Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to Impossible Pictures™.
Normally, Sarah Page, while not exactly an embodiment of dignity and grace, was still a very even-tempered woman, able even to handle the interactions of Abby and Connor when the two of them would have another argument that got carried away. Now, however, she was anything but that, her eyes bulging from their sockets and her fingers curved into claws.
“Yes, Sarah?” Becka Page, Sarah’s identical twin sister (and for the moment ARC’s PR re-placement for Jenny Lewis) looked at Sarah in concern. “What’s wrong?”
“You’ve replaced our toilet!” Sarah spat out, drops of spit and foam flying out of her mouth. “You’ve replaced our toilet and you didn’t tell me!!”
Sarah snarled, and Abby Maitland, even though she would rather not have gotten involved, stepped in. “Sarah, calm down. It is just a toilet bowl-“
Sarah whirled around, looming over the shorter woman and began to harangue Abby loudly and at length. Though at least three quarters of words that she used were either French or Arabic, there was still enough English even for Abby to understand that if the puny blonde does not return from wherever she came just now, Sarah was going to flush her down the drains personally, and as for Becka, that spavined troglodyte from Ganges’ mud and slime-
“Sarah, that’s enough!” Danny Quinn grabbed the uncontrollable Page sister by an arm. “You’re over the line!”
“Over the line?” Sarah turned to face the field team’s leader with eyes black with rage. “I’m out of line? While we were away, Becka, that, that – she had my toilet replaced with some sort of a fancy-ass newest model that is twice as small, twice as weak, and whose plunger has to be used twice – once to actually fill the bloody bidet with water and the second time to release it!”
“Yes, it’s terrible,” Danny carefully replied, aware that Sarah now grabbed him as well and that her grip was really painful at the moment. “Really terrible.”
“And she even left me a note, claiming that it was a newer, more aesthetically pleasing model. Who cares if it is aesthetical or not? It is a toilet, we crap in there! My old toilet may have been more than 20 years out of date, but it was large, it was solid, it was reliable, and it worked!” Sarah yelled hoarsely into Danny’s face, her face swarthy with blood. “And it’s gone, and it is never coming back, and all that is left is its wooden lid! Wah!” and she promptly broke down into tears, sobbing brokenly into Danny’s chest.
There was a tense, uncomfortable silence that no one wanted to break, or even knew how to. “Well, at least it cannot get any worse, can it?” Connor Temple finally said weakly from his observation point, as Abby chose to hide behind him for the moment.
The loud cry of a time anomaly alarm proved him wrong. “You going?” Becker asked Danny.
“No,” the other man curtly. “I’m taking Sarah to the medical wing for a soporific or something.”
And that was that.///
“Ok, is the universe is out to get us, or something?” Connor loudly asked Becker about twenty minutes later, when they have finally arrived at the time anomaly site. “Because this is just adding injury to insult or something!”
The reason behind Connor’s exclamation lay in the fact that the ARC field team has returned to the site of a previous time anomaly – it was located in a parking space and led somewhere (somewhen?) in the late Jurassic time period, as evidenced by the spikier cousin of the better-known American stegosaurus as the latter once more trotted through the cars, banging them around with its spiky tail, just as it did the last time when the ARC field team has confronted it.
By itself, this incident was bad enough. After Sarah’s monster tantrum earlier today, it was just wrong.
“And we cannot even get Becka to call robosaurus to drive it back into the time anomaly,” Connor continued to talk. Abby tried to glare him back into silence, but she herself had not yet recovered from Sarah’s talking down, so her glare had no power behind it, and Connor continued to talk:
“Well, technically, we can, but this would hit us with a bill so monstrous, that we would be literally bankrupt – and then Lester would kill us for bankrupting the ARC and that would be even worse... Becker, are you listening to me?”
“No,” Becker curtly told the other man as he turned to his own underlings. “Get out the flame-throwers!”
There was a pause as Connor was stunned into silence and Becker with his people equipped themselves with the aforementioned flamethrowers. Finally Abby found a spark of her usual self to confront the chief of the ARC’s security with “And just what do you think you’re doing?”
“Ok, here’s the thing,” Becker replied willingly enough – apparently, he wanted to brag for a change. “Last time when we had the robosaurus confront this dinosaur, our boy still wanted to fight it. However, as soon as the robot began to breathe fire and smoke, it just stiffened, and the robot was able to grab it without any fight. Ergo, I figured out that the dinosaurs must be really afraid of fire and smoke, or at least really dislike it – thus, if we use flamethrowers on our next dinosaur, or the same one, really, we should be able to drive them back into the time anomaly... People, fire!”
“No!” Abby yelled, but the flamethrowers already shot their tongues of flame high into the air, releasing thick streams of smoke into the air as well. Becker’s people shot their weapons far enough from the dinosaur proper, but the massive reptile smelled it all the same and froze.
“Great going, Lex Luthor,” Connor muttered dryly, not really thinking as to why the dinosaur was acting this way to begin with. “We might end up loaning a truck to drive the dinosaur back to the late Jurassic instead-“
“Try it closer, but still keep your distance,” Becker yelled to his people, and then turned to Connor. “So do you or Abby have a better idea? The tranquilizer situation last week was not your fault, I admit: just some registry glitches, but still...”
“Really? Not my fault! Yay!” Connor said brightly just before Abby grabbed him by a sleeve and hissed:
“Connor, this is beside the point!”
Abby did not finish, as a very loud snarl came from out of the time anomaly, followed by a very big dinosaur. It was twice as long as the stegosaur and several times taller. And as it moved through the parking lot, it was evident that fire and smoke were not bothering it that much at all, either.
Abby grabbed Becker by the sleeve. “Becker, do something!”
The latter gave Abby a look that made Connor grab Abby instead. “You sure that that’s a good idea?” the computer specialist asked the blonde.
“No,” Abby honestly replied, as Becker grabbed one of the flamethrowers (still partially full) and threw it into the air – before firing a shot.
With a real bullet, too, not a tranquilizer dart. The result explosion was not just loud, but also much fierier than the previously emitted tongues of flames.
And also more lethal. Apparently, the resulting shrapnel was enough to lay low even a meat-eating titan (maybe smaller than a giganotosaurus, but still very large), as it span around, now bleeding profusely, and collapsed, clearly dead.
“Captain,” Becka Page said slowly. “What have you done?”
Before Becker could reply, the time anomaly closed, leaving behind both the dead dinosaur and the living one.
Connor glared at Becker. “Lester won’t be happy with this,” he said flatly.
Becker stared back. “You want non-lethal solutions? Ask Quinn,” he paused and looked at Abby. “And by the way, what are we going to do with your new spiky friend?”
Abby paused and looked at the spiny plant-eater, who still was covering in fear (even though it was roughly five meters long and armed with spikes that could shear through a human as if the latter was a roll of toilet paper).
“I don’t know,” she honestly replied.TBC