Stephen's life was a constant competition. A competition he always got out second best. He hadn't minded so much before the whole anomaly thing had started but ever since then he felt the constant need to prove himself. Prove that he was the best.
After all it had been him who got stamped on by a gorgonopsid, him who got bitten by a giant centipede, his who had to shoot the pteranodon, it was always his life in the line of fire and still it was always Cutter who got the praise.
He was expected to track animals, yet, if someone needed information they went to see Connor, only asking him when there was no one else around. He was expected to be armed to shoot an animal but if it really came to it he was pushed out of the way and Special Forces took over.
And at university it had always been the big Nick Cutter, professor and him, Stephen Hart, the loyal lab technician. No one ever took into consideration that he had studied as well and knew his fair share about animals, eras and bones.
Even for Helen, as it turned out, he was always and only second choice. He had been first choice and the best for Abby but even that had been spoilt by Helen going for him as second best companion. And he was sick of it. Sick of being second best or second choice.
Especially with Helen. Hell, Nick had punched him and all she could think about was that there was a possibility her husband was jealous after all. Even when Stephen had thought he was Helen's first choice (she had come to see him about the conspiracy after all, not Nick) it turned out he was only her second, an instrument to get her way with Nick instead of the go-to-guy he thought he was.
Except now. When he pushed Nick aside and locked the door behind him, endangering his own life once more. This time it was his turn to be the hero and this time no one could take the credit. Because it was his time to be the best.
As the predators circled in on him, he knew this wasn't going to end well. At all. But if he had to go, he'd go as the best. The hero. And now with his stupid, foolish and rash decision, he was going to be the one to save the human race and more importantly his friends. There was no denying it and no one else to take the praise but him.
He probably wouldn't make it back out of there but for once, he had succeeded in stepping out of the shadow someone else had always cast over him. And with that, he could live.