They had very little warning when the anomaly reopened several miles south of the town. The small herd of dinosaurs took all of them by surprise but it didn't take long before they figured out why the Parasaurolophus had stampeded. Chris yelled out a warning as an Edmontosaurus came through the anomaly, chasing the herd from some point in the Late Cretaceous period into the present. It was too late to order JD to shut it down as all of Team 7 turned their attention on the large predator. It took a number of stun shots before the carnivore began to stumble and eventually fall down.
Chris approached very carefully, aware from the reports on the tragic killing of Evan Cross's wife that this particular dinosaur was deadly. It was breathing heavily, its reptilian looking eyes looked glassy and slowly closed as it fell unconscious. Even from a safe distance Chris could smell its fetid breath and see the shredded flesh caught between its teeth from where it must have taken a bite out of something, probably a Parasaurolophus that had managed to escape somehow. At least he hoped it was some other dinosaur but the report from the Canadians and the Brits talked of a spaghetti junction of anomalies leading to all different time zones.
"We need to round up the rest before they're spotted."
Buck, Nathan, and Josiah were already giving chase while Vin picked off some of the stragglers using a high-powered tranquilizer rifle. Fortunately the small herd of around fifteen Parasaurolophus had stampeded away from the small town and no doubt the government would provide a suitable cover-up story while they transported these animals back through the anomaly to where they belonged. While Chris waited for the specialist transportation crews to arrive he and Vin decided to do a little recon through the anomaly. Stepping through, Chris heard Vin whistle low as they found themselves in a large clearing with literally dozens of anomalies spread all around them. It wasn't hard to work out where the herd had come from as the ground had been churned up beneath them, leading Chris and Vin to another anomaly not quite opposite but Chris was already convinced dinosaurs reacted like a flock of birds when evading a predator. They needed to be certain so they stepped through onto a grassy plain that stretched to the horizon. Off to one side Chris could see remnants of the herd that must have scattered when the Edmontosaurus attacked. They headed back into the spaghetti junction.
"How long have we got?" Vin asked.
Chris checked the Cross-Kanan anomaly detector device noting the decay rate of the harmonics around them. He shook his head, expression grim. With so many open anomalies it made it a almost impossible to figure out so he could only hope they had enough time. He glanced over as the first of the trucks came through with its heavy load and pointed to the anomaly ahead of them. At least they had used good sense and transported the Edmontosaurus first because no one wanted that to remain on their side of the timeline should the anomalies close down before they were finished transporting all the dinosaurs.
"We'd best head back. We can't afford to be caught this side of the anomaly if it shuts down."
For once luck seemed to be on their side as the last of the Parasaurolophus was taken through and the truck returned from the Late Cretaceous anomaly to the Spaghetti junction but it stalled as it tried to move up the slope back to their own timeline, one wheel spinning uselessly in the churned up ground from first the stampeding dinosaurs and then the dozen trucks carrying stunned animals. Chris couldn't even guess what time zone they were in right now but he figured leaving a huge truck behind might not be a great idea. It was too big and heavy to push so he joined Vin in stripping down lots of thick, palm like leaves and branches from nearby trees, laying them beneath the spinning tire in the hope it might grip.
It worked, and the truck sped through suddenly just as Chris noticed the anomalies around them shutting down.
"Run!" he yelled, and they dove through the anomaly leading home just as began to close, rolling as they fetched up against the truck they'd just rescued.
Chris stood up and shook some of the mud from his dark uniform before looking up and freezing.
The grazing land south of the town had disappeared, replaced by arable farmland, and though the other members of Chris's team were right where he left them Chris noticed the small changes in their uniform badges. Something had changed.
"Captain Larabee, I'm glad you made it back... but who's that with you?"
Chris glanced across at Vin, quietly glad his best friend had been beside him on the other side if he didn't exist here.