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  • Writer's pictureRick

A Dino-Expedition in Jurassic Park...Uh, I mean, Jurassic Mile

I am the captain of a dual-member team known as the Jurassic Expedition Team, or JET in short. And my assistant was a dino-linguist, who specialised in communicating with dinosaurs.

We were called to duty on 23 October 2020 by Changi Jurassic Command, the operation and control centre of Changi Jurassic Mile, to carry out a "top secret" mission. Due to the sensitivity of the mission, we would be briefed only on arrival at Changi Base 4.

At 9am, we took-off in our space-jet from home base and landed at Changi Base 2 on Jurassic Island about an hour later. We had to leave our space-jet here and switched to a modified land rover to Changi Base 4 as the airspace around the base was off-limit to all flights this day. Something big was brewing...

On the way to Base 4, we spotted a young tyrannosaurus rex (or T-rex) rampaging in the trees not far away. It must have escaped from Changi Jurassic Mile since all dinosaurs were supposed to be behind fortified enclosures. However, it was not JET's responsibility to re-capture it, so it would be best to leave the dinosaur to the specialised Search And Recovery Squad (SARS).

On arriving at Base 4, we had to scan our Changi PlayPass at the reader outside the door to verify our identities. Once done, we were ushered to the command centre.

And we were briefed on the mission. A fortified perimeter wall in Jurassic Mile had been breached and some dinosaurs had escaped. The breached wall had since been barricaded with an electric fence until further repair work could be carried out. It was not known how many dinosaurs had escaped. Our mission was to enter Jurassic Mile and reaffirm the whereabouts of all known occupants.

If news of the dino-escape were to be leaked out, it would alarm the inhabitants and trigger massive evacuations to abandon Jurassic Island. That was the reason why this mission was top-secret.

We reported the last-seen location of the T-rex to command centre and they dispatched a SARS team right away.

After loading up the equipment that we might need onto the land rover, we started the expedition into dino-land. We had one hour to complete the mission before words got out.

It was a short ride before we came to the nest of a pterodactyl. It seemed to be guarding her eggs closely and did not pay any attention to us. Not wanting to provoke the flying dinosaur by getting too close to her eggs, we continued to the next target.

A short distance away, a triceratops, with three horns and thick hide, charged head-on towards us. We thought it was going to ram the land rover and took evasive measures. But it just wanted to play with us. We patted it and drove on.

Not far away was two ankylosaurus in their heavy armoured plates bellowing at one another. They seemed to be in an argument. We were careful not to provoke them or they might swing their club-like tails at us.

Then, we came to the hunting ground of the most dangerous predatory dinosaurs. We proceeded with caution, keeping our eyes opened for movements in the trees and bushes.

But three velociraptors dashed out of nowhere towards us. The land rover was not able to outrun them and got tangled in long grasses. One of the raptors jumped onto the roof of the land rover. We quickly jumped out of the vehicle before they could surround us and ran.

At that critical moment, my assistant raised her hand and said calmly to the raptor on the roof: "HOLD, Blue! You know me...". The raptor studied her for several seconds, made some sounds and all of them dispersed suddenly. Could the velociraptors really understand her? Anyway, we were saved! But we could not get the land rover to move.

We continued on foot to the next location. And knowing which dinosaur we were about to encounter next sent chills down our spines. We felt naked without the protective cage of the land rover. With hearts pounding tremendously, we moved as quietly as we could.

There were three large eggs lying side-by-side on the ground. When we approached them, a baby tyrannosaurus rex broke out from one of the eggs. It was startled to see us standing over it and made a noise. My assistant turned towards me and said: "It just called me mama."

Just when I was about to pat the baby T-rex on its head, a really angry-looking adult T-Rex came charging towards us. Luckily, a fence obstructed its onslaught and saved our skins. But, the mother T-rex started gnawing ferociously at the fence. Seeing that the steel wires would not be able to hold off the large dinosaur for long, we hightailed and ran as fast as we could.

After we left the area, mother T-rex turned to her baby and said: "Those two-legged humans are dangerous creatures, bite them next time before they ride on you and pull out all your teeth!"

Following our narrow escape from the tyrannosaurus rex's nest, we jumped into a river to cool our heads. We did not know that a brachiosaurus was nearby and drinking water from the river until it licked us. It was a herbivorous dinosaur and posed no danger to us.

Proceeding further, we saw a sign that said: "Dinosaurs overhead". We lifted our heads and searched the sky and tall trees.

Sure enough, we saw baby pterodactyl perched on some branches on a tree. We counted five of them. Knowing that the adult pterodactyl had hard and sharp beaks, we did not want to wait for them to come back to the babies, so we left hurriedly.

The next dinosaur was the stegosaurus. It looked harmless and did not attack us. Having lost our land rover, we were behind time to complete the mission. Seeing that the stegosaurus was moving towards the same direction as us, we climbed up onto its back and rode on it to the next location.

We spotted two parasaurolophus with long crests on the back of their heads. They looked up at us curiously but stayed clear from the large stegosaurus as it walked and swinged its tail from side to side, smacking anything that were in its path.

After going passed the parasaurolophus, the stegosaurus started to veer away from our next destination, it was time to go our separate ways. We patted it as thanks and jumped down from the moving dinosaur. We were not far from our next targets actually — we could see theirs heads and long necks above the foliage of the forest.

There were two of them. The apatosaurus was the largest dinosaur on land and they were herbivorous. They were slow and gentle too.

We made our way to the location of the last dinosaur at the southern end of Jurassic mile. It was another pterodactyl. But, unlike the first pterodactyl that we encountered at the beginning of the trip, this one kept glaring at us. Perhaps, we had gotten too close and drew its full attention. We backed off slowly.

Checking through our mission checklist, I concluded that we had reaffirmed the whereabouts of 9 dinosaur species and 21 dinosaurs. The only one that was not accounted for was the father T-rex!

I pulled out a communication set from my backpack and radioed in the results of the expedition to Changi Jurassic Command. We had completed our mission!

After the report, we were told to stand down but we needed to return to Base 2 where our space-jet was. Walking back to the apatosaurus that we encountered earlier, we got onto its back and my assistant guided it towards Base 4. It was slow-moving but its massive body mass was enough to scare off any predatory dinosaurs.

We made it back to Base 4 safe and sound, hired another land rover to Base 2 and departed Jurassic Island for home.

Back to reality (the reality version):

The re-opened Changi Airport Terminal 4:


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