Lex never thought she'd end up here again.
She knew, of course, about Jurassic World. She'd been among the beneficiaries when the land and the rights had sold, though the affair was handled mostly by lawyers. She'd found it funny, considering how much her grandfather had hated lawyers.
With a large sum of what Tim called the dino payoff in her bank account, Lex could do whatever she wanted. Buy her own completely dinosaur free island and hide away forever.
Instead, she was standing on the very island the attempted to kill her multiple times. Then again, she had survived.
And she wasn't the only one.
"I guess I should have expected to find you here," Lex said as she walked up a flight of metal stairs. The steps led to a catwalk over an empty pen. "Can't keep you away from a good dinosaur."
Sarah turned and grinned. She was older than the last time Lex had seen her, god, in her fifties now. Her red hair, pulled back in a practical ponytail, shone in the sun, and her arms were tanned and freckled. She wore a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, khaki shorts, and work boots. Lex felt overdressed in her slacks and blouse, even with the camo print Jurassic World baseball cap on her head.
"And I never would have thought to see you here. Didn't think they could get you within a thousand miles of another dinosaur." Sarah opened her arms and Lex went in for the hug.
"They told me I was uniquely qualified to consult on security," Lex replied as she stepped back.
"Security?" Sarah repeated. "So, thousand foot cement wall around the entire island with signs that warn people to keep out?"
Lex actually laughed. "I considered that, but I guess the embarrassingly large amount of money they offered keeps me suggesting only plans they want to hear. Digital locks, camera backups. Contingency plans for if the power goes out. I'm updating the entire thing and programming a new emergency system. The foundation is there, I'm just amping it up."
"You know, you don't need the money."
No, she didn't. Lex made a face. "Maybe I want to make sure, if they're insisting on doing this, that I've done everything I can for it to be as safe as it could be. What about you?"
"Oh, I need the money," Sarah said, straight faced.
Lex laughed again, but her laughter faded as two velociraptors strode out of their shelter and into the open space of the pen. The one she and Sarah were only a few feet above. How steady was the catwalk? How fast could she run down the stairs in her flats? How sturdy was the pen?
"There they are," Sarah said, something like fondness in her voice. She looked at Lex. "I'm also uniquely qualified."
"You're studying the raptors?"
"Studying them, working with them. Training them, as much as you can train a wild animal. But they're so intelligent, it's hard not to explore their potential."
Lex shook her head. "I just can't believe they made more raptors after everything."
"They were still here, Lex," Sarah said gently. "All of them. They've been here the whole time. Everyone left and they remained."
"Maybe I'm the one who shouldn't be here," Lex said. She took another look out at the velociraptors and shuddered. They were moving around on the dirt, but she could hear their talons on tile floor, clear as day.
"No," Sarah said, and Lex turned to look at her. "You belong here. Bringing you on was the smartest thing they've done. We all get carried away with our love for dinosaurs, or the greed, or the advancement of science, but when it comes to keeping the public safe, you're the best person for the job. You won't let anything go undone. Not for anything."
"I hate them," Lex said, her gaze drifting back to the raptors. It was like a train wreck and she couldn't look away. A third one had joined the group and they began talking to each other. The sound sent chills throughout Lex's body. It had been twenty years and she had only heard that in her nightmares.
Sarah wrapped her arm around Lex's shoulders and pulled her in close. Lex wasn't a kid anymore, but it still felt good to be heard by someone who understood her, even if Sarah disagreed with her stance on the creatures.
"Nothing bad is going to happen this time," Sarah said.
Lex nodded, but she knew all too well that she could take every security measure, and it was still no guarantee.