little did i realize i was about to be thrown the weirdest, luckiest, and yet oddly sinister curve ball imaginable.
as i passed the ostrich enclosure, i casually called out to the now relaxing ostriches (most of the zoo's visitors had already left for the day) "hello there!"
i of course didn't call this out in english, but rather bird speak. birds' fundamental language is just a heavily accented variation on coelurosaurian, the basal language or all bird ancestors. so i can make a half descent crack at talking to birds.
much to my surprise my simple hello invoked a very excited response from the ostriches!
"another ancient!" they excitedly chattered to each other.
this wasn't the first time an ostrich had called me an ancient (actually it is worth mentioning this isn't the first time i've talked to an ostrich full stop!)
though i was puzzled by their saying 'another'? that would imply they'd seen another dinosaur besides me around here... they could only have meant norman.
"i am an ancient," i agreed, pronouncing everything slowly as neither side of the conversation was speaking exactly the same language. "who was the other?"
ostriches liked hearing i was an ancient, but they were shocked when i asked who the other was. they all gossiped between each other, but as they were speaking fast and all at once i didn't catch much of it.
i ventured "the one with the horn on his nose," they looked even more confused. i repeated that sentence acting out a horn on my nose.
finally the head ostrich (man that sounds funny hehehehe) stated. "not the prey item," which was just plain weird. one, ostrichs eat small things like bugs and lizards, norman who weighed as much as this whole flock put together and thus a little out of their menu range. two, it sounded more like something a full grown theropod would have said (though maybe a different word then item... but i might have mistranslated that).
the ostrich answered my question. "a copy, greater sized, of you."
after trying to get a name out of the ostrich several times, it just kept replying with colours... which baffled me, till it clicked in my brain. he was giving me a description of his previous visitor. based on this it sounded like a daspletosaurus to me...
which meant there'd been a member of the primoridal feather here at the zoo recently!indeed prompting more of the story out of the ostrich there had indeed been a visitor from the pack not 3 days ago! due to the language barrier i wasn't able to get more out of the ostrich than the lot of them had been visited by "an ancient who wished to earn favouring of us".
why would a tyrannosaurid care if a bunch of ostriches liked it or not. in my experience big vivus tyrannosaurids were just as likely to eat anything different from them, than befriend it.
"she come to inform us kindly, that the prophecy much closer then ever dreamed possible."
"what prophecy?" i demanded... my last ostrich had said something about legends among the modern birds to due with dinosaurs. only she didn't know much more then that. these ones sounded like they knew a lot more!
the ostrich eyed me suspiciously. "the promise of the ancients to return and take back world that was once ours."
what did that mean? trying to get more details out of this group of ostriches didn't go so well. "you not know legend of the prophecy of return?!? i not sure i like you." with that they walked off, and won't answer anymore of my questions.
not that i had a lot of time to pester the bird brains. a couple of minutes later a zoo security guard politely insisted i make my way out of the zoo as it had officially closed 5 min ago.
as i headed out i had a chill down my spine. the pack of the primordial feather was indeed in town, just as ruffled feather had suspected. more to the point if they were popping by the zoo to boast to ostriches about enacting legends of world domination then whatever they had in this "crate" of theirs must have been as dangerous as ruffled feather was fearing. (though what i want to know is that how a legend about dinosaurs returning got started in the first place? how could any of the prehistoric ones have known about us vivus ones popping up millions of years in the future???).
this all brought me back to the task of tracking down the pack here in calgary. i'd put it off as cowtown is a HUGE city, and i hadn't seen any reason to try and futilely search it for the pack which might or might not be here. however now i knew for sure the pack was in town, and more to the point i now had a couple reasons to believe this crate was mega bad news. not only the legend of today but the fact the pack had tried to kill me in drumheller when they thought i was getting too close.
it was on... even if i didn't want it too be... i was going to have to track down the pack and somehow take this crate and its contents away from them!!!