CHAPTER 7

RETURN TO BASE

Over the next two days, the humans and KITT got to see more of The Great Valley and the surrounding areas. They couldn't fathom such beautiful countryside would eventually turn into the Mohave desert, but they figured a lot could change in 60 million years. Devon, however, knew this future change was inevitable due to what he termed as "changing climate" and "natural evolution". The dinos didn't quite know what the terms he used meant, but they got the general idea if what he was taling about. They already knew that things change, and change was unavoidable. They've also decided that Devon must be a "really smart hyoo mahn" to use big words as he does.

Bonnie brought four rolls of film with her on this journey, so she took a lot pictures. She also made sure she brought a fresh change of batteries for the camera. KITT kept telling her that she didn't need to waste batteries on her hand held camera when he could easily take snapshots of everything in The Great Valley. Bonnie thanked KITT for the offer, but said that the pictures she took herself would be more meaningful than pictures KITT would take for her. KITT didn't quite understand what Bonnie was referring to, but didn't press the issue any further.

This didn't stop KITT from making his own visual records of the places and residents of The Great Valley. He took his own snapshots, and made short movie clips of the dinos and humans interacting. Michael and R.C. couldn't wait to see KITT's "home movies". Devon said that Dr. Anders would also be interested in seeing what KITT's gonna put together.

At night, it was another party around the red river "campfire" with more singing, laughter, food, and story telling. R.C. told a few more ghost stories. Michael had a couple of his own, as well as a few stories related to tough cases he remembered from his time as a cop; back when he was known as Michael Long.

"Khhop? What's a 'khhop'?" Little Foot would ask.

"Wwweeelll... a 'cop' is somebody who enforces the rules and protects the people of an area he's responsible for... Kinda like what I do now... Only difference is: I occasionally get to wear a fancy uniform." Michael smiled.

"Oh..." Little Foot said as he nodded his understanding.

Devon was even allowed to relate his own stories of adventuring from his youth in England; and later on in America. He even told the story of how he almost got killed by a lion on an African safari he went on when he was eighteen! When the dinos asked what a 'lion' was, he simply explained to them that it was a "fast and vicious sharpteeth". They all understood!

On the morning of the third day, the humans packed up their belongings and camping gear inside KITT's trunk and made their way to the place where the time vortex was due to be opened. All of their dinosaur friends came out to see them off.

Just before the vortex opened, Bonnie decided to take a panoramic snapshot of everybody that had gathered. She had to back up pretty far to make sure she got everybody, including the largest longnecks that were assembled.

As soon as she came back to the group, the vortex opened. Everybody exchanged farewell greetings and hugs. Spike even got his licks in on all of the humans.

"I wish you could stay, khit! You're the best friend I've ever had!" Chomper sadly said as he hugged KITT's left front tire.

WHOO WHOO. "And I wish I could stay, too!" KITT said in response.

"Awww... C'mon, KITT! You don't mean that!" Michael teased.

"Of course I do! I could get used to the change of scenery this valley provides..."

"Well, buddy! When you eventually retire from The Foundation, and wanna put down roots here, you'll be more than welcome!" Michael said as he patted KITT's hood.

Then Spike came up and gave a huge lick to KITT's windshield.

"YUCK!" KITT exclaimed as he activated his wipers.

This prompted laughter from most everybody assembled.

"But... do you think you and KITT will ever come back to the valley?" Chomper asked Michael when the laughter died down.

"We'll see." Michael smiled as he rubbed the young sharptooth's head, who let out a light purr.

After everyone said their goodbyes, everybody got into KITT. KITT backed up to the appropriate distance to get the right speed needed before hitting the vortex. Everyone of the dinos waved to everyone inside KITT as he sped towards the vortex. Everyone inside waved back as they passed. As soon as KITT passed through the vortex, it closed.


Back in the Foundation laboratory, Dr. Anders and two of his men were anxiously awaiting KITT's return from the prehistoric past.

Finally, KITT emerged from the vortex and skidded to a halt about a hundred feet away from the vortex threshold. A smiling Dr. Anders then signaled to his men to close the vortex.

"You had me worried there, Michael! What took you so long!?" Dr. Anders asked as he greeted Michael as he emerged from KITT.

"Come on, David! We weren't gonna leave before saying 'goodbye' to our friends!" Michael smiled.

"Oh... So I take it you had fun?"

"We had a BLAST, man!" RC exclaimed as he gathered his stuff out of KITT's trunk.

"Yes! You should've BEEN there, David! It was REMARKABLE!" said a beaming Devon.

"Well... Maybe next time, I'll chance it..." David said as he let loose a nervous laugh. "But for now, I've gotta draw up my report for my scientific paper. I'll be happy to say that this experiment was a complete success!" He laughed again. "I can't wait to tell Carol! She'll be so PROUD of me!"

"Well, while you do that, I'm gonna go have a nice bath, get some rest... and have THESE developed..." Bonnie said as she showed her rolls of film, and started to walk away.

"KITT's even shot some home movies of our little vacation..." Michael said.

"If you'd like, David, we can show them to you tomorrow..." Devon invited.

"I look forward to it!" David Anders smiled.

"Oh! RC, care to help me unload the gear and put it away?" Devon asked.

"Sure, boss!" RC said.

Michael also moved in to help, although he wasn't asked.


The next day. Everybody gathered inside the laboratory to see KITT's video captures of The Great Valley. Dr. Anders asked if he could bring Carol, as she wanted to see the videos KITT made, as well. The bulge on Carol's belly was the telltale sign that the baby she was pregnant with was coming along quite nicely.

They had set up a large projection screen for KITT to display his video recordings. Chairs were set up in front of a screen to make it like an improvised theater.

"I can't wait to see what KITT's come up with!" she said as she took a seat on the empty chair next to her husband. "Davey's told me so much about it!" He had placed his arm around her as soon as she sat down.

"Prepared to be amazed, Carol!" Michael smiled. "Is everybody ready?" he asked everyone that was seated, who all nodded and/or motioned for the movie to start.

"All right, KITT! Let 'er rip!" Michael said into the control watch he uses to communicate with KITT.

"Right away, Michael!" KITT said as he started projecting his videos on the screen with the help of his front scanner.

Both David and Carol were mesmerized by the images and sounds KITT was projecting onto the screen in front of them.

"It's BEAUTIFUL!" Carol commented in awe.

"It sure is!" David also commented with a smile.

Then they saw some of the dinosaurs they encountered, which impressed them even more! Then they saw and heard something that really took their breath away. Both their eyes grew wide and both their jaws dropped at what they saw and heard.

Both remained speechless for a few moments until Carol finallt found her voice. "Michael?" She said.

"Yeah, Carol?"

"A... am I hearing things, or did that dinosaur just say..."