“Oh no, I hate this part,” the demon boy said. “Sometimes, I hate being omniscient.”
“Alamak! I’ve seen this machine before,” Ah Kong said, as he stood over the three desk-like control panels. Each one had CRT screens embedded in the top half while the lower portion was covered by a motley assortment of buttons, levers and dials. “I know this TV show, lah. I used to watch it all the time.”
Before Laplace’s Demon could stop him, Ah Kong pulled down a big, important-looking lever. The control panels began to hum to life and a small wormhole opened in the alcove in front of them. A boom tube roared into existence — a tunnel connecting two points in time.
“Aiyoh, this thing is stuck!” Ah Kong shouted. He tried yanking the lever upwards but it wouldn’t budge. “Help! It won’t shut down!”
The ground began to shake and a most peculiar noise came out of nowhere. It was a strange sound that seemed like something hissing and clucking at the same time. From the center of the wormhole the silhouette of several large birds began to appear like Indonesian shadow puppets. The CRT displays began flashing words that Ah Kong couldn’t understand: “Deinonychus antirrhopus”
“I suggest we start running, Uncle,” the demon boy shouted. “Come on — run, run, run!”
Within seconds, the first of several emu-sized creatures popped out of the boom tube. Ah Kong had never seen anything so frightening in his life. The coarsely-feathered beast had a long, meaty tail; a big eagle head; and a dragon-like mouth filled with many jagged teeth. At the end of each wing limb were three sharp, sickle-shaped claws.
The monster and six of its brethren jumped into the gallery where the lights and the strange displays quickly disoriented them. The time-tossed predators grew confused and irritable. Startled by their own reflections, they attacked the thousands of shiny surfaces in a vicious rampage. Loud alarm bells began to ring throughout the gallery, further fueling their violence.
The biggest of the Deinonychus spied Ah Kong and his friend running down the hallway. It let out a piercing, raptor-like shriek and came after the pair. The other five soon followed suit, knocking down everything that wasn’t bolted in place. A terrified Ah Kong shuddered every time a glass case broke, or whenever the monsters’ claws hit something metallic. He thought that the noise sounded very much like death’s nails raking over a blackboard.
When the two of them reached the place where the Historioscope was, he unwisely looked back, checking to see how far their pursuers were. Thus distracted, he tripped on a Korean mailbox, dislodging a fragment of a long metal label that read “Il Mare”. The leader of the monstrous pack was just a few meters behind him. It jumped over several pieces of machinery and landed right on top of Ah Kong. The creature pinned the helpless young man with its hefty weight.
“Help!” Ah Kong yelled as the Deinonychus raised its furious talons to strike.
The demon boy ran over to another display case and quickly lifted the cover. He sent a tiny bolt of lightning through the dial of an extraordinary crystal clock, causing it to tick once and freeze time all around them. Ah Kong was stopped in mid-scream; the slashing claws of the Deinonychus were just a centimeter above his carotid artery. The rest of the monsters were also trapped in mid-jump, along with magically half-toppled displays, and broken glass that hung in the air like exploded flowers. The label of this museum piece was also suspended in mid-fall, but the words were too far away to read properly. Ah Kong could only make out a strange name “Pratchett”.
The boy quickly dragged his time-locked companion into a blue police box that stood next to a DeLorean DMC-12 and secured the door. Outside, time restarted almost immediately and the two heard a loud crashing din.