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On a very special season premiere of Supercrime!, the team makes history...

"By going back in tiiime!" Fast-Forward spreads his arms wide against the background of a lush, exotic tropical jungle full of cycads and ferns. 

Back in the Crime Lab, over shots of a team of UCLA grad students assembling a portable rocket launcher small enough to be mounted to the top of an SUV

"We're going back to the Cretaceous to see if it really was an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs - and so we can test some famous dinosaur legends like 'Could T-Rex really outrun a car?' and 'Was Alien-Gator really a time-traveling velociraptor like Freedom Eagle: The Movie said?" 

Cut to Hologram

"That's right, and keeping us safe - and the build team, will be our special guest heroes, Thoughtspeed, Crimson Tiger, Kit, and Freedom League Reservists Gaian Knight and Tiamat!" 


Freedom City

April 2014

The Crime Lab (Remote Site) 


Richard Cline was not one for advanced planning most of the time, but then again most of the time he wasn't going back to dinosaur times. "All right, the advance team has been on the island for almost a week, and they haven't run into anything larger than a Great Dane, so I think we'll be all right." He let one of the techs pop a USB into the computer's port (something he had deliberately notmastered), playing what looked like an iMovie recording of a mostly-deserted tropical island, complete with birds in the air and animals on the beach - until the viewer saw the teeth and scales on the feathered fliers overhead, or realized that those weren't dogs fighting over the washed-up fish on the beach. The island looked to be in the center of a small bay, with low hills and a river visible on the opposite coast a few miles away. 


"They're almost exactly at the site of Chicxulub, good good. We're lucky that island was there, the ultralights they sent out said it's all swampy marsh on the mainland." Fred Tanzin, the second unit director for Supercrime!, focused on the special guests. "We'll do some footage of you for the promos, either here in the studio once you come back or while you're in the field. We're still on for filming all the way from the 22nd through the 25th, local time. I know you've had a chance to read our briefing packet and be introduced to the on-air talent - but do you have any questions I can answer for you about the show?" 

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"I'm afraid I don't know much about it," Gaian Knight admitted, grimacing - he'd left his face cloth down around his neck as a sacrifice to comfort, but his gaze was still be-goggled as he watched the movie play. "I don't mean that as an insult against your program - I'm sure it's just fine. I simply don't catch a lot of television these days...never did really grab me."

"I'm more a theatre person, myself," his companion absently commented, though in response to the subsequent skeptical looks - real or imagined - the statuesque redhead bared a bit of fang and frowned. "...what!? I can enjoy culture. I'm full of culture. Shut up."

"....so I'm afraid we pretty much only know what was in the packet," he continued, chuckling, "and what we've overheard around your talent. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this isn't a normal thing for you, though? Visiting the dinosaur age?"

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"Only for the fourth season premiere," said the director, "but that was before I came on the show. We'd be happy to send you a highlight reel of some of our previous episodes," he offered to the two Leaguers, "I know we worked with your colleague Fleur de Joie for the bee episode last year, but I understand she's currently on personal leave." 


"That was pretty fun," Fast-Forward offered, "the thing two years ago when we went back to the American Revolution and got some footage of the first Minuteman. But we don't time travel that much, mostly since you're looking at the only time machine the Discovery Channel has in its back pocket." He zipped out of his seat and grabbed a glazed donut from the side table. "Plus, the timecops are a bunch of real hardasses! Can't step on a butterfly without them showing up and throwing their weight around." he added. 


Tanzin hmmed, steepling his fingers beneath his greying goatee, "That's why we've timed our visit so precisely. It doesn't matter what we do in southern Mexico ten days before the Chicxulub event - all evidence of our filming will be destroyed by the blunt force of the impact. We've spoken to scientists at UCLA and they predict not even an impervium molecule left at our filming site would survive the impact." 

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"But don't worry," Paige added with a quick grin, "we'll be gone long before that happens. With double redundancy on the back-up plans, just to make our insurance guys happy." She pulled out a hand mirror and checked her hair and makeup, a reflex before filming began. Since it was a location shoot, makeup was going to be even more minimal than usual, but a little foundation kept her from glowing under the lights. Satisfied that she was camera ready, she held out the mirror to the others, especially Crimson Tiger and Tiamat.


"We'll start with just a quick intro for the cameras, just a few words about yourself and where you're from, what you do, anything you'd like to share. If you'd rather not say anything, that's fine, we'll intro you in the first group shot." Her smile was encouraging and friendly. "There's no pressure here, so don't worry about stage fright. It's all about documenting an adventure today!" 

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Thoughtspeed shifted a bit uneasily on his feet.


On one hand, him being on Supercrime was old hat. He was even still wearing a mask! On the other hand, people out there could start making connections if he wasn't careful. And while he pretty much had no choice but to trust Crimson Tiger to not make a big deal about his only-somewhat-secret identity, Gaian Knight was (to him) an unknown. Kit wasn't really known to him as directly, but she was another Claremont student, so it was a similar situation.


The geokinetic seemed like a good guy, though. And the lady with him, while a bit scary, actually seemed pretty nice. In an "I'll beat you over the head if you're ornery, and break the legs of any villain stupid enough to attack us" sort of way. 


So Thoughtspeed opted for humor.


"Will I get to race any of the little ones? Also, are we going to rig me with a high-speed camera at all?"

Edited by KnightDisciple
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So, television. That would certainly be interesting. She knew Thoughtspeed, and of course, Kit was one of her best friends. So it wasn't like she was alone in a hostile environment. Still, dinosaurs and television. Gaian Knight she had heard of, same with his partner in heroics. She didn't know a lot about them, but she had heard nothing bad.


She was eighteen years old, but her inner five year old was screaming DINOSAURS, YAY! at the top of it's imaginary lungs. She was alert, of course. She had no intention of being the superhero that got ate by a dinosaur while filming a tv show. That would just be embarassing.

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Remembering all-too-vividly what it had been like to be sixteen with his head full of girls and speed, Richard explained what they were doing. "You and I go up north on the mainland and do the T-Rex speed tests, and see if we can test with any little velociraptors there, while the other guys make sure that nothing eats the launch team." They were going to get actual photographs of the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, if that story turned out to be true. "We were going to put a protected camera in and have it send pictures right before the blastwave hit, but then we figured out I'd have to be sitting right there when the big rock came down." He made a gesture with his fist brought down on the table and grinned. "Our insurance guys wouldn't allow it." Suddenly, he snapped his fingers. 


"Hey, there's a thought!" He turned to Gaian Knight and Tiamat. "You guys are both fliers - what's your ceiling? Can you get up high enough to-" 


"We did include an aerial camera," offered Tanzin, with the slightly weary air of a professional dealing with eccentric talent, "but that's a responsibility of the first unit. Right now we're just here for the intro photography..." As he spoke, he and the rest of the crew stepped back out of frame, giving the camera crews a good position to set up. Used to working with talents in masks, the camera crew seemed to take an interest in Crimson Tiger first, helping spray her mask to make sure it shined on-camera. 


"Let us know when you're ready, Miss!" 

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"Ah - my ceiling's pretty much when I'm high enough to have a hard time breathing," Gaian Knight replied, shrugging, "though I haven't pushed it that far very often. Passing out and falling from that height really isn't any fun. Tiamat needs wind under her wings, so her limit's probably a little lower than that. You might be better off with your aerial camera, though; I try to not take passengers too high up, and if you suggest riding Tiamat up--"

Tiamat had taken only a glance into the mirror before handing it off to Crimson Tiger. Mention of riding dragons caught her attention, though, and she turned her head to offer Gaian Knight and Richard a flat, raised eyebrow.

"...ah, don't. It's my sincere recommendation that you not suggest that. If it isn't an emergency, anyone over twenty tends to get a long speech about how she isn't a beast of burden."

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She nodded. "Ready." She said, waiting for the camera to start shooting. "Hi, I am Crimson Tiger. I fight crime in Freedom City New Jersey. When I was asked to come on the show, I naturally asked what was going to happen. When they said we were going back to dinosaur times, I jumped at the chance. I mean, real dinosaurs." She smiled. "This should definitely be interesting."


She was a bit nervous, perhaps, about being on television, not to mention the dinosaurs. But, she figured it would prove to be an interesting experience overall. She knew these people to be professionals, and trusted that things would work out fine.

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Once the filming finished with Crimson Tiger, Thoughtspeed stepped up to the proverbial plate. He was, for the moment, eschewing his head-encasing helmet in favor of his normal facemask, and the addition of a Supercrime! ballcap, making him look like a hero who joined the film crew or some such.


(It paid, sometimes, to be the son of the stars, and getting free stuff was one of the ways it paid.)


"Hey, I'm Thoughtspeed! I'm super excited about this episode's trip. I mean, dinosaurs! Live! Back in the day! But more than just seeing them, I'm going to be racing them! We're going to be clocking speeds on at least one type of dinosaur, and possibly more. So criminals around the globe better watch it; I'm a lean, mean, crime-fighting, dinosaur-racing machine!"


He managed to not throw a goofy pose in, but only just, and his infectious grin was a bit goofy besides. 

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Paige gave both the youngsters an encouraging thumbs-up as they finished their introductions, resisting the urge to tell Will how grown-up he sounded on camera. That was no way to allow your child to maintain an aura of coolness in front of a young woman, she knew that much from watching television herself. She and Richard sometimes joked that they got all their parenting skills from Hollywood, seeing as how their own role models came up pretty short, but at times she wondered if there wasn't an uncomfortable amount of truth in the joking. In any case, she could save the cheek kisses and pats on the head for when they got home. 


Stepping in front of the camera herself, she picked up a squishy foam globe and began demonstrating for the camera exactly how the asteroid was going to impact Earth and what the results would be. After that, there was some more pick-up shooting, catching different angles and lighting, people entering and leaving, and plenty of the minutae that made filming television rather less exciting than watching it. There were plenty of bagels and fruit at craft services, at least, and eventually someone delivered pizza. 


"I think we're about done here," Paige finally said, checking over some of the digital shots that had just been taken. "If we miss anything, we can pick it up in the field." 

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Fast-Forward had spent most of the prep time "off-camera", popping up with a different 80s-inspired outfit every time he was needed for a shot. (There had even been a joke about that in which Hologram had 'confronted' him about being a clothes-horse). Once everyone was ready and together out on the blacktop behind the suburban studio, the Freedom City skyline visible behind him, Richard zipped out to give everyone his own encouraging speech. "All right, kids, even though I am the fastest man on the West Coast, it would take me all day to zip you all down to Chicxulub - and time spent in transit is time not spent with dinosaurs, am I right?" Reaching into his leather jacket, he snapped open a small, journal-sized leather-bound book. "Hang tight, we're going to ride the magic train to get where we're going!" He zipped around the group impossibly fast, chanting in a high-pitched chirp like a video on fast-forward, leaving glowing patterns on the ground behind him. As he chanted, stars suddenly seemed to fall from the sky, surrounding the group in a flash of brilliant stellar light - and then they reappeared in a circle of yellow tape right in the middle of a Central American village.


"Hey, everybody!" Fast-Forward waved to the crowd of villagers, most of whom were taking pictures either with old cameras or new smartphones. Putting the spellbook away, he grinned. "All right, this is gonna cost me, so hang on...it's time to REWIND!" And with that he started running, running so fast he vanished from view as he circled the small group of heroes and camera crews, a blur of motion that zipped along impossibly fast. Outside that blur, the world seemed to slow down, then stop altogether - and then gradually run backwards, faster and faster as the years peeled away in reverse! First the people blurred and vanished, then the buildings themselves seemed to disassemble and fall backwards into a jungle that had come boiling down from the hills above the village. The sky flicked light and dark until it all blurred together faster than the eye could make out. Overhead the stars wheeled in occasional glimpses, gradually moving in their fixed places - and suddenly the jungle flooded! For a long few minutes they were clearly underwater, glimpses of great fish and whales overhead, with only the blurred motion of Fast-Forward's running keeping the tides out.


And then the water was receding, and they were in the jungle again - night and day flickered again and again, trees growing and shrinking around them as eons passed in the space of seconds. And their trip was still speeding up until the outside was all one great blur. "Ten million years!" called one of the camera techs, monitoring their travel by means of an ASTRO Labs device slaved to Fast-Forward's movements - but now they were going too fast to track. The lights, the noise from outside, rose to the level of an almost unbearable whine for a long instant...


And then, with a sound like thunder, they were ELSEWHERE. Not wanting to show just how exhausted he was, Richard slumped against a big moss-covered rock, letting the others (and himself) take in the scene. The beach, the jungle, the clear blue sky overhead, it all looked familiar at first glance, especially with the base camp of survival tents and equipment established by the first unit team nearby. At least until you took a close look around and really saw the place - the jungle was pine trees, not palm trees, long-dead plants reaching up to a sky that beat down with heat and moisture that had to be over 100 degrees and over 95% humidity! The Cretaceous period was hot, far hotter than the world they'd left even with man-made climate change, and the oxygen-rich air was invigorating as he sucked it in.


"Welcome to Isla del Supercrime!"


The beach was swarming with critters, crabs and scaled birds, creatures familiar and alien all at once - and finally, one that showed an interest in them. A small, bipedal creature with feathered limbs and clawed feet scampered up to the group curiously...at least until it saw Tiamat, which prompted a shriek of terror and flight back towards a cluster of similiar chicken-sized dinosaurs by the edge of the water.


"Sorry, they've been scavaging...welcome to April, 64,502,042 BCE! We're so glad to meet you all." Frank Devlin, a muscular, balding African-American man in his late fifties, the first unit director, shook everyone's hand with a firm grip. "Come in and stretch your legs for a while, or explore the island, for that matter - we won't start filming for a few hours yet."

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"Hahaha!" Tiamat split a grin like a gash full of knives, teeth briefly losing their human semblance as she delighted in the fear of the little dinosaur. "I like this place already! The native creatures know their better in any form."

Gaian Knight chuckled, but his attention was elsewhere - he'd lost his connection to the earth during their brief trip back in time, and breathed a deep sigh of relief when it came back upon arrival. "You know, for some reason I think a little bit of me expected the world to feel old," he chuckled, plucking a handful of sand up and letting it run down between his fingers...and then right back up, arcing through the air into a blob over his hand. "But I should have expected it to be so young, relatively speaking. And clean! I might have to take a few samples before we have to leave."

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Mali's eyes went wide. This, this was dinosaur times! Real life dinosaurs! The heat hit her like a freight train, but it only took a moment to recover from the sudden change. She grinned and laughed in surprise and joy. There was a difference, a big difference, between talking about dinosaurs, and being around them.  "I...I have no intention of wandering off." She said. "I wouldn't want something to take a bite of me. That would be a poor end to me. Here Lies Crimson Tiger: Digested by Dino." She looked around and just took everything in.

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Will had had to close his eyes as the imagery of their travel through time reached a certain point. His faster-than-normal perceptions were making the experience very disorientating. He and his parents had thought this might be the case, so he ran through the mental exercises as they continued on backward through the ages.


When they stopped, and he felt the strange breeze of eons ago brushing his skin, he took a deep breath and opened his eyes, the headache already gone. He couldn't help but grin wide at the sights and sounds around him. 


"I say go for it, Rock Doc! Not like we're worrying about contaminating this side of things, and if we're safe to be here without hazard suits I don't see why some dirt would hurt anything to bring back home."


He zipped around for a few moments, semi-consciously tracing a good circuit around the campgrounds as he did so. Obviously they'd already checked for truly dangerous predators, but still. One could never be too careful; if the movies had taught him anything it was that dinosaurs might as well be ninjas with how stealthy they were!


He briefly stopped a bit closer than the others to the chicken-sized dinos...but only a bit. He kept a wary stance around them while he looked them over, his grin only growing as he watched them.


Finally, he zipped over next to Mali, hands planted on his hips, not that he was puffing up his chest any to appear more manly or anything, certainly not.


"Pfft. You'd just punch the dino unconscious. Besides, isn't this TOTALLY AWESOME! I mean, is this not the Best Trip Ever?"

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"Feel free to take a sample, Gaian Knight," Paige agreed, tipping her own head back and looking around to get her bearings. She wasn't a particularly strong telepath compared to other Freedom City heroes, but the sudden lack of millions of minds pressing in was enough to make her feel a bit lightheaded. "I think we have some clean plastic containers in the craft service tent that you can use. It'd be great if you can take one of the camera guys and explain what you're doing and why. It's always nice to add some cool science bits to the show." 


With the odd sensation of emptiness easing off, Paige began to look around the campsite a bit more. Everything was already in place for comfortable camp living, though things like electricity were necessarily limited and mostly reserved for the filming equipment. "Everything looks great, guys," she complimented the director and crew. "We're ready to get started on the setup filming whenever you are." Glancing over to Thoughtspeed and Crimson Tiger she added, "You kids can go take a look around if you want, get the lay of the land. I'm sure you're capable of handling anything that might come up." 

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Normally Richard would have pressed his son into joining him in helping the crew with their equipment - but with a girl to impress, he figured a good dad would let Will handle things on his own. Besides, that little trip through time had left him more exhausted than he'd wanted to admit - that kind of power and precision didn't come easily, even among speedsters and those who had mastery over time! He might have mentioned that to the kids - if it wasn't so damn hot. Instead he took a while to rehydrate, drinking a bottle of water at perfectly normal speed, before he got up off the rock and began helping both crews get the campsite and equipment ready for a busy day of filming. I'm not the President of the others, he thought easily, they can do their own thing. Sitting down on another rock that overlooked the vast, almost impossibly lush Cretaceous 'Gulf of Mexico', he spent some time recording "Fast-Forward videos" using a handheld camera. 


"Today we'll be looking at the story of Dr. Dromiceiomimus (it had only taken him a couple of takes to get the name exactly right) - did Canada's most famous criminal speedster _really_ get his powers from an injection of dinosaur DNA? Last time our Crime Technicians said "Probably Not" - Dr. Dromiceiomimus most likely triggered his powers to erupt when he injected himself with ground-up fossils. But we're going to put that to the test - Thoughtspeed and I are going to run up north to find a real Dromiceiomimus, one of the fastest dinosaurs ever, to see how fast they really were in the field..." 


In between recording hours of footage in the space of a few minutes (a handy tool for anyone on television), he looked up to see the other heroes and the camera crews exploring the island. The  island they were on, about as large as Freedom City's downtown, was primarily made of limestone, with a cave system stretching deep underground. It was the sort of place where palm trees and coconuts might have been found in the 21st century, but the pine trees and flying lizards (was that really their name? he'd have to look it up) in the trees showed just how far away from home they were. Nothing larger than a wild pig actually lived on the island, for all that pigs themselves were far away - in fact, there were several miniature dinosaurs, the microraptors that had showed such a terror of Tiamat, small plant-eaters that looked like 'long-necks' like Apatosaurus cast in Great Dane-sized bodies foraging in the woods, and more familiar creatures like crabs and salt-water crocodiles. 


It was hot, very hot; the air thick and muggy, smelling deeply alien to modern senses, and Richard wasn't quite as young as he used to be. Sitting there on the rock, under the shade of an overhead tree, he actually dozed briefly - until a swooping pass by a mosquito big as a dragonfly brought him to instant alertness, and with a single super-speed swat he disposed of the biggest predator he'd seen yet. He looked up at the sky as he rose, turning back to rejoin the crew. -Feels strange to be here and not doing anything about the asteroid- he admitted by thought to Paige, realizing just how much time had passed during his little nap. -But a whole new timeline won't help the ratings.- 

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"The thing I love about sand is that it's just a perfect sample of so much in the area." Gaian Knight was in full-on professor mode, kneeling on the beach with a camera on him - if he had to be on film, he could at least make it educational.

"Sure, it's mostly silica - anywhere you go, really. Quartz is a lot harder than most of what's out there, and it doesn't react much with its environment, so it sticks around when other stuff gets washed away or ground to dust. You take that out, though..." A clump of sand pulled off the ground, splitting itself into smaller floating globules of earth at one hand's casual gesture. "...and you get a sample of what was available when it was made; local rock formations, ground-down seashells, it's really a wonderful...ah. You may want to catch that."

The earthmover casually pointed down-beach, where his red-headed companion was wreathed in flame, a conflagration that left the beach steaming as it revealed an entirely different type of tyrant lizard...who shook herself and, laughing, snapped her teeth at the little scavenger dinosaurs.

"There are other samples to be had, of course." Gaian Knight looked amused, but not in the least surprised, continuing on when the cameras had gotten their eyeful. "I'll probably get a few deeper earth pieces later; you're welcome to join me when I do. If you bring some lights you'll get a pretty good look at the layers that formed right under our feet before the impact had a chance to disturb them - once we're back in modern times, a comparison to a similar trip in the present day will show you just how much force comes out of an impact like this one."

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Crimson Tiger nodded, still amazed. "Yeah this is the best trip ever." She grinned and glanced around. "I mean, wow. Dinosaurs!" She laughed. "I dunno, some dinosaurs might be too tough, but you're right, there's probably not much out there we could run into that would be much of a problem. So, let's go exploring." She grinned and motioned towards the forest.

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Thoughtspeed kept zipping off to look at something and back to close by Crimson Tiger, his excitement enough that his body occasionally blurred from ambient kinetic vibration. His father was faster and more powerful, but Will's powers were definitely more tactile. Excitement more easily manifested random power flickers (as it were). 


"I wanna take one of the long-necked plant eaters home! I mean it's not big or anything, and there's gotta be weirder stuff in Freedom City alone, right? One dinosaur couldn't be a big deal! Or, wait, crud, it'd get lonely..."


He seemed to shrug off the idea for the moment, but something told his parents, especially his psychic mother, that the idea wasn't completely gone.


"Pfft, you punched robots into scrap, and I make swords with my brain. What could-wait, no, not finishing that. But you're right, exploration time!"


He zipped out of sight for a moment, before returning, looking a bit sheepish.


"Uh...which way did you want to go?"

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The campsite was a little quieter without the kids or the dragon or Richard around, but a television set is never truly quiet. Paige spent the first couple of hours reviewing B-roll with the director and scouting around to a few potential filming sites nearby. It was kind of nice that Richard was taking a nap, she decided; he never had much patience for this side of the work. On the other hand, he could run them sixty-five million years into the past without any equipment, so there were tradeoffs. 


There were also some  perks to a world almost entirely without people. It made everyone a lot easier to keep track of. Paige didn't want to violate anybody's mental privacy, but it was nice to be able to keep a light mental touch on Will and his (not his little friend, and please not his girlfriend, not ready for that), his friend, just to make sure they weren't getting into any trouble. Not being able to feel Holly was a disquieting itch on the edge of her mind, but Paige tried to ignore it. Holly would be fine while they were gone, more than fine, really, back in LA for a visit with friends. It helped that Paige's old friend Leslie, or Somina when she was doing the psychic hero gig, had a daughter almost Holly's age. It would suit Holly a lot more than a week of camping with dinosaurs at Mom and Dad's work. 


By the time dinner rolled around, Paige was starting to get just a bit antsy. Maybe it was all the quiet in her head, maybe it was just not having enough to do. She decided to go and find Richard, see if she could get her own tour of the area at high speed before they all sat down to eat. 

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Paige lacked her husband's speed, but of course he was just a thought away and within a second was by her side on the beach. "Hey babe." Respectable married types that they were, he slipped his arms around her and gave her a quick kiss. With a grin, he added, "See, I told you have good ideas. Everything go OK?" While the smell of frying fish filled the air near the campsite (thanks to a lucky haul by one of the cameramen and his net), they zipped around the island, exploring its rough star shape from the thick tropical pine forests in the interior (complete with miniature dinosaur herds) to the lush beaches that surrounded them everywhere. It was gorgeous enough to pass for any resort back home, but alien enough to be breathtaking even to jaded travelers like them. Given the lack of large predators (except for Tiamat), if not for the fact that the whole place was going to be completely annihilated in just a few days, it would have been the perfect tourist attraction.


If you ignored the bugs, anyway. After swatting another huge mosquito, this one with a body as thick as a Goliath beetle, Richard (who was not a fan of the insect kingdom, especially not with the way their wings sounded at high-speed) commented, "I'll be right back...with a whole lot more bugspray. Don't go anywhere, gorgeous."


He was slowed up enough by conversation back at the camp, though (and the need to cut a quick take) that Paige was alone on the southwest beach for several minutes, the one closest to the not-quite-visible mainland. Turning a corner on the shore, she found herself looking at a small, sheltered cove beneath the shelter of several large overgrown trees. She thought the log resting on the sand was one of those trees fallen over - until she saw that it was smaller than the rest, and looked scorched as if by fire, which might explain the hollow depression at the top. The dinosaur on top of it was bigger than she'd seen before, maybe as big as Holly, scrambling around inside that depression for its meal...


Until the dinosaur reared up on its hind legs with a satisfied hiss, a spear in its hand - the long wooden pole topped by gleaming black obsidian triangle. She couldn't read its thoughts, but even the faintest touch of her power against it revealed a sentient mind, and cleverness in those saurian features as the dinosaur paced down towards the waterline, its eyes focused on the scuttling crabs.

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Paige stared for a minute, by turns fascinated and aghast. If she didn't know better, she'd think that hollow log was a primitive canoe... of course maybe she didn't know better, seeing as how the dinosaur was spear fishing. Dinosaurs didn't spear fish! Paige didn't have a lot of formal education, but she certainly knew that much. But then, if the dinosaurs who went spear fishing were this close to what was about to become a hundred-mile-wide crater, that would explain why they didn't make it into the fossil yearbook. 


Leaning forward unconsciously, she gave the creature a soft nudge with her mind, wondering at its capacity for thought. Could it be a more evolved raven-type, using simple tools to secure better food for itself? Not a sentient being, but a clever animal? But its thoughts, when she felt them, were alien and near-incomprehensible, but complex. She couldn't tell exactly what he (and he was a he, some self-concepts were outside of language and didn't need translating) was thinking, but his mind was abuzz with activity. Some was directed at the crabs he hunted, some in other directions, perhaps towards his home. She caught quick mental flashes of other dinosaurs, but the effort of picking out detail was dizzying. And honestly, in some part of her mind, she didn't want to know. 


~Everyone,~ she broadcast, speaking on a wide band to encompass all the humans. ~Get back to camp right away. We have a problem. Richard, Gaian Knight, I need you here.~ She sent a mental image of her coordinates, trying to keep a lid on her anxiety. 

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At the tone in his wife's mental voice, Richard instantly dropped the shoot and was there faster than a heartbeat, the thick conifer jungle hardly an impediment to his super-speed. At the sight of the dinosaur with the spear (who had just caught a crab), his eyes widened, taking in the situation in a heart-stopping instant. "Oh, damn," he whispered under his breath, before switching to mental communication. -Look at the arms on him, he must have rowed all the way here!- Sure enough, on closer inspection the dinosaur did have long, human-like arms that bulged with reptilian muscles - albeit with clawed fingers at the end of four-fingered hands as he nimbly tossed his spear back and forth from hand to hand. His hand-held still in his hand, Richard automatically pointed the camera at the dinosaur hunter. -That poor bastard. Jesus, they must have never known what hit them.-

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Gaian Knight lacked the advantage of super-speed, but he still made good time. In fact, it looked like he'd headed in Paige's direction without bothering to reach for a decent source of rock: it was stable enough, but the sandstone platform he skimmed in on was a bit more sand and a bit less stone toward the bottom and edges, trailing a bit as he flew.

"That's...okay. That's definitely something," he quietly agreed, very carefully coming down to earth...in what was, hopefully, the most quiet and non-threatening manner possible for a monkey that just rode in on a flying rock. "This is going to complicate things. I suppose it's too much to hope that he's the only one here?"

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