Last of my plot less stories for a while. Enjoy.
The overcast sky greatly enhanced the already mysterious atmosphere of Loch Ness. Grey waves sloshed heavily against the pebble strewn banks while a water bird crooned softly in the distance, its mournful calls carried aloft by the occasional breeze. The craggy ruins of Urquhart Castle, like the choppy waters it overlooked, were partially obscured by the thin veil of a highland mist.
"A monster wouldn't look out of place here," muttered the manager of Scotland Disney World, Howard Greene, as he surveyed the Loch from the towering spire of the Cinderella Castle. Scores of tourists, not dissimilar to the monster hunters of the old, completely carpeted the verdant shores. Their eyes, like those of Greene, were resolutely fixed to the billowing waves.
They wouldn't be wasting their time either, thought Greene scornfully. Loch Ness had always been fascinating for childish lunatics and not even the absence of a washed up body or the numerous sonar scans could dissuade a diehard Nessie fan. With a bit of Disney magic, however, even the immaterial Loch Ness beast shall be rendered tangible and millions of well to do people could share the fascination of deranged cryptozoologists- at a fee, or course.
He recalled with bitterness Disney's crude first attempts at bringing the monster to life. Thousands of imaginers worked arduously under his cocky predecessor to construct a mobile animatronics version of the creature. Yet not even billions of dollars and thousands of man hours could sway the opinion of an unappreciative public. Theme park goers soon found the "robotic motions" of the "latex plesiosaur" to be rather unconvincing and some went as far as comparing Disney's Nessie with the real thing (as if it really existed). Undismayed, Disney wasted another billion developing a holographic version that would amend the problems of the robot monster. Hundreds of projectors were placed along both banks of the Loch to create a creature with fluid movement and believable texture. When an out of control cruiser sliced through "Ghost Nessie" at Disney's 200 year anniversary, however, the company faced a wave of renewed ridicule.
Only he, a man of exceptional wisdom and infinite patience, stuck with the vision to the very end. While his predecessor was conveniently transferred to the rich pickings of Lunar Disney World, he not only stayed but courageously proposed the impossible.
"They want realism, right? Then we'll give them realism! We are going to have live plesiosaurs in the pond before the decade is out!"
Despite the seemingly foolish nature of his statement, Greene knew that his plan was workable and could do wonders for the neglected Scottish park. Soft tissue preserved in elasmosaur vertebrates discovered in Australia yielded fragmented, but workable DNA from which an animal could be resurrected. Universal Orlando already proved the feasibility of fossil replication two decades before when the Jurassic VIII Ride showcased a living, breathing tyrannosaur. After all, just how hard could this be if you had the money and resources of Disney at your disposal?
He couldn't have been more wrong…
Their inability to hire competent genetic engineers did little to curb his initial enthusiasm. A few million dollar checks purchased the loyalties of three of Universal's top dinosaur men but the project was almost immediately hampered by a set of new challenges. Plesiosaurs were aquatic reptiles and only distantly related to the mighty dinos roaming Universal and any information on their life history came from the fossil record. Greene knew from history that paleontological guess work made a notoriously poor substitute for biological facts. Universal lost their tenth batch of juveniles simply because no one knew that pork was toxic to the mighty T-Rex. With no other alternative at hand, however, Greene was forced to push ahead with what he had. At least he'll have the good sense to raise the monsters on a strict diet of lungfish and coelacanth.
Despite numerous precautions, four billion dollars went down the drain before they manufactured the first embryo and another five billion went into the first live birth. The corpses of deceased babies were dissected and studied with almost religious reverence but the zoologists still seemed incapable of sustaining these fragile creatures. The outlook of the project was so grim that at one point the CEO threatened to pull the plug due to a popular rumor that plesiosaurs couldn't survive in cold water. Only the combined efforts of three world renowned plesiosaur experts (another billion blown) prevented the project from getting the axe.
He breathed a sigh of relief when the juveniles ceased dying. With the diligence of a caring mother he tracked the growths of Disney's first successful plesiosaurs until the tiny babies became 30 foot giants. Yet something was subtly askew with these perfect shaped animals and it took him a while to pinpoint the exact problem.
"Why couldn't our monsters raise their heads above water?"
He flew into a rage when the eggheads patiently informed him that the long, thin necks of the elasmosaurs weren't designed to telescope out of the water. He became even angrier when he was told that nothing could be done to fix the "problem".
"What would everyone think of a Loch Ness Monster that can't stick its head out!? Even a turtle can do that!"
He grew so disgusted with the incident that he considered quitting at one point. After all, who exactly gave a damn about biological accuracy in the entertainment business? If he could he would have added hair and eyelashes to those hideous reptiles just to make them more kid friendly!
Yet being the wise, reasonable man that he was, he made the concession. His will and determination persevered and millions flocked to his park to see Nessie in person. The cages were opened and through glazed eyes he watched the sleek, olive bodies of Grant and Betty frolicking in the once vacant Loch.
"Hey, did you see that! That big one that's swimming towards the other two?" shouted a spectator as the crowd suddenly became quiet.
"That couldn't be!" Greene exclaimed as he dabbed his eyes with his handkerchief. Only two plesiosaurs were set for release and neither remotely approached the size of the black colossus that was swimming towards them.
"Wow, they are actually playing!"
"It's almost like a reunion!"
Howard Greene sobbed as the black humps of the Loch Ness Monsters disappeared beneath the waves.