Hello, good day, and welcome to Prehistoric Park: Reborn. This series is, as Nigel might say, "a fanfiction with a difference." It's still Prehistoric Park in a recognizable form, but an alternate one. The park structure and aesthetic is familiar, but all the characters are entirely new, and the park is starting with a clean slate and no animals (yet). I guess you could describe it as a "remake" but I don't like the term.
It also puts a new spin on the standard disclaimer: no, I do not own the concept of Prehistoric Park, but I do actually own the characters in this particular fanfiction. But if you see the need, feel free to use them. This is just a fun bit of writing :D
For the first episode, I had the challenge of creating a new beginning for the park. I still wanted to have the suitably epic feel of the actual first episode, but I also wanted to make it fresh and different. So here is the result.
Welcome to Prehistoric Park like you've never seen it before…
We live in a very strange world. Over ninety-nine percent of the species that ever lived on our planet are now extinct. But what if we could save them? What if we could bring them back to our own world?
Join biologist Michael Emerson as he travels back in time to meet animals that have never existed for millions of years. He will save them from extinction and take them into the present day to give them a second chance.
For his first adventure, Michael travels back 70 million years ago to rescue the dinosaurs that changed the way we look at these terrible lizards.
Welcome to the ultimate wildlife sanctuary. Welcome…to Prehistoric Park!
The olive-colored creature sat on a branch and blinked as a finger stroked the top of its head. The animal had a look of intelligence about it, and definitely seemed to enjoy the attention. Others of its kind perched on branches around it.
"Solomon Island skinks," Michael Emerson said, petting the lizard. "They're wonderful creatures to have around. The way they behave, it's as if they're trying to be reptilian koalas." He laughed. "But I'm distracting myself again."
Michael closed the door of the vivarium, which was as tall as he was, and sat back down at his desk. Inside his study, similar cages containing reptiles were scattered across the room. The desk itself was covered in mountains of books and papers, and the old swivel chair was raggedy and missing a wheel. Michael's study overlooked a forest, and the beauty outside balanced the mess inside. Nearly.
"As we speak, the first enclosures are being built," Michael said. "It would be wonderful to have a thriving population of extinct animals, but first we have to start small. Thankfully, we have everything we need to make them happy."
He stepped over a tortoise roaming around the room to a map on the wall. "As you can see here, we have a wide variety of habitats in the park – forest, aridland, plains, rivers, anything an animal could want. There's a mountain range to the north and west," pointing at the satellite photo, "and then an ocean to the east. It really does look exotic and primordial, which is exactly what we want."
Michael then grabbed a sheet of paper from his desk. It was a map of the same area, but in vivid, unrealistic colors. "This is a bathymetric depiction of the area," Michael said, "and you can see that a few miles off the coast there's a long, curving string of brightly colored spots. That's actually a chain of undersea guyots. With a little bit of extra construction, it'll actually form a natural barrier. So eventually we may be able to have marine enclosures that are actually in the sea!"
Michael put the paper back on his desk. "We already have a few species of extant animals living in the park," he said. There's a savanna paddock home to a group of black rhinos, and there are other paddocks containing things like water monitors and cassowaries. They've acclimated perfectly, and with luck, so will the more unusual animals coming."
Michael and his team have clearly shown that they can care for everything from dodos to dinosaurs. But he knows exactly what he's bringing home from his first adventure.
"Dinosaur paleontology would likely have been quite different were it not for the animals I'm going to bring back first," Michael said. "In 1858, an amateur geologist named William Foulke met a man called John Hopkins in the town of Haddonfield, New Jersey, who was giving away giant bones that he had found in a nearby marl pit. They were definitely dinosaur bones, so Foulke contacted the paleontologist Jospeh Leidy, who was living nearby in Philadelphia. Together, they returned to the marl pit and excavated the most complete dinosaur skeleton known at the time. It was named Hadrosaurus foulkii, in honor of Foulke himself."
Michael held up a picture of a mounted skeleton that resembled a very awkward reptilian kangaroo. "Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, the English artist who created the famous dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park, was assigned to make casts of the available bones and create the missing ones out of plaster. Hadrosaurus became the world's first mounted dinosaur skeleton, and it captured the imaginations of people across the globe. So I'm going to travel back 70 million years in time to prehistoric New Jersey, and catch a Hadrosaurus or maybe even two!"
He put the picture down and smiled. "That's not all though. In 1866, more dinosaur bones were found nearby the Hadrosaurus site. But the bones weren't from Hadrosaurus. Instead, they found this."
Michael held up a huge curved claw bone that was clearly not from Hadrosaurus at all. "They found a terrifying claw, at least eight inches long, and it was most certainly from a predatory animal, more specifically a theropod dinosaur. The famous paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope described the bones and named the animal Laelaps, after the hunting dog in Greek myth. As well as that killer claw, they also found parts of the skull and also leg bones, which showed that the animal was bipedal. Previously, scientists assumed all dinosaurs walked on four legs, like modern lizards or crocodiles. But Laelaps showed that this wasn't so. Another major contribution to early paleontology."
Michael ran his hand along the smooth surface of the claw. "But that's just the beginning of the story. Cope was friends with another famous paleontologist from Yale, Othniel Charles Marsh. Marsh got wind of the fact that the marl pits had great value in terms of fossils, and actually secretly bribed the workers digging there to redirect the shipment of bones to his own office and away from Cope. That was believed to be the first shot in the great Bone Wars, which ended in the discovery of many familiar dinosaurs we know and love today. And to add insult to injury, Marsh found out that the name Laelaps had already been used before – to name a type of mite! Much to Cope's displeasure, it was renamed Dryptosaurus, the name we use today. So in effect these Jerseyan dinosaurs opened the floodgates for American paleontology. And it's almost time to head back 70 million years in order to find them in the flesh."
Michael got up and walked out of the room with his backpack.
Of course, these terrible lizards will need top-notch accommodations to thrive. That's the job of head park keeper Norman Gallagher, who is finishing up directing the construction of the enclosure walls.
An old Irish tune played from an equally old and scratchy radio in the heat of a summer day. However, nobody seemed to be listening to it. Instead, people were hard at work putting up tall wooden fences and laying down stone paths. A bearded man in his 50s and with a slight Southern accent was directing them.
"A bit farther…little bit farther…right. Stop. You're good. Start hammering them in," Norman Gallagher said to the staff. He paused to wipe the sweat off his brow. "Normally," he began, "you'd expect a park with giant prehistoric lizards in it to have electrified fences in it. Not here. Michael specifically wanted the wooden ones. I guess it has a little bit of a rustic feel to it."
Norman started to rustle through his clipboard. "And naturally, we would want something that causes as little harm to the animals as possible. Still though, I'm a bit worried to see what would happen when a dinosaur feels like taking a stroll out of town, eh?" He put the clipboard away. "Speak of the devil…"
Michael was walking up, shouldering his trusty backpack. "How soon do you think this enclosure will be finished?" he asked.
"Well Michael, if we keep on schedule it should be finished within the hour. Have you decided where you're heading off to yet?"
"Indeed I have. Take a look," Michael said, and handed Norman a sheet of paper with pictures. "I'm heading to the Cretaceous in search of a hadrosaur or two. With a bit of luck, I may even be able to bag a Dryptosaurus!"
"Drip-toe-saurus?" Norman asked. He looked perplexed. "What's that then?"
"It's a theropod. To make it simple, think T. rex crossed with a Velociraptor!"
Norman glanced at the sheet of paper and paled. After a brief moment, he said, "I sure hope you know what you're doing, Michael. They sound dangerous."
Michael laughed. "Don't worry, Norman. I'll be fine. See you with a dinosaur in tow!" He started walking off.
"Well, I hope Michael has the right idea," Norman muttered. "But I think he's being a bit ambitious too early on. I was hoping he would start with something smaller. And maybe fuzzy." He turned back to the staff. "Okay boys and girls, let's finish up this paddock!"
Soon, Michael is ready to embark on his journey. With his team, he'll be setting off into the unknown to achieve the impossible…
Michael sat in his Jeep, facing the time portal. The portal itself, a swirl of bright blue with hints of violet, seemed to beckon him in. He glanced at the other two Jeeps flanking his, and then started the engine. And then he drove through the time portal.
…bring back dinosaurs to the modern day!
The park was gone. Civilization was gone. And humanity would not exist for another 70 million years.
Michael and his team had arrived in the middle of a forest. Aside from the chirping of prehistoric insects and the trickling of a nearby brook, it was totally silent.
After taking a brief look at his surroundings, Michael got out of the Jeep. "This is interesting," he said. "Despite what you might think, this isn't just any old forest. It looks like this is a temperate rainforest, like you would see in the Pacific Northwest or the coasts of Australia. They have a high biodiversity, so this is good news. For now, though, we better set up camp, and this looks like as good a spot as any."
The team set to work putting tents up and organizing their supplies. As soon as they were finished, though, Michael was eager to start exploring on his own and start searching for his targets. The forest was mostly too dense for vehicles to move around, and so he set out on foot.
"Hiking in the woods never gets old," Michael explained as he crossed the brook near camp. "Whatever your age it's always refreshing to get out into nature for a while. And when you're walking in a prehistoric forest that nobody has ever seen…" Michael grinned. "Well, it's even better!"
The cry of a distant dinosaur echoed throughout the trees. "Of course, because nobody has ever been here before, I don't quite know what I'm going to find. There are fossils from the area, but they're only a snapshot of life in a given place. There may very well be species living here that have never been discovered in the fossil record before. And maybe we never will."
Michael stopped suddenly. "What's that?" he asked himself, and walked over to a bush, crouching there. Some of the branches there were stripped.
"Something's been eating here," Michael said. "You can see how the branches have been stripped of their leaves. It's a very orderly pattern, and not messy at all." He stood up again and searched the area.
"Here!" he said, pointing to the ground. "Look at how all these ferns were flattened. And over there, that fallen log is snapped…I'd say this is a trail where some sort of herbivore has been."
The trail moved on into the forest, through several groves and thickets. "I can say with relative certainty that a dinosaur made this trail, but I don't think it was made by our Hadrosaurus, because the trail seems to be a bit small. But we can try following it and catch up with-"
Michael was interrupted by a rustling in the bushes. He turned, slowly, as the rustling continued. "Let's hide and see what's there," he whispered, and hurried behind a tree.
"I can see it better from here," he whispered. "Look there, straight through the branches…"
A brown dinosaur was hidden in the bushes, roughly cow-sized, browsing on the leaves and flowers. Armor plating covered its back and tail. It seemed oblivious to the strange creature hiding behind the tree.
"I know what this is," Michael whispered. "It's a nodosaur, a type of dinosaur covered in armor plating. Nodosaurs weren't as heavily armored as their cousins the ankylosaurs, but they were closely related. The neat thing about it is that only a few nodosaur fossils have been found from this particular time and place."
He watched as the nodosaur continued browsing on flowers. "I've always had a soft spot for these types of dinosaurs. If we can set up the portal, it might be the first dinosaur we bring back to Prehistoric Park. Let's go."
Michael stepped out from behind the tree and set the portal sticks into the ground. The nodosaur looked up from its meal and watched him curiously. Michael activated the portal, and it flared into life. "Now let's see if I can bag a nodosaur!" he said, and made his way into the bushes where the dinosaur stood.
Upon Michael's approach, the nodosaur grunted and dropped itself on the ground, nestling into the leaf litter and exposing its armor plating. Michael tapped a broken stick on the dinosaur's back, but to no avail. "Seems like he doesn't want to deal with all the riffraff," he said with a smirk. "I'll keep trying though."
He continued tapping the stick until the nodosaur stood and grunted, apparently tired of the commotion. It trotted out of the bushes as best as a heavy dinosaur could trot and straight into the time portal, followed by a happy Michael.
Back at the park, the present is about to meet the past.
Norman watched intently from a walkway above as the portal flared into life. "Let's see what you've got, Michael," he said to himself.
Suddenly, the nodosaur trotted through the time portal, looking for all the world like a top-heavy turtle crossed with an army tank. It was followed by Michael, who gave a vigorous thumbs up.
"Look at him go!" Norman said as he watched the nodosaur. "Get it into a holding pen!" he said to the staff.
Soon the park's newest-and oldest-resident was safely contained within a holding pen. Michael met Norman on a walkway overlooking the pen. "Do you like him?" he asked Norman.
"That I do, Michael!" Norman said. "He's hardly what I expected though. A boy, or a girl?"
"I think it's an old male," Michael said. "If you look, he's got old scars on his armor. Those may have been from previous battles with other males, maybe over territory or even a girlfriend. It's hard to say, though. We'll have to let Catherine check." Catherine was the park's head vet.
"Well, either way, it's still good enough for me," Norman said, and they both laughed.
Soon, staff from around the park are flocking to see Prehistoric Park's first ever dinosaur. Among them is Terry Wright, the park's resident paleontologist.
Michael watched from the walkway as a Land Cruiser pulled up along the side of the holding pen, and a dark-haired man with a hat in his 30s stepped out and hurried up the stairs to meet him. "What did you find?" Terry Wright said, anxiously. "I really want to see."
"See for yourself, Terry," Michael said. "It's a nodosaur."
Terry watched the nodosaur moving about in the holding pen. "Wow," he said. "It's fantastic."
"I was hoping you'd be able to identify the species!"
"Well, I don't think we can say for certain. The fossil material is too scrappy to deserve a name yet. But I don't really care about that; it's gorgeous."
Michael nodded. "Where's Catherine? She'd love to see this. And, we had a question for her…"
Terry adjusted his hat. "Still working with the water monitor in the clinic. I think she should be out soon."
"Well, I don't think I can stay. We haven't even seen our target species yet!" Michael laughed. "Norman, the nodosaur lived in a wooded area, a bit like a temperate rainforest. Do you have the right paddock for him?"
"Well, it's not perfect, but I have one that'll do, I think. I'll go help move him in now."
"Great. Terry, do you want to come back with me this time?"
"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Terry laughed.
When they next return, Michael and Terry want to do so with more dinosaurs in tow…
The sun was slowly dipping below the horizon in the Cretaceous sky. All the light was fading, and the team was getting ready to pack it in for the night.
"As you can see it's getting dark out," Michael said as he sat next to the campfire with a beverage in hand. "Terry and I would love to do a bit of night exploration, but we decided against it just in case we run into something, or something runs into us. The best thing to do now is just sleep and get some rest."
Michael retreated back into his tent, and as the sun set only the campfire lit the clearing.
In the morning, Michael and Terry were up bright and early to continue their search. "There's been a small change of plan," Michael said. "From what I can gather, there's no sign of bigger dinosaurs inside the forest itself. So, we're going to look for a more open area."
Further on, the two heard low, rumbling noises. "Do you hear that?" Michael asked. Terry nodded. "I think we're finally getting some luck," he said.
"I think it's coming from over there…"
They reached the forest edge, and saw a large plains clearing nestled amongst the trees. In the middle rested a clear, rippling lake. Clustered around the lake was a sizeable herd of dinosaurs with heads shaped rather like those of ducks. A flock of pterosaurs wheeled about high in the sky above them all.
Terry and Michael watched in amazement. "Finally," Michael breathed. "Not just one Hadrosaurus, but a whole herd!"
Paleontologists believe that many types of hadrosaur dinosaurs travelled in herds. Huge bonebeds of these "duckbilled" dinosaurs have been found in the western regions of North America. Now, it seems, we know Hadrosaurus itself lived in herds too.
The hadrosaurs were colored a mottled brown and green, and were busy drinking at the lake. "Honestly, I have no idea how we can get a Hadrosaurus or two through the portal right now," Michael laughed, "but they are beautiful. Hey, look there…"
There was a small group of another type of dinosaur mingling inside the herd, shaped like ostriches and covered with black feathers.
"Do you see them, Terry?" Michael asked. "They look like ornithomimids. I didn't know they were found around here."
Terry nodded. "I think they're Coelosaurus antiquus. The species is a bit of a taxonomic muddle, but otherwise they're typical ornithomimids."
As the two watched, some of the Coelosaurus started picking at the hadrosaurs' skin, who seemed largely indifferent. "I think I know what they're doing," Michael said. "I've seen this with oxpecker birds and water buffalo on the African savannas. The oxpeckers detach and eat parasites on the buffalo's hide, giving them a food source. The birds are also quite wary, and give out alarm calls when a possible predator is nearby. So the water buffalo are given an early warning system in exchange for the parasites that the birds pick off. It's an interesting symbiotic relationship, and one that I think is being represented in a dinosaurian form here."
The Coelosaurus continued preening the hadrosaurs, moving from individual to individual. "But research has shown that oxpeckers might not be as beneficial as we think. So maybe these Coelosaurus could end up doing a bit of harm as well as good," Michael continued. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."
Around the lake, the Hadrosaurus were milling about, grazing on ferns and continuing to lap at the shining waters of the lake. The Coelosaurus were considerably more birdlike, moving quickly and cocking their heads at the slightest disturbance.
Suddenly, a noise that sounded like a high-pitched roar crossed with a harsh snarl echoed across the plain. Upon hearing it, one of the Coelosaurus raised its head and let out a cry of alarm.
"Something's spooked them," Terry said with obvious concern.
The hadrosaurs looked up from their activities and started calling as well, moving away from the lake in agitation. "That definitely sounded like a predator," Michael said, raising his binoculars. "And the herd knows it. They're starting to move away – oh my god!"
A pack of theropod dinosaurs leapt out of the trees at the far side of the plain and began running towards the herd. They were colored brick red, and a crest of black quills ran from their head down along their backs. Upon seeing them, the Coelosaurus instantly scattered, but the hadrosaurs were clearly less organized, starting to rear up on their hind legs and run in different directions while letting out loud bellows.
With frightening speed, the pack ran across the clearing towards their prey.
"They can only be one thing; Dryptosaurus!" Michael shouted over the cacophony from the hadrosaurs. "Look at them go!"
Two of the theropods ran between the herd and a juvenile hadrosaur, cutting it off from the rest of the group. Another Dryptosaurus leapt onto the youngster's back, throwing it off balance and causing it to topple over. As soon as the hadrosaur had fallen, the pack descended on it to slice through its neck with tooth and claw and incapacitate it – for good.
"They are fast," Michael said, "and very scary!"
As soon as the young hadrosaur was dead, the Dryptosaurus pack began to tear through its flesh and gulp down chunks of meat. The rest of the herd had fled, and only the sound of snapping bones remained on the plain.
Michael lowered his binoculars. "We can't do anything more here but watch. I'm actually kind of glad that we saw this, even though I feel sorry for that poor juvenile. Now we know what to expect from a Dryptosaurus, and it's going to be more than a bit difficult getting one back to Prehistoric Park."
"We should leave," Terry said. "Other carnivores are going to start moving in soon, and I for one don't want to be here when they show up."
"Agreed. Let's head back to camp now." And the two departed, taking one last glance at the spectacle behind them.
Meanwhile, back at the park, Norman is checking up on the park's new resident.
A clean wooden sign stood outside of the forested paddock, now labeled "Nodosaur Nook." Norman was standing next to it and looking into the enclosure. "Our new friend seems to be a bit shy," he said. "The second we put him in, he shambled off into the undergrowth, and I haven't seen him since. Michael told me that he thought the nodosaurs were secretive by nature, so maybe it's normal." Norman unlocked a door in the fence. "I'll try and see if I can find him."
It took a while before Norman finally spotted a small branch that was twitching among the bushes. "Ah, there he is," he said. "Eating again. All he does is eat – kind of like me I suppose." Norman smiled.
The nodosaur was now visible. He was nestled between two bushes and eating the foliage in front of him.
"I've taken a bit of a liking to him," Norman admitted. "He's not too big, not too strange, and not something that's going to eat you if you get too close. He's not the most intelligent animal in the world, obviously, but he does seem rather friendly. Just shy, is all. I have an idea…"
Norman snapped a flower off a nearby bush and began making his way towards the nodosaur. "Back in the day when a lot of dinosaurs were walking around, flowers didn't exist yet. But as Michael tells me, they evolved in the Cretaceous and started to become common. By the time our friend the nodosaur was living, flowers were a normal sight. So I'm going to try and offer him one."
He kneeled down a few feet away from where the nodosaur was hiding, and extended his arm out with the flower in his hand. "Look what I've got here," he whispered. "Tasty, right?"
The nodosaur looked at him curiously, and sniffed the air. But after a few seconds it grunted, and dropped itself to the ground. Even Norman's vigorous shaking of the flower didn't make it budge.
Norman sighed. "I guess I'll try again later," he said, and left the paddock.
Meanwhile in the Cretaceous, Michael is indulging himself to a bit of sightseeing.
Michael sat on a rock next to the brook, looking into the water. "Ever since I was a boy, streams were some of my favorite places. You can find a lot of animals here in a relatively short period. Like over there!" he pointed.
In a wider and deeper area of the brook further upstream, crocodile-like creatures were swimming in the water and resting on the bank. "Those are a type of ancient gavial, maybe Thoracosaurus," Michael said. "And there are many turtles here, too – I'll see if I can grab one for you to look at."
Michael stood up, scanning the surface. Suddenly, he ran into the brook and plunged his hands into the water. When he brought them up, they were holding a fairly large turtle. "Softshell turtles!" he said. "What's neat about these animals is that they are still alive in the present day, almost entirely unchanged…even the exact genus that this turtle belongs to, Trionyx!"
The turtle flailed its limbs about until Michael put it back into the brook, where it swam away.
"I would love to take some of these species back to Prehistoric Park, but we have a bit of a dilemma to solve right now," Michael explained. "That would be getting 30-odd tons of Hadrosaurus to walk through the time portal. That's no easy feat. But I think I may have a solution."
Michael started to dry himself off next to his tent. "Back at the plains, I noticed that it is mostly surrounded by forest, except for one small area of broken trees and generally more open space. I think it's a trail that the hadrosaur herd has made to reach the lake. It would be unreasonable to suggest that the herd lives at the plains all the time, because it's a comparatively small area compared to, say, the entirety of the plains of Africa. So my theory is that the herd uses that trail to travel to and from other feeding grounds. If we set up the portal right in that trail, the herd will go straight through. Getting them to go in when we want them to, well, that's no easy feat either." Michael laughed. "Let's hope, then, that everything works-"
He was cut off by a high-pitched roar, coming from very close by. "Hide, guys!" Terry said, and the team ran into the forest, concealing themselves behind trees nearby.
The Dryptosaurus pack walked into the campsite, continuing to roar. A couple of the animals sniffed at the tents and nosed the Jeeps with their snouts. The lead individuals started to lap at the brook.
It seems that the team has camped right where the resident pack of Dryptosaurus likes to drink.
All the animals were gathered at the brook now, intermittently drinking and then raising their heads and roaring.
"Why are they making so much noise?" Michael asked.
"Well, they're obviously not hunting," Terry whispered. "All this racket would scare off creatures for miles around. Maybe that's what they're trying to do, even. Telling any rival packs that might be around to stay out."
"I have an idea," Michael said, reaching into his backpack as quietly as he could. He pulled out a small microphone attached to an extension cord. "This is a machine used to record birdsong," he whispered. "I brought it in case any feathery animals – smaller ones, at least – were making interesting calls. I wasn't expecting to use it for dinosaurs, but I might have a use for all this noise…" Michael switched the device on.
About a minute of roaring and snarling was recorded before the pack started to make their way from the brook and Michael turned the equipment off. One particularly inquisitive Dryptosaurus walked right next to the tree where he was hiding, and then proceeded to stick its nose into Michael's tent. The dinosaur raised its head, pulling the tent up with it, and scratched its nose before following the rest of the pack and disappearing among the trees from where they came. The tent drifted to the ground in tatters.
The team came out of hiding and went back into the camp. "Is it safe?" one member asked. "I think so," Terry replied.
Michael looked at the remains of his tent and heaved a deep sigh.
Back at the park, head vet Catherine Knight has been called over to the nodosaur paddock.
A Jeep pulled up to the side of Nodosaur Nook, and Catherine Knight stepped out, walking up to the door of the enclosure. "What's up, Norman?" she said. She was supposed to meet him here at the paddock.
"Over here, Catherine," Norman said, from somewhere inside the paddock.
Catherine went in, and walked towards the sound of Norman's voice. "I heard you were having a little trouble getting him to eat before."
"Well, see for yourself."
Catherine turned a corner and saw a grinning Norman sitting next to the nodosaur, who was eating ferns and flowers out of his hand.
Norman's patience with the nodosaur appears to have finally paid off.
"It took me a while, I'll give you that," Norman admitted, "but I think he trusts me now."
"He likes you," Catherine laughed as the nodosaur finished off the food in Norman's hand and nudged it, wanting more.
"He reminds me of turtles a bit," Norman said. "Not just with his shell, but he's got the personality for it too."
Catherine nodded. Turtles in captivity that had come to know their owners often became quite friendly.
"If you like each other so much, I think he deserves a name," Catherine said. "Wouldn't you say?"
"I couldn't have said it better," Norman said, and turned to the nodosaur. "Right?" The dinosaur continued eating.
"He looks like a Ned," Catherine offered.
Norman squinted. "Hmm, a little bit. Ned the Nodosaur. Sounds catchy. Do you like it?"
The nodosaur grunted and pulled a flower out of Norman's hand. "I'll take that as a yes," Norman grinned.
In the Cretaceous, Michael and Terry are ready to put Michael's grand plan to work.
Michael stuck the portal sticks into the ground at the appropriate place. "We're almost ready," he said. "I've set up the portals here in that wide forest trail the herd makes. The herd, in fact, is back at the lake right now." He glanced back at the dinosaurs, who were grazing and drinking. "Terry is over at the other side of the clearing with my recording equipment. We've wired it to speakers, which we've placed in a ring around the plain. You'll see what happens next." Michael pulled out a walkie-talkie. "Terry, do you read? Over."
Terry's voice replied. "Yep. Ready when you are, over."
"OK, switch it on."
There was a pause, and a high-pitched roar echoed across the plain, the recording emanating from the strategically placed speakers. The Coelosaurus raised their heads, and started to squawk. Upon hearing the alarm, the hadrosaurs also started to panic, and moved away towards the trail to escape.
"Terry, it looks like it's working, start heading back to me with the recording equipment. Over and out!" Michael switched the walkie-talkie off. "It's working!"
The herd reached the portal, and thundered through.
Michael's mad plan has worked, and it means Norman is about to get a big surprise.
"Stand by!" Norman shouted. "We've got another creature coming through!"
He stared at the swirling portal, watching for it – whatever it was – to come through. "Maybe Michael's brought back another nodosaur." Norman smirked. "Maybe that means Ned can even have a girlfrOH MY GOD!"
The herd of Hadrosaurus and Coelosaurus barreled through the time portal, startling Norman and nearly throwing him off his feet. "But…what…how the…" he sputtered, before realizing something very important. "Get them into Holding Pen 5, now!" he shouted to the staff. Holding Pen 5 was their largest.
As the doors to the pen opened, the hadrosaurs' tails smacked against the sides of the passageway, rattling the wooden walls. The last of the herd funneled in before the doors closed and Norman ran down the walkway to look at them from above.
"Look at them all," he muttered. "Michael! What on earth have you done?"
Everything seems to be under control for the Prehistoric Park team – almost.
Michael was laughing as Terry met up with him by the portal. "Great job, Terry," he said over the noise of the recorded roaring.
"We must've bagged at least 15 animals," Terry grinned. "Two species!"
"Norman's going to kill me when we get back," Michael laughed over the noise. But then he noticed something on. "Hey Terry, did you turn the speakers and everything off?"
"Yeah," Terry replied, "you told me to back at the other end of the plains. Why?" he asked. And then he listened to the roaring in the air. "Ah."
They turned to look towards the lake, and saw the Dryptosaurus pack on the plains, searching for their prey.
The pack of Dryptosaurus seems to be wondering why their prey has suddenly vanished. And they don't look very happy. What's more, they seem to have spotted easier targets among the trees…
One of the lead animals looked directly at the portal and the two men standing there, and uttered a roar. The entire pack started running at them.
Thinking quickly, Michael turned towards Terry. "Quick! Run through the portal and warn Norman to ready another holding pen. I'll meet up with you!"
Terry nodded, and ran back through the time portal to Prehistoric Park.
"Let's see how hungry these guys are!" Michael shouted, and waved his arms. "Hello! Over here! Yes! Hello! Come on!"
He let the pack run closer, frighteningly close, before he finally turned tail and dashed through the portal. And the pack followed him.
Meanwhile, Norman was moaning over the hadrosaur herd when he heard someone shouting. "Norman! Over here, quick!"
He ran back to the portal, where he saw Terry climbing up the ladder to the walkway. "Terry! Where's Michael?" Norman hollered.
"He's coming! Get another holding pen ready!"
"Why?" Norman shouted as he heard a familiar buzz: the sound that meant something had come through the portal. He looked down and saw Michael starting to scurry up the ladder. "Hi Norman!" he shouted. "I've brought you a present!"
And with that, the Dryptosaurus pack leapt through the portal. As Michael reached the walkway, Norman's jaw dropped. "What the hell?…Michael!"
"I couldn't help myself," Michael said as he watched the pack run into another holding pen.
"Michael, Michael, Michael, where am I going to put them? And what on earth am I going to feed them all? It was bad enough when you sent that giant herd through, and now you've brought these things in!"
Michael looked at Terry and smiled. "He's going to be like this all week."
Soon, all the animals were put into proper paddocks. The herd of Hadrosaurus and Coelosaurus was put into an enclosure with plenty of open space and a lake, while the Dryptosaurus pack was moved into an enclosure with a river running through it. And Michael is eager to find out if all the animals are in mint condition.
Michael later met up with Terry and Norman near the new Dryptosaurus paddock. "Hey guys," Michael said. "Are all the animals doing well?"
"Yes they are," Terry said. "Catherine gave them a look-over, and also gave them all a clean bill of health."
"I must say, Michael," Norman said, "they were a bit of a shock when they first came through, but now that they're settled in and I've had a good look at them, they're absolutely beautiful."
"Well, they should be, shouldn't they?" Michael said. "It's nature without human intervention. There's the pack now!"
The pack of Dryptosaurus was walking out of the trees, sniffing the air.
"It's a whole new world for them," Michael said, "and it'll be a whole new adventure for us."
"And an adventure for the rest of the world, too," Norman added.
"Well, maybe. After all, the Earth had front row seats for the original showing!"
Michael travels back 47 million years to meet a very important actor in the play of human evolution.
Michael peers at a small monkey-like creature perching on a branch.
And Norman learns that taking care of extinct animals isn't always as easy as the job description says it is.
A Coelosaurus hops over the paddock fence, with an angry Norman chasing after it.
For now, the park is peaceful, serving as home for the first species that haven't seen the light of day for millions of years. Let's just hope Prehistoric Park knows what it's getting into…
Well, there you are. The first episode of Prehistoric Park: Reborn. Feel free to leave a review, and you're welcome to give any constructive criticism I might have. I also always welcome speculations of the next episode ;) Questions are always accepted, and I'll probably PM you the answer. If it's one I feel that may be relevant for the whole community that is reading to hear, I'll still PM you but repost the answer before the next chapter for all to see.
Anyway, here's the list of creatures caught that is standard to most PP fanfictions. I'll be using a different, shorter format though: "(x).(x) Examplesaurus" means (x) males and (x) females of whatever creature brought back (in that order).
1.0 indeterminate Nodosaur
And here's the animals that were seen but not brought back, just because they're interesting:
From now on before-chapter and end-chapter notes will be much shorter :P
Get ready for the next thrilling chapter!