They had been running promotion for it all week. Barney the Dinosaur was finally going to meet some of his relatives. The spots had Barney talking about how excited he was and how he was looking forward to meeting some dinosaurs that where not TV stars. He and Baby Bop had been brought up surrounded by humans and had never met any of his own kind. Now he was going to. Genentech was going to bring some of Barney and Baby Bop's relatives to the show. And after several weeks of heavy rotation promotion the big day finally arrived.
The show started as it usually did, the Barney theme, the happy children, the smiling purple dinosaur happy and playful. Once the credits where over, the show went staright to a close up of Barney telling the kids just how excited he was about meeting some other dinosaurs and wondering what they would be like. The kids where excited too and they sang a song together about how anticipation makes you feel. Little Becky sang about the anticipation of getting a kitten. David sang about waiting for Santa Claus. Barney sang about the coming meeting with his "distant cousins" and about how he knew he was going to love them, and how that would not make him love the children any less. He smiled and got teary and he and all the children hugged. Baby Bop gurgled and cooed and drooled and said half sensible things in broken english like a spastic. Then came the big moment. It was time to meet the other dinosaurs. Barney led the kids to the door in the back yard. The kids stood away from Barney in a semi-circle so the cameras could see them all. Baby Bop stood with them and they all stood back silently and watched as the door slowly opened.......
Standing in the doorway where four deinonychuses.
Barney stared at the deinonychuses in awe. He had never seen dinosaurs other than Baby Bop and himself before. He had been raised by humans and fed a brand of "Dino Chow" that repressed his natural hunting instincts and made him friendly and sociable. It also turned him purple. His only other dinosaur friend was Baby Bop and she was much like him. Seeing the deinonychuses was a revelation to him.
The deinonychuses came out of the doorway and began to approach Barney. They moved slowly, their heads bobbing, crouching low to the ground, intense copper red eyes focused only on Barney. "Hi Guys! Hyuck!" said Barney. "Wow, I've never met anyone like you before. Ghull-ghull. Will you be my friends?" The one directly in front of Barney stopped and began making cooing noises. It rolled on it's back. "You're very friendly" said Barney. "Would you like to play?" The deinonychus moved it's head from side to side and jumped up and down and made pipping noises. It was adorable. Barney grabbed a ball, turned to the deinonychus and said "Hey! Let's play catch!" He threw the ball gently to the deinonychus, but just as it got there, the deinonychus kicked it and snapped it up in it's mouth and shook it's head, shredding the ball to ribbons. "My ball! You burst my ball!" the purple hugasaurus said, and he bent to pick up the fragments from the floor. "Why did you do that?" he said to the deinonychus as he looked up at it. The deinonychus was not being cute anymore. It was crouched and hissing. Only then did he notice the huge sickle like claw on it's inside toes.
"My-oh-my, you need to clip your toenails" said Barney, but before he could speak again he heard another hiss off to his side. He had forgotten the other three deinonychus. This one was also crouched and hissing. Suddenly, Barney felt a weight and slashing pain on his other shoulder. Then another on his neck. He reared up and screamed. Razor sharp claws lacerated his purple flesh. Another deinonychus jumped on his haunches and bit into his spine just above his hips. Suddenly Barney could not feel or move his legs or his feet. A claw ripped across his throat, and purple blood splattered on the floor. Barney screeched. He felt a searing pain and a dull aching tugging in his stomach. He could barely see a deinonychus running with a bloody purple greyish sausage looking thing in it's mouth. In those last few minutes of conciousness Barney's instincts took over and he lunged for the small dinosaur that was pulling his intestines out and tried to crush him in his jaws, but the years of Dino Chow had taken their toll. Barney's soft, plush teeth snapped above the dinosaur's back with a dull poffing sound as the purple hugasaurus's vision faded and he fell unconcious into a pool of his own gore.
The children looked on in silent horror as the pack of deinonychuses tore Barney's inert body apart. They jumped up on him and kicked horrible long slashes in his flesh with their claws and bit bloody hunks of his flesh off. Their head disappeared into his body and reemerged with blood dripping innards which they gobbled noisily. Barney's tail continued to twitch and flex, splattering the children with blood lang after he was dead, but in their state of stunned shock, none of the children noticed. None of the children moved.
All at once there was a horrible sound, a gurgling, whining sound. The deinonychuses stopped and their heads popped up, quick and alert, their eyes fixed on the source of the noise. It was Baby Bop. She stood at the end of the line of children and she was keening and making screechy noises.The deinonychuses all went into a crouch at once and began to fan out and stalk slowly and sinisterly in the direction of Baby Bop.
Even though Baby Bop had been born long before Barney she had looked up to him like a big brother. When she had been prevented from going on the show because of her tendency to get scared and angry and charge the bright lights, he had always made sure to share with her how wonderful all the children on the TV show where and how much fun it was to play and sing with them. When the scientists had decided that she needed special surgery to help her be happy and stop getting angry and charging at things, Barney had been there for her as the doctors cut into her skull. Barney was her best friend.
And now Barney was nothing more than a mangled hulk of half eaten purple flesh on the floor of the TV studio. It was just too much for her to take. So she had screamed. Or tried to. Since the doctors had taken the angry part out of her brain and started giving her pills, she had trouble thinking and speaking, much less screaming. But she understood well enough what the deinonychuses advancing slowly towards her meant. It meant she was in trouble. Big trouble. She started running for the backstage exit.
The minute that Baby Bop started running across the stage the children's collective state of shock shattered. Little Jimmy turned and ran for the exits, past the cameras. Becky just stood there and screamed. David was sneaking back towards the emergency fire exit very slowly. Children where headed in every direction. Two of the deinonychuses broke from the pack chasing Baby Bop and wheeled about to attack the children.
Baby Bop darted through the sound curtain and ran towards the lot's cargo door. Her large, flat paw slammed down on the automatic trigger, but the door did not budge. She saw the light above the door and slowly she realized they where still broadcasting live to all the homes of boys and girls everywhere. Then it dawned on her that the doors where locked whenever the cameras where running. She turned, hoping to get out through the studio door, but there behind her blocking her way where two deinonychuses. There was no where to turn. She was trapped.
Jimmy had managed to get past the light cords and had only tripped twice. The sight of the two horrible dinosaurs tearing apart all his pals had shaken him badly, but maybe there was help to be found here. He was looking for a technician or a cameraman, but there was no one there. Jimmy called out for someone, but there was no answer. He ran to the control booth and tried the door. It was locked, but he could see inside. All the cameramen, technicians and the director and makeup people where staring back at him in horror. He banged on the door "Let me in!" he cried "help, you've gotta let me in!". The he saw the reflection of a dinosaur in the glass. He turned around.
The deinonychus struck so quickly that Jimmy didn't see it coming. He didn't have time to scream before it had bitten his face off and slashed open his chest and snatched up his still palpitating heart in it's mouth. The adults inside the control booth watched as the heart burst between the animals jaws like a chocolate dipped jellied cherry. The predator's long black tongue licked the blood from it's jaws and then it turned, sprinted back towards the set and jumped over the cameras in one leap to join the other deinonychus in hunting down the remainder of the children.
The pair of deinonychuses where advancing slowly towards Baby Bop in a low crouch, hissing and bobbing their heads. Baby Bop was terrified. She could see no way out. She wanted Barney, but Barney was dead. She couldn't think. She tried to cry but she couldn't make it come. So she did the only thing a lobotomized TV styracasaur could. She did what instinct told her to. She charged.
Baby Bop's horns and crest would have protected and served her well had she developed as she would have in the wild. But the hormones in the Dino-Chow that she had been given had made her crest and horns soft and cuddly so that children would like to snuggle her. It made good television. It did not make a good defence.
The larger deinonychus dodged to the side as Baby Bop charged the second, then turned and bit her face, taking a chunk of soft flesh out from beneath her eye. Baby Bop howled in pain, but kept running blindly, passing the second deinonychus. Her instincts ruled her. She slashed at the curtain and barged onto the sound stage floor. The two deinonychuses there had found Megan and where about to kill her, but they abandoned the terrified child when they saw Baby Bop and the two other deinonychuses chasing her. In unison they lowered themselves and sprang at Baby Bop.
Baby Bop slashed at the leaping killers with her horn, but the soft, plush horn just bent and then sprang back into shape as it crossed the belly of one of the deinonychuses. the dinosaur landed on her face and bit into her crest, it's rear foot kicking out her remaining eye. The second one landed on her back and kicked savagely, opening her lung. Still she kept on charging, weaker, failing but moving ever forward. Then the other two struck from behind, one slashing her legs with the savage long claws on his hind feet, the other's head darting behind her crest to bite a chunk out from her neck. She could no longer move under the weight of the predators and somewhere deep inside her little brain she knew she was done for. The last thing she heard was a scream and she wondered if it was her own.
On the television screen all across the land the scene was the same. Bloody children's bodies strewn like disregarded toys across the Barney show soundstage. Barney himself a ravaged and mangled bloody mountain of purple flesh in the middle of the children. A group of four vicious sickle clawed deinonychuses tearing apart and eating the remains of Baby Bop. And there in the foreground, on the side of the picture stood Megan, now screaming. The deinonychuses looked up suddenly, jumped off Baby Bop's half eaten corpse and fanned out, approaching Megan in a broad semi circle.
Megan did not run. She did not move. She only stood there and cried and screamed in helpless terror. When the first deinonychus sprang for her and his claw slashed her open from collar to crotch she collapsed like a rag doll. The others quickly joined in, kicking and snapping. One bit into the soft flesh of her throat and shook his head violently. Her head flew off and banged the camera. The tripod tilted wildly and then hit the ground. The camera shattered on the studio floor and all across the land TV screens went dark on the Barney show for the very last time.