| "Hatching Season" |
Time-Travel Set in OTL
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
Paula Shaffer was a paleontology student who traveled back to Cretaceous-era North America to do a field study of hadrosaur. She was fortunate that her time-probe had delivered her to the Montana-region during the hadrosaur hatching season.
While observing the hatching, Paula inadvertently imprinted herself on a newly hatched hadrosaur. The hatchling was convinced Paula was its mother, a belief Paula experimentally reinforced by feeding it. Shortly after the hadrosaur's birth, the herd was attacked by a gorgosaur. Seeing no other choice, Paula grabbed her infant and ran with the stampeding duckbills. When another gorgosaur arrived to challenge the first, the immediate threat was eliminated, but the herd had not yet stopped running. When Paula tried to drop out of the stampede, she was knocked into a tree by a random hadrosaur tail and left unconscious.
Waking a few hours later, Paula was a mass of broken ribs and bruises. Her infant hadrosaur was unharmed. Impatient to find her way back to her camp, she attempted to find her way back following the broken foliage and the stars (her compass had been smashed). Instead, she simply got even more lost. When she arrived at a river, it occurred to her that the infant hadrosaur might instinctively return to the nesting ground. Setting it down, Paula hid. The infant, slightly confused, indeed soon led Paula back home. Paula returned it to its nest, and prepared to return her home timeline.