though i have to say this whole human concept of home is weird to me. home is where you currently live, yet at the same time it is where you once lived... so in my case i'm leaving home to go home?
i guess its just my nomadic predatory instincts conflicting with this concept. back in the cretaceous a tyrannosaur probably didn't really stick around any one place unless there was food hanging around it. meaning our food was really our home... oh well
regardless, i was in for yet another surprise from this trip. not that they're that surprising anymore. i think if something goes according to the plan while i'm here in canada i'll be floored...
i headed to the calgary airport to catch my flight back to new zealand. i don't have clear pictures of the airport, as i've been told you can get in trouble for taking lots of pics around airports. i did sneak in a couple snap shots of these pterosaurs that were hanging around the ceiling of the port though. sadly you don't to fly on the pterosaurs, as i'd hoped.
rather they're just some cool statues to decorate the place. the idea is it shows the evolution of flight, as nestled among the huge quetzalcoatlus and pteranodons was a giant dragonfly ancestor protodonata, and of course my relative archaeopteryx... i didn't notice a bat in there, but for the display to be complete it should have been in there. this was more a work of art than museum display in fairness i guess...
anyways when i went to go get my ticket to new zealand, i was told that someone had rescheduled when i was flying out...
of course i didn't buy my plane tickets in the first place, someone else had (though i still don't know who?)... yet why would they buy me a trip back drumheller, only to trick me into spending some time in calgary?
i found out quick. the ticket clerk had a note to give me, sent by the "party" that had changed my flight.
i would never have guessed in an epoch who or why though...
ruffled feather was a disgruntled member in the pack who sought to hurt the group. somehow i was useful in this effort, though i wasn't clear on how? i guess my being one of only a handful of coelurosaurs who'd turned down membership in the primordial feather and had survived to tell the tale was handy... somehow?
beyond this i knew nothing about this ruffled feather, not even enough to know if i should call them a he or a she (i'm going with he for now). his note wasn't exactly much help on answering any of my questions either...
I'm sorry for the disruption my actions have no doubt caused. I assure you I wouldn't have made them if it were not important.
You can not leave Calgary yet. Despite evading you in Drumheller, through that Spectre diversion, the pack it would seem did not lose you.
They have retreated to somewhere in Calgary, and they have brought the 14th crate with them! Where exactly I do not know, and I wish I could be of more help.
It is crucial that you make sure the contents of that container do not make it back to the pack! Thankfully anyone who can survive a run in with Dr. Spectre, such as yourself, should have no problem against the Crimson Talons. No matter the backup they will be receiving, and I have heard they are getting some!
ps- How did you beat Spectre in the end exactly?
there was a missing connection somewhere between me and ruffled feather...
he seemed to think i knew what he was talking about, and more to the point what the pack was up to. the problem is i really didn't!
causing the miscommunication, i'd had thought it was the pack who was responsible for all the fossil poaching around drumheller. it in fact turned out to be two hardened palaeo-criminals (megan and jo)... i hadn't really thought about why the pack was there any further, as a few things had distracted me... however due to our conversations being interrupted, ruffled feather was never able to realize i was under the wrong impression about what was going on...
whatever it was the pack was up to, they had thought it awful important. they'd tried to kill me thinking i was trying to stop them.
the pack must have cleared out of the tyrrell during the "Spectre diversion". i know that professor paradigm had done a sweep of the museum looking for them, once he'd rescued me from spectre, but didn't find a trace.
so what were they doing in drumheller? ruffled feather had mentioned a "14th crate". i began wondering what it might be or mean...
as i left the airport and headed back into calgary, or cowtown as many call it in alberta, i realized the scope of what ruffled feather had just asked me. i had to find the pack and whatever they were up to somewhere in here!
sure, no biggie. i only had a place 50 times bigger then drumheller to search!!!
Elsewhere in Calgary...
I miss the front lines!
At least on the field of battle you can tell where you are. In the midst of the hunt you know what you are to do.
I no longer know any of this with my current mission, helping with this stupid intrigue and espionage debacle Layla, matriarch of the Oviraptorids, has pulled me into.
The mission was simple enough at the beginning. Lead a troop of my Crimson Talons in guarding this "crate 14" from hostiles. At the onset of the mission the enemies were few and easy to counter. Just the runt [Traumador] and a few human members of palaeo-central. With this limited intelligence provided, may I note by our head of intelligence, there was no way I could have predicted a direct confrontation with Lance one of the most dangerous saurians on the planet!
Despite my troop being too small to proper engage Lance, we none the less confronted him to the best of our abilities. Despite taking heavy causalities, we were able to inflict considerable damage to Lance, and through these wounds we Crimson Talons turned this losing situation into a strategic draw. Through this action we kept the crate from harm. Yet when Layla ordered a full retreat, it somehow became my fault we were falling back.
I grow tired of her "command" of the operation.
If not for Layla's political connections throughout the rest of the Pack, I would have ordered my hunters to teach her a lesson in what our pride does to treacherous scavengers such as herself!
Layla is truly an arrogant fool. As she considers herself smart, Layla is under the impression she is somehow dangerous. She seriously believes that in the Packs' daily struggles, it is her schemes that will win the day. I only wish I could put her on the field of battle once, as the coward has never once joined our brave hunters on the front line! Then she would see just how "dangerous" ideas and plans like hers really are in war. The Gondwanaians will not be defeated by thinking. No, they only succumb to the tooth and claw! Which is where we foot soldiers and hunters come in. We are the true power of the Primordial Feather!
Yet Layla has the nerve to walk among us trying to show dominance. If she only knew the danger her presumption was placing her in. All of my troop, especially me, were fighting our instinctive urge to subdue her. To have earned our utter contempt as she has is a dangerous thing. For we normally reserve this for our enemies.
My lieutenant Valor [the Velociraptor] in particular was not handling Layla's demeanor well. The greatest warrior in the pack strode beside the Oviraptor in a ready to pounce stance. Had Layla uttered a single condescending word to Valor, the Oviraptor would have only had a few seconds to regret it. The rest of my hunters were containing their disdain better solely because they followed my lead better. Despite her incredible battle prowess, Valor lacked a soldier's discipline.
Fortunately an altercation was avoided, as Layla said nothing. Either she had picked up on hostile air about her as a hunter would have, or as I personally think she had simply been lucky. Either way she would live. For today at least!
Today we received reinforcements from the Pack. I couldn't have be more pleased with who was sent. A fellow matriarch of the Pack, Razi [the Saurornithoides] of the Troodontid pride.
Razi's assignment indicated just how important this crate had become to the Pack's strategy. It now had three of the Pack's main general's in the field to martial it. This was quite a tactical risk. I can only think a handful of battles with this many Matriarchs involved. The scorn for failure would be great. I couldn't help but think it would be Layla's responsibility to accept it if something were to go wrong...
Not that failure was an option. Razi's arrival heralded a shift in the command dynamic. When Layla had requested my help I saw it as my duty to protect the Pack's interests from interference. Especially since the challenge was coming from the whelp if a Royal the Runt! However, Layla misinterpreted my participation as me bowing to her authority. I most certainly would not be tolerating this any longer!
Despite being renowned for cunning like Layla's, Razi was a most able predator. One who had personally lead troops of hunters into countless battles. I'd personally had the honour of hunting along side her, and as a result could respect orders from her. Unlike the coward Layla, who had never once tasted the blood of the enemy!
Razi did not arrive alone, however. Being a strategic and tactical prodigy among the Pack, Razi was far too valuable an asset to leave unescorted. She arrived accompanied by one of the Royal prides's most feared warriors, Vicsurus Daspletosaur. Vicsurus is one of the renowned Daspletosaurus"triplets", who serve as the Royal's personal elite guard and assassins. Her being Razi's bodyguard indicated this crate affair was of great importance to even the Grand Matriarch.
Razi and Layla formally greeted each other with signs of complete respect and admiration. As befitted their Matriarchal status. I disciplined myself, as I grew resentful of being excluded. I was equal in rank to either of them, and unlike Layla had actual spilled my own blood in this mission. Yet as it was Layla who had "saved" Razi's crate, it was she who was acknowledged.
I on the other hand was relegated to greeting the new hunter to join the mission. We warriors are not ones for pointless show and formality. Though I resented not being acknowledged by my fellow Matriarchs, I in truth much preferred the simple exchange with Vicsurus.
Though I despise the Royals as a Pride, I have a grudging respect for Vicsurus and her two sisters. Not only had her sister Rancor personally saved my life in battle from a Gondwanaian Carcharodontosaurid, but the ferocity of the three Daspletosaurus matched that of any raptor in my Pride. Something few other Royals could not boast.
For her part Vicsurus was far more accepting of us Dromaeosaurids than most in the Royal Pride. She'd been in too many battles where it was us who had turned the tide in the Primordials' favour, rather than the Royals.
Leading Razi to her prized crate, it was here we Crimson Talon's were finally recognized for our heroism. Razi personally thanked me for my part in protecting her prize. With it she could now get back on task refining its contents into, what she assured us would be, the Pack's greatest weapon.
Perhaps I was too hasty before in wishing to return to the frontline. At least until this weapon is completed!
To be Continued...