The Monster Zoo DODO
By Joann Sears
Copywriite (c) Monster Zoo Enterprizes
Date 12 May 2020
Be Warned This Story is Steam punk.
The Monster Zoo is a large animal preserve. It is home to dozens of endangered species. Not just conventional ones, like Tigers or Whales. But also those strange mythical beasts that everyone's heard of. But few have seen. Dragons and Unicorns live side by side with horses and crocodiles. Giant Saber Toothed Cats sunbathe alongside their smaller cousins. Mammoths and Elephants brush trunks and shoulders.
The Zoo is owned and run By Director Rackton. A brilliant scientist, who has discovered a way to create a Bubble Universe concurrent to our own Timeline. It is within this bubble, that he has created his animal haven. No poacher or unscrupulous hunter can ever enter it. The zoo has but one entrance. Which can only be opened by using an Entropic Displacement Chronometer. Also known as a Portable Portal Generator. Rackton is ably assisted by a team of hand picked specialists. Not least of which is the Renowned Crypto-Zoologist
Frank was in his office planning his next adventure. The engineering division had invented a new way to use the portal. Now not only could they travel in space and through dimemsions they could also travel back in time.
"I plan to go back to the early 1600s to save a famous extinct bird," Frank said to the woman standing in his office - Sarah was the Zoo's Avian Expert. She leaned forward as Frank pulled up a picture of stubby legged flightless bird with a fat beak on his computer. "
Its an odd looking creature that lived on Mauritius island." Frank added looking at the picture on his screen. "We're not completely sure that is how it looked. Its an artist impression drawn by one of the original settlers." Sarah frowned.
"I thought there were fossil remains?"
"Not exactly. Some bones were retained but a lot of the skeletons in museums are actually fakes made by the Victorians all based on the few drawings made in the early 1600s."
"I understand they were flightless?" Sarah said. "Much like modern day ostriches and emus?"
"Yes having no natural predators there was no reason for flight. But! when human settlers came they were hunted and killed. By 1681 they had become extinct." Frank shook his head sadly "But now we have the new adaptation to the portal I plan to travel back to before human's landed on the island and try to rescue a flock of them from extinction." Frank said as he packed his stuff and headed to the portal to tell Pete and Liam. "So your going to do jump back then?" Liam looked dubiously at the new gateway.
"That's right mate, see you later" Frank said as he Pete and their crew walked through the portal. "Have fun," The head of engineering said. He had come down to supervise the first try out of the new Time Portal
"Wow!" Sarah said as she looked upon a beautiful forest. This was in fact her first capture trip
"Well I'll go and start searching for some dodos while you guys set up camp" Frank said as he walked into the mysterious forest
"Ok, see you later Frank," Pete waved then turned to start setting up a small but secure base camp
"Look up there" Frank said to Sarah pointing up at a flock of pink pigeons flying overhead. "That species used to be critically endangered but are now back their on feet in the 21st century" Frank said as he continued searching for a flock of dodos. A few hours later…..
"Well still no sign of any dodos I reckon they must be on the other side of the island, well we should start heading back to the the camp site and go there in the morning" Frank said he watched the sun turn red dip into the sea
Frank woke early he wanted to get a headstart on the day and find his quarry quickly Something in th eair disquieted him. He couldn't say what but he knew they were very close to the time the first humans were due to arrive on the islands Both he and Pete were anxious to prevent any corruption of the time line. They set of driving their treviks in single file just as the sun rose and reached the other side of the island an hour later and began to scout around. It wasn't long before they began to see tracks and animla prints. Frank knelt down and peered closely at a good potential. "Well they look like duck prints but I think I've found may have finally found them." Frank said as he pointed to the trail of webbed bird footprints in the dirt. Sarah crouched and peered closely at the tracks. "They don't seem very old and look over there fresh guano." She said pointing to a glob of white poop with seeds "This shows they ate fruit as we always suspected." Sarah smiled as she followed the trail she had to skip a bit to keep up with the season tracker. Frank was setting quite a pace but eventually the tracks led out onto a hill overlooking a wide lush valley
"Oh my aren't they just perfect," Frank breathed as he looked upon a flock of dodos and their nesting grounds "There must be over 50 of them"
"They're smaller than I thought they'd be,"Sarah remarked "From the picture I expected them to be bigger like the Ostrich but in fact they look more akin to Kiwis." Frank nodded "Yes they ae a lot smaller than the reports imply. But finally after that long walk we've found them. I'm going to call the crew so we can round them up."
The main crew arrived thirty two minutes later loaded down with capture cages."Ok guys we have just the right amount of carriers so let catch them for park" Frank said as they approached the flock
"Be careful they can bite with their beaks" Sarah warned as they were placing the traps down. It took a while but they succeeded in collecting the entire flock without even a single mishap. Well apart from Frank's shoes. One bird had pooped on them as it waddled to avail itself of a new food source.
"I think thats all of them" A junior capture agent said wiping the sweat from his brow. The dodo's had in fact been incredibly compliant - the fruit bait worked a treat. The stubby waddling birds had virtually ran into the cages to snaffle the delicious treats. An hour later all the carriers were load onto a truck for transport back to the zoo. Frank acitivated the go forward mode on the portal and the crew drove through the temporary gateway
Back at the Park
"Cool! You rescued a whole flock." Mitch and David peered eagerly at the newly acquired birds now happily exploring around a lakeside habitat that had been especially made for them.
"Sure did mate" Frank said grinning proudly, then to the head of habitat design added "Their enclosure looks perfect. A great job Bob, The peach trees are a nice touch to get the new boys settled in quickly."
"Thanks! But it didn't take to long for them to adjust, just look at them sleeping fed and content." Bob pointed at the dodos most were asleep in the shade." Frank gave a satisfied sigh. The capture had been easy but now the long lost Dodos were back and safe for all time.