Suddenly, we were in a field. One second, we were in Freyja’s palace in the distant future and in the next we were…where were we? A better question may be when were we? I looked around. I could see the edge of a jungle about twenty feet away. This could be our present, though the air smelled different. I had been in many jungles before, but I didn’t recognize this one. I turned to my companions. We were all here. That was something at least. Not Tilly, of course, but Myself, Doc, Jamal, and about a quarter of ALAN’s new body.
“Where are we?” Doc asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe ALAN can figure it out. If there are any satellites…”
Doc stood over ALAN’s unmoving body. “I don’t think he’s going to be much help any time soon.” It was clearly heavily damage, though I couldn’t tell how much of it if any had been done by the temporal portal.
Then we heard a loud roar from inside the jungle followed by thunderous footsteps. I considered running, but I was still breathing hard from our raid and subsequent confrontation with Freyja. Besides, I was reluctant to leave ALAN’s body behind. As the head poked out of the forest, my reluctance vanished. This creature was unlikely to cause ALAN harm, but it certainly looked ready to do harm to the rest of us. I’m no paleontologist, but it looked like we were about to be eaten by a T-rex. Well, at least we now knew when we were.
The thought of running returned to me. It seemed a pretty good option at the moment. Jamal apparently had been thinking about running, too, but whereas I wanted to run away from the large flesh eating dinosaur, he chose to run toward it.
“Jamal! What are you doing?” Jennifer called after him, but Jamal wasn’t listening to her. He wasn’t listening to anyone. There were no thoughts in his head, only anger. We had lost Mathilda again and we seemed in worse shape than we were before. How we could we save her? It seemed unlikely. Jamal must’ve realized that and all he wanted to do was to punch something. If Freyja wasn’t available, the T-rex would have to do.
I tried to stop him from charging the dinosaur, but the body I was in just couldn’t keep up and I had no where near the stamina. It was embarrassing and infuriating. “ALAN!” I screamed, but the robot didn’t move. I hoped maybe he would be able to activate himself if he heard my cry, but that was not going to happen. All that left was Jennifer and I couldn’t put her in that kind of danger. I wouldn’t dare. Fortunately, her own instincts didn’t compel her to action. Instead, she just screamed at Jamal, hoping she could get through to him.
But Jamal wouldn’t listen and the tyrannosaurus wasn’t even slightly put off by a charging orange-haired primate. The creature led with its jaws, but miraculously Jamal was able to avoid them. He went for the dinosaur’s leg, punching and biting it. The T-Rex, more annoyed than injured, kicked him off. Jamal landed several feet away, hitting the ground hard. The dinosaur reached down for the prone body with its jaws. Jennifer shrieked, causing the creature to look up, Jamal’s body hanging from its mouth.
I took a step forward and kicked something. Glancing down, I saw the pistol I had been given by the Retched Refuse. Somehow it had come along with us. No time to think about that, I picked up the gun and fired. The T-Rex crashed to the ground, Jamal’s body rolled free from the dinosaur’s mouth.
We rushed towards Jamal’s body. We didn’t dare wait to make sure the dinosaur was really dead. Our friend was either dead or dying. Jennifer reached him first. I huffed and puffed to catch up. She knelt beside him and began checking his vitals, starting with his pulse. “He’s still alive! But he’s hurt bad.”
I nodded with great relief. “Maybe we should move him,” I suggested as we were standing inches away from the dinosaurs open mouth. It was a pretty terrifying sight. “What if it wakes up?”
Jennifer stared into the gaping maw of the lifeless dinosaur. “I think it’s dead.”
I wasn’t about to argue with her about it. “How about when the other predators smell the carcass?”
Jen looked into the dark jungle. “Maybe we should move him.”
I tore a piece of metal off of the Jotun body to use as a gurney and we carefully moved Jamal to the relative safety of ALAN’s unmoving body. He was large enough to provide a makeshift shelter. “This is not good,” Jennifer said after examining Jamal closely. “His spine is severed, several organs have been torn to shreds. Even if he were in a human body in a real hospital we’d be in serious trouble, but an orangutan body? Here?” Jennifer shook her head.
I couldn’t accept that. I wasn’t about to give up on my friend. I hadn’t before and I wasn’t about to now. I knew another solution. “You can’t fix his body? Fine. That just means we need to get him a new one.”
“What? Are you insane? You expect me to perform a brain transplant out here? There are no tools, no equipment! I don’t even have a scalpel!”
“ALAN can supply you with equipment. His body is made of future tech. If he reactivates he’ll be able to create the equipment by himself.”
“Ok. Fine. Let’s assume that ALAN reboots and is able to provide the proper equipment, there’s still a major problem with your idea.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
Jennifer grabbed a handful of my shirt and yelled, “I’ve never performed brain transplant surgery before!”