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Vivat Regina

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Gray counts, and Claire ignores it if it keeps him from screaming, but then he comes to a total and says, "We need more teeth."

He's not wrong, and her first instinct is the tool-user instinct-- they need guns, weapons-- but there aren't really enough weapons anywhere she can find them on Isla Nublar, not anymore, and Claire knows Isla Nublar like the back of her hand.

She's always been good at delegation, and Claire does know where to find a very fearsome set of teeth.

Whatever she did to keep the boys out of the I-Rex's way, she doesn't clearly remember. She remembers shouting at Lowery over the phone, but only vaguely what she said. She remembers seeing the gate to Paddock Nine start to open, and she clearly, clearly remembers the snap and hiss of the red flare.

Twenty-two years ago, the animal affectionately known as Rexie escaped her paddock, killed a lawyer, injured a mathematician, and terrorized a paleontologist and a pair of schoolchildren. She also saved four of Jurassic Park's six survivors from velociraptors (ill-socialized velociraptors oh god is that what's wrong with the Indominus--), however inadvertently.

Her scars are a tourist attraction all their own.

Her footsteps shake the ground, and Claire's heart shudders with each impact.

Claire waits for Rexie to come into view, to be sure she's being seen, but it's as though Rexie has been waiting ten years for the chance to leave her comfortable paddock and have the whole island at her disposal again.

They see each other.

Claire clawed her way up through sexism and hierarchy to her place as Operations Manager of Jurassic World. She has managed and resolved and soothed and hustled and denied and banned and threatened and offered. She's fought and fought and fought and won, and always on her own terms.

Rexie (should be Regina--) fought her only true contenders and won and ruled a wild Isla Nublar for most of a decade.

They are the queens of this island, and they've both been turned into figureheads, given tiny slivers of false realities to rule and led to believe it is the whole world.

Claire's human usurper is dead, and to defeat the inhuman usurper, she needs more teeth. In the emergency lighting of the backstage area and the hot red glow of the flare, Rexie's teeth glint, the interlocking points of ragged crowns.

There is not room on this island for a third queen.

Claire turns to run, flare held like a scepter, and Rexie follows, thundering.