Dino Isle Chapter 1: Dino Isle

Chapter 1: Dino Isle

The sun was bright. The roar of the boat’s motor was too loud for any conversation. They weren’t interested in talking, anyway. Nick and Charlie were both looking ahead to the island, both looking at the same thing: the ginormous Brachiosaurus slowly leaving the trees coming towards the beach.

They had found Dino Isle.

Charlie had loved dinosaurs all his life. As soon as he could crawl he would gravitate towards toys inspired by dinosaurs and dragons; whenever he could choose what to watch, it was Jurassic Park. He and his brother John had quickly drunk up all the knowledge they could on all kinds of dinosaurs. The oldest of three, in addition to his brother John, Charlie had a sister (who was not as excited about dinosaurs as her brothers).

Nick had loved dinosaurs too as a child, but had other interests as he grew older. As a friend of Charlie and his family, though, he had learned quite a lot more, as Charlie and John were eager to share all they’d learned about dinosaurs each time they saw him.

The news that there may be an island out there, full of dinosaurs, had sounded like a joke at first. They’d all seen Jurassic Park and its various sequels; surely someone was just talking about those movies, right?

But key, seemingly minor details were what made the difference. Most of the dinosaurs mentioned were from the Cretaceous; no theme park was involved; the island was located in a foggy, seldom-visited corner of the South Pacific rather than the Caribbean; and the stories mainly came from sailors who had been blown off course, few, but very consistent.

When they had first heard, Charlie, John, and Nick were incredulous. They had gone on a trip to the local museum, which housed a variety of dinosaur skeletons and other such curiosities, and overheard it described by several visitors and staff.

“I can’t believe it!” Charlie exclaimed, turning away from the Ceratosaurus skeleton, “a whole island of dinosaurs! We have to go there! It’ll be our Dino Isle!”

“I hope they have a Baryonyx!” said John.

“Well, we don’t know anything for sure yet,” said Nick. “Still, it would be great to find out for ourselves.”

But their opportunity somehow managed to find them. “Excuse me, are you noted amateur paleontologist Charlie the Bright?” asked a middle-aged professor.

“Yes! That’s me! And this is my friend Nick, right here!” Charlie replied.

“I’ve heard of your work,” the professor said. “I’m quite impressed that someone so young has amassed such a wealth of knowledge on dinosaurs. And Nick, I understand you’re an Eagle Scout and generally all-around reluctant but capable adventurer?”

“Yeah, that sounds like me,” said Nick.

“Fantastic. I have a proposition for you. I’m a paleontology professor from the Chicago Eastern Polytechnic College. Now like most university professors, I feel my work isn’t NEARLY well funded enough, but I’ve managed to put together enough funds and equipment to fund a small expedition to the so-called Dino Isle. A boat, food, fuel, satellite up- and down-link, that kind of thing. The problem is all of us have classes to teach and ongoing digs or research commitments; even our grad students are all committed already such that a long trip like this just isn’t in the cards for them. I’m looking for independent contractors here who I can trust to do a great job. Now, Charlie, based on your published work, I think you have the eye for dinos, but you probably aren’t up to handling this search on your own; but if your friend here is willing to help as well, I think you might just be the team we’re looking for. What do you say?”

Charlie and Nick looked at each other. Charlie had the biggest grin you’ve ever seen.