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Home > Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park #1)(15)

Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park #1)(15)
Author: Michael Crichton

"You said these dinosaurs will be patented?"

"Yes. Genetically engineered animals can now be patented. The Supreme Court ruled on that in favor of Harvard in 1987. InGen will own its dinosaurs, and no one else can legally make them."

"What prevents us from creating our own dinosaurs?" someone said.

"Nothing, except that they have a five-year start. It'll be almost impossible to catch up before the end of the century."

He paused. "Of course, if we could obtain examples of their dinosaurs, we could reverse engineer them and make our own, with enough modifications in the DNA to evade their patents."

"Can we obtain examples of their dinosaurs?"

Dodgson paused. "I believe we can, yes."

Somebody cleared his throat. "There wouldn't be anything illegal about it. . . ."

"Oh no," Dodgson said quickly. "Nothing illegal. I'm talking about a legitimate source of their DNA. A disgruntled employee, or some trash improperly disposed of, something like that."

"Do you have a legitimate source, Dr. Dodgson?"

"I do," Dodgson said. "But I'm afraid there is some urgency to the decision, because InGen is experiencing a small crisis, and my source will have to act within the next twenty-four hours."

A long silence descended over the room. The men looked at the secretary, taking notes, and the tape recorder on the table in front of her.

"I don't see the need for a formal resolution on this," Dodgson said. "Just a sense of the room, as to whether you feel I should proceed. . . ."

Slowly the heads nodded.

Nobody spoke. Nobody went on record. They just nodded silently.

"Thank you for coming, gentlemen," Dodgson said. "I'll take it from here."

Airport

Lewis Dodgson entered the coffee shop in the departure building of the San Francisco airport and looked around quickly. His man was already there, waiting at the counter. Dodgson sat down next to him and placed the briefcase on the floor between them.

"You're late, pal," the man said. He looked at the straw hat Dodgson was wearing and laughed. "What is this supposed to be, a disguise?"

"You never know," Dodgson said, suppressing his anger. For six months, Dodgson had patiently cultivated this man, who had grown more obnoxious and arrogant with each meeting. But there was nothing Dodgson could do about tbat-both men knew exactly what the stakes were.

Bioengineered DNA was, weight for weight, the most valuable material in the world. A single microscopic bacterium, too small to see with the naked eye, but containing the genes for a heart-attack enzyme, streptokinase, or for "ice-minus," which prevented frost damage to crops, might be worth five billion dollars to the right buyer.

And that fact of life had created a bizarre new world of industrial espionage. Dodgson was especially skilled at it. In 1987, he convinced a disgruntled geneticist to quit Cetus for Biosyn, and take five strains of engineered bacteria with her. The geneticist simply put a drop of each on the fingernails of one hand, and walked out the door.

But InGen presented a tougher challenge. Dodgson wanted more than bacterial DNA; he wanted frozen embryos, and he knew InGen guarded its embryos with the most elaborate security measures. To obtain them, he needed an InGen employee who had access to the embryos, who was willing to steal them, and who could defeat the security. Such a person was not easy to find.

Dodgson had finally located a susceptible InGen employee earlier in the year. Although this particular person had no access to genetic material, Dodgson kept up the contact, meeting the man monthly at Carlos and Charlie's in Silicon Valley, helping him in small ways. And now that InGen was inviting contractors and advisers to visit the island, it was the moment that Dodgson had been waiting for-because it meant his man would have access to embryos.

"Let's get down to it," the man said. "I've got ten minutes before my flight,"

"You want to go over it again?" Dodgson said.

"Hell no, Dr. Dodgson," the man said. "I want to see the damn money."

Dodgson flipped the latch on the briefcase and opened it a few inches. The man glanced down casually. "That's all of it?"

"That's half of it. Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars."

"Okay. Fine." The man turned away, drank his coffee. "That's fine, Dr. Dodgson."

Dodgson quickly locked the briefcase. "That's for all fifteen species, you remember."

"I remember. Fifteen species, frozen embryos. And how am I going to transport them?"

Dodgson handed the man a large can of Gillette Foamy shaving cream.

"That's it?"

"That's it."

"They may check my luggage. . . ."

Dodgson shrugged. "Press the top," he said.

The man pressed it, and white shaving cream puffed into his hand. "Not bad." He wiped the foam on the edge of his plate. "Not bad."

"The can's a little heavier than usual, is all." Dodgson's technical team had been assembling it around the clock for the last two days. Quickly he showed him how it worked.

"How much coolant gas is inside?"

"Enough for thirty-six hours. The embryos have to be back in San Jose by then."

"That's up to your guy in the boat," the man said. "Better make sure he has a portable cooler on board."

"I'll do that," Dodgson said.

"And let's just review the bidding. . . ."

"The deal is the same," Dodgson said. "Fifty thousand on delivery of each embryo. If they're viable, an additional fifty thousand each."

"That's fine. Just make sure you have the boat waiting at the east dock of the island, Friday night. Not the north dock, Where the big supply boats arrive. The east dock. It's a small utility dock. You got that?"

"I got it," Dodgson said. "When will you be back in San Jose?"

"Probably Sunday." The man pushed away from the counter.

Dodgson fretted. "You're sure you know how to work the-"

"I know," the man said. "Believe me, I know."

"Also," Dodgson said, "we think the island maintains constant radio contact with InGen corporate headquarters in California, so-"

"Look, I've got it covered," the man said. "Just relax, and get the money ready. I want it all Sunday morning, in San Jose airport, in cash."

"It'll be waiting for you," Dodgson said. "Don't worry."

Malcolm

Shortly before midnight, be stepped on the plane at the Dallas airport, a tall, thin, balding man of thirty-five, dressed entirely in black: black shirt, black trousers, black socks, black sneakers.

"Ah, Dr. Malcolm," Hammond said, smiling with forced graciousness.

Malcolm grinned. "Hello, John. Yes, I am afraid your old nemesis is here."

Malcolm shook bands with everyone, saying quickly, "Ian Malcolm, how do you do? I do maths." He struck Grant as being more amused by the outing than anything else.

Certainly Grant recognized his name. Ian Malcolm was one of the most famous of the new generation of mathematicians who were openly interested in "how the real world works." These scholars broke with the cloistered tradition of mathematics in several important ways. For one thing, they used computers constantly, a practice traditional mathematicians frowned on. For another, they worked almost exclusively with nonlinear equations, in the emerging field called chaos theory. For a third, they appeared to care that their mathematics described something that actually existed in the real world. And finally, as if to emphasize their emergence from academia into the world, they dressed and spoke with what one senior mathematician called "a deplorable excess of personality." In fact, they often behaved like rock stars.

Malcolm sat in one of the padded chairs. The stewardess asked him if he wanted a drink. He said, "Diet Coke, shaken not stirred."

Humid Dallas air drifted through the open door. Ellie said, "Isn't it a little warm for black?"

"You're extremely pretty, Dr. Sattler," he said. "I could look at your legs all day. But no, as a matter of fact, black is an excellent Color for heat. If you remember your black-body radiation, black is actually best in heat. Efficient radiation. In any case, I wear only two colors, black and gray."

Ellie was staring at him, her mouth open. "These colors are appropriate for any occasion," Malcolm continued, and they go well together, should I mistakenly put on a pair of gray socks with my black trousers."

"But don't you find it boring to wear only two colors?"

"Not at all. I find it liberating. I believe my life has value, and I don't want to waste it thinking about clothing," Malcolm said. "I don't want to think about what I will wear in the morning. Truly, can you imagine anything more boring than fashion? Professional sports, perhaps. Grown men swatting little balls, while the rest of the world pays money to applaud. But, on the whole, I find fashion even more tedious than sports."

"Dr. Malcolm," Hammond explained, "is a man of strong opinions."

"And mad as a hatter," Malcolm said cheerfully. "But you must admit, these are nontrivial issues. We live in a world of frightful givens. It is given that you will behave like this, given that you will care about that. No one thinks about the givens. Isn't it amazing? In the information society, nobody thinks. We expected to banish paper, but we actually banished thought."

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