Like the dinosaurs in the franchise, this story is something of a genetic chimera itself. For one thing, what you're going to read is one part a "slice-of-life" fic, another part character study, and a third part horror.
While this fanfic is primarily Jurassic World focused, I've also added events that happened in the actual novel that started it all-with my own special twist. Henry Wu's character here too, mostly stays true to his portrayal in JW and the original movie-but I've also turned to the novel as well for a few aspects.
All characters and concepts are property of Amblin Entertainment, Universal Pictures, and the late, great Michael Crichton.
He'd done the procedure countless times before over the last decade, to the point where it was almost ingrained in his blood. Stick plastic card into the slot of the electronic Time In/Time Out counter. Walk down corridor. Press thumb against security lock and wait for the beep as the doors opened.
And once more, Henry Wu blinked his eyes against the late afternoon sunlight as he strode out the restricted back entrance to the Hammond Innovation Center with briefcase in hand, the hot, humid Pacific air washing over him like an ocean wave.
It was a short walk of about eighty feet through the fenced-off parking lot to where his 2012 Nissan LEAF waited, a sign three feet above the tarmac at the far end sternly reminding all other staff in bold navy blue letters: This parking space is reserved exclusively for the use of Dr. Henry Wu. Violators WILL be forced to pay a $2500 fine.
"Have a good evening Dr. Wu!" one of his fellow geneticists, Sampson Mbuwa, hailed him as he got into the driver's seat of his own car.
"You too Sam!" Henry replied back with a smile as he opened the LEAF's crimson door with the left hand, then proceeded to toss the briefcase into the passenger side with the right one. Sliding into the tawny leather seat, he shut the door with a thud and fished his keys out from his right pocket.
As the car's electric engine turned over, the Earth, Wind and Fire CD Wu had left in the drive also came back on, the lyrics to Serpentine Fire spilling out from the red Nissan as he shifted his sunglasses further up the bridge of his nose with a forefinger while backing out. If you'd been a passenger with him, you'd have noted a strange, discreet type of lopsidedness to the way he sat in the seat.
His seaside bungalow was on the west coast of the restricted zone, and Lord, was the commute there ever gorgeous, with the great ridges of rainforest-covered peaks looming up to the north, then west, waterfalls pouring down their sides in silver streams. Even better, the tar road ran by the western edge of the Sauropod Safari paddock, giving a great view of the island's star attractions as they strolled and grazed in the flames of the falling sun, evoking the profound experience of having been transported back to a long-lost world, bustling with grand, vanished lives. It was a sight Wu could never grow jaded toward. Especially since it was thanks to him that these lives weren't vanished any longer.
Little wonder then, that Ed Regis had so loved to take a Jeep out to the overlook above the great waterhole on evenings like this one, and just marvel at the beauty of the great saurians.
The thought of Regis made Wu briefly frown in melancholy. It really was deeply saddening, how the former publicist never got the chance to see this park open, to see the delighted crowds, to lead the VIPs around, put his mind to work cooking up "the next big thing," and court the prospective investors. If only Ed had…
Wu shook his head. What happened to Ed Regis and the first park was long ago and to be kept firmly in the back of one's mind. And Claire was doing a bang-up job in his stead as Jurassic World's spokeswoman.
There was a trio of Triceratops cows up ahead near the electric fence on his right side, their brown-gray, pebbled hides seeming to almost be mantled with gold in the sinking sun. Two were browsing, while one was rolling on her side in the dirt, apparently trying to scratch an itch.
As he drove closer, all three of the elephant-sized animals stopped and stood erect to peer at him intently through their tiny eyes, as if standing at attention.
Wu smiled underneath his sunglasses. Of all the dinosaurs at the park, the Triceratops had a particularly special place in his heart. It wasn't only because they were so easily tamed and surprisingly affectionate. Nor was it because they'd been his favorite dinosaur growing up as a kid in Columbus, Ohio.
The Nissan's CD player switched to a new track, asking the listener if they remembered dancing in September.
Wu gave another smile as he passed the three-horns by, one of nostalgic pride.
Yes, he remembered dancing in September very well indeed.
September 12th, 1987, to be precise.
That was the date when, at 9:27 in the morning, Wu had successfully tasted victory at long last, producing an intact, viable genome of Triceratops horridus, the very trio of animals he could still see in the rearview mirror.
In hindsight, it shouldn't have been all that surprising that the first dinosaurs cloned were three-horns. For one thing, the biomass of endothermic prey animals in a given ecosystem outweighed that of predators by an average of ten to one, making it that much more likely that a parasitic insect would have fed from a herbivore before becoming entombed in resin.
Triceratops was also one of the very last non-avian dinosaurs to have lived before the K-T impact, which meant that when it came to long-term preservation, its DNA would be in the best shape, relatively speaking. Finally, its fossil bones were thick and massive, ensuring that DNA fragments in the bone marrow would have a good degree of protection from outside factors like heat, leaching, and drying out.
At any rate, he'd been utterly flabbergasted, then ecstatic on realizing he hadn't just been imagining things. Hell, everyone had been ecstatic, Hammond to the point of being nearly delirious with it.
"Oh, a Triceratops Henry!" he'd chuckled. "It's like a wonderful dream! We'll have a living, breathing Triceratops to delight the world, all thanks to you! Oh, someone pinch me!"
Wu could've almost said the same thing.
The next species had been the hadrosaur Edmontonsaurus. After that, Ankylosaurus.
One by one, he'd produced and resurrected species after species of Dinosauria, a conductor drawing the music back out of the ancient blood cells, braiding and splicing and adding and improving until it was once more a living creature, a grand orchestra of bone and muscle and tendon and nerves that hadn't played for over 65 million years.
And of course, there were the Deinonychus, which Hammond had insisted they put under the label of its cousin Velociraptor instead for a more dramatic pitch, originating from the DNA in the abdomen of a biting fly in a chunk of Oklahoma amber… Sometimes he wished it had stayed buried.
He had a very good reason for feeling that way, far more than most.
On reaching the restricted area's perimeter fence, the guards were prompt in opening the gate and letting him through, with no need to bring the Nissan to a halt. Around here, you didn't keep Jurassic World's head geneticist waiting if you could help it.
The land around Wu's bungalow was cordoned off by an electrified fence of its own, two stories high and hurricane resistant, forming a rough horseshoe against the Pacific.
Approaching the gate, he pulled up alongside the column on which the security lock for the gate was installed, sticking the keycard into the machine's slot and withdrawing it as the barrier whined, then droned back from the asphalt to allow him through.
After bringing the Nissan to a stop in the driveway, Wu silenced both the gentle hum of its engine and the CD player before pocketing the keys, extracting the briefcase, and shutting the door behind him, hearing it automatically lock as he strolled down the flagstone path to the bungalow's front door.
It had been well landscaped, lined with flowering hibiscus bushes and behind them, a rainbow of alternating jacaranda and frangipani trees in bloom, filling the air with their heady scents. A frantic barking came from behind the purple door, accompanied by scratching as he heard a familiar female voice, bearing a modest Spanish accent, say "Is that your Papi, buddy? Your Papi's back from his important job, isn't he, yes!"
The knob turned as Wu expectantly placed the briefcase on the path, and before the door was even half open, Dug, his five-year-old Rhodesian ridgeback/Belgian Shepherd mix, enthusiastically came shooting out the door at the geneticist, vaulting the trio of marble steps and dancing around his master, who laughed and ruffled his sleek coat even as he told the dog "Whoa boy. Down boy. Yes, it's great to see you too," he replied to the prancing animal, pink tongue lolling in excitement.
As he stroked the dense strip of fur that ran down Dug's spine and patted his shoulder, the dog continuing to writhe with eagerness, he grinned up at the woman who'd let him out, now standing at the base of the marble steps.
"So, how was he today, Carla?" he asked the Tican housekeeper.
"Good as gold, Dr. Wu," she smiled back.
"You only took him for two walks so far today, right?"
"Yes Dr. Wu, one in the morning and one around noon. He's ready to go burn off some energy with his Papi," she smiled, great brown eyes twinkling warmly at Dug as he followed Wu up to the door. "I also did the housework of course, and Hugo has just finished preparing the lobster with black bean sauce and steamed broccoli for you with hot and sour soup, just like you requested."
"That'll be a great dinner," he smiled. "Thanks again Carla, and have a good evening."
"You as well Dr. Wu."
As he entered the pleasantly cool air-conditioned foyer and set his briefcase down, a somewhat calmer Dug wagging his tail beside him, a harsh, squawking voice rang through the air from the bungalow's living room.
Right on cue, as she'd been trained, Cai Hung, his blue and yellow macaw, hoarsely declared "Hip-hip-hurray, Henry's home!"
"That I am, Cai Hung," he grinned, turning and walking up to her great custom-built cage to let her out. "Thanks for the enthusiasm."
After changing into a new shirt and a yellow sarong for comfort in the heat, he brought both Dug and Cai Hung, riding on his forearm like he was a pirate captain, outside to the teakwood dining table on the bungalow's marble-floored veranda. There, Hugo placed the lobster under its silver cover in front of the geneticist before removing the lid to reveal the main course in all its tasty glory.
And it sure was tasty, Wu thought as he ate, watching the sun setting over the ocean like a phoenix being consumed by flames as Cai Hung affectionately groomed his hair or chewed on the odd piece of steamed broccoli or pea pod he graciously passed to her. The soup was wonderful too, and banana pudding with vanilla wafers made a suitably cooling dessert. He loved this place.
After dinner was done, Wu returned the macaw back to her cage for the time being. He then changed a second time, into a pair of swim trunks, before going down the slate path with Dug to the private beach he'd had specially constructed ten years ago (in an environmentally sensitive manner of course) from tons of white coral sand, dredged and shipped all the way from Mexico. An extravagance to be sure, but hey, he deserved it for all his hard work in the labs. And what Dr. Henry Wu wanted, he got.
Masarani might be the emperor around here in the wake of Hammond's death, Wu thought as he stepped into the surf, feeling the sand under and among his bare toes, but he was very much the king, the one who made this place work and exist. It would've been working a hell of a lot sooner of course, if it hadn't been for that obese turncoat, Nedry…
Wu shook his head, banishing the memories of that disastrous weekend in 1993 from his mind. It was over and done with. Right now, there was just the salt breeze, the gentle waves, the warmth of the evening sun, the radiant sunset, and lovable, loyal Dug to be focused on.
Growing up in Ohio, Wu naturally hadn't exactly had much exposure to the ocean or large bodies of water in general. When he'd gone to California for college though, he'd taken the chance on getting to know the sea somewhat better during his freshman year. And he'd liked it.
It was a passion that had only grown stronger after coming here, to Isla Nublar. He loved the feeling of near-weightlessness, the powerful slap of the waves against his stocky body, the ability to move in three dimensions instead of being confined to two, the colorful, almost alien, profusion of life below the surface.
He not only enjoyed swimming, but also loved scuba diving, free diving, jet skiing, windsurfing, and was even accomplished at spearfishing. Out in the distance, a speedboat was pulling someone around on a towed surfboard. Wu thoughtfully watched them as he and Dug slipped into the salt water together. Wakeboarding, they called it. He wondered if he should try doing that sometime too. Couldn't be any more difficult than waterskiing, right?
With Dug following, Wu breast-stroked past the breaking waves, swimming about a quarter mile out to sea before turning and heading back to shore, bobbing up and down in time with the waves and relishing the slap of them against his torso.
Back at home, after a shower and another change of clothes, it was time for the necessary, 21st century chore of checking e-mails. It was a task Wu generally did in his living room armchair, upholstered in red fabric-the color of good luck in Chinese culture.
He was a very lucky man indeed, Wu thought proudly, letting his eyes rove around the spacious living room as he slid the green iPad from its case and plugged it in. Lucky in more ways than one.
All around him were framed photos (also contained on the iPad's hard drive) of many of the proudest moments in the groundbreaking geneticist's life. There were pictures of him with Presidents Clinton, Bush Jr., and Obama. Xi Jinping, Hu Jintao, and Jiang Zemin, among other Chinese presidents, all beaming with pride and delight at what this American-born member of their people had done, make one of humankind's greatest fantasies come true.
A picture of him standing in the revolutionary Liaoling quarry with Li Yumin, the farmer who in August 1996, had discovered the first fossils of Sinosauropteryx prima-and changed the way people saw dinosaurs forever. (Of course, Wu had found to his own shock that many dinosaurs had coats of feathers a decade before, but hadn't been able to breathe-or even more excruciatingly, publish-a word about it until the Isla Sorna incident.) And lots of proud photos with him with astonished, looking-like-they'd-seen-a-ghost paleontologists in various expressions of shock, awe, and bliss, ranging from the late John Ostrom and Jack Horner, to the younger blood, like Scott Sampson and Matt Lamana.
Time to turn his attention back to all the stupid shit new e-mails in his inbox right now though.
He spent about an hour and a half clicking through, responding to, and deleting e-mails, stopping only to pee and make himself a strawberry daiquiri before he grew tired of it. Another hour and a half was spent dealing with the documents in his briefcase, mostly dealing with a proposal to have his lab clone ground sloths and the permits required to work with the bones and mummified hide.
Once he'd endured as much of that as he could take, Wu closed out of the file windows, and decided to go bring up one of his several YouTube pages, intending to revisit a few of the vids he'd placed under Favorites for some fun before he went to bed.
As Dug laid curled up at his feet, Wu first clicked on a video from the movie than had given the Ridgeback cross his name, where Russell and Carl met the golden retriever for the first time. That "Squirrel!" got him every time.
Next was Charlie Bit My Finger. Wu guessed that he must've watched that Internet classic at least two hundred times by now, but he'd still be damned if it ever got old!
The theme for the movie Once Upon A Time in China, which he joined his own voice with.
A Cantonese language version of "I'll Make A Man Out Of You," from Disney's Mulan. Yeah, it wasn't exactly accurate to the real ballad of Fa Mulan, but it was still pretty good all the same. And you had to love Mushu! Bradley Wong had also made a great choice to voice Li Shang too, Wu felt.
The swordfight scene between Sokka and Piandao in Book Three of Avatar: The Last Airbender, with his own voice coming out of the sword master's mouth. Wu grinned and chuckled. He could still hardly believe that Bryan and Mike had come and asked him, a geneticist of all people, to voice a character in their wildly popular animated series. As far as he was aware, only Neil DeGrasse Tyson shared that level of fame among scientists.
One of his favorite pop songs, Don't Call Me Baby by Madison Avenue. Whenever Wu dropped by for a good time at Jurassic World's Dilophosaur Dance Club, Zane-aka DJ Philosoraptor-knew to always blare this beat on the speakers.
There was another YouTube video in Favorites. Wu felt his eyes widen and gave a slow, calculated intake of breath. In his head, an invisible string violin played a creepy, discordant tune to accompany the chill that slid through his bloodstream. The title of it was simply, Sparrowhawk Eats Pigeon. Masrani had asked him once why, after that experience in 1993 that had left him mauled, his flesh torn and bleeding to death, Wu had this, of all videos, among his favorites.
Wu was a geneticist, not a psychoanalyst, so he really couldn't say for sure why. Maybe it was a way of dealing with the trauma and terror of that day, of facing and beating his inner demons. Maybe it was to remind himself of the nasty first-hand consequences of becoming too complacent. Maybe it was for the pleasure of the vicarious chill watching the footage gave him.
Or maybe he was just a glutton for psychological punishment.
Steeling himself, Wu moved the cursor to the title and clicked.
The ten-minute long video showed a Eurasian sparrowhawk in Britain that had just captured a dove, white as ivory, the hawk's talons piercing deep into its back as it plucked the feathers and tore chunks of flesh from the doomed bird. The pigeon fought hard for its life, flapping, dragging the sparrowhawk through brush, bucking, even thrashing and splashing in a stream for a good portion of the video.
But all the while, the equally determined bird of prey coolly held on, flapping its own wings for balance as it grimly ate a bloody crater out of the dove's living flesh, blood speckling the white feathers like the notes on some terrible piece of sheet music…
For a while, Wu just watched the footage with baited breath, repelled yet hypnotized at the same time. Two-thirds of the way through, it just became too much to stand, and he put the video on pause. A shuddering sigh escaped his lungs as he clenched his eyes shut. He knew better than anyone what the dove in the footage was going through.
Memories of shock, of pure, animal fear, of excruciating terror, of disbelief flooded back to him from twenty-two years ago.
There'd been a pair of raptors trying to get to them in the lodge via the skylight. With their powerful legs, it had been fairly easy for them to crack, then shatter, the tempered glass in the panes by stomping it.
The steel bars presented a more difficult barrier for the duo. They'd attempted to gnaw through the metal grate for a few minutes, but had soon accepted that even their jaws and teeth weren't up to such a task, causing a relieved feeling of confident hope to spring up in Wu and the others. There would be plenty of time to wait them out now.
But velociraptors weren't quitters, and they soon were cruelly disabused of their optimism when the raptors switched tactics, alternating between either trying to pry the bars loose with their tridents of hands or repeatedly bouncing up and down on them, like a polar bear trying to smash through packed snow to reach a seal pup in its den. With each of the animals weighing twice as much as a wolf, and the fact that the bars had been hastily welded to the frame, Wu could only watch in growing dismay as their new plan began to display results.
A plan for getting the power back on was cobbled together. Ellie, with Muldoon covering her, would go for the maintenance shed, where Hammond would talk her through the process of restoring the electricity. First though, they had to know exactly where the remaining three raptors were.
Especially "the big girl." She was just plain bad news.
The best way to do that was to attract the raptors to the back part of the lodge's perimeter, and then hopefully keep them there while Muldoon and Ellie went out the front.
Both of them, along with 25-year-old security guard Mario Hernandez, were able to successfully tempt the trio of raptors into rushing them at the back gate, and were able to keep them focused on the defenseless prey behind it. Now was the time for Muldoon and Ellie to make their move.
Trouble was, they hadn't taken the raptors still on the roof into account. When Harding had said that the velociraptors had just left the skylight, a bolt of horror at their reckless oversight knifed through Wu.
He'd rushed to the door and flung it open almost on autopilot, shouting "Muldoon! The raptors from the roof are going to be coming at you and Ellie in seconds!"
Behind him, he was faintly aware of Harding starting to say something, perhaps a warning of his own.
There was a moment then, where an eerie, uncanny, primitive sensation had gripped the geneticist, something that made the hair on his nape go erect, and the blood in his veins seem to hum with a deep, ancestral terror. And it was then that Henry Wu realized how very near the raptors actually were.
Then all hell broke loose.
Like a fallen angel, one of the velociraptors, feathered spinal crest bristling with excitement, landed in a crouch at his right side, her crocodile eyes malevolently blazing.
Before he could even think of reacting, her head was shooting out of its S-curve at his arm, jaws cracking open. Pain rocketed up his arm and shoulder as she clamped down like a pitbull on his elbow, accompanied by the sickening crack of his bones breaking under her bite force.
Wu could only scream in agony as the raptor then dragged him away from the door as he braced his feet and tried to resist.
A sudden, crashing weight on his back as the second raptor leapt down on him like a ton of bricks, sending him face first into the dirt. Interior stars in his head. He felt more pain flare from the small of his back as the raptor clenched her toes against her victim, all three claws piercing deep into his flesh like white-hot shark hooks, his own blood welling over his skin. She had him good and pinned.
Now, if anything, Wu's primal terror increased tenfold, to the point where he could've fainted from it. He knew what was going to happen next.
Almost on cue, there was a fresh agony as the second raptor shifted position and bit into his right buttock. Wu could only howl as the velociraptor tore a piece of his own flesh loose and swallowed it. The first raptor circled around and drove the claws on one of her feet into his left thigh before also starting to rip flesh from it.
They were eating him. Eating him alive.
Three amazing strokes of good fortune saved him.
The first one was that suddenly, the first of the two raptors who'd jumped him decided to switch targets, leaping from his thigh to go after Mario.
Secondly, in an incredible display of loyalty and courage, Harding had run out with a thick metal bar on seeing the other raptor abandon Wu. When the velociraptor tearing flesh from his ass had raised her head and stood her ground over her catch, blood and saliva trickling from her jaws like a storybook wolf as she'd glared at the vet and given an ear-piercing screech of threat, it would be perfectly understandable if he'd decided to beat a hasty retreat.
But Harding had gone for the raptor with a vengeance, savagely beating her with the metal bar until she released her talons from Wu's back. He didn't let her make any sort of escape, whacking the 140-pound dinosaur in the face and head until she crumpled to the ground.
In the meantime, Mario had fled up a tree. There, he too began screaming in Tican Spanish as the other raptor caught him, clamping down onto his leg and attempting to yank him loose before throwing him to the ground.
There'd been an almighty boom at that moment, as Muldoon had fired his rifle, and then a thud as the raptor fell dead to the dirt fifteen feet below. With both raptors killed, Harding and Muldoon had then turned their attention to Wu, carrying his half-conscious body back into the lodge between.
The last thing Wu remembered hearing before slipping away was a horrified Hammond pleading with Muldoon, "It's too damned dangerous out there Robert! I don't want you and Ellie leaving this lodge."
"We need to go," Ellie insisted. "That power isn't going to come back on by itself John."
"And especially while the rest of the raptors are still distracted at the back part of the fence," Muldoon had added. "Just help Ellie out and take care of Wu. We'll be back, I promise."
Muldoon hadn't made it back.
And Wu nearly hadn't either.
His third stroke of luck had been having Harding there, who used his medical knowledge and the newly restored power to treat the horrible wounds as best he could, and get the head geneticist stabilized.
He and Malcom had both been sent by helicopter to a hospital in the city of Paraiso. The list of injuries was appalling. Much of his right buttock eaten away. A bite taken out of his left calf, like a person would take a bite out of a chicken leg. Several sets of piercing wounds from where the foot claws of the velociraptor had impaled him. A shattered elbow and three cracked vertebrae. A collapsed right lung. Four broken ribs.
He'd been in a hospital bed for nearly two months, and had nearly died twice from septicemia caused by the bacteria in the mouths of the raptors. It had taken nearly a year for Wu to fully recover. Hammond of course, had spared no amount of money and concern when it came to his favorite geneticist's medical bills and comfort while convalescing.
Now, though, he was feeling better than ok. The surgeons had done a wonderful job with the skin and muscle grafts, Wu thought appreciatively as he placed the iPad on the coffee table in front of him and stood to stretch, causing Dug to look up at him questioningly. And thanks to the latest laser technology, you could hardly even notice the scarring anymore. He was not only still alive, but looked and felt great for his age, was fit as a fiddle, as the saying went.
And they'd all learned from their mistakes too, he was confident. Precaution Number One was to make sure every employee or staff member at the park was treated with respect, was never allowed to feel underappreciated or like a pack mule. To do otherwise was to invite another Nedry.
They'd also learned the value of trying to think like a dinosaur, to recognize that they were complex, living animals with emotions and desires of their own, and could be unpredictable. The great thing was though, the more you researched and got to know these animals, the much better you became at predicting that very unpredictability. And until then, you just erred on the side of caution when it came to security.
Most of all, they'd acknowledged Malcom's words of caution from all those years ago about how basically, shit happened with things like this venture, that you had to expect curve balls once in a while.
A point not only well taken, but learned in a very harsh, gruesome way.
Now though, Wu was pretty confident that this new park had done a pretty damn good job of covering all the required bases. The fact that Jurassic World hadn't experienced any serious problems for the past nine years was all the proof one needed of that.
And as for the two specimens of 'Indominus rex' his lab had created, they were growing fast and in great health-they'd already reached adolescence! Unfortunately, they were both starting to have dominance fights of late…
Well, no matter. The handlers would sort that out one way or the other, Wu was certain. They both looked nice and scary, he knew that much.
"Show me the teeth indeed, Lady Gaga," he proudly mumbled.
Banishing the memories of the attack from his mind, he scrolled down the page to keep from looking at even the still image of the sparrowhawk performing its bloody work.
He was alive. He was a superstar, a modern-day Merlin. The dinosaurs were great and under control. The park was doing great and running smoothly, with everything in its place and a place for everything. His orchestra was playing for him in perfect harmony. That's what he had to focus on.
Time for one or two last videos to enjoy before bed.
He decided he was in the mood for Offspring's "Pretty Fly For A White Guy," and clicked the image on his Favorites.
The slamming sound of the electric guitars blasted from the speakers, and Wu couldn't help but sing along.
"He may not have a clue and/ he may not have style/ but everything he lacks/ he makes up in denial!"
And like the cat that swallowed the canary, he proudly grinned.
Perhaps unfortunately, recent computer models, experiments with mechanical replicas and carcasses, and close examinations of raptor "killing claws" have shown them to be more suited for piercing than gruesome, eviscerating slashes. Instead, they most likely dispatched prey in a way similar to today's birds of prey, clenching their foot claws into its flesh, using their weight to restrain it, and then proceeding to consume the victim alive until it died from blood loss and shock, flapping their feathered arms for stability. I thought Wu would have a far better chance of surviving this method of attacking prey than being sliced open. :)