Dream 28th May, 1990

All I've done is tidy up the narrative and give the dinosaurs their names - in the dream the names were clicking sounds rather than words. The creatures in the dream were sentient dinosaurs, what dinosaurs might have evolved into if their evolution had not been interrupted by the great extinction. Several years later, I managed to convince a gullible colleague that proto-humans had been genetically engineered as slaves by advanced dinosaurs and that all trace of advanced dinosaur civilisation had been lost or dismantled!

CurrTok raised one delicate forelimb to scratch the base of his frill; something had bitten him on the delicate skin just at the base of his bony frill and it itched. He cleared the dust from his slit-pupilled eyes with a membrane and settled back on his haunches to wait for his clutch-sister and mate, DiffTok, to return to the sandstone ridge. DiffTok - how her blue-green-rust mottlings raised his frill! She was eggling and clutch-sister and now mate to the waiting Encephalosaurus and it was she who had bio-engineered the strange filament-pelted creatures to provide food on the long migration.

CurrTok whistled in impatience and moved his weight onto the thick tail that helped him balance when in an upright stance. DiffTok was late and it was the last night of migration; after this dayfail there would be no more Encephalosaurs on primeval earth. Somewhere, far off, a Brachiosaur bull grunted sonorously and its mate bellowed an answer. The Brachiosaur cows had raised few calves this season and the Encephalosaur knew why - the climate had changed and the swamps were drying as the earth began to heat up. The change was imperceptible but cumulative; their records, already packed safely for the migration, chronicled the slow drying through several lifetimes. The Brachiosaurs raised fewer young and the starving carnivores raided 'Ceph cities. Soon all the 'Cephs would be gone and all trace of the sandstone cities and silico-carbon-based technology would have been dismantled or eroded. CurrTok cocked his frilled head, it was as it should be, no trace would remain.

DiffTok sprinted up to meet him on his watching ledge; she held a woven cage containing the precious warm-bloods she had bio-engineered. The creatures were small, about the size of Curr-Tok's skull minus its bony frill, but they bred fast and bore live young like the late hadrosaur tribes. The migration vessels carried enough silage pellets to feed the small creatures and their offspring which would convert vegetable protein to animal protein usable by CurrTok's people and to provide a breeding stock in their new habitat should the indigenous life prove unsuitable for consumption. The ships carried sufficient dried Brach' to ensure that they would not be reduced to eating their breeding stock. DiffTok and her fellow bio-engineers could readily adapt the warmbloods to suit a new environment, enlarging them, improving protein yield, even endowing them with a basic intelligence sufficient for them to be trained to perform small, useful tasks. CurrTok clucked his throat pouch thoughtfully they would survive, thanks to the diligence of DiffTok and her colleagues. DiffTok herself seemed more agitated, her rudimentary throat pouch - for only males possessed such courting dress - was blanched to dun and the mottlings of her frill were subdued.

"What is wrong, beloved clutch-sister? Do you now feel, as I did earlier, the strangeness of leaving the nest?" CurrTok asked gently, "ThellZub likened it to the feeling of leaving the brood for the first time and knowing that he could no longer rely on parental care for his survival."

"It is not that dear Curr'. I lost a whole damn cage of the things" his mate whistled, her small throat pouch vibrating, "the new palms are not nearly ligneous enough to withstand their chewing. There was simply no metal to spare for pens at the breeding centre."

"We have enough to supply our needs and CharZub has plenty in the pens of his vessel. We will endure," sighed CurrTok tenderly rubbing his mate's knobby frill.

"What of the escaped creatures?" DiffTok demanded, "Is it right to leave a genetically engineered species to breed uncontrolled on this planet?"

"Good luck to them if they survive!" CurrTok grunted irritably, shifting his weight again and scratching the irritating spot beneath his own bony frill, "If they make it through the drying out they deserve to inherit the damn place."

DiffTok chirped a conciliatory note, "We foresaw the meteor storm in time dear Curr', the other ships have left and it is time for us to go too." She hefted the woven cage of chittering furry-bodied warmbloods and blinked her third eyelid, "Lead on dear mate, your frill is rising and we have not time for egg sitting!"

"Such a pity," DiffTok murmured as her mate turned toward where the ship waited, "this world was such a beautiful place. Soon it will be uninhabitable for us. I sometimes wonder if there was anything we could have done to prevent it?"

The two Encephalosaurs ascended the sandstone ridge to the vast metal ship wherein their tribe waited. Soon they would rise into the heavens to find landfall on a suitable world. No remnant of 'Ceph civilization would remain.

Behind them they left a chittering group of furry, viviparous, fast-breeding warm-blooded creatures and a world ripe for the taking.


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