Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me, they belong to ITV1. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time. The idea of the story as well as the story itself – including all possible pre- or sequels published afterwards – are mine.
Summary: Part 2/? of the ‘Lost in time’-series. This was a dream, it had to be. This wasn’t supposed to happen, not here, not to her, not like this. Yet, here she was, trapped in the Early Jurassic, surrounded by dinosaurs considering her as nothing but food.Warnings: once again not beta-read
Jess jerked at the sound of the Brachiosaurus herd passing the tree she was sleeping on. It felt like years since she’d been trapped here, but she wasn’t even sure it was days. Time seemed to run at a different pace here.
At first, she had tried to cut lines into the tree for each day she was trapped here. But she’d given it up eventually. The bark of the tree was too thick, and cutting something into it was too much effort. Besides, she was never sure if it really was just one more day she had spent here. In the end, it didn’t matter, anyway.
She had managed to free herself from the Sinosaurus after it had pulled her through the anomaly. When it had pulled her to his era, it had let go of her for a moment to aim for her neck in an attempt to kill its prey. She had kicked it then, no longer aiming blindly.
It had howled and stumbled backwards, and she had used the chance to get away, climbing the next tree she could find, searching shelter there. It wasn’t like she didn’t know anything about dinosaurs. She’d learned a lot from Abby since they were working and living together.
The Sinosaurus had stayed overnight, circling around the tree, waiting for its prey to come down. But she hadn’t had any intention leaving the tree. The bite on her ankle had been only shallow, but it had still hurt pretty much, making it impossible for her to run as fast as she could have run with a healthy ankle if necessary.
She’d stayed on the tree until the hunger had become unbearable. Only then had she dared leaving her shelter in search for some food. The pickings had been miserable, mostly leaves she decided to try because they looked similar to gingko leaves, but it had been enough to keep her alive.
Letting her eyes wander into the distance, Jess wondered if anyone would ever come to her rescue. Becker surely wouldn’t. It was his rule that no one was allowed to go through an anomaly – not even to save someone else. He wouldn’t ignore the rule. And even if he thought about it, Lester surely wouldn’t let him.
They would abandon her. They had to. They certainly assumed she was dead by now. Jess herself would never have guessed that she was capable of surviving in such surroundings.
Was it even possible to locate where exactly she was? Or when, actually? Connor had integrated the device determining the time an anomaly led to into the main computers of the ADD. When an anomaly opened somewhere, the data of the exact place and time it lead to was saved in the ADD. They always used it for the mission reports. So they certainly had the necessary data to reopen the anomaly.
But was it possible to reopen an anomaly leading to an exact period in the past? She knew that Helen Cutter had used a device being capable of that. But the device was long since lost in the Late Cretaceous. Was there a way Connor could do the same?
Sighing, she felt her stomach rumble. She’d learned pretty soon that she could trust the herbivores with detecting the carnivores, at least the bigger ones. When the herd started to get nervous, Jess started to run to climb the next tree available.
The smaller carnivores didn’t attack the large herbivores. They were probably basically scavengers. As long as Jess stayed close to the Brachiosaurus herd, she was safe most of the time – if the huge herbivores didn’t trample her.
So far she had mostly lived on gingko leaves. There were mostly ferns, palms and conifers growing here, except for a few mammoth trees like the one she was living on now. She wasn’t sure their leaves were toxic, but they were too hard for her to eat them anyway.
The ferns she didn’t try, knowing that most ferns in the twenty-first century were toxic, she didn’t dare taking the risk. The gingko leaves had to be enough.
She’d never thought she would have to try and survive in a prehistoric era. How had Abby and Connor managed to survive this for a whole year? Well, at least they hadn’t been alone. The worst part about all this was being alone.
Jess had given up crying by now. It was useless.
The first few days she had cried whenever she’d heard an unfamiliar sound. Now she could determine if the sounds she heard came from herbivores or one of the carnivores, and she could even tell how close the creature making the sound was.
She’d cried over the fact that she was trapped here in the Early Jurassic all by herself, surrounded by dinosaurs considering her as nothing but food. But then she’d decided that she needed to stay alive. And she’d soon found out that the Brachiosauruses could be a pretty pleasant company as well.
Scanning the area for possible predators, Jess got down from her tree to collect as much food as possible. She used her jacket as a bag so that she didn’t have to leave the safety of her tree for too long.
She hissed and clenched her teeth when she jumped to the ground. Her ankle still hurt. The bite refused to heal properly. If it was infected, she knew she wouldn’t survive here much longer. But she had learned to ignore the pain and fully use her leg nonetheless.
Maybe it had been safer to trek with one of the herds. But she refused to give up hope that someday someone would reopen the anomaly to save her. Hope was the only thing that kept her alive. If she gave up hope, she could as well surrender herself to the next carnivore crossing her way.
Even if it wasn’t an anomaly leading back to her time, it was still possible that another anomaly opened. An anomaly leading to another time, a better time than this. A time where there were at least other human beings. Anomalies opened all the time, after all, didn’t they?
So she stayed where she was. Close to where she’d been pulled through the anomaly days, or weeks, or who knew how long ago. She collected as much food as possible when a herd of Brachiosauruses or Diplodocuses was close by, and stayed out of sight when there were no herbivores keeping the small predators away.
She didn’t dare approaching a herd of Stegosauruses. Even though she knew that they were herbivores, their horns and spikes were too dangerous. If she couldn’t duck their tails, she’d be riddled.
The large carnivores usually didn’t care about her when there was a larger dinosaur separated from its herd they were aiming for. But sometimes Jess was lucky and the carnivores left some of their prey behind.
In the past she would have found it disgusting to eat raw meat from an animal she had found dead. But now she considered herself lucky to have a little meat in addition to the gingko leaves.
She dried the meat. It was less disgusting, and longer-lasting, especially in the hot and dry climate. Cooking the meat was impossible. Not that she didn’t think she could make a fire. But she feared that if she started a fire, it might get out of control before she was able to put it out. The subsoil was very dry. A fire would spread in the blink of an eye – and even if she survived something like that, staying here would be impossible afterwards.
She managed to collect a pretty good amount of gingko leaves at once. This day, she went collecting three times. That would do for a good while, if she was frugal. She only ate enough to survive, never sure when she could eat again. Like a squirrel she stashed her provisions in little knotholes in the tree.
Jess had always loved eating. She had been sure she would never be able to do without three meals a day, especially not without a hot meal. But she was. If the times made it necessary, she was capable of a lot of things. She’d even managed to escape some of the smaller predators at least three times by now. They weren’t always avoiding the herds, so she’d run into some of them.
By now she possessed a stick with a broken off end she used to stab them, and a short and pretty heavy branch she could use as a bat if necessary. At first she’d wondered how soldiers were able to carry their weapons around like women carried their purses. But she found herself getting stronger every day – and less frightened.
She was sure she had seen whatever creature was to be seen in this era. She was able to determine by the sound of cracking sticks how tall the dinosaur was that was hiding in the thicket. The smaller ones made littler noise than the big ones.
She wasn’t sure what was worst, the fear of ending up as dinosaur snack, loosing the sense of time, the loneliness or the silence. There was no human being to talk to. She hadn’t heard a single word in what seemed like ages.
So she sometimes talked to herself, or to the herd, or to the universe. She wasn’t sure. Just to avoid forgetting how to speak or forgetting her mother tongue if she didn’t use it anymore – and to make her mind believe that it wasn’t all that lonely here.
There was nothing to do here apart from trying to survive. She spent her days collecting food and trying to avoid being food. Sometimes she climbed other trees, trying to find a better place to hide, a higher tree or a tree with more knotholes.
But she always went back to her tree. For some reason, she considered this tree better than all the others. The other trees weren’t high enough, or too hard to climb, or just too far away from where the anomaly had opened.
She didn’t sleep at night anymore, but mostly at day. Most of the carnivores were nocturnal, so at night it was much more dangerous than at day. At day she was usually only snoozing. A deep and peaceful sleep had become impossible.
Every day she sat on her tree watching the sunset, hoping that she would see the golden shimmering of an open anomaly. Every day the night set and there was nothing but darkness around her.
The first days she’d end up crying almost the whole night through, until she had eventually come to the conclusion that crying didn’t help her. The anomaly didn’t care if she cried her eyes out. Neither did the dinosaurs. She could cry as much as she wanted, it wouldn’t make the universe feel sorry for her and open an anomaly leading back to her time.
They weren’t going to come for her, either. None of them, not Matt, not Emily, not Abby or Connor. Lester wouldn’t let them. Becker wouldn’t let them. It had been hard enough for him to lose Sarah while trying to save Connor and Abby. He wouldn’t let that happen again. There was no way anyone would ever come here to save her.
For the first time, she didn’t cry at the sight of the sunset. She’d settled for never being rescued. She’d settled for staying here for the rest of her life. She hadn’t settled for dying, though. Not yet, anyway.
But she still missed her home. She still couldn’t get used to the thought of never seeing her apartment again, or the ARC. She would never be able to feel comfortable somewhere again, she would never feel the keys of the ADD beneath her fingertips again while she was coordinating missions.
She wondered how long it would be possible for her to do without a deep sleep and without a proper nutrition. The average age during the middle ages had been about forty years. Here in the Early Jurassic it must be even less. She certainly wouldn’t live to celebrate her thirtieth birthday.
Even if she wasn’t killed by a dinosaur, even if she didn’t starve because she couldn’t find enough food anymore, she still wouldn’t grow very old. The constant lack of sleep along with the malnutrition wouldn’t keep her healthy for long. Not to mention the wound on her ankle.
She couldn’t help but wonder what the scientists might say if they found the skeleton of a homo sapiens among the fossils of this era. There hadn’t even been the early forms of human beings in this time. She might become a riddle for science.
Thinking about that, Jess realized that she would never hear a human voice again except for her own. That certainly was the worst thing about all this. She was lonely. There was no other human being, there certainly wouldn’t be for the rest of her life. She would never see anyone smiling at her again. She would never hear anyone calling her name again.
She would never see him again, never hear his voice again. At least she had told him what she’d never dared to say out loud before. But she couldn’t help wondering what his reaction would have been.
Was there even a chance that he shared her feelings? Certainly not. He had never made any attempt to even flirt with her. Okay, he’d brought her chocolate, what had been nice. But he had never actually acted like he was in any way interested in her. He didn’t share her feelings.And even if he did, it didn’t matter anymore. Not when they were several million years apart.