Title: Primeval Season One
Characters: Chloe, Nick, Stephen, Abby, Connor, Claudia, Capt. Ryan, Lester, Ben Becker & others.
Fandoms: Smallville/Primeval (bbc)
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: Chloe was in love with the man of her dreams, and then she let her curiosity get the better of her and walked through an anomaly...waking up in England two years later, in the custody of James Lester and the Home Office. Now, with mysterious circumstances surrounding her before her rescue, and with everyone she loved thinking her dead, Chloe is forced to join the Anomaly Reaseach team or stay the Home Office's 'guest' indefinitely. She must make a new life, learn to create a new family with her team members, and all of this while not realizing that she and the leader of her new team, Nick Cutter, might share more than just an interest in the unexplainable.
"Isn't this wonderful?" Helen asked with a smile, turning towards her daughter as the sun began to slowly rise in the sky, painting its its canvas a vast array of majestic colors.
Chloe didn't want to be awed.
She didn't want to be enchanted.
But she was.
She really was.
The blonde sat on the large boulder, staring at the herd of Diplodocus grazing below.
Helen had told her that they were in the Late Jurassic Period, and then had let the landscape speak for itself.
She'd been doing this ever since Chloe had become her hostage, so to speak. The incident in the stadium had occurred a couple of days ago.
Or maybe it was years, hundreds of years.
The last time Chloe had stepped through an anomaly it's seemed like seconds to her, while it'd been two years to the rest of the world.
It terrified her to think how much time might have passed on the other side this time.
"I must admit some fondness to the Diplodocus." Helen announced, sitting down next to Chloe, smiling as she gazed at the animals mentioned. "They're always so serene."
Chloe looked at the woman who claimed to be her mother-who claimed to have left her in the past so that she could age quicker, and be an adult who could travel with her throughout the anomalies, discovering the vast unknown together. The blonde really didn't know what to think. On one hand she really resented this woman who'd made so many important decisions in her and Nick's life without thinking of either of them. But on the other hand, Chloe could grudgingly understand how Helen had fallen so madly in love with time travel.
These last couple of days had been constant travel from one era to another, and each one seemed more addictive than the previous. And it was as if every time Chloe went through an anomaly-it became more alive to her. Every single trip there would be an electric shock, white and hot, but with that shock it was as if she'd connect with the anomaly, feel its pulsations as her own.
It was a heady experience.
"So, do you have anyone important to you, on the other side?" Helen asked, gaze on the Diplodocus.
"Yes." Chloe didn't even know why she was answering. "No." She looked away and took in a deep breath. "There was once someone. Someone I loved more than I thought I could love." The blonde scratched at an itch in her cheek. "My first trip through the anomaly destroyed any chance of a future our relationship might have had."
There was silence.
And then a sigh.
"I can relate to that."
There was a Manor house at the golf course, with an ambulance parked outside and a Special Forces soldier running towards it.
Claudia Brown didn't know what to do. After Helen had in essence kidnapped Chloe two weeks ago Nick had been in a depression, a very dangerous depression. He wasn't sleeping, he wasn't eating, he seemed closer to Jack Daniels than to any of them other than Stephen, and he was becoming even more obsessed with his work, with the anomalies. Claudia had been so relieved that one hadn't opened up since Chloe's abduction, because she hadn't know how Nick would be able to handle it, but one had opened, of course, and now they were trying to do what it was they did.
And keep an eye on Nick.
So that when they did find the anomaly he didn't try to go through it looking for his wife and daughter.
"Where's the golfer's body?" She asked Captain Ryan, shaking her head of those troubling thoughts for now.
"In the casualty clearance centre in the main house." He replied.
"Are there any more victims?" God don't let there be anymore victims.
"None we know of."
"Good." She nodded, feeling a sharp pang of relief. "Keep me briefed."
Ryan moved off, and Claudia approached Nick and Stephen, who were talking to the man who'd found the body, and was apparently being treated for shock. As they saw her approach, they finished talking to the man and moved off towards her.
"What did he see?" She wanted to know.
"All was finished by the time he got here." Nick replied.
"Have you found the anomaly yet?" Claudia asked, swatting at a fly.
"Well, we're not absolutely sure there is one yet." The blonde announced tersely. "And I need to see the victim."
Stephen looked between them before going back to talk to the man they'd been speaking to moments ago.
"What do you plan on doing when you find the anomaly?" Claudia decided to ask point blank, never one for beating around the bush. "You can't go after her, you know. You can't know for certain that it's the one she was pulled into. You'll just get lost and killed."
"She's my daughter." Nick snapped at Claudia. "I'm not letting the anomalies steal her
Claudia's heart wanted to soften at those words, but she bristled up intentionally.
He needed this.
"I know that, we all do, and we can't really understand what you're going through." She took in a deep breath. "But you have to concentrate on your job. Chloe's fine. She's been through the anomaly before and came out unscratched. And I doubt that Helen will allow anything to happen to her. So I need you to focus on the job at hand before other innocent people get hurt, okay?"
Nick looked like he wanted to argue, before just sighing and nodding. "Okay."
She felt minutely better.
"Look, I think I should warn you." The redhead looked around them, feeling somewhat paranoid. "Lester's getting impatient. Think's you cause more problems than you solve."
"What do you think?"
Very good question. "I think it would be helpful if I could show him we're making some kind of progress."
"Or what?" Nick's eyes narrowed.
"Or it becomes difficult."
"Look, Lester doesn't own this." Nick snapped. "The government doesn't own this. If you really want to help, keep him off my back."
She flinched. "Please don't make me take sides, Nick."
He glared at her and walked away.
"Great." She whispered to herself as she watched him leave. "Just great."
"What are they doing?" Chloe asked from their perch upon the tree whose fruit they were having for breakfast.
"Head-butting." Helen replied easily. "Male pachycephalosaurs sometimes do that for the right to rule the herd."
Chloe took a bite out of the fruit and chewed as she wiped at the juice trailing down her chin before swallowing. "They remind me of mountain goats."
"That they do." Helen agreed, taking a bite out of her fruit.
Inside the room, a Special Forces soldier placed a sheet over the victim's body, which Nick and Claudia had been looking had.
Claudia looked away, feeling her breakfast warring with her stomach.
"He's been torn to shreds." The medic announced, looking up at them.
"Its almost surgical the way the flesh has been torn away to cleanly." Nick commented, seeming unfazed by the sight. "There's no wastage."
"Any idea what might have done this?" The redhead asked, refusing to turn to look at them once more, still queasy.
"A creature of devastating power and savagery, to do just that in a few minutes." Nick announced, finally turning to face her. "There's one thing for sure. It came through an anomaly." His eyes narrowed. "The first thing we have to do is find that."
"What're they?" Chloe couldn't hide the fear and excitement in her voice during this most inappropriate of times.
Since hunters usually hunted by scent, it was very important to keep clean, and Helen had taken her to this river to bathe. The brunette had gone first, quite happy to swim around and bathe, but Chloe had been much more fearful, keeping an eye on the creatures in the water with her. And she was glad that she had. Otehrwise she doubted Helen would have told her about the dolphin-looking creatures swimming behind her. They had long jaws with numerous teeth, eyes set within a ring of bony place, and were probably 6 ft plus inches long.
In other words they were really bigger than she was.
"They're Stenopterygius. Don't worry about them. They eat fish, shellfish, and other invertebrates." Helen smiled, seeming amused. "You don't fit the category. Though they might get curious and swim a little closer to get a better view of you."
"The hell they will." Chloe climbed out of the water, having finished bathing anyway. The blonde hurried to her clothes and shimmied into them despite still being wet, pulling on her boots rapidly, keeping an eye on the world around her.
"You'll lose that constant wariness in time." Helen announced conversationally, watching her.
Chloe stopped trying to wring the water out of her hair, and turned towards Helen. "I'm not going to be here long enough for that to happen."
Mother and daughter just stared at each other, silent.
Nick stood in the middle of a field, looking around him, eyes narrowed.
Stephen and Abby walked up to him.
"No trampled or broken vegetation." Stephen informed, wiping at beads of sweat on his forehead. "No track marks and no signs of any anomaly, but there is one hell of a magnetic field, so it's got to be here somewhere." He frowned. "Unless there's a pylon causing interference."
"Can't see anything." Abby shrugged.
"Be quiet and let me think here." Nick snapped, before his eyes widened. "Quiet!"
"We didn't say anything." Abby pouted.
"No, I mean it's too quiet." Nick turned to them. "Listen. There's no birdsong."
Abby looked around her, eyes widening. "Not a peep."
Stephen's eyes narrowed. "They're scared off."
"What would scare the birds away?" Nick frowned, looking all around him, before suddenly grinning. "You were wrong, it's not a pylon. There is an anomaly."
Stephen, who was still scanning the area, frowned. "Where?"
Nick snorted as he looked straight upwards. "We're standing right underneath it."
Abby and Stephen exchanged looks before gazing upwards and gasping when they saw the anomaly quite a way above them.
"It's an aerial predator." Stephen whispered.
"Wow." Abby blinked.
"Yeah, that's one way of putting it." Nick brought his hand to his forehead to try and shield his gaze against the glare. "Now how the hell do we cordon off the sky?"
Sensing movement, Stephen looked to the side. "Cutter."
"I mean," Nick was still looking up at the anomaly. "This thing could be anywhere by now."
Abby joined Stephen, looking at the creature flying towards them.
Nick was still looking in the wrong direction.
Abby's mouth fell open.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that." Stephen replied in answer to Nick's comment.
Abby threw herself to the ground the same time Stephen tackled Nick as the creature dove at them, screeching.
It glided over them, trying for them with its claws and yet coming short, soaring back up into the air.
Stephen laid down on his back, looking up at the sky. "So, not so hard to find then."
Abby chuckled as they got back up and Nick pulled out a pair of binoculars, eyeing the creature. "What is it?"
"Pterodactyloid pterosaur." Nick replied automatically. "It's probably a pteranodon."
"Is it what killed the golfer?" The pixie-ish girl wanted to know.
"I'd say it's definitely in the frame." Stephen replied, eyes on the creature soaring above them in the air.
"Well," Nick frowned. "Pteranodon was supposed to have mainly eaten small reptiles and fish."
"Probably just snacking until humans came along." Stephen mumbled under his breath.
"Why's it circling?" Abby wanted to know.
"Looking for a roost?" Stephen hazarded a guess.
"Well, it's spoilt for choice." Nick snorted. "Well, it's certainly looking for something."
Stephen's eyes narrowed as he noticed movement at the other end of the fairway. "Is that...Connor?"
"What?" Nick turned to Stephen.
"Connor." Stephen pointed to where their belated member had just appeared, but seemed to be following something on the ground.
"What's he doing?" Abby wanted to know, taking a couple of steps forwards.
"More importantly," Nick's gaze returned to the creature. "What's our friend up there doing?"
Stephen's eyes widened. "He's not looking for a roost. He's looking for lunch."
Abby turned towards Connor at those words, the man in the distance still having his back towards them. "CONNOR! CONNOR!"
"COME HERE, QUICKLY!" Stephen yelled.
"RYAN!" Nick called into the radio. "Come quickly!"
Apparently having heard voices, Connor turned to see the creature swooping towards him.
"GET INTO THE TREES!" Abby screamed.
"RUN YOU IDIOT!" Stephen yelled.
They didn't know if Connor could hear what was being said, but he turned and began making a mad dash towards the trees.
"Cover it!" Ryan shouted as he, Claudia, and some of his men arrived.
"Oh, no." Claudia whispered in horror as she watched the creature gain on Connor. "Shoot it!"
"No, wait a minute." Nick pulled away the binoculars to turn to them. "There's something about this that doesn't add up. I'm just not entirely sure what it is yet."
Claudia ignored him, eyes on Ryan." Do it."
"No!" Nick snapped, throwing down the binoculars. "We should only kill these creatures when there's absolutely no other choice!"
"Choice? What other choice?" The redhead snapped back at him. "In a matter of seconds, Connor's going to be ripped to shreds!"
"We can't take that chance." Stephen turned to Nick.
Claudia retuned her gaze to Ryan. "Follow your orders, Captain."
"Yes, ma'am." Ryan nodded, firing as the pteranodon closed in on Connor, but Nick pushed Ryan, causing him to miss.
"Nick." Claudia growled.
Ryan fired again, but missed once more, lowering his weapon. "It's out of range."
Just as the pteranodon was about to reach Connor, he jumped down an incline and it missed, flying away.
"Really wish you hadn't done that." Claudia turned to Nick, eyes narrowed in fury. "God knows how many people you've just condemned to death."
Nick wasn't listening to her, looking through his binoculars again, to where Connor was lying. "Wait a minute. There's a lizard with him."
Claudia frowned, her anger morphing into confusion. "A lizard?"
The blonde nodded. "Salurosorophus."
Abby's eyes widened in horror. "He let Rex escape!"
Everyone turned to look at the pixie-ish female
"What have you done?" Claudia snapped.
"You kept him?" Nick asked.
"No. Yeah." Abby took in a deep breath and nodded. "Yes. He came back through the anomaly before it closed. I-I was just looking after him."
"What do you think we're doing here? Running some kind of private zoo?" Claudia hissed, throwing her hands in the air in frustration.
Abby lowered her head. "I'm sorry, guys."
Connor began jogging towards them, brushing the sand off of his hat.
Nick turned to Claudia. "Now, we don't know enough about the creature yet."
"Lester was right." The redhead shook her head at them. "You people are a menace. What do you think we're doing here, Nick? Playing some kind of game?"
"Nobody's taking this more seriously than we are." Nick hissed dangerously. "Nobody."
Stephen looked between them, sensing the danger there. "Look, it's wounded, okay? So it's not going to go far. It needs to roost."
"I hope you're right. For all our sakes." Claudia then turned to Ryan. "Come on."
Connor reached them as Claudia and the soldiers left.
"She's got a point." Stephen was careful to point this out only after the redhead was out of hearing.
"Look, I'm not being sentimental." Nick turned to his colleague and best friend. "There were good reasons for not killing the creature."
"And you're sure about that?" Stephen narrowed his eyes slightly.
"No, of course I'm not sure!" Nick snapped, running a shaky hand over his head. "I've probably just made the biggest mistake of my life!" He then took in a deep breath before trying once more in a more level voice. "Just a hunch, that's all.
Connor grinned, finally putting on his hat. "Well, that was a bit of a laugh wasn't it?"
Nick glared at the young man. "Silly arse."
Connor blinked. "What?"
Nick and Abby both gave Connor dirty looks and walked away.
Abby fell into step with Nick, sighing, head bent. "I just didn't want Rex to be locked up. Poked and prodded by Lester's people." She stopped walking and looked up imploringly at the leader. "Can I keep him?"
Nick looked at her before sighing and shaking his head. "You'd better bloody find him first."
Her face broke out into a smile.
White, pure, life.
Chloe's whole body hummed, throbbed, tingled.
And then she was out on the other side, taking in a deep breath and looking around her.
"Where are we?" She asked, looking around her as the anomaly closed behind them.
She wondered why these anomalies seemed to close the minute they went through, and didn't stay active like the ones in the present.
Helen looked around her, gazing at the plant life, at the smaller creatures, and then up at the sky, before turning to Chloe. "I'm not exactly sure, but if I had to guess, I'd say the Cretaceous Period."
The period before the dinosaurs went extinct.
Hearing an agonized wail, Chloe moved away from Helen and peered down into the bushes.
There she found the bloody remains of a small, three-foot long dinosaur.
And beside it, a tiny baby, head no bigger than a golf ball, stood crying.
"We need to go." Helen looked around her, nervous. "That thing's cry is going to attract a predator even if the blood didn't."
"We can't just leave it here." Chloe turned to Helen, eyes narrowed. "It will be killed."
"That's how the world is, Chloe. Kill or be killed. Everything dies." Helen replied coldly.
"Well, my mother taught me to help the weak, not watch them go extinct." The blonde replied coldly, going slowly towards the cadaver and crying baby. "It's okay, it's okay, I'm not going to hurt you."
The small, four-legged baby whimpered and took some steps back.
It was an odd looking creature. The skull had a short, low snout that was topped by a nasal 'boss', or bump, rather than a horn. The neck frill was triangular and very short, and it had no openings. It had only ten grinding teeth in each jaw, and no teeth in its beak. An unusual thing was that it had a large opening on each side of its snout.
"Come on, come on." Chloe went to her knees, hands outstretched, wriggling her fingers invitingly at the creature. "Yes, that's a good baby."
The creature slowly made its way towards her fingers, sniffing.
It could smell the fruit she'd had for breakfast.
Reaching slowly into her pocket with her other hand, Chloe pulled out a peel from it that she'd kept for when she got back to try and figure out what the fruit was, Chloe offered it to the baby, who devoured it with a happy little sound before wagging its tail much like a dog would. The baby sniffed around her some more, and when she picked it up, it gave minimal struggle, making a weird grunting sound until it calmed down against her heartbeat. The blonde smiled down at the baby, rubbing its head soothingly, before looking up at Helen.
The brunette was watching her in fascination.
"We should get far from here." Chloe announced, holding the baby to her heart as she began to walk away. "The blood and its cries will have attracted some predators no doubt. We don't want to be here when they get here."
Helen watched her go with a smirk before following. "What do you plan on doing with it? It's going to grow to around 3 feet you know. You can't just keep it."
"Why not?" Chloe asked. "I have an empty flat I'm determined to make my home. I wanted a pet." She caressed the top of the baby's beak. "I just got one."
Helen paused. "The flat."
Chloe turned towards her. "Yes. The flat. In the present." She steeled her expression. "Which you're going to take me to." Her eyes narrowed. "Now."
"Pteranodon hunted from high vantage points." Nick announced, sharing a look with Stephen as he spoke to Ryan and Claudia. "Cliff tops, mountains, anywhere that gave it a good sight of potential prey."
"We need to be looking at all the highest points within a couple of miles." Stephen agreed.
Ryan received a message on his radio and pointed to the laptop. "Real-time images are coming through now."
Stephen zoomed in on a satellite imagine, until the pteranodon could be seen, resting on top of a building in the city. "There it is."
"Got it." Nick smiled.
"Office building less than a mile away." Ryan looked up. "Should be empty on a Saturday." He turned to his men. "Let's go!"
Nick turned to Stephen, expression serious. "We've got to get there first."
Stephen closed his laptop and stood.
Claudia watched and quickly followed Nick and Stephen into the 4x4 while Ryan and the soldier got into jeeps and set off.
In the woods, Abby and Connor were still looking for Rex.
"Rex!" Abby called.
"Rexy! Come on mate." Connor was by her side. "Come to Daddy!"
"You don't leave here until you find him." Abby snapped as she turned to Connor, still pissed that not only had he let Rex escape from the flat, but he'd nearly gotten the lizard eaten...and now Rex was lost.
"Sorry." Connor repeated once more, desperation on his face. "I can't think how he got out. Abby, look. I am sorry."
"If anything happens to him, I'll…" She shoved her finger into his face violently. "Uh! Just find him!"
"I'm finding him, I'm finding him."
Nick, Claudia and Stephen pulled up outside the office building. Thanks to Nick's incredibly reckless driving they'd somehow managed to get there before Ryan and his men.
"We should wait for Ryan." Claudia announced, nervous.
Stephen pulled out a rather large gun from the back of the van as they turned and headed towards the building.
"What's that?" Claudia asked, her high heels tapping loudly as they entered the building.
"A tranquilizer gun."
"No way." She shook her head.
"It could take out about 5 of those up there." Nick tried to assure her as they headed towards the roof.
"I'm not taking any more chances. I want it dead." The redhead glared at him.
"Oh, just humour me." The blonde announced.
"What?" She glared.
"Have I ever let you down?" Nick asked, and then seeing her expression he quickly cut her off before she could speak. "Don't answer that. Just trust me, please."
"Why do you keep doing this to me?" She asked, exasperated.
"Look, we're in unknown territory here. I don't know. The only thing that I know is killing these creatures without good reason is not the answer."
Claudia glared at him before sighing. "You've got until Ryan gets here. One chance, one shot."
Nick and Stephen exchanged looks before racing down the corridor ahead of Claudia.
Stephen gave Nick a little look. "Never thought she'd buy that."
Nick returned the look. "Neither did I."
The pteranodon was perched on the edge of the roof.
The three of them climbed up a ladder onto the highest part of the roof.
Stephen aimed his gun, but the pteranodon took off before he could shoot.
"Damn it!" Nick cursed.
The pteranodon circled the building.
Running his hand over his hair as he looked up at the creature, Nick's mind raced, and then he paused.
"Look." He turned to Stephen. "We're going to have to find a way to bring here back into range. You see the red crest on the top of her head? Red. That's it." He turned to Claudia. "I need your shirt."
"What?" She gasped, horrified.
"Your shirt." Nick repeated, wondering why her face was going so red.
"Come on." She was unable to look at it. "It's magenta."
"It's close enough." He shrugged.
"It's nothing like red." She protested.
Nick ignored her, running across the roof.
Claudia glared at his back and very unwillingly started to unbutton her shirt.
Stephen turned around and handed her the gun. "Wait. Forget about this. You owe me one." He began to unbutton his shirt, allowing the red undershirt he was wearing to peek out.
Claudia sighed in relief, holding the gun awkwardly.
Nick grabbed a metal pole, while Ryan's men start pouring in the building at the bottom. The blonde ignored what was going on below, tying Stephen's red shirt to the end while Stephen pulled back on his other shirt and Claudia happily passed him back the gun.
"You good?" Nick turned to Stephen.
Taking in a deep breath, Nick whistled to get the pteranodon's attention, and started waving the pole while Stephen took aim.
Claudia backed away as the creature began to fly towards them.
"Right." Nick cleared his throat as the creature kept coming quicker. "In your own time."
Stephen's first shot missed, despite the pteranodon being in his gun sight. "The wind took it."
"Yup. Try again." Nick gulped. "Quick as you like there, Stephen."
Stephen's second shot also missed. "Damn thing keeps moving."
"Yep." Nick's voice squeaked as the pteranodon grew closer and closer. "That's what they do."
"This time. Come on, fellow." Stephen took aim once more.
"Stephen, shoot it." NIck hissed, looked from the creature to Stephen and back. "Stephen, for God's sake, will you shoot it?"
Claudia started to move back in panic.
Stephen waited until the pteranodon was right on top of them before he shot, finally hitting it.
The dinosaur rolled across the rooftop, backing Claudia further against the wall.
There it lay, unconscious.
"You see that?" Nick grinned.
Stephen shouldered his gun. "What are we going to do with it?"
"Take it back to the anomaly site." Nick replied, slapping Stephen on the shoulders. "Send it back."
"That's it Cutter!" Claudia snapped from where she was trapped between the wall and the unconscious creature. "No more favours. From now on we do this my way! I take the decisions."
The pteranodon, not quite as unconscious as it first appeared, screeched and flailed, hitting the redhead over the head with its beak, knocking her out before it fell completely prey to the tranquilizers.
Stephen and Nick exchanged looks.
Nick snorted, unable to keep the amusement off of his face. "Whoops."
Connor and Abby were still searching.
"Rex!" Connor called. "Where are you, dude?"
Abby glared at him. "Do you think he's going to send up a distress flare or something?"
Connor turned to her. "He knows the sound of my voice. I'm thinking he might come running."
"He's a lizard, Connor, not a Golden Retriever!" Abby snapped, anger and worry mixing deep inside of her. "This is ridiculous. He could be anywhere."
Rex ran across the path in front of them.
"Rex?" Connor blinked before turning to Abby who was looking back at him with the same shocked expression on her face.
Wordlessly they ran after the lizard.
"Think this over, Chloe." Helen announced, eyes on the blonde. "Think of what I'm offering you."
"I am. Helen. I am." Chloe held the surprisingly enough sleeping baby Bagaceratops in her arms. "But you need to understand something. You can't just abandon me in the wrong time, away from my real father and then come back years later and expect everything to be peachy and go your way. I lost two years of my life to the anomalies, and a lifetime with my father. The anomaly completely disrupted the life I had, and I'm not going to allow that to happen another time. Not when I'm just trying to fix the mess my life is right now. I have things I have to do, people I need to talk to, things that need to be made right." She took in a deep breath. "I need time to fix things, time to think it over."
Helen paused, tilting her head to the side. "So you're not rejecting the idea."
"No. This is-this is beautiful and amazing and I'd be stupid to just pass up the opportunity without a second thought. I'm not doing that." Chloe replied truthfully. "I'm saying, don't kidnap me and expect me to make my decisions then. I need time to do things, I need time to think things over, and I need time to talk to Nick." She hefted the baby Bagaceratops a little higher in her arms. "You already kept me from Nick once, Helen. I would never forgive you for doing it a second time."
Claudia was lying unconscious on a bed in a room in the Manor on the golf course, wearing an oxygen mask.
Nick stood by the window, looking out, thinking about the anomaly and wondering where it led.
And if his daughter was there.
Suddenly Claudia shot up and jumped out of the bed, knocking a pouch of blood off of a trolley and bursting it all over her shoes.
Jarred by the sound, Nick turned towards her and moved towards Claudia as she got up.
"It's okay. It's okay." He placed his hands on her shoulders. "Nothing's wrong."
"What happened?" Claudia asked, voice shaken.
"You took a knock." He reminded her.
"Where am I?"
"In the hotel on the grounds." Nick replied as the medic who'd shown them the victim's body earlier entered.
The medic walked over and picked up the bursted bag of blood, making a face at the pool it left on the floor, before turning to Claudia. "Easy. Let's see how you're doing. What's your name and how old are you?"
Nick picked up something from the medic's kit.
"Claudia Brown," Claudia cleared her throat. "And I have no intention of telling you."
So did the medic. "I'll do some tests at the hospital, but I think it's nothing worse than a mild concussion. Getting low on oxygen. I've got another bottle in the ambulance. I'd better get it just in case." He left the room, still carrying the bursted bag of blood.
"Sit up." Nick ordered.
The redhead cautiously got back onto the bed while Nick shone a light in her eyes. "What are you doing?"
"I have absolutely no idea, but I've seen them do it on ER, so there must be something in it. How are you feeling."
"Okay." She cleared her throat.
"Any nausea?" Nick asked, trying to remember the questions he'd seen on the telly.
"Does anything feel odd at all?"
There was a pause. "Just the one thing."
"What?" Nick asked, eyes narrowing in worry.
Claudia took in a deep breath. "I can't see anything."
Having finally caught up with Rex, who was perched on a log, Connor and Abby paused for breath.
Connor then frowned. "What's he looking at?"
Rex jumped off of the log and got behind it, as if he was trying to hide.
Sharing a worried look, Abby and Connor slowly turned around.
The tree behind them was full of small pterosaurs.
Abby's eyes widened.
Connor gulped and with a slow motion he moved so that he was standing somewhat in front of Abby, his back to her.
Her blue eyes widened at this action.
One of the creature sniffed something in the air, and then suddenly they were all airborne.
"Get down!" Connor turned and tackled Abby to the ground, covering her body with his as the creature flew passed them, one stealing Connor's hat on the way.
Stephen, Ryan and some soldiers were with the pteranodon, which was wrapped in sheets and strapped to the back of a trailer.
"I wouldn't get too close if I were you." Ryan cautioned Stephen, holding his beloved M4 ever closer. "That thing could come around at any time."
"She's going to be out for hours." Stephen shook off the concern.
Suddenly there was a rumbling noise as the pteranodon's bowels released its waste.
The soldiers wrinkled their noses.
"Oh, nice." Ryan sneered.
Stephen chuckled at their expressions. "You have no idea how revealing dung can be." Stephen swiped his finger through some, sniffing it. "You can learn a lot from an animal's waste. It's exciting stuff."
The soldiers made their disgust known as Stephen tasted the dung.
Ryan couldn't watch and looked away. "That's just not right."
Abby and Connor hadn't moved from their position on the woods floor.
"Abby," Connor blinked, tilting his head upwards in disbelief, finding all of the small predators gone. "Are we alive?"
"We're alive." She confirmed in a slightly breathless way.
"That's a good thing." He decided with a grin before looking down at Abby, and realizing the compromising position they found themselves in. The smile melted into an awed expression as he cleared his throat and looked down at her. "Uhm, uh, hi."
"Hi." She whispered back.
"Temporary blindness is a symptom of mild concussion." Nick tried to comfort her. "You're going to be fine."
"Right." Claudia didn't sound very comforted.
"Trust me. I'm a doctor." He paused. "Well, I'm a professor, but it's nearly the same thing." He cleared his throat. "Do you see anything at all?"
"Um … A little. It's getting better."
"See?" He patted her shoulder. "It'll be back in no time." His mobile rang and he answered it. "Stephen?"
"Listen, you know that hunch of yours?" Stephen asked. "You were right. Old leather face didn't kill the golfer. The beak, it's all wrong. The dung is the clincher."
Nick smiled. "Let me guess. No human remains."
"Exactly." Stephen confirmed. "All I found was a few small reptiles and some fish bones. That's all."
"Exactly what I thought." Nick grinned at Claudia. "It wasn't Connor it was after, it was Rex."
Claudia blinked at the revelation.
"Yeah." Stephen confirmed.
Nick's phone beeped. "Stephen, listen, I'm going to have to call you back. My phone's out of juice."
Nick hung up the phone call and turned to Claudia. "Did you catch any of that?"
"The pteranodon is innocent." The redhead sighed. "What do you want me to do? Pay compensation? You have to admit it, you made a lucky guess."
"No you're missing my point." He frowned. "If the pteranodon didn't kill the golfer, then what did?"
The sound of the medic screaming outside caused them both to jerk.
"What was that?" Claudia's voice was whispery, her face pallid.
"I don't know." Nick whispered back. "Look, give me your phone."
"It's in my bag." Claudia gulped. "In the car."
Nick closed the patio doors and the doors leading to the other rooms. "All right. I have to get to a phone."
"Nick, don't leave me!" Claudia cried.
"It's okay. I'm still here." He comforted. "Just keep calm. All we have to do is keep all the windows and all the doors shut. And we'll be fine. There'll be nothing to worry about. And we'll be just fine." Nick ran out of the room to the main doors of the house, which were still open. He closed them, catching a glimpse of a flock of small winged creatures circled above the house. He then returned to the room where he'd left Claudia. "Okay. Listen, there has to be a phone around here somewhere. Now, you're going to be okay, because nothing can get in here. It's going to be okay." He hurried upstairs and tried the phone on the landing, but it wasn't working.
Hearing the sound of screaming down below, Nick frowned and hurried downstairs. He found Claudia on the ground, apparently having slipped on the blood that'd pooled on the ground from the bag she'd bursted earlier, and the redhead had managed to cover herself in said blood in her struggled to get up. The pterosaurs were throwing themselves against the windows, breaking them. One finally began to make its way through the broken glass into the room as Nick pulled the blood covered Claudia to her feet.
Nick pulled Claudia out of the room and closed the door in time to hear the creature hit the wood.
"GO! Keep going!" Nick urged. "Keep going!"
"They just went crazy. I slipped in the blood and then…"
"It's the blood, the can smell the blood."
"Like piranhas." Claudia whispered in horror. "Oh, God. Have I got much on me?"
"Um, a bit, yeah." He admitted, not about to sugarcoat things for her. He respected her more than that. "Give me your top."
She gave a mirthless laugh. "It's getting to be a little bit of a habit."
"What?" Nick blinked. "Asking for your clothes, or getting us attacked?"
Silently they took off their outer shirts.
Above, the flock began tapping on the skylight.
The pterosaurs got through, and glass raining down on Nick and Claudia.
Closely followed by the flock. Nick pushed Claudia out of the room and closed the door behind them. He guided her to a chair, then checked the windows.
"There's got to be a phone around here somewhere." He announced, trying to stay calm. Trying to think. "Okay, I think that there's one in the ambulance."
"You're going to go and get it?" Fear obviously in her voice.
"Yeah. You're going to be safe here."
"What about you?" She whispered.
"You know, I think I can make it." And Nick couldn't rightly understand why he did it, but he grabbed Claudia Brown and kissed her. "I'll be back in a minute."
Claudia stood there, eyes wide in shock.
Nick left the room and headed through the gardens.
He heard squawking, and turned to see the flock of pterosaurs flew over the house towards him. He raced to the ambulance and got in, closing the doors behind him.
Connor and Abby emerged from the trees with Rex wrapped in Abby's jacket.
They froze when they saw the house in the distance, and the pterosaur flock circling it.
Connor ran his hand over his hair. "Oh, man."
In the front of the ambulance, searching through everything frantically, before finally finding what must have been the medic's cellular. He quickly dialed Ryan, counting the rings and shaking his leg.
"Hello?" Ryan's voice was like mana from heaven.
"Ryan! Ryan, it's Nick Cutter! We're being attacked by a swarm of pterosaurs. Claudia's trapped in the hotel."
"Just sit tight."
"Yeah, I'll sit tight. Yeah. Hurry up!"
Nick plundered the ambulance. He found a lighter on the dashboard, and pulled a burns kit out of a cupboard.
"Yes, very funny, very funny." He paused, pulling out a full canister of flammable gas and a lighter, and then looked towards the house.
Going through the bright, living light, Chloe gasped as she stumbled into the room of some house, the anomaly closing behind her.
Helen wouldn't be coming.
Taking in a deep breath, she wondered where and when she was.
Hearing screams from the room next door, Chloe's body froze, before she slowly made towards the door and peeked it open.
Her eyes widened as she realized what was on the other side of that door.
Claudia Brown was batting at some tiny vicious little flying creatures with a golf club from a gulf bag in the room.
As Claudia kept swinging and backing away, Chloe reached out and grabbed her shirt from behind, pulling her into the room with her and closing the door.
"Who's that?" Claudia screamed, swinging the club blindly.
Chloe only managed to duck the club on time. "Claudia! It's me! Stop swinging!"
"Chloe?" Claudia gasped, freezing, knuckles going transparent from the tightness of her grip. "You're okay!"
The creatures began to throw themselves against the door.
"That's a matter of opinion I guess." She replied, look at the door and then at Claudia, narrowing her eyes. "How long has it been? Why couldn't you recognize me?"
"I got hit in the face. My vision's not what it used to be." Claudia replied, reaching out for her. "But it's coming back. Slowly."
The banging grew more desperate.
The baby Bagaceraptops in her arms cried loudly, sensing the danger on the other side of the door.
"What's that?" Claudia whispered.
"My puppy." Chloe replied, reaffirming her hold on the baby before grabbing Claudia's hand. "Let's catch up later."
As she dragged Claudia away, the door of the room they were in started give way under the pressure of the many different bodies throwing themselves against it. Chloe pulled the redhead down the corridor and into a kitchen, closing the door just before the creatures arrived. She stopped, keeping her back pressed against the door, looking around her, trying to devise a plan in which they weren't eaten alive. "Okay, Claudia. I need you to do something for me."
"Y-yes." Claudia nodded. "What is it?"
Claudia nodded without hesitation.
"First, take Baby." Chloe reached out the terrified creature. "She's a baby Bagaceratops, herbivore, harmless. She won't hurt you. I need you to keep her safe for me."
"What is it with this team and adopting dinosaurs?" Claudia asked, confusing Chloe a little, but the redhead reached for the crying baby nonetheless.
"How much can you see?"
"Vague shapes." Claudia replied, struggling to keep control over the baby dinosaur in her arms. "Things keep getting clearer though."
"Right." Chloe nodded, pressing all of her weight against the door as the creatures on the other side banged against it viciously. "Do you see that door?"
Claudia turned towards the door and narrowed her eyes. "Yes."
"Go and stand by it." Chloe ordered, grunting as the door gave a jerk under the pressure of the assault. "When I say so, go out and close it behind you."
"What about you?" Claudia didn't seem very happy with this plan. "Chloe, if something happened to you Nick-."
"Remember. Trust me."
The redhead sighed and nodded, slowly feeling her way towards the door and finding it, her hand going to the handle. "Okay. I'm ready."
Toeing a chair towards her, Chloe grabbed it and used it to jam the door long enough for her to dart towards the gas ovens, the gas hissing loudly as she turned on the valves. The blonde then grabbed a metal jug and put it in the microwave.
"Chloe?" Claudia called nervously.
"Almost there." The blonde rushed back to the other door and kicked away the door, keeping it open with the pressure of her back before reaching back to grab the handle and opening it, letting the creatures in, hiding her body behind the opened door. "NOW!"
Claudia opened the door she was by and closed it behind her.
Chloe reached over and started the microwave as the creatures continued to fly in, filling the room with the large flock, and then she slipped out of the room, closing the door behind her as she began to run as fast as she could in the opposite direction.
The spark caused by putting the metal jug in the microwave ignited the gas in the room, causing a huge explosion. Chloe continued running down the corridor, trying to keep out of the fireball's way.
Outside, Nick ducked as the fireball was followed by bits of debris.
He froze in horror, looking up at the mess above him. "Claudia Brown."
Hearing something behind him, he turned, relief filling his soul as he saw her coming towards him. She was covered in soot, had a small cut near to her right temple, and was holding a struggling baby Bagaceratops...but she was fine.
"You scared the life out of me." He hurried towards her. "You all right?" He looked at the baby. "Where did you get that little fellow?"
She turned to look at him, pale. "Nick. Chloe saved me."
The smile drained from his face. "What?" He looked around. "Where is she?"
"I don't know." Claudia whispered, shaking. "The last time I saw her she was letting in that whole flock into the kitchen with her and the gas."
Nick was going to throw up.
He-he turned to the burning house.
The baby in Claudia's arms struggled and cried loudly.
"No." Nick broke down, falling on his knees, tears welling up in his eyes. "NO!"
"Nick?" Claudia whispered behind him.
He couldn't hear her, couldn't respond, just looking at the burning wreckage.
"Nick!" Claudia tried once more.
He hated her for a second.
"Nick?" A new voice whispered to his right. "Are you okay?"
A tear falling down his pale cheek, Nick turned towards the voice, seeing a scratched, soot-covered Chloe limping towards him. "Chloe?"
She stopped, sending him a worried look. "What happened?"
Nick didn't remember standing and rushing to her, but he had her in his arms, twirling her around.
Chloe's squeal was first of surprise and then of glee.
Ryan and his men arrived, running up behind them.
No one noticed.
"Chloe." Nick finally lowered her so that her feet were touching the ground, but didn't let go of her. "I am your father."
Chloe looked into his face with a mixture of emotions before she smiled and nodded.
Chloe had never been lifted by more men in her life.
Nick, Ryan, Connor, Stephen...all had lifted her and given her a twirl, until she'd gotten slightly dizzy, and Baby had scratched up Claudia an insufferable amount of times out of desperation to escape. The baby Bagaceratops seemed to recognize the sound of Chloe's heartbeat though, because it stilled when returned to her arms and rested against her chest. She stood with the others at the anomaly site, where the pteranodon was.
"Guys, you'd better be quick." Connor announced, compass out. "I don't think the anomaly's going to hold much longer."
Claudia's phone rang. The redhead, who'd been gradually recovering her eyesight, checked who it was, but didn't answer.
Nick noticed this.
Claudia shrugged at him. "Lester. What can I say? The battery was down and I just didn't get to the call in time."
He tilted his head, looking at her. "You saying Lester doesn't know about this?"
She looked away. "Wouldn't be happy if he did."
Nick suddenly broke out into a grin. "I thought you weren't going to take sides."
"It's a one-off." The redhead scoffed. "Against my better judgement."
Chloe watched them.
Stephen passed her and went to Nick, carrying a big red flag. Handing it to Nick, he and Connor returned to where Abby was holding Rex and Chloe was holding Baby.
"It better work." Claudia grumbled as the pteranodon started to wake up.
Nick got into a cherry picker, turning to look down at Stephen as he was raised in the air. "So, you're absolutely confidant that this creature doesn't eat mammals?"
"Dung never lies." Stephen reassured, hand going to rest on Chloe's shoulder. "And if I'm wrong about that, at least you'll always have a special place in the history books."
"I always wanted to be famous." Nick deadpanned. "Let's do it."
Chloe turned to Stephen, looking up at him with a raised eyebrow. "What's this about dung?"
Stephen gave her a grin.
Ryan winced, looking queasy.
The men plus Connor went to the pteranodon and released the ropes holding it down, and Connor and Stephen started to lift the sheet over it.
"Okay, soldier boy." Stephen mumbled.
"All right, we're ready." Nick called down to them. "Let her go!"
The sheet was lifted, and after a few moments, the pteranodon started to get up. It flapped its wings a couple of times, and then flew off in the opposite direction to where Nick waved his flag in front of the anomaly.
"Turn!" Nick called.
"Turn around!" Stephen yelled.
"Over here!" Abby jumped, causing Rex to chirp in complaint in her arms.
"Over here!" Connor echoed, waving his hands wildly, trying to catch its attention.
Chloe frowned, looking up at the anomaly, as she felt the throbbing growing slower and weaker. "The anomaly's going to close."
Everyone was too busy trying to get the creature's attention to hear her.
"Hey! Come on! Over here!"
"This way! Over here!"
"Hey! Yeah! This way!"
The pteranodon turned, obviously attracted by the sounds, and began to fly towards Nick.
"Okay, come on." Nick whispered, waving the flag wildly. "Come on."
"Come here!" Abby yelled.
"It's beautiful." Chloe whispered, ducking along with everyone else as the creature swooped overhead.
It flew passed Nick into the anomaly right before it closed.
Cheers erupted from the group as Stephen threw Connor's hat in victory and Abby jumped up and down.
"Safe journey." Nick whispered to the empty sky before descending the cherry picker, dropping the flag, and going to Chloe, hesitating only a second before placing his hand at the small of her back. "Let's grab some coffee and go to my flat to talk."
Chloe smiled. "Let's."