Geologic Time Shift
Kitten was recovering from the bite of the Laophis in the recovery room. They were now at Wyvern Base to pick up a doctor for the plane, a person by the name of Daena Santos. With the arrival of the doctor, there had been major adjustments to the plane’s antivenom creation machine. Agent Daniel Napoleon had left the plane to attend to other important business but had left Kitten on the plane to recover and assist.
“So your name’s Kitten?” Daena inquired, “Why?”
“I don’t like my real name, and I have pet kittens.” Kitten replied, while two kittens danced nearby him.
“Well then, just stay on board this plane. You need to rest.”
Daena Santos finished checking up on Kitten and returned to her room, which she shared with Sukie. Luckily for her, Sukie never seemed to sleep in the room, giving her privacy. Sukie instead, slept in the lab room, using a bed of her own design there instead. Even if the researcher decided to sleep in the room, it wouldn’t bother the other, due to Sukie’s silence.
For the first time since integration into this new job, Jack, Stacy, Maizie, and Leo had a good night’s sleep.
The sun rose on a new dawn, and with a new dawn, a new mission.
“Oh this is wonderful!” gushed Daena. “What drone system are you guys using to create these foods! Better than the food on Leviathan Base!”
“Ask Justin,” answered Xavier.
“You’re from Leviathan Base as well?” Kitten inquired. “Me too, what sector did you grow up in?”
“Ah, I’m from C. Welcome to the DCU.”
“What we are- the Dinosaur Containment Unit. A nickname.”
Justin was called over from his and Lily’s table, where he explained that he and some friends had modified the system during the nighttime.
The door to the dining and kitchen room swung open, revealing Milo Krassant, who beckoned for Xavier to leave. After a while, Xavier returned with a flash drive.
“Alright,” Xavier started, “Justin, Lily, once you’re done eating, we leave for the town of Fort Pisces, New Mexico. Everyone else, finish and meet me in the briefing room.”
Everyone nodded, and soon, it was done. The plane left behind Wyvern base and into the skies.
“A mission?” Leo wondered. “Do we get paid for this job that we get out of nowhere?”
“Yes, Leo, yes. This job is only for special people, and none of you have had any objections. If you object, you may leave,” Xavier informed, “now since we are a secret to the public, we have fake FBI badges. The only people who know of us are our sponsors, usually the governments of the world.”
“That is true,” Leo decided. “I think we’ll do fine here.”
“Now, I’ll resume. We are heading to the town of Fort Pisces, New Mexico,” Xavier began, clicking a button and moving to a presentation slide. There were photos of three pale bodies with bite marks. “Three people have been killed by something-”
“How do we know it’s not someone? Those marks could just be regular animals,” Stacy pointed out.
“Sukie has informed me that there is evidence of tachyon particles,” Xavier explained, “they only come from time portals- so a portal must be there. How and why? We don’t know-”
Sukie came up to Xavier and handed him some papers, one of which had a circle around a certain paragraph.
“Actually, these time portals could be natural or something. Whatever, this doesn’t matter,” Xavier decided. “Our mission is to capture whatever animal this is. Or if it’s a human, catch that person. Sukie has developed a machine that will close the portal. Okay, presentation over- be here in an hour.”
Sukie handed him more papers.
“Sukie wants me to tell you something,” Xavier began, “Ahem, Sukie wrote on this research paper- I believe portals are unnatural to time and the universe. So when you encountered that Scorpion manmade one, the manmade portal messed up geologic time shift-”
“This logic is blowing my mind...” Leo sarcastically replied.
Sukie proceeded to ball up a piece of paper and launch it at Leo, striking him square in the face.
“This causes geologic time shift,” continued Xavier, reading Sukie’s research paper.
“A what?” Jack asked in confusion.
“The universe is trying to fix this time problem, and portals are outside of time- and the universe doesn’t like time irregularities.”
“Okay, so this time irregularity, it’s bringing in more portals?” asked Leo.
Sukie nodded in approval.
“According to my- Sukie’s findings, it should take a couple of years to be put back in place. “
An hour passed quickly. Maizie was instructed to tap into the medical examiner’s office, while the others waited around, now using the briefing room to play a video game.
“Prepare for touchdown!” Lily warned over the speaker. “We’ll be landing in a large lake and then cloaking!”
Everyone headed to a safer location for the landing. Xavier headed to the ramp to make preparations for a boat.
The plane dipped downwards and soon enough, the passengers could see a large lake. Maizie had made sure nobody would come to the lake by giving the local authorities a false warning.
With a shake and splash, the plane landed on the water.
“Cloaking,” Justin told via the speaker.
The plane shimmered as light bounced off differently until it made the plane invisible.
“Alright, let’s do this,” Xavier ordered, “Kitten, Maizie, stay back here. Sukie, Jack, Stacy, and I will investigate. Leo and Daena will take another boat and go investigate the sites of the bodies in the woods.”
“Do I have to stay?” Kitten pleaded. “I’m fine. The snake bite isn’t that bad.”
“Doctors orders,” The doctor Daena reminded.
“Guys,” Xavier began, “let’s go before anyone else dies.”
Everyone had to agree with Xavier. The plane’s ramp lowered, partly descending into the water. Xavier had Justin and Lily bring out a small bat, where our four heroes found themselves.
“So the time portal?” Stacy started. “Do we know where it is or something?”
“We believe the portal has closed,” Xavier answered, “thirty minutes before we arrived, the tachyon particles faded out and are now holding steady at a low rate. We’re still bringing the portal closer device with us just in case.”
Sukie reached in her backpack and came out with a small cube. She pressed a green button on it and the cube began to scan everything, lighting up the boat with green.
“Peculiar indeed,” Stacy decided, “so, we believe an animal is poisoning these people?”
“Indeed,” Xavier clarified, “you’re the paleontologist- do you know anything about venomous prehistoric animals.”
“Not much information is known about venom in prehistoric animals,” Stacy answered, “it could be anything. Only a few, such as therocephalians or bacteria.”
“What are those? The therosillies?”
“It’s quite hard to explain- think of a lion, a rat, a crocodile, and a lizard combined,” Stacy began, trying to find a picture of one on her tablet.
As soon as Xavier finished his sentences, they had arrived at the shore. In the distance, they saw Leo and Doctor Daena heading into the forest.
“Who are you?! Where the hell did you come from?!” a voice demanded.
The four searched around until they saw a young child hiding in a bush.
“We are here to investigate.” Jack managed.
“Lies! I saw you guys appear out of thin air from that lake! I’m telling my parents! My dad is the police!”
“Well that was weird,” Xavier said. “I hope this doesn’t cause any interruptions.”
“Don’t worry,” Jack responded, shrugging it off, “probably nothing.”
Sukie agreed, nodding.
The four followed a dirt road into town, where people were walking and talking. Apparently, they had arrived during the tourist season. People were taking photographs of the ruins of the fort which dotted the town and the statue of its founder.
“Hi,” Stacy began, innocently, calling an officer, “we need to get to the police station, will you please show us directions?”
The officer pulled out a map and gave them some directions. It was a short distance away, and they started walking.
“Excuse me, can one of you take a photo of us?” some random person asked.
“Er...” Xavier mumbled.
“Uhm, maybe?” Jack replied, unsure.
Sukie took the camera and snapped a few photos.
“I hate tourist spots,” Xavier huffed.
“It’s not that bad,” Stacy commented, “people are happy here.”
Our four protagonists soon arrived at the police station, though a few more nosey tourists asked them questions and to take photos. Perhaps it was bad luck, or perhaps it was Xavier dressing up like some important person.
So there they were, the four in the generic-looking police station. There was a long line of complaining tourists as well.
“Sir, you can’t go to the front of the line!” an officer declared.
“Ahem, the four of us are with the FBI, here to see the dead bodies,” Xavier stated as if actually being part of the FBI.
“Oh yes, just follow me.”
The fake FBI followed the officer into the Medical Examiner’s Office, where the three dead bodies had been laid out.
“You!” a small voice yelled. Our heroes looked down to see the annoying child from before.
“Not again!” Stacy muttered disapprovingly.
The medical examiner arrived, an old man that surprisingly looked healthy, having quite a lot of positivity in his steps.
“Sorry about my grandson George here, he doesn’t like new people-”
“They’re demons! I saw them appear out of thin air in the lake!” the silly child cut in.
“Shoo,” the examiner told.
The child ran away.
“Now, let’s get to business,” Jack began, “the bodies?”
“Ah, yes, my name is Eli Blake,” he replied, “now to the bodies.”
Our four followed Eli to the three bodies.
“Do you know what poison was used?”
“No, it seems to be one we’ve never seen before,” Eli explained, “we believe it’s a serial killer that works in a medical lab.”
“Those animal marks,” Stacy pointed out, “do you know what animal?”
“No, but it could be the local wildlife,” answered the medical examiner, “it could be some sort of wolf-coyote hybrid.”
“I see,” Xavier began, now, his turn, “Has anyone seen anything strange, say, a glowing purple light?”
“Uhm, no. What sort of FBI agents are you?”
“The regular kind. Now, how about sightings of strange things?”
“Agent Krassant, I think I’ll ask the questions,” Jack decided, “now do you know where these hunters were hunting?”
“Yep- over in the forest at the Deer Cave.”
“Great, now uh, has anyone of you seen any weird electricity or something?”
“Okay, I don’t think you guys are from the FBI. Stay right here, I’m getting security!”
“Damn it,” Stacy barked.
The four found themselves being escorted by police officers and thrown in a holding cell. Even in this nonsense, Sukie remained quiet as a mouse, no doubt thinking of some plan to escape.
“Hey! Sir! I know my rights!” Xavier called.
“Uh-huh. Yep, totally. They are?”
“Well, uh, uhm,” Xavier stammered, “the right to umm… remain silent?”
“Yeah, I think you should be doing that,” said the guard.
“Uh… a call!”
The guard had to agree.
Xavier dialed Milo.
“Maizie, my team is in Fort Pisces Jail, could you um, get us out?”
A minute later a guard arrived and let them out. The guard was perplexed, because Maizie had sent some blackmail.
“Leo?” Jack inquired, calling Leo on the phone.
“Go to the Deer Caves sector. We’ll be there in a moment.”
Leo disconnected the call and informed Daena of this new development. They prepared their TSC pistols and headed into the forest. Nothing but the green and brown of the environment of the forest was visible. The song of wondrous birds sang in the sunshine as if no deaths had taken place.
“So, Daena,” Leo began, “what are you doing later?”
“Leo, this is hardly the time-” she began, just before gasping.
“There- a deer!”
Leo and Daena walked over to the deer, pointing their pistols at every noise, even the slightest. The deer was not dead, but in pain.
“Aw, poor thing,” Daena cooed, “what did this to you.”
“Look,” Leo notified, pointing at several bite marks, “those look like the same marks like the ones on the bodies.”
“So the implication is that this animal behaves like a Komodo Dragon. Let’s see if I can get some of this venom,” Daena trailed as she began to coerce some blood into a bag.
As the two tried to help the deer, a creature hissed in annoyance, seemingly thinking “My kill… two-leg things bad…”.
“Did you hear that?!” Leo shot, jumping up and looking around.
“Then we gotta get back to the plane. I need to create an antivenom for the deer. I’ll leave a marker here for the others.”
Leo had to agree, and soon the two left the forest, back to the boat, and back to the plane.
Meanwhile, we cut back to the other team, who have rented an offroad car to enter the forest.
“There there, and- oh screw it!” Jack began, shouting at the map, “Just go in the woods.”
“No, follow this marker,” Xavier informed, showing them his tablet which tracked the marker the doctor had placed.
“What is that?” Stacy inquired.
Sukie gave her a handbook and pointed at a section about markers and tracking devices.
When they were a short distance away from the marker, the four disembarked, careful not to scare anything.
“Wait, I sense danger,” Xavier whispered, “Sukie, send up a drone!”
Sukie rolled her eyes but sent up a drone from her backpack. The four were looking at the drone footage now. The drone went closer and closer until-
“-What is that?!” Jack gasped.
On-screen, the heroes saw four peculiar animals eating the deer, who was still alive. The creatures looked as if a mad scientist mixed lizards with dogs. Some teeth of the creature poked out were saber shaped, like the saber-teeth of a Smilodon. The size of these creatures was quite small, as they guessed it to reach up to just above a human’s knees.
“What the hell is that?” Xavier murmured.
“Therocephilians,” Stacy informed, “the first mammals to use venom- and similar to the gorgonopsids which were the first saber-tooths. Due to the small size, I believe these are Euchambersia.”
“Mammals?!” Jack blurted, “Those look like fur-covered lizards!”
“Ready your TSC pistols,” Xavier ordered, “we’ll be bringing them back to the plane.”
Unknown to them, the medical examiner’s kid happened to see them and decided to follow them into the forest.
The beasts snapped at each other as they ripped bits of flesh from the dying deer. If you looked at them hard enough, the creatures looked cute, but that didn’t matter to our four. Now close, they saw that the creatures were a soft brown with dark brown dots in a specific pattern.
“Be careful,” Stacy cautioned, “ready?”
“Now!” Xavier commanded.
The four leaped out of the trees, surprising the Euchambersias, who barked at them. Jack shot at one, missing a few times but eventually hitting it. The other creatures began to run away. Stacy and Xavier chose the same target, and they tranquilized the second. Sukie, who was apparently an expert markswoman, defeated the third.
“Hey!” the kid interjected, surprising everyone, causing them to miss the fourth Euchambersia. “Stop killing these animals!”
The small creature was dangerously close to the kid.
“Kid, stay back,” Stacy warned, “we are dealing with this.”
The kid, not understanding, leaped at the creature, taking it into his arms.
“Uh oh,” Jack muttered, pointing the pistol at the two, “now what?!”
“I’m not letting you shoot this animal!”
The Euchambersia barked in stress and swiveled around to face the kid. The Permian monster was in the kid’s arms, giving it a short reach for the neck.
“Throw it down!” Xavier yelled. “Now!”
Before the kid could react, the Euchambersia leaped and bit into flesh, injecting the human’s jugular vein with venom. The kid screamed and fell to the floor, while the animal ran. Sukie ran to track down the killer animal.
“Damn it!” Xavier growled.
Meanwhile, Sukie followed the Euchambersia to a small clearing. Her eyes grew wide as she saw what appeared to be a time portal. But it was different, there were no coils of lightning-like purple. Instead, this was just swirls of wondrous colors, but splashes of blues, purples, greens, and oranges.
The Euchambersia ran into the portal, where it vanished, returning to the past. Sukie followed the creature in.
She stepped through the sphere arriving long in the past. She was on a cliff, and below, she saw giant herbivorous dicynodonts. In a clearing, she saw an animal similar to the Euchambersia, but larger, eating a carcass of the rat-like dicynodonts.
She returned back to the present and informed Xavier of her discoveries with a few simple text messages.
Sukie activated her device to close the portal. The cube scanned the portal, then unleashing some sort of beam upon it. The sphere’s colors danced faster and faster. Little by little, the portal began to shrink. When it was the size of a marble, it gave off a shockwave, before shrinking into oblivion.
The doctor and Leo arrived just three minutes later. But alas, due to the size of the human, it was too late to save the child. The deer, however, would live.
“Poor thing,” muttered Xavier.
“Oh well… what now?” Jack inquired.
“Leave the body here. We won’t have anything to do with this anymore.”
And so that was that, and our heroes returned to the plane with a heavy heart. Today, someone- a child, had died that they could have prevented.
“Guys!” Maizie cheered, greeting the team back on the plane. “You’re back!”
“What happened?” Kitten asked. “Why the look on your faces?”
“Nothing, nothing,” Daena responded, “don’t worry about it.”
For in this line of work, not everyone can be saved. But with this death, came a revelation- naturally occurring time portals were stable, as opposed to the man-made ones that shot out tentacles of purple.