for the first time in my life, i was living up to my predatory pedigree. i was the hunter, and the pack the prey.
though to be fair i was needing help... the universities collections manager was taking me deep into her treasure trove, so i could get the drop on the primordials.
as we were walking to check out the more remote corners of the universities bowels, i was busy trying to explain to carmen what i knew about the pack and their crate. which hearing myself say it out loud, wasn't a lot on either. in fact i could easily see how she was thinking i was crazy or over actively imaginative.
"so you're telling me all the meat eaters of the world have formed on big giant gang?" carmen asked me. i was going to correct her, and clarify it was just the coelurosaurs. who are as a whole more omnivorous (only the more famous branches are purely meat eating). however i choose not to for simplicity.
carmen still didn't believe me. "why would they choose my collections of all places to hide this 'crate'?"
like so much with the pack, i couldn't tell her. all i knew was that i "needed" to get it away from them. carmen walked confident for a while in her belief we weren't going to find any sign of the pack at all. which seemed to be validated after an hour. we hit every storage room in the department. we even hit sections that belonged to the chemistry, and biology departments.
just as i was losing hope, we walked past a hallway for the third time that we hadn't gone down. "what about down there?" i asked.
"that is just the maintenance corridor," carmen dismissed it. "there is nothing down there but the ventilation systems."
when she saw that i wasn't going to budge, carmen reluctantly agreed to take me down this last hallway. as we walked down it, the difference between it and the others become clear. the whole hallway was lined with pipes that pumped waste air from lab vacuum systems upstairs down here to their filtration systems. to make this controlled, and unnatural, flow of air work, this whole corridor was lined with air intake and outlet vents. giving it a very air conditioned feel.
i instantly hated it! it made my nose go "blind" (much like walking through a mirror funhouse visually)... normally anywhere i go there is something of a sedimentary stack of smells. even though i can't necessarily tell you exactly what an old smell was, i can tell it was there. in this place the rules meant nothing. smells got sucked away, or worse pumped in. rooms and people from upstairs were showing up on my smell radar as though they were right here... it was a very unpleasant.
i was starting to agree with carmen. there was no way a smell reliant coelurosaur would want to camp out down here. till after a couple minutes discomfort i realized something. this would be the perfect "cloaking device" for the pack... or for those who don't watch star trek. these smell cover would make them impossible for a odor based tracker of any sort to find them.
yet there was still no sign of them. that is until we reached the last corner. suddenly a huge shadow approached from around the corner.
"we need to hide!" i whispered panicked, looking around to find there were no rooms to duck into.
carmen grabbed me by the collar and pulled me behind a bunch of loose junk just sitting in the hallway.a set of loud heavy steps grew close. suddenly a giant full grown cow tyrannosaurid walked into view RIGHT before us!!! my blood rain cold, and i started to vibrate with fear. carmen too grew really panicked, as she started to sweat heavily. which was a really big problem! this daspletosaurus had as good a sense of smell as i did, and she'd pick up carmen's ever increasing scent in moments... (isn't funny how the brain works. here i was petrified with fear, and yet i calmly IDed the dinosaur in front of me...)
as though it was reading my thoughts, the big female tyrannosaurid stopped dead in her tracks before us, and started sniffing the air. with but a tiny twist of its head to the left we would be discovered, and frankly we were dead meat! we had no cover or protection to speak of.
it was the worst 10 seconds of my life!!! the daspletosaurus like clock work bent right to wear i'd been standing a moment ago narrowing in on the smell. i knew exactly what she was doing, as i'd done it several times to dan and craig's hamburgers back in my childhood. she was just locking onto the most strong scents. in a moment she'd be able to follow them like a trail back to the strongest concentration of them (aka us sitting right beside her producing the smell in the first place!).
just as the daspletosaur was about to look our way, the ventilation roared into action. including the intake right behind us. next thing i knew i could smell me and carmen coming from the direction the daspletosaur had just come from. of course, with its equally powerful nose, the great predator veered right about (not noticing us in the process) having picked up our "getting right passed" it. she let out a really scary growl and stalked off towards the new smell.
"we have to get out of here now!" carmen ordered, saying pretty much what i was about to.
fortunately there was no sign of pursuit as we doubled back to the more public collections lobby. carmen couldn't fathom how, that alone why, a foreign dinosaur was hiding in her collections. i on the other hand had bigger concerns.
there was no doubt the primordials were hiding out here at the university now. i even knew where. however i was no closer to where the crate was being hidden specifically, that alone how i was going to get at it.
it turned out calming carmen down, i only had half that problem. she was determined to find out what was being hidden in her collections, and got out the plans for the building. there was only one possible room the pack could be hiding in...
looking over the blueprints of the complex, carmen gave me some ideas of ways into the room. the only really issue we were going to have getting in, was the number of theropods no doubt guarding the place.i was going to need help. i was going to need organized help. good thing for me i knew just the people who could help me out! as luck would have it, i had arranged to have lunch with them tomorrow!