weapons of paradigm (raptor attack conclusion)

the nightmare was over... out of no where, mind you, and not by my doing but over none the less!

i'd narrowly avoided the pack of the primordial feather's long promised revenge. they sent a pack of raptors (scientifically known as dromaeosaurids) called the crimson talons to try and do, uh i'm not actually sure what they were going to do to me to think of it. they never said, but i'm pretty sure it was going to be something really bad in any case!

they would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for the intervention of lance the lambeosaur. he bravely took on 10 raptors single handed, and somehow won!?!

that was the amazing part. i've known many duckbilled dinosaurs, but none of them were anywhere near brave enough to take on a raptor.... that alone a whole pack of them. more to the point none a single one of these hadrosaurs would have had the combat abilities to defeat them.

lance had not only somehow been able to predict the pack's tactics, but he'd known the exact combat moves (most which i'd never seen a duckbill do before!) to take them out...

at the same time the battle had taken its toll on lance. after today's altercation i now had a pretty good idea why lance was covered in scars. the wounds he'd had just received were no doubt going to leave some nice new ones on his flanks.

that was if lance survived them that was... some of the slashes he'd received from the raptors were really bad. especially the ones on his right flank and neck, where valor velociraptor had attacked him. from all of the wounds lance was losing a lot of blood.

lance's injuries effected him so much that he had doubled over, and was leaning against the garbage dumpsters of the tyrrell's loading bay, with his tail draped over top of a parked truck. he looked like he was in trouble.

as lance had just saved my hide, i stayed behind to try and help (possibly save his) as best i could. however looking at the huge wounded hadrosaur before me i was a little clueless on how i could help him. most of the cuts themselves were as long or longer then my whole body...

as i stood helplessly surveying the lacerations to his hide, lance looked up at me suddenly. "i've had worse," he stated matter of fact.

"what?" i replied in surprise. the shock of seeing all that blood caused my tiny brain to work even worse then usual. the part that worried me though, was the blood wasn't upsetting or grossing me out, like it would the average human... no it was tapping into something deep within my predatory instincts. it almost excited me...

"you look concerned," lance answered, unaware of my involuntary imagining him as dinner. "i've had far worse injuries inflicted on me by your kind, i assure you. dromaeosaurs while enthusiastic, only tend to tear up the skin, unlike carcharodontosaurs. they cut right through to the muscle. though you tyrannosaurids are the worse. i do like my bones in one piece after a tussle." he stated, almost absent mindedly (the blood loss?), and chuckled.

"are you going to be alright?" i feebly asked.

"most certainly," he said as he shift. "again these are just flesh wounds. they should stop bleeding in a few minutes. so long as i don't move too much."

the smell of his blood was intoxicating, and i found i was salivating against my will. i needed to get my mind on something, and not let my t-rex nature dictate my actions. "why did you help me?" i found myself directly blurting out. it was a little more blunt then i'd intended, but the simply act of speaking was a little hard in face of what the blood was doing to me.

lance turned his damaged head towards me. "normally i'd take offense to someone asking me that. having saved your life and all," he grumpily replied. "however in your case, i guess i can see why that needs to be asked."

he groaned due to the strain of turning his neck, but carried on. "i didn't believe your story of not joining the pack. not one bit, till today."

"it made much more sense that the primordials would want an agent who appeared to not be one of their own, and operate freely among the rest of us vivuses. a runt like you would be perfect candidate for not raising suspicions or worries from any of us," i took offense to lance calling me a runt, but let him carry on. "however the instant the crimson talons showed up to kill you," so they did mean to end my life! "it became clear you couldn't have been a primordial agent. the talons are their more elite assassins."

okay i knew that my cousin larry, and his coelurosaur only club the pack, were pretty ticked off at me for not joining. i didn't realize it was that much of an affront to them though...

i told lance my suspicions why i thought they'd come after me. he just scoffed. "what?!? you fool of a tyrannosaur. your kindred have lesser lackeys for simple membership harassment. troodontids, oviraptorids, or even alvarezsaurs! the crimson talons are some of their finest troops. the primordials wouldn't take them away from their ongoing conflict with the gondwanaland pack, unless you were a real threat!"

why would i be a threat i wondered... i hadn't done anything to the pack lately, other then stumble into that albertosaur who worked in the musuem, and i hadn't done anything to him (rather vice a versa!).

well think of the devil, and it should appear. no sooner had i recalled that encounter with the albertosaur (which had started with me smelling it) did i start to think i was getting a whiff of it upwind. i hate it when i'm right.

apparently some of the raptors had found their comrade, and informed him of the wounded hadrosaur they weren't able to finish off, who was likely sitting in the parking lot waiting to be finished off. the dromaeosaurs may not have been fully up to the task (not that they didn't give it their best mind you!), but a fully grown tyrannosaurid surely should have been. especially considering how damaged lance was!

lance veered around just in time for the albertosaur to bellow his hunting cry. "stay behind me!" lance ordered, and he shifted his weight clearly with the intent of fighting off the attacking coelurosaur.

i have no doubt in my mind, lance would have taken on the albertosaur, but i was skeptical of his chances... granted based on his comments, it sounded like lance had duelled with a tyrannosaurid before. however with his wounds i didn't like his chances.

however just as the albertosaur was about to charge, a new battle call was issued from behind him. hearing it lance relaxed back into his nursing position.

the albertosaur turned in startled surprise, and as well he should have. both me and him, as tyrannosaurids were born with knowledge of that battle cry deep within our animal being. it was the call of our age long foes... the ceratopsians!

the albertosaur suddenly evaded away from me and lance, and charging into view at full speed came sternberg the styracosaur. i was totally dumbfounded!

i probably shouldn't have been surprised, mind you. i'd met sternberg when i came across lance being here in drumheller a little while ago. i just hadn't connected that the two of them as being one unit... though considering how they'd both gone all confrontational together i probably should have...

though he didn't have lance's elegance, sternberg certainly was showing he was more then a match for this poor lone albertosaur. despite the fact the albertosaur no doubt would have killed me given the chance, i suddenly felt kind of sorry for him.

based on his panicked retreat, i got the distinct impression he'd never known anything but being a tourist attraction in a museum his whole life. never once had he faced a real threat like our ancestors would have. females seemed to dominate the primordial feathers (almost all the raptors who attacked us today were girls), and this poor bull was assigned this task not due to confidence, but rather desperation.

well as quickly as he'd shown up, our intruding albertosaur had fled not wanting to get anywhere near the business end of sternberg...

despite the threat of the tyrannosaurid being gone, sternberg took up a very central location in the parking lot, standing alert and ready for action. he was acting as a sentry against anymore pack surprises. the raptors (or any other primordial "agents" for that matter) almost certainly would have to pass sternberg if they wanted to get to me or lance.

adding to his guard like stance a few minutes later he suddenly trumpeted "perimeter secure!"

i thought it was all a little silly, until a minute later professor paradigm walked into view. he marched straight up to sternberg, and the two of them appeared to be reviewing what had just taken place. i was to far to overhear them exactly.

lance suddenly lifted himself up, and started to limp over to paradigm and sternberg.

the professor... i should have known (well to be honest with sternberg's appearance, i was starting to suspect). the rumoured head of the top secret palaeo-central showing up on the heels of two kung fu theropod killing plant eaters wasn't much of a surprise at this point really. yet it wasn't exactly normal either.

lance's connection to the professor i already knew. the lambeosaur was paradigm's assistant and some even claimed bodyguard. i could certainly see how he'd make a good bodyguard, if indeed this were true! what sternberg had to do with them i had no idea. paradigm certainly couldn't have needed two saurian assistant/bodyguards...

i followed lance partially as i couldn't think of what else to do, and also to be honest i didn't feel particularly safe standing by myself at the moment...

"lance, lance," the professor scolded out loud upon seeing the fresh new wounds on the duckbill. "we'll have to stitch some of those."

"if you must, sir," lance grimaced through the clear pain that was walking. "i can endure them though if it is too much trouble."

the professor dismissed this tough guy modesty. "i've spent too much time and effort training you, to risk scar tissue ruining your battle performance. we'll get to that right away. first situation report."

lance proceeded to, in a very formal almost military fashion tell paradigm the majority of the raptor ordeal (minus the chase inside the tyrrell itself, which lance obviously didn't participate in). the whole time the professor ignored my presence completely.

sternberg seemed to weigh the news outloud, by repeating. "the crimson talons, i wish i'd been here. i've been wanting to meet them in battle."

"i'm wishing you had been too," lance groaned, the walk over had clearly inflamed his wounds. "what kept you?"

"i was on the other side of midland when i heard your call," sternberg defended himself. so that was why lance had started the battle with that unearthly battle cry, he was trying to summon backup... "you try getting here faster!"

paradigm seemed uninterested in the two herbivores discussing not helping each other out. "what were the crimson talons after? their appearance here is a completely unexpected development," he seemed really unhappy about learning of the raptor's presence in drumheller.

well if i'd gone unnoticed before, suddenly all eyes were on me when lance turned to me. "i don't know, but it seems to have been to do with the tyrannosaur."

"is this true?" paradigm almost sounded like he was accusing me of something.

a million and one thoughts went through my head, more then half of them involved running from the scary trio as fast as my juvenile tyrannosaur legs would take me. "i didn't do..." i started to try and deny that i'd done anything... till it hit me!

yes i hadn't actively done anything to the pack, but i had inadvertently stumbled on SOMEONE doing something wrong in drumheller! while doing my fieldwork around drumheller, i'd found a number of illegal dig sites where someone had poached fossils. i'd also discovered a break in into the geology collections of the musuem's.

the professor knew much of this of course, he'd told me off for sticking my snout into it (even though i'd accidentally found all of these things... i hadn't actively gone looking for them!). however i now had a very strong suspicion who was behind it...

the pack of the primordial feather!

"indeed?" paradigm retorted. "while i shall investigate that possibility," he said in a very unconvining lie. i couldn't tell if he didn't believe my theory or didn't want me to know i was right. "however in the meantime, can you not think of any other possible reason the pack would not want you here at the museum?"

"no," i answered honestly.

the professor pondered for a good solid minute. "it doesn't make sense," paradigm said in disbelief. he clearly was used to having things figured out. "we didn't capture any of the raptors for interrogation?"

"negative," lance answered.

"i could try to track one down," sternberg offered. "their scent is still pretty fresh."

"no!" paradigm cut off that train of thought. "we've already announced our presence enough. i don't want to provoke a full on confrontation, or worse have them take whatever operation they are up to and go completely underground with it."

upon hearing paradigm mention "our presence" i couldn't help but think out loud. "palaeo-central?"

despite the fact his face was covered by his large breathing apperatious and his sunglasses (visor i'd almost say) i could tell the professor was glaring at me. he calmed himself down, and in a surprisingly civil tone of voice. "my dear traumador, must you always bring up this imaginary palaeo-central of yours," i wasn't buying his line. not after what i'd just been through, seen, and now heard!

"if its imaginary, then why do you hang out with two kung fu battling dinosaurs?" i questioned... which is a little cheeky on my part i realized immediately after asking it.

"well as you just noted it would be lance and sternberg who are up to unusual activities, not me," paradigm countered. "i myself am simply a scientist who specialized in you living vivus dinosaurs. i am right now responding to a medical emergancy, that frankly no one else here is qualified to assist with." yeah right i thought! paradigm had just a moment ago complained to lance about all the training he'd had to give the lambeosaur... so far the only skills i'd seen lance use that he would have needed to be taught were his fighting ones!

sternberg stepped it. "lance and my own actions are our own, tyrannosaur. we're tired of the constant intimidation and threats from theropods like you. rather then watch anymore of our kind be bullied we've decided to take action, and are forming a special, shall we say, task force."

"what?" i asked somewhat shocked. the thought of herbivore dinosaurs defending themselves in an organized manner was strange to image. yet it made sense. especially given what i'd just seen lance do, and what sternberg could potentially do. as well as the flip side of the pack's crimson talons.

then i had another thought. if there was just an anti-theropod plant eater task force, could it be lance and sternberg that people were mistaking to be a bigger organization like palaeo-central? i guess i could see that. so far i'd seen lance, and sternberg to a lesser extent do some pretty amazing things. paradigm just seemed to here in town, and apart from showing up at the geology collection he hadn't done much.

yet i still believed palaeo-central was real, and that paradigm had a connection to it. he himself had connected himself to lance's training. a 'task force' of trained combat ready dinosaurs would be a very useful asset for an organization dedicated to protecting fossils and the science of palaeontology.

paradigm then suddenly warned me. "based on what this happened i suggest you actually listen to me this time, and lay low while you are still in town. i don't believe either lance or sternberg can afford the time to protect you again," he stated matter of fact. "as for you're poacher quarries i assure you, someone will get to the bottom of them," he then leaned in with a bit of menace. "which means i don't expect any further involvement by yourself with either the pack or these poachings. voluntary or involuntary. do i make myself clear?!?"

adding to paradigm's ambigious threat both lance and sternberg shifted in imposing manners towards me (which despite lance's injuries was scary... i'd now seen what he could do when he meant business!). reluctantly i agreed.

"good boy," paradigm said. "now you enjoy the rest of your visit, but i expect to not have to speak with you again... for your sake!"

i took that as my cue to leave, as paradigm turned his attention to check over lance and his battle damage. as i was still a little jumpy from both the raptor attack and now my second drumheller confrontation with paradigm, i ran to the front entrance of the museum.

wandering the crowded galleries i felt safe. there were plenty of eyes who'd see anything dodgey targeting me. with this sense of security i could think about what had just happened.

the pack of the primordial feather had just tried to kill me, and now clearly not just for not joining their little club. no i'd stumbled onto something they were doing, and it scared them. the only thing it could be was the poached quarries.

however i didn't know why they were digging, or for what... i wasn't going to be able to find out without ticking off paradigm. who frankly seemed all the more scary, now that i knew he potentially had a "task force" of killer ornithischians he could sick on me.

yet paradigm didn't seem to believe me that the pack was involved. worse yet he didn't seem all that concerned about the poaching. just whether i was involved with it or not...

more to the point, the pack wasn't coming after paradigm about their poaching. they were coming after me!

as i came to the end of the galleries i decided, despite promising paradigm i won't, i was going to find out what the pack were digging up, and more to the point show the professor i didn't need him watching out for me!

the hunt for the poachers begins!


fossil of the weekend! #30

a cast of the rather magnificent lambeosaurus magnicristatus from dinosaur provincial park. the original is housed at the royal ontario museum, but this cast can be viewed at the royal tyrrell museum.


theropod's bane... (raptor attack part 2)

i was in trouble people of the innerweb... BIG trouble...

what had started off as a care free and normal day at the tyrrell museum had turned into a nightmare. the pack of the primoridal feather had finally made good on its promise to get back at me for not joining its ranks! they'd sent a pack of dromaeosaurids (commonly known as raptors!) to come and get me...

so far with devastatingly effective results!

they'd cornered me and tony in the tyrrell's back parking lot... making things worse i was hiding in the pack on tony's back. so i couldn't do anything about it at all! worser even still, they held our friend yumi hostage at talon point. with the flick of a dromaeosaurus' toe, yumi was done for...

tony was left no option, but to surrender over the backpack (and by extension me!)...

i don’t blame tony though, you must understand. there was nothing really stopping them from killing him or yumi to get to me. by handing me over, tony at least gave himself and yumi a chance at living through this... maybe...

i was kinda wishing there was an alternative to handing me over though, mind you... not that any were obvious ones to my tiny brain.

the whole time, a group of hadrosaurs sat on the other end of the parking lot gawking at what was going on... stupid burgers!

they'd stopped by the museum in their relentless search for work... work being the modern replace to food. the over flow of vivus-dinosaurs in drumheller meant anywhere tourists went, vivus dinosaurs were sure to not be far off. as the museum is the biggest tourist attraction in the valley, there are always plenty of saurian wanders like these guys hanging around...
on any other day the tyrrell was a lot safer to loiter around for a walking lunch like a duckbill. today though, with a pack of highly pumped up and psyched raptors in active hunting mode just metres away, the hadrosaur crowd quickly caught the vibe if they stuck around much longer they might end up becoming a victory lunch for the dromaeosaurs.

as tony handed me over to the raptors, the pack got very audibly excited and wound up. the duckbill's decided they'd witnessed enough, and before the raptor's attention left tony and the backpack, the hadrosaurs began to make their way towards a more public area...
probably a smart move. it's what i would have done, if i were a burger that walks and talks like them...
suddenly, against the follow of their crowed, one of the duckbills walked straight towards the tense bag hand off. this caused a slight commotion among the duckbills, who honked and bleated annoyance at the uncaring rebel who just continued to push, check, and shove his way through the herd... the raptors all paused hearing the distressed call of their instinctive prey. i let out a involuntary sigh of relief... even if my tiny brain knew this was but a momentary pause from my doom...
being able to speak a limited range of the duckbill language, due to my time growing up at the tyrrell among various types of dinosaurs, i could tell something weird was going on. clearly the other hadrosaurs were not just annoyed by being delayed by the single dissenter. they were scared by this one's actions too. it was risking the raptors noticing and attacking (even if i was their objective, which they'd yet to fully collect).
what duckbill could possibly be stupid enough to risk being eaten...
i finally caught an edmontosaur angrily state the trouble maker’s name. i should have guessed it was them way earlier... it was lance the lambeosaur, the rather grumpy and ill mannered assistant of professor paradigm. I even knew he was already in town and everything...
before i could wonder why lance needed to struggle his way through his peers for a better look, suddenly he let out the most unusual call i'd ever heard a hadrosaur make...
the raptors thought so too, they all started chatting uneasily in response to it... though feeding off each other, their unease quickly shifted into predatory anticipation. lance, and possibly now some of his friends, were now in much more immanent danger...
i was as confused as i can be (what with a tiny brain and all). lance's behaviour seemed almost suicidal... especially considering the clear evidence of scars covering him head to toe from close calls with theropods. why in fossilizations’ name would he be trying to provoke another encounter?!?
before i could think about this any further tony shifted the bag (and thus me too) in utter surprise. the most unexpected thing happened...
seconds after lance’s eerie bellow (it resembled a ceratopsian battle cry, come to think of it... something duckbills don't have or do) he charged full steam towards us, and more to the point the raptors...

he ran head long towards yumi and her dromaeosaurus captor.

wisely the tiny raptor bolted from her captive... at a mere 15 kilograms the dromaeosaur really couldn't afford lance's impressive 20 tonnes slamming into her (unless it wanted to be a pancake!)...

with the immediate relief from the removal of the raptor’s weight and talons, yumi rolled over to tend to her wounds... though rolling over she let out a scream as lance's giant mass came charging over top of her.
despite her panic, yumi was in little danger (somehow?). lance gracefully and carefully narrowly avoided crushing her. all while making it look easy, despite considering how big he was it must have been hard to pace his steps like that. still lance never broke his stride or speed, though why he didn’t just stop there began to raise our suspicions (human, t-rex, and raptor).
i could feel tony air fist in victory at lance's success... i'd have to thank lance for his efforts on our behalf. assuming tony could get away from the 10 raptors still surrounding us, that was...

suddenly things went insane!
lance didn't turn or even hesitate. he ran straight over yumi, and bore right in on the main grouping of raptors!!!
the dromaeosaurids were a mix of reactions. some panicked. others were dumbfounded like me. however the scarier ones (the deinonychus, velociraptor, and atrociraptors in particular) all grew excited... in a very scary way. like x-mas was running over to them early.

as lance closed on us, the pack swung into a big game formation. clearly with the intent of taking him down before seizing me... the raptors fell into two frontal attack waves, supplemented by a group of decoys who mocked flanking lance to try and distract him, while some real flankers snuck behind the man made cover of the recycling bins to try and double back on the brave hadrosaur.

lance wasn't a brave duckbill, come to think of it. he was a really stupid one! no wonder he had so many scars on him from theropod attacks! he just walked into situations with them (or was it running?)... even i'm not that stupid!!!
the raptors were happy as... uh, well, happy as hunting raptors i guess...

they clearly weren't used to dinner being so helpful in rushing in for slaughtering, but they sure weren't complaining about it either. all around me their excitement could be heard.
it was at this moment everything that was about to unfold became clear. i just didn't realize it...

desdemona deinonychus, leader of these "crimson talons", muttered under her breath "lance," in a very angry and spiteful manner. there was a hint of uneasiness in her voice, which i chalked up to her sizing up such large prey... if i only knew the half of it!

just as the front line raptors met up with the on coming lance, things started to go fast. the raptors began spacing themselves out, aligning for optimum pounce positions.
just as the first couple raptors were about to jump onto him, lance suddenly swung up his head. the motion was so powerful i heard the whosh of air it made in the backpack!

had things been normal lance would have been dealt the first deadly blow by the raptor front line. however things were suddenly not normal, not normal at all!

as the lead dromaeosaurus began to leap towards him, lance swung his whole body weight right into the tiny theropod...

the crunch of bones could be heard, as the tiny coelurosaur was flung helpless into the air away from lance.
abruptly the scenario of the helpless duckbill, me and the raptors had anticipated, disappeared! for all of us but desdemona it seemed, as she'd never had this idea, it became clear.

The deinonychus angrily cursed. "not this time you don't!" desdemona had definitely met lance before, and what he was now doing didn't surprise her one bit.
with this nebulous threat desdemona snuck off from the carnage being dealt to her front-line troops, and fell back into the maze of recycling bins and cars around the emerging battle.
lance's sudden battle prowess may not have surprised desdemona, but it sure was throwing her crimson talons for a loop!
the first frontline futilely tried to do their job, but lance dispersed them quickly.
the second wave put in a token effort, but it was cleverly just to distract the duckbill. as they convinced him they were trying to attack, the real danger to lance closed in behind him.
the flankers that had snuck off behind the bins had emerged behind lance, and were about to get the drop on him...

lance's current offensive looked like it was about to be short lived. the flankers swung into action in perfect form!
yet somehow lance knew the pack's tactics better then they did...

out of no where, the decoys went from effective distractions, to becoming lance's weapon against their flanking cohorts!
combined with lance's unbelievable use and coordination of his body... i'd never seen a hadrosaur (that alone any of the proper "fighting" ornithischians like ceratopsians or ankylosaurs) use their head, tail, or limbs so effectively and naturally as weapons!

it was like watching a hadrosaur samurai! seriously... it was the closest i'd ever seen to a dinosaur martial artist!
keeping in mind i've seen ceratopsians, ankylosaurs, and stegosaurs fight (no stegosaurs outside of on TV mind you), and they are all amazing fighters.

just not in the gracefully and effortless manner lance was displaying. his moves were always perfectly times, and never more or less power then they needed to have. the traditional fighters tended to overpower their moves.
also true fighting plant eaters all tend to preferentially use their battle endowed anatomy. ceratopsians just use their heads due to the obvious attached horns or bosses. for the stegosaurs and ankylosaurs it is their tails, which end in either deadly thagomizers or clubs.

not lance though. probably, because he didn't have any of these natural enhancements to begin with, and because a preference would hinder his total combat style. no, lance used his entire body so well the whole thing became a weapon, on par with any horns, club, or even thagomizer!

the crimson talons didn't stand a chance against him one on one.

to prevent them from using their superior numbers against him, lance somehow kept them off balance and at bay with an uncanny knowledge of their own battle tactics. he was always one step ahead of them, and taking them out slowly one at a time as he did so...
i was beginning to wonder if he was some kind of superhero? his counter attack was going perfectly...

of course i jinxed the whole battle by thinking that!

the crimson talons had been sitting on a secret weapon... valor velociraptor.

i was dumb founded, a velociraptor, really?!?

of course when the average human hears the name velociraptor they associate it with being among the most deadly dinosaurs of them all. however this reputations, is well frankly, completely overblown!

despite what you saw on jurassic park, raptors aren't quite that dangerous... the writers in hollywood decided to soup up their raptors quite a bit, to make them better movie villains. so the raptors were given through the script and stunts things like human intelligence, opposable door opening thumbs, and speed of a cheetah etc. dromaeosaurids were pretty impressive predators in real life, but none of them could do all of that stuff! that'd be a super predator...

the other reason i was surprised by this velociraptor being so dangerous, is that for jurassic park spielberg cast deinonychus to play the raptors (desdemona was the lead raptor in fact! come to think of it). the reason being velociraptors are small things in reality, and only come up to the average humans hips. not something that could stare you imposingly in the eye...

i'd have expected the most deadly of the crimson talons to be desdemona or an atrociraptor...

man was i wrong. within seconds the velociraptor had effortlessly bypassed lance's defences and was really tearing into him.

watching this valor i realized something unnerving. i'd thought lance was impressive a second ago, but watching the velociraptor attack such a massively larger opponent, i realized lance was but an amateur martial artist compared to her.

suddenly my spirits sank... the wail of pain from lance indicated valor was inflicting some serious damage to him!

with ninja like grace, valor leapt away from her prey having inflicted as much damage to lance as she could safely.

it looked bad. she'd scored a pretty good slash on his neck. fortunately not anything lethal, but it wasn't a mere flesh wound either!

as valour delicately landed beside him, lance sort of collapsed... probably from the pain...

just like that, the invincible hadrosaur warrior image faded... he was mortal just like the rest of us, and in fact quite vulnerable it seemed.

suddenly the pack regained its predatory spirit as desdemona and help gathered above lance on the bins he was leaning against.

lance's momentary pause gave the raptor's the opportunity they'd been waiting for...

suddenly lance was covered in biting, kicking, clawing, and slashing dromaeosaurids!

his bellow of agony and pain was awful to hear. especially at such close range. the battle was literally over top of me and tony now!

though all i could do was spectate through a small opening in the zipper, tony suddenly realized the situation had shifted.

It may not have been in lance's favour, but it definitely was in ours! all the raptors were either lying injured around us or actively attacking lance... we were no longer being guarded!!!

without a second thought tony sprinted as fast as he could from the massive tussle going on behind him.

within moments we were clear, and out of danger. tony gently peeled yumi off the ground and starting assisting her towards the museum's front to get her medical attention.
behind us the battle took yet a new shift...

lance's yells of pain suddenly ceased... and it wasn't cause the raptors weren't still ripping him apart. far from it. he now had some pretty serious wounds on his face, neck, and flanks... yet he wasn't crying out anymore?

then it hit all of us, human, tyrannosaur, and raptor. lance had been faking it the whole time. sure he was hurt (you could see him starting to limp a bit), but he still had plenty of fight left in him.

he'd been hamming it up to distract the raptors and give us the chance to escape. now that we’d gotten away, lance was back in the game.

in really bad accented dromaeosaurid lance warned. "break off now, or else!"

despite his lack of obvious pain, the raptors knew they doing him some critical damage, and thus they still held the upper hand...

all of them except valor that is... hearing lance's ultimatum she suddenly leapt off in almost a panic.

the others should have followed her cue. lance immediately veered the bulk of his colossal body sharply. desdemona and the atrociraptor had no choice but to desperately hold on.

with the same amount of power lance swung back towards the dumpsters. the force of his giant strength and weight flung the atrociraptor from his head, and it helpless flew towards the recycling bins back first.

desdemona found herself dislodged too, but being by the more stationary legs she managed to land rather cat like on top of the bin.

not the atrociraptor. with a horrendous snapping of bones it slammed into the bin.

lance wasn't done though. he could see desdemona and valor preparing to renew their assaults.

"it is over," he steerly warned. despite the clumsiness of his theropod language (lance's head is basically a giant organic tuba! imagine trying to speak through one of those...) his dead seriousness came through.

desdemona won't yield. her and valor weren't phased by his word at all.

i'm certain in theory, valor especially, but probably desdemona too (who i could now see was almost as good as the velociraptor) would at some point be able to out manoeuvre the larger slower lance again.

however it was now just the two of them against the lambeosaur. lance had disabled or wounded every other raptor the crimson talons had thrown at him. sure the two remaining raptors probably could have gotten in a few more attacks, but the odds of them inflicting mortal wounds, versus the odds lance would get a piece of them along the way weren't good.

to demonstrate his dominance in the new tactical situation, lance reared up onto his rear legs and trumpeted "IT'S OVER!"

the display was awesome, which i mean it was just amazingly powerful. not the surfer boy version of the word.

valor, clearly the calmer headed zen like warrior, immediately realized the odds against her seeing the 13 metre 20 ton behemoth towering above her, and retreated.

desdemona took almost a whole minute before following. however her and lance engaged in the most hate filled stare i've ever seen (and me and larry have glared at each other before remember!) before she turned and screamed a retreat call.

slowly all the raptors picked themselves up (most in clearly severe pain) and dispersed in any direction they could. so long as it took them the furthest from lance.
just like that, it was over...

somehow tony, yumi, and i (me in particular) had all made it out alive, and in one piece (mostly).
we owed it all to lance. which i never would have expected in 65 million years!

though the being one piece couldn't be said for lance. as the last raptor disappeared, he slumped on the pavement in sheer pain and exhaust. blood freely poured from the large wounds he'd incurred. despite the posturing he'd just display, lance was clearly much worse for wear then he'd let on.

i ripped open the backpack (finally!) and sprinted towards lance.

tony paid our saviour no further mind. his concern was on yumi, who herself sported a rather serious raptor wound. he took her off to see a doctor.

i rushed over to lance to try and see if i could offer similar assistance. plus i wanted to know why he'd helped us?

lance had made it clear he hated us theropods, including (and especially?) me! yet he'd just put his life on the line for me.


to be concluded...


fossil of the weekend! #29

a rather impressive cast skeleton mount of lambeosaurus, at the royal tyrrel museum.


fossil of the weekend! #28

not the best photo of, a lambeosaurus being attacked by a pack of dromaeosaurus.

though i try to highlight fossils with this weekendly segment with only the best photos... sadly this is the only photo i have of this over wise amazing mount from dinosaur provincial park.

it not only ties into the recent RAPTOR ATTACK theme going on here at the tyrannosaur chronicles, but is a big hint as to where things will be going in the upcoming continuation post!

that's right my fate after the pack's attack will be revealed this week! watch for it!!!