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Chromosome Quest

Love, Dinosaurs, and the Clockwork Apocalypse

Preview #1:

Suddenly I shushed Athena, and waved to Petch to likewise be very quiet. They shot me questioning looks. Motioning them closer to me I very softly asked, “Where do nocturnal dinosaurs sleep in the daytime.” For about two heartbeats they both stared blankly at me. Then suddenly her eyes went round and her lips formed an 'O.' Petch stood open-mouthed and silently slapped his forehead.

     Tiptoeing in silence we carefully scouted the castle. Dino signs were everywhere, as was their stench. We quickly realized the stench was not only from the remains of their meals, and their droppings. Looking into one of the larger rooms, we discovered a flock of velociraptors nesting, calmly sleeping away the day! Fortunately they were blissfully unaware of our presence. We desperately hoped we could keep it that way.

     Withdrawing, we quickly scouted the rest of the residence. No other vermin were evident. Then, working as quietly as possible we tackled the big front door, clearing the threshold of debris, and repairing the latch, ensuring that the door could indeed be securely closed.

     Then we returned to the question of what to do about our resident flock. Killing them seemed improbable. Remaining indoors with them seemed unwise. Out-of-doors was entirely out of the question. Whatever solution we were going to develop had better develop quickly. It was getting late, and they would soon be waking up!

     Scouting the residence for anything to work with, we found some rope and a few tools. We contrived a mechanism by which we could remotely close the great door and latch it without betraying our presence to the predators. We weighted a lever against the door so that it would naturally close, and then propped it open with a convenient rod. A quick tug and the door seemed to reliably swing to and the latch fall. We tested it several times and it seemed to work well.

     We worried about persuading the flock to leave. Preferably before dinner! They would not leave if they sensed in any way that we were present.

     Being inherently hospitable beasts, they would insist on having us for dinner.

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