no go

i'd gotten in touch with my buddy mike the librarian, who i hoped could help me with my current problem.

the pack of the primordial feather was in town, and i had to find them. not that i wanted to really. however my mysterious informer from inside the pack, ruffled feather, insisted they had to be found, and more to the point the crate they were trying to hide.

once i found the primordials and their crate i wasn't sure what was going to happen. not that at moment it was an issue. i had no clue where they were!

that was of course where mike came in... so i headed over to his place. letting myself in, what he left it unlocked! i found mike busy working on his puter.

looking up mike let out a startled. "traumador?!?"

"hi mike!" i happily greeted back, not thinking about his surprise.

"what are you doing here?" mike demanded.

"coming to see how you're doing," i answered. i quickly added. "the door was unlocked, so i figured it was okay i come in."

"no, i mean what are you doing here?!? i have never invited you to my apartment before! how did you know i lived here!" he stated.

oh right that... i guess this was the second time i'd ambushed mike this week. "i looked up your address."

"it's not listed in the phone book," mike warily stated.

"i know!" i whole-heartedly agreed, that made it a bit harder to find mike's place. "i just phoned your library and told them it was an emergency."

"you called my work?" mike stated in horror.

"yeah, and your coworkers are really nice and friendly," i assured him, man i wish my former coworkers had been that fun. they were laughing throughout the whole tale of my adventures with the pack and their stupid crate.

mike shook his head. "how did you even think to do that?"

"you taught me," i complimented him, but that just seemed to make him more upset.

mike stopped and collected himself. "okay, what do you want traumador?"

"to find the pack," i said in an obvious manner.

"well," mike went all sour again. he needs to lighten up if you ask me. "i have had no luck on that mark. i haven't been able to find a trace of them."

i grew slightly disappointed and worried. "so you don't think they are here?"

"quite the contrary!" mike countered me, and started clicking away on his puter. "seriously i can find no trace of the pack in calgary. there should be some sort of clues or tidbits left behind to indicate whether they have or haven't been here sometime. ever."

i looked at him puzzled, prompting him to explain. "no matter what you do nowadays, the instant you do, or in many cases do not do, something it leaves behind information in various nooks and crannies in "the system". even if you are unaware of it."

"really?" i asked kind of scared.

"its why we call it the information age," mike informed me. "and as it is my job to retrieve information, i should be able to find some trace of the primordials in regards to calgary one way or another. only there isn't any."

"where can we look instead?" i was trying to think if the pack worked with anyone we could call for their address...

"you're missing the point, traumador," mike corrected me. "i have looked in all sorts of places. there isn't a single fragment about the pack anywhere," i blinked dumbly at him. "they have systematically gone through every system and removed themselves from the calgary grid. the only reason you would do that is if you were around but trying to hide."

"so we're finished," i stated in defeat.

"no," mike again corrected me. "we've only gotten started. at least if you are serious about this. removing information, ironically leaves new information, i just have to find it and reverse engineer it back to the source."

"cool!" i perked up... though why i was as excited as i was, worried me a bit. it was my hunter instincts kicking in, and i could feel the hunt that was coming... i went to sit down beside mike.

"what do you think you're doing?" mike asked me.

"sitting down?" i answered unsure if it was the right answer.

"not if you are, again, actually serious about finding the pack," mike told me. "i will eventually find a trace of them, but without some sort of triangulation it could take days, weeks, months, maybe even the whole year," that prospect suddenly worried me. "i need you to go do some leg work in the dinosaur community."

"there isn't really a community of vivus dinosaurs around here," i tried to explain to mike. the only place near calgary with a large population of dinosaurs was drumheller.

"i know that," mike stated slightly frustrated. "obviously i didn't teach you enough about information retrieval. a little can be a lot. i don't need you to find a lot of dinosaurs. i just need you to talk to anyone or anything that knows a lot about dinosaurs. surely you know some people in town who deal with dinosaurs or fossils. you need to see if they have heard anything about the pack. that way i'll have a better idea of where to narrow the search."

as a matter of fact i did. that and i'd been meaning to look them up anyway. that settled that, it was time to look up some more old friends...

to be continued... by going to university!


fossil of the weekend! #56

nice set of assorted ammonites from the royal tyrrell museum's collections.


tracking the tracker...

i'd been delayed in calgary, because the pack of the primordial feather. there had been some uncertainty as to whether they were here or not. as of yesterday i had confirmed they were here. which meant i had to somehow find them, and get rid of this crate of theirs that had been causing all the trouble.

the thing is calgary is a big city. i could spend forever looking and not finding hide nor feather of the pack in the process. i was going to need some sort of help if i was going to successful track them down here in cowtown.

fortunantely i knew just the guy to help me out. so i hiked myself down to the bow river, which runs right through the middle of town, to try and find him...

ironic as i needed his help to do some tracking, and yet i needed to track him down too. at least on that front i'd just asked him what his route home from work was...

as i waited i admired the bow. you know it might not be the ocean, but the bow river is a lovely body of water in its own right. living in new zealand a while, i'd forgotten how pretty alberta can be in places. different, but pretty none the less.

after a few minutes the scent i was waiting for slowly grew stronger. man having my t-rex nose rocks when looking for specific people. as long as i'd smelt the person before, i could usually pick them up if they were within a few hundred metres (in a city the volume of human smells restricts me a bit... out in the open it can be a couple kilometres if the wind is right).

"hi mike!" i shouted excitedly as i waved at my librarian friend who finally walked into view.

instinctively he waved back, but yet in total disbelief came his reply. "traumdor?"

he just stood there looking at me in shock. "why are you so surprised to see me?" i asked. "i just phoned you an hour ago."

mike glared in response to this. "yes, and all you did was ask me how i got home from work!" oh yeah, that's right. oops. gotta remember next time to fill in the blanks as to why i'm asking such questions.

i quickly filled mike in on my whole vaccation to canada, and invited him out for a bite to eat so i could fill him in on my pack issues.

we sat down for a nice korean BBQ, one of my favourite human dishes... i don't know what they do differently in their BBQ sauce, but it really excites us t-rexs. larry bought a whole chain of them when he broke out as a big hollywood star.

as i enjoyed this meal, the first one i'd had in years (dunedin doesn't have a cheap korean BBQ place) i told mike what little i knew about the pack's activities and the crate. "okay so let me get this straight," mike clarified at the end of my tale. "you want me to track down a group of dinosaurs, who are off the system, because of some random email you got, from sender unknown. plus these same dinosaurs might or might not still be in the city, and the only lead you have on them you got from an ostrich?!?"

okay, i could see his point, outloud that sounded really stupid. i feabily agreed.

"would it mean i could get out of dinner early if i went to look this all up right now?" mike asked.

i didn't quite understand the question, how could he not be enjoying his BBQ? "uh i guess so," i answered honestly. it was important i try to track down the pack soon.

"perfect!" mike responded, and gobbled down the rest of his meal. as he started to excuse himself from the table. "okay, i'll try to find these dinosaurs for you. you'll get the bill on your way out?"

"uh oh," i had a realization. mike looked at me suspiciously. "you won't mind spotting me on this one would you? i left my wallet in new zealand."

to be continued... with surprising information.


Holiday Delays

You may have noticed a recent stall (more so then usual) in posts on the Chronicles. We apologize for this delay but a graduation, a recent moving of country, and the build up to the holidays have gotten in the way of the creative team.

We promise several new Traum posts coming next week, once the creative team have been able to stop and breathe for a few seconds.

Thanks for your tolerating our incompetence, and hope you'll enjoy Traumador's up coming adventures!


my cousin of the week #29

a new zealand tui, or Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae. the common name tui is the traditional maori name for these beautiful and energetic birds.


fossil of the weekend! #54

a block of unknown (to me at least) chinese turtles, from the chinese fossil show i saw in vancover several years ago. anyone know what they are?


i wasn't the first to visit the zoo this week!

the zoo was just about to close as i walked past the african display once more. my spirits were still somewhere in the upper atmosphere after catching up with norman a. centrosaur.

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."

a bigger me... another tyrannosaurus rex!?! my suspicions immediately went to larry, but this was slightly silly. there were several more vivus t-rexs in the world (most of whom i'd met mind 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!!!

to be continued... getting some backup


my cousin of the week #28

a blue penguin in its nest borrow. these guys have a lot of names throughout the south. formally it is a Eudyptula minor, otherwise it can be called a little penguin, a fairy penguin in aussie, little blues, and kororā in māori.


fossil of the weekend! #53

an ornithomimid claw i found in the alberta badlands around drumheller.


my cousin of the week #27

a variable oystercatcher in new zealand, aka Haematopus unicolor, or a torea-pango to the maori.