The doors of the TARDIS swung open as Dante and Elizabeth ran in, just having came from a party thrown by a friend of the former. Catching their breaths, Dante loosened his bow tie and threw his jacket over on the nearby coat hanger while Elizabeth kicked off her heels and leaned on the console.
"That was fun," she panted, smirking at Dante. "I didn't know you could dance in zero gravity like that."
"Well, now you do," he smiled back, leaning in so they locked lips before separating. "Now then, where shall we go? New Earth?...No, we've already been there. Nasty bit of business with the Macra, if you remember which I'm sure you do. I don't want any of that sort of trouble any time soon. Hm…"
"How about somewhere simple?" Elizabeth suggested. "Perhaps the library of Alexandria, or the town square of Greece in B.C."
"Simple, you say…while all of that sounds lovely, I think we should do something a bit more, ah, exciting, wouldn't you say?"
"Perhaps...but what could possibly...?"
"How about seeing some dinosaurs?"
"Dinosaurs? That's a...bit...dangerous wouldn't you say?"
Dante shrugged, smirking as she fiddled with the console. "Well, no less dangerous than having magical inter dimension powers and trying to escape a floating city for which we're supposed to be the harbinger of the apocalypse."
"Touché," she said with a defeated sigh. "Alright, dinos it is then. Lead the way."
"Alrighty then. Let's see…the cretaceous period? No that wouldn't do...Triassic? Nah too simple...Jurassic-" he paused mid sentence before musing for a moment. "Oh. Oh, I think I got it!" Punching in a set of buttons and switches, he went over to the lever and pulled causing the TARDIS to take off to their destination. After stabilizing it for a smoother flight, Dante said, "Alright, let's get out of the party suits and into something more appropriate for the location."
"Is the wardrobe still where it was last time?"
"I believe so. Just let me just...there, TARDIS will land in about an hour or so." He turned as he and Elizabeth walked into the ship.
"Right, that took some time but I think we got what we need." Dante claimed, double checking and going over his outfit and gear. He wore hiking boots, shorts, a vest and a button up shirt with his sleeves rolled up. His gear consisted of his sonic screwdriver, a canteen of water, a Swiss Army knife and a machete.
Elizabeth came out wearing a pair of knee high rubber boots, breeches, a short sleeve button up, a vest, a corset and a safari hat with a hat pin in the side of it. Her supplies consisted of a med kit, a pair of binoculars, a canteen of her own, a journal with a pen and a .22 magnum two shot pistol.
Dante raised an eyebrow at the last item. "You sure you're going to need that?"
Elizabeth gave him a plain look, rolling her eyes fondly. "Hey, it's dinosaurs. You can *never* be too careful with those things. Also, I have a melee weapon on me for a quick getaway." She pointed to the brooch sticking out of her hat. "They're very popular where I'm from."
"I see your point, pun not intended." He quickly added. "Now let's see where we are. Hit the scanner switch please?"
Elizabeth nodded, and went over to the side of the console and flipped a switch which caused a part of the wall to slide up and reveal a screen. An image appeared in said screen and showed a valley with a forest in the distance. Seeing the area was clear, he and Elizabeth headed out the door and onto a grassy plain.
Dante held his finger in the air before licking it. "Temperature's about a good seventy eight degrees with a slight breeze, slight chance of rain later." His face then shifted into one of concern. "Though that's odd."
"What's wrong?" Elizabeth's tone of voice was slightly uneasy, but not too worried-she trusted that if there was anything life-threatening, Dante would not only let her know but be a huge help in dealing with the problem.
"Well we're supposed to be in a period of Earth where the Pangea continent was just starting to come apart. Yet," He jumped up and down on the ground and stomped it for a few seconds. "It feels like we're on an island with a mildly active volcano."
"Feels? Okay, a couple things with that. First of all how could it *feel* like we're on an island? Or is that some sort of Time Lord thing, in which case, very cool. Second, is your machine always accurate? Perhaps it miscalculated. Third, I would very much like to be nowhere near any active volcanoes, thank you very much."
"In reverse order, I said mildly active. It probably won't blow for another twenty to thirty years. And while the TARDIS may not be accurate all the time, it takes me where I need to be. And finally," He pointed out behind Elizabeth. "The volcano's right there plus I can smell the ocean."
Elizabeth tilted her head, nodding as she took in these facts, "Okay, that should have been more obvious to me. My bad." She chuckled, embarrassed, before noticing something behind Dante and gasping. Her eyes went wide and her face stretched into a huge smile before she wordlessly slapped Dante's shoulder and pointed. "Look, look, look!" she barely managed to squeeze out.
"What, what wha-?!" He turned around and his jaw dropped as he saw a ninety eight foot brachiosaurus with its young walking by its side feeding off palm trees that were a good ten to twenty feet ahead of them. "Oh wow. I mean I've seen things that would top this but still, it's amazing nonetheless."
"*A real, live, dinosaur.* I'm seeing a real dinosaur. Am I going crazy?" she breathed, ecstatic.
"My dear, you'd have gone crazy quite some time ago, but otherwise no, no you have not." Dante walked further up to see the creatures more closely. "Oh you beauties." He breathed out before turning to Elizabeth. "Want to see more of them?" He asked excited.
"Oh, yes," she said excitedly, almost before he had finished speaking. She nearly jumped up and down with anticipation.
"Alright, let's just find a way out of this valley. TARDIS should be fine where it is but I can always call it if we need a quick evacuation."
"You can do that?" Elizabeth asked, her attention momentarily stolen from the brachiosaurus by Dante.
"Of course. In fact I was working on a "return to sender" system before I was employed by...well, you know who." He said, his final words hinting at people they knew.
"You're a cheeky one," she replied dryly, though it was all in fun. She grabbed his hand, squeezed it, and said, "Alright, time to see some dinosaurs. I can't wait-hey, can I say it with you?"
Dante nodded, and he and Elizabeth shouted, "Allons-y!" before heading off down towards the valley and into the forest.
After coming across many huge and beautiful herbivores like stegosaurus, triceratops, pachycephalosaurus and ankylosaurus, and taking care not to spook or anger any of them, Elizabeth managed to get some sketches of these wonderful creatures. They headed more inland as the day became afternoon before coming across a road, a paved road strangely enough. Following it, ahead of them was a tunnel and to the right of them was a cliff side and the left was more jungle. But what was more curious aside from the concrete road was the crashed mud covered Jeep embedded in a tree.
"A...a car? That doesn't make any sense...we're in the land of dinosaurs, there shouldn't be any people around. Unless...well, I don't know. Unless what?"
"Well, don't forget the paved road. And...I'm just as stumped as you are." Dante scratched his chin. Something about this felt familiar but he couldn't put his finger on it. Shrugging, he said, "Let's check out the car, see if that tells us anything."
Nearing towards the car, they noted two things: First, the doors were opened and second was…
"Jeez, that smells!" Dante covered his mouth and nose as he recoiled at the stench.
"What is that?" she said, stepping away almost immediately from the car. She frowned, making a face.
"I don't know, but it smells dead." He inched forward, peering inside cautiously.
"Eugh. Human, you think? Or dino? Or something else entirely?"
"Don't know." He shifted around, taking caution to not to inhale anymore the decaying smell. "What I do know is whoever owned this car had quite a sweet tooth." He examined a candy wrapper before discarding it back on the floor. It was then he noted a slight trail that was on the ground near the driver's side of the car. Almost like something, or someone, was running away. "Anyways, if there was a body here, it's gone now."
"Disturbing. Should we head back? I don't want to get stuck in a place other than we thought. Perhaps we should check and see where we really landed." Elizabeth walked over towards the cliff side, wanting to get back to the TARDIS, until she felt something crunch under her foot. She looked down, curious, raising an eyebrow, before her face paled and she bent over to pick it up.
"It's...it's a name tag?"
"Hm? What was that?" Dante asked from the Jeep, still rummaging through the back. "What did you say?"
"A name tag," she called, her voice anxious as she read the name. It wasn't one she recognized, but it was still proof that people had been here all the same. It unnerved her deeply.
"A—What? A name tag, did you say?"
"Yeah. It's property of someone by the name of Dennis Nedry. It's almost cracked in half, looks pretty worn."
Dante halted his rummaging before popping his head out, his expression one of shock. "What did you say?"
"Erm. Dennis Nedry. I could be pronouncing that wrong? Do you know who that is?"
While he didn't reply, he did go around to the passenger door and started to scrape off the mud caked on it. It took him a good few seconds but once most of it was clear, he staggered backwards, feeling like he received a huge punch to the gut.
"Dante? What's wrong, what is it?"
Turning his head, Elizabeth saw that the look on his face said it all: "I know where we are."
A chittering/cooing sound was heard coming from the forest gaining the two's attention. Their heads turned towards it as they quickly but carefully moved towards each other. The jungle brush rustled and moved, Elizabeth pulling out her pistol while Dante took a stance with his machete out.
"How many rounds do you have?" Dante asked, keeping an eye on the jungle.
"I'm filled to the brim," she replied cautiously. "Dante, stop being so cryptic. Where are we, and what have we gotten ourselves into?"
A creature then popped out from the brush and landed in front of them, causing them to recoil but on further examination they lowered their weapons. It was a bipedal lizard that was green in color, having multiple shades with dark striping across their back as well as some shades of red and blue and a yellow underbelly. All it did was tilted its head at the duo and chirp at them.
Lowering her gun, Elizabeth walked closer to it. "It's...oh my god it's a tiny dinosaur. Is that a compsognathus? Where's the rest of its pack though? Surely it's not alone?"
"It looks like it, and it's a good thing it is. And another good thing we're armed."
"Right," she breathed, readjusting her weapon nervously. "Dante, Where. Are. We?"
"Isla Nublar, 120 miles west of Costa Rica, 87 miles east of the Muertes Archipelago." Dante explained, kicking the dirt up towards the compy, scarring the thing away.
"And does that location hold any significance to you?"
"After our little friend here and that name tag, it does now." Dante sheathed his machete back and turned to her. "Welcome to Jurassic Park."
Elizabeth stared for a moment before nodding once or twice, slowly, but her face showed no comprehension even as she verbally confirmed, "I see. And, ah, what exactly is a Jurassic Park?"
"Well, it's…" he stopped mid sentence, eyes widening as he stepped back an inch or two. "Elizabeth, move." He spoke in a calm but stern manner.
"Wha-?" She turned to see what he was going on about and stopped dead, her hand automatically raising her gun again as she pointed it at the new creature. This one was dark green, with red, yellow, and white stripes adorning various parts of the body, but unlike the previous one, this one was large as a modern brown bear.
"Oh my god," she whispered as she backed up to stand closer to Dante. "There's another one. Do you know what kind it is?" she asked, still studying it.
The big lizard chirped as it examined the two, before a frill expanded from the sides of it's head and rattled as the creature snarled.
Dante forced Elizabeth to the ground before a black substance flew over their heads, splattering on the back of the Jeep. Dante groaned, taking his machete and slashing at the frilled dino. It backed off as it hissed, baring its teeth threateningly. Dante growled right back, though not nearly as menacing or effectively. He took a swing as his knife cut off part of the frill, making the bipedal lizard back off shaking its head in pain. It glared at the two as it hissed and made a hasty retreat back into the jungle. Dante, breathing hard, let out a sigh of relief before sheathing his weapon.
"Okay, can't we go and find some nice, peaceful herbivores? Surely there's a part of this...island that has some. Or is that just wishful thinking?"
"There are, but with this island it's hard to tell. Also, that was a dilophosaurus."
"I see. Carnivore or omnivore? They didn't really have those sorts of books in my tower, something to do with being against the way God created the universe and the seven days bit. Not sure. Columbia was...extreme like that."
"Of course it was." He scoffed, shaking his head. "Carnivore." He walked over to the Jeep where the substance had landed. "This," he dug through his vest pocket before pulling out a pencil and scrapping the goo on it. "Is venom. Agitates and burns the skin on contact and will blind you if it gets in your eye." Tossing the pencil aside, he checked took out his sonic screwdriver and scanned the jeep. "Car's totaled so we're gonna have walk." More chirping caught his attention as he began walking. "Let's keep going, I'll explain what this place is on the way."
"I'd like that," she said, somewhat bitterly. "Actually, I don't know what I expected, showing up to an island full of dinosaurs. Where are we headed?"
"Not sure. Either a bunker or the main visitor center." The two began their walk as they started their way opposite of the tunnel. "So, what do you want to know about this place?"
"Uhm, everything? Everything you can tell me at least. And why can't we just go back to the TARDIS. I think I've seen enough dinos for one day."
"Well the way we came may not be safe. Besides, if we head to the visitor center we could find a working Jeep and get to the TARDIS with that. Not to mention outrun any predators that come our way."
"Fair enough. But didn't you say you had some sort of device or way to summon the TARDIS?"
"The RTS system, yes. But I didn't have time to calibrate it. Been putting it off for so long. Guess the Doctor was right; you put things off for a day and next thing you know, it's a hundred years later."
Elizabeth's mouth formed a tight line as she nodded, forcing a short laugh as she grimaced. "You know, I kind of hate you right now," she joked. "It's not exactly your fault though, so I can't blame you. Fair enough, lead the way."
"Alright," He lead the way as they continued down the road towards hopefully the right direction. "So where do you want me to start?"
"So... the dinos were all female, but due to the DNA splicing with amphibians, they were able to change their sex from female to male, thereby enabling them to breed?"
"Exactly. As one man said, life finds a way."
It had been a good hour and a half as it was well after noon as the two trekked deeper into the dino infested island. He'd filled her in on the man who conceived this miracle of science as well as how the process works. She of course jotted this down in her notebook, filling up a good portion of it with the information given to her. Although, there was one tiny detail he didn't mention that she now brought up.
"So all the dinosaurs were created and hatched here? Wow, kinda excited to see the visitor center. Kind of. I'm not so excited to run into any more of our carnivorous creatures."
"Not going to jinx that last statement. But the former...eh...not really."
"How do you mean?"
"I mean that while some were hatched here, there's another island that they used to both make and raise the dino's."
"There is?!" Elizabeth exclaimed, causing her voice to echo through the jungle startling nearby birds.
"Shh!" Dante shushed, causing her to clamp her mouth shut. "Yes, there is. Isla Sorna aka Site B while Isla Nublar, Site A, is the island we're currently on."
"Which is where the park is. Well, used to be, technically."
"Yes, and will be again," he muttered under his breath.
"What was that?"
It was starting to become near the late afternoon before the two found themselves coming across a stream, and needing to refill their canteens, they decided to stop for a bit. They talked about this and that as first Dante made sure that the water was drinkable, and then they spent painstaking minutes trying to catch enough water to even mostly fill up their bottles. She asked about the dinosaurs and the different species and their traits and everything she could possibly think of, and Dante did his best to answer. It wasn't until the ground started to shake that their conversation was halted. They got out their weapons as they inched towards where the shaking was originated from, only to find a herd of parasaurolophus grazing and drinking near the river bank.
"Oh...oh. What type are they?"
"Parasaurolophus. Herbivores by nature as well as staying in herds. Though, that makes me think…" Dante pondered, rubbing his chin and started mumbling, "We're pretty much inland...and where we came from must've been south so if we head west…"
Meanwhile, Elizabeth decided to get closer to the parasaurolophus to sketch it, and perhaps even pet it. She was less than five feet away from one that was grazing when suddenly a call of a one nearby caused it to rear its head up. Trying to back away, she slipped as the startled dinosaur started to turn around, it's tail threatening to smack her upside the head. It would've happened until she was pulled back by Dante, who dragged her back a bit before helping her up.
"Thanks." She dusted herself off before asking, "What's up with them?"
"Their lookout must've smelled a predator nearby. Not sure what-"
A certain hiss followed by an ear piercing screech was heard as a trio of raptors bolted from the other side of the stream, only one managing to clutch onto and tear into the parasaur. Said raptor had a peculiar scar across its left eye which made it appear to be blind. The other two assisted their leader as they tore and bit into the fallen herbivore. The two witnesses to this act of savage nature decided to make a hasty retreat before they were next. Unfortunately, the raptors noticed them first. They weren't a good few hundred feet away until they noticed two of the three following them from behind. Having to think on the fly, Dante grabbed Elizabeth's wrist and dragged her to the nearest tree, pushed her towards it and screamed, "CLIMB!"
The two scrambled up, one right after the other, until they were safely out of reach of the carnivorous dinos. Elizabeth breathed heavily as she examined a small cut on her leg where one of them had grazed her with its claws. "Do you think this is infected?" she asked Dante nonchalantly.
"Not sure, but right now-watchyourleg!"
One of the raptors had jumped up trying to take a bite from Elizabeth's other leg, only to be met with nothing as she pulled it up quickly. Landing on the ground, it and its pack mate began to circle the base of the tree glaring up at the two who were in a slight embrace and snarling. It wasn't till a minute later their scarred leader came up, mouth bloody (no thanks to it's indulgence of the fallen prey) before the three began cawing and chittering at each other.
"Are...are they communicating?" Elizabeth asked, as she began mending her wound, though not loudly as to draw their attention.
"Yeah. Raptors have a nasty reputation for being smart." Dante answered grimly, examining the communicating creatures.
"How smart are we talking?"
"They set ambushes and can open doors."
"...Lovely. How soon can we get back to the TARDIS?"
"Don't know. The leader just made a fresh kill, so depending on hungry they get, they might just go eat that. Otherwise, they'll stalk us well into the night."
"Well, let's change that." Elizabeth pulled up her pant leg and pulled out her two shot pistol before taking aim and firing. The ground around the three raptors exploded as they took a step back to examine the hole before staring up at the tree. Taking aim again, she fired the gun, and a piercing screech came from one of the raptors as it fell to the ground. Her second bullet had hit the dino in its flank, and she almost felt sorry for it as it screeched and wheezed, kicking its clawed toe wildly. "A pity," she murmured, examining the creature from her perch. "It didn't know any better."
"Suppose it didn't. It was only acting on instinct." Dante added to her sentiment, before noticing the daylight was almost gone. "I doubt that thing will take down a Rex, still, how many rounds did you bring for that thing?"
"I only had the two shots." She shrugged, pocketing the now useless gun. "Our hopes ride on you, Mr. Time Travel."
Dante wanted to argue with the nickname but his attention was drawn by the commotion of the raptors. Observing further, it looked like the two were leaving their compatriot behind as they headed back towards their original prey. The wounded raptor cawed in protest before they were gone from sight, all the while snarling at the tree. A good while had passed before the sun had disappeared and the raptor had tried for the umpteenth time to get up but faltered due to the wound. Deciding it was safe, Dante climbed down the tree and kept an eye on the carnivore, which had decided to drift off to sleep. He silently motioned for Elizabeth to drop down from her spot as well, and she did so, making sure not to put too much stress on her wounded leg whilst also trying not to rouse the dino. They hadn't gone ten feet from the tree and fifteen from the raptor before it raised it's head and cawed out, summoning the other two who flanked the two humans. They inched nearer and closer towards them, looking like they were about to pounce, before a very loud ominous and disturbing snarl was heard. This caused the raptors to look up before turning tail, leaving their disabled comrade who started to whimper and claw vigorously.
'That's...concerning,' the hybrid thought finding it odd that they just turn and ran. 'Only time predators act like this is when they're afraid. Not of something bigger, but something…' He paused for a moment, trying to think of an appropriate word. When he couldn't find one, he simply shook his head. 'It's ominous, is what it is. We should be careful.'
Dante turned to see Elizabeth clutching her ankle below her leg wound. "Something just bit me! Oh, I hope it's not infected..."
"Let me see."
She lifted her hand from her wound while Dante scanned the fresh bite mark before examining the results.
"Oh. Oh this is not good."
"Oh, damn. Just what we needed...well, give it to me straight-don't beat around the bush."
"Well, what I'm about to say is kind of scary, so you probably want to take a moment, get yourself in a calm place."
Elizabeth shot him an unamused glare that easily conveys how unimpressed she is with his 'treating her with delicacy'. "What did I just say?"
Dante sighed, raising his hands in surrender. "Fair enough. Alright, you were bitten by a Troodon. This particular dinosaur has a toxin laced saliva. There are side effects that will follow in the next hour or so if we don't get to the main building."
Elizabeth, surprisingly, didn't freak out or faint or anything like that. Instead, she sighed heavily, frowning. "Well, that's certainly unfortunate. What are these side effects, and how far away is the building?"
"Sluggishness and confusion followed by aggressive behavior, discolored eyes, hallucinations, convulsions followed by a seizure, and finally, paralysis and brain death." Dante pinched the bridge of his nose. "As for the visitor center, it's west of us and it'll take us almost till morning to get there. And since you're basically hoofing it on one leg, maybe longer until the symptoms kick in."
"...You've got to be joking. So there's no hope?"
"Well...I could carry you there." He began bandaging the wound with a piece of his own shirt. "That would shave off some lost time. Also, with what's out there, we need to be vigilante, especially with the troodon's since they're nocturnal."
Elizabeth heaved another heavy sigh, shooting Dante a glare. "I really wish you hadn't procrastinated on that TARDIS transportation thing. I'm making you finish it as soon as we get back."
"Yes, dear," he said, both exasperated but endeared at the same time. "In the meantime…" He trailed off, finishing the makeshift bandage before he bent on one knee and held out his arms and hands backwards. "Shall we get a move on?"
The same ominous snarl from before was heard and over a dozen glowing eyes surrounded the area, all of them staring at the two. Elizabeth started, seemingly forgetting they were there, before she looked at Dante and nodded. Hopping on, he lifted her with ease and began his trek, being mindful of the nocturnal scavengers as the duo made their way to the visitor center.
Elizabeth found herself in front of the door of Booker DeWitt: Investigations Into Matters Public and Private-her father's double office and home. Hesitantly, she opened the door, moving past the threshold-which is when a bright flash came out of nowhere and blinded her for a moment. Upon its retreat she found herself in a hauntingly familiar alley. It was dark, the moon's shine obscured by storm clouds that poured rage and fury down upon anyone unfortunate enough to be walking outside this late. The only sounds where that of hard rain hitting the cobblestone and booming thunder echoing off the acoustics of New York City. It was enough to put anyone on edge immediately, and for someone like Elizabeth, it was downright ominous. She knew what was to come as she walked down the alley, the figures at the end of it becoming larger and clearer as she continued down her path. She knew what awaited her, and she knew that she was powerless to stop it. So why not get it over with?
As she walked, more sounds began to culminate; the sound of her heels clacking on the cold stone beneath her, angry pleads and vicious shouts, the occasional swear-a woman's voice, calling to one of the men-because yes, now she could see the two men, tugging something back and forth between them. That something was emitting a very high-pitched, pathetic whine, her tiny face no doubt scrunched up in discomfort and sorrow, as if she somehow possessed knowledge of what her future would hold.
"Hey...hey, the deal is off, you hear me? The deal is off! Give her back. Give her back!"
"She's not your daughter anymore, Dewitt. She's mine."
No. Not yours. Never yours. Never his. Never anyone's, never again.
More swearing. More screaming. More sadness, anger, resentment. Where is the resentment coming from? Is it her? It doesn't matter, not anymore-the machine is becoming unstable, Anna is almost safe, almost home-everything will be alright, hush now, child-it's almost over-
"Shut down the machine! Shut down the machine now! Do it!"
It's too late. Too late. No turning back now, no washing away the sin. No amount of drinking and gambling is going to erase this, going to fix it. It's all done now, all over.
"GIVE ME BACK MY DAUGHTER! NOOOOOO!"
No more pinky finger.
The portal closes according to Comstock's wishes, and the rip in time becomes smaller and smaller as Anna is pulled through mostly on Booker's side. He cradles her against his chest as best he can with Comstock still holding her head, tugging and pulling and spitting and barking orders at his accomplices to 'shut it down, shut the damn thing down, what's taking so long', until finally, the portal shuts off completely, closing around the poor child's neck, successfully decapitating her and leaving a brick wall in its wake.
She stares uncomprehending, horror filling her heart and weighing it down like an anchor in a storm. Terror seizes her being, freezing her in place as she watches, bile rising in her throat as the severed head falls to the ground, rolling to a stop before Booker's shoe. He falls to his knees, screaming and sobbing.
No more head. No more Anna.
Just Booker, alone. Alone, with his debts and his alcohol and his shame. His guilt. His fault.
"No...no no no, Booker, no...don' leave me a'one..."
Dante checked over his shoulder to see Elizabeth stirring, her eyes opening for a moment that he saw that they were discolored.
"Just hold on, please." He muttered, his concern beginning to grow by every moment she was muttering. The snarling of the troodons was growing more and more every now and then, and Dante had to resort to trying to lose them while they tried taking a bite out of him every so often in return. Thankfully he was able to stay them back with his machete, cutting the few that jumped at him and decapitating another that tried going for Elizabeth. He knew he'd only have a little under an hour before the seizures and convulsions kick in and after that...no. No, dinos be damned he will get to the center before death came for her.
It wasn't long until he came across a towering gate, the same gate that led into the park from their destination. The gate doors were ajar, despite the park's power seemingly still on. He guessed they were jammed or something thanks to Nedry. Either way he walked through the archway and decided to put whatever energy he had left into gunning it towards the visitor center and low and behold, there it was in all its glory. It still had some elevated construction platforms still around it. Doors were decimated as well as the lintel and a good chunk of the steps were crushed, the footprint being of the islands one and only Tyrannosaurus Rex. Though he did notice the gun shells and the spent tranq darts on the ground but noted one big thing: a lot of blood, but no bodies. INGEN did send a clean up team but no one got out, so where were they? More than likely, scavengers like compys and the one's following him got to them. Maybe the Rex ate a couple of them.
That aside, he got inside, seeing that the foyer was decimated, and the stairs were destroyed. He needed to get up into the office that was upstairs if he had a chance of finding a box of tranquilizers. There was no way up from inside of there so he had to head back outside until he found a ladder on one of the elevated platforms. Repositioning Elizabeth so he was holding her in a fireman's carry, he climbed up the platforms, the roof and through an open window until they were back inside the building on the second level.
He set Elizabeth down, making his vest a makeshift pillow, as he began searching through every nook and cranny that was nearby. It wasn't until he came across the janitor's closet which he opened and scrambled around it until he found a small case of tranq darts. And the timing couldn't be better, for as soon as he got back to Elizabeth, she started to spazz and gasp. Her eyes rolled up in the back of her head and her back arching uncontrollably as Dante held her down and grabbed a tranq dart from the box. It had to be injected just right, otherwise the venom would be the least of their worries. Having held down her arm with his knee, he steadily aimed the needle and in an instant pricked her arm for less of a second before pulling it out. Her back arched one last time before settling down and her breathing went from gasping to normal, and Dante heaved a huge sigh of relief. Finally her eyes blinked open as they went from discolored back to their normal light blue. She blinked the blur from her eyes to see the relieved look on Dante's face.
"Hi." It was all he could say before scooping her up in a hug, being careful but also not wanting to let go for fear of losing her. Elizabeth startled but quickly returned the gesture, grateful that Dante was able to save her before it was too late. She kissed him, quickly but firmly, and then she was asking him something that Dante couldn't comprehend at first, too washed up in the feeling of fear/relief that had overcome him.
"I'm okay?" she asked hesitantly, apprehension written all over her face.
"Hey, of course you're okay. You're always okay. You're the Queen of Okay. Actually, no, that's a rubbish title. Forget that title."
"No way, I'm keeping it. I like it. Better than any other title I've been given thus far."
"Fair enough. Now," He broke their embrace as he checked outside the window and down below on the second floor. "Daybreak is about another hour away and the troodons will probably leave us be for now. Unless they figure out how to climb elevated platforms and ladders, but that's stretching it. Otherwise...wanna just relax till the sun comes up?"
Elizabeth worried her bottom lip with her teeth, shaking her head. "I mean, I'd love to, but I really can't? Just...ack, my heart is racing and I think I'm gonna puke. I don't feel good. Maybe relaxing will do me some good though…"
"Then let's get comfy." Dante proceeded to grab and stack a few boxes so he was leaning on them, patting the spot beside him which Elizabeth sat down and rested her head on his chest. She could hear the sound of his hearts beating in rhythm as the tune lulled her to close her eyes and sleep. Her partner in turn leaned his head back and allowed his guard to drop as he too drifted off to sleep.
An hour had passed as the sun came up, the rays of light hitting Dante's face as he woke up from his nap. He groaned, trying to block out the sudden light with a lazily thrown hand. He refused to get up even as he regained his bearings, remembering where he was and whom he was with. Until she got up, there was no reason for he himself to, he reasoned. But, he realized with a defeated, internal sigh, she already was up, just lying very still beside him; perhaps she had never slept, unlike him. He suddenly had the urge to sit up and stretch, and as she shifted beside him he groaned as he did just that. He looked down at her once his muscles were sufficiently loosened. "Hi there. I suppose you didn't sleep, then?"
An embarrassed smile stretched across her face as she turned to him. "Well, I slept a bit. Not much, but I dozed. It was enough. What's the game plan?"
"There's a garage area where they keep the staff vehicles so all we gotta do is find that and we're on our way."
"And then we're on our way back. To the TARDIS." The relief was evident in her tone as she made to get up, and Dante moved to allow it, smiling warmly despite the gravity of the situation.
"Exactly. Plus we'll have a better chance than we would outrunning carnivores. Just...nope. Not gonna jinx it, again. We've had to run away from raptors and troodons so I'm not gonna say what else is out there." Dante ran a hand through his hair, sighing to help relieve some stress. "Let's just get out of here."
They made their way to the garage area with surprisingly little resistance from the local wildlife. It took no time at all to find a ride, and after they filled up the fuel tank they were on their way. Elizabeth was oddly silent as they made their way back, her face contorted in a pensive look as she stared out the open window and at the local flora and fauna.
"What's on your mind?" Dante finally asked, not turning to look at her but still watching her out of the corner of his eye. She shrugged.
"Nothing too much. Just...memories, I guess? That...what were they called again, the dinosaur that bit me..." she fumbled around for the answer, then snapped her fingers. "Troodons! You said their venom contained some kind of hallucinogen, right?"
Dante nodded slowly, already not liking where this was going. "Yeah, why?"
Elizabeth bit the inside of her tongue nervously, looking at his reflection in the glass. She didn't say anything for several moments—and when she did, it was so quiet that it was almost lost under the hum of the engine.
"I saw Booker. And—and Comstock. Both of them, and myself…"
"The night I was taken. Kidnapped. But-but something was wrong. Different. When I went through, I didn't lose my pinky, I lost my head. The tear closed around my head. I know it wasn't real, that it was just a vision, but...it felt real. I felt it when she died. When...when I died."
He was about to respond to that—exactly how, he was most for felt unsure—when checked the rear view mirror to a sight behind them that made his heart stop. "Uh, Elizabeth."
Elizabeth turned to him at the time in his voice. "What's wrong?"
"Remember when I said I wasn't going to jinx it again?
She turned around to look behind them to see the seventeen feet high and forty four foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex bearing down upon them. She swore loudly enough to be heard over the engine, a very uncharacteristic thing for her, and turned to Dante, urgency written all over her face. "FASTER!" she screamed, shaking. "This thing can go faster, right?!"
"Did you just say 'let's see?' What kind of answer is that?!"
"The kind of answer that's said during a life and death situation!" Dante yelled, shifting the car into the next gear. The car lurched further as it proceeded to be at least five steps ahead of the charging T-Rex. Said Rex roared in protest as it started to pick up its speed, starting to snap and swing its head towards the car.
"Check the back, there should be a tranquilizer gun!"
"What's a tranq gun gonna do against a freaking T-Rex?"
"Slow it down, of course!"
"Do you honestly think so?" She looked at him like he was insane while she reached for the gun in the back.
"You think that people building a place like this wouldn't have taken precautions?" He replied, looking at her as if...well, he wouldn't say it, but it was obvious what. Anyways, she got the point, and grabbed the gun. The Rex was still hot on their heels as Elizabeth opened the box containing the darts and loaded some into the chamber.
"Aim for the neck!"
"Alright, but I should warn you that I am not proficient with firearms this far away." She concentrated as best she could, leaned over the shoulder of her seat, concentrated down more, and then fired, praying she had hit her target. There was a loud groan heard as she opened her eyes and saw that the T-Rex was shaking its head while slowing down before coming to a stop.
"Oh. That was...fast." Elizabeth was extremely surprised and did not bother hiding the fact. Dante simply shrugged.
"Think of it as the equivalent of getting stung by a bee." He suggested, before off-roading onto a grassy plane. It wasn't long until a certain blue box came into view as Dante parked the car right next to it. Hopping out of the car, he dug through his pocket before pulling out the TARDIS key and opened the door. He held it open as Elizabeth followed suit, and before he went inside, he took one last look at the area around him. He caught the sound of a brachiosaurus in the distance, sighing wistfully before turning around and closing the door behind him.
After a trip to the medical bay, a shower, and a change of clothes, the duo reconvened at the console room. Silence gripped the two for a good awhile before Elizabeth sighed and patted her pockets, as if she was looking for something but it wasn't there. "So."
"Where to now? Can we go to the town square of some Grecian city now, like I'd wanted in the first place?" Her tone was light and playful, but slightly accusing.
Dante gave her a small smirk. "Got a better idea." He then proceeded to work with the controls before the TARDIS lifted off. A few minutes later, the ship landed as he leaned on the console nodding at the door.
"Forgive me if I'm not entirely convinced, Dante. Your semi-arrogance is what got us into this mess in the first place." Still, she walked over to him, leaning beside him as she tried to look where they'd landed, but when he blocked her view, she sighed. "I suppose I'll have to see for myself then?"
He said nothing but gave her a slight nod. Sighing, she turned to the door, and upon taking a look outside, gasped. She turned back in the door frame, looking at Dante with tears pricking the corners of her eyes. "Dante...are we...Paris?" she finally managed, tone hopeful.
Once again, he said nothing, but had a smile on his face and nodded. He was then bombarded with a string of "thank you's" and a couple emphatic "Dante!"s before being squished in her tiny arms by the bear hug she gave him, and the words he was going to say in response swallowed by her mouth on his. It wasn't until a minute later that both had to come up for air as they took deep breaths.
"You're welcome," Dante grinned before bringing composure back to his face, "and...I'm sorry."
"For stupidly putting us in danger by not thinking about the consequences of bringing us to a dinosaur island and procrastinating on something that could have saved our lives at any time? Alright. I accept your apology. Now how about dinner?"
It was a few minutes later that the two were dressed in formal wear and a quick use of psychic paper, the two were sitting down figuring out what to eat. Once they were done with their meal, they ordered, and shared, a bowl of gelato. The tension in the air was almost tangible, yet neither one of them wanted to make the first move. Finally Elizabeth sighed.
"Thanks for this. I...I needed it. still need it. Thanks."
"You're welcome." Dante replied, playing with his side of the gelato. "But this is just the start of my apology."
"Starting today, no TARDIS and no traveling through time and space for one month. Just traveling to certain places around the world. No dangers, no creatures, just us."
"Like…Paris. And Berlin. Hong Kong. This day and age? Or…?"
"Yes, this day and age. And the trip will end at one city."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, I was thinking we go somewhere...nostalgic to finish off the trip before going back through time and space."
"And that city would be?" she asked, when it was clear he would not elaborate further on his own.
At that, Elizabeth's breath hitches, suddenly looking rather uncomfortable. "Oh. Dante...I—I don't know that I'm ready to go back there yet. I mean, it would probably be therapeutic to do so, seeing as I still have quite a bit of potential unfinished business there, what with the..well, you know. And...Booker. That's where we lived...before."
"You don't have to worry, not as long as I'm with you. It's the New York of this day and age. I know you have other issues besides that, and there are a lot of bad memories about and from that place. But maybe if we went there, and we made some new ones together…?" he trailed off hopefully, hoping she got what he was putting down. She apparently did, visibly relaxing and nodding her head.
"Right. I get that. I'm still hesitant, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try. Sounds like a good plan."
Placing a hand on hers, Dante gave Elizabeth a reassuring smile, which she gently but firmly returned. "We'll make it work."
Elizabeth checked the clock that was on the dresser next to their bed. It was currently 2 o clock in the morning and she couldn't fall asleep. Despite having experienced another wonderful night in bed with Dante not just an hour ago, as well as feeling worn out, she still couldn't fall asleep. Her mind was still on the fever dream she experienced back on Isla Nublar.
The last time she had experienced that, she had been on the other side of the tear, screaming at Comstock to let the child go. Let her return to her father, her real one, and forget about the debts. She has seen and relieved that scenario so many times before, but it was always a pinky. It was never supposed to be a head. Why did that anomaly exist?
It didn't matter now. It was all over.
She tossed and turned for a little longer, readjusting her pillow and staring at Dante before she finally decided to get up, debating whether or not to take the sheets with her but deciding against it at the last second. It might wake Dante and she didn't want that. She instead went for her robe, slipping it on before grabbing a glass of water and heading out onto the balcony. Out there, in the cool night air, a soft breeze blowing across her face, she didn't feel as claustrophobic anymore.
She had known it was only a matter of time before Dante joined her. She tensed slightly but relaxed when he wrapped an arm around her, resting his chin on her shoulder. He stared into the night with her, letting her breathe for a moment before asking.
"Nightmare," she answered truthfully.
That's a bit more complicated. "I don't suppose it would do either of us any good if I lied to you." She let out a shaky breath, recollecting the dream. "I was...in this alley. I saw Booker and Comstock, fighting over...me. Booker almost had me through on his side but Comstock closed the tear, around...my head. Not my pinky. But why not?"
"Why couldn't it have been the pinky? Why not me? Why not-"
Before she had a chance to continue her self loathing, Dante turned her around to face him. The expression on his face was of sympathy, his eyes not wavering as he spoke.
"Listen to me. Despite everything you tried, that version of you, of Anna, is gone. The pain will never go away knowing that you tried and failed. But do you know what you do with all that pain? Should I tell you were to put it?" He closed his hand around hers, having her make a tight fist. "You hold it tight till it burns your hand, and you say this: No one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will have to feel this pain. Not on my watch!"
"That's the thing though, isn't it? It's already been done, it's already happened. I can't go back and change it. I'm the only one left."
"Then make sure no one else suffers what you've been through." Dante took her hand in his, caressing her knuckles with his thumb. "I can't undo what's been done, but I can help with the pain. Not get rid of it per say, but make it hurt less."
Elizabeth looked up at him, her eyes damp from tears that began to well up. "How?"
"Come back to bed and I'll show you."
She scoffs, laughing lightly. "Oh? Is that a line."
"No. I mean it. Let's get back inside, it's chilly."
The two walked back inside and got back into bed, Elizabeth laying her head on Dante's chest. He put a finger and his thumb on her forehead, moving aside any loose hair, before letting them rest there. Elizabeth could hear his twin hearts, it beating it's four beat pattern, as the sound lulled her to sleep. After a few minutes, Dante glanced over to see her eyes closed and hear her breathing going at a steady pace. She made no murmurings nor was her brow crumpled, all that was on her face was a look of contentment. A light smile crossed his face before he too fell asleep, a small part of him making sure Elizabeth was at ease, no more nightmares haunting her for the rest of the night.