In the late twentieth century, the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering has positioned itself to become one of the great technological revolutions of human history. Yet, things changed when Herber Boyer, a biochemist at the University of California, founded the company Genentech in 1976 to exploit the commercial potential of his research. Since then the field has exploded into a global amalgam of private research firms developing frivolous, profit-hungry products, such as square trees tailor-made for lumber, without any sort of government regulation.
The appearance of a company like International Genetic Technologies, then should come as no surprise. InGen, as the company is informally known, apparently was the instigator of some sort of "incident," and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1989. The proceedings drew little publicity, but certain parties involved were amenable to discussing the events that transpired on a remote island off the shores of Costa Rica...
Prologue: The Bite of the Raptor
Roberta "Bobbie" Carter, a doctor working in a medical center in Bahia Anasco, Costa Rica, is on duty one stormy night with her paramedic, Manuel. An "InGen Construction" helicopter lands nearby and a red-haired man named Ed Regis brings in a man who he claims was injured in a construction accident. Bobbie suggests Regis bring the patient, a young man around eighteen years old, to San José, the nearby capital city where better facilities are available. Regis resists, claiming the helicopter cannot make it any further in the bad weather.
Bobbie looks at the boy's injuries, tear-like lacerations across his torso and thigh, and is skeptical they were really caused by construction equipment. She asks Regis to leave and takes a few photographs of the injuries, then the boy wakes up whispering, "Lo sa raptor." Manuel is obviously distressed by the slippery, foul-smelling foam they have found on the boy's cuts and by the boy's eerie "raptor" statement. Nonetheless, Manuel claims he does not know what the phrase means.
As the boy continues to whisper, Manuel states that the boy has been bitten by one of the raptors or "hupia"—ghosts who, according to a local superstition, live in the islands offshore and kidnap children. The boy suddenly sits up, vomits blood and falls to the floor, convulsing. He is dead. Curious about the word "raptor," Bobbie looks it up in a Spanish dictionary and finds that it means "abductor." She also looks it up in an English dictionary, which says that it means "bird of prey."
Mike Bowman is on vacation in Costa Rica with his wife, Ellen, and their daughter, Tina. The family drives a Land Rover through Cabo Blanco Biological Reserve in search of a deserted beach. When they get to the beach, Ellen is worried about Tina encountering snakes, but Mike convinces his wife not to worry. Tina runs off to search for a three-toed sloth. While exploring, Tina spots lots of three-toed bird tracks and hears chirping sounds. Instead of a bird, however, a small a green and brown-striped lizard emerges from the jungle. It stands on its hind legs, bobs its head like a chicken, and chirps. Tina notices it has three toes and makes tracks like those she saw in the sand. Just as the lizard begins to attack Tina, the perspective shifts back to Mike and Ellen down the beach, who are wondering where Tina is until they hear her screams.