i'd been dinonapped by the (evil and) crazy dr. jaden "needles" spectre. from his life story he told me, i couldn't help but think he intended on cleaning me right down to my skeleton to get some sort of scientific pay back at his old "friend" professor paradigm...
let's just say i had some pretty compelling clues that removing all my skin, muscles, guts, and organs was his primary goal here today...
just as his really huge scary saw was about to cut into me, i thought there was NO way i was going to make it out of this one alive...
[Photo Courtesy David Lloyd]
funny enough, at this exact moment it suddenly was watering time outside in the cretaceous garden. all around us in the plant nursery, the echoes of the loud watering systems reverberated from the plumbing lined walls. it wasn't deafening by any stretch, but the subtle noises were drowned out by the pumps.
i'd have happily continued my diabolical dissection had i been dr. spectre (though i'm NOT anywhere evil enough to him i'll point out!), but he was instantly distracted. spectre began looking all over the place as if the walls themselves were out to get him...
just as i was about this think him even more crazy then i already did (up to a 13 out of 10 from an 11), he suddenly suspiciously murmured to himself. "it's quarter to 5. the timer is set for 6..."
wait, if the sprinklers aren't supposed to go off for another hour, what made them go off right now?
interrupting both spectre's and my own curiosity, a booming voice echoed throughout the nursery. "do i have your attention, jaden?"
i recognized it right away, but spectre confirmed it moments later. "alvar!" he cursed under his breath.
immediately professor paradigm marched in through the nursery's only door. spectre instinctively challenged him in bewilderment. "how did you..."
paradigm cut spectre off mid thought. "trigger the sprinkler system, please jaden. you were palaeo-prime once. you never put overrides into a museum's maintenance infrastructure?"
"no!" spectre seemed insulted by this obvious (to him anyway) thought. he repeated his question. "how did you find us?"
"it wasn't easy," admitted paradigm. "i searched nearly the whole valley looking for you, and i have to hand it too you jaden, you almost throw me off your trail this time."
spectre was clearly going to ask what gave him away, paradigm cut him off with the answer. "once i figured out you weren't in the obvious places, than clearly you had to be in an even more obvious one!" the professor paused for slight dramatic effect. "the tyrrell was your only option in that scenario. it is just lucky for me, you are so predictable."
spectre was visibly enraged by that last jab by the professor. i grew worried, as it was an already tense situation, but in such an enclosed space i didn't want to fathom how a battle between these two would play out...
the professor however seemed unconcerned by the opponent that had earlier beat the stuffing out of him. if anything, i think he enjoyed winding spectre up. "you know, i could not help but notice a few inaccuracies in that sob story you were telling our small friend here," paradigm said in reference to spectre's life story.
"you..." spectre was taken back.
"overheard you?" paradigm once again finished spectre's sentence. "how could i not! your voice carries jaden. worse than mine sometimes. anyone could have heard your woeful tale all the way out into the shonisaurus display."
"a far more tragic version of events then the ones i recall, through," paradigm pointed out. "i would not want our small friend to get the wrong impression, jaden. you missed out a few key details, if you ask me."
"i never forced you to join palaeo-central, jaden," paradigm aired, more for my benefit then for spectre's. "you were bored with the pure academic nature of your 'promising' early career. you would have taken on the crusaders of genesis even if i hadn't stumbled into that situation. palaeo-central was as much your idea as my own, after they tired to destroy your museum."
"as for me 'blocking' the publication of your warm blooded dinosaur theory, i only stopped you from snipping from bakker by illegally publishing your papers without peer review," the professor furiously recalled. "funny how being in palaeo-central would have allowed you to bypass due process. it was your choice to sit on that discovery, and keep it a secret from everyone for all those years, even me. i would have helped you get it out there had i known about it, and you knew it jaden!"
"which brings me to my favourite part of your misrepresentation of history. i'd hate for traumador to leave not knowing the whole story," paradigm addressed me. "i did not 'side' against you with bakker until after you tried to kill both us. bakker had no idea about your discovery. he is an amazing man, and no doubt would have brought you in on the publicity had you been reasonable and approached him. instead of that, your first resort was to try and blow him up!"
spectre finally blew in face of this critiscm. "which you stopped!" spectre hissed. "after all the falls i saved you from, all the bullets i took for you, and all the years i wasted for you, saving palaeontology extinction knows how many times??? that's how you repaid me... by stopping me from getting my one true acknowledgement from our peers!
`paradigm didn't say anything. he didn't need too. spectre's insanity spoke for him. in spectre's head blowing up a rival simply because of his great service seemed a justification. i had a sudden chill, thinking about the perils palaeo-central must have faced to bend someone like spectre into this madman...
"not just that, but you cost me my face, my breathing, my normal life!!!" spectre pointed angrily at his re breather.
paradigm finally lost his cool, and growled back pointing at his own face mask. "and it didn't cost me the same things, you idiot?!? what choice did you leave me, but to blow up that chemical tank?"
there was much to this story i didn't know, but i could tell it had damaged them both beyond repair... i couldn't help but feel sorry for paradigm. the pain from his having to turn on an old friend came through his voice.
paradigm went back to his not caring stance and posture a minute after the tense shouting match. "there you have it," he said to no one but yet everyone in the room. "we have gone through the whole sad routine once more. so yes jaden, you poor poor hurt thing. i certainly betrayed you badly, as once again here i am chasing and cleaning up after you!"
"so what is your scheme this time to try and get all of our acknowledgement and astonishment today?" paradigm demanded of spectre.
spectre finally made his first move indicating the risk of violence breaking out, as he wielded his scary saw menacingly towards paradigm. "don't be mistake alvar. i may not kill you now, as you wouldn't get to witness my triumph over you, but i have no reservations about gravely wounding you."
"i believe that," paradigm admitted, as he took a few slow calculated steps towards me and spectre. "so what would have you risking a confrontation with me. especially over top of the specimen itself."
"you've kidnapped TMP 2003. 12. 7 and are about to 'prepare' him, but the question is why," paradigm thought out loud. "let us see, note worth features of the specimen..."
"he is a vivus-fossil first and foremost, but that is not an under published topic. more to the point removing all the soft tissue as you are prepared to do would destroy his usefulness as a type specimen post description," paradigm deducted.
"the specimen is a male, and so might be useful for studies on sexual dimorphism in tyrannosaurids. yet again that can not be it, as again removal of soft tissue would destroy all the key features," the professor asserted.
"in fact, removing the soft tissue would seem to eliminate all possibilities and advantages of TMP 2003. 12. 7, unless there were something you suspected to be revealed by the skeleton alone," paradigm narrowed in. "so, based on the fact our friend here is still in his juvenile growth stage, you wish to examine something along these lines."
spectre shifted slightly at that. paradigm appeared to be closing on spectre's intentions.
"it would not just be a examination paper on such a juvenile though. there would be no break through in it for you. no major scientific coup. you'd merely open the floor to debate. not your style at all. someone could easily swoop in and grab the credit from you there," paradigm reasoned. "no, there is something about this 'juvenile' that you have caught, and the rest of us missed."
spectre was visibly impressed, as paradigm carried on. "based on the fact that traumador hasn't grown or changed a bit since about 2 years of age, you are suspecting there is a more pronounced reason to this, then just late maturing as had been assumed."
spectre finally broke his silence. "assumed indeed! by none other than you, the 'great paradigm!"
"you are an idiot alvar," spectre taunted, and posed the saw into a clear attack position. "there was a brand new species of tyrannosaurus under your nose for years, and now i'm going to claim it!"
"i really do not think so, jaden," paradigm disbelieved spectre.
this merely provoked spectre worse. "how do you intend to stop me?!?" as he brandished the saw. "you've sent away all your available backup. meaning it is just you and me. i defeated you earlier today, and i am more than willing do it again!"
"i'm sure you are," paradigm heartily agreed, as he reached behind his back for something.
"we both know you were always the superior warrior out of the two of us, jaden..."
paradigm seized something from behind him and swung it in front of him. man i was hoping for something really powerful that could take out spectre in a heart beat like a laser gun or a mini-ninja. instead he pulled out a book?!?
"i however, was always the superior scientist!" paradigm concluded thrusting the book towards spectre.
" 'a new tyrannosaurid from the scollard formation by alvar paradigm'!!!" spectre read the title of the book in disbelief. no wait, it wasn't a book. it was a scientific paper! paradigm had already not only made the discovery before spectre, but he'd gotten it published. meaning that the whole world knew it! "genus tyrannosaurus, new species: traumadori!?!"
wow wait, what? suddenly everything that was being discussed hit home. this big scientific battle that was going on over me, was going on literally over me!!!
if i was following correctly, both paradigm and spectre, believed i was NOT a tyrannosaurus rex at all... instead they both thought i was a slightly different (yet related) type of tyrannosaurus, and it sounded like paradigm had named this whole new category of tyrannosaurus after me!?!
"how?" spectre pleaded helplessly, as he flipped through the pages of the paper in vainly. realizing with every turn he'd be completely defeated. "how did you get these pictures of the sealed skeletal sutures? you even managed a comparison between him and raptorex???"
"there is more than one way to skin a tyrannosaur," paradigm actually joked! "only someone as crude as you, jaden, would think of cutting apart the only living specimen of an animal. the rest of us would be content to study its skeleton from x-rays and CAT scans."
that sneaky paradigm! i knew exactly when he must have figured out i was something new... back during my medical check up with him in melbourne!!! he'd taken a bunch of (painful) scans and readings off me then... more than enough to study my skeleton i'm sure.
"there is no way this 'just' came into publication today!" spectre accused looking at the publication date on the paper.
"true," paradigm admitted. "i had to pull a few strings to push it through into print for this little meeting."
"you hypocrite!!!" spectre accused paradigm. "you stopped me from bypassing peer review all those times, and now you just happily do it back at me. just to smite me?!?"
paradigm calmly retorted. "first of all, that paper was peer reviewed you'll notice. i made the call to get the process underway this morning when i came to. i would never resort to publishing something that was not first properly weighed by the scientific community. second of all jaden, there is a marked difference in why i fast tracked this paper compared to your motivations. when you did it, it was for personal selfish glory. in my case, a life was in danger. i hope even you see the difference..."
"CURSES!!!" dr. jaden spectre screamed, and returned paradigm's paper to him through a painful and well placed attack...
as paradigm reeled from the blow, spectre made a dash for the door. before the professor could recover, the mad palaeontologist dr. spectre had made his escape...
paradigm didn't seem a bit concerned, and instead walked straight up to me...
hopefully to untie me and stuff. those ropes are about as comfortable as they look, yo!