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Cretaceous Roulette is a three-part short story by Deviant ART user "Agahnim" (real name: Jonathan Kane). The story follows a group of time travelers (Stephanie, Ahiga, Clay, Cerie, Stanislav and Karl) who travel back to the Cretaceous period to capture a Saurornitholestes (Called "The Stranger" in the narrative). It's all going smoothly until members of the group start mysteriously vanishing...
The author has said that the story "can be considered a reaction against the way dinosaurs are most often depicted in fiction. (Terra Nova, I’m looking at you.) It’s also a commentary on a lot of other aspects of human society, particularly the relationship between science and the media."
- Humans Are Bastards: The author has stated in the comments that he deliberately made the human characters unlikable: "Something I was going for in this story is the way it is in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, where it’s deliberately ironic that the most complex and human-seeming character is a computer, while the human characters are relatively uninteresting. I wanted to do something similar in my story, making the Saurornitholestes character at least as engaging as any of the humans. I feel like that fits the story’s theme about humans’ attitudes towards nature in general and prehistoric life in particular."
- Husky Russkie: Stanislav.
- Jerkass: Stanislav. Just Stanislav.
- Karmic Death: More like Karmic Ret-Gone for Stanislav.
- Kick the Dog: Stanislav enjoys making the eutherians suffer as much as possible while feeding them to the Stranger.
- Lawful Stupid: Karl will follow orders even if it means erasing humanity from existence.
- Magical Native American: Played with. Stephanie wonders whether the Navajo (Including Ahiga) have inherent tracking skills.
- Mistaken for Racist: Stephanie.
- Only Sane Man: Stephanie.
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Karl gets offended when Stephanie mentions the genetic differences between ethnic groups. Stanislav's blatant bigotry doesn't bother him because Stanislav is a Communist.
- Prehistoria: Averted. "The world 75 million years ago did not look that different from the present, really. There were none of the smoking volcanoes or steamy jungles that everyone liked to imagine it having."
- Prehistoric Monster: Averted. The largest prehistoric creature the team encounters is the size of a coyote. Stephanie makes it very clear that prehistoric earth is nothing like Jurassic Park.
- Raptor Attack: Played with. None of the dromaeosaurs featured in the story hunts in packs, nor do they pose a danger to humans. Unfortunately, the company Did Not Do the Research and considers all "Raptors" "danger class three or higher". Even Microraptor.
- Ret-Gone: What happens to Ahiga, Clay, Cerie, Stanislav and arguably the entire human race.
- Shown Their Work: Among other things, much of the behavior of the Saurornitholestes is based on actual published research, such as the discovery of trace fossils showing deinonychosaurs digging for mammals and biomechanic studies on the range of motion and potential functions of dromaeosaurid hands.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Averted. How many people have heard of Saurornitholestes?
- Title Drop: In part 3.
- The Web Always Existed: Averted when Clay tries to update Facebook.
- Would Hit a Girl: Stanislav beats up on Stephanie.
- Write Who You Know: Karl is apparently based on a real person who the author has interacted with on Wikipedia. Let that sink in.
- Xenofiction: The sequences told from the Stranger's point of view.