You cross the river into the western forest. The trees here look like pine trees and a few other kinds, but you don’t really know much about trees. You pull a leftover apple from your backpack and eat it as you walk. After a few minutes the trees thin out a bit and the going gets easier. In the forest, the shadows cast by the setting sun make it hard to see what’s ahead. You come out into a bright clearing, and as your eyes start to adjust, you can’t believe what you’re seeing. There’s a set of four enormous tree-sized legs a few yards in front of you. As you follow the legs up, you see an even more enormous body, and a neck that keeps going up to an impossibly high height. At the top of the neck is a head, and it’s looking right at you—it’s a long-necked dinosaur! You take a few hurried steps back into the cover of the trees and pound down on the button on your ETC.
Dr. Owen, you better be listening! I’m standing in front of an enormous dinosaur! It’s a long-neck dinosaur… It’s a—ummm—a brontosaurus!
I was wondering if you’d ever push that button again; I’ve been trying to contact you! The batteries in your ECT must be running out, or you would have hear it beeping. My display here says you’re in the brachiosaurus exhibit. Keep your distance. Those things are big.
You look up at the brachiosaurus and have an idea…
I’m going to try to ride it.
What?! No you’re not! Haven’t you learned anything? Stay as far away as you can!
As Dr. Owen is speaking, another brachiosaurus further back in the clearing looks at the dinosaur closest to you and starts bellowing.
If I can ride it, nothing will be able to bother me! It’s so big, I’m sure no other dinosaurs would even come near. The sun is really setting now, and I really feel like the blue light has something to do with me getting back home! I need to get there as soon as I can.
Look, maybe riding it would be a good idea, but the chances of it letting you are slim. Brachiosaurus is a herbivore and a gentle one from what we can tell, but it could still knock you over or step on you without even noticing. Don’t even think about going near that thing!
Do you approach the brachiosaurus, or keep your distance?