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CORELINE: REGULAR DINOSAUR PARK (Story One).

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Published: June 23, 2015
CORELINE: REGULAR DINOSAUR PARK

STORY ONE: "STATE-OF-THE-ART BANG-BANG".



---((()))---


"Reptiles are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale color, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation, and terrible venom; wherefore their Creator has not exerted his powers to make many of them."
-Linnaeus, 1797.

"Well, the world has changed so radically, and we're all running to catch up. I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but look: Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by sixty-five million years of evolution, have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the *slightest* idea what to expect?"-Dr. Alan Grant, 1993.


---((()))---

+STARBUCKS CAFE, MAIN STREET.
+JURASSIC PARK, ISLA NUBLAR, COSTA RICA (120 MILES OFF WEST COAST).
+TUESDAY, 7:10 A.M.

---

The morning air was humid, hot, and carried a thick mist with it that reduced visibility but did little to stem the already-incessant sun. She knew for a fact that rains would pour in the afternoon, with the strength of a monsoon.

Typical winter in Costa Rica, really.

Sitting on one of the cafe's booths, she kept alternating between reading the book she had brought along and looking out the window at the awakening park, with the businesses moving their displays of rain gear into position to satisfy the upcoming demand and janitors performing a final sweep before the opening hour.

She sipped her latte, tasting it. It was pretty good stuff-some blend brought from Costa Rica and mixed with a couple of herbs local to the island, called the "Jurassic Delicacy". Expensive as hell, though-and not just because it was sold inside of a park. She made a mental note to remember the chemical composition and try to replicate it later.

She had nothing but admiration for the people running this park, being honest. Running parks was hard work, but something that had once been a bunch of words in a book and then.... what, four movies (as far as she knew) and a truck-load of other merchandise?.... all of which liked to harp on about how deadly and uncontrollable the place was, certainly was more worthy of respect. Five years running, with little incident.

Jurassic Park was real. The Muertes Archipielago was real (five islands then, six islands now counting Nublar). And very single island was packed full of dinosaurs. Same as the Savage Land, Skull Island, the Lost World down on the Amazon Basin... Kaiju Island over by Japan... pretty much all of Venus...

Dinosaurs aside, all of those places had one thing in common: they were astonishingly lethal to humans. There was no exception.

Over here, sure, they had advanced security measures, top-notch design and damn good trainers (both "old-school animal whisperer" good and "communicate with animals/psionically link with animals" good), but it was impossible to completely prevent a dinosaur rampage. And if an idiot pissing off a bronto... sorry, APATO-saurus... or trying to play matador with a Triceratops because of stupidity didn't do the trick; some asshole biding his time, wanting to celebrate the anniversaries of the "Nublar Incidents" by re-enacting the whole mess to make some kind of demented point, sure as shit did.

Chaos theory, entropy, Hanlon's Razor, call it whatever you wanted it-the writing was on the wall. Matter of time, really, and people like Malcolm had filled enough books with calculations explaining that it would happen to kill a forest.

It was a race-or maybe even a war, plain and simple. A war between the men who constantly upgraded security measures and the vile, stupid assholes who searched for ways to violate them (to not mention the monsters who wanted to destroy); with the lives of thousands of innocents on the line.

Thus the reason for her being here today. She had been contacted and given an assignment: provide weapons to Jurassic Park, lethals and non-lethals, for security purposes. Those who hired her had made it very specific that no expense would be spared on this endeavor.

She was pretty sure that the end results would be up to the satisfaction of her client.

((()))

It was 7:30, and she was on her third cup when she saw the woman.

Everything about her screamed "Corporate" (probably a higher-up, although she was not completely sure): The tailored white clothes with the cape-like shawl and the knee-length skirt, the Gucci high-heels, the Seiko watch that she knew included a holographic interface and made her wonder why the woman was staring into the Stark Industries tablet, before dismissing her as old-fashioned or maybe just unused to the watch's capabilities.

Red hair cut into a professional shoulder-length bob-cut, nice blue eyes, nice skin color, cosmetics about as expensive as the tablet. Focused face. Unmindful of whatever was around her.

/Yeah./, she thought./Typical Corporate./

She noticed the Corporate looking up from the tablet for a second as she passed the Starbucks... and skid to a complete stop, almost twisting her ankles on those shoes. She winced in response as the Corporate regained her balance, looked at her, looked at the tablet's display, then back at her. She forced down a desire to wave at the Corporate-guessing that it would probably look in bad taste.

A flash of anger (or exasperation, it was hard to tell) passed the Corporate's face for a second before she composed herself and walked into the Starbucks.

"Doctor Washu Hakubi?", said the red-head, extending her hand.

"I personally prefer 'Professor', but it's kind of a bad habit.", said Hakubi, shaking her hand. "And you are...?"

"Claire Dearing. I am Operations Manager for Jurassic Park."

Washu noted that Dearing had hesitated for a split-second there, almost said a "W" before going for "Park". Washu filed it away, just in case.

"I was told that you would arrive to the Park at eight-o'-clock sharp.", said Dearing.

"I got a little impulsive. Sorry about that-I wasn't sure how the visitors would react to someone teleporting in.", Washu took another sip of her latte before adding: "If you are interested, I could sell you some teleport blockers. It wouldn't be a good thing if some poacher gets smart and tries to beam the animals out of the park or, you know, beams in to steal stuff."

"I'll make a note of that.", said Dearing. "You are here to demonstrate your options for asset containment?"

Washu nodded. "As requested. You wanted state-of-the-art bang-bang, you *get* state-of-the-art bang-bang." She drank the last of her latte. "I guess that we'll have this meeting on your offices?"

"They're on our Operations Center.", Dearing said, handing Washu a clip-on ID badge with a bright red "VISITOR-VIP" stenciled on it. "If you could please clip this on? It'll grant you access to all of our areas within the Center."

Washu marked the page on her book and closed it, followed by clipping on the badge. She looked up from her act to notice that Dearing had a bit of a haunted look on her face, looking at the book's cover.

The cover showcased a pretty good drawing of a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, not unlike the one on the logo of the Park, running after a man while surrounded by explosions and various other dinosaur skeletons on the rampage. The title, in large red stylized letters which included some claw mark damage, said:

"HOW TO SURVIVE A DINOSAUR ATTACK:
Tips On How To Defend Yourself Against Prehistoric Menaces.
-DR. ALAN GRANT."

"Oh. Just something to see while I was waiting.", said Washu. "I hope it wasn't in bad taste."

Dearing shook her head slightly. The haunted look was wearing off at a rapid pace.

"It's more of a suggestion book on what to do in case of emergencies, you know, like that book Wilson did on robots and Brooks' book on zombies. A lot of it is notes on dinosaur behavior, with a focus on how they react to humans."

Dearing blinked twice and finally composed herself. Washu had been around Live-Action fictions long enough to know a PTSD reaction when she saw one.

"Bad experience?", said Washu. She decided not to elaborate on it-best not to piss off her employers. Not THIS early and not THIS needlessly.

"I'm working on it.", said Dearing, and added: "Just one question: does he makes any disparaging remarks about the Park in that book?"

"Not really.", said Washu. "Either the Alternate that wrote this didn't went through that mess or he is seriously holding back."

Dearing nodded her approval. "You signed the non-disclosure agreements, of course?'

"And the Mutual Confidentiality Agreement, and the "Button Lip" Agreement, and the "Pinkie Promise" Agreement, and the Non-Liability Agreement for Loss of Life And Injury in case of Dinosaur Attack... that latter one was pretty iron-clad, by the way.", said Washu. "Signed, noted, dated and DNA-marked, as requested."

She handed Dearing the hefty bundle of documents, pulled out of the book bag lying on top of the table. The redhead took them and said:

"Follow me, please."


((()))


Dearing led Washu to an SUV parked just off Main Street: a new-model Mercedes Benz, painted silver, full extras package including touch-screen control panel, leather seats and night-vision FLIR.

Washu thought that it was cute, but it lacked something. It was a high-priced executive's toy, not a transport that could potentially have to deal with a dinosaur trying to crack it like a metallic peanut. In her mind, she envisioned plans for some concealed heavy armor, an engine overhaul and taser plating on the sides and top. Probably additional sensors to detect incoming threats and help driving in no-visibility situations...

Washu decided to file the ideas away to pitch to Dearing. Probably give her a nice discount, too, as a first-time customer. Or trade it for a couple of tickets, whatever sounded better at the time.

The drive towards the Operations Center took them through a small road concealed by ferns and trees, which went up the hills of the island. The tropical mist and the sun gave it all a "primeval" feeling. Washy mentally applauded the engineers who worked on the park's looks.

"So how many tourists come here?", asked Washu.

"On a slow day, we've had twenty thousand tourists arriving, with an average of ninety thousand on a high day. Our market is mostly eco-tourists and the "daredevil" group."

"That's a lot of people.", said Washu.

"Still a lot less that we'd like."

"Well, it's a park on an island on Central America, far away from the regular path, catering to a very distinct crowd...", said Washu, and wincing internally at how it was starting to sound, she added: "I have to say that I congratulate the high quality of what I've seen of the compound so far. I've seen my fair share of parks, and this one is superb."

"Well, thank you.", said Dearing. "We're pretty proud of our work, here."

'We're pretty proud of our (continuing?) work (on improving?) Jurassic Park'. Just a few words away from the typical Corporate party line, although Washu noted the true pride within the words. Washu knew that by heart-more than once she had been the one talking, saying a practiced spiel to keep the customers calm, sometimes feeling the words, sometimes not.

The Operations Center appeared on the top of the hill from amongst the fog, a two or three-story structure (Washu wasn't quite sure), drab gray with thick concrete walls, roughly looking like a forecastle. The Center had a nice view of the Park compound, and Washu entertained herself by imagining a brief snippet of the "Jurassic Park" theme.

"Nice place you have here.", said Washu as the Mercedes came to a stop on a reserved spot. "Good architecture."

"The inside is nicer.", said Dearing, leading Washu to the Center's entrance. "This way."

Both women showed heir badges to the security guard and went to the top floor. The elevator opened and Washu could see, beyond an automated glass door, what was most obviously the Park's control room-with gigantic monitors covering an entire wall, showing a map of the Park and shifting views of various cameras throughout the compound, while people moved to and from, working on stations and talking away on headsets.

Washu imagined improvements on the room that could pitch to her employers later: hyper-high-resolution holographic displays, upgrades to the computers, additional automation on non-essential functions, maybe total cyberlink integration. Man jacked to machine certainly would make for faster management reactions, Washu thought.

It was certainly worth TRYING to pitch, at least.

Dearing led Washu to a conference room, looked at her and said:

"The rest should arrive soon. We have been pretty busy lately, doing some renewals to the park. Mr. Masrani wanted to oversee the operation himself."

"Renewals?", asked Washu.

"We are moving the Hammond Innovation Laboratory and all of its equipment to the old Visitor Center.", said Dearing. "We've been working on updating the buildings on the northern side of the island for some time now."

Washu hummed affirmatively. "Ok... sounds interesting. New attractions?"

"Probably. For now, our aim is to increase the efficiency of the Lab and our dinosaur breeding programs. We will see about making it accessible to the public in the future, if things work right.", said Dearing.

It was silent for a while, with only the whisper-like hum of the air conditioned units someplace overhead to accompany them.

"Would you want some coffee, Professor Hakubi?", said Dearing, finally breaking the silence.

Being honest, the latte's buzz had a long way to go before it faded, but Washu decided it was best to humor her.

"Black, no sugar, please.", said Washu.

Dearing left the room, and Washu looked around, finally standing up from her seat and stretching her arms and then her fingers, like some experienced pianist about to play.

"OK, need to get ready..."


((()))


Dearing got out of the conference room and walked to the Operations Center's little break room, serving a pair of coffees in large porcelain mugs with the Jurassic World logo on them.

/"Park."/ thought Dearing. /It's back to "Park" now. Seven-point-five million votes on Internet polls, to not mention 65% of employees polled all over Masrani Global and 77% of our stockholders preferred "Park". Remember that, Claire./

She put extra cream and sweetener on her coffee and downed it in a single gulp, allowing the buzz of the caffeine to calm her a little. She knew that it was nothing more than a placebo effect, but it helped her nonetheless.

Five years on this job, after appearing on this planet, after being given a second chance at running this park after the fiasco that many people called "The Second Nublar Incident", and she still occasionally froze up.

Post-Traumatic Stress. It's all that it was. The therapy did wonders for her, although she still was struggling to find the bravery to go through something more advanced, like psychosurgery.

She was not sure she would be able to look Owen in the eye if he found out that she wanted to literally cut the trauma out of her brain, no matter how much information she had about the procedure being safe, especially at the hands of people like Doctor Clark Savage up in New York...

The rumble of approaching helicopter blades shook Dearing out of her stupor and she put Hakubi's cup on a carrier, where it would stay warm, before walking to the helicopter pad.

The helicopter pad was battered by the winds churned up by the propellers of the blue-and-white Eurocopter, I.D. number "JP001".

The helicopter settled down with a slightly shaky landing and the pilot shut down the engine. Both the pilot and the passenger's doors opened when the propeller fully stopped, and out came the two men within.

"Miss Dearing!", said the passenger, with a slight Scottish accent. "So nice to see you this morning!"

"Mr. Hammond.", said Dearing, as the little man limped towards her, his hand firmly grasping his amber-tipped cane. Dressed all in white, as was usual of him on the warm Costa Rican climate, hat fit snugly on the stud on the top of his head.

Hammond was a LEGO Fiction, a living mini-figure about the size of a child, reaching slightly over Dearing's waist. Aside from this, the Alternate of Doctor John Parker Hammond was a perfect replica of the Hammond that Dearing had known, a kind man up to the end. It had taken her the better part of her first two years to get used to him, but his friendliness helped a lot.

"Claire!" said the pilot, a large grin on his face. "Good morning!"

"Mr. Masrani." said Dearing, then corrected herself with: "Simon. How was the flight?"

"Amazing as usual. The work on the northern compounds is going faster that we expected."

Simon Masrani. CEO of Masrani Global, the Mega-Corporation running International Genetic Technologies, Incorporated and Jurassic Park, amongst other enterprises. An Indian man, middle-aged, dressed impeccably (yet casually), with a neatly-trimmed beard. The man oozed friendliness, just like Hammond.

(And the memory of his helicopter smashing through the dome of the Aviary and crashing into a fiery hell because of that THING kept haunting her dreams. She could recall the lessons on the concepts of alternate dimensions and Alternates of people, on the concept of being a so-called "Fiction", casually given to her by this guy Quill-Grady and yet still NOT Grady-as if it was yesterday. Lessons which had been mandatory after fainting once she saw Masrani (alive again? To her, yes, but to HIM....)).

"That is good to know, sir." said Dearing.

"So... has our guest arrived? Miss... Hakubi, was it?" asked Masrani.

"Yes, sir. She is in the conference room right now." said Dearing.

Hammond pulled out a watch from a breast pocket and looked at it. "Pretty timely arrival, I must say. Did she used a helicopter?"

"Well, that's the thing. She arrived BEFORE the park opened. I found her within our Starbucks, and she said she...." Dearing found herself disbelieving that she would have to say the following words seriously: "...teleported here."

Much to her internal annoyance (not that she would EVER say it), neither man looked more than a little surprised.

"Did she... made any comments about that?", asked Hammond.

"She mentioned that she could sell us some teleportation blockers, and made a couple of good points on how having them would prevent a security breach." said Dearing.

"Oh, good. Good!" said Masrani. "Let's not keep Miss Hakubi waiting, then."

Dearing thanked her lucky stars that the break room was between the helipad and the conference room, allowing her to fetch Hakubi's mug without breaking stride.

She went into the room first, noticing that the conference table had several long metallic cases on top of it, and Hakubi was working away on a laptop which was plugged to a tiny blue cylinder, a pair of headphones on her ears coming from the laptop.

It took Dearing about a second to note that Hakubi was using an absurdly old-looking laptop (a black clamshell-type) and the "blue cylinder" looked like a model of a Cray supercomputer (if she was even sure she was recalling the documentary she had seen on the Discovery Channel, oh so long ago, correctly).

It took her even less to remember that Hakubi had not carried more than a book bag with her when she had left her alone on the conference room.

Hakubi looked up from her work on the computer and said:

"Oh, hello! Didn't saw you there for a second, sorry. I get too absorbed on my work sometimes." She took off the headphones and stood up.

"It's not a problem, my dear." said Hammond. "We all know how it is at times. The vision tunnels when a discovery is near, don't you think?"

"True." said Hakubi.

"OK..." said Dearing. "Doctor Washu Hakubi, these are Doctor John Hammond, head of InGen, and Simon Masrani, CEO of Masrani Global."

"Oh, please, call me "Professor"! Or "Little Washu", if you want. Been a long time since someone called me that." said Hakubi, shaking their hands. "It's John *Parker* Hammond, right?"

"Well, yes." said Hammond. "Why do you ask?"

"Oh, just that I've heard some bad things about John *Alfred* Hammond." said Washu. "Really, REALLY bad things. Hope you understand."

A dark look crossed Hammond's face as he said: "Yes... I've heard them, too. Such a despicable man, makes me sad when I'm confused with him."

"Yeah.", said Washu.

"Professor Hakubi." said Masrani. "I believe that you wanted to expose to us some new options for asset handling?"


(((())))


"Oh, sure." said Washu.

She walked up to her laptop (a GRID Compass that she has salvaged and then upgraded to the point it only *looked* like a Compass) and pressed a few buttons. The peripheral that the laptop was linked to (a combination holo-computer and hyper-compressed portable hard drive) fired up, showcasing a holographic representation of the island about a foot over the table.

"Normally I would use my regular holo-computer." said Washu. "But I wanted to rest this baby. Bit of a weekend project."

She cleared her throat and continued: "Anycase, Jurassic Park. What *about* Jurassic Park? An island, a veritable stone's throw away from Costa Rica. Part of an island chain that the locals were pretty kind to call "The Six Deaths". Full of tourists-thanks to Miss Dearing here, I now know that you handle somewhere between twenty and ninety thousand souls per day, maybe more... that's a lot of civilians that could be caught on the crossfire, especially because your key market right now is the people crazy enough to willingly walk INTO said crossfire.

Then we have the environmental conditions: tropical island, rainforest, lots of rain during the winter and very hot during the summer-typical jungle warfare situation. The fog which gives the island its name comes and goes constantly throughout the year, and visibility is reduced at the drop of a hat when it forms. The buildings within the compound perimeter, the woods outside, the fog-all of this leads to high chances of close-quarters combat. Most of the buildings on locations like Main Street also have corporate sponsorship which may-MAY-dislike being exposed to unnecessary collateral damage." Washu took a sip of coffee, giving a thankful nod to Dearing.

"We have external threats to deal with: SCALE would gladly kill all of the humans on this island in order to let the "assets" roam free. Team Rocket, Team Magma, Team Aqua and Team Alpha have tried to poach on this island or infiltrate your companies. And there's been reports of Mon trainers trying to capture or battle "assets" because they think that it would be less risky for their asses to take from this island. And there has been no lack of people protesting the park, some of them pretty fanatical-and that way lies someone willing to take "extreme measures"..." Washu took another sip of coffee. "To summarize: Humans Are Bastards, when they are not being idiots."

"And finally, there's an important factor: the "assets", by which we mean the dinosaurs roaming this park. At their smallest, they are a pest. At their biggest, they are living tanks. They ALL can be lethal, especially if you underestimate them and/or piss them off. And Heaven help you if you are on the warpath of the ones who could eat you."

Washu took a moment before continuing: "So you have asked me to provide options for your security teams, for "Asset" containment and, if necessary, termination. You made it explicit that you would spare no expense, and you set no limitations. So with that in mind, I did some acquisitions and made a whole lot of modifications, and I hope the results will be to your satisfaction."


Washu walked up to the metal cases and opened each one of them. They telescoped outward, showing that several of the guns within were incredibly big-some larger than Washu.

"I brought a 'mixed bag' for you guys to check: lethals, non-lethals, ballistic and energy weapons. Any particular type has weaknesses and strengths, so I guess you wanted to avoid crippling overspecialization." said Washu. "This is all high-quality stuff-even the weapons that are closer to factory-standard I tinkered with a little more to enhance their reliability on these conditions."

Washu started by pulling out what looked to the others like a monster gun, with two barrels, one on top of the other, a skeletal butt stock with a hook on it, and a bulbous front.

"Isn't this a lovely thing? One of my first designs. The "Berserker" shotgun-Franchi SPAS-12, highly modified. The action can fire low-power and high-power loads reliably on semi-auto mode, it's magazine-fed, and that second barrel, where the ammo tube should be? Twenty-five millimeter grenade launcher. It's why the pump-action grip looks so bulbous-it's where the reload hatch is." said Washu. "I thought it would be nice, in a 'memory lane' way. Did you know that the first "Jurassic Park" movie, alongside the first "Terminator" film, cemented the SPAS-12's popularity in pop-culture?"

Washu placed the gun on the table and pulled out another shotgun.

"This lady you already know. You've been fielding it for a while with your Asset Containment Unit-the UTAS UTS-15 12-gauge shotgun. This is the Generation Five variant-bull-pup magazine feed, still has the same lines except for the slightly-longer and wider stock. The magazine holds 16 shells, which are independently stacked within and you can select which stack to shoot from, so it doesn't loses the flexibility of the original design. Put different loads on each stack, you have 8 shots of each to raise hell with. I also have some ammo drums available for this thing."

Washu put the shotgun next to the Berserker and pulled out a third one. This one was even more cartoonishly big in her petite hands, with a wider barrel.

"Now this one... this one is a real beauty. The Pan-African National Armory M-90A2 shotgun, packing an 8-gauge Magnum shell. Used to be a time where 8-gauges were almost extinct, you know? Way too powerful be used against living beings." Washu chuckled. "Times have certainly changed.

Now, THIS shotgun is the newest model by PANA, a refinement of the better things of its previous models. Attachment points under, on the sides, and over the barrel. Ammo tube's over the barrel, with a maximum load of 12 shells-13 with a combat load. It's a design with extensive combat history, especially during the Covenant War. A point-blank blast with this thing can demolish shields, vehicles and living creatures with equal ease. A dinosaur getting hit is either gonna turn into a Jackson Pollock or miss a severe chunk of its insides."

Washu put down the 90A2 next to the other shotguns and turned towards her audience.

"*But* you are not here to just talk shotties. So let's move on to other options..."

Washu turned a case towards them, giving them a better view. She looked particularly proud of the gun inside it.

"This is the prototype of one of my newest projects. I took the shell of one of your Taser Rifles and completely changed the insides. It's a railgun, fit to fire custom versions of the OCP NI-408 Stun Cartridge. You can vary the punch of the round and the taser discharge power with these two sliders here." Washu showed them the two sliders, right above the trigger, clearly labeled "P" and "T" and colored green to red. "With both set on minimum, the dart has a similar impact velocity as a NERF dart, with a discharge of 50 thousand volts. With both set on maximum, the dart has the velocity of a 7.62mm round with a discharge of 500,000 volts. You can set your lethality on the fly, go through any type of dino skin, knock them out or fry them if you need. It's been semi-auto only right now, but I can work in burst mode or full-auto if you want."

"What about ammunition size?", said Masrani. Washy looked at him and he added: "The... 'magazine', I think you called it?"

"Ten rounds. See this part, right in front of the trigger, past the red safety button? That's the mag-perfectly flush with the rest of the gun. It's the standard size, of course-extended magazines will be available." said Washu, showing Masrani the appropriate part and pulling it out for him to examine.

"What if you need to take out something bigger with it?", asked Dearing.

"I can beef it up if you want. What kind of punch do you need? .50 caliber? Just give me a couple of days, I'll have it up to your specs, and a couple of boxes' worth of guns for you to play with, to boot."

Dearing nodded. Hammond coughed and said: "My dear, I believe there's more equipment you wanted to show us...?"

"Oh, yeah." said Washu. She pulled out another gun from the case, what looked like a very short rifle.

"The CODA Net Gun. You know it well, you use it on your park. Simple, effective... why bother changing a good thing? Which is where I'm going."

She pulled out the front of the Net Gun, a tightly-packed net: "This is the new model, charmingly nick-named "Stalker". Twice the range of your current models, with a variety of nets to choose from: there's your regular cord net, the much stronger nano-tube net, chain mesh net with taser mode, gas capsule net-which explodes on impact and gives the target a fateful while it's struggling-and finally the "Predator" net: nano-wire with motors that reel it shut around the target. Guaranteed to turn it into loafs of flesh, or steel, or rock or whatever."

She put down the launcher and the net down, pulling out what looked like a power tool-a wireless drill with additional bits and a fore grip.

"Now this... it looks like a toy, even more than the other weapons I've showed you so far, but it's not. Little gizmo from our friends across the pond. It's called the "Electro-Muscular Disruption Weapon", or "EMD" for short. Uses a fusion battery, available in pistol, carbine and rifle versions, which vary in terms of concealability, range and kick. Semi-automatic, they have five stun levels. Setting five on the rifle could knock out a T-Rex, although it would need to be a close shot. It fires a concentrated bolt of energy with minor kinetic impact, and has the same effects-and warnings-than a Taser."

Washu put the EMD down and pulled out a large bolt-action rifle, gray with the word "Lindstradt" on the side, chromed barrel glistening on the room's lights.

"This here is the flagship of the "Lindstradt" series by Dan-Inject. It's a memorial model to the second "JP" movie, and is made from the ground up for dart sniping: custom barrel, custom darts, custom action. It uses the CO2 of its cartridge to maximum efficiency. At full power, its maximum range is 660 yards.

Another thing to note is its build: the shell is made with the most advanced shock-resistant materials out there. You could toss this in the mud and have a T.Rex tap-dance on it for a day straight and it still would hold the zero. It's easy to clean, too."

She pulled out another gun, this one looking like a large open metal flower, followed by a wide and flat metal canister that couldn't be mistaken for anything else but a mine.

"Sonics. Pretty good weapons for crowd and animal control. The "flower" here is a TN-2011 Sonic Concussion Cannon, from Ontario Survival Arms. It's got two main modes: "Sonic" and "Concussion". Sonic mode is simple: it fires off a focused sound wave that is impressively annoying, even hurtful, to stand in front of for an extended period of time. Makes man or beast run away, give up... and when they DO decide to fight, that's what the "Concussion" mode is there for: the sonics shape and propel a bundle of compressed air about the size of a basketball, with a variable amount of kinetic energy. At full power, it's like getting hit with a runaway train." Washu took the mine and played with it as she continued: "The mine is a TNSM-2011, also by OSA. It follows the same principle as the cannon, only it's an automated perimeter defense system. You set it for proximity or contact detonation, the mode it detonates with, and go off on your merry business. It uses a rechargeable power cell and can be linked to a computer for remote control and monitoring."

"Did you brought any lasers?", asked Masrani.

"Sure, I brought some." said Washu, pulling out a fancy-looking rifle. "One word: Phasers. You've seen "Star Trek", you know what they do: stun, kill, blow up anything short of a tank, warm coffee... very flexible, in a tactical sense. Still not a good idea to base all of your arsenal around them because they are more high-maintenance than a kinetic gun, and the dinosaurs are not as used to them as they are to ballistics-a few of them, chances are that with the tricks you've taught them, they may even think that the muzzle flash is a dinner bell.

That said, this is the newest model, used by Starfleet Security. Packs the heaviest punch for a phaser rifle its size. Stun mode's guaranteed for a minimum of three hours' knock-out, or your money back." She chuckled. "Integrated flashlight, scope with night vision and display for linked-in sensors like tricorders, and a randomizer circuit to avoid shield adaptation. Which will be useful if we're ever attacked by Borgified Velociraptors or something."

THAT made the other people in the room slightly disturbed-and why wouldn't they, if the implications were horrifying?-so Washu continued by pulling out a massive rifle from the case. It was so big that it looked absurd in her hands.

"What we have here is one of the three weapons I brought along which are firmly on the "Big Fucking Gun" territory. This is an SRS99C-S7 AM, from PANA. Stands for "Sniper Rifle System 99C-Series Anti-Materiel". Standard load for this weapon is 14.5x114 millimeter Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot rounds, but with its modular design you can modify it in a couple of minutes to fire any type of heavy weapons ammo, up to 20mm cannon. Regular magazine size is four rounds, but extended mags are available."

Washu put the rifle down and pulled out what could only be a machine gun-a really big one, with accompanying tripod, which she juggled.

"The 'Ma Deuce'-M2HB machine gun, by General Dynamics. One of John Browning's masterpieces. Hundred-plus years of service, with very little change, and if you believe the people on the Astra Militarum, it'll keep on seeing service for another forty thousand years. Forty thousand-plus years of service, wiping out threats throughout the galaxy-how much more badass can you get?" said Washu. "Nohing fancy about it-just a big gun firing big bullets at a high rate of fire. Boring yet practical yet awesome."

She leaned both pieces of the "Ma Deuce" against the table and turned towards the final weapons case.

"This is the last weapon of this particular demonstration... and it was worth waiting, I can assure you of that. You people have seen all the guns, all of the varied ways to take out a rampaging dinosaur, and maybe you thought: "Wait. Where are the bazookas? We have big-ass dinos here-why hasn't she shown us the bazookas?"." said Washu. "Well, here you go."

What Washu pulled out certainly looked like a bazooka, but the clean futuristic lines and the "banana" magazine sticking from the top made it look more like someone's attempt to make a high-caliber bull-pup rifle and not really knowing when to stop.

"This is a Stingray Industries RTML-2. It stands for "Rapid-fire Tactical Missile Launcher". Its street name is the "Striker". Magazine-fed, standard load of six missiles, which can be set for ground-to-air or ground-to-ground combat, dumb-fired or targeted with a combined designator package that includes laser, radar, thermal and visual recognition software. As for missiles, we have a number of options which include armor-piercing, fragmentation, incendiary, and the "Randler" missiles."

"'Randler' missiles?" asked Hammond, raising an eyebrow.

"Bit of a... homage to the book. Designed them myself. The "Randlers" are essentially huge rocket-propelled darts-the amount of tranquilizer you can place in one will easily knock out anything T-Rex sized or bigger in a couple of minutes." said Washu. "I'm also working on an airburst aerosol version for large crowds or highly mobile large targets."

"Like an Indominus Rex?"

There was silence for a second and everybody looked at Dearing-the person who asked. She seemed to shrink a little, and Washu noted that the haunted look had returned slightly.

"I... was thinking more of racing Tyrannos or similar... what, you STILL have that thing?" said Washu. "I've seen the information on the Second Nublar Incident, I know about that Rex-you still have it?"

"NO!!!" both Masrani and Hammond turned towards Hakubi, pretty much roaring out the word. Washy winced, and both men looked apologetic.

"No." said Masrani. "We don't have one. And we did our best to destroy all of our files and samples, too, but-"

"That genie is out of the bottle, now." added Hammond. "Wu and the other versions of myself-the profiteering BASTARDS that they are-made sure of it, when the nature of this world wasn't finding a way fast enough."

"Sorry to hear that." said Washu. "Hey... wanna hold this?"

Dearing looked at Washu-once she had determined that it was her who Washu was talking to-like she had gone mad. "What?"

"You heard me. Do you want to hold this? It's not loaded and it won't bite-it's very light-weight, too."

Washu held it over like it was an over-sized pistol. "Come on."

Dearing squared up, took a step closer, and grabbed the launcher from Washu's hand. She looked it over experimentally, then placed it on her shoulder, looking through the launcher's integrated scope.

"Look.. at... THAT." said Washu. "Look at that! Ooooh, tell me if she doesn't looks GOOD with that thing! You should look at yourself in a mirror, Dearing! You look like a regular Sarah Connor!"

Dearing certainly looked badass with the launcher, all traces of her previous fear totally gone.

"Next time one of THOSE things tries to wreck your park, just remember: you got THESE things on your side. And with one of these, if it wants to get on a fight to see who is queen bitch of Jurassic Park, it's going to LOSE."

Dearing said nothing. There was no need.

Washu looked at the two men and said: "So we have a deal, gentlemen?"

"Just to reiterate one detail beforehand." said Masrani. "You CAN provide us with bigger guns, vehicles, whatever, right? If we ask for them? Immediate delivery and all?"

"Absolutely."

Masrani and Hammond looked at each other, then Masrani said: "Miss Hakubi, I am proud to say that I'm very pleased with what you've shown us today." He extended his hand.

"That is good to know." said Washu, shaking Masrani's hand. "I always aim to please."


(((())))


The group left the conference room afterwards, once Washu finished packing up the sample wares and shoving them into the subspace pocket.

"Oh, this?" she said, when she noticed their reaction. "It's one of my trademarks. Tell you what, I'll toss in some dimensional compressors and nano-fabricator patterns for all the gear, for the grand additional price of a VIP ticket for the Park."

"Why not the Adrenaline Package?" asked Masrani. "It's pretty fitting, actually."

"And the "Adrenaline Package" is the...?" asked Washu.

"Helicopter ride to and from Costa Rica, for starters." said Hammond. "The flight path also gives you a nice view of the Park. It also gives you access to our Whitewater Rafting tour, Bungee jumping, and you can help feed the T. Rex."

"Help feed the T. Rex?" asked Washu.

They all nodded. Washu was silent for a moment, then started:

"You know what I think? APCs. Mercedes-Benz is pretty good, and I applaud your choice, but a word in top-notch armored vehicles: "Sunderer". Let me tell you, the street name for that thing isn't "Bang-Bus" for nothing..."

"Excuse me?" a man said. The voice came from the direction of the Control Room.

They all turned towards it. There was a man standing at the entrance-black hair, stubble, glasses, face that reminded Washu for a split second of a man called Alexander Harris until she noticed the details, his most notable being the faded old "Jurassic Park" T-Shirt.

He was pretty alarmed over something.

"Lowery, what is it?" asked Dearing.

"That ship appeared again." said Lowery. "Off the North shore."

The three executives became very concerned, looking at Washu. She knew that they were thinking on whether or not to let her in on the situation.

"Maybe I can be of help." Washu said finally, shrugging with a smile. "Tech's my business, after all."

That helped them make up their minds. They all marched into the Control Room, Washu alongside it.

"Lowery Cruthers, this is Dr. Washu Hakubi." said Dearing.

Washu shook Cruthers' hand. "Charmed."

"Likewise." said Cruthers.

"So... you were saying something about a ship?" said Washu.

Cruthers nodded and went to a control station, cluttered with various dinosaur figurines (which made Washu raise an eyebrow) and punched up information on its keyboard. In response, one of the biggest camera displays on the central monitor changed to show a view of a beach, helpfully labeled "C-NOR-475-K-NORTH SHORE".

It showed a big battleship, moving slowly in a course parallel to the shore. Washu needed a couple of seconds to recognize the ship as an "Iowa"-Class.

It was an old "Iowa"-Class, with the refits done during the First Gulf War. It was not a "New Iowa"-Class. Someone had taken a lot of effort to replicate the old design, down to the number of bolts.

Or maybe they had found an old "Iowa"-Class that had popped here from another universe-the possibilities were also pretty high on that end, with a pretty extensive black market as evidence.

"You said it appeared 'again'." Washu addressed Lowery. "How many times has it appeared?"

"At least once per month, for the past couple of years. Just appears out of nowhere and floats around for a bit before vanishing. No thermal, no radar, no nothing-it just goes kaput." said Cruthers. "Our raptor trainers saw the ship while giving them their daily run."

"Right now we're using the north side of the island as a nursery-and before you ask, the raptors we're talking about are the LEGO breed. Very smart, but they are also safer to be around. More likely to prank you than try to eat you." said Hammond. "They are certainly easier to be around."

"I guess." said Washu. "Can you zoom in on the ship? I'd like to see if there's any identifying marks."

Cruthers did so, and Washu leaned closer to the big screen, grabbing onto the console and Lowery's shoulder for balance.

She frowned, squinted, ordered Cruthers to pan the camera left to right to up to down, zoom in, zoom out, switch to thermal, switch back.

The damn thing was annoying her. It was an "Iowa"-Class-if not the real thing, then a perfect replica, as far as her extensive knowledge allowed her to verify.

So the obvious question became...

"Why would anybody bother to show you that they have a battleship, continuously and with such regularity?" asked Washu. "Are they trying to intimidate you? Have they made any demands?"

"None at all." said Masrani. "There's been no contact at all so far. And believe me, we have tried. Radio, loudspeakers, we have risked trying to approach... nothing worked."

"Well, that's pretty weird." said Washu. She then noticed something. "Wait... go right. Pan to the right *now*! Something moved!!"

Sure enough, something WAS moving. There was a man on the ship's deck, who had just walked out of a hatch. The man had glasses, short black hair, and a face set in an expression best described as "bored". The glasses were thin-rimmed and dark-definitely had photochromic lenses, Washu thought.

The man was dressed in what resembled a CryNet Nanosuit-a Version Two, she thought-grey and white and with additional plating.

The man carried what looked like a billboard under his arm, and he stopped walking when he was halfway between the hatch and the ship's front turrets. He turned towards the coast and he raised the billboard over his head, his bored expression unchanging.

The billboard said, in plain large black letters:

WE ARE WATCHING IT.

He stood there for a couple of minutes, holding the billboard overhead, and then walked back into the ship. The moment he slammed the door closed, the entire ship started to glow.

There was a brief purple flash which overloaded the camera's optics and brought curse words out of everybody as Lowery and Washu fought to correct the camera feed.

Finally, the image became clear again, and what Washu saw made her eyes widen in surprise.

The ship was now glowing with a web of criss-crossing geometric patterns, purple energy lines spread all over like a kind of high-tech, sharply-angled war paint. The fog which had appeared, thickening by the second, just made the glow more ethereal.

Right behind her, Masrani muttered another curse. Hammond said a dumb-founded "whuh-!"

"...the fuck is THAT thing?!" asked Dearing.

"Fog Ship." said Washu. "That ship's fucking Fog Fleet!"

The "Iowa"-Class started to move, way too fast for a ship that size. Washu's hand reached for the camera controls and made it follow the ship.

Its need for a masquerade over, the Fog Ship changed. Interlocking hexagonal plates appeared on various spots and the ship's deck opened in places where there had not been any kind of visible hinges before, showing a variety of vertical launch tubes that...

...Washu's heart raced. If that thing-that Fog Ship-opened fire, it would easily blow the Park to kingdom come, all by its lonesome.

(A part of her started to think on selling Masrani some defensive shields, but she squashed it.)

But the Fog Ship was leaving. And as they looked on, the ship started to sink.

"What in the...?" said Hammond, very surprised. "It's *sinking*!"

"It's submersible." said Washu.

The Fog Ship finally disappeared under the waves, and the fog which had surrounded it faded away. The purple glow vanished after a few seconds.

"Holy SHIT!" said Cruthers. "I've... I had only seen the videos on YouTube of those *things*..."

"What the hell was THAT, and is it a threat to the Park?" asked Masrani. The shock was apparent on his face.

"You said it's been around for two years now?" asked Washu. When they all nodded, she added: "Trust me: if it wanted this Park destroyed, it would have done so already. It packs more missiles than a whole battle group."

"I'll ask again: what... was... THAT?" asked Masrani. The shock had worsened. "You said it's something called a "Fog Ship". Details, please?"

"Like she said, it was a Fog Ship, part of the Fog Fleet." said Cruthers. "It's... it's like some version of Skynet became a World War Two gear-head and started producing ship replicas with more firepower than a Star Destroyer. That fog is supposed to be some kind of nano-tech super-stealth cover. Completely kills sensors and communications."

"And this island has a lot of fog and lightning storms, which screw with sensors and communications, which helped it keep is use of Fog a secret until now." said Washu. "So the question becomes: why is that thing watching "it". The ship is either talking about the island or the Park or something within the Park-but what could it be? This island is not strategically important to anybody, and if they want to set up a base in Central America there's five other islands to choose from on this chain alone."

"So it's got to be the Park." said Dearing. "Or something within the Park. It likes dinosaurs, maybe?"

"Probably. Although if that guy was an avatar of the ship's A.I., it would be hard to tell, stone-cold as he looked like. I mean, the Fog Fleet A.I.s are women as far as I know, and some are pretty human." Washu said, shrugging. "But on the other hand, times *are* changing... wouldn't be surprising that "Skynet" analogy is becoming true, and we don't about it..."

"It's the first time that ship has given any type of response in two years." said Hammond. "And it has left us more questions than answers."

Washu couldn't stop herself from thinking that, had this been a TV show, this would be the moment where the soundtrack would make a screechy violin sting (or maybe one of those orchestral "Stuka Screams" that Mike Giacchino was fond of in "Lost") and the picture would smash to black, cut to end credits.

"You keep records of all the reported sightings?" asked Washu.

"Yes, we do." said Caruthers. "Dunno how helpful they would be, though. Not a lot of data."

"Well, it beats having *no* data." said Washu. "If you could please hand me a copy, I'll have a starting point for my search."

"'Search'?" asked Masrani. "You'll go looking for that thing?"

"Yes." said Washu. She kept looking at the camera feed-at the spot where the ship disappeared-and added with a mild smile:

"I'm looking forward to meet it."

In her mind, Washu corrected herself. THIS would be when the scene smashed to black.

(())

(THE END).
© 2015 - 2020 marcoasalazarm
"....it's anything but."

 WORK IN PROGRESS-PLEASE READ AND REVIEW-ACCEPTING IDEAS AND BETAING.

((()))

This is a response to a detail that was given to me by a couple of posters: the gist of it is that 1) my stories just shoot all over the place with no central theme, and thus attempts to draw attention to the Coreline setting by posting its fiction on places like SpaceBattles just don't work because of this, and 2) other people who have written for the setting so far (and myself, through the vast majority of the art posted here on my gallery) are focusing only on the superhero side of the place (and admitting that the man is on the right, and seeing that I am the one who has written less-to-almost-jack for the setting in terms of posted fan fiction, decided to take the role of writing stories with said wider focus, which then leads to the first issue, because in my idiocy I tried to post said stories to see if I could draw more writers to share the setting and what I mentioned happens).

So here is me trying to fix this thing, while my post-seeing-Jurassic-World kick is still alive and my brain hopefully won't latch onto some other thing like a puppy with ADHD: what I seriously hope will be the first of at least three or four stories focusing on the Coreline version of Jurassic Park. I cannot in all honesty swear that they will be long stories, but I will try my best.

EDIT NOTE 6/24: ADDED New Scene, couple of in jokes on it: Most important is obviously Grant's book. As a fan of the "Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks and "How To Survive A Robot Uprising" by Dr. Daniel H. Wilson (which are directly shouted-out here), I just found it funny that it would be obvious for SOMEONE to try to write a "Jurassic Park Survival Guide" of sorts, and who best to do it than Alan Grant? Probably he used the money of the sales to fund his dig, uses the book to give some edutainment to dinosaur enthusiasts out there (book version of Grant is mentioned to be a good writer and artist on the JP book).

Also thought it would be funny to have agreements with funny names: shout-out to the British series "The Avengers" and "Friendship Is Magic" there.

Obvious reason for PTSD with Claire Dearing is obvious (while we are at it-SPOILER ALERT FOR THE PLOT "JURASSIC WORLD"). No lack of Jurassic World fanfics out there with her having it-probably has a pretty good therapist as an employee benefit. 

EDIT 6/28: I hope that this will be over soon.

The mention of "Psychosurgery" is a shout-out to Eclipse Phase. Considering what it's supposed to do (essentially fix certain psychological problems via hyper-advanced neuro-surgery), it is understandable that a man like Doctor Clark Savage, Jr., would be one of the best men at it (especially since he'd done that since the Pulp era).

I currently have money issues (as I mentioned on my Journal), however I have decided to go and buy the LEGO "Jurassic World" game when I have the chance because it looks VERY cool. The name "John Parker Hammond" is a shout-out to "The Hammond Memoirs", which appear on the "Trespasser" game (a really cool version of them is available here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_WpsD…), while the mention of the "other" John Hammond is a shout-out to the original book by Crichton (and THAT specific version of Hammond being a Grade-A Megalomaniacal Asshole). 

Bit of a showcase of how it feels to be a Fiction dealing with Alternate versions of people you know, here. Poor Claire.

UPDATE JULY 5: So here we go... finally reached the damn guns. A collection of bang-bangs from around the Multiverse that would bring the war to any bundle of rampaging dinosaurs.

So... shout-out to "Primeval" and a couple of weapons from the "Jurassic Park" novels/movies appears, just not completely as we know them. The sonic cannon and the mines is also a shout-out to the "Terra Nova" TV series. Also a shout-out to Bryce Dallas Howard's role on "Terminator: Salvation" (although the version of Katherine Brewster that got compared to Sarah Connor (by her son, no less) was played by Claire Danes and Howard's role was non-action).

Washu is supposed to be this crazy combination between the Doctor and a heroic Yuri Orlov (and some other "arms merchants" that have appeared on other films-the "traveling salesman" 'Easy' Andy from "Taxi Driver" and John Goodman's character in "Death Sentence" were very mayor inspirations), with bits of The Engineer. Guess also that she kinda-sorta tries to sound professional when meeting a client, but well... if (not really) hyperbole and applying to the client's desire to blow shit up sells...

Think I have a scene or two left before this damn thing is over. Hope to high hell it's all I need.

And some additional info on the situation of the world... the Indominus Rex is out there, a biological weapon any jackass with enough money can buy or create with plans downloaded from the Internet. Most thankfully, there's firepower heavy enough out there that the question is not about whether it can be killed or not, but how fast it can be done before there's too much collateral damage.

(And if the I.Rex is out there, well, what about the Troodons...?)

UPDATE JULY 6: FINISHED!!! (well, as far as I'm able to think right now... sure as hell can't think of anything else). So smash to black, show "Coreline" title card, cut to commercial/end credits.

With some luck, I will go ahead and write a story following up on the mystery I have just set up. Thanks to Gideon020 for letting me borrow his characters.


((()))

(Fanfiction by marcoasalazarm for the "Coreline" setting, adapting characters and situations created by Michael Crichton and currently owned by Universal Pictures. Other characters and concepts are property of their respective owners).
Comments6
anonymous's avatar
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Nescaro's avatar
And nice update this one's progressing nicely.
Nescaro's avatar
Well I'd say we're off to a good start I'm looking forward to seeing more. Like I said if your desperate for a beta reader I'm available. 
Nescaro's avatar
No problem looking forward to seeing where this goes. Now if I could just get going on my fic for the summer jam...oh well looking good here. 
marcoasalazarm's avatar
Approx. one month remaining on the deadline.
Nescaro's avatar
Yeah I know. I'm having a hard time deciding which theme to go with this time. And who to focus on. It's annoying as all hell. Oh well at least your stuff is doing pretty good at the moment, hope that keeps up. 
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