Kong Reborn is a 397-page novel written by Russell Blackford in 2005. It serves as a sequel to the 1932 King Kong novelization, utilizing the book's public domain status. This allowed for Kong Reborn to be written without paying royalties or licencing fees to either the Merian C. Cooper estate or Universal Pictures.
"At the dawn of the new millennium, New York City is spruced up to celebrate the party of the century. Even the city's famous skyscrapers got their first cleaning in many, many decades. It was there, at the windswept heights of the Empire State Building's soaring towers, that the discovery of a lifetime was made. The dried pool of black, tarry material proved to be none other than a giant drop of blood from the only creature to have scaled New York's tallest building: It was the blood of Kong."
"Several years later, Jack Denham, grandson of entrepreneur Carl Denham, came into possession of some of this material. And he knew what to do with it, for Jack was a trained scientist and an expert in genetic manipulation. His company had already created a new form of what to feed the world's starving masses, and a new bio-organism that eats oil spills from broken tankers. Now, Jack and his team are ready to clone the King."
"Against enormous odds, a second Kong is born in the heart of Manhattan, but once the news is out, Jack's main competitor, mega-tycoon Charlton Hemming, claims that Kong is his, and the law seems to be on Hemming's side. Hemming and Jack strike a devil's bargain. Jack can keep Kong, but he must take Hemming to mysterious Skull Island, where the giant ape was born, and where Hemming can take advantage of the island's ancient flora and fauna for new genetic experiments. However, Kong turns out to not be the only giant the island has spawned, nor the only monster from prehistoric times that has survived."
When a herd of hunting raptors reaches a watering hole, they expertly take down a large hadrosaur calf before an allosaur comes out of the jungle, spooking the raptors before deciding it was not worth the risk. It then went after a limping gigantic one-horned rhinoceros, which it killed after a brief battle as it celebrated its stance as the uncontested top predator on Skull Island. In December of 1999, the city of New York begins to have its famous skyscrapers cleaned for the New Year. Charlie Old Crow, a high steel worker, is over 90 floors up in the howling winds and below freezing weather near the top of the Empire State Building. After edging to a corner on the north face of the skyscraper, he finds an enormous spot of what he deduces to be tarry, black, dried blood. He tries to think of what it came from, but neither of his explanations add up, and he decides to report it.
About four years later in January of 2004, 40-year-old millionaire Jack Denham, CEO of Denham Products, awakes in his penthouse apartment. While watching the news he discovers that rival company Bionimals, owned by Charlton Hemming, has unveiled a cloned dwarf mammoth and implied the possibility of cloning a whole herd, which overshadowed Denham's earlier accomplishment of cloning a mammoth and a pygmy elephant. Jack then decides that Hemming may be trying to send his company under, as he had been trying to do for years, by cloning Kong using a sample of blood that had come up on the black market. Denham had also purchased some blood, and he had the benefit of having the only map of Skull Island in the world. He then begins work to clone the beast by gathering a team of scientists he believes have the proper skills. After a secret meeting at his apartment, Jack arranges for Maude to give the scientists Graham Riley and Mark Illingworth Kong's blood sample, from which they are able to extract 70% of Kong's genome. Mark breaks the news to Jack, who briefly laments the relatively low number before they realize that they have no way to gestate an animal as large as Kong. They discuss this and other unknown factors in the cloning process, such as Kong's size as an infant and where they will keep him, and eventually decide to complete the genome with DNA from silverback gorillas and chimpanzees while they build an artificial womb for gestation. All the while, they know that there is almost no way to complete the project legally, as Kong's blood rightfully belonged to Hemming. Jack consulted his lawyer, who told him the same thing.
Between March and April of 2004, the team works tirelessly in fixing up Kong's DNA, with supplements from a young gorilla and bonobos. However, on one night in April, Jack comes with news that four countries in Central Africa had contracted with Denham Products for shipments of a nearly drought-proof grain called "New Millet". Amid their celebrations, the team estimates that they will be willing to try to clone Kong by May. After months of work, Matthilde, a female gorilla living on the premises, carried the new Kong as far along as possible before the fetus was removed and moved to an artificial womb in March of 2005. There it spends the next year until it is ready to survive on its own. Jack promotes the birth on the news, and Hemming prepares to sue. Kong continues to grow healthily under the watchful eye of Jack and Laurel, who would feed him dressed in a gorilla suit. However, Hemming finally presses charges in August of 2006. Jack meets with his lawyer, and decides that keeping Kong out of Hemming's hands is worth putting his company, and all of his money, on the line for.
In March of 2008, Kong went on a prepubescent tantrum and tore apart his habitat, forcing the team to make the decision to move him to Skull Island, whose location only Jack knew, partially in search of other members of Kong's species. Not wanting to maroon the beast, it was decided that if there were no other Kong on the island, then they would clone a female. After Jack meets with his lawyer in the following November, they come to realize that they have something Hemming wants, and that thing is Skull Island. Over the next month they work to reach a settlement that would allow Hemming to finance the repatriation efforts for Kong in exchange for split control over his handling with Roxanne Blaine, his chief scientist. In addition to this, Hemming wanted 50% of the viable genes of species for research. After the settlement and a press release, planning gets underway. However, the lonely Kong is growing impatient and depressed. Laurel, Roxanne and Jack then begin to spend an hour with him each morning, a time that Kong comes to relish. One day when they leave, Kong grows horribly angry and breaks out of his conservatory, climbing down the outside of the building. He destroys many cars as he makes his way toward Central Park, but is knocked out with a tranquilizer dart by Jack, who tells Roxanne that they need to leave for the island tomorrow.
When they arrive, they discover new species before even setting foot on the island, while peering into the waters off the bow. They send two landers to the coast, where they find the ruins of the native village, and no sign of any of the people. They go through the fallen gate in the stone wall and travel a few hundred yards before turning back at a gargantuan spider's web. However, while preparing to get back to through the hate, their path is blocked by a grazing Giant Guar that is quickly chased off and murdered by a giant carnosaur. This encounter cements for Roxanne that Kong belongs in the world of the unnatural, while Jack becomes fearful to abandon him among the horrors. While briefing the crew, Jack catches them up on the story of his grandfather's one-day expedition before the two try to call Hemming, who is uncharacteristically unreachable. Hemming had flown to Sri Lanka to set up a meeting with a hitman called the Falcon, and he both orders him to stage an "accident" for Denham and tells him that everyone on the expedition is expendable.
After sedating the raging Kong, he is airlifted to the shore where his mood improves drastically as Denham and Blaine divide the group into exploration teams in preparation of finding a place to drop off Kong. As they make their way through the jungle, they discover all kinds of new species, and Kong happily runs ahead of them until he becomes entangled in a Killer Vine, and after breaking free, the group takes a rest for lunch as Hemming prepares his invasion. Elsewhere, two giant gorillas battle for dominance over the troop, ending with the challenger giving up. After a run in with some territorial brontosaurs, the other exploration team lost all but five of its members and lost radio contact.
Jack and his team began to reroute their expedition to search for the missing crew when they were attacked by vicious raptors, killing two of their members. After a quick burial, they continued on, while the beach was commandeered by Hemming's assassins and one scientist. One of the base camp scientists takes a Jayhawk helicopter toward the coordinates of the lost team; however, as he drops down, a brontosaur they had escaped earlier charges them and tramples three of the remaining five scientists before rushing into the helicopter blades and damaging the vehicle. As it climbs, the beast is nearly beheaded in the blades, but does not stop its attack despite its being dead. The monster's body crushes the helicopter, and the next research team consisting of Hemming's assassins passes over them before going to search for their prey.
Despite their and Kong's best efforts, all of the crew except for Denham and Blaine are lost to carnosaurs and raptors. However, before the beasts can get to the last scientists standing, another gargantuan ape comes out of the jungle in response to Kong's roars. After defeating the reptiles, they turn on one another in a battle for dominance. With the help of the humans' tranquilizers, Kong is "victorious", and runs off into the jungle upon hearing a female's cry. Left all alone, the scientists decide to try and follow Kong, but are briefly separated before spotting Kong attempting to mate with a female before backing off and coming to the "green cathedral", a virtual sanctuary of giant gorillas. There, they are found by the hitmen, who try to kill them. However, Kong, who had developed a distrust of guns, understands the danger and calls for help. The troop of gorillas brutally crush the would-be killers, and the scientists leave Kong with his kind after seeing the rest of the troop not objecting to his presence, and his earlier rival joining in the bloodbath.
Unfortunately, when they find the Super-Osprey landing craft that the assassins had arrived in, they find themselves surrounded by raptors. They fend them off with M-16 rifles, and are able to escape with only Jack's back being raked by their foreclaws. On returning to the beach, they send blood samples of the hitmen to Illingworth, and from Illingworth to NYPD, who confirm them as seasoned criminals, which would help in building up a legal case against Hemming. After the disaster of the expedition, Jack is tempted to abandon the idea of continued exploration altogether; however, Roxanne tells him that if they did so, then the deaths sustained would have all been for nothing, and they look to the future on the Skull Island shore.
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