Park Jurassica, Book I

Enter the Raptor

The creatures of the jungle whir and click,

All reptiles, insects; swarming, storming thick.

At night the air becomes a cloud of them

Before rainfall outright devours them

(Their bites, the jungle life's ad valorem).

So dark, the o'erhead swaying canopy

Reflects it back a black mortality.

This night, a fateful one to op'n our tale,

But echoes yet what fate, our h'roes befell,

These same treetops, these whirs and clicks and clacks,

Were joined anon by thudding, strutting cracks,

And as one tree surged left, the other right,

The jungle made an ocean on this night.

What terror, then, was hidden from one's view?

And, when 't arrived, what terrors would it do?

Before the tree line, in a clearing stood

A laborer whose eyesight proved too good,

For up he looked to spy th' cacophony,

Half wishing that his eyes would fail to see.

There with him, made as comrades, file and rank,

His coworkers stood stiff as, each, a plank,

A shotgun-sizéd taser in each hand,

The weapons cocked - a charge for every man.

These dozens, silent, coiled like cornered cats,

The words JURASSIC PARK stamped on their hats,

Awaited the approaching noisy thing,

The jungle-hidden beast that soon would spring.

(Now closer trees, confounded, start'd to swing.)

Among the men there stood a khaki goon,

A shotgun-wielding Aussie named Muldoon.

A single point 'n the nighttime watched they all

As sticky drizzle just began to fall.

Yet closer now, a gnashing o'er the din,

A rumble like what war machines would spin,

And within this, the low tumult that turned,

A shriek of - what, a bird? - could be discerned.

Now through the trees emerged a flood of light,

The inky black replaced by smoke and white.

Atop a tower, rolling ever for'rd,

There perched a crate of iron panels forged,

With holes about its wall, but none so big

's to let a passer spy what th' package hid.

A forklift raised to top pushed this thing through

And split the crowd, who gave respect as due.

A scowl adorned Muldoon's becraggled face

's the crate passed by and rumbled into place.

His men and he were stationed all around

A concrete loading pad with steel all bound,

A bulwark in the jungle had been made

Of more and harder stone th'n a thousand graves.

A tunnel, gated, passed into a wall;

Gun towers, lights, and armed men clung to all.

The tow'ring vehicle then pushed its load;

Up to the landing dock its cargo rode.

Some workers sallied forward to receive

The crate which, slamming home, its fork relieved.

Muldoon called out now, "Pushers!" to advance,

To spur on this rehearsed and dang'rous dance.

Muldoon, preparing th' men for their barrage

Called out, "I want your tasers set - full charge!"

The crate, in ruts, was meant to glide along

And be joined to the gate by th' motley throng.

A dozen men grabbed bars along the box,

And prepped to coax it up by shoves and rocks.

But deep within the crate, some menace lurked.

With steaming snort, it jumped and kicked and jerked

And made such quick and unexpected boasts,

One pusher balked and leapt back from his post.

Muldoon called out to coach him, "Get in there!"

Aware their load could smell the stench of fear.

The pusher then resumed his fearful task,

Though he, as all the rest, with fear was masked.

The box fit in the gate just as designed;

Its automatic lock engaged and whined

And tongues slid into notches on their cue.

Their job complete, the pushers then withdrew.

With all the locks engaged, th' computer sensed

Its next step in the sequence could commence.

Its safety checks had passed, so the machine

Flipped all its safety lights from red to green.

Now that the wall had latched to it its crate,

One task remained: to lift the iron gate.

"Gatekeeper!" Muldoon called out to his crew,

So Joffrey treaded - 'twas his task to do.

This Joffrey called São Paulo his true home,

Not Isla Nublar, torn by wave and foam.

Just then he'd rather miss this cagéd beast

And be a hundred twenty miles east.

He clambered up a ladder on the side

Of th' crate which, tall as he was, was it wide.

He landed nimbly, turned, and faced the wall,

So Muldoon ordered, "Lift the gate!" 'bove all.

Now Joffrey tugged and counterweights began

To slide down channels either side of th' man,

And upward slid the gate as Joffrey bade,

Produced a gap between enclosure 'nd cage.

The beast inside let seconds dribble past

Before it leapt to action, rude and rash.

The unseen terror sprang up toward the wall

Which, gate part lifted, was revealed to all,

And there, with screams it slammed its body - whack! -

Defeat'ng the locks, it jerked the cage straight back,

Made an escape route from its iron cell,

A route into which startled Joffrey fell.

All men advanced, their tasers arcing light,

They thrust into the crate's holes, gath'ring tight.

Now gasping, Joffrey crawled from where he w's put;

Alas! The demon had him by the foot.

It dragged him further into th' open box

As, screaming, Joffrey grabbed for rungs or locks

Or anything his hands could reach that'd save

His ending in a monster's bloody grave.

He wound up just waist-high, half in, half out,

His screams pierced through the din of others' shouts,

As in the box, unseen by toiling men,

The creature worked its misery again.

Muldoon dashed for the man. He reached, bent down,

But Joffrey's body rose up off the ground!

The creature with its jaws was lifting him -

A feat of strength, a threat to life and limb -

And Joffrey's grip was broken by the move;

He would've slipped away but for Muldoon,

Who wrapped his arms around the victim's chest,

And pulled against the beast, whose strength he'd test.

The rain was falling then in tropic sheets;

Through haze the monster's did Muldoon's eyes meet.

A yellow eye, it gleamed beyond a slit,

Impartial, lacking malice, showing wit.

Muldoon, whose expertise was deadly game,

Had found himself familiar with their brains,

These creatures, unlike anything he'd seen,

Made nature feel capricious, selfish, mean.

He knew she'd cut a softer thing's life short

Unhungry; her kind hunted for the sport

And of all hunters known, including men,

These things'd be superior if unpenned.

Muldoon, whose mettle always was so high,

Knew fear when he stared into th' monster's eye.

He sat, and braced, and held, yet Joffrey slipped;

No man could save him nay how tight he gripped.

And so, although the creature was his charge,

And th' cost to get another would be large,

He ordered "Shoot her!" to his men aloud

As Joffrey slipped into the rainy shroud.

So fast was the attack that b'fore a shot,

Muldoon again yelled "Shoot her!" to the lot.

For Joffrey, all was futile. Still he slipped,

His hand receding from his captain's grip.

The scream of men throughout the monsoon then

Clashed helplessly against the killer's pen.

As nature's wrath fell on them, carrying on,

Their mate, as naturally as that, was gone.