I hate f•©king time travel, there I said it. I ... hate ... f•©king ... time travel. The holy grail of science fiction stories and the reality is that it hurts, it feels like some asshole is sanding your skin off and shining a searchlight at your eyes. And when things go wrong, as they inevitably do, they go spectacularly f•©king wrong.
Our instructions were simple on paper. Take a quick trip back to the Cretaceous-period, because the academics need more information about Velociraptors. The last team they sent back had landed on the flank of an active volcano and only managed to bounce back seconds before their time sphere would have been enveloped by magma.
Our mission was to observe and record a group of Velociraptors hunting. We need to prove that they were far more intelligent than the academics previously thought. Get us proof that they cooperated as they hunt in packs. We can only observe and record, trying to take anything from its timeline causes the time sphere to stop working. A simple assignment then; go back, don’t land on an active volcano. Find a pack, and then record them hunting down prey, it sounded so simple. Never trust simple!
Well, guess what, they do hunt in packs, and they are bloody good at it. Four of us were in the sphere for the jump. And just to prove the world hates me, my bloody ex-wife was on the team, selected for the mission.
I should have guess something was up when I was pulled into the project manager’s office before the mission briefing.
“Look, I know that under normal circumstances, I’d never ask you to jump with Lindsey. But you two are the best-qualified people we have on hand for this jump, so I need you to accept the situation,” the project leader told us. “You need to work together on this.” And then to make a bad day even worse, I was reminded that Lindsey had seniority and would be the mission commander.
His office door shuddered as I slammed it behind me, the frosted pane of glass cracked from top to bottom. That would be the third one I’d have to pay for this year.
Simple, my ass; we lost Peter within minutes of arriving.
“Of course, you won’t need to leave the safety of the pod. The landing zone has been chosen because numerous velociraptor fossils have been found in the area. You should only need to use the sphere’s remote cameras and the drones.” Famous last words from the mission director at our briefing, which lasted as long as it took that idiot Peter to get the million-dollar drone, stuck in a tree fern.
Lindsey was apoplectic in her rage. “I’m not going back and reporting the loss of a million-dollar drone. So as you got it stuck, you go and recover it,” Lindsey told Peter, in her arrogant, condescending voice. One that she usually used, to make my life a misery. At least she wasn’t shouting at me, which was a bonus.
That didn’t last. I tried pointing out that our mission orders specifically instructed us not to leave the sphere, and I receive the full blast of her anger.
“If I did everything that’s in our orders we’d never achieve anything. I just treat them as suggestions. So I don’t give a flying f•©k what you think. Peter is going to get the drone, and Janice can cover him from the doorway. You can cower in here, that all you are good for.”