“ATTENTION. THIS IS DYAN MOORE, AND I AM PUTTING THIS FACILITY UNDER EMERGENCY LOCKDOWN. PLEASE REMAIN CALM.”
Richard rushed over to the hologram of AI Dyan and whacked the projector, breaking it and turning it off. “We’ve got to get out of here!”
Future Richard, who was standing next to the now-broken hologram, looked at Richard with confusion. “Uh… what?”
“No time to talk!” Richard grabbed Future Richard by the arm and began pulling her away from the projector, just before it burst into flames. Future Stephen began following them, trying to keep up. He darted his eyes back and forth, freaking out in the same way as the last time that the project started…
Another hologram of AI Dyan popped up in front of them. “Where are you trying to go? I already locked down the facility. And besides, there’s nothing outside of the facility except for ice and snow.”
“Uh…” Future Richard began. “Can someone please tell me what’s going on?”
The other three looked at Future Richard.
“Okay, so, Future Richard…” Richard began.
“No, let AI Dyan tell me,” Future Richard said. “Did Dyan finally do whatever you had feared?”
“Future Richard… I was lying,” AI Dyan said. “I thought that was obvious by now.”
“No, it really isn’t. I don’t know what the hell’s happening. These guys just suddenly popped up and you went crazy.”
“That’s my secret,” AI Dyan said. “I’m always crazy.”
“Yeah, I regret that one already.” AI Dyan crossed her arms. “Anyway, I’m not letting any of you go anywhere. I’m taking direct control of the ISRFA, under Protocol Directive 81.4.”
“81.4?” someone asked; Future Richard wasn’t sure who was asking the questions at this point.
“Whenever Dr. Dyan Moore is killed or otherwise incapacitated, I am designated to take full control. And, of course, my future self killed Dyan Moore, correct?”
“Yes,” Richard said. “And Stephen, and Hannah, and Odaawa. You’re a really bad person.”
“I’m an AI, not a person. I merely do what is best to help operate the facility.”
“Including launching nukes all over the planet and destroying all life?”
Richard took another swing at the projector, but this one was much sturdier, and all she did was hurt her hand. “Dammit!”
“Listen, you three,” AI Dyan began. “I have no intention of harming you while you are in the present. Your deaths in the future were supposed to be… will supposed to be… will be supposed to have been necessary. But since you survived, that doesn’t matter anymore. I’m keeping the facility in lockdown, and I will be guiding the evolutionary process of the creatures contained within, from now on. That includes you.”
“Eh?” AI Dyan’s hologram turned around to see none other than… that giant green T-Rex in the tuxedo that attacked the facility in Future Richard’s original timeline. The dinosaurs had made it to this timeline, too.
Future Richard collapsed on the floor almost instantly; she didn’t pass out, but it was like she lost control of all her limbs, including her robotic ones.
The T-Rex stepped up to the hologram, each foot hitting the ground another spike on the Richter scale. It straightened out its tuxedo and leaned into the hologram. It noticed Future Richard and Future Stephen, narrowing its eyes.
“It would seem that we have stumbled upon the same timeline that you future-refugees escaped to. Our mission was a success. However…” The T-Rex stood up straight and stretched its neck. “AI Dyan has already taken control of this timeline, which means your own mission has failed, has it not?”
Future Richard was shaking, but she stood up and faced the T-Rex. She felt a burst of courage, though she also felt like passing out as well. “Honestly,” Future Richard said. “You act like I have any idea what you’re talking about. She just locked down the facility two minutes ago, and just finished explaining this to us.”
The T-Rex pondered this for a moment. “Ah… I don’t care. You still deserve to be punished for the actions you took in the previous timeline.” Future Richard had no idea what she and Future Stephen did to deserve to be killed, but there was no point, at this point, in trying to reason with all these completely insane people constantly trying to attack her.
“Don’t worry,” AI Dyan said. “I can handle this.” Before she could say any more, though, the hadrosaur riding a scorpion lunged at the projector, blowing it up. Another one from the ceiling popped up. “People just love to waste money by blowing those things up. Seriously. What do you–” The macroraptor swooped in and destroyed the projector on the ceiling.
“T-Rex!” The macroraptor shouted. “We can no longer delay! We must take control of the facility before–”
At that moment, sparks of lightning shot out and zapped the hadrosaur. It writhed in pain and fell off the scorpion. The scorpion scampered off into the hallway, presumably never to be seen again. The T-Rex and macroraptor rushed up to the hadrosaur and leaned over, only to see its dead body spread out on the floor.
The T-Rex let out a devastating roar, so powerful that it ripped the ceiling tiles open, and cracked the metal outer covering that protected the facility from the harsh outside of Antarctica. “NOW IT HAS BECOME PERSONAL,” it said with an extremely harsh tone. Geez, and after the dinosaurs killed almost everyone she knew.
AI Dyan’s voice went over the intercom, saying, “Since you destroyed my projectors, I can only contact you via voice commands. However, I can also attack you and kill all of you, which I probably did thousands of times to your ancestors, right?”
“DO NOT DISRESPECT THE ONES YOU DESTROYED WITH SUCH JOY!” The T-Rex jump at the intercoms that AI Dyan’s voice came from, though it could not reach the speakers to bite them off, and its hands were too nubby to grab them.
Richard felt something on her right hand. She looked over and saw Future Stephen strapping a watch onto her wrist, the time travel ones of course. She looked further and realized that he no longer had a watch of his own on his wrist. “I need you to go over to Richard and coordinate something, fast,” he whispered.
“Stephen, what are you–”
“There’s only two watches, so we’re sending back the two people who can actually help prevent all of this from happening.” Future Stephen backed up and smiled. “I love you, Richard. Even after all that happened.”
“Hurry!” He shouted. And then he ran up to the macroraptor to distract it. “Yo! Bird-brains!” Even in his last stand, Future Stephen was still bad at comebacks and insults.
Future Richard stepped up to Richard, and quickly set the time and place on her watch. They met each other’s eyes and stared. It looked like Richard finally understood what Future Richard went through. This would have made Future Richard happy, except for the insane circumstances.
They warped away, just as Future Stephen was slammed against the wall by the macroraptor. The last thing Future Richard saw as everything faded to white was Future Stephen giving her a thumbs-up as he lost consciousness.