Detective Givens brought research biologist Leigh Vereen with him to the scene. One look in the shattered doorway made him regret asking her along. The petite blond noted his anxiety. “What?” she said.
“It’s a bloody mess in there, and do mean bloody.”
Leigh rolled her eyes. “I’ve seen blood before, Detective. Look, if Beringer stole the Regression Field Generator, I need to recover it. Bloodstains be damned.”
Minutes later, after Givens lost his lunch and Vereen remained unaffected, they found the Generator. “Yep, that’s it,” said Leigh, absently wiping away some blood from the control console.
“What was Beringer thinking?” groaned Givens. Parts of the man were scattered around the room. Most of him had been eaten.
“Oh, we knew about him at the Research Institute. He’s another of those non-scientists who think they know more about science than scientists.”
Givens gave a quizzical look.
“You know, zealots (woo-woos) who try to discredit climate scientists on issues of climate science. Givens believed the world is 6,000 years old. He felt the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs was blasphemy. He wanted to prove Science wrong.”
“So how does the Repression gizmo figure in this?”
“Regression Field Generator. It can locate an animal’s genes used from a specific time, turn back on those genetic switches, and rebuild the creature with the changes. We were seeing what animals evolved from millions of years before. We haven’t released our findings yet. We were finalizing our rather lengthy paper. Givens took the delay as proof we were lying. Apparently, he stole the machine to get his own, definitive proof.”
“Proof of what?”
Leigh browsed through Givens’ log. She held up a photo of a shorebird. “Seems he ran the machine on a Variable Oystercatcher and dialed the machine back eighty-million years. According to his log, he expected the bird to remain the same. That’s why he thought his test was safe. He claims modern animals are superior to dinosaurs and that’s why modern animals are still here.”
Givens sighed. “Cripes! The man got it all wrong. That Oystercatcher became a real dinosaur and far deadlier than modern birds.”
Leigh shrugged. “He was right on one count. Modern birds are superior at flying.” She gestured at the blood-soaked room. “Unfortunately for him, prehistoric dinosaurs are superior at dismembering!”
Written for Matthew Wright’s Mega Short-Story flash fiction challenge. Look here for the original post: https://mjwrightnz.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/this-weeks-short-story-challenge-10/