there i was minding my own business (and trying to woe lillian) on the beach of west vancouver, when suddenly (exactly) a dozen other dinosaurs showed up here in vancouver?!?
the progress i'd been making with lillian instantly came to a halt, and the two of us were suddenly confronted with the mystery of all these other vivus-dinosaurs. they clearly hadn't been here in town the whole time unknown to us, as vancouver doesn't really have anywhere with dinosaurs, such as a museum. so they'd clearly all just arrived, but why?
pretty quickly we both learned all these dinosaurs had specifically been summoned by peter, and been told to find us here at the beach. all so the "winter games" could begin in the next couple of days.
this sounded really stupid to me (and i'm the saurian with a brain the size of a peanut!), what winter games? peter had brought me and lillian here for the OH-lympics, why were all these dinosaurs here to play some silly games.
i very quickly got the answer to this question. it turns out the OH-lympics are just a fancy word for playing games... why no one had bothered to tell me it that way is beyond me. its not that complicated!...
apparently the human OH-lympics had just ended, and as of such peter had organized his dinosaur winter games to start right now when everyone would be starting suffering "OH-lympic withdrawal" (whatever that means?).
i was informed that in addition to all of us dinosaurs be expected to play a bunch of games, we were also expected to do so on teams. normally humans apparently competed on behalf of their country of origin... however peter had some slight troubles getting dinosaurs from the same modern countries for his games...
part of this was that peter had been contacting museums that were known to have a lot of vivus-dinosaurs under their care. as most museums in the world don't have many of us living dinosaurs in their collections, this left peter with a pretty limited list. of those museums that did have a few vivuses kicking around, peter quickly found that many had collected their dinosaurs from different countries than where the museum itself was based. meaning that he had trouble putting together proper OH-lympic teams from some institutions...
the a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_vdMpbAB0DRI/S7NeNxeSENI/AAAAAAAANZQ/JxstGXlap2c/s1600/team+gondwanna+intro+pip.jpg" though not all of them. for example direct from the beijing institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology (IVPP) came...
china we learned had been the only country in the world with a single institution with a big enough collection of vivus-dinosaurs to field a team from a single country! apparently they had been spoiled for choice, but had decided to send their team of 3 (all the teams were 3 saurians we learned) of a pinacosaurus, psittacosaurus, and a tsintaosaurus. the whole lot struck me as a little gruff, but they were plant eaters confronted with two of their ancestral predators... relatives of their prehistoric nemesis tarbosaurus no less!
their human coach seemed a nice enough fellow though (all the teams of dinosaurs were accompanied by a human). he friendly tried to explain parts of peter's plans... at least those parts he knew. it was becoming clear bond was the only one with full knowledge of what was going on.
besides the IVPP the only other museum that had been able to field its own singular team was the chicago field museum... however there was a slight catch with this team. unlike the american museum that had sent them, the dinosaurs on this team were from all over the modern globe. however in prehistory they could all gave been said to be from the same general region...
chicago's team was representing the long split up southren super continent of gondwana. this had once been made up of antarctica, south america, africa, australia, india, and new zealand. of course the three chicago dinosaurs couldn't possibly be from all six of these modern continents, but it turned out they were all from africa or south america.
this team didn't seem to get along very well. despite their human coaches rather chipper example. the giganotosaurus openly (if you read theropod body language like me and lillian instinctively do) viewed her teammates with disdain, and the small heterodontosaurus clearly was uneasy being forced in such close proximity to two drastically bigger theropods. only the spinosaurus seemed to be enjoying the situation, but i think he was more looking forward to the games than being with his teammates...
if there was a team that looked like a truly organized and together team it had to be...
the only problem with this real professional attitude on the part of both the dinosaurs and coach, was that they were looking at all the rest of us kind of hostilely.
peter hadn't found any one museum in the united states able (or willing) to send all 3 dinosaurs needed for an american team. he did find however that several museums of the mid west were willing to each send a single dinosaur to the games.
so we ended up with a montanan einiosaurus, a wyoming stygimoloch, and a coloradoan stegosaurus. despite their geographic separation (and geologic too come to think of it!), the lot of them all seemed to know each other quite well. i guess their museums are all on good terms with each other or something.
team america was certainly seeming quite the united front for when we got the games underway. i just hope they were here to have fun...
which brought us to the last obvious team, which if america was super team-like, than this team certainly was not!
at first we didn't notice the team from down under, as they were behind all the others scattered. at least at first. you see, the two smallest members had run off from their larger more serious team mate. as the two of them chased each other around the large muttaburrasaurus trailed behind trying to discipline the two of them.
it wasn't till they started wrestling and the mutta caught up and yelled at them, that me and lillian really notice them. (muttaburrasaurus have a very loud call on account of that big chamber on their nose... it is hard to miss one "yelling")
of all the dinosaurs so far gathered the two small australian team members were the only ones i'd previously met. these were of course rang and boom the leaellynasauras who i'd met in australia a couple years ago. despite the deafening bellows of their large muttaburrasaur team mate the two obviously kept horsing around with each other... good to see somethings don't change, uh i guess.
i didn't dislike the leaellynausauras, but i wasn't overly excited at seeing them again. however i suddenly was rather happy when i saw who the australian coach was!
it was my boss ms. rhonwyn! before she knew it i'd launched a mega hug on her.
"calm down there big guy!" ms. rhonwyn pleaded, somewhat out of breath due to my strong hug around her wind pipe. despite my tiny arms, they are quite powerful. i need to remember that next time i hug someone! oops.
i was very excited to see her, as it had been a long time since i'd be to work (for some reason :P). though before i could catch up with her it suddenly dawned on me. "you're not a sports coach!"
"no," ms. rhonwyn replied back somewhat confused as to why i'd made the link with her and a coach.
"all the other teams have coaches for these games," i answered urgently.
"are you kidding," ms. rhonwyn dismissed. "we're all just representatives from our museum or institution who've tagged along to make sure your friend mr. bond doesn't put any of our vivus fossils into harms way with these games of his."
on that note, ms. rhonwyn clearly knew some of the other "coaches", as the chinese tender eagerly waved and called a greeting in chinese. ms. rhonwyn responded back in the same language, i have to keep remembering her speciality is in chinese culture not dinosaurs! she'd been to china several times, and i'd wager she knew the chinese coach from one of these trips.
than something occurred to me. "what team are me and lillian on?" i more thought aloud than ask of ms. rhonwyn.
"you'll have to take that up with your 'coach'," ms. rhonwyn answered much to my surprise. "mr. bond assured us that he was fielding a team. you were on the roster last i checked."
i blinked. peter had mentioned nothing about this to either me or lillian, and the games by all accounts started tomorrow! if me and lillian were going to be part of them and become famous (as part of peter's plan) we were going to need a third team member!
who could peter have contacted? more to the point what country could me and lillian represent? we were two exiled tyrannosaurids... there weren't too many more of those kicking around...
next: the home team!