes, these are the islands, no question. Matanceros, Muerte, Taca?o, Sorna, Pena...All names of death and destruction...All right. I think we may be close. Do we have any satellite pictures with spectrographic analyses of the cloud cover?"

Arby said, "Is that going to help you find Site B?"

"What?" Malcolm spun around. "What do you know about Site B?"

Arby was sitting at the computer, still working. "Nothing. Just that Dr. Levine was looking for Site B. And it was the name in the files."

"What files?"

"I've recovered some InGen files from this computer. And, searching through old records, I found references to Site B....But they're pretty confusing. Like this one." He leaned back, to let Malcolm look at the screen.

Summary: Plan Revisions #35

PRODUCTION(SITE B)_______________________________________________

AIR HANDLERSGrade 5 to Grade 7

LABSTRUCTURE400 cmm to 510 cmm

BIO SECURITYLevel PK/3 to Level PK/5

CONVEYOR RATES  3 mpm to 2.5 mpm

HOLDING PENS13 hectares to 26 hectares

STAFF 17 (4 admin) to 19 (4 admin)


Malcolm frowned. "Curious, but not very helpful. It doesn't tell us which island - or even if it's on an island at all. What else have you got?"

"Well..." Arby flicked keys. "Let's see. There's this."



ZONE 2 (COAST)9-16

ZONE 3 (RIDGE)17-24

ZONE 4 (VALLEY)   25-32

Malcolm said, "Okay, so it's an island. And Site B has a network- but a network of what? Computers?"

Arby said, "I don't know. Maybe a radio network."

"For what purpose?" Malcolm said. "What would a radio network be used for? This isn't very helpful."

Arby shrugged. He took it as a challenge. He began typing furiously again. Then said, "Wait!...Here's another one ...if I can just format it....There! Got it!"

He moved away from the screen, so the others could see.

Malcolm looked and said, "Very good. Very good!"












"Now we're getting somewhere," Malcolm said, scanning the listing. "Can you print this out?"

"Sure." Arby was beaming. "Is it really good?"

"It really is, " Malcolm said.

Kelly looked at Arby and said, "Arb. Those're the text labels that go with a map."

"Yeah, I think so. Pretty neat, huh?" He pushed a button, sending the image to the printer.

Malcolm peered at the listing some more, then turned his attention back to the satellite maps, looking closely at each one with the magnifying glass. His nose was just inches from the photographs.

"Arb," Kelly said, "don't just sit there. Come on! Recover the map! That's what we need!"

"I don't know if I can," Arby said. "It's a proprietary thirty-two-bit format....I mean, it's a big job."

"Stop whining, Arb. Just do it."

"Never mind," Malcolm said. He stepped away from the satellite images pinned on the wall. "It's not important."

"It's not?" Arby said, a little wounded.

"No, Arby. You can stop. Because, from what you've already discovered, I am quite certain we can identify the island, right now."


Ed James yawned, and pushed the earpiece tighter into his ear. He wanted to make sure he got all this. He shifted in the driver's seat of his gray Taurus, trying to get comfortable, trying to stay awake. The small tape recorder was spinning in his lap, next to his notepad, and the crumpled papers from two Big Macs. James looked across the street at Levine's apartment building. The lights were on in the third-floor apartment.

And the bug he had placed there last week was working fine. Through his earpiece, he heard one of the kids say, "How?"

And then the crippled guy, Malcolm, said, "The essence of verification is multiple lines of reasoning that converge at a single point."

"Meaning what?" the kid said.

Malcolm said, "Just look at the Landsat pictures."

On his notepad, James wrote LANDSAT.

"We already looked at those," the girl said.

James felt foolish not to have realized earlier that these two kids were working for Levine. He remembered them well, they were in the class Levine taught. There was a short black kid and a gawky white girl. Just kids: maybe eleven or twelve. He should have realized.

Not that it mattered now, he thought. He was getting the information anyway. James reached across the dashboard and plucked out the last two French fries, and ate them, even though they were cold.

"Okay," he heard Malcolm say. "It's this island here. This is the island Levine went to."

The girl said doubtfully, "You think so? This is...Isla Sorna."

James wrote ISLA SORNA.

"That's our island," Malcolm said. "Why? Three independent reasons. First, it's privately owned, so it hasn't been thoroughly searched by the Costa Rican government. Second, privately owned by whom? By the Germans, who leased rights to mineral excavations, back in the twenties."

"All the German books."

"Exactly. Third, from Arby's list - and from another independent source - it is clear that there is volcanic gas located at Site B. So, which islands have volcanic gas? Take the magnifying glass and look for yourself. Turns out, only one island does,"

"You mean this here?" the girl said. "Right. That's volcanic smoke."

"How do you know?"

"Spectrographic analysis. See this spike here? That's elementary sulfur in the cloud cover. There aren't really any sources for sulfur except volcanic sources."

"What's this other spike?" the girl said.

"Methane," Malcolm said. "Apparently there is - a fairly large source of methane gas."

"Is that also volcanic?" Thorne said.

"It might be. Methane is released from volcanic activity, but most commonly during active eruptions. The other possibility is, it might be organic.

"Organic? Meaning what?"

"Large herbivores, and - "

Then there was something that James couldn't hear, and the kid said, "Do you want me to finish this recovery, or not?" He sounded annoyed.

"No," Thorne said. "Never mind now, Arby. We know what we have to do. Let's go, kids!"

James looked up at the apartment and saw the lights being turned off. A few minutes later, Thorne and the kids appeared at the front entrance, on the street level. They got in a Jeep, and drove off. Malcolm went to his own car, climbed in awkwardly, and drove away in the opposite direction.

James considered following Malcolm, but he had something else to do now. He turned on the car ignition, picked up the phone, and dialed.

Field Systems

Half an hour later, when they got back to Thorne's Office, Kelly stared, stunned. Most of the workers were gone, and the shed had been cleaned up. The two trailers and the Explorer stood side by side, freshly painted dark green, and ready to go.

They're finished!"

"I told you they would be," Thorne said. He turned to his chief foreman, Eddie Carr, a stocky young man in his twenties. "Eddie, where are we?"

"Just wrapping up, Doc," Eddie said. "Paint's still wet in a few places, but it should be dry by morning."

"We can't wait until morning. We're moving out now."

"We are?"

Arby and Kelly exchanged glances. This was news to them, too.

Thorne said, "I'll need you to drive one of these, Eddie. We've got to be at the airport by midnight."

"But I thought we were field testing.

"No time for that. We're going right to the location." The front door buzzed. "That'll be Malcolm, probably. He pushed the button to unlock the door.

"You're not going to field test?" Eddie said, with a worried look. "I think you better shake them down, Doc. We made some pretty complex modifications here, and - "

"There's no time," Malcolm said, coming in. "We have to go right away." He turned to Thorne. "I'm very worried about him."

"Eddie!" Thorne said. "Did the exit papers come in?"

"Oh sure, we've had them for the last two weeks,"

"Well, get them, and call Jenkins, tell him to meet us at the airport, and do the details for us. I want to be off the ground in four hours."

"Jeez, Doc - "

"Just do it."

Kelly said, "You're going to Costa Rica?"

"That's right. We've got to get Levine. If it's not too late."

"We're coming with you," Kelly said.

"Right," Arby said. "We are."

"Absolutely not," Thorne said. "It's out of the question."

"But we earned it!"

"Dr. Levine talked to our parents!"

"We already have permission!"

"You have permission," Thorne said severely, "to go on a field test in the woods a hundred miles from here. But we're not doing that. We're going someplace that might be very dangerous, and you're not coming with us, and that's final."

"But - "

"Kids," Thorne said. "Don't piss me off. I'm going to go make a phone call. You get your stuff together. You're going home."

And he turned and walked away.

"Gee," Kelly said.

Arby stuck his tongue out at the departing Thorne and muttered, "What an asshole."

"Get with the program, Arby," Thorne said, not looking back. "You two guys are going home. Period."

He went into his office and slammed the door.

Arby stuck his hands in his pockets. "They couldn't have figured it out without our help."

"I know, Arb," she said. "But we can't make him take us."

They turned to Malcolm. "Dr. Malcolm, can you please - "

"Sorry," Malcolm said. "I can't."

"But - "

"The answer is no, kids. It's just too dangerous."

Dejected, they drifted over to the vehicles, gleaming beneath the ceiling lights. The Explorer with the black photovoltaic panels on the roof and hood, the inside crammed with glowing electronic equipment. Just looking at the Explorer gave them a sense of adventure - an adventure they would not be part of.

Arby peered into the larger trailer, cupping his eyes over the window. "Wow, look at this!"

"I'm going in," Kelly said, and she opened the door. She was momentarily surprised at how solid and heavy it was. Then she climbed up the steps into the trailer.

Inside, the trailer was fitted out with gray upholstery and much more electronic equipment. It was divided into sections, for different laboratory functions. The main area was a biological lab, with specimen trays, dissecting pans, and microscopes that connected to video monitors. The lab also included biochemistry equipment, spectrometers, and a series of automated sample-analyzers. Next to it there was an extensive computer section, a bank of processors, and a communications section. All the lab equipment was miniaturized, and built into small tables that slid into the walls, and then bolted down.

"This is cool," Arby said.

Kelly didn't answer. She was looking closely at the lab. Dr. Levine had designed this trailer, apparently with a very specific purpose. There was no provision for geology, or botany, or chemistry, or lots of other things that a field team might be expected to study. It wasn't a general scientific lab at all. There really seemed to be just a biology unit, and a large computer unit.

Biology, and computers.


What had this trailer been built to study?

Set in the wall was a small bookshelf, the books held in place with a Velcro strap. She scanned the titles: Modeling Adaptive Biological Systems, Vertebrate Behavioral Dynamics, Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems, Dinosaurs of North America, Preadaptation and Evolution....It seemed like a strange set of books to take on a wilderness expedition; if there was a logic behind it, she didn't see it.

She moved on. At intervals along the walls, she could see where the trailer had been strengthened; dark carbon-honeycomb strips ran up the walls. She had overheard Thorne saying it was the same material used in supersonic let fighters. Very light and very strong. And she noticed that all the windows had been replaced with that special glass with fine wire mesh inside it.

Why was the trailer so strong?

It made her a little uneasy, when she thought about it. She remembered the telephone call with Dr. Levine, earlier in the day. He had said he was surrounded.

Surrounded by what?

He had said: I can smell them, especially at night.

What was he referring to?

Who was them?

Still uneasy, Kelly moved toward the back of the trailer, where there was a homey little living area, complete with gingham curtains on the windows. Compact kitchen, a toilet, and four beds. Storage compartments above and below the beds. There was even a little walk-in shower. It was nice.

From there, she went through the accordion pleating that connected the two trailers. It was a little bit like the connection between two railway cars, a short transitional passage. She emerged inside the second trailer, which seemed to be mostly utility storage: extra tires, spare parts, more lab equipment, shelves and cabinets. All the extra supplies that meant an expedition to some far-off place. There was even a motorcycle hanging off the back of the trailer. She tried some of the cabinets, but they were locked.

But even here there were extra reinforcing strips as well. This section had also been built especially strong.

Why? she wondered. Why so strong?

"Look at this," Arby said, standing before a wall unit. It was a complex of glowing LED displays and lots of buttons, and looked to Kelly like a complicated thermostat.

"What does it do?" Kelly said.

"Monitors the whole trailer," he said. "You can do everything from here. All the systems, all the equipment. And look, there's TV...." He pushed a button, and a monitor glowed to life. It showed Eddie walking toward them, across the floor.

"And, hey, what's this?" Arby said. At the bottom of the display was a button with a securitv cover. He flipped the cover open. The button was silver and said DEF.

"Hey, I bet this is that bear defense he was talking about."

A moment later, Eddie opened the trailer door and said, "You better stop that, you'll drain the batteries. Come on, now. You heard what the doc said. Time for you kids to go home."

Kelly and Arby exchanged glances.

"Okay," Kelly said. "We're going."

Reluctantly, they left the trailer.

They walked across the shed to Thorne's office to say goodbye. Arby said, "I wish he'd let us go."

"Me, too."

"I don't want to stay home for break," he said. "They're just going to be working all the time." He meant his parents.

"I know."

Kelly didn't want to go home, either. This idea of a field test during spring break was perfect for her, because it got her out of the house, and out of a bad situation. Her mother did data entry in an insurance company during the day, and at night she worked as a waitress at Denny's. So her mom was always busy at her jobs, and her latest boyfriend, Phil, tended to hang around the house a lot at night. It had been okay when Emily was there, too, but now Emily was studying nursing at the community college, so Kelly was alone in the house. And Phil was sort of creepy. But her mother liked Phil, so she never wanted to hear Kelly say anything bad about him. She just told Kelly to grow up.

So now Kelly went to Thorne's office, hoping against hope that at the last minute he would relent. He was on the phone, his back to them. On the screen of his computer, they saw one of the satellite images they had taken from Levine's apartment. Thorne was zooming in on the image, successive magnifications. They knocked on the door, opened it a little.

"Bye, Dr. Thorne."

"See you, Dr. Thorne."

Thorne turned, holding the phone to his ear. "Bye, kids." He gave a brief wave.

Kelly hesitated. "Listen, could we just talk to you for a minute about - "

Thorne shook his head. "No."

"But - "

"No, Kelly. I've got to place this call now," he said. "It's already four a,m. in Africa, and in a little while she'll go to sleep."


"Sarah Harding."

"Sarah Harding is coming, too?" she said, lingering at the door.

"I don't know." Thorne shrugged. "Have a good vacation, kids. See you in a week. Thanks for your help. Now get out of here." He looked across the shed. "Eddie, the kids are leaving. Show them to the door, and lock them out! Get me those papers! And pack a bag, you're coming with me!" Then in a different voice he said, "Yes, operator, I'm still waiting."

And he turned away.


Through the night-vision goggles, the world appeared in shades of fluorescent green. Sarah Harding stared out at the African savannah. Directly ahead, above the high grass, she saw the rocky outcrop of a kopje. Bright-green pinpoints glowed back from the boulders. Probably rock hyraxes, she thought, or some other small rodent.

Standing up in her jeep, wearing a sweatshirt against the cool night air, feeling the weight of the goggles, she turned her head slowly. She could hear the yelping in the night, and she was trying to locate the source.

Even from her high vantage point, standing up in the vehicle, she knew the animals would be hidden from direct view. She turned slowly north, looking for movement in the grass. She saw none. She looked back quickly, the green world swirling momentarily. Now she faced south.

And she saw them.

The grass rippled in a complex pattern as the pack raced forward, yelping and barking, prepared to attack. She caught a glimpse of the female she called Face One, or Fl. Fl was distinguished by a white streak between her eyes. F1 loped along, in the peculiar sideways gait of hyenas; her teeth were bared; she glanced back at the rest of the pack, noting their position.

Sarah Harding swung the glasses through the darkness, looking ahead of the pack. She saw the prey: a herd of African buffalo, standing belly-deep in the grass, agitated. They were bellowing and stamping their feet.

The hyenas yelped louder, a pattern of sound that would confuse the prey. They rushed through the herd, trying to break it up, trying to separate the calves from their mothers. African buffalo looked dull and stupid, but in fact they were among the most dangerous large African mammals, heavy powerful creatures with sharp horns and notoriously mean dispositions. The hyenas could not hope to bring down an adult, unless it was injured or sick.

But they would try to take a calf

Sitting behind the wheel of the Jeep, Makena, her assistant, said, "You want to move closer?"

"No, this is fine."

In fact, it was more than fine. Their jeep was on a slight rise and they had a better-than-average view. With any luck, she would record the entire attack pattern. She turned on the video camera, mounted on a tripod five feet above her head, and dictated rapidly into the tape recorder.

"Fl south, F2 and F5 flanking, twenty yards. F3 center. F6 circling wide cast. Can't see F7. F8 circling north. Fl straight through. Disrupting. Herd moving, stamping. There's F7. Straight through. F8 angling through from the north. Coming out, circling again."

This was classic hyena behavior. The lead animals ran through the herd, while others circled it, then came in from the sides. The buffalo couldn't keep track of their attackers. She listened to the herd bellowing, even as the group panicked, broke its tight clustered formation. The big animals moved apart, turning, looking. Harding couldn't see the calves; they were below the grass. But she could hear their plaintive cries.

Now the hyenas came back. The buffalo stamped their feet, lowered their big heads menacingly. The grass rippled as the hyenas circled, yelping and barking, the sounds more staccato. She caught a brief glimpse of female F8, her jaws already red. But Harding hadn't seen the actual attack.

The buffalo herd moved a short distance to the east, where it regrouped. One female buffalo now stood apart from the herd. She bellowed continuously at the hyenas. They must have taken her calf

Harding felt frustrated. It had happened so swiftly - too swiftly - which could only mean that the hyenas had been lucky, or the calf was injured. Or perhaps very young, even newborn; a few of the buffalo were still calving. She would have to review the videotape, to try and reconstruct what had happened. The perils of studying fast-moving nocturnal animals, she thought.

But there was no question they had taken an animal. All the hyenas were clustered around a single area of grass; they yelped and jumped. She saw F3, and then F5, their muzzles bloody. Now the pups came lip, squealing to get at the kill. The adults immediately made room for them, helped them to eat. Sometimes they pulled away flesh from the carcass, and held it so the young ones could eat.

Their behavior was familiar to Sarah Harding, who had become in recent years the foremost expert on hyenas in the world. When she first reported her findings, she was greeted with disbelief and even outrage from colleagues, who disputed her results in very personal terms. She was attacked for being a woman, for being attractive, for having "an overbearing feminist perspective." The University reminded her she was on tenure track. Colleagues shook their heads. But Harding had persisted, and slowly, over time, as more data accumulated, her view of hyenas had come to be accepted.

Still, hyenas would never be appealing creatures, she thought, watching them feed. They were ungainly, heads too big and bodies sloping, coats ragged and mottled, gait awkward, vocalizations too reminiscent of an unpleasant laugh. In an increasingly urban world of concrete skyscrapers, wild animals were romanticized, classified as noble or ignoble, heroes or villains. And in this media-driven world, hyenas were simply not photogenic enough to be admirable. Long since cast as the laughing villains of the African plain, they were hardly thought worth a systematic study until Harding had begun her own research.

What she had discovered cast hyenas in a very different light. Brave hunters and attentive parents, they lived in a remarkably complex social structure - and a matriarchy as well. As for their notorious yelping vocalizations, they actually represented an extremely sophisticated form of communication.

She heard a roar, and through her night-vision goggles saw the first of the lions approaching the kill. It was a large female, circling closer. The hyenas barked and snapped at the lioness, guiding their own pups off into the grass. Within a few moments, other lions appeared, and settled down to feed on the hyenas' kill.

Now, lions, she thought. There was a truly nasty animal. Although called the king of beasts, lions in truth were actually vile and -

The phone rang.

"Makena," she said.

The phone rang again. Who could be calling her now?

She frowned. Through the goggles, she saw the lionesses look up, heads turning in the night.

Makena was fumbling beneath the dashboard, looking for the phone, It rang three more times before he found it.

She heard him say, "Jambo, mzee." Yes, Dr. Harding is here." He handed the phone up to her. "It's Dr. Thorne."

Reluctantly, she removed her night goggles, and took the phone. She knew Thorne well; he had designed most of the equipment in her Jeep. "Doc, this better be important."

"It is," Thorne said. "I'm calling about Richard."

"What about him?" She caught his concern, but didn't understand why. Lately, Levine had been a pain in the neck, telephoning her almost daily from California, picking her brains about field work with animals. He had lots of questions about hides, and blinds, data protocols, record-keeping, it went on and on....

"Did he ever tell you what he intended to study?" Thorne asked.

"No," she said. "Why?"

"Nothing at all?"

"No," Harding said. "He was very secretive. But I gathered he'd located an animal population that he could use to make some point about biological systems. You know how obsessive he is. Why?"

"Well, he's missing, Sarah. Malcolm and I think he's in some kind of trouble. We've located him on an island in Costa Rica, and we're going to get him now."

"Now?" she said.

"Tonight. We're flying to San Jose in a few hours. Ian's going with me. We want you to come, too."

"Doc," she said. "Even if I took a flight out of Seronera tomorrow morning to Nairobi, it'd take me almost a day to get there. And that's if I got lucky. I mean - "

"You decide," Thorne said, interrupting. "I'll give you the details, and you decide what you want to do."

He gave her the information, and she wrote it on the notepad strapped to her wrist. Then Thorne rang off.

She stood staring out at the African night, feeling the cool breeze on her face. Off in the darkness, she heard the growl of the lions at the kill. Her work was here. Her life was here.

Makena said, "Dr. Harding? What do we do?"

"Go back," she said. "I have to pack."

"You're leaving?"

"Yes," she said. "I'm leaving."


Thorne drove to the airport, the lights of San Francisco disappearing behind them. Malcolm sat in the passenger seat. He looked back at the Explorer driving behind them and said, "Does Eddie know what this is all about?"

"Yes," Thorne said. "But I'm not sure he believes it."

"And the kids don't know?"

"No," Thorne said.

There was a beeping alongside him. Thorne pulled out his little black Envoy, a radio pager. A light was flashing. He flipped up the screen, and handed it to Malcolm. "Read it for me."

"It's from Arby," Malcolm said. "Says, 'Have a good trip. If you want us, call. We'll be standing by if you need our help.' And he gives his phone number."

Thorne laughed. "You got to love those kids. They never give up. Then he frowned, as a thought occurred to him. "What's the time on that message?"

"Four minutes ago," Malcolm said. "Came in via netcom."

"Okay. Just checking."

They turned right, toward the airport. They saw the lights in the distance. Malcolm stared forward gloomily. "It's very unwise for us to be rushing off like this. It's not the right way to go about it."

Thorne said, "We should be all right. As long as we have the right island."

"We do," Malcolm said.

"How do you know?"

"The most important clue was something I didn't want the kids to know about. A few days ago, Levine saw the carcass of one of the animals."


"Yes. He had a chance to look at it, before the officials burned it. And he discovered that it was tagged. He cut the tag off and sent it to me."

"Tagged? You mean like - "

"Yes. Like a biological specimen. The tag was old, and it showed pitting from sulfuric acid."

"Must be volcanic," Thorne said.


"And you say it was an old tag?"

"Several years," Malcolm said. "But the most interesting finding was the way the animal died. Levine concluded the animal had been injured while it was still alive - a deep slashing cut in the leg that went right down to the bone."

Thorne said, "You're saying the animal was injured by another dinosaur.

"Yes. Exactly.

They drove a moment in silence. "Who else besides us knows about this island?"

"I don't know," Malcolm said. "But somebody's trying to find out. My office was broken into today, and photographed."

"Great." Thorne sighed. "But you didn't know where the island was, did you?"

"No. I hadn't put it together yet."

"Do you think anybody else has?"

"No," Malcolm said. "We re on our own."


Lewis Dodgson threw open the door marked ANIMAL QUARTERS, and immediately all the dogs began barking. Dodgson walked down the corridor between the rows of cages, stacked ten feet high on both sides. The building was large; the Biosyn Corporation of Cupertino, California, required an extensive animal-testing facility.

Walking alongside him, Rossiter, the head of the company, gloomily brushed the lapels of his Italian suit. "I hate this fucking place," he said. "Why did you want me to come here?"

"Because," Dodgson said. "We need to talk about the future."

"Stinks in here," Rossiter said. He glanced at his watch. "Get on with it, Lew."

"We can talk in here." Dodgson led him to a glass-walled superintendent's booth, in the center of the building. The glass cut down the sound of the barking. But through the windows, thev could look out at the rows of animals.

"It's simple," Dodgson said, starting to pace, "But I think it's important."

Lewis Dodgson was forty-five years old, bland-faced and balding. His features were youthful, and his manner was mild. But appearances were deceiving - the baby-faced Dodgson was one of the most ruthless and aggressive geneticists of his generation. Controversy had dogged his career: as a graduate student at Hopkins, he had been dismissed for planning human gene therapy without FDA permission. Later, after joining Biosyn, he had conducted a controversial rabies-vaccine test in Chile - the illiterate farmers who were the subjects were never informed they were being tested.

In each case, Dodgson explained that he was a scientist in a hurry, and could not be held back by regulations drawn up for lesser souls. He called himself "results-oriented," which really meant he did whatever he considered necessary to achieve his goal. He was also a tireless self-promoter. Within the company, Dodgson presented himself as a researcher, even though he lacked the ability to do original research, and had never done any. His intellect was fundamentally derivative; he never conceived of anything until someone else had thought of it first.

He was very good at "developing" research, which meant stealing someone else's work at an early stage. In this, he was without scruple and without peer. For many years he had run the reverse-engineering section at Biosyn, which in theory examined competitors' products and determined how they were made. But in practice, "reverse engineering" involved a great deal of industrial espionage.

Rossiter, of course, had no illusions about Dodgson. He disliked him, and avoided him as much as possible. Dodgson was always taking chances, cutting corners; he made Rossiter uneasy. But Rossiter also knew that modern biotechnology was highly competitive. To stay competitive, every company needed a man like Dodgson. And Dodgson was very good at what he did.

"I'll come right to the pint," Dodgson said, turning to Rossiter. "If we act quickly, I believe we have an opportunity to acquire the InGen technology."

Rossiter sighed. "Not again...."

"I know, Jeff. I know how you feel. I admit, there is some history here."

"History? The only history is you failed - time and again. We've tried this, back door and front door. Hell, we even tried to buy the company when it was in Chapter 11, because you told us it would be available. But it turned out it wasn't. The Japanese wouldn't sell."

"I understand, Jeff. But let's not forget - "

"What I can't forget," Rossiter said, "is that we paid seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars to your friend Nedry, and have nothing to show for it."

"But Jeff - "

"Then we paid five hundred thousand to that Dai-Ichl marriage broker. Nothing to show for that, either. Our attempts to acquire InGen technology have been a complete fucking failure. That's what I can't forget."

"But the point," Dodgson said, "is that we kept trying for a good reason. This technology is vital to the future of the company."

"So you say."

"The world is changing, Jeff. I'm talking about solving one of the major problems this company faces in the twenty-first century."

"Which is?"

Dodgson pointed out the window, at the barking dogs. "Animal testing. Let's face it, Jeff. every year, we get more pressure not to use animals for testing and research. Every year, more demonstrations, more break-ins, more bad press. First it was just simple-minded zealots and Hollywood celebrities. But now it's a bandwagon: even university philosophers are beginning to argue that it's unethical for monkeys, and dogs, and even rats to be subjected to the indignities of laboratory research. We've even had some protests about our 'exploitation' of squid, even though they're on dinner tables all over the world. I'm telling you, Jeff, there's no end to this trend. Eventually, somebody's going to say we can't even exploit bacteria to make genetic products."

" Oh, come on."

"Just wait. It'll happen. And it'll shut us down. Unless we have a genuinely created animal. Consider - an animal that is extinct, and is brought back to life, is for all practical purposes not an animal at all. It can't have any rights. It's already extinct. So if it exists, it can only be something we have made. We made it, we patent it, we own it. And it is a perfect research testbed. And we believe that the enzyme and hormoiie systems of dinosaurs are identical to mammalian systems. In the future, drugs can be tested on small dinosaurs as successfully as they are now tested on dogs and rats-with much less risk of legal challenge."

Rossiter was shaking his head. "You think."

"I know. They're basically big lizards, Jeff. And nobody loves a lizard. They're not like these cute doggies that lick your hand and break your heart. Lizards have no personality. They're snakes with legs."

Rossiter sighed.

"Jeff. We're talking about real freedom, here. Because, at the moment, everything to do with living animals is tied up in legal and moral knots. Big-game hunters can't shoot a lion or an elephant - the same animals their fathers and grandfathers used to shoot, and then pose proudly for a photo. Now there are forms, licenses, expenses - and plenty of guilt. These days, you don't dare shoot a tiger and admit it afterward. In the modern world, it's a much more serious transgression to shoot a tiger than to shoot your parents. Tigers have advocates. But now imagine: a specially stocked hunting preserve, maybe somewhere in Asia, where individuals of wealth and importance could hunt tyrannosaurs and triceratops in a natural setting. It would be an incredibly desirable attraction. How many hunters have a stuffed elk head on their wall? The world's full of them. But how many can claim to have a snarling tyranosaurus head, hanging above the wet bar?"

"You're not serious."

"I'm trying to make a point here, Jeff: these animals are totally exploitable. We can do anything we want with them."

Rossiter stood up from the table, put his hands in his pockets. He sighed, then looked up at Dodgson.

"The animals still exist?"

Dodgson nodded slowly.

"And you know where they are?"

Dodgson nodded.

"Okay," Rossiter said. "Do it."

He turned toward the door, then paused, looked back. "But, Lew," he said. "Let's be clear. This is it. This is absolutely the last time. Either you get the animals now, or it's over. This is the last time. Got it?"

"Don't worry," Dodgson said. "This time, I'll get them."


"In the intermediate phase, swiftly developing complexity

within the system hides the risk of imminent chaos. But the risk is there."


Costa Rica

There was a drenching downpour in Puerto Cortes. Rain drummed on the roof of the little metal shed beside the airfield. Dripping wet, Thorne stood and waited while the Costa Rican official went over the papers, again and again. Rodr¨ªguez was his name, and he was just a kid in his twenties, wearing an ill-fitting uniform, terrified of making a mistake.

Thorne looked out at the runway, where, in the soft dawn light, the cargo containers were being clamped to the bellies of two big Huey helicopters. Eddie Carr was out there in the rain with Malcolm, shouting as the workmen secured the clamps.

Rodr¨ªguez shuffled the papers. "Now, Se?or Thorne, according to this, your destination is Isla Sorna..."

"That's right."

"And your containers have only vehicles?"

"Yes, that's right. Research vehicles."

"Sorna is a primitive place. There is no petrol, no supplies, not even any roads to speak of...."

"Have you been there'?"

"Myself, no. People here have no interest in this island. It is a wild spot, rock and jungle. And there is no place for a boat to land, except in very special weather conditions. For example, today one cannot go there.

"I understand," Thorne said.

"I just wish that you will be prepared," Rodr¨ªguez said, "for the difficulties you will find there.

"I think we're prepared."

"You are taking adequate petrol for your vehicles?"

"Thorne sighed. Why bother to explain? "Yes, we are."

"And there are just three of you, Dr. Malcolm, yourself, and your assistant, Se?or Carr?"


"And your intended stay is less than one week?"

"That's correct. More like two days: with anv luck, we expect to be off the island sometime tomorrow."

Rodr¨ªguez shuffled the papers again, as if looking for a hidden cule. "Well..."

"Is there a problem?" Thorne said, glancing at his watch.

"No problem, se?or. Your permits are signed by the Director General of the Biological Preserves. They are in order.... " Rodr¨ªguez hesitated. "But it is very unusual, that such a permit would be granted at all."

"Why is that?"

"I do not know the details, but there was some trouble on one of the islands a few years ago, and since then the Department of Biological Preserves has closed all the Pacific islands to tourists."

"We're not tourists," Thorne said.

"I understand that, Se?or Thorne." More shuffling of papers.

Thorne waited.

Out on the runway, the container clamps locked in place, and the containers lifted off the ground.

"Very well, Se?or Thorne," Rodr¨ªguez said finally, stamping the papers. "I wish you good luck."

"Thank you," Thorne said. He tucked the papers in his pocket, ducked his head against the rain, and ran back out on the runway.

Three miles offshore, the helicopters broke through the coastal cloud layer, into early-morning sunlight. From the cockpit of the lead Huey, Thorne could look up and down the coast. He saw five islands at various distances offshore - harsh rocky pinnacles, rising out of rough blue sea. The islands were each several miles apart, undoubtedly part of an old volcanic chain.

He pressed the speaker button. "Which is Sorna?"

The pilot pointed ahead. "We call them the Five Deaths," he said. "Isla Muerte, Isla Matanceros, Isla Pena, Isla Taca?o, and Isla Sorna, which is the big one farthest north,"

"Have you been there?"

"Never, se?or. But I believe there will be a landing site."

"How do you know?"

"Some years ago, there were some flights there. I have heard the Americans would come, and fly there, sometimes."

"Not Germans?"

"No, no. There have been no Germans since...I do not know. The World War. They were Americans that came."

"When was that?"

"I am not sure. Perhaps ten years ago."

The helicopter turned north, passing over the nearest island. Thorne glimpsed rugged, volcanic terrain, overgrown with dense jungle. There was no sign of life, or of human habitation.

"To the local people, these islands are not happy places," the pilot said. "They say, no good comes from here." He smiled. "But they do not know. They are superstitious Indians."

Now they were over open water, with Isla Sorna directly ahead. It was clearly an old volcanic crater: bare, reddish-gray rock walls, an eroded cone.

"Where do the boats land?"

The pilot pointed to where the sea surged and crashed against the cliffs. "On the east side of this island, there are many caves, made by the waves. Some of the local people call this Isla Gemido. It means 'groan', from the sound of the waves inside the caves. Some of the caves go all the way through to the interior, and a boat can pass through at certain times. But not in weather as you see it now."

Thorne thought of Sarah Harding. If she was coming, she would land later today. "I have a colleague who may be arriving this afternoon said. "Can you bring her out?"

"I am sorry the pilot said. "We have a job in Golfo Juan. We will not be back until tonight."

"What can she do?"

The pilot squinted at the sea, "Perhaps she can come by boat. The sea changes by the hour. She might have luck."

"And you will come back for us tomorrow?"

"Yes, Se?or Thorne. We will come in the early morning. It is the best time, for the winds."

The helicopter approached from the west, rising several hundred feet, moving over the rocky cliffs to reveal the interior of Isla Gemido. It appeared just like the others: volcanic ridges and ravines, heavily overgrown with dense jungle. It was beautiful from the air, but Thorne knew it would be dauntingly difficult to move through that terrain. He stared down, looking for roads.

The helicopter thumped lower, circling the central area of the island. Thorne saw no buildings, no roads. The helicopter descended toward the jungle. The pilot said, "Because of the cliffs, the winds here are very bad. Many gusts and updrafts. There is only one place on the island where it is safe to land." He peered out the window. "Ah. Yes. There."

Thorne saw an open clearing, overgrown with tall grass.

"We land there," the pilot said.

Isla Sorna

Eddie Carr stood in the tail grass of the clearing, turned away from the flying dust as the two helicopters lifted off the ground and rose into the sky. In a few moments they were small specks, their sound fading. Eddie shaded his eyes as he looked upward. In a forlorn voice he said, "When're they coming back?"

"Tomorrow morning," Thorne said. "We'll have found Levine by then."

"At least, we'd better," Malcolm said.

And then the helicopters were gone, disappearing over the high rim of the crater. Carr stood with Thorne and Malcolm in the clearing, enveloped in morning heat, and deep silence on the island.

"Kind of creepy here," Eddie said, pulling his baseball cap down lower over his eyes.

Eddie Carr was twenty-four years old, raised in Daly City. Physically, he was dark-haired, compact and strong. His body was thick, the muscles bunched, but his hands were elegant, the fingers long and tapered. Eddie had a talent - Thorne would have said, a genius - for mechanical things. Eddie could build anything, and fix anything. He could see how things worked, just by looking at them. Thorne had hired him three years earlier, his first job out of community college. It was supposed to be a temporary job, earning money so he could go back to school and get an advanced degree. But Thorne had long since become dependent on Eddie. And Eddie, for his part, wasn't much interested in going back to the books.

At the same time, he hadn't counted on anything like this, he thought, looking around him at the clearing. Eddie was an urban kid, accustomed to the action of the city, the honk of horns and the rush of traffic. This desolate silence made him uneasy.

"Come on," Thorne said, putting a hand on his shoulder, "let's get started." They turned to the cargo containers, left by the helicopter. They were sitting a few yards away, in the tall grass.

"Can I help?" Malcolm said, a few yards away.

"If you don't mind, no," Eddie said. "We'd better unpack these ourselves."

They spent half an hour unbolting the rear panels, lowering them to the ground, and entering the containers. After that, they took only a few minutes to release the vehicles. Eddie got behind the wheel of the Explorer and flicked on the ignition. There was hardly any sound, just a soft whirr of the vacuum pump starting up. Thorne said, "How's your charge?"

"Full," Eddie said.

"Batteries okay?"

"Yeah. Seem fine."

Eddie was relieved. He had supervised the conversion of these vehicles to electric power, but it was a rush job, and they hadn't had time to test them thoroughly afterward. And though it was true that electric cars employed less complex technology than the internal-combustion engine-that chugging relic of the nineteenth century - Eddie knew that taking untested equipment into the field was always risky.

Especially when that equipment also used the latest technology. That fact troubled Eddie more than he was willing to admit. Like most born mechanics, he was deeply conservative. He liked things to work - work, no matter what - and to him that meant using established, proven technology. Unfortunately, he had been voted down this time.

Eddie had two particular areas of concern. One was the black photovoltaic panels, with their rows of octagonal silicon wafers, mounted on the roof and hood of the vehicles. These panels were efficient, and much less fragile than the old photovoltaics. Eddie had mounted them with special vibration-damping units of his own design. But the fact remained, if the panels were injured in any way, they would no longer be able to charge the vehicles, or run the electronics. All their systems would stop dead.

His other concern was the batteries themselves. Thorne had selected the new lithium-ion batteries from Nissan, which were extremely efficient on a weight basis. But they were still experimental, which to Eddie was just a polite word for "unreliable."

Eddie had argued for backups; he had argued for a little gasoline generator, just in case; he had argued for lots of things. And he had always been voted down. Under the circumstances, Eddie did the only sensible thing: he built in a few extras, and didn't tell anybody about it.

He was pretty sure Thorne knew he had done that. But Thorne never said anything. And Eddie never brought it up. But now that he was here, on this island in the middle of nowhere, he was glad he had. Because the fact was, you never knew.

Thorne watched as Eddie backed the Explorer out of the container, and into the high grass. Eddie left the car in the middle of the clearing, where the sunlight would strike the panels and top up the charge.

Thorne got behind the wheel of the first trailer, and backed it out. It was odd to drive a vehicle which was so quiet; the loudest sound was the tires on the metal container. And once it was on the grass, there was hardly any sound at all. Thorne climbed out, and linked up the two trailers, locking them together with the flexible steel accordion connector.

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