Marquez Santiago groans. He pushes away the crates lying on top of him, propping himself up on his shoulders. His entire body aches, his forehead throbbing.
He rubs his eyes, getting up. He staggers around looking at his surroundings. It all comes back to him.
He looks at the damage done to the entrance of the warehouse, walking up to the wall.
It’s Anne’s fault. If she had just come with me we could’ve gone out of here. Or she could’ve come gotten me. That fool. Now look, she’s probably dead. Good ridden.
Marquez starts walking out of the warehouse, when something catches his eye. He backs up, looking to the left, slightly past the damage of the door. Many of the crates along the wall have been knocked down, and he can see something on the inner wall, half-hidden behind a pile of standing crates in the corner.
The stack is only about five or six crates high, and he begins to pull them down, letting them drop to the ground.
“Unbelievable,” he whispers, a smile forming on his mouth. On the wall is a metal framing case built into the wall itself, covered in a thin protective glass that appears not to be there.
The sprawled out paper inside is unmistakable.
It’s a map.
Marquez painfully swings out his leg, smashing his shoe into the glass. It cracks slightly, and he kicks again, the glass shattering in the center. The frame hardly moves, making it easier to bash in.
He kicks the outer glass lightly, breaking it off. He stops, hearing the crunch of glass below his shoes, and reaches into the frame. The map is pushed up into the corners pressed against a thin wood backing, nailed hard into the wall and supported by the frame.
He tugs on the corners of the map, and finally gets it out. One of the corners tears, remaining in the edge of the frame. He shrugs it off, turning away to look at the map.
The map is of the island, and he quickly fins his location on the beach in the southeast corner. His eyes skip over everything else, looking to the north quarter of the island. What catches his eyes is a small boxed-in area in the north-coast region marked: ‘Radio Tower’.
“That’s how I’m getting off this island. If Anne’s still alive—“ He stops, folding up the map. “I’ll go up the coast, and make my way there. I can get there faster.”
He laughs, adjusting something in the side of his pants. He slides the map into his pocket, and steps out onto the sand outside the warehouse.
It only takes Anne a few moments to find a hole in the fence. At first she passed by it, not seeing it. When she turned around, it formed easily.
The mesh on the opposite side was cut, gone, allowing a gap through, and the bars were cut as well. It was a tight crawl space, but she got through quickly, rolling onto the grass on the other side.
She remembers the map, and begins to reach into her pocket, when she realizes the worst. She starts to pull out the map, which is damp, from her swim in the river. She opens it up, a piece falling off to the ground. The ink is all smeared, and she curses.
The note, too, is illegible. She throws it against the fence, and watches as it slaps onto one of the bars, sticking for a moment before flopping down onto the ground.
“Great,” she says, putting her hands on her hips. She looks down the fence, which arcs away into the distance toward the jungle. “Maybe I should just follow this. Maybe it’ll take me to another facility or something. It’s the only shot I have.”
Quietly, Anne begins to walk along the new side of the fence, taking in the fact her surroundings are even quieter.
Anne is forced to enter the jungle several minutes later, as the fence runs straight into the foliage. She moves around several plants to keep moving, occasionally glancing right to see if she’s still near the fence.
After a while, Anne sees the jungle ends up ahead, and steps out. Running off in both directions is another road, hidden amongst patches of plants trying to grow through the dirt. The fence ends abruptly at the edge of the jungle, only a foot from the road.
She looks down the road both ways. “Which way should I go?”
She closes her eyes, trying to think of where she’d be on the map. “I’ll head left.”
Anne turns left, walking down the center of the road. The jungle pushes in from both sides, and a light cloud of mist hovers upon the ground at the base of the jungle. “This isn’t any yellow-brick road. I wonder when I’ll find the Tin Man. Or, should I say the Dead Man?” She laughs, once again remembering the skull she had picked up in the dark.
The road bent away at a slight angle, and Anne looked back to see that the end of the fence was gone from view. She hummed tunelessly.
She had the sense something was watching her.
The road ahead stretched off through the jungle, much of what lay ahead covered in a growing cloud of thickening mist. “Now it’s getting creepy.”
She heard a hiss, coming from her right, hidden in the jungle. She stopped, looking around. She squinted, trying to see anything moving inside the jungle.
Something big passed across the road ahead. Anne swirled to look, but it was gone. It had moved fast.
She whispered, “Raptors.”
Sweat rolled down her face. She looked back down the road, and ran. The mist parted slightly around her legs as she did, the road disappearing from view below, covered by the fog.
She heard a snarl behind her, and something landed on the road behind her. Ahead, a raptor slid out from the bushes, into the road, facing her.
Anne stopped, turning on her heels to see another raptor closing in from behind.
They closed to within a few feet, and stopped. They turned their heads, looking down the road ahead. Their tails were stiff in the fog.
Anne stood motionless, unable to tell what was going on. Almost as soon as it had begun, the raptors were gone, darting off into the jungle.
She looked around, wondering why. A pounding came from down the road ahead.
She faced forward, gazing down the road. It curved away, blocking off Anne’s view of what was coming.
After several moments of standing in the middle of the road, she saw a head glide around the edge of the jungle, following the road. Soon the entire body came into view, walking towards her. Anne instinctively dived off the road, crouching down behind the plants.
As the giant, two-legged creature began passing by, she whispered, “What is this thing?”
The dinosaur had a horn on the tip of its snout, with two short ridges running above its eyes. Anne guessed it was probably around twenty feet long. Its back end tapered into a bulky tail, which swung slowly back and forth with each step.
Anne noticed blood running down its side, and it seemed to walk slowly, staggering. “It’s injured,” she whispered.
The animal snorted, rolling its head to look at the bushes before continuing on. “Is that what the raptors were afraid of?”
Almost immediately after, a roar echoed through the jungle. It sounded metallic, screechy. “What the hell was that?”
The animal stopped, looking around, and began moving faster. Somewhere in the jungle to her right, alongside the animal, Anne heard rumbling steps, moving faster. She got up, stepping out of the bushes onto the road.
The roar echoed again, as the trees crashed open. The animal on the road roared, flying off to the side as something exploded into it. The wounded creature disappeared into the jungle on the opposite side of the road, trees cracking once more.
Anne gazed at the attacker. It was about forty to fifty feet long, with a great sail running down its back. The sail itself was about six feet tall. The animal roared again, opening up a set of massive crocodile-like jaws.
The wounded animal roared. It was lying on the ground, struggling to get up. The attacker swung its head low, gripping the wounded animal’s tail. It pulled up, yanking the wounded animal up. It got onto its feet, staggering around after getting its tail free.
It roared, snapping, but the attacker was quick. It knocked into its victim, causing the wounded animal to fall back. It stumbled, and the attacker gripped its neck in its jaws. Anne heard a sickening crack rip through the air as the attacker bit down.
The victim let out one more wailing plea, its tail going stiff. The attacker released, dropping its dead victim to the ground with a loud thud. The dinosaur with the fin let out a rolling-snarl, making it sound even more like a crocodile.
Anne couldn’t believe it. It had been so fast. “Time to go Anne.”
She looked down the road, at the curve. If she could just make it there, she’d be out of this creature’s view. It seemed to not be paying any attention.
“I can make it.”
Anne stepped quietly onto the road, and began to run. The curve was getting closer.
I’ll make it! I’ll make it!
The animal roared behind her. She looked back. Its jaws were gaping open, a piece of flesh dangling down. It roared again, stepping on the carcass to pursue.
Anne cursed, still running. For every step she took, the animal seemed to close in ten more.
Anne found herself turning the curve, and looked back. The animal half-crashed through the foliage at the curve, trying to cut her off. Anne looked ahead, to see that the road began to slope down, curving to the left only a few yards ahead.
The creature snapped at her. She felt the air blow her hair up as it missed by a few feet. She screamed, turning the next curve.
She kept herself from tripping, trying to slow down. The road swerved off abruptly to the right, and a cliff was straight ahead.
It was too late for her to turn.
She ran for the edge, as the dinosaur snapped once more. Anne threw herself over, glimpsing a large complex about a half mile across the jungle below.
Above her, the dinosaur let out the odd, screeching roar.
As Anne hit the canopy, her body was immediately flipped. She yelled, as she smashed through a branch. It dug into her hip from a single flashing moment, before everything else whipped at her face.
Anne’s legs felt like they were separate from the rest of her body. Anne looked down, as a jolt of pain raced through her body. She had stopped falling.
But she wasn’t on the ground.
Anne was doubled over on a thick branch, hanging ten or fifteen feet above the ground. Her arms and legs dangled over either side.
She grunted, trying to get up onto the branch.
She looked toward the base of the branch, and saw that it was beginning to break. She cursed, her legs flopping madly as she tried to get up.
Anne slid over the branch, her fingertips running along it as she fell back. The branch above snapped as she made a last attempt to gain a hold on it.
Within moments, Anne hit the ground on her back. Her limbs were flailed to the sides, and she groaned. Her stomach still throbbed.
The jungle floor was covered in soft dirt, leaves, and small plants. They had softened her fall, but not much.
The branch had slowed her down, and she opened her eyes looking up. The branch itself was dangling down, slowly tapping against the trunk of the tree, ready to snap off completely.
She reached up to her forehead, pulling back her fingers into view when she felt something warm. There was blood on her fingertips. The cut she had on her forehead had slightly reopened when a smaller branch had swiped it.
It stung, but Anne bore it, getting up. Anne said, imitating Jill, “’Go on Anne. You need a trip like this. You need to relax.’ Ha! You should have come with me Jill.”
Around her, beams of sunlight filtered down through the jungle. Everything looked peaceful: the tree bases spaced out enough to make small, connected clearings; leaves lightly covering the ground.
Above her, a maze of branches entwined, like a mass of bridges. “Ok,” Anne said. She looked where she guessed the cliff was. “If the cliff was that way, and that building I saw was that way,” she turned in the opposite direction, “then I’ll go that way.”
Letting the pain slowly subside, Anne began to walk once more.
Anne had been walking for ten minutes when she found the road again. It was even more grown through then she had found it earlier, and she would have completely missed it if it hadn’t been for the large space made between the jungle for it.
It went off to her right, and she started to follow it, as it curved left. As she turned the curve, the road disappeared, jungle completely pushing its way through.
“Alright then,” she said. “I’ll just have to see where it was supposed to take me myself.”
Somewhere above the jungle to her left, she heard faint grunts, and honks, like the Parasaurs had made. “There must be a herd of them somewhere,” she whispered, trying to see through the jungle.
A few minutes later, she stepped out of the jungle. She ran forward, across the dirt, and turned right, backing off towards the jungle again to get a better view of what was ahead.
In front of her was an amazing complex, set right in the jungle surroundings. The jungle closed in from all sides, and she was standing in front of it. She could see two glass doors standing closed, which were past a set of stairs.
Running from beneath her feet to the stairs was a wide dirt trail. Resting off to the right of the trail was a car; the wheels gone.
Just short of the stairs, to the left of the trail was a sign with the InGen logo across it. “What an adorable little house,” she laughed.
She walked up to the car, peering in through dirty windows. The inside was bare, except for seats and some miscellaneous scraps of trash.
Several of the windows were broken or cracked. Anne turned away. “Figures.”
Anne walked over to the sign, looking at the InGen logo. “InGen, huh? And I thought this place was a McDonalds. Well, hopefully the food is good.” She laughs, grimly, trying to keep her humor alive with the dry joke.
She walks past the sign, climbing the stairs up to the porch-way of the facility. It stretches in both directions several yards, will several metal struts bending out from the top of the building and arcing over to the opposite side.
The porch is concrete, and only a few feet wide. She walks across, pushing open the double glass doors. They swing open, tapping the walls in their recoil, and stay still.
“This is some sort of lobby.”
Ahead of her is a large, half-circle desk. On the wall behind it is a different form of the InGen logo, plastered in chipping paint. The desk is cleared, except for a phone.
She walks up to it, and picks it up.
“How did I know that was going to happen?”
She hangs it back up. On either side of the desk, on the back wall, is a door. She shrugs, walking towards the one closest to her, and pushes it open.
Anne steps into a small hallway. She closes the door, and looks around. It’s not too long: at the other end she sees the second door leading from the lobby. In-between the wall space of the doors are several vending machines.
In the center of the hall, on the opposite side of the machines, is another tunnel. A small white sign at the entrance reads: “Laboratory C.”
She walks down the connected hall, passing the sign. The hallway runs for a bit, and there are ceiling porthole windows allowing sunlight to beam down. There are two doors on either side of the hall, with little tag slots on each.
The left doors tag is missing, and on the right she can read the rusted words: “Research Relay.”
At the end of the hall she can see that there is a metal grated structure, with a flight of stairs leading down to the—
“The lab,” she nods.
Pulling back her hand from its approach toward the door handle, she walks down the hall to the metal overhang. She stops just short of the top of the stairs and whispers one word.