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Book 1 of Paleo, Styro's alternate Jurassic Park.

Hammond begins his dream of prehistoric creatures in the modern world. But creating them is far from easy. Especially with rivals on your tail...

Introduction

Flavr Savr

A USDA plant physiologist holding examples of Flavr Savr bioengineered tomatoes

Of the many fields of science present today, few are as popular as biotechnology and genetic engineering. It promises to change our food, our health, and our very way of living.

This is not a new process. Through artificial selection, it has been performed for thousands of years. Since then, the start of genetic engineering companies in the 1970s has led to countless “advances”---and, of course, branded products. Humulin, Flavr Savr, and Synthia are among these biotechnological products. The trend of genetically engineered foods and medications continues without slowing, and almost always for profit.

But tomatoes and insulin are not the only targets of genetic engineering. There are other, less obvious uses for this powerful force.

In 1984, the DNA of a quagga, an extinct species of zebra, was successfully extracted from the hide of mounted specimens. There was so much extracted that some began to talk about growing a quagga from that DNA, resurrecting the species and bringing it back to life. It would also be a world first. And if you could accomplish that, what else could be brought back from extinction? A saber-toothed tiger? A mammoth? A dodo?

Or how about a dinosaur?

B-rex

MOR 1125, also known as the B-rex, found to contain soft tissue and blood vessels

Since the quagga, dinosaur DNA has been recovered on some occasions. A notable example is the B-rex, a leg bone from the famous Tyrannosaurus rex that preserved soft tissue. After it was rehydrated, it was found to contain blood vessels and bone fibers, still intact even at the cellular level after 68 million years.

However, the amount of DNA needed to reconstruct the whole strand had not yet been found. There was still too little to be of any use. Further discovery might reveal more fragments. But nobody had cared to try.

Then, someone apparently decided to try.

The events that are told here resulted from that decision. That decision ushered in a new age of science, and then killed hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

The danger was not apparent at first. Certainly at first it seemed beneficial. It was a dream that came true for one man, and came crashing down years later, taking the dreams of others along with it.

The incident raised several questions among classified agencies, and nobody will speak of these events now. The following was obtained from various sources that were not protected by forms or nondisclosure agreements. It would be wrong to say who or what these sources were.

The following can be taken as a story, or a warning about the act of discovery.

This is an account of Paleo.

Prologue: Brave New World

Borislav Motova looked out into the blackness, scattered with pinpricks of light. The time was coming, very soon now, for the landing.

He and the three others in the crew were aboard the shuttle появляться. In English, its name would translate to “The Dawn.” It single-handedly changed the face of space travel and astronomy itself. The nuclear propulsion was genius enough, but Borislav knew the Krasnikov tubing was something else. No longer theoretical, that’s for sure. It was a relic from the Cold War that nobody else knew about. Indeed, nobody else aside from a few in the Russian government knew about the project; nobody else even knew the RKA had a program anything like this.

And why? It was a big project. It had been going on before the Soviet Union dissolved, under the Soviet space program. This project was finally culminating.

Desya walked in. “We’ll be coming in very soon. Should see it any minute now.”

Borislav smiled. “History in the making, right in front of our eyes,” he said. He was sure the other two crewmembers were watching from another portion of the ship. Nobody would miss this.

And then, it appeared. It was a tiny dot, melting into existence from the blackness. It grew larger as the ship approached. And then it could be seen clearly.

Barrenplanet
A brand new planet, untouched by life. Abundant in all manner of mineral resources. It was barren, but with the proper equipment you could set foot on its surface. It looked majestic in the sea of black.

“Fantastic,” Desya spoke under his breath.

Borislav nodded. “We’re nicely on course,” he said. “We land over there.”

And he pointed, calmly.


Roscosmos
In Moscow, one room in the Roscomos headquarters was all abuzz. It was certainly an exciting, life-changing mission brought to near fruition. And in this one room, everybody was making this known to one another, and quite loudly.

It was a surprisingly long while until a man in a finely made suit brought another man in an equally finely made suit into an adjacent room and closed the doors, eliminating the chaotic noise.

The first man's name was Andrei Vasilev, and he was a high-ranking executive in the RKA. He had always been one that cut to the chase, and right now he meant business.

"Vladimir. We have to talk," he said, pulling up a chair.

"What's there to talk about?" Popovkin, the Roscosmos director, said. "We've landed in another star system. It's history unfolding right in front of our eyes. Soon everyone will know what we have accomplished."

"That's my point. You know how the state of our budget is."

Popovkin sighed. "Andrei---"

"We all know that the 150 billion rubles you spoke about is speculative," Vasilev said. "Everybody else believes it, sure. But we're in deep shit right now, and we all know it."

"You know I don't like to talk about budget."

"But it's the truth. You know how much the Luna-Glob launch is clogging up from our reserves. My point is that if we let everybody know about this planet, they'll all want to get involved. Push us, even. Pressure us to make more discoveries. It could suck us dry, or worse, kill the project entirely."

"We just need efficient management out there of the mineral resources. If we do it wisely, we won't screw up and blow all the money. That was what we came for, after all."

"Just trust me. Letting anybody know is bad luck. We've kept it secret for this long. Will a little longer hurt?"

Popovkin stared at Vasilev. Looked down at the floor. Shifted his weight a bit. Looked back up.

"Alright," he said.

He got up from his chair and headed for the door; then turned around abruptly. "But I think people will notice, even if we don't tell them. Someone will sneak in and find out. Have you gathered that?"

Vasilev nodded. "If it's only a few, we'll be ready for them."

"Right," Popovkin said. "Now let's get back in there. This is bigger than ever before."

Dinosaurs in the Attic

John Hammond pushed the button on the wall, and waited for the elevator to reach the floor. Its doors opened, and a horde of people flowed out, each group going their separate ways. He waited for them to all clear out, and then walked in.

Inside, he pressed the button marked “4”, and stood back as the doors closed and the elevator ascended.

It was just another trip to Hammond. He went here nearly every week. That’s why the membership came in handy. He didn’t need it, as he could easily afford the costly outings, but it made him feel that he was special, and a part of it. It was quite enjoyable.

There was a sharp ding, and the elevator doors opened. Hammond stepped out, and turned left, winding his way through the mass of bodies. It was always crowded here, on the top floor. There was good reason for that.

There was a large doorway to his left, where all the people were heading or coming out of. He went in, and immediately saw the skeletons.

Amnh
Hammond entered the fossil halls of the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. They were his favorites in the entire museum. Room after room of diverse species. You’d never get tired of them, even after visiting them every single week. They were timeless, and they had years of history attached to them.

This particular hall was the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs. There were the classics, Tyrannosaurus and Apatosaurus, taking center stage. He looked up, and saw the seagulls, hanging from the ceiling. Next to him, all manner of fossil birds. Beyond were even more skeletons of dromaeosaurs, carnosaurs, coelurosaurs---it went on and on. He knew all their names.

This was because John Alfred Hammond was a dinosaur enthusiast. Born in 1948, he was fascinated by the terrible lizards in his youth, and was even more excited when John Ostrom and Bob Bakker began the Dinosaur Renaissance in the late 1960s. He was always discouraged from a professional paleontological career, however, and ended up buying and selling fine wines to prospective buyers. It had made him quite rich, but he had never really liked the job. Dinosaurs remained his main focus.

Hammond used his money to buy a large mansion and fund paleontological research. He visited prestigious museums with regularity, simply for the fossils held within. He loved the trips and the funding, but deep down he was sad he listened to the voices in his past. He had deeply regretted his decision. And now, at the age of 64, it seemed as if he couldn’t start over. He had little family for company. And Hammond would never fully enjoy selling Bordeaux 1957.

All he really had to make him happy were the ancient bones. It was shame they weren’t alive any more. It would be so wonderful, Hammond always thought, to see the dinosaurs live again, walking proud and in the flesh.

He remained deep in thought till the end of the day. As he walked down the steps of the museum, Hammond felt the distinctive vibration in his coat pocket. He took out his phone and flipped it open.

Very good. It was the notification from Princeton University he had been expecting. It read:

All is go for tomorrow. The site is exit 29B off of 78, then onto 61 up. Very interesting find for you. –L

Hammond slipped the phone back into his pocket, and walked to the subway entrance.

The Fossil

St Clair
The surrounding land was very rural, and the two lane road winded through the landscape. There was a dry, sparse forest along one side of the road. Nothing looked very remarkable, aside from the shooting range nearby.

Hammond pulled up along the side of the road in his white Corvette. There were many other cars parked in the same place. The red Ferrari that Hammond expected was among the vehicles.

As the Corvette slowed to a halt, a bearded man in sun-faded field khakis and a button-down shirt walked out of the trees from a gravel path. Hammond got out and extended his hand. “Richard.”

“John,” the man replied, and shook his hand. Then he turned back the way he came and led Hammond along the path without another word.

Hammond smiled. Richard Levine hadn’t change one bit since he last saw him years ago. Still just as brilliant, and still just as irritating. Levine had originally studied at Princeton and then became a paleontologist at Berkeley, but he had reluctantly reunited with his first school for this dig. Still, from what Hammond had heard it wasn’t an opportunity to miss.

Levine was probably one of the most skilled in the profession, but most of his colleagues found him to be annoying and arrogant. He also disliked the inconvenience of fieldwork, further distancing himself from other paleontologists. At heart Levine was a man of the museum, sorting through collections and researching skeletons. He had a near-photographic memory, and remembered every detail of every collection he’d seen. Similarly, he never forgot any form of criticism whatsoever---and never let you forget it, either.

Even so, Hammond liked Levine in some way. The two sometimes showed each other around museums across the country. But today was different, because today they were in the field.

Saint Clair, Pennsylvania was well known for its abundance of Carboniferous fern fossils, approximately 300 million years old. The immense quarry of loose shale fragments had yielded spectacular specimens. And anyone could collect them; fossil hunters came here frequently.

As they reached the shale fields, Hammond asked, “So what have we got here?”

Levine took a swig of water. “It’s a pretty remarkable find. A few amateurs came across it yesterday, they called Princeton right then and there.”

“Well, let’s see it.”

They made their way down a steep hill of loose shale. Other paleontologists were working at a more exposed site nearby. Levine approached a bright red bundle of tissue paper propped up against a backpack, and then unwrapped it, showing it to Hammond.

Hammond could only look at it, fascinated.

Branchiosaur
It was a small salamander-like fossil in the shale, about 2 inches long. The detail was exquisite, even more so than that of the fern fossils found here. Hammond could see tiny imprints of bones on the rock.

“It’s an amphibian,” he said.

“Exactly,” Levine said. “It looks physiologically similar to Branchiosaurus, or perhaps Apateon. But I believe it is actually part of the Anthracosauria, and an early member at that, possibly an ancestral lineage. And as you know all amniotes were probably derived from anthracosaurs. So this species could be an important piece of the evolutionary history of vertebrates.”

Hammond couldn’t take his eyes off the fossil.

Behind the Scenes

Introduction You can see where I got my inspiration for this. Synthia and the like are all genuine biotech products, and of course B-rex is a real specimen with soft tissue. But what's with the name Paleo, and not Jurassic Park? The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 00:09, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

Prologue: Brave New World

...

...

...Yes, this is still a Jurassic Park fanon wiki. No, I have not forgotten. So what the heck is going on with this planet and these Russian dudes? What do they want? How is this related to giant rampaging dinosaurs? Will I even answer these questions? However, eagle-eyed readers will recognize the picture of the planet. Yes, it's Skrap. Nothing says I can't use it for different things :P The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 00:19, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

The mystery deepens. Again, a lot of details about Roscosmos are factual. But we still don't know what's up with space and dinosaurs. I can assure you now, though - no aliens. The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 01:07, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

Dinosaurs in the Attic

Hammond appears in the first chapter, the name of which is derived from the non-fiction book Dinosaurs in the Attic, which explored the labs and workshops behind the scenes at the AMNH. There's still a lot more I have to write in this chap, and where most of the interesting stuff is. The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 23:28, March 29, 2012 (UTC)

Some of Hammond's past is revealed...what themes will reappear later in the story? If you can translate the directions from Princeton from textspeak to normalspeak, you might get some details about this "site". And who is this L person? You'll find out. In the next chapter. The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 01:46, March 31, 2012 (UTC)

The Fossil

So, it's Levine. What role will he play in this story? Of more interest is the amphibian, and what role it will play. Another twist to the story... The Revelation is Coming (Confront the catalyst) or {discuss the inevitable} 01:05, April 6, 2012 (UTC)

Characters

  • Borislav Motova - Russian cosmonaut
  • Desya - Russian cosmonaut
  • Andrei Vasilev - RKA executive
  • Vladimir Popovkin - RKA director
  • John Hammond - self-explanatory
  • Richard Levine - irritating paleontologist

Dinosaurs

  • Just skeletons and fossils

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