The first thing it can remember is light.

Its too-small space breaks open, and through the new aperture, light streams in. This far back it's difficult to remember much, but it recalls those early moments being wet, wobbly, and blurry. It's not as warm anymore, and there are smells it doesn't recognize. The sights are all new; behind it are the crumpled remains of its egg, and around it are half a dozen more still intact.

It remembers a face, the face of what it would one day come to recognize as a human, looking down at it. A round face with amber eyes, and everything below the face is blazing white. One side of the mouth curls into a smile. It remembers a voice.

"Hello, small fry."

Small Fry becomes its name.

The early days are indistinct. One by one, the other eggs hatch into dinosaurs that look like Small Fry, walking unsteadily on two legs, arms waving in the air, with scales and sharp teeth. The human gives them food, which smells rich and salty. Once every few days, there is another smell mixed in, and on these days, it feels more invigorated after eating. It almost seems like it's growing larger on those days.

Walking becomes easier quickly, and soon, it is moved into a larger area. Once it learns to run and jump, and wrestle with the other dinosaurs, Small Fry hardly thinks about the comfort of the egg. The food becomes tougher and thicker; eventually, instead of lumps of meat, the food comes in the form of small silvery animals with fins instead of limbs. They lie still, and they look strange, but they taste better than the soft meat, and it feels good to tear pieces off of them.

Most days unfamiliar humans come around, and sometimes, Small Fry can see them speaking with the human it first saw. On a few occasions, humans take one of the other dinosaurs in the enclosure. One day, when there are only three of them left, a strong human picks up Small Fry, who is now as long as the man's arm, and places it in a box. It isn't warm or wet like the egg, but there is a blanket on the floor of it, and there are bars on one side that it can see between.

The journey is long because it involves a lot of stopping and waiting in quiet places, and Small Fry sleeps for part of it. When it wakes, it's in a new place, with stronger smells and the sounds of many people and animals—mostly animals Small Fry has never heard before. It is let out of the box, but it cannot go very far, because it is now standing in a larger box whose walls are all made of bars. There are more humans here than it has ever seen before, and there are many new animals. Across the way, inside a small box like the one it was brought here in, there are many small green dinosaurs with pointy faces. They look like they must stand on two legs like Small Fry, since it can see clawed arms poking out between the bars. They squeak and nip at humans passing by. Hanging from the ceiling in little barred platforms there are big-headed animals, gibbering and flapping their arms; they have very strange arms, with membranes stretched from their fingers to their hips. When they flap, they hover in the air for a moment.

And to the left of Small Fry is a barred box like its own, and inside it is a four-legged animal. Its mouth is much smaller than Small Fry's, and it is pointy, and its head is much bigger, with a huge shield. There are two small horns poking out from above its eyes, and another small horn on its nose. Most of its body is gray, but there is a ring of white marks around one side of the shield on its head. Small Fry thinks they look like the marks it leaves on its food when it bites.

The human who brought Small Fry here steps over to look at it, grinning. He is a thin man with a shaved head, and he wears flowing black clothing. "They tell me Santos got your litter from Orlov. A man who breeds real winning stock, eh?" The man nods his head once. "You are going to do wonders for me, I feel it already." He taps the bars once, then goes to sit on a chair nearby. He leans back.

It is not long before another man walks past and stops. He is eating something impaled on a stick. It smells good, and somehow familiar, but Small Fry isn't sure why. "Got yourself a new fighter!" he says, gesturing the stick at Small Fry, who looks back curiously. "No scars on this one, though." This time, he glances pointedly between Small Fry and the horned animal in the next box over, which does not react.

"The clone-parent came from Nublar, my friend, this is no weakling!" says the bald man.

The other man takes a bite and swallows it. "Smart money's on carnotaurs, these days. Although, I can tell you for sure—" he takes another bite "—fish-eaters don't taste half bad!"

The two men banter, and chuckle, and then the hungry man walks away. Small Fry's new owner glances aside at it for a moment, seemingly thoughtful, and then walks away for a few minutes. While he is away, Small Fry observes the horned animal in closer detail. It is standing still, staring ahead but occasionally glancing around. Small Fry notices its eyes keep landing on another horned animal, this one an orange two-legged animal with a short snout and even shorter arms. It doesn't look like much to Small Fry, whose snout and arms are far more impressive. And it only has two horns, not three like the four-legged animal. Briefly, the quadruped glances over at Small Fry. The look in its eye is strange. Then it stares forward again.

Small Fry's bald owner returns, carrying a stick loaded with meat. He hasn't eaten any, and instead, he places the stick in Small Fry's box. "There you go, you like that? Fish is good, but this...this is what victory tastes like." Small Fry sniffs it while the man chuckles to himself. "For you, of course! This fellow was not so lucky."

It isn't a scent Small Fry knows, but it smells appetizing. It pulls a piece of meat off the stick and snaps it up, then hungrily goes for another bite. This has been a long day of traveling, and it's good to have a meal.

After eating, Small Fry lays down. Its owner is sitting nearby, striking up conversation with other humans, many of whom smile over at Small Fry and making remarks that it only partly pays attention to. It has a full belly and a bed of hay to lie down in, and plenty of strange humans and even stranger animals to watch as they go by. There are all kinds of lights and smells and sounds, and for now they are unknown, but this is where Small Fry lives now. This is its home.