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This article, Between Worlds, is property of NosrednaTrebor.

Warning, this page, Between Worlds, contains mature content.

This story, Between Worlds, is being written.

Chapter 1: To Find the ThirdEdit

Far from the planet earth, in deep, distant space, a mighty intergalactic military ship, sleek and black with a pointed front, orbited a beautiful, green planet. Unrest was growing, a force of evil was gaining power in a universe apart from this one, they had uncovered a way to travel between alternate realities and began gathering forces to support their cause. Entire peoples were being wiped out between universes who didn't join, one noble hero, Wight, began to fight back, he had contacted the captain of the Victory Sound in a desperate attempt to gain help, the captain agreed, and started a organization to recruit elite fighters from different worlds in hopes that they could quell this enemy, and any future enemy to come, with the support of the VS Corps, lead by the cunning General Kingler.  

Nos was definitely up for an adventure. He had just woken up and received a call that a potential member for his personal team had been found. Currently it was only him and his second in command, Faroe. Faroe was an odd man tall, dark, and very thin. He was born in Egypt during the 18th dynasty and later in life used the powers of the gods to defeat a legion of greeks, who had been oppressing his colony in north Libya. Favored by the gods Ra, Sobek, and Horus, he was certainly a powerful magician and pharaoh, despite these strengths, he always felt lonely since his childhood, and wanted friends that he could call family. Nos on the other hand was even taller, but he was pale and slightly less muscular, and he always donned an orange flight suit, lightly plated with nearly unbreakable metals.  

Nos walked to his companion's dorm and knocked lightly on the door.

“Faroe? You awake?”

Faroe didn’t answer, he was probably still asleep, or having his loyal priestess feed him his favorite food, green grapes. Nos couldn’t hear any feeding going on, so he trekked down to the briefing room to try and find Faroe. Aboard the great starship, Victory Sound, it took minutes to get from the back of the ship to the center. As he sprinted down the stairs he ran right into the ships captain, Amanda Joel, both falling to the floor. She was a tall woman with short blonde hair worn under a black captains cap. Nos had known her for a long time, since she was his commanding officer longer than he had worked on the ship. She usually didn't like to associate with people nor interact with them for the most part, but Nos knew she had a sense of sociability hidden deep down, Nos had experienced it first hand when he served directly under her.

“Apologies captain,” Nos said sprawled across the floor.

“It's not your fault, it’s probably just these stairs, so steep and small”, Amanda said dusting off her uniform, “do you mind?” she said gesturing at her bag that had spilled its contents on the ground.

“Of course not,” Nos quickly gathered up the pens, packets, and all the small items and placed them back in the bag. Amanda took her bag and walked off without a word, her uniform was slightly torn in the back but Nos didn’t feel like pointing it out to her. He looked around the hall, the continued on to his destination.

As Nos made it to the briefing room he saw Faroe waiting quietly.

“There you are,” Faroe said excitedly, “I’ve been waiting for about fifteen minutes, I heard someone in the hall and it sounded like you, but I wasn’t sure, plus, I didn't really want to get up,” he smirked.

“Well it was,” Nos quietly said rubbing the arm he landed on, “Let’s get to the World Transporter, because we’re heading to the Planet Kronos-32 in the 9th universe to recruit our third team member, and take a step toward finishing our new squad.

The two marched their way down to the transporter room, a place heavily guarded on most occasions, but today it was only protected by a single guard, it was a sphinx wearing a guard's cap, a rather comical scene to someone who isn’t used to seeing such sights, but the crew of the victory sound was a very colorful bunch, and a sphinx in a hat was on the normal side of the spectrum.

“Hello Markus,” Nos and Faroe both said as they nodded to him.

He let them in without saying a word, as a sphinx has a great sense of smell and always knows if the person is a threat or not. As they made it into the main chamber, Nos walked up to a large black tablet made of a reflective metal. He needed not to explain to Faroe what this device did, because they use them all the time. He punched in a number on a key pad. But with all the digits he used it seemed like dozens of numbers. He laid the tablet down on a socket and told Faroe to get on. And before someone could count to three, they had vanished.

Chapter 2: Early DeserterEdit

The forest shook as a giant animal romped through, it was a hairy creature, bigger than a hippopotamus, and had a tall hump between its shoulders and a short neck. It almost looked like a giant bear, however the head had a distinct alien like quality to it, long and shallow with slim eyes, and a mouth chock full of long, sharp teeth. It was chasing a herd of large reptiles. The giant menace leapt into the air, but swiftly came crashing down. The reptile it was about to kill panicked, but found that it was not in any danger, the beast was dead.

Irene put her rifle away and jogged over to where the beast laid. As usual it only took a single bullet to bring it down, but she wasn’t going to harvest yet, as she knew the creature may still be dangerous. She sat around, continuously staring at the bullet hole through its head.

She sighed “Screw it,” she said in a bored voice. She took out a jar of urine and spilled it around the animal. This would attract carnivores who would happily consume the flesh. “No sense in having him die in vain.”

Irene was a bored woman, for she had lived on this exotic planet for almost twenty years and learned about all the game in her area, found out how to exploit their shortcomings, what parts to eat, which ones to kill and which ones to avoid, she had become a perfect huntress. It bored her. The only fun she ever had was when she would venture down to the pond and bathe, for a small lizard like creature lived there. She would feed it kelp and shellfish, and it would show her where shoals of fish gathered so she could catch them. But she couldn’t always go to the pond, as animals went there to drink, it was okay if a few grazers or browsers visited, but when Nightsprints or Bogdivers paid visit, no creature in the pond was safe. Luckily she could see the pond from her treepost, where she lived.

Irene hiked up to the top of her hill where the post was. Irene was a physically fit woman, almost thirty, she had two pairs of outfits, what she was wearing now, a pair of khaki shorts and a blue gray tanktop, and a pair of old pajamas for when the nights got cold. Her hair was long and black, and despite living alone in the wilderness, it was well kept, cut every so often to keep her cool and not get in her way. She was obviously slim since she couldn’t really sloth around, and she had a relatively fit figure from eating properly.

After a few minutes of walking, she came to her house. She climbed up and took a seat on her bed. She had stolen quite a bit in her days, mainly from traveling hunting parties all the way from earth including two half mattresses that she cut up so she could bring into her home. She stretched in the bed and scratched the hair the grew on her legs, since it had been years since her last contact with humans, all things that her body did came and went naturally and any sense of modesty or restraint had long since passed. But she certainly wasn’t feral. She kept sane and informed by reading, though she only owned 3 books, Webster’s unabridged dictionary, A hunter’s guide to FMM UV-32 (the planet she came to), and an instruction manual for a copy of an old video game, which was her sole 5th birthday present. These books helped her stay up to par with her knowledge, skills, and creativity. She kept imaginary conversations with herself, keeping her company and making sure she could speak complete English so she could hold conversations with any friendly creature that crossed her path, no matter how one way it was. As well as the books, she owned a solar powered radio, however it never worked unless the sun was flaring, and it only received one station which played the oldies, 1970-2045 to be exact. Irene looked to the pond and saw the coast was clear so she decided to clean herself. Her pungent odor was a dinner bell for all the predators in the area, but a good scrubbing could end that.

...

The transporter emerged a few feet above the ground and Faroe and Nos stepped off of it.

“Are you sure this is right, Nos?” Faroe said uncomfortably.

“Of course we are," Nos said, “we probably teleported to the wilderness, we should walk until we find civilization.

“I’m not sure that will work,” Faroe said worriedly, “maybe we should just go back”

“Nonsense,” Nos looked around for something he could use as evidence, “uh, well…”

“Wait sir, listen,” Faroe said quietly, “I hear a highway!”

The duo marched into the direction of the noise. However all they found was a waterfall and a large forest pool.

"Darn it!” Exclaimed Nos, “why must this happen?!”

“Wait a second sir,” Faroe calmly stated, “look!”

Nos shifted his head to see what Faroe could, “What? That brown blob?”

“That’s no blob sir! That’s a pair of pants!” And Faroe could have never been more right, Irene had left her clothes on the shore as she bathed. She herself was nowhere to be seen, hiding behind the waterfall and using the cascading water as a shower to rinse her long black hair clean of any airborne parasites. Neither she nor the men knew of each others’ existence.

The two men walked down to lake excitedly chattering, but when they saw the dirty apparel their smiles faded.

“These must have been here for years!” Nos cried at the stained, yellowed, and sun beaten clothes, they smelled strongly of sweat, blood, and what seemed like the stench of urine, but not quite.

“And whoever wore them must be quite dead,” Faroe noted.

“But I think we can find the culprit! Look!” Nos showed Faroe the tracks that lead to the water, “they’re fresh! Maybe we can save out new recruit!

Nos ignited his super heated blade and charged into the water in search of the “killer”. But Irene heard the sloshing and screamed as she saw an angry looking man with a laser sword charging around. Nos screamed in surprise too and dropped his saber into the now murky yellow waters, darkened by muck and debris from the pond floor. Irene ran out from the cave only to find that a man in a silly Egyptian outfit was lifting and examining her clothes.

“Sweet Isis!” he yelled as he dropped the shorts he was holding and struggled to regain his composure.

Irene, shocked, sprinted from the pond, fearful that these people might hurt her. With all her practice and training alone here, she bolted to her shelter.

“Wait!” screamed Nos, “we need you! For our mission!”

The only mission Irene was on was to hightail it out of there and make it home. 

Chapter 3: Divided and ConqueredEdit

“Where on earth is she?”

“Nowhere sir, the question is; where on Kronos is she? Faroe retorted.

Nos was annoyed and Faroe's “joke” didn’t help. This woman was key to the success of his team. A Norse ambassador from Scandinavia had said to him that he would find a powerful hunter here, and that they would help make the newly forming party even more effective. However, Nos felt that the team would be hindered if anything, as this woman he was pursuing didn’t seem so powerful. While Nos was contemplating on what to do, Faroe noted something.

“Sir, the sun seems to be setting,” he observed as they passed a dead creature which reeked of urine and blood.

“Oh good, yes, perfect,” Nos was very annoyed, "wait… do you have the transporter?”

“Uhhhh…”

“I’m so, so, soooo glad my crew is so competent, so smart, so useful,” Nos said as he kicked a piece of branch. He was beginning to grow frustrated, he didn't want his first mission to be a failure, right from the start.

“You do realize, I am effectively your entire crew,” Faroe said slightly defeated. All Nos had to express was a stern scowl and muttering under his breath. 

After walking for a few more minutes, the forest became hilly. Nos kept kicking a large branch until he used all his strength to fling it into a large bush.

“Sir, it’s not that bad…” Faroe started before he was interrupted by a loud screech.

Two large, bird like creatures erupted from the foliage, unlike the birds on earth they were tall, clawed, and had mouth full of sharp teeth.

“Sweet Horus!” Faroe shouted as he ducked, then quickly dived out of the way.

“How fun,” Nos said reaching for his blade, but he quickly remembered it was still in the pond, “Oh most excellent!” he shouted, leaping up into a tree for safety.

One bird started scrambling up the trunk with its single clawed wings, the other cornered Faroe and started to extend its leg for a kick. Faroe was never more terrified, he had battled hydras, giant wolves, half men half scorpions, and even a dragon, but this thing was big, alien, and unafraid, it seemed to stare into his fearful face with it's giant circular dead eyes, and its rancid beak was filled with snaggley teeth ready to tear into Faroes neck. Faroe really didn’t have a close range weapon, only his magic crook which wouldn’t be easy to withdraw backed against a large tree, so he simply prayed to his major god, Ra.

...

Irene was putting on her striped pink pajamas, they were very fresh looking compared to her other clothes, since she rarely ever wore these but for the frostiest winters, realizing she had no more urine jars, she had to fill more up. As she did, she heard a commotion down in the woods, Irene recognized the calls as tallbirds, a local variety of scavenging pseudoavian, usually not a threat to humans. She put on her pajama bottoms and retrieved her pistol. She hadn’t eaten all day so a bit of bird meat would be nice before she went to bed.

She acrobatically swung down from her small treepost in the direction of the commotion, keeping silent but skillfully darting through the foliage at an astounding speed.

...

Faroe’s pleas went unanswered; his god seemed to have abandoned him. Meanwhile Nos was having more luck, the tallbird couldn’t get onto his branch for he could kick at it, the animal couldn't retaliate, or else it would fall from the trunk. Faroe was in trouble, the tallbird was put off by his strange and loud chanting, but it now realized he was easy prey, Faroe was desperate, he quickly pulled of one of his bejeweled cuffs and held it in front of his neck The bird was confused, but it lunged, and luckily Faroe predicted right, and the cuff locked around its beak, trapping it. Faroe sprinted off as the bird tried to wriggle the cuff off its nose. The other bird saw Faroe and jumped off the tree, and the creature with the trapped beak climbed up and took its place, still trying to remove the cuff. The bird glided with surprising speed after Faroe as he sprinted with all his might, but the animal was to quick and landed on his back, the extra weight sent him and his aggressor tumbling. The tallbird dismounted him as it hit a small tree and Faroe hit a warm soft body as he passed out from stress.

...

Nos was having problems, the bird had left, but even worse creatures took its place. They were small, but he couldn’t really tell anything else because it was so dark. All he could see were their glowing eyes, very big eyes too. They chattered and leapt up to try and bite him. As they got into the air he could tell they were bigger than the tallbirds, longer and bulkier, but shorter. Nos had a large arsenal gathered, 13 pinecone-like pods, some branches, and a beauty of a dagger that he was carving with a rock he found in a tree hollow. One of the creatures barked as it leapt up, startling Nos as the branch shook, and all of his “weapons” fell to the ground.

...

Faroe saw black dots flash around as he opened his eyes, it was light he could see the clean white clouds, either he slept through his blackout, or had died and gone to the afterlife. But as he leaned up he saw it was the former, but not as he expected it. A small cube of a house, with dirty blue walls and a metal white roof with a single crank operated bulb which most likely stored energy, for it was on and no one was cranking it. The room had a surprisingly soft carpet floor, covered in dirty footprints, and the room smelled of cooked meat. He turned around to see the woman He and Nos were pursuing. She looked surprisingly beautiful. He hadn’t noticed how attractive she was, especially for someone who lived alone in the wilderness like this. Her long black hair was naturally clean and it flowed onto her shoulders like the cataracts of the Nile, her face was mildly fresh looking, with freckles spotting around her cheeks and nose, and her figure was displayed prominently in the old tight pair of pink pajamas she was wearing. Faroe must have been trailing off because next thing he knew she had left his view. She grabbed a piece of cooked meat and showed it to Faroe, he took the food and nibbled it, it was rather good, tasted like the crane he was used to back at home, but he kept staring at Irene. She seemed magical. He was in a trance. She started to giggle as he had dropped his meat but still kept chewing. It had been a long, long time since Irene had human company. This bizarrely dressed man was the most fun she had in years, and they weren’t even doing anything.

“Soo, uh…” Irene started in a quiet voice.

“Huh?” Faroe responded.

“Oh, oh, ummm…” Irene responded.

Faore finally broke the streak of stupid words, “Did you uh… save my life?”

“Mhm,” Irene said as she gave a huge nod.

“Uhh… thanks. Yeah! Thanks a lot! I owe you one! I'm Faroe!” Faroe said, finally getting the hang of talking to his new lady friend.

“I'm Irene. Why are you here? You don’t seem to be wearing the official hunting uniform,” She said as she started to examine his outfit, lifting his arms and then his tunic, which he awkwardly pushed down.

“Well we aren’t hunters, so that should explain my dressings, what is this place anyways? Apart from plant Kronos-32,” Faroe asked, for he wanted to extend the conversation and learn more about the woman, who gave off a friendly aura.

“Huh, well you see, this planet is a gameworld, they may not have these where you’re from, but men come from a distant planet called earth to hunt the animals that live here, they call them dinosaurs, but they’re stupid, anyone who comes to this planet for the thrills usually winds up dead or leaves after they can’t get a kill. I used to be from earth…” She said quickly and punctually. There was a distant whirring and the two looked out the window as a small craft flew near the horizon, and it slowly lowered into the jungle.

“Why did you come here?” Faroe said looking at her soft, freckled face in the moonlight, he noted that the moon here was huge, and there was another one off to the west, at least it seemed to be a moon.

"I was a dumb kid, I saw a poster for some wild safari and I wanted to see what it was all about, so I was going to leave home for a bit, just to live out in the wilderness, just for fun, you know? So I packed up some stuff and headed out..." She took a deep breath and smirked, "Well, I made a tiny mistake, since it was a shooting kind of safari, and I couldn't go back. Luckily I had some supplies, like clothes, books, a few pajamas."

“Is that what you’re wearing?” Faroe asked.

“Yeah, they still look nice. And feel good too, feel it!”

Faroe reached out his hand but Irene grabbed it and started rubbing it on her leg. Faroe felt really awkward, did she mean to act flirtatious, or did she just not know?

“Anyway, when I got to the dropship for ‘safari’ I dove into the cargo hold, and waited. It took nearly four days. I had to eat most of my rations. And when we landed, we were in no savannah safari, it was a forest. I was scared, so I ran off with my tent and a few supplies, I dropped most of them. I’m surprised I even lasted this long…” Irene stopped talking. She dumped some water on the flame that was cooking the now non-existent meat, putting it out.

“That was certainly a sad story,” Faroe said consolingly.

“No it wasn’t! I managed to survive out here all alone! I’m strong and independent!” At the sound of the word independent Faroe quickly changed his approach to her.

“Okay yeah, you’re right,” he said faux submissively, “but I came here for you,” he stressed the word you, “we are trying to return peace to existence and we need your help! Someone who admires you wants you to join us!”

“Who admires me?” Irene said puzzled but intrigued.

“Oh uh, well you may not believe me but, one of my captains, believes you have great marksmanship potential.”

“Well if you were a bit more normal, I honestly wouldn’t believe you Ramses,” she said as she lifted her shirt to remove an amphibian that had nestled on her abdomen.

“Excuse me? Who are you calling not normal?” Faroe asked.

“Well I’ll consider once I meet your orange friend,” Irene said as she stood up to put the animal on a tree branch.

“Holy Hekate!” Faroe said as he sprung up, hitting his head on the ceiling, “I forgot about Nos!”

...

Far off in the forest, Nos was curled up in a tree, wishing day would come and that the bugs would stop biting him.

Chapter 4: Leaving HomeEdit

Faroe was desperately trying to convince Irene to go and rescue Nos.

“No, it is way too dangerous! Even for me, there could be megatheres, ceratians, or even nightsprints!”

“Quit spewing out names of animals and let’s go!” Faroe desperately pleaded.

“Well…” Irene started, “you can if you really want to save your orange friend.”

“I can’t, no, it’s too dangerous…”

“Exactly!” Irene shouted.

“No for me, but if we go together or something, maybe we could…” Faroe realized the futility of his argument.

“Just stay here for the night. We can get him in the morning. He looks pretty tough, he’s gotta be able to survive out there. He may be on his way here right now.”

Faroe couldn’t argue, so he decided, much to his chagrin, that he would stay the night. But then he realized, he was staying the night! Faroe had never really gotten to know many girls, he was pharaoh for as long as he could remember and didn't have a sister to marry, and not many suitors bothered with him, maybe he could at last learn the ways of this creature called Woman and find a queen to rule with him.

“It’s pretty warm tonight, so sharing a bed would be a foolish idea, you can sleep on the floor,” Irene said as she shed her pajamas. Faroe thought this was odd, removing sleepwear before sleeping? But she probably knew best. Irene through down a lump of fabric which Faroe presumed was supposed to be a pillow, he put it on the soft carpet and fell asleep to the sounds of the night, as well as Irene’s breathing, which seemed to be very audible over the sound of the creatures in the forest, maybe he was just focusing to much on her...

...

A great silhouette stood over a blood red sky. It was Rephagus, king of the saurichians. He was on a plateau looking down on a port city. Many people were hustling and bustling around the town, talking, playing, enjoying themselves oblivious to what lurked only half a mile away on the flat topped mountain. Faroe was in his chambers, along with Nos, being fed green grapes by a servant. Faroe stood to address his people, but as he did, meteors crashed down into his palace, burying Nos in rubble and Rephagus appeared and tore apart all that he loved, while an evil god held Faroe in place, he saw a hand reaching down to him, but was pieced by a thousands of knives, his vision turned blood red.

...

“Hey! Hey you! Hey!” Screamed Irene as she shook Faroe awake, “You were rollin’ around shoutin’ names! Refag… refaj… Rephagus? And Set and Poseidon! And… And Irene…” she looked down at him with soft eyes, “What’s the matter?”

“I had a dream, that’s all, just a bad nightmare…”

“What did I have to do with it?” Irene asked quizzically.

“Oh uhhh…” Faroe trailed off staring wide eyed at Irene and then her pink pajamas that were scattered on the floor, “You, fell out the tree, and my… mythological… uh…”

“Well that was one cool story…” She said sarcastically stretching out the words.

“Yeah it was…” Faroe looked up at the sky to see that it was dawn, the sky was purple and in the distance the red sun rose behind the trees, small animals flew across the tall treetops. It was very beautiful.

“Well your friend needs-a-saving doesn’t he?” Irene said springing up and gathering supplies.

“Uh who? Oh yeah, Nos, Mhm,” Faroe was still thinking of his dream, a Pharoah is conceived as a god among men, and usually their dreams had a large amount of truth behind them. Faroe was worried dearly.

Irene tossed him a gun, “can you shoot?”

“No not really,” Faroe said blankly.

“Hm, then take this,” she slid him some jars of yellow fluid, brown satchels, and a bag.

Faroe gathered them up and put it in the bag containing medical supplies.

“Are you surer you’re going to want to use these supplies on us?” Faroe asked

“I’ve never really had to use ‘em” Irene said with a smirk.

The two climbed down the tree, and Faroe just had to say, “Are you sure you don’t need at least uh… Pants?” he said glancing away from her bare bottom.

“It is a little cool out, sure toss ‘em down.”

Faroe collected her pink PJs and gave them to her. She put them on in a flash and slid on some sandals she had.

The two marched to where they had last seen Nos and finally came to the tall tree. At the lowest branch laid Nos, his eyes were wide open and bloodshot, below him stood a white reptile with cream colored spines and quills on its neck. It turned to the two newcomers, cocked its head at Faroe, but backed away when it saw Irene.

“You two?!” shouted Nos from his perch, dirt covered his face, bits of twig and leaves were in his hair, which was equally dirt ridden.

“Sorry I’m late,” said Faroe, “This is Irene, our new team member.”

“Wait? You got her?” Nos said as he straightened up, “How?”

“Easy, I’m bored,” Irene said jokingly, a big smirk on her face.

“Hm, well, let’s go back to the pond and teleport home, eh?” Nos said hopping down from the tree. He held out a hand, Irene stared at it momentarily.   

"Oh right, shake!" She gripped his hand tightly, "Irene Greyson!"   

"Pleasure to meet you Irene, I'm Nos. Now let's get outta here," he said.   

...

They made it to the pond minutes later. Irene removed her pajamas and went in the water to go find her aquatic friend. Nos followed in to wash his face and body off from his rough night. Faroe was relatively clean so he stayed on the sandbar and looked for the transporter.

The big green reptile lazily sunned itself on a rock when Irene burst from the water to say hello to it, she kissed it on the head and saw that it had found Nos’ blade.

“Hey you! Pale pecs!” Irene shouted from nearby the waterfall, “Catch!" She threw the weapon casually and Nos caught it, giving her a questionable glare.

After bathing and having a few water based contests, the two got out and dried off of the shore, Faroe returned with a shrunken cube which was the transporter. They all laid down and watched the water.

“I’m gonna miss this place,” Irene said as she rolled on her back and placed her reptile friend on her belly.

“Well, you won’t be gone forever, you can always return,” Nos said reassuringly as he placed his hand on her shoulder.

“But do I really want to come back? I’ve had many adventures, but I have exhausted all the fun from it, all the excitement.”

“Believe me Irene, there is plenty of adventure to come, just you wait,” Nos said dreaming about who he may meet next.

They all went back into the water. Irene still felt attached to the place. She didn’t really want to leave, because she knew she wouldn’t want to return. As the sky turned dark blue, they realized they had been enjoying themselves the whole day, so Nos got into his jumpsuit and Irene got the clothes that Faroe left here the day before. Faroe expanded the transporter and they stepped on, and before you could count to three. They were gone. A silence fell over the land, the planet seemed to know, that it was the last it would be seeing Irene.

...

They arrived on the ship, Faroe and Nos explained to Irene what to do and where to go, her assigned dorm was 745, but Faroe arranged for a special dorm, the one right next to dorm 2, his dorm. Nos simply dismissed it as a way to get to know her, and he walked down to the assignment room; in it stood a man.

“Sir, we have a new location for possible recruits,” He pointed to a screen.

“India, 800 AD… what could go wrong?” Nos said with a smile, and went to the dorms to alert Faroe and his new crew member of the approaching adventure.

Chapter 5: Back HomeEdit

After a few weeks of preparation, Nos was getting ready for their next trip. He wasn’t the only recruiter for fresh faces, so more and more people started filling up the ship, he knew, however, they would soon be dispatched to conflict worlds to help the cause. Faroe and Irene were settling great in their dorms and Nos was thinking about asking Amanda if she was up for some food. He felt unusually gleeful today.

Down in the dorms Faroe was conversing with a priestess about the dream he had on Kronos, he had tried to decipher it himself, but with no luck.

“So you say they skies were red, and meteors came crashing down? Reminds me of Thoth, did you see many birds? Or Baboons?”

“Uh, no actually. And it was Set, he had my legs, I couldn’t move.”

“Set? Any other gods?” the priest asked as her eyes widened and she leaned forward.

“Yes, Poseidon.”

“Oh no. No this is not acceptable,” The priestess was extremely concerned, “ever since the events on Old Atlantis, Poseidon has been on watch, the gods wouldn’t let him interfere with mortals directly, in fact that was the new golden rule, no gods should be interacting with mortals, lest they lose their immortality. But he may be back working with Cronus, fiends and villains never play by the rules. I should get you to the norselands to talk with some of the residents, we don't want any of them to turn on us mortals as well.”

She stood up and told Faroe to keep watching dreams, and she left.

Faroe was very nervous, was he going to be a key component to the safety of the universe? He hoped not. That’s too much pressure. He left his dorm and looked around the hall. Irene was off taking classes, and Nos was probably preparing to go to India. India. That was a place far off from Egypt he only heard about it a few times. He imagined the sort of people and creatures that might live there.

“Faroe!”

“Yes?”

“Hey! Are you ready to go to our next exotic location?” Nos said as he jogged up to him.

“Yeah, I suppose so. Who is it we’re going to meet?” Faroe asked.

“Well that’s it, my source was an old sorcerer, he gave a rather odd speech saying, ‘Cleric, warrior, and scout have shown, and tank-like fighter and ranger are to follow’,” it was odd, but I think he was describing us.

“So a man who can take a hit, and a man who fights at a distance,” Faroe identified.

“That's what I thought,” said Nos, “Let’s go get Irene.”

The two walked down to the education and training wing of the ship, they hadn’t seen Irene in a while, she had temporarily moved down to the scout and recon training section, as well as getting special tutoring from Amanda the captain, so she could learn how to be a bit more fit to civilization.

“So Faroe? Do you dig the Irene gal or what?” Nos asked with a big smirk on his face.

Before Faroe could answer the door in front of them opened. Out of it stepped Amanda, behind her Irene came out shyly, peering over the shorter blonde woman's head.

She ducked behind Amanda at the sight of the two men.

“Hehe, don’t be so shy Irene!” Amanda said full of life compared to normal.

"I look dumb," she sneered.

"No you don't, come on!" Amanda chuckled encouragingly.

Irene stepped out from behind Amanda. She was in a straight blue dress and a white blouse. Her hair was tied back into a ponytail and she appeared to be wearing more makeup. Her shyness suddenly fled, “Hi! How do I look?” she said as she turned around, twirling the outfit, and looked over her shoulder at Nos and Faroe.

“You look fantastic!” Faroe said with a smile.

“Yeah, a girl ready for a new life,” Nos said, but he was more focused on Amanda, who had been wearing casual shorts and a t-shirt rather than her uniform.

“Yeah well... Hey wait here!” Irene said as she went across the hall to the recon training locker rooms, “I have something to show you!”

Nos turned to Amanda, “That sure was nice of you to take her in under your wing.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, I felt like it would be a good way to learn more about the girl, you probably wouldn’t believe it but she is quite a card. Despite speaking full sentences and looking pretty well kept, she laid around, farted, belched, and scratched all the time! Although I think I finally nicked those habits in the butts.”

Irene returned, this time in a different outfit, this was the one she would wear for the majority of the missions, she had tall black boots and high gray socks which covered less than half her legs. She wore a pair of short camouflage shorts which ended about 6 inches above the knee, above that she had on a white tank top and a camouflage vest over it, adorned with a pistol and a knife, and on her head rested a camouflage hat. She leaned against the wall putting a foot on it for support, showing everyone her new uniform.

“So do you guys, uh, like it?” she asked adjusting her shorts.

“Of course I do! You look incredibly professional” Faroe interjected loudly.

“Those shorts are a tad, um, well short,” Amanda said.

“Speak for yourself,” Nos said as he pointed at Amanda’s own shorts, which were hardly longer. Amanda rolled her eyes and smiled.

After catching up, the group decided to call it a day, postponing their mission to India for tomorrow. As Nos left for a meal Irene pulled Faroe aside and gave him a hug.

"Glad you like my new stuff," she smiled.

"Of course! It's great to have a new face around here, and I have a feeling you'll fit in perfectly!"

Irene smiled, and giggled softly, before heading off to her room.

...

Far off in India, a man was journeying through the jungle. He rode atop a giant African elephant. The man wore a huge set of shining steel armor. In his hand he wielded a large spear, only it had a large blade at the end, the whole thing was roughly 9 feet long, it took two hands to use correctly.

“We should be getting to the manticore nest soon,” The man said.

“Get ready,” a voice behind him said. It was a woman with blue hair, which had large yellow scales in it, she wasn’t exactly human, for where her legs would have begun, a snakes tail did instead. 

Chapter 6: Couple of HeroesEdit

The new trio marched to the teleportation room, Nos and Faroe calmly walked in, while Irene looked around with a mix of eagerness and caution. They were about to enter their next mission, one to the middle ages India in search for a mysterious pair of people. Next to Faroe stood Irene, donning her new scouting outfit, and in front of them both, Nos, setting up the device for teleportation. 

“Three. Two. One.”

The transporter flashed and disappeared.

The machine appeared on a branch in a tall tree, and the whole trio fell down, hitting branches and twigs, Irene was getting very cut up on her exposed skin, and Faroe lost his battle crown, but Nos seemed mostly fine. That is until they all hit the ground.

...

“What was that?” The naga, Olivia, said.

“I’m not sure. A creature barreling through the forest?” her fiancé Leon said.

The two sat atop a big elephant, it wasn’t an Asian one, rather Leon’s personal beast from Persia. They patted his head and told him to go into the deeper forest, where the sound came from. Olivia was a naga, part human part snake. She had a blue and yellow tail and  tan brown skin. Her hair was short and naturally blue but had yellow scales which hung down like beads. She was thin and less than curvy in the chest area, it gave her wuite a youthful appearance. She donned a piece of animal leather around her chest, leaving a lot of midriff, and a large belt-like leather piece around her waist, covering her mammalian reproductive parts. These allow her to have the mate she currently does, Leondre the Brawny, a very muscular Persian man who wore much more armor than his fiancé. Above all, his helmet was his pride and joy, he had forged it at a Hungarian armory on his travels and it had saved him on countless occasions. The shining headgear covered most of his face, but still revealed an impressive set of sideburns, not impressive out of size but rather their well groomed appearance. 

The two made it to a huge cave, overgrown with vines and trees. On the ground, debris and grass were kicked and torn up. Huge impressions in the dirt lead to the cave.

“Should we go in?” Olivia asked in her naturally quiet voice.

“Well we came for manticores, maybe one is living in there.”

The two dismounted the elephant and moved him to a thicket, his ears were tied back to prevent them from being torn by leaves, but it also made it harder for him to hear...

“Listen up Harish,” Olivia said, but the animal gave a dull stare, “Hey!? are you listening? Stay here, don’t move if you see someone coming unless you have to.”

They left the giant mammal and cautiously moved into the cave. Inside it reeked of decaying flesh, methane, and fire. Olivia was quick on her tail, and she quickly darted behind the closest rock from the cavity. The cave appeared to be a mess, gases exiting from cracks in the ground, magma glowing from far into the heart of the cave, and near the wall sat a giantess, two nagas, and a few humans. Leon jogged over to her.

“How many?” He asked.

“Maybe five or six, not including the, you know, giantess,” she gestured to the huge woman who was snoozing away, with a cooked cow leg on the ground.

“Should we rescue them?” Leon asked in his deep, smooth voice.

“Yes. Who knows what treasures hide in here that we could give to the village?”

“Okay,” Leondre said as he got his weapon ready, the half sword-half spear tool was going to be helpful in downing the 15 foot woman. Olivia drew her bow and pulled back her first arrow, she always dipped her first arrow in a strange venom, to cause maximum damage if her enemy escaped. But she rarely ever fought unless she was with Leon, and even then she only fought giants and manticores.

“Go!” Leon whispered loudly.

Olivia fired her arrow into the chest of the giantess, and Leon charged with his spear ready.

The creature roared with fury as she stood up, but the venom was already doing its job, and she couldn’t erect herself fully. Leon took this to his advantage and drove the long weapon into her eye and he held on tight. The pain drove her up and Leon landed on her head and drove a knife into her thick skull, she tumbled around and backed towards the magma pit, Leon saw this and quickly scrambled off, grabbing his weapon just before she stepped in and burnt up.

The two rushed over to the prisoners, and freed them, a few were unconscious but most were okay, however the three humans were badly cut and bruised. After the nagas left to their camp, they confronted the humans.

“Hello?”  Olivia said as she tried to get a reaction from one of them, “Are you all right?”   

“Oh yeah,” Nos said as he grunted and held his head.

“Good,” she said as she pulled him up. She used her tail to help lift Faroe up on his feet.

Irene got up and screamed, seeing the small naga’s tail.

Olivia grew red in the face and shot the huntress an evil eye, before she could receive her small dagger Leon held her back, the petite nagini's lip curled. He glared at Irene and guided Olivia away from her.

“That was rude,” said Faroe.

“So who are you two?” Nos asked, interested, as their equipment matched the sorcerer’s description.

“I am Leondre Bitar,” He said bowing.

“And I’m Olivia Bungarus Mangat,” she said proudly.

“I’m Nos, This is Faroe and Irene,” He said in response.

They searched for any valuables but only found their confiscated weapons. So they left the cave. Harish quickly emerged from his hiding place, but became apprehensive when he saw the other people. But Faroe's eyes lit up.

“What a beautiful animal! Is this yours?”

“Yes, he is quite nice, been mine since I was a lad.” Leon said.

Come with us, we can take you to the naga village of Acrullia. A beautiful riverside village, full of beautiful nagas,” Olivia said, bowing her head, but secretly glancing at Irene.

They trekked down to the big river. It shined red against the dusk sun. In the water dolphins swam downstream, and gharials basked on the shores, lazily lifting their heads to see the passing adventurers.

...

Deep in the jungle another world transporter appeared, and off stepped three titanic bodies.

“Welcome to the our first stop,” one of the creatures said with a harsh, deep voice, “We must stop Wight's new allies here, and soon we will have the rebel leader himself.”

Chapter 7: Acrullia, City of NagasEdit

One of the bodies stepped down from the transporter. Its huge length stretched almost 50 or 60 feet, and its head, when held up, was almost 30 feet up. The body was heavily muscled and was covered in thick leathery skin, on the head it had large protruding scales which formed a crest. The beasts head was very shocking compared to his dull brown body, being at least 6 or 7 feet long and was red and green with iridescent scales on it. The two other were also immense, one creature was even larger, over a hundred feet from head to tail, with a long graceful neck and a vicious, whip-like tail, and the other was at least the size of the the first creature, if not larger, the dull orange body supporting a big sail of skin.

They were dinosaurs, a tyrannosaur: Rephagus, spinosaur: Dryptus, and alamosaurus: Baro. Rephagus looked around the jungle, near the river he saw trees shaking and startled birds flapping desperately away from it.

“That’s where we go,” Rephagus said to his officers.

“It’s big, so it must be important,” said Baro.

“It doesn’t matter what it is, we just need to make our presence known, terrorize people into joining us,” Rephagus said, thinking about his plans.

...

Down near the river Harish was stuck in some soft soil. He wasn’t used to these small spaces so he started to panic. Knocking trees around and scaring the smaller inhabitants.

“Come on Harish, don’t be so reckless, just calm down so we can get you out,” Leon said as he pushed on his back. The whole party tried pushing him but it was no use.

“Harish!” Leon shouted. Olivia came back from gathering some food and saw the mess going on.

“There you are honey,” Leon said as he stopped pushing, “We need your help.”

“What’s snakey gonna do? She’s scrawnier than a tallbird,” said Irene as she started pushing harder on the unresponsive elephant.

Olivia grew red in the face and balled her fists, this lady thought she was hot stuff, but she didn’t know the first thing about animals.

“What am I gonna do?” She said to herself as she moved over to the front of the beast, “Just watch.” She climbed on the back of the elephant and wrapped her hands around its head, and whispered into its ear. And soon the giant mammal was stepping out of the moist earth.

“Finally we got it out,” Irene said.

“We...?” Olivia muttered to herself from atop the creature.

Leon stepped in, “Yes, we…” he said trying to calm down the normally level headed naga.

The group continued on, Olivia had gathered some fruits and nuts, she saved the nuts for herself and passed around the fruits, giving bananas to everyone but Irene, to whom she gave some small berries, “Sorry not enough for you,” Olivia said as she tucked some bananas into her waist band to conceal them.

Irene shrugged, she had already captured a small mammal and had eaten a portion of it. Olivia looked at the meat in Irene's hands and shook in contempt.

“Hey Olivia, what do you call the things you’re wearing?” Asked a curious Nos, who felt obligated to learn about the various mythical and alien life forms he came across.

“Yeah, these things are basically naga specific apparel, well the waist piece is called a Saipente, and the top part is an Abscondus. I think it's Latin for something, but I've never really learned what.

"Fascinating, do male nagas wear those?” asked Faroe.

“Maybe not in public… but they do wear the Saipente, though it’s slightly different for them.”

Before they knew it, they had arrived to the naga city of Acrullia. The city was very symbiotic with the environment, with tree huts and hollows, and a few buildings on the ground, next to it was the great river, in it swam some nagas and gharials, the large reptiles seemed to enjoy the presence of the snake people.

“Hello!” waved a young naga girl with red hair who was sun bathing on the back of a gharial. The whole river seemed to wave to the elephant and its riders. One thing the crew noted was the variety of nagas, not only were their hair colors extremely different, they had a huge variaiety of skin tones, some fair, others a deep tan, others brown or black.

“Are all these nagas from here?” Asked Faroe who was waving back to a rather chubby female naga.

“Yeah, we nagas and naginis are extremely diverse in colors. Is that weird to you?” Olivia asked.

“Well most humans have children who are the same color as they are,” Leon explained to his wife.

“Huh, that’s sad. Especially the fact that your hair is so boring, the tones are so... Subdued.”

“And what’s a nagini?” asked Nos.

“That’s the name for a female naga,” Olivia explained happily, “naga is a catch all term. You can call a male or a female a naga, but only females a nagini.”

While they were walking they passed more and more of the friendly beings. Each naga seemed to have the same color hair as their tail, and the females had scales in their hair, which reflected any undertones in their tail. As they got to the largest building the group dismounted the building had a triangular rooftop and hundreds of stairs led up to a single pair of doors, which could only fit a single person most likely. Leon led Harish to a stable with some Asian elephants in it. As he returned the whole party was surrounded by nagas and naginis wanting to hear from Olivia.

“Please just wait until my dear Leon comes back,” Olivia said with her hands in front of her. The crowd, however, was growing very restless, they hungered for gossip and information about the travels Olivia and Leon took.

“What did you guys see?”

“Any manticores?”

“What about Orangutans?”

“What's an Orangutan?”

“When are you going to get married?”

“ENOUGH!”

A large naga with a thick, nineteen foot long emerald colored tail emerged. The naga had a head of immensely white hair, which fell down to his back, he was clearly older than most, but still looked incredibly strong and intelligent. The crowd fell silent as he proceeded to Olivia and her strange new companions.

“Who are these?” He asked eyeing them.

“This is Nos” she said as she pointed to the pilot, “That’s Faroe, and that’s Eileen... or something.”

“Irene,” Irene said annoyed.

“Where did you find these people?” He said.

“They were in a giants cave, we saved them,” she said as Leon worked his way through the crowd to get to her.

“I see, is the tale true then?” the old naga said.

“Oh Parvati! The story!” Olivia exclaimed as her wide eyes lost their youthful appearance instead becoming weary and worried.

The old naga continued, “You would be visited by a great ambassador, tell me? Are any of you ambassadors?”

The group looked towards Faroe, “Uh I am,” he said.

“Tell me, two falcons and a crocodile?” the naga said cryptically.

The crowd started to grow restless.

“Crocodile?”

“What’s that?”

“Like a gharial right?”

“Falcons and crocodile?” Faroe said confused, “wait…” he thought back to the three temple complex, and the gods who were worshipped there. “Ra, Horus, and Sobek!”

“So yes he is the ambassador,” the great naga said.

The crowd roared in excitement. Olivia looked to Faroe confused.

“So it is falling into place, I guess you must explain to Olivia and Leon what you are going to do with them.”

The great naga yelled to the crowd, “Disperse now!” and the crowd obeyed.

...

The group of adventurers had moved to the confused nagini’s house up in one of the larger trees. It was one of the bigger houses but still couldn’t comfortably fit all the people in the main room.

“Why do you need us?” Olivia said slightly worried.

“Uh, well the world you live in is at risk,” Faroe said looking out the window, seeing young nagas playing with a young elephant, while some little naginis rode on its back.

“Is it?” Olivia said with utmost fear.

Faroe became very serious, “Well maybe not now, but a terrible empire is expanding its borders beyond its own world, they have discovered ways to travel between dimensions, they believe in segregation, elimination, or destruction of anything they deem inferior, and if they don’t kill you they enslave you, but to the outside world you’re basically dead.”

Olivia was not a killer, she only fought when absolutely necessary, her innocent mind never thought of these things, slavery, and destruction of innocent people, she hardly knew what slavery meant. She looked up to her love, Leon and he looked back with sad but accepting eyes.

“We must do what is right. We must protect those who need us. This may not be easy for you Olivia, nor will it be easy for any of us, but imagine the lives we will save.”

Olivia imagined seeing the mass death that may happen, the last time she saw something like that was when she was 10, the giants had attacked her town, killed everyone, only a few children survived, but they sent manticores after them, she was the only one to make it to Acrullia, but that was 11 years ago, she was stronger now.

“I’ll do it,” she said thrusting her fist into the air.

“Oli, are you sure? You only have ever fought giants before, this is very diff-” Leon started but before he could finish Olivia kissed him on the lips.

“We’ll do it, but let us do one thing before we go.”

A naga wedding is certainly different from the ones I know thought Faroe as the chief bestowed them a pair of tail cuffs, only to replace one with an arm cuff. They were the most beautiful things Faroe ever saw, bright shining silver with rubies embedded in them, with lapis lazuli around the depressions. The two newlyweds shared a passionate kiss as the crowd roared.

...

Deep in the forest, Rephagus heard the sounds of instruments being played a far distance away, Baro stood in the river, ignoring the angry dolphins and gharials biting at his knees.

“I hear a celebration or something,” He said.

“See if you can find it,” Rephagus demanded. Baro stood up, startling the aquatic assailants. 70 feet in the air, he could see a crowd far off in a small grove.

Chapter 8: Ruinous AfterpartyEdit

Rephagus called to his officer Dryptus, “Swim downriver, when you see this grove, or at least something close to it, surface and attack, we will attack on the other side.”

“Yes sir,” The spinosaurus said. The group split up.

Rephagus was a big creature, and so was Baro, the forest canopy got in their way and made it tough for them to travel, with every few steps, they smashed several trees, clearing a wide path for just the two of them. Their procession displaced many animals, squirrels, primates, birds and lizards fleeing from being crushed underfoot. Out of the thicket emerged a manticore, the creature was blood red, with the face almost like that of man but had hair like a lions mane, its muscular tiger like body ended with a long tail and on it, dozens of projectile quills steeped in poison.

“Eh? Whaddo we have here?” said Baro, looking repulsed by the creature.

Rephagus didn’t care. He just sprinted up to it and stepped on its back, bringing it to the ground. It struggled, firing its quills off in different directions. Rephagus was silent as it tried to fight him, but he just leaned down and sunk his 9-inch teeth deep into the flesh of the creature. With a wet crunch, the monster went silent.   

“Now enough of this,” he said spitting out the manticore’s flesh, which tasted bitter and salty. The two marched by without another thought of the humbled monster. Farther off a giant stood tending his pack of manticores by a jungle pool, and he saw that one was missing.

...

In Acrullia, the newly married Olivia was deciding where she wanted to honeymoon.

“What about Pakistan? I know a family of cave nagas who are living deep in the mountains, but we’d have to go through the desert to get there…” She said pacing around the room eagerly.

“Um, Olivia?” Faroe tried to say.

“What? You think cave nagas don't exist?”

“No, you wont have time for a honeymoon,” Faroe explained forlornly.

“Wait, but…” Olivia said unhappily.

“We can go after we’re done serving for the universe my dear,” Leon consoled.

“Hey, you could treat your travels throughout the worlds as a honeymoon,” Irene said uninterested as she laid across the couch, swatting her ponytail, which hung in front of her face.

“Irene, that’s actually a cool idea!” She said with a new happy tone, “How about it Leon?”

“Sure! Sounds cool!”

Just as they were about to head out to return to the Victory Sound, a loud roar came from the river.

“Help!”

“Help us, please!”

“It’s got Leenah!”

The people down by the water were screaming and scrambling away from a massive creature with the jaws of a gharial, like a massive heavyset lizard, it was the spinosaurus. In its long jaws was a yellow nagini, who laid motionless apart from flopping like a ragdoll as the creature moved. It ambled onto the shore, looking around for the targets he was told about.

“You fools! Running from our might is futile, allow yourselves to be devoured, and put toward a greater purpose!” He said as he quickly sprinted, covering at least 20 feet with each step, stomping each naga he saw.

“What the Hell is that!” Leon shouted, “Someone get me my armor!”

“You two get your stuff, we’ll take care of this!” Nos said as he leaped from the open window, “Irene, Faroe! Come on!”

The huge animal crushed the small naga houses with his body as he gave a maniacal toothy grin, showing up ragged red flesh in its conical teeth.

“Hey you!” Nos said as he reached for his blade as Faroe cast a shielding spell by sticking his crook in the ground, and Irene unloaded several rounds into the massive creature. Small flashes of blood spurted from the beast's side as the bullets embedded into his scales.

“Hah, you puny beings!” Dryptus roared as he ran at them, but he instead collided with the shield spell, and fell to the ground.

As he was getting up Rephagus and Baro came out of the thick jungle, the tyrannosaur saw the sail backed reptile trying to push itself back up, the great dinosaur shook his head in disappointment.

Baro turned himself around and used is long tail as a whip, knocking Faroe’s crook down and deactivating the spell. Rephagus took this opportunity and ran at the group, his jaws wide open, revealing 60 long, sharp, serrated teeth. Nos leapt up with his super-heated orange-red blade, hitting the big creature’s leg.

“Gah!” the animal bellowed, giving Nos a kick sending his body backward, hitting a hard metal and clanging off of it. Shock waves of pain ran up and down his body, his mouth gasped for air that had been violently ejected from both impacts, he shook his head and looked up to see a determined looking Leon and an angry or sad Olivia, he couldn’t really tell.

“We’ve got this,” Leon said as he charged, wielding his long spear ready to pierce the chest of this reptilian assailant. The old emerald naga saw this, he went back into the large building and returned with a large staff, and with it he cast powerful bursts of fire at the three dinosaurs.

Baro saw the attacker and used his whip tail, it drove itself deep into the emerald nagas flesh, right on his shoulder and he started to bleed profusely, the red liquid spilling down onto the stone floor. Baro saw his attack was working so he whipped his tail again this time aiming for his neck. Just in time the emerald naga ducked, but he fell over out of pain. His staff rolled down the steps as he simply laid there as blood pooled around him.

Leon charged Rephagus with his long spear, aiming for its chest. But Rephagus was too fast, he dodged the attack and countered with a downward bite, but his teeth couldn’t grip Leon’s armor and he slid off. As he tried for another strike something burst from the forest, it was a huge giant, at least 35 feet tall, his long black hair draped over his sunken eye sockets and tired eyes. With an angry expression he grabbed a tree and ran at the battlefield, "You ate my manticore!!!" he shouted as he swatted at the angry dinosaur and the two fought viciously as baro tried to aim for the giant with his tail, but he couldn’t get a good shot. From underneath, the party tried to avoid being stomped, and they quickly fled. Leon grabbed Harish from the stables and released all the other elephants. The group was calling for everyone who was alive to come after them. It wasn’t many. A red haired nagini with a small baby, a young black haired one with very pale skin, and one with dark dirty green hair and had dark brown skin, a few others were laying down, injured.

“I guess you guys are coming with us, we’ll be able to find a good place for you,” Nos said as he retrieved his world transporter. Behind them the three titans battled, crushing building and knocking around rubble. Very little survived the violent attack, only a few tree houses high up in the forest, where they could avoid any sort of damage.

Olivia couldn’t help but cry, tears streamed down her face and onto her chest, Leon consoled her, stroking her shoulder.

“Hey… Sorry about what happened,” Irene said, “We tried our best, but five people aren’t really a good counter to those guys.” Olivia looked up at Irene, she snorted and turned to Leon.

“Alright everyone, step on.” Nos said as he made the world transporter bigger.

They all stepped on and teleported to the Victory Sound

...

Aboard the ship a bored looking Sphinx sat in the teleporter room reading a magazine. Suddenly when the transporter returned, the room became much more crowded, in addition to he normal three, several snake people, a man, and an elephant all appeared. Causing the sphinx to stand up wide eyed.

“Don’t worry Markus, they’re with us,” Nos said as he walked by, gesturing the rest to follow him.

Outside he met up with Amanda, “hello Amanda, listen I’m gonna need you to take these nagas to the guest dorms,” he said. Amanda stared wide eyed at their bizarre hair and snake tails.

“Why does everybody stare?” said the red nagini with furrowed brows.

“And take the elephant down to the animal care center,” He ordered.

“Sure thing…” She said confused.

The group then moved down to the armory, “alright if you're going to be part of our team,” Nos started, but then he noticed that Leon and Olivia were already armed and armored, “… then you're gonna need a place that can fix your weapons and supply you with tools.”

“Thanks, but do you think they know how to work with my kind of weapons?” Leon asked.

“I dunno, probably,” Nos responded, “Can they?” he looked to Faroe.

“Honestly I wouldn’t even trust these guys with my morning brew,” Faroe said truthfully.

“Well then…” Nos said, “They’ll probably let you fix your own stuff...”

The group continued on the tour, “Here’s where you’ll learn how to maximize your potential,” he said pointing to the training rooms.

“Cool! So where will I go? Heavy weapons school? Or tank training?” Leon asked.

“Well not those, probably hand to hand armor training,” Nos said, “Now if you don’t mind, I’m late for another briefing on our next group member.

“I guess that’s it… we do have signs and maps just in case you need anything,” Faroe explained, “Follow me to your dorms, that’s where you’ll be sleeping and working.”

He led them to the back of the titanic ship where most people stayed and gave them their room. He opened up the door, the room was like most of them, it was very modern looking with white chairs and a fancy black couch which sat in a living area which was lower than the rest of the room, in the middle was a clear glass table, the TV was large and it almost took up the whole wall. The main room split off into the bed and bath rooms on the left, and the dining room on the right.

“I remember when mine was this fresh,” Faroe said thinking back to several months ago.

“It’s certainly not like anything I’ve ever seen,” Olivia said looking around.

“Oh yeah, you guys are from the past like me, let me explain to you.”

“If you don’t mind, I’m gonna go to my dorm and have a nice long shower,” Irene said, “So if you need me I’ll be there.”

“Have a shower? Make it rain?” Olivia asked quizzically.

“Oh Ill explain that when we get to it,” Faroe assured them.

Faroe explained to them what the television did.

“Wait? It shows a painting, but it moves?” Leon asked unbelieving.

“Not a painting but an actual thing that happened.”

“Huh, that’s rather amazing,” Leon said.

Faroe showed them to their room, this is where you guys can sleep. The bed was large and soft. Olivia slithered up to it and felt the soft, cushy mattress, “Sweet mother of Shiva! This is the softest thing ever!”

“Yeah, I slept for almost a whole day on one of those,” Faroe said remembering when he first discovered the beautiful sleeping furniture, “Let me show you to the restroom.

They moved to the large restroom, in it was a large bath which could comfortably fit four people, a walk in shower, and a gleaming white toilet.

“This thing is the shower, it washes away all that dirt and stuff that you can pick up,” Nos explained, “The bath is better for relaxing after a long day, these buttons and switches can make it bubble and swirl, it’s the best feeling ever, and that there is the toilet, it’s what makes a bathroom a bathroom.”

“Is that like a chamber pot?” Leon asked.

“Actually, yes. But this one flushes your, uh stuff away to a place where no one has to bother with it.”

Olivia frowned, “I guess you don’t have any naga friendly receptacles, do you?”

“Oh uh yeah I guess not…” Faroe said, worried for Olivia’s well being.

“Well nagas only give off liquid waste, if that’s any consolation. Their digestive system is so powerful it basically destroys whatever’s in there, they basically only urinate,” Leon said. Hearing this Olivia gave him a swift elbow in his gut, but he didn’t even wince, and he gave a cheeky smile at his embarrassed wife.

“Well I think that’s enough,” Faroe said as he awkwardly walked out, “If you need anything just call, oh yeah phone… just figure it out yourselves.”

“Hey, Mr. Naga anatomy,” Olivia said playfully yet still annoyed, “Go find me some nuts, I’m hungry.” Leon obeyed and set off to the dining hall for some refreshment for his wife.

“Now how do I work this shower?” she asked herself as she squeezed her tail into the shower and removed her saipente and abscondus. 

Chapter 9: RecoveryEdit

“What a predicament,” Olivia huffed as she squirmed in the glass walled shower. Her thick tail covered the entire bottom of the small box, causing water to start pooling up, she tried to move her tail but it simply couldn’t, adding insult to injury it was also beginning to fall asleep. “Maybe I shouldn’t use this thing next time, if there is a next time,” she said as the water moved up to her belly button. She heard Leon coming in.

“Olivia? I’ve got your food,” he said, “Are you still showering?”

“Not showering, drowning!” she urgently joked.

“What!?” Leon ran into the bathroom confused and worried. He turned and saw her in the shower. He began to open the door.

“No no no! Don’t!” Olivia screamed, but it was too late. Once Leon opened the door the water buildup flowed out onto the floor, and the little nagini slid out and fell down at Leon’s feet. She had a huge frown on her face.

“I don’t like the shower,” she said statically keeping her frown.

“Hm, well there is a shower head on the bath,” Leon pointed out.

“What?” Olivia shouted as she sprung up to see if it was true. Sure enough, it was.

“Darn it!” she pouted, hitting her hand on the shower.

Leon gave a languid smile.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to pee,” she said gracefully despite the subject.

Leon left the room wondering how she would pull it off in a human designed bathroom.

...

Irene emerged from her shower ready to relax when she found an odd package on her coffee table.

“What is this? Oh please be a gift from Nos!” She hoped as she sat down in her bathrobe with the box. Looking for something to open with she found her hunting knife, very carefully and lightly she opened it, within the box was a book, a very, very old book, “Oh, oh,” she couldn’t bring a sentence together. The book was one her brother used to read to her all the time, she remembered dreaming about having a loving mother like the one in the story. She opened the book and flipped through the worn and ripped pages

“What? Is this used?” she asked herself quizzically.

Turning to the inside cover she saw her name written in crayon, and her brother’s neat, cursive name. She couldn’t read it, but it looked familiar enough, “Andrew Greyson,” she said. She was unsure how the book got there, but she couldn’t help but let a tear roll down her cheek, she missed her brother, if only she could see him again. Although she had left earth some 20 years ago only now did she realize how much she missed having a family.

...

Faroe had his crook in his hands, when Baro whipped it, it suffered dreadfully. Only centimeters away from snapping in half, he had to make sure that didn’t happen, otherwise the enchantment would leak out. Faroe carefully set it on the table, he feared having to give it to the blacksmiths on the ship, for they were notoriously bad with anything that wasn't a fancy new gun or super sword. They were also headed by an annoying pair of mechanics who always made a joke out of anyone not from their time period.

Grabbing his phone he quickly dialed up his trusty priestess. It was pretty late and she usually only worked in the morning, but he wanted to try anyway. After a 10 minute wait she showed up, but not in her traditional gown, but rather a transparent lace, revealing her fantastic physique. It was widely stated by the men aboard the victory sound that Akila was the most beautiful woman there. She had a curvy hourglass figure, she had a large, natural bosom, which, as odd as most would find it, were what many called the source of her powers, for Egyptians had a close connection with body fluids and Heka, or magic. However, her wide hips and round backside had no relation to her supernatural powers, the gods were just kind to her as she aged. Her skin was tan from living in Egypt all her life, and her hair was well kept and cleaned by royal dressers. While the rather risque outfit would be distracting for most men, Faroe was used to it, since most Egyptian women wore these things, even in public.

“Pardon me Akila, did I wake you up?” Faroe apologized politely.

“Believe me I’ve been up, Master Faroe” she attested wiping a feather off her shoulder.

“Well see this?” Faroe asked.

“it's just a simple crack, my lord,” she said bending down to pick up the staff. She held tightly where it was broken and chanted as a dwarven god made of smoke appeared and quickly fixed it.

“There you go, is that everything, sir?” she asked getting up.

“Oh, yes it is.” Faroe said.

"You look rather ill my lord, what is the matter?"

"Oh, nothing..."

"If you want to be a great magician my lord, you must stop lingering on these negative emotions of yours, you lose focus on what matters when you think with them," She sharply turned around, her lace outfit billowing behind her.

...

Nos entered the briefing room, it was currently empty.

“Where’s the world ambassador? We usually get one of those,” Nos asked, half expecting an answer.

“I was wondering that too,” A familiar voice said.

Nos turned around, it was Amanda in her classic captain’s uniform. She sat next to him and crossed her legs, “So when do you expect them to get here?” she asked.

“Well it’s already twenty-one hundred,” Nos said as he looked at his watch.

“Maybe they’re all out,” Amanda said slightly yawning, as she tilted her head back her hat came off, revealing her short, straight blonde hair.

“Your hat fell off,” Nos said.

Amanda blushed, “Whoops, silly me,” she turned around on the chair and leaned down to pick her hat up. Nos saw that her skirt was sewn in one place.

“What happened there,” he poked at it.

“Oh that…” She started, “It got ripped at some point, but nobody said a thing! I bet everyone saw my panties, those jerks, at least I was wearing them that day,” she said angrily.

“Wow, what jerks,” Nos said remembering that it was his doing that caused the rip, and that he didn’t say anything.

“Yeah, that’s what great about you, you're not afraid to point things out,” she complimented, “I’d like to point something out, your hair is fantastic.”

Nos had spent some time getting it to stay up in a messy, spiked style, “Thanks,” he nodded.

Amanda gave a long sigh as she stretched in the chair, this time she held her hat, the two sat together for about half an hour, talking, eventually reminiscing about the time they spent together as soldiers many years ago. Eventually General Kingler came in. His face was red from sun and worn from many conflicts. He had a scar on his right eye which left him with an eye patch.

“Hello captains,” He bellowed in a gruff voice. The two stood up and saluted him.

“Captain Joel” he declared, “Captain Ebroy.”

“Yes sir?” They said together.

“Apparently this next world doesn’t have any sort of powerful ambassador to tell you anything, so we’ve got some of our top scientists to decipher who it is we’re looking for.”

“When do you think they’ll get done?” Amanda asked.

“Maybe in a few days at best, a month or two at worst,” He explained.

“That’s pretty good,” Nos accepted, “Let’s hope they move pretty quick, we don’t have time for filler”

The two looked at him with furrowed brows. Unsure what he meant by "filler"

“Filler missions, stuff we don’t need to do,” He explained, though he felt like it was self explanatory.

“Okay… you two should get some rest,” He patted their shoulders with great force and then left the room.

“Well good night,” Nos said to Amanda.

“Yeah, ‘night,” she said as she leaned in to hug him, “you did a great thing in that naga village,”

“Did I?” Nos said slightly confused.

“Yeah, one of the nagas said what you did, real brave stuff, even if you couldn't save the place in the end” Amanda said as she walked up the isle way to get back to her dorm.

“What's going on? Am I falling for my old superior?” Nos said with a worried look on his face. He couldn't help but think of all the time he had spent with her, he just couldn't figure out why this was happening. 

Chapter 10: Broken StoneEdit

The 21st century, a troubled time, but the world meant nothing to the young medical student in Peru. Her name was Ruby Stone. She lived in an advanced genetics compound run by her parents, who were both renowned doctors and geneticists. Raised as an only child, she didn’t have many companions, just a pet guinea pig and a markhor, a goat like animal not from around her home. Ruby was 19 but had only left the compound a few times. Her long reddish brown hair was tended to by her maids, and her clothes were only picked up by her parents, she never bought them herself. But all was normal to her. She respected the thought of being a scientist, but always had a bizarre primal urge to just pick up an axe and go crazy.

“Dear, we’re going to get some pasta, we’ll bring some back for you,” Her mother called from far away.

“Sure whatever, just easy on the cheese,” She said looking at her wardrobe, “clothing, clothing everywhere, nor any pants to wear.”

She sighed, flopping onto her bed, "this is so cruddy," she wished for something new to wear. As she was laying there she heard a commotion going on in the lab. She was told not to go into there even during emergencies, but this sounded serious.

She put on her sneakers and grabbed a pair of safety goggles. Then she saw her father’s medieval weapons collection, the Dane axe looking extremely tempting. But she snapped herself out of it, as she hopped down the stairs a red light was flashing and an alarm was signaling, “This never happened before,” she said to herself confused. As she made it to the heavy iron door she looked through the small fortified window. “Jesus Christ!” inside was a massive white ape charging around destroying equipment and attacking scientists. She pulled on the door, but it wouldn’t open. She ran back upstairs and grabbed two short handled Dane Axes, a maniacal smile growing on her face.

“YEAH!!!” she gave a battle cry hacking at the door until it gave in and opened. Before she could think she was already running at the creature, teeth gritted and angry she unleashed her fury, each hit made her want to hit harder as she laughed yelling. Soon the massive creature was on the ground.

“Ha ha ha!!!” She screamed throwing her axes to the ground. She noticed the ape wasn’t really an ape, it didn’t look like any she’d seen before. But then she noticed all the dead and dying people in the room, “crud...” she stammered, her hands shaking, she needed to bring her blood sugar up, due to the very chaotic situation, but she collapsed before she could do that, passing out on top of one of the scientists.

...

Faroe’s eyes were dark and his face looked tired. Irene had puffy red eyes and she looked like she was thinking very deeply. Nos was happy and giddy. And Olivia and Leon looked exhausted. They sat quietly as they all ate breakfast.

Olivia whispered into Leons ear making him giggle and spit out his Raisin Bran.

“What?” Faroe said annoyed.

Irene was sitting next to Leon, “She said the bed was super comfortable for her back.”

“Oh...” Faroe pushed his plate of bacon, biscuits, and eggs away from himself.

“You didn’t have to say it Irene,” Olivia blushed.

Nos smirked at the thought, "I think I'm satisfied for now," he stood up and left.

“Yeah, see ya,” Faroe said as Nos walked over to Amanda's table.

Irene glared at Olivia, then took a large bite out of a mound of bacon and chewed it loudly, the petite nagini disturbed by the carnivorous display.

...

“Hey Amanda,” Nos said to the captain, who was chatting it up with her female friends.

“What’s going on?” She said holding her finger to her friends.

“We’re going on a mission to a new world, and maybe…” Nos stopped.

“Maybe what?”

“Maybe you want to come?” Nos finished

“That’s nice, but I have important stuff to do, and I couldn’t do anything useful for you anyways.”

“Sure, I understand,” he said.

“Maybe some other time, when nothing important is involved,” she said consolingly.

...

“Get back here lizard!” The angry giant said.

“You're begging for death, fool!” the huge tyrannosaur said sprinting off, trying to lure the massive man towards Baro. Rephagus grounded to a halt as he reached a tall cliff blocking his way.

“We’ll have to settle this the old fashioned way…” The titanic archosaur sneered as he ran at the massive adversary. The tyrant lizard sunk his teeth into the giants arm, slashing through the flesh with ease as he wriggled in pain. He threw a forceful punch into the side the Rephagus’ head, knocking him loose. “You’re delaying my plans!” The huge reptile fired a kick into the giant’s leg, but the giant pushed Rephagus back towards the river, he was trying to get up, but his weight on the wet mud made him sink. Baro took this opportunity and whipped at his legs, bringing the giant to his knees, “Raaah!” he yelled. Baro lifted himself up and rested his front feet on the giants back, then pushed hard, breaking the giants bones and bringing him down. Finally stomping hard on his head, causing it to splatter around on the ground.

“Excellent, now come, we’ve figured out where the vile world protectors are going, let us beat them to the punch.” The two stomped to where they had left the transporter.

Chapter 11: Recovering RubyEdit

“Miss you are in so much trouble! You hear me!?” Ruby’s angry father shouted, his face was red, nostrils flaring, eyebrows furrowed.

“But it was-” Ruby tried to say.

“It was NOT an emergency! If was an emergency we would have come back!” He was truly furious, his teeth were gritted together, “Luckily Dr. Halpert managed to get you up here and treat you with some glucagon!”

“But I thought Dr. Halpert was dead.” Ruby said confused.

“No he wasn’t, and when did I ever say you could use my axes! Those were on display for a reason! They’re ancient relics!”

“But the creature! The ape thing!” Ruby defended herself.

“That was none of your business. Never go down to the lab, EVER!” he stormed out, slamming the door behind him.

She tried to suppress her tears, but she couldn’t, they came out with more flow than the Amazon. She could hear her father yelling at her mom, they were probably both pissed off at her. Stuff like this had happened before, but not this extreme, like when she was 9, she had found a turtle that was injured by a car, it had died on the road, but as soon as she had touched it, its shell reformed and it slowly walked away. Her parents were less mad, but they dragged her away to her room. That was the last time she left the house, but only the fourth time she had ever went further than the gate.

She laid in bed, wishing she could just leave the place, nothing ever happened here. She heard the family car pull out of the driveway. She sat up in her bed to peer out the window. The windows were rather tinted, but it seemed her father was driving away.

“Thanks,” she said as she looked up at the sky, she was an atheist, but always imagined talking to God every so often. She opened the door and crept to the dining hall where the weapons were kept, she joyfully licked her lips as she saw two long-bearded axes, her favorite kind. She took them out, practicing her skills, swinging both of them, striking and gracefully dancing, avoiding imaginary arrows.

“Cool…” she imagined herself as a Viking, charging a castle, she ran across the room.

“Excuse me,” a woman said.

“CRUD!” Ruby shouted as she jumped in fright, dropping the axes on the floor.

“Are you supposed to be playing with those?” she asked, as if Ruby was a young child.

Ruby turned around to see the woman. She was a doctor, one who seemed very familiar, “Have we met?”

“Maybe, were you the axe wielding maniac who fought the yeti?”

“YETI!” Ruby shouted terrified, “Yetis aren’t real! That was just a, uh, an ape!”

“Well it actu-“

“No! You are familiar. I saw you get pulverized by that, that, thing! How are you not dead!?” she screamed confused and scared.

“So your parents haven’t told you about their job?” she asked worriedly.

“They’re doctors, they were experimenting with… uh,” come to think of it, Ruby didn’t know what they were doing.

“They are geneticists…” the doctor said.

“Yeah, but they weren’t… did they create that thing?” Ruby asked highly concerned.

“Yes, did they ever tell you about your ability?” she asked.

“Ability? What are you talking about?! You're making this up! You're insane!” she yelled.

The doctor picked up an axe, and brought it down on her hand, causing her to wince in pain and gasp shakily.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” Ruby screamed in terror.

“Put your hand on it.” The doctor said as she started to tear up.

“No! You're insane!” Ruby yelled running away. But the mysterious doctor ran to her and grabbed Ruby.

“Touch it!” she yelled.

“NO!”

“TOUCH IT!!!” The doctor shouted grabbing her arm and putting it on the wound. The deep slash started to glow, and soon it was completely healed, leaving only drying blood on her arm.

“What in Hell was that!?” Ruby yelled wide eyed.

“That’s your power.”

As she let go of Ruby’s hand another doctor ran in, with big brown hair.

“Doctor Tennant?” she asked.

“It’s a major emergency,” He said in a British accent.

“Another?” Ruby said as she picked up her axes.

Outside dozens of vicious Raptor dinosaurs were sprinting about, many breaking through into the house.

“Alpha group patrol the outside, Velocis you go upstairs, Deinons main floor!” A vicious looking orange raptor snarled as his feathers stuck up.

Some of the doctors had light armaments, such as pistols or tranquilizers. But the vicious animals quickly swarmed them, showing no mercy as they dug their claws deep into the doctors' flesh.

“Holy f-“

“Miss! Watch your language,” The woman yelled as she hit Ruby in the back of the head stopping her before she could finish her swear.

“Hey!”

“No time for this!” Dr. Tennant yelled, “We need to find a-” he couldn’t finish his sentence as a small raptor leapt onto his chest and dug away at his face, tearing off his hair as he screamed in pain.

“Yeah, we’re just gonna go the other way,” Ruby said running off. The raptor snarled and called off to its partners and they ran down the hall after them.

“So are these yours too?” Ruby said sarcastically.

“Actually, no,” the Doctor said. As she still heard Dr. Tennant screaming, “I sure hope that doesn’t become us.”

“Quick! In here!” she yelled opening a heavy iron door, without a card since the power was apparently off.

Within the room was a series of tubes, in them floated various specimens, including a yeti, cat-like creature with two necks, komodo dragon, and what looked like a human fetus.

“What is this?” Ruby asked shocked.

“None of that matters,” the doctor said, “let me tell you about what happened with you,” she said as she pushed a heavy looking tube in front of the door.

“What about me?” Ruby asked skeptically.

“When you were born, you had so many deficiencies…” the doctor started.

“Hey!” Ruby yelled.

“Hey yourself!” the doctor yelled back, “Anyways, your parents looked for everything they could do to help you. They ended up learning about octopi and other sea invertebrates, which could heal their bodies’ injuries. They ended up curing your issues, most of which, however your diabetes came, and they simply couldn’t find a way to fix it, they learned about dolphins and how they can control their diabetic affliction, but they couldn’t find out how to trigger it in you, and adding to that, your healing capabilities were overloading, you could fix any organic injury just by touch, be it a hole in a tree or a hole in the chest. Even recover recently deceased life forms.”

“Well crud...” Ruby said amazed, "No way..."

“Yes, but soon the medical world found out about your abilities, your father didn’t want you to be passed around the world like a cure all drug. He was willing to sell the ingredients and instructions, but due to a lab accident that wasn’t, um, dealt with properly, it was lost, so he kept you locked up in the house and tried his hardest to keep you from being kidnapped, but at the risk of his own credibility.”

“Wait, you mean the reason I’m here, is because he wanted me to be safe as a child?”

“Yes, and soon the genetic scientist community disregarded him as a true contributor, despite massive advancements in gene splicing that he came up with.”

A machine gun fired off with a earsplitting series of cracks as a group of raptors screeched.

“Has the cavalry finally come?” the doctor asked.

“Maybe,” Ruby answered.

Outside Nos and his gang had appeared, General Kingler was among them with the machine gun.

“I have business on this trip, you can leave without me, I have my own,” He whipped out a small world transporter.

“Okay sir!” Nos saluted. The general sprinted off firing off his weapon.

“What is this dump?” Irene asked.

“Apparently it’s the labs of Stone Inc., a scientific powerhouse,” Nos answered.

They cautiously walked through the halls, bullet holes in the walls and raptor and human corpses lined around the floor.

“Has Rephagus got here first?” Nos asked.

“Maybe, but these aren’t Tyrannosaurs,” Faroe answered.

Nos was peering into each door, looking for possible answers. However, he soon found one which may hold a clue, a young girl with long brown hair and a female African American scientist inside.


“Stand back!” He shouted, pulling out his blade, the silver metal started to glow orange and he drove it into the door, cutting through the lock.

Chapter 12: The First CasualtyEdit

As Nos was cutting his blade deactivated, losing its orange glow.

“Darn it!” he cursed as he pulled the blade from the door.

“See if the lock broke.” Faroe suggested. Surely enough, when Nos twisted the handle the door opened. But the tube placed in front of the door kept it from being fully opened.

“We’re here to help you,” Nos said to the two females in the room.

However, neither of them heard as the tube slowly screeched when Nos started to push it. Ruby took out her two axes ready to pounce on the intruder.

Nos stepped into the room. Ruby shouted as she charged forward, both of her axes in hand, but Nos had quick reflexes, when she brought the axes down Nos dodged, counter attacking giving a light strike on her back. Ruby swung her axes around in a skillful manner, as if she had used these weapons all her life. Swinging one to the left, Nos deflected it with his sword, hitting the other one that came from the right. She made a low sweep with her leg and tripped Nos, with a quick roll he avoided a powerful axe strike. He quickly leapt up, and Ruby’s next strike hit his abdominal armor, helplessly tinking off. Ruby certainly didn’t look normal fighting. Her short cut off jeans and retro Star Wars t-shirt, made her seem much less powerful then she was. While the two scuffled, everyone else entered the room, seeing the chaos they decided to put a stop to it.

“Hey you two! Quit it!” Irene yelled.

“Hold your attacks! Ceasefire!” Faroe shouted.

“Stop fighting!” Olivia screamed. But they found their pleas went unheard.

Irene took out her pistol and aimed it at the young girl, Leon held his spear out, and Olivia reluctantly pulled her bow back, turning her head the other way.

“What are you doing here!?” Ruby yelled as the two continued fighting.

“We need,” Nos started, “YOU!”

“I suppose you want my power, eh?” she retorted.

“What?” Nos said quizzically, but Ruby’s next attack disarmed him, and the next one struck his neck, the sharp long-bearded axe sinking into his neck as he fell to the ground. The whole room stood silent.

“What have you done!?” Irene shouted holding her gun up to Ruby, very close to pulling the trigger.

“Wait! We can fix this!” The unnamed doctor yelled.

But it was too late. In her rage and fear Irene fired off several shots into Ruby’s chest, and she fell to the ground, dead. The two bodies lay next to each other as the failing back up lights flickered.

“Is he okay?” Faroe asked trying to use an old spell of healing, but like always, it failed.

“No you idiot! He’s dead!” Irene yelled. Tearing up as she held his bloody head.

Outside the commotion of raptors and gunfire became even louder. The area was relatively far away from most civilization, no more help would be arriving.

“Are there anymore creatures out there?” Olivia asked staring out the small door window.

“Definitely, they just have yet to get here,” Faroe said.

“I’m gonna stand guard, Olivia come with me,” Leon commanded as he walked out of the room.

The doctor knew something was wrong, Ruby should be getting up anytime soon, but she simply laid there. The doctor stood up.

“You! Tell us what you know about this girl!” Irene demanded.

“You’ll find out in due time,” she hoped.

Outside Leon stood in the hallway, watching for trouble. A soft snarling came from around the corner.

“What’s that?” He asked as he walked slowly to the location of the sound, with Olivia not far behind.

The small red animal leapt up, grabbing onto Leon’s armor between the articulation spots. Leon tried to pull it off, but its claws kept it in place. He struggled, despite his own strength, the strange creature was extremely determined.

“Shoot it Olivia!” Leon yelled.

“But it’s just an animal! An innocent creature!” She shouted, unsure what to do.

“Shoot it!!!”

“I can’t!” She yelled.

“Coward! Next is you, weakling,” the raptor snarled, trying to tear at Leon’s face.

“What?” Olivia said confused, “That’s not right. You’re no innocent animal.”

She pulled her bow back and let an arrow fly, sinking into the creature, and it fell to the ground, dead.

“You did it!” Leon said happily.

“Yes you did,” an old man stepped out from seemingly nowhere.

“Who are you?” Olivia asked.

“I’m Dr. Robert Stone, and what are you?” he said looking at the young nagini.

Olivia snarled looking at the man, her face growing red.

“I’m Leon, this is Olivia,” Leon explained.

“What are you doing here?” Robert asked.

“We were looking for a team member for our organization,” Olivia said.

“Well this is private property, you have to leave,” the doctor commanded.

“Excuse me? Do you realize what’s going on?” Leon yelled, “Your own lab is under siege by monstrous dinosaurs!”

“So? Leave. Now,” He said calmly.

"We're sorry, we'll get the others and go," Leon said. The two moved back towards the room in which the rest of their part was.

“Hey! Get out of there!” Dr. Stone yelled.

“I swear she moved!” Irene yelled, watching the mysterious girl's body.

“She didn’t. You shot her in the Hathor loving heart!” Faroe yelped, ”Three times nonetheless!”

Mr. Stone barged into the room, “What the…” he said in disbelief, seeing two dead bodies, a man in a pharaoh outfit, a military looking woman, one of his doctors, and the two he saw in the hall.

“Is this some kind of joke?” he shouted to everyone, “this whole thing?” but then he noticed his daughter on the ground, his face grew dark, “No…” he ran over to his child, kneeling down and caressing her head.

“Does she mean something to you?” Faroe asked.

Dr. Stone remained silent, holding his daughter.

“Oh no…” Leon said silently.

“Crap” Irene mouthed, putting her gun down her shirt to hide it, and throwing her holster on the ground.

“Who… Did… This…” he asked, unbelieving.

The whole group remained silent, Irene felt like the entire group could hear her heartbeat.

“Everything… wasted…” He said gritting his teeth.

“WHAT!?” Ruby yelled as she sprung up.

“Told you!” Irene shouted, looking proud, "I didn't kill a kid!"

“Is that all I mean?” She shouted, “That doctor told me everything, so save your breath. Are you only defeated because I was your guinea pig?”

“No… I just…”

“I’ve had it with you!”

“How did you survive?!” Faroe said in amazement.

“She has regen-” Dr. Stone started.

“No, shut up!" Ruby barked, "I have regenerative powers! I can heal myself and anyone I touch!”

Faroe and Irene’s eyes lit up.

“Touch him!” They both yelled.

Ruby turned to see a dead Nos on the ground.

“Do it you idiot!" Irene yelled.

“But he tried to-”

“No he didn’t you idiot!” Irene yelled, “You started the whole fight!”

Ruby moved over to Nos, closing her eyes as she reached for the fleshy wound, swamped in blood. As she touched it, it slowly started to close. Soon the wound was gone.

“Is he alive?” Faroe asked.

Nos didn’t move.

“He needs blood!” Ruby panicked.

“Who has blood on them?” Irene yelled frantically, as she looked from person to person in the room, "You! Snake! You don't need it!"

Olivia tilted her head and furrowed her brow.

“Wait, take mine!” Faroe yelled.

“No, I can do this,” the female doctor said. She rummaged through the cabinets. After a few minutes she found several frozen bags of red liquid. She put them into a machine.

“Frozen blood, we can transfuse it into the man.” The woman stated.

“Will we have enough time?” Irene asked worriedly.

“Maybe…” the doctor answered, “Take this,” she said to Ruby handing her the bag.

“I doubt it's a match.” Dr. Stone said.

“Believe me, it is.” She responded.

Ruby was still holding Nos’ open neck as she reached for the bag, as she touched the bag some of the blood slowly disappeared.

“What? I think its leaking,” Ruby said, glancing at the floor beneath the blood bag.

“Come on! Come on! Come on!” Irene cried out.

“Wait look!” The doctor pointed at Ruby.

Ruby appeared to be acting like an IV but her power made the process go extremely fast, soon Nos’ skin returned to its slightly less pale complexion.

“He’s alive! Yes!!!” Irene yelled.

The whole room cheered, causing ruby to get crimson in the face.

“What? What’s going on?” Nos said groggily.

Irene ran up to him, pushing Ruby out of the way, and gave him an incredibly tight hug.

“What agh!” he squirmed.

“Oh Nos!” Faroe yelled as he ran to his friend, lifting him up and hugging him.

The female doctor stood in the back of the room smiling. But their celebration ended quickly, as two giant utahraptors stood in the doorway. The lights gave a last flicker, and the room became dark apart from a small window letting in sunlight.

“Hello puny mammals!” The bigger one roared.

“Your doom is upon you!” the smaller one screeched.

The large one barreled into the crowd, aiming for Faroe and scattering the group. The smaller one stayed behind.

“Crap!” Irene yelled as her gun fell out of her shirt, landing on the concrete floor, only to be stomped by the angry dromaeosaur.

Faroe slammed his staff on the ground, creating a shield causing the raptor to veer away from him.

The other charged Dr. Stone, knocking him on the ground under its massive weight.

“Aim for the front girl!” Nos called to Ruby.

“My name is Ruby!” she yelled running straight at the huge predator, “Ruby Stone!”

Her first attack missed, the 24 foot long animal was surprisingly agile, as it leapt away, its’ tail knocked Olivia and Leon away, flinging his spear behind a cabinet.

The giant raptor smashed through one of the liquid filled tubes, causing glass to fly everywhere, “Face me like a noble adversary!” the raptor taunted, “It will be hard for you mammal!”

Ruby swung her axe to the left but stopped short causing the raptor to hop to her left, and her left axe met with the creatures face causing it to stumble backwards.

The other raptor got up and ran at Nos. Nos started mashing the activation button, trying to make it heat up. A millisecond before the massive dinosaur bit him. He ignited the blade and drove it easily through the animal’s chest.

Meanwhile Olivia was aiming her bow at the larger dinosaur, as it battled with Ruby, her hands were shaking and she couldn’t seem to let go of the string. Below her, Irene was trying to find her gun.

“It’s over there,” The doctor said pointing at the floor nearby Faroe.

“Who even are you?” Irene asked, annoyed as she went to the gun.

Ruby was having trouble fighting the Utahraptor, “Hey orange dude that I killed. Help me please!” She yelled trying to get Nos's help.

“Not a problem!” he ran at great speeds with his blade glowing in the dark room.

“Two against one?” the dinosaur sneered, “That’s not fair! You’ll need more than two!”

“Oh yeah?!” Irene yelled holding her gun up at the dinosaur.

“Yeah?” Leon shouted, as he fished out his spear and targeted the raptor.

“Yeah!!” Olivia shouted holding her bow steady.

“Yeah!!!” Faroe said with his crook held like a bat.

The big feathered reptile looked around confused, then roared. He tried to break the crowd, but everyone attacked at once, a bullet through the brain, spear into the chest, crook on the head, and arrow in the leg. The creature tumbled backwards, right on top of Nos and Ruby.

They all yelled as a thousand pounds of dinosaur fell on them.

“Get it off!” Faroe yelled. Its wounds slowly started to heal due to contact with Ruby.

“Oh shoot! Come on lets move this thing!” Nos shouted.

The whole group lifted the animal and pushed it aside.

“Where’s Dad?!” Ruby yelled.

The whole party moved to where his corpse laid. It was terribly mangled, bitten and torn, disgustingly bloody.

“Oh, no,” Ruby said.

She held him, desperately focusing her power. His open wounds started to close and she grabbed a blood bag.

“Did…” he started.

“Oh you’re okay!” Ruby screamed in joy.

“I survived?” he coughed, surprised.

“Yes, you made it!” Ruby cheered.

“Good, now never leave the compound again, we never know when something like this may happen,” he commanded, suddenly feeling much better as he stood up.

Ruby looked in disbelief, staring at him with her mouth agape.

“Oh, I'm sorry. I love you Ruby darling. Now please put my axes away.”

She gave him the hardest slap in human history and kicked him in the shin so forcefully that he fell down.

“You’re an idiot! You hear me? The dumbest person ever to live!” Ruby screamed, angrier than a bull, “I don’t know who these people are, but I’m leaving with them!”

Nos and Faroe looked at each other and shrugged there shoulders.

“Come on dear,” Olivia said consolingly as she led her out of the room.

The female doctor got up when the mysterious newcomers left. She stood next to Dr. Stone and shook her head in shame, and then she left the room, closing the door, leaving the man in darkness.

A creature hissed from the corner of the room. Dr. Stone froze, he looked into the darkness as two great eyes opened up. The creature leapt into the air and dug its talon like claws deep into Dr. Stone’s gut.

Chapter 13: A New FamilyEdit

“So you guys go around the world. Well not world. Existence? Is that right? Whatever, you go around existence fighting evil dinosaurs?” Ruby asked about her new employment.

“Not just dinosaurs, those saurischians are pretty influential, they have a lot of allies across the plane of existence,” Nos explained.

The two had become much friendlier after she killed him, and after Irene proceeded to kill Ruby.

“I guess I can do that,” She admitted, “is it just us?”

“We’re getting one more, the most important member, I hope,” Nos said.

“I hope as in, you hope he’s important, or you hope you’ll get him?” Ruby asked.

“The former,” Nos explained.

“So how do we get to this place where we’ll meet?” Ruby questioned.

“Ah, this is how!” Nos threw the transporter on the ground and it grew in size so that everyone could get on it.

“Step on it, and we’ll go,” Nos stated.

“I have a feeling, you’re all insane,” she said uncomfortably.

And in a flash the whole group disappeared. When they reappeared, they were back in the main room. Markus sat there eyeing the group for new potential weirdoes. He saw Ruby, who was new, but not much else. He shrugged and checked her for any dangerous devices, apart from the obvious axes. He gave a silent nod and let them go.

As they stepped out of the room the white hallways nearly blinded them, since they had spent most of the day in a dark building.

“Sweet! It just like Tantive IV from Star Wars!” Ruby exclaimed excitedly.

“Tantive Four?” They all looked at each other, confused, “Star Wars?”

“Who even are you losers!” Ruby said, “Star Wars? Best film series of all time? You guys are worthless!” she laughed.

“Kids…” Faroe quietly sighed.

“Hey Faroe, your in charge of tours right?” Nos said, trying to get rid of Ruby, “Go show her to her dorm, everyone else, feel free to relax.”

“Nos come on! We’re friends!” Faroe complained as everyone walked away.

“Lucky you…” Ruby said, suddenly forlorn.

“What?” Faroe asked confused.

“Uh, Duh, I only know like 5 people!” She yelled.

“Well…” Faroe didn’t know where to go with his consolation.

“I don’t care, hopefully you guys’ll like me,” She said sadly.

“Oh geez, yeah we’ll be your friends, we have to be honestly,” Faroe admitted.

“Cool!” Ruby responded, “So where am I gonna stay?”

“Probably in the standard luxury dorms.”

“Luxury! Cool!,” she said, excited.

When they got to the dorm Faroe opened the door.

“This place is even better than my old home! And my parents were millionaires!” an excited ruby yelled.

“Feel free to look around, you’ll probably need to clean yourself,” Faroe noted, since she was covered in dry blood.

“Why?” the two walked into the bathroom, “Holy spaghetti monster!” Ruby screamed when she saw her skin covered in reddish-brown crust.

“This is kinda gross,” she muttered, turning on the shower head over the bathtub.

She went to get a towel, but Faroe stood in the way, “Hey uh, you can leave now,” she said embarrassed as her face turned red.

...

Off in the dining hall the group was eating, minus Nos, who was off cleaning himself as well.

“So that new girl eh?” Irene said to Olivia and Leon.

“She’s certainly… axe friendly?” Olivia said.

“I think you mean axe crazy” Leon corrected.

“Who’s axe crazy?” Amanda asked as she sat down at the table, her tray holding only desserts.

“This new girl we picked up from 21st century earth.” Irene explained.

“Huh, that’s weird, nobody uses axes in the 21st century, not even to cut wood,” Amanda stated.

“Whoa, maybe she’s a fraud! Not actually from the 21st century!” Olivia joked.

“Very funny,” Amanda said.

“Yeah I think she’s alright, a cool cat if you will,” Leon confessed.

“Who even talks like that?” Irene questioned in shock, “Who taught you?”

“I picked it up!” Leon defended himself.

“You guys are an odd lot,” Amanda admitted, chuckling “I should hang out with you more often.”

“Go ahead, we won’t bite, except maybe for snakey over there,” Irene joked, looking at Olivia, who sneered at the black haired human.

Suddenly Nos roared over the loudspeaker, “Every member of the 6 party world protectors report to the briefing room at once. That includes you Ruby. Over and out”

The group got up from their table and walked down to the briefing room.

They sat down on the movie theatre like seats. Faroe came by after them, and finally Ruby, who had wet hair and a rather wet shirt.

“Guys! This is huge news! We have the location of Wight! The leader of the Ornithischian resistance!”

“Yay?” The group was not familiarized with the events going on with the dinosaurs.

“Oh come on! Wight! The ornithopod king of equality!” Nos pleaded.

“Whatever, let’s go,” Leon said.

“You’re kidding me! This is the whole point of our group!” Nos exclaimed.

“Actually sir, you haven’t said anything about this to anyone but me…” Faroe confessed.

“Wait… Really?” Nos asked.

“Yeah, I guess you got too caught up in the adventure to explain the events on earth,” Faroe said.

“Well, come on then guys!” Nos called as he went to the exit. The rest followed, chattering to each other as they followed the disgruntled pilot.

“Hey Amanda!” Nos called to the captain, who was chatting to Markus.

“What’s up?” She asked.

“We need you to get a dropship, a pilot, and my starjet,” he said.

“And where will I be sending them?” She asked.

“To the prehistoric earth world, not the normal one, the sentient one,” Nos explained.

“Perhaps I can come this time? I could pilot the dropship?” Amanda asked politely.

"Of course! We could use some extra hands. Be there as soon as possible," Nos said.

“Yes sir,” she confirmed.

“We’re on the same level, just call me Nos,” Nos said to Amanda.

“You might be a little higher…” Amanda said truthfully, “I mean, you lead the main branch of world protectors, pretty big…”

“Enough you two, we don’t have time to flirt, we gotta go to the place we gotta go to, and Amanda, send reinforcements, we’ll need them,” Faroe said maturely, suddenly caring more about the mission than Nos was. Faroe entered the transporter room, and everyone else followed him, except for Nos and Amanda.

“Hurry up and get those vehicles, alright?”

“Yes sir… I mean Nos…” Amanda responded as she jogged to the hangar bay.

Within the room, everyone was waiting on the transporter, Ruby was fiddling with her wet hair, Olivia and Leon were worriedly chatting, and Faroe and Irene stood silently.

“Here we go…” Nos said as he stepped on, wondering if this mission would be a success.

Chapter 14: Enter the Lost WorldEdit

The day was warm; a soft mist enveloped the jungle as the sun rose over the horizon. The transporter appeared near a vicious river, nearby it sat a small group of dinosaurs. They appeared to be talking amongst each other.

“Who are those?” Olivia asked.

“I think they’re who we’re looking for,” Nos stated.

In the group a large variety of animals stood, the biggest, a saltasaurus stood amongst them, his neck was long like most sauropods and his back had heavy, natural armor plating. Next to him was a two legged carnivore, it had three horns on its skull and its teeth seemed to big for its jaw, it was a ceratosaurus, near him was a particularly vicious dinosaur, nearly as big, but much taller, it seemed to stand like a human, its head was adorned with two tall red crests which contrasted its pitch dark green skin, that one was a dilophosaurus. Two smaller dinosaurs were dwarfed by the others, one had long legs, neck, and tail, she was a hypsilophodon. And finally was a small green animal, covered in quills and it had four horns on its parrot like head, two large ones on the cheek and two small ones before the beak. This was a psittacosaurus.

“I’ve studied dinosaurs for this moment, the three big ones are saurischians, the two small ‘saurs are ornithischians. I don’t know why they’re together like this. Maybe a peace treaty?” Nos explained.

“Two of them are carnivores! They’re gonna eat the little ones!” Irene said worriedly.

“No, I think these guys are together, some clans of saurischians have members with the ornithischians,” Faroe said, remembering his research into the conflict.

“Can we shorten those names?” Ruby asked.

“Actually they have abbreviations, ornithischians are called Okinons, and saurischians are Sorvids,” Faroe told the group, thinking back to his initiation days aboard the Victory Sound.

“How about, "axis and allies"?” Ruby said jokingly.

“Let’s confront them,” Nos said, “Hello?”

“Is that you?” The hypsilophodon said, surprisingly they understood her.

“How do you speak our language?” Leon said.

“Yeah, how has anyone understood each other?” Faroe asked, genuinely confused, something he wasn't told about on the Victory Sound.

“The world transporter does it all,” Nos said nonchalantly.

“Are you Nos?” the little dinosaur asked.

“Yes, and who're you?” Nos asked.

“I'm Hypsi, but you may know me by my other name, Wight, it's a way to keep confidential," she said.

"Wait! You're a girl?" Nos looked shocked, "Well, that's a surprise."

Hypsi chuckled, "Yes, it's a surprise to most people, but it doesn't matter what gender I am, that has the least importance to my goals," She looked over to all of the other dinosaurs behind her, "Let me introduce my partners, this is Shattercrest the Tall,” She said pointing to the dilophosaurus, “Daggerhorn the Brave,” gesturing to the ceratosaurus, “Thickback the Heavy,” the saltosaurus, “And Bristletounge the Wise,” Hypsi said nodding at the large psittacosaurus.

“Pleasure to meet you all,” Nos said, “This is Faroe, Olivia, Leon, Irene, and Ruby”

“Hello”

“Greetings”

“Welcome”

“So do you guys know where Rephagus’ Hold is?” Nos asked.

“We’re researching that now,” Bristletounge said, “we believe it’s down the Shadow’s Pass, a terrible canyon system.”

“Come with us, we’ll take you to the Okinos’ headquarters,” Thickback said.

They walked through the forest. Juicy water droplets fell from the wide leaves, leaving big wet spots on every body’s shoulders. Prehistoric birds gave off beautiful intricate calls as the group trudged through the thick overgrown forest trail.

“So if you guys are from different time periods, why are you all here?” Ruby asked, ringing out her shirt.

Bristletounge turned around, “You see, this is not the same earth that you know. This is an alternate world,” he stated, "You people have been exploring them, I presume, hopefully making sure to keep track of what they contain and how to access them again."

Nos tugged at his collar and laughed nervously, Faroe reassured him that Markus had taken care of all that for them.

“How do you know about this stuff?” Ruby asked.

“He’s not called Bristltounge the wise for nothing,” Hypsi said, "You see, in our world, there are creatures even greater than us, they have tall graceful necks and huge wings as well, they know almost everything, but live in seclusion and almost never spill their secrets to dinosaurs. However, Bristle here is special. He saved one from death so they gave him their knowledge."

The psittacosaur grumbled to himself and looked away.

Soon the jungle opened up, a huge sprawling savannah came upon them. Large constructs sat in the middle.

“This is it, quickly move, we can’t be in the open for too long,” Hypsi said.

“Why is that?” Olivia asked as they quickly moved to the huge building.

“Saurvid members are everywhere, they could be hiding in the grasses, waiting to attack, but our group should be big enough to deter them,” Daggerhorn warned.

When they got to the building its sheer size mesmerized the people, the doors alone were at least 70 feet tall. The dinosaurs inside looked down at the humans and nagini.

“What are these things?” a huge hadrosaur bellowed.

“They look gross,” a gruff horned dinosaur called.

“The one with the tail seems nice,” an elderly stegosaur said.

“Everyone, these are the world protectors, they have come here to help us,” Hypsi said to the dinosaurs commandingly, despite being only around 5 feet long.

They focused on her. “We don’t need help, I keep telling you that we just have to attack the dark theropod's fortress,” the old Stegosaur said.

“We keep trying to say, Rephagus is getting stronger, he’s recruiting humans and other creatures to help himself,” Hypsi said.

“Wait, was that why the raptors attacked my home?” Ruby asked as she got a bit more heated up.

“Yes, he’s looking for ways to destroy us, he has technology like you, he can go from world to world terrorizing his prey into joining him,” Shattercrest explained.

“Guys,” Nos turned to his group, “We should split up, massively increase our recruiting potential, get more and more people on our side.”

“Are you sure? That’s extremely risky!” Hypsi called out.

“Yes, Olivia and Leon you should pair up with Thick and take on the middle ages,” Nos commanded.

“Sure, Thickback, come with us okay?” Olivia said.

“Irene, you Bristle and Faroe can work together in the mythological world,” Nos said.

“Fine, you, porcupine, come with us,” Irene said pointing at Bristletounge.

“And Me, Ruby, and Dagger can go for recruits in the 21st century earth,” Nos said, “Hypsi and Shatter, you should stay here for defense, alright?”

“Okay, we will,” Hypsi sighed and Shattercrest looked up silently at this new leader.

“Amanda? Are you here?” Nos said over his radio.

“Yes sir,” she replied.

“I’m not sure who sir is, but head to the cords: 56, 743.”

“Oh, yeah, okay Nos”

A few minutes passed and Irene landed in a large dropship.

“Climb in. We have some transporters for you, and Nos your starjet is in the back, okay?” Amanda said, but then her eyes moved to Thickback, who was at least 40 feet long, “I’ll get a transporter for you.”

On the inside everyone split into their groups.

“So I’m gonna need the dropship,” Irene said casually, “so if ya don’t mind,” she held out her hand.

“Fine, but take care of it,” Amanda said, “Don’t mess it up, or else.”

“Yeah, why would I?” Irene said sarcastically.

Outside Olivia, Leon, and Thickback all got to their transporter, “I think I can do this,” Leon said looking at the fancy machine.

“Hey let me show you,” Nos said running out to the trio.

He taught all three of them the basics and sent them on their way.

“Okay, so me, Ruby, Dagger,” Nos said to himself, “We’re going to the 21st century.”

Ruby and Daggerhorn moved to Nos, “So we’re coming with you?”

“Yea-” Nos started, but then he saw Amanda coming to him, “Hey, what are you doing here?”

“We’ll, Irene is using the dropship, so I need a way home”

“You could come with us!” Ruby exclaimed.

“If that’s okay,” Amanda asked, “Is it okay?”

“Sure, I’ll go get the BlackKnife,” Nos said, going to the drop ship to retrieve his personal vehicle.

The BlackKnife was a relatively large ship. It was dark blue and black with two large protrusions from the front, and two from the back, it was capable of holding 6 people and being able to travel extremely quickly, it carried a huge payload of bullets, missiles, and experimental lasers.

“Irene, good luck!” Nos yelled as he lowered the BlackKnife down.

“What other luck is there?” she asked.

“Bad,” Nos said quietly to himself.

Soon Irene had used the transport function on the dropship and ad disappeared, leaving Nos and his group.

“Climb in guys,” Nos called over to them.

Ruby, Amanda and Nos got in fine, but Dagger had to go in through the cargo doors, but eventually he got to the cockpit, his head stuck through the door and took up almost as much room as a sitting human.

“Let’s hope she can still fly well,” Nos said to everyone.

He activated the engines and the vehicle lifted up, everything seemed in order, so Nos activated the transporter from within the ship, and they were all off.

Faroe, Bristle, and Irene appeared in a frosty cold tundra, the large dropship caught in a massive flurry of snow ad wind, slowing the massive vehicle, making it incredibly hard to pilot. The ship slammed to the ground, burying itself halfway under the snow. The three quickly ran out, flinging themselves out of the door and into to frosty air, wind blowing around and the cold biting at all of their exposed skin.

“Of course, the ice world, just for me,” Bristle said as he held his cold arms.

“You think that’s bad?” Irene said to the small dinosaur as she crossed her bare legs and held her arms as well.

“I think we were all ill equipped for this mission,” Faroe said as he was wearing clothes meant for warm luxurious Egyptian life.

The three huddled together in the dark freezing night. Irene had Bristle in her arms to keep herself and the animal warm.

“Well, let’s find some civilization how ‘bout it?” Faroe asked as his teeth chattered.

“Yeah, have any good ideas as to where we may find any?” Irene asked shivering like a flower in the wind.

“I guess, that way?” Faroe said pointing into the dark.

“I would have never thought that direction,” Irene said, “Let’s go.”

The group walked for half an hour, then the snow stopped and they reached a sparse forest.

“Look!” Faroe said. There was a tree stump, but no felled tree nearby.

“A sign of civilization!” Irene exclaimed.

“Look! Ahead!” Bristle pointed to a faint light up ahead, but Irene then collapsed out of cold, then Bristle felt himself feeling drowsy, and finally Faroe just couldn’t keep standing.

...

Olivia, Leon, and Thick all found themselves in a grassy field, broken siege weapons laid across the land, and bloodied warriors laid in their final resting places.

“Oh dear,” Olivia said, slightly disgusted at the mess.

“Is this what humans do?” Thick asked, “Just fight for no reason? Because I didn’t know there was a civil war going on amongst humans.”

“Sadly, it kinda is what humans do, they fight over little things,” Leon said, looking for any living person, in the distance he saw to warriors battling each other viciously.

“You! Hey you! HEY!” Leon shouted.

The men stopped and looked up, seeing a massive reptile staring right at them.

“YEEEAHHH!!!” they both yelled running off in two different directions.

“I think that was me,” Thick said.

Olivia slithered up onto the level back of the dinosaur to avoid injuring herself on the splintered wood.

“So you two, what’s your story?” the long necked dinosaur asked.

“Well, I once lived in a far away desert, and decided to go adventuring, I rode on the back of a giant creature called an elephant, and after many years, I found a thick jungle and in it lived my darling, Olivia, now we weren’t always in love, in fact I think she loved my elephant more than me! But after I helped defend her home from an attack from a pack of vicious beasts, she realized how cool I was. Isn’t that right Oli?”

“Yeah, cool, certainly,” She said jokingly.

The three moved on following the catapult tracks until they came across more people.

...

Nos rocketed through the sky, going at least 300 miles per hour, they were over an ocean and were heading to America.

“So Nos, do you and Amanda like, like each other?” Ruby asked. Dagger lifted his head from his sleep, interested.

“What?! Uh, well…” Nos and Amanda stammered.

“So yes?” she snickered, Dagger poked his head between the two and eyed each of them who were redder in the face than a macaque.

“Yeah, they totally want to mate,” The smug ceratosaur said.

“MATE?!” they both said, “get beck into the cargo hold you oversized chameleon!”

The giant carnivore chuckled and moved into the more spacious cargo room, Ruby went back there too, winking at the disgruntled captains.

“Well, do you?” Amanda asked.

Nos silently turned on autopilot, turned and looked Amanda in the eyes with an annoyed but blank stare. He watched her. At first she raised an eyebrow, but then began to giggle. Nos cracked a smile, the way she laughed was so endearing, he hadn't payed attention to the small things like that, despite working with her for so long.

"What's so funny?" Nos asked.

Amanda covered her face before she brought herself together.

"You know, I'm acting like a little school girl here but-"

Nos didn't have to hear another word, he shifted the chair closer to her and held her hands.

"Nos what are you-"

He leaned in and pressed the rim of his mouth against her plump pink lips. She blinked, shaking her head and pushing him away.

"What's wrong?" Nos asked.

"I never... I never felt like this when I kissed someone before..." She turned away.

Nos turned her chair back to face him, he was confused, "Is that bad?"

She shook her head, cheeks flush with blood and smiled, "It's wonderful!" She grabbed his head and pressed against his lips, feeling his body with a spare hand, they broke apart and giggled.

Ruby peered from the cargo hold and stared intently, she quickly drew back and turned to Dagger, a great smile on her face.

"They totally want to mate," she grinned.

Chapter 15: A Quest of IceEdit

It was dark, the only light was a dying fire, snow was blowing in through the open window, Faroe’s eyes slowly opened. He was lying in a bed with a fur blanked on top of him. He was surprisingly warm despite some snow flittering in. He looked to his left and saw a sleeping Irene, her body adding to the warmth. He closed his eyes again, enjoying the moment.

Outside was not so similar, Bristle was curled up in the sheep pen, trying to keep warm, he was surrounded by the wooly animals, but he still felt the icy winds biting his scaly skin.

“Where are those other two?” He said to himself looking around the village, it was even darker than before and the quiet village made him feel so lonely. Suddenly a large group of villagers stormed by, the roaring of the wind caused their chattering to be muffled, and Bristle couldn’t hear a thing. He decided to get up and look around the village, fighting against the dreadful cold as it burned his feet with every step. It was nearly pitch black and he couldn’t see anything if it was more than 10 feet ahead of himself. Eventually he found a large building, he leaned up and opened the door, and a welcoming rush of warmth ran over his body.

“Hello?” he called out. But the main room was empty.

He moved towards the fire and curled up next to it. Closing his eyes and almost instantly falling asleep.

“What is it?”

“It’s a dragon!”

“That’s the tiniest, most harmless looking dragon I’ve ever seen!”

Bristle’s eyes opened wide and he sprung up, his quills sticking up and he got into a defensive position.

“It’s awake!” a woman yelled.

“Silence you fools!” Bristle yelled back.

The group became silent.

“Who are you?! Why do you have me? Why did I have to sleep with the sheep?” Bristle complained.

“We’re Norsemen! What are you?” A busty lass said, gesturing to the whole group of townsfolk.

“Norsemen? What on earth is that?” Bristle said.

“Norsemen, we’re the most feared of all people,” the busty lass said as she took a sword out of her sheath, “You’re just a measly lizard!”

“I’m a psittacosaur you uneducated slob!”

“See, we don’t know what that is,” a fat man said.

“Well I guess we’re even now,” Bristle said.

“Oh really?” the Viking lass said.

“Yes, now let me go find my companions, we need to get out of this dump,” Bristle said, moving the thin woman out of his way and ducking through the other Norsemen.

“Hey! Get back here!” the lass shouted.

But it was too late, Bristle was out and searching for his two partners, it was much nicer out now, night had passed and the storm was over, so Bristle could see the whole village. It was relatively small, a few houses, a tower, and what appeared to be a tower.

“Where the zupaysaurus is that blasted Faroe and his lady friend?”

...

Faroe was still asleep, his arm was over Irene’s side and he was definitely having good dreams. The house was now more occupied and one of the Vikings couldn’t take his eyes off the two newcomers, he wore a bearskin over his head and had a double headed axe. His big brown beard matched the bearskin almost perfectly making him appear to be one himself.

“Oi! You two!” he scowled.

“HUH!” Irene snorted as she woke up, knocking Faroe’s arm off of her shoulder.

“WHAT!” Faroe yelled as he sprung up.

“Hehehe, foolish wanderers,” the old Viking scoffed.

“Where are we?” Irene asked as she looked around the room, and then at Faroe.

“Honey this is-” he began to say.

“We’re in the Norse lands I presume, probably Scandinavia,” Faroe answered.

“Yeah, what he said,” The Viking said looking at Faroe skeptically.

“Why are we here?” Irene asked Faroe.

“Probably because we need to be here, hey berserk, has your town had any troubles lately?” Faroe asked.

“Why yes, actually, a nasty group of giants from the mountains have been harassing our town for weeks now, why do you ask?”

“We can help,” Faroe answered. Standing up, a clenched hand held up to his chest.

“Can we?!” Irene asked, looking confused.

“Definitely,” Faroe assured, "I've done more dangerous things in my life, some giants won't give us any trouble at all."

The people in the house gave them some fur clothing to keep warm, the two thanked them and set off.

“Faroe, I don’t know if we can do this!” Irene shouted over the howling wind and snow as they walked around the village, looking for Bristle.

“Of course we can, I told you, we’ve fought more dangerous stuff before…”

“Have we really? What? Some dinosaurs? That’s really it!” Irene argued.

“Well aren't those just giant lizards? I'd assume they're more dangerous than a giant human. Although, I'm not sure just how giant these fiends will be," Faroe said. The two turned a corner nearing a small stable.

“You two!”

“What?” the two said in unison, looking around the snowy town, until their eyes lowered and spotted the source of the words.

Bristle was standing in the snow, it was deep enough to just nearly cover his back, “Where were you two?”

“Asleep,” Irene said truthfully.

“Asleep!? I was almost died out in the snow last night.”

“Then you should have come with us,” Irene said.

“Silence mammal!”

“Silence mammal yourself!" Irene barked.

Bristle shook his head, “Lets get off this garbage glacier, I'm freezing to death."

"Well about that..." Faroe started.

"What? What are you about to say?" Bristle looked skeptical.

"We kinda can't..."

“Oh bother, and why is that?” Bristle said in a scolding tone.

“Because we need to kill some giants,” Faroe confessed.

“Giants? Giant what? Mammals? It doesn't matter, just count me out,” Bristle said.

“Well we promised, and we can get these guys as recruits if we please them!” Faroe said, looking on the bright side.

“Well you can go play with the giants, I’ll stay here,” the psittacosaur said.

“No Bristle, you have to come!” Faroe said, kneeling next to the small dinosaur.

"I do admit, I am important to your survival, but I don't think gigantic humans are very good for mine. I'm staying."

“He said they’re from the mountains, lets go there,” Irene said pointing to an ominously tall peak, ignoring Bristle's protests.

"Come on Bristle, if you come, we'll make it worth your while," Faroe said

“Fun…” Bristle complained. He scrambled forward through the snow, "I'll go, it's better than being stuck here."

“Glad to know we're not the worst you can do, let's get climbing,” Faroe said

They marched through the snow and after an hour they made it to the base of the mountain, “Do we have any food?” Irene asked.

Faroe stopped dead in his tracks.

A few hours later they returned with food, “Now let’s climb,” Faroe said.

They made it up a quarter of the way when it began to get dark. They quickly found a small cave that would make a decent shelter, so the three took a rest inside.

“This hasn’t been so bad has it?” Faroe asked.

“We’re not even close to finishing, and it’s not just the climb, we have to fight a bunch of giant monsters afterwards, so ask me that when we're done.” Irene complained.

“Remember, I have connections in this universe! The gods love me! It's going to be easy,” Faroe defended himself.

“Whatever,” Irene said going to sleep.

Faroe closed his eyes, entering a well needed sleep.

...

He awoke, his eyes adjusting to the pitch darkness. Beyond the snow he saw a glowing gold figure.

“Hello?” Faroe called out into the darkness.

The figure didn’t respond.

Faroe got up and walked out into the blistering cold, the glowing figure appeared to be moving away from him.

“Who are you? Where are you going?” Faroe called out stumbling in the snow.

The golden figure disappeared into the snowy night, and Faroe tried to pursue it, but he found there was no ground beneath his feet. The cold rushing wind tore at his skin as he fell, finally crashing into a thick mound of snow.

Chapter 16: Conflict on the Cliffs of FranceEdit

“Hello?” Leon called out to the small gathering of people.

“Halt!” one of the men shouted, holding up a crossbow to the three travelers.

“What’s going on?” a higher ranking soldier asked, “What is this?”

“I’m not sure,” the crossbowman said, “This location is not for travelers, especially not of your kind,” he said observing the huge saltasaurus and the nagini riding it.

“Well what can we do? Can you give us some information?” Leon said stepping up and asking the medieval warriors.

“I suppose you could help us, you see, down the great meadow is a French fortification, we need that thing down. They have kept our kingdom under lockdown, preventing any sort of trade or transport to occur there, we mustered this army from neighboring cities who’ve been oppressed by these Flanders. You may be able to help us, seeing that you’re already equipped and have a dragon at your disposal,” the commanding soldier said.

“I’m not even going to correct him,” Thick said to Olivia.

“I guess we could help, you guys will be there right?” Olivia asked.

“Of course, let’s just regroup and order reinforcements,” the soldier said. He then moved towards the back of the group and sent a horseman off.

“I don’t know, this seems a little dangerous,” Leon quietly commented.

“Yeah, actually I’m quite nervous.” Thick said, lowering himself to rest on the grass.

“I think we can do it…” Olivia said hopefully.

“Hate to break it to you, but you could never shoot a human, you hardly ever use your weapons,” Leon reminded his wife.

“Oh no, what have I gotten us into?” she asked.

“I’m not sure, but we should try our best, never back down even when you feel unlucky, you’ll either regret it or feel fulfilled no matter what. No use in having to live with the regret,” Thick said looking into the sun as it set, bathing the battlefield in an orange light.

“Men! Newcomers! We march to the castle!” a mighty knight commanded, “We need all the warriors ready! We shall not fall on this day!”

“Let’s go,” Thickback said calmly, as the now larger army marched to the distant castle.

“Oh no, I am not read for this…” Olivia worried.

“Nonsense, we are as ready as we’ll ever be,” Thick said to the worried Nagini.

“Leon!” Olivia called out.

“Yes?”

“I love you Leon, and no matter what may come over me in battle, remember that,” she said trying to keep calm.

“Don’t worry, everything will go perfectly fine,” the Persian warrior called to his wife.

“Fear not, I will ensure our success,” Thick said to the worried naga, “I always will, I exist for the greater good.”

They remained silent for a few minutes as the sun slowly delved beyond the horizon, and suddenly the silence was broken.

“ATTACK!!!” a knight called.

Arrows flew over Thick’s head, rocks flung from mangonels and trebuchets sailed high in the clear dark sky, and in the distance they could be seen barely missing the castle, despite its huge size. In front of it marched a resisting army, running at the attackers.

“For…” Leon thought who he should dedicate this charge to. Nobody had died or needed avenging, even if they did, these people didn’t do anything, “Honor?”

The armies clashed the leading spearmen locking into combat tussling and jousting for an upper hand. Arrows rained down and ballista bolts pierced even the strongest shields. Even medieval cannons blasted away from the castle, crushing siege machines and soldiers on Leon’s side.

“Olivia! Fire something!” Thick called as he stormed straight into the fighting.

“I can’t! They’re all living things, I just… can’t!” Olivia screamed from atop the massive dinosaur, who was using his powerful legs and tail to combat dozens of soldiers at a time.

“Just shoot in their direction, close you eyes if you have to!” Thick bellowed as he narrowly dodged an arrow.

“Oh no…” Olivia quietly pouted. She took a deep breath, “Okay, I can do this…” She drew an arrow and dipped it in the venom vial, then pulled the bow back and let it fly.

The arrow whooshed through the air and pierced the ground.

“Shoot,” Olivia said flatly.

“Try harder than that!” Thickback yelled as he was trying to combat a group of spearmen.

“Okay…” Olivia said uncomfortably. She reached for another arrow and readied it. She gritted her teeth and let the arrow fly. It struck a soldier in his side and he fell to the ground.

“Great!” Thick said.

“But I don’t think he’s dead, I don’t want him to be hurting,” she said worriedly.

“Then get him with another arrow!” Thick yelled over the chaos of battle.

Down below, Leon was fighting. His thick and powerful armor made arrows almost useless and swords a weak nuisance. As the attacking army made it closer to the castle, see a silhouette, it was huge, draconic even.

“Who’s that in the castle?” Leon called to a nearby soldier.

“I’m not sure. Nobody’s ever seen the ruler of the place.”

“Hm. Everybody! Press forward!” Leon called, charging with his bladed spear held forward.

“I think that’s our cue,” Thickback called. And with a sudden burst of speed, he pushed through the enemies.

“Hey! Slow down!” Oliva called, holding onto his neck.

The big sauropod ignored her. He ran past the soldiers and saw that Leon was running to the castle as well.

“Why is no one coming?” Thickback asked.

“Because I have no authority?” he said, smirking, as they made it to the massive construct. It sat atop a tall cliff overlooking the sea, water slapping the rocks some 500 feet below. The battle was distant and faint, the main sounds being the soft winds caressing the grass.

The trio quietly walked up to the front gates, no one seemed to be guarding them, in fact the castle seemed desolately empty, the only light was from the highest window, and it glowed brightly.

“Who’s in there?” Olivia asked.

“I’m not sure, I thought I saw something in the top window, but it’s gone now,” Leon told his wife.

“We should look inside,” Thickback said.

“Yeah, nobody’s even in there,” Leon said.

“Do you want to?” Thickback asked Olivia.

Olivia remembered how easy it was to journey with Leon before. Why was she like this now? Cautious and frightened, unwilling to face fear.

“Sure, I’ll go in!” she said happily, burying her cowardice.

“Alright then!” Thick reared on his hind legs and pushed on the gate, creating a squealing screech until it broke of the hinges. The three walked up to the front doors, the doorway was at least 25 feet tall, just high enough to let the largest of the group in. Thick pushed on the next barrier, and they opened with ease.

“Oh my…” Olivia gasped. The main hall was nearly pitch black, the building smelled damp and wet, the building creaked and groaned as they walked onto the wooden floors. They entered the dining hall on the left. The table was set, but knocked around, plates and food scattered onto the floor, as if someone had screamed "fire" and the castle was evacuated, only there were no signs of damages.

“What happened in here?” Leon asked, searching in the darkness.

“Was the place ransacked?” Olivia asked.

“Nothing was stolen,” Thick pointed out.

“Let’s go upstairs, maybe we can find someone or something that will answer our questions.” Leon said. He walked out of the dining hall, in the main corridor he eyed the massive steps leading up.

“Look at these stairs!” Olivia said. The stairs were at least 20 feet wide, and at the top, dying torches lit the hall with an orange hue.

“Should we go up?” Thick asked.

“Probably, can you climb stairs, Thick?” Leon asked in return.

“These seem pretty shallow, I can probably make it,” Thick responded.

Moving up the stairs, they picked up a rancid stench.

“What on earth is that?” Olivia said fanning away the scent, her sense of smell slightly stronger than Leon's, causing her eyes to moisten.

“Yuck, I’m not sure,” Leon answered. They walked down the giant hall, and as they turned the corner they saw a faint light in a distant room.

“There it is!” Leon called, quickly moving to the glowing light. Thick taking light but wide strides, to remain as quiet as possible.

They all stood near the slightly agape door, the smell seeping out and assaulting the nostrils of the trio, Thick finally noticing it, as he was higher up than the rest.

“On three, we go in, okay?” Leon whispered.

“Yeah,” Thick whispered back.

“One”

“Two”

“Three”

As they pushed the giant doors they came face to face with Dryptus.

They all yelled in fright, not expecting the massive creature in the room.

“Hehe, you fell right into our trap,” the huge reptile sneered.

“What are you talking about?” Leon asked.

“You thought those soldiers were really battling for their freedom? Ha!” the massive creature asked.

“You're using innocent lives like puppets! Why?!” Olivia shouted.

“Exactly, why would they let you battle with them? You're just random passerbys. Now feel free to wait here with the others,” the dinosaur gestured to a small mound of corpses, several looked like nobility.

“You stole this castle!” Thick roared.

“Ha, mighty detective work, lizard foot!” the carnivore snarled, “Soon we will bring these soldiers with us, to bring your people to their knees, well, not yours lizard foot, that's been taken care of, you can attest can't you.”

“REEEEAAAAA!” Thick roared with great fury, guttural and deep, enough to shake the bones of the bravest man, he charged the diabolical reptile and knocked into him, the force threw Olivia off his back.

“You slippery piscovore! Nasty scavenging fraud!” Thick bellowed as he fought with Dryptus.

“You could have been like your relatives! Like a true sauropod! But the saltasaurs thought it would be wrong!” Dryptus yelled as he raked his long claws into Thick’s side.

“You will pay you traitor!!!” Thick rammed the spinosaur into the wall, his tall spine being the end of him as it snapped, blood spewing onto the floor and across Thickback’s entirety. Leon and Olivia stood, eyes wide and mouths agape, seeing the giant threat so easily crushed was both relieving, but also unnerving

“Wretched, foul, dirty, scum of a creature,” the sauropod snarled through gritted teeth.

“What’s wrong?” Olivia asked as she sympathetically held the saltasaur’s arm. The creature lightly pushed her away, but he didn’t know his own strength, so Olivia was instead sent backwards into a chair.

The dinosaur snarled woefully, and walked out into the dark hallway.

Chapter 17: Stopping for DirectionsEdit

“They totally love each other!” Ruby squealed in joy.

“Humans…” Dagger smiled as he shook his head.

The two then sat quietly in the back, waiting to go back in front. Ruby took out a small radio, hoping to break the silence.

“Sweet, The Cars!” Ruby exclaimed, cheerfully singing with the music, while Dagger looked rather perplexed.

“So where are we headed?” the Ceratosaurus asked his pilot.

“I think a place called York, but the newer one,” He responded checking a paper map he had been supplied, “but I’m not sure how this map can help, we’re nowhere on it!”

“Lets just land, I’m not sure how people will take to our snooping though,” Ruby suggested, turning the radio down.

The ship landed in an empty field, and everyone got out of the back, surveying the environment.

“Look! A house!” Amanda pointed out. It was large and sat behind a large lake. A road wrapped around it which led into a forest.

“Lets see who resides in there,” Dagger decided.

The group trekked over to the giant house, Nos knocked on the front door. After a few seconds an older man and his wife came out.

“Yes?” he shakily asked.

“Hellooo,” Ruby chimed, pushing Nos out of the way.

“Eh?”

“We were wondering… where are we?” the energetic girl asked.

“Where are we? Well this is Mon-Montana!” He said thinking a bit.

“Wait… Montana!?” Ruby asked in shock, “Hey! Spaceman! This is friggin Montana! Not New York!”

“What’s goin’ on out here?” a young man, probably in his twenties, with flowing blond hair asked as he stepped into the doorway.

“These trick-or-treaters are lost…” the elderly man said.

“What?” the young man asked, he looked at the group, a young man dressed in an orange pilots outfit, an older woman in a navy officer’s uniform, and a beautiful young girl, with long reddish-brown hair.

“Hello red haired girl,” He greeted Ruby with a devilish smile, “I’m Aiden.”

“Ew, Aiden? That’s the dumbest name I’ve ever heard,” Ruby said, ignoring the man’s attempts to pursue her. She shifted her attention to the elderly couple, “So can we get directions to New York?”

“Oh yes,” the old woman said.

The group moved in the house was rather nice, but old looking. In the main room a cat stretched across the mantle over the fireplace. Aiden was left staring out at the lake he blinked trying to remember something, “Holy shiiiiooooot!” he jumped as he saw Daggerhorn searching the water for fish.

“Gramma! Granpa!” he yelled running into the house.

“Crap! I almost caught one too,” he muttered as he ran off to the woods, nearby the BlackKnife.

“Gramma! There was a big dinosaur in the lake! I saw it!” He panicked, before looking around the room frightfully, stopping on each of the travelers.

Ruby started, “Big? He's not that-”

“Shush!” demanded Amanda.

“I don’t know what kind of thing that was!” Aiden shouted, “It was lookin’ for fish!”

“Don’t worry dear, there’s no such thing as monsters,” the old woman said to her disgruntled grandson.

“Ugh! I’m going to my room!” he yelled as he stormed off.

“What a brat!” Nos said.

“Well he does his best,” the old man said with a solemn look on his face.

“What do you mean?” Amanda asked.

“He doesn’t get along with many, so his parents sent him here, he’s an adult now, but never wants to leave, but he certainly doesn’t act that way,” the older woman said. She leaned in to the trio, “But I secretly think, he wants our money…”

“Really?” Amanda asked.

“Yeah, more often than not, he’ll ‘forget’ to sort Gerald’s pills, and he once mixed a lemon in with my tea, and I’m allergic to them,” she said sadly.

“That kid’s a monster!” Ruby yelled, despite being younger than him.

“I still feel for his woes, he’s just misguided,” she said calmly.

“Drive to the left,” the elderly man blurted.

“What?” Amanda said in response to the old man’s words.

“To get to New York, drive left,” he repeated.

“Oh, why thank you,” Nos said.

“I guess we should get going now,” Ruby said, standing up and wiping cat hairs off of her shirt, “I used to be allergic to cats apparent- OH NO!” Ruby’s eyes shot wide open.

“What’s wrong?!” Nos shouted.

“Remember how I’m diabetic? Yeah! Well I forgot too! I don’t have any supplies, I need them!”

“I guess we have to go!” Amanda said frantically, standing up, "Thank you for your hospitality!"

...

Outside, Aiden was sneaking up on Dagger with a hunting rifle, “this’ll porve it to those losers! And it’ll really impress that hot chick!”

Dagger was napping in the shade of the BlackKnife, waiting for the others to be done. Aiden saw the sleeping dinosaur and crept a little closer, but he scared a small grouse, which fluttered away, calling in shock.

“Huh,” Dagger growled. Aiden fired off a shot which whizzed over the dinosaur’s head, “hey!” he roared. Without thinking twice he ran at the attacker, and kicked him down.

“Ahh! Get off me fool!” the boy yelled.

Dagger stood tall over the fallen person, “You idiot, I’m not even on you!”

“Why are you talking?!” Aiden screamed, struggling with something internal as well as the dinosaur.

“I should ask you the same question! And why can’t I talk? Is that only for humans?” he growled.

“Just! Go away!” the man yelled.

“I haven’t eaten in days, and you scared away my fish!”

“Nooo! Please!” Aiden screamed, crying.

“You are no fun at all!” Dagger said, shaking his head, “Get out of here!” he snarled, picking up the child in his jaws and carrying him to the lake. He then threw him in.

“I'm in water?!” he shouted, “My phone! Its ruined!”

“Want me to ruin you?”

“Dagger!” Ruby yelled.

“What?” he asked genuinely.

“Stop being mean to the little kid,” she laughed.

“I’m twenty one!” he sobbed in the lake.

“When I was your age, I was 5 times the man you are,” he laughed.

“Yeah, and he’s a dinosaur!” Ruby chimed in.

“Why doesn’t anyone like me!” he said sobbing.

“Jeez, I think we may have been a bit too harsh,” Dagger confessed.

“Yeah, let’s get out of here,” Ruby responded.

The two ran, laughing, to the BlackKnife.

“Dude! You are so cool! Especially for a dinosaur!” Ruby chuckled.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” he laughed.

“Guys, come on, get in,” Nos said in an annoyed tone, opening the back of the ship. They all climbed in and waited for takeoff.

“Nos, when are we gonna get my stuff?” Ruby asked.

“We’re going to stop by in Peru to get it,” he answered.

“Won’t that take too long?” Amanda asked.

“Probably not, if I can reach 900,” Nos said confidently.

He activated a few switches and the vehicle quickly accelerated. And they were suddenly flying over the land.

Chapter 18: Favor of the GodsEdit

“Did he leave without us?” Irene yelled in annoyance.

“I don’t know, I just woke up…” Bristle yawned.

“He’s probably up at the peak, getting his butt handed to him,” she sneered.

The snow had stopped again, but the sky was still dark and gray. Wind howled as it blew into the cave. Every so often thunder could be heard as well.

“Oh boy… what happened last night…” Faroe groaned as he rubbed his head.

“You fell off a cliff, chasing a will-o-the-wisp,” a burly man with a thick red beard explained in a gruff voice.

“What!?” Faroe yelled as he suddenly came to. He saw before his eyes a great gathering of people, and as he searched them, he saw a familiar group of faces, Ra, Egyptian god of the sun, Isis, Egyptian goddess of magic, and Osiris, the Egyptian god of death.

“Oh, my!” Faroe said gleaming at the familiar deities, giving a wave.

“Faroe, we are sorry to inform you, but that fall killed you,” Isis said, putting her hand on his shoulder.

“What!” He exclaimed, “No! I couldn’t have! That’s not! I…”

“Yes, however, you can get another chance,” a powerfully built man with a white beard and hair said.

“How! Please, tell me!” Faroe begged.

“You see, my brother Poseidon…” the man started.

“Wait… are you Zeus?!” Faroe asked, excited.

“Why yes I am. I guess I should introduce everybody else too,” he said, “As you know, those three are-”

“Osiris, Isis, and Ra, yes,” Faroe answered.

“Good, they are Thor, Odin, Skadi, and Frey,” He pointed at four Gods. Thor had long, bushy red hair and a huge thick beard, his hammer sat on his belt. Odin had long flowing gray hair and a beard, his face was partially blocked by a farmer’s hat. On his shoulders rested two giant ravens, who watched Faroe closely. Frey had shorter blonde hair, and no beard, and he seemed to have a sword that looked like Nos'. Finally stood Skadi, she was certainly the odd one out. Her skin was a pale blue and it looked icy to the touch, her hair was pale white, but she did not look old. She was also adorned in dark blue armor and furs. Not only was she icy looking, she was much taller than the other gods.

“That’s Hades, Hephaestus, and Athena” he said gesturing towards the Greek gods. Hades wore a helmet that covered most of his face so Faroe couldn’t really see much of him. Hephaestus was easily the strongest looking of the gods, bulging muscles, but a tired and worn face. He rested in a chair next to two massive robots. Athena looked very serious. Her grey eyes fixed on Faroe as she silently stared at him.

“And finally, that’s Lugh…” Faroe zoned out, looking at Skadi, who seemed bored and was looking around the room. He swore she looked familiar, he had never heard of the Norse gods before, but her name rang a bell.

“Anyway, as I was saying, my brother Poseidon is making deals with the titans again, we thought we could trust him after the incident with the destruction of Atlantis, but our scout Hermes discovered he was conversing with Cronus about releasing him again, which is why we need your help! Greek and Egyptian gods are not allowed to materialize on the planet anymore because of what Poseidon did, but Norse gods can, at the risk of dying forever if they’re killed. That’s where Skadi comes in.”

She looked towards Zeus unhappily, “Yes I know, you see, none of the other Norse gods want to risk themselves for mortals, so they decided that I was least important, so they volunteered me to go!”

“Skadi! It’s truly not that bad! Just try your hardest. You’re a skilled goddess who will be harder to beat than anything in the mortal land!” Zeus proclaimed.

“Whatever,” she sighed.

“Anyways, Faroe you were skilled at supporting spells and magic, so its fitting now, that you will receive a strong offensive power!” Zeus roared.

Zeus, Thor, Ambisagrus, and Ra all converged on Faroe. They held their weapons aloft, and Faroe felt an electrical surge flow through himself.

“I feel empowered!” He yelled. Holding his crook he realized it now had an ankh at the end, rather than a curve. Within the ankh lightning surged and crackled.

Faroe woke up in the snow, his face red from the cold.

“Did I dream all of that?” he asked himself.

“No,” a woman’s voice called. He looked up. It was Skadi riding atop a wooly mammoth, “Now let’s climb this bloody mountain!”

“Do you think he abandoned us?” Bristle asked.

“I don’t know!” Irene yelled, aggravated.

They had only started to climb the mountain, fearing that they might leave Faroe behind if they left earlier. Since then, it wasn’t snow that started to fall, rather it was sleet, making the two feel very grumpy.

“Hopefully, when we get to the top, Faroe will be standing over the defeated giants, then we can get our reward and leave this dreadful place,” Irene whined.

“Don’t talk about my home like that!” a voice shouted.

The two looked behind themselves to see Skadi and Faroe riding in atop a giant mammoth.

“What on earth!” Irene yelled.

The massive mammal slowed down, and Skadi leapt off, creating an audible thud as she landed.

“Who are you!?” Irene asked.

“I am Skadi! Frost giantess! Goddess of the winter and the hunt!” She stood triumphantly over the smaller girl and the little dinosaur.

Faroe still sat on top of the mammoth realizing that getting down would be rather hard.

“And I’m still alive!” he shouted.

“Faroe!” Irene exploded with happiness, “I though you were dead!”

“Yeah, so did I! But apparently the gods need me!” he said proudly.

“Enough chatter!” Bristle yelled, “We need to kill those giants so we can leeeeeave!”

“I like the way the little wyrm thinks!” Skadi chuckled, “now these are mountain giants right?”

“Yeah, the dumb fat ugly ones!” Irene snarled.

“Sure, them, let’s go then!” she roared, leaping up onto her mammoth, “Go!” she yelled, spurring the massive beast into motion. As soon as they started up the mountain the sleet stopped.

They soon made it to the top. Skadi seemed to make the journey quicker, possibly out of godly magic.

“Look, there they are,” Skadi whispered to the others. The giants were big and fierce looking, they too had giant mounts, but these were hardy mastodons rather than mammoths. Bones were scattered around the camp, and meat was being cooked on a spit.

One of them looked up, “I smell… fresh food,” he smiled, revealing snaggly black teeth.

“You idiot, it’s the horse meat!” he hit the other giant in the head with a large bone.

“No! Its not, I smell, uh, a dragon, some people, and a mastodon!”

“Oh yeah? Go get ‘em!” the giant pushed him over to where the mountain sloped. Just behind some rocks hid the group.

The big mountain giant shuffled over to the rocks and sniffed, “I think I found ‘em” he said

“Hiyah!” Skadi leapt from the rocks and kicked the giant in the face with her bare foot. He was knocked backwards and fell off the small cliff.

“Hey! It’s a frost giant!” one of the giants yelled.

“Come out and help!” Skadi screamed, trying to make sure she didn’t die.

Irene leapt from the outcropping and fired several rounds at the titanic adversaries, Faroe also emerged, firing off powerful bolts of chain lightning.

“I didn’t know you could do that!” Irene shouted.

“I just learned it last night!” he shouted as he skillfully dodged the giants club.

Bristle was hiding behind the rocks still, when an unwelcome visitor appeared, it was the giant that Skadi kicked, he seemed to have frostbite on his cheek.

“Hello little dragon!” he said reaching for the terrified Bristle.

“Ah! No I’m not food!”

The giant gripped him around the whole body, only to recoil after piercing his hand with Bristle’s quills.

“Hey! That’s not nice!” he said holding his injured hand.

“Uh, well, um, you’ll get more of that if you try again!” Bristle yelled sticking his tail up to reveal the quills.

“Nooo!” the Giant yelled as he backed away, only to fall down the mountain.

“Yeah! And stay down there!” the triumphant dinosaur said.

“First kill!” Irene yelled.

“Try again!” Bristle shouted laughing.

“No! You didn’t!”

“See for yourself!” He laughed, pointing to the ground, where the giant laid face first.

“Fine, second!”

“Only one more,” Faroe yelled.

The giant was engaged in combat with Skadi using his axe to keep her at bay. Faroe leapt up and sent a massive surge of electricity at the gargantuan foe. Smoke billowing off of his hair, he screamed as the lightning charred his whole body, and he fell to the ground, blackened and dead.

“Holy All Father!” Skadi said, looking at Faroe, “It must be true, Pharaohs are gods!”

“Jeez, I didn’t expect that!” Faroe said, grinning at his new power.

“Let’s loot this dump and go,” Irene said, looking around the messy giant’s camp.

They found very little of value, only some pieces of armor, gold, and food. So they decided to go back down to the town, each person taking a mastodon to ride.

Chapter 19: Tragedy and FerocityEdit

Thick stormed out of the room, his heavy footsteps echoing in the castle, several of Dryptus’ cannoneers rushed out to see the issue, but were quickly defeated by the raging sauropod.

“Olivia, are you alright?” Leon asked, picking the nagini up off the broken chair.

“Ah,” she grunted, “Yeah, I think. But is Thick?”

The two looked up into the hallway, Thickback was standing with his neck slumped, blood dripped out of his wounds as he breathed heavily, his exhaling resounding through the hall.

“Are you sure you’re alright? You’re bleeding…” Leon said pointing at his midriff, which was cut badly.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine,” she said, moving towards the distraught dinosaur, “Hey? Thick? Are you alright?”

“What does it matter,” he said under his breath, “It’s already happened, nothing will change it.”

“Well, talking to a pair of caring ears might. Believe me, I’ve been through a lot…”

“Do tell me, if it compares then I will speak, but I really don’t want to.”

“Well, when I was young my town was attacked by giants, they burned the village down, and they tried killing everyone, a few of us escaped, mostly children. Since we escaped, the giants sent manticores after us. Me and my younger brother made it to a bamboo thicket, backed into a corner, we couldn’t flee.”

Olivia stopped, her face turned red and she closed her eyes, sobbing, but trying to keep it in.

“The manticore knocked me away, cut off some of my tail. It was Aija he was after…”

She broke out in tears, Leon kneeled next to her, embracing and comforting her.

“Thanks… Then it attacked Aija, I could hear him, he yelled for me to run, but I couldn’t leave him, so I starting punching the manticore. The monster turned around, bloody red jaws facing right at me, but then, then a heroic naga, the emerald naga, saved me, he killed the monster, and took me to safety…” She stopped, “When he died a few weeks ago in that attack, I felt awful, I should have helped. But I’m just a coward.”

“Oh dear,” Thick said consolingly, “we both have a story of tragedy, death of our loved ones…”

“You don’t have to share, if you don’t want to,” Olivia said, sniffling as she held Leon.

“No, I am as strong as my armor. I must speak of the horrors committed by Rephagus.”

“You are a true warrior,” Leon said nodding his head.

“It started 35 years ago, I was 40, relatively young for a sauropod, my family lived in the lava plains beneath a great mountain, I had a small family, my mate, my son, my daughter, we all lived a simple dinosaurian life. But when the saurischians decided to start traveling, spreading the news of their supremacy, they wanted us. The whole village. Naturally, we declined, but the nasty Saurvids wouldn’t have it, they blockaded us, raided us, attacked our people.”

The massive dinosaur shifted, grunting in pain, as his wound dripped.

“Soon, they grew tired of waiting, Rephagus, Dryptus, and Baro came personally to convince us. The elder had enough, he yelled to the intruders, ‘we will not betray our companions, all dinosaurs are equal!’ but Rephagus didn’t care, with a swift bite, he decapitated the elder, in front of everyone. My children cowered and begged to run away, but I feared the nasty Saurvids would kill them for fleeing. ‘Now if anyone else objects?’ that dirty monster sneered, laughing at us. The whole village roared in objection. ‘So be it,’ he said. Soon his armies hand gathered us up, they forced us up the mountain, and anyone who died of exhaustion was consumed by the oppressing carnivores. Eventually we reached the summit. In the mountain was fiery lava, and soon, they were pushing us, one by one, we fell in, I stood in horror, watching the catastrophe among us…”

Thick paused, he looked at Leon and Olivia, who had terribly sorrowful looks on their faces, Olivia was still crying, but with the force of two sad experiences.

“I don’t like to say this… I never can,” the dinosaur gave a long exhale, “I ran. I ran from the theropods, knocking some of them down. Rephagus yelled ‘let him go, he will only make our presence greater.’ When I reached the foot of the mountain, I immediately regretted my decision. The last memories my family had of me, the entire village had of me, was my cowardice. Now, I’m the only saltasaur left…”

“Thick…” Olivia started, but she couldn’t decide what to say.

“Our people couldn’t run, we’re too big, we couldn’t fight back, we’re too small. That’s the life of an average person, life is always tough.” The dinosaur laid down. Its wound still flowed with blood.

“Thick, do you need something for that injury?” Leon asked.

“No, it will heal. I’m too tough for injuries…” the saltasaur fell asleep.

“We should get some sleep Olivia,” Leon said to his wife.

Olivia nodded. Leon moved to the throne room and closed the doors, then moved to the main hall and barricaded the front doors. He decided that he’d deal with the corpses later. He took off his heavy armor leggings and laid down at the belly of the dinosaur. Olivia laid down in front of Leon, and wrapped her tail in a loving embrace around him. The night was silent again, and they all fell asleep.

Daylights warm touch climbed over them, Leon found that Olivia’s grasp had become stronger around him. He wriggled to loosen the tail that he had grown to love, which woke up his wife.

“Hello…” she said with a small smile.

“Good morning dear,” Leon said as he looked into her soothing eyes.

“Is it too tight?” she asked, realizing she was really constricting him.

“Oli, the tighter the better, that way we can never be separated.”

She smiled and kissed her husband, who was just what she needed to feel better.

“Good morning you two,” Thickback said, smiling, which revealed his many peg like teeth. Still weary from his injuries, he rocked back and forth.

“Hi Thick, have a good sleep?” Leon asked.

“Yes, actually. I think telling that story was a relief. And the fact that me and you, Olivia, have a similar history, should make us inseparable, we fight to avenge our wrong doings.”

Olivia released Leon from her loving, but very tight, grip. She slithered over to Thick and embraced his tall pillar like leg, “Definitely, you’re a great dinosaur, no matter what,” she said.

“If you insist, now we should go,” he said.

“First we should do something about those bodies…” Leon said uncomfortably.

“Whatever we do wont be right, we should inform someone of power,” Thick said.

“Alright, if you say so,” Leon said.

Outside, the sun was glowing, it burned at their eyes. The armies had left, in fact, it seemed as if they were never there. The grass was clean, no weapons were scattered around anymore. Not a body in sight.

“What happened?” Olivia asked.

“I’m not sure, maybe they left after we killed Dryptus. Could it have been mind control or something?” Thick questioned.

“Did somebody… take them?” Leon asked.

“What do you mean?” Olivia asked.

“Did they, teleport out?” he clarified.

“They better not have,” Thick snarled.

The group walked through the fields, looking around for any signs of the sudden disappearance of the soldiers.

“They had to have been-”

“YAAHH!” a group of knights erupted from behind a rocky outcropping, swords and spears ready.

“Kill the traitors!” One yelled.

“Oh no you don’t!” Leon charged with his spear engaging in battle with one of the spearmen. Olivia reached back and drew her bow and arrow, and fired off at the soldier. But the other two ran at Thick, who was still tired from his injury. One of them cut at his legs with a sword, the other used a mace to bash at his bones.

“You evil sons of a wench!” Olivia screamed. Their attacking had toppled the weary sauropod and Olivia couldn't bear to see an animal in pain.

“Well hello you gorgeous nagini, care for a dance?” the mace wielder said, eyeing the naga, "I never did it with a snake before."

“Disgusting,” she sneered. Pulling an arrow back she dodged his attack, and she fired the arrow straight into his neck, instantly killing him, she blinked, stunned, “I can't believe I just did that..."

“You're a good shot, probably just lucky though,” the other taunted.

Olivia grabbed the mace wielder with her tail and flung him at the swordsman, knocking him over.

“That was crafty! But try again!” he roared as he ran at her with his sword drawn. She evaded but couldn’t get her arrow ready fast enough, she rolled behind a rock to avoid his swings. He leapt over the rock, “come on little snake, fight me!”

“I’m not gonna fight you!” she yelled, her hate growing, despite her normal pacifist views.

“Aww, is it too tough?”

"I'm above pointless conflict," she said.

“Ha, of course you are,” he returned, "You're just too scrawny to do anything."

Olivia shot forward with the force of an angry cobra, knocking him down.

“Is that all you can do, manticore chow? Knock me over?” he snarled, knowing that nagas are not friendly with manticores, in fact most of them fear them.

All sense of collectiveness and calmness was thrown away, “WRRRAAAAAAA!” she roared in anger, she punched him in the face and he dropped his sword. The she used her tail to constrict the knight, he struggled as his circulation slowed.

“Hehe," the man coughed in desperation, "trrry, harder...” he sputtered.

Olivia became enraged, she reached for her vial of poison, “Do you want me to try?” she screeched.

She opened the vial and dumped it onto his body, aiming for bloodied open wounds, she was so infuriated, she could only see red, she was shaking in rage, gritting her teeth so hard it could powderize a diamond.

Soon, he was dead. His body was blue and bloated. The raging nagini dropped his onto the ground. She turned around, to see Leon and Thick staring at her in disbelief. Luckily thick was still okay, but they seemed to be more concerned for her.

“Hon? You okay?”

Chapter 20: Domestic Conflict

The BlackKnife roared through the air, Ruby was dancing in her seat, listening to some classic rock while everyone else silently sat. Nos was staring down at the small screen near the control panel, attempting to keep track of where they were flying.

Soon the song faded out, and a country singer started to blare out of the radio, Ruby snarled, getting up to turn off the device and then plopping back in the chair.

“So are we almost there?” she asked impatiently.

“Almost, I think. We should be nearing Mexico.” Nos said, looking at a large map.

“Good, I’m thirsty,” Amanda said, leaning back in the chair.

“Say Nos, if you were to have a kid, what would you name him or her?” Amanda curiously asked.

This caught the pilot off guard, “Oh, um, well, I guess, maybe Avolee for a daughter, and maybe Otre for a boy? Why do you ask…”

“Oh, no reason…”

A half hour later the ship landed in the Peruvian mountains, nearby the ruins of the Stone Inc. labs.

“Everybody get your weapons, there could be a lot of bad things in there,” Nos said, getting up from his seat. The group got out of the ship. Stone Inc. was not only a lab, but a mansion, so it was truly awe inspiring to the group, apart from Ruby, who just cautiously walked in. The main hall was darkly glamorous, the lights were out, windows broken, artifacts and furniture cast about and destroyed. Ruby just stared in silence. The building was dank and musty. It had definitely rained several times.

“Do you think anyone here is still alive?” Amanda asked.

“Probably not,” Ruby sighed.

“Well lets get your stuff and leave, this place, uh, creeps me out,” Dagger said looking about hastily.

Ruby walked to the kitchen, it wasn’t like an average kitchen but rather a kitchen fit for a five star restaurant. Ruby rummaged through the fridge, grabbing her insulin, as well as three cases of Diet Dr.Pepper, she opened one, then after finishing it, another. She threw the empty cans on the ground.

“Hey Dagger, can you carry these to the ship?” she asked.

“Oh, yeah, sure,” he said, grabbing one in his jaws, and two in-between his arms

Ruby looked up, she couldn’t see Nos or Amanda, they probably went off looking for survivors.

“So why’d you ask about the names?” Nos wondered.

“Because, what if I’m gonna have a child?” Amanda responded, looking at an old suit of armor.

“That would be something, but I never thought I’d be a father,” Nos commented.

“Yeah,” Amanda sighed, “Say, wanna go up stairs and, look around?”

“Maybe…” Nos smiled, following Amanda.

Ruby went outside to look for Dagger, the sky was growing gray and drops of rain were splattering on the ground. She looked around the yard, she noticed Dagger’s green tail nearby the ship, he was leaning over examining it.

“Yeah it is,” Dagger said. He looked up and saw Ruby, “Bye” he whispered.

“Dagger? What’s going on?” She asked.

“I was just checking the ship for any damages or external devices, for Nos,” he said.

“Okay, do you wanna come in for some food?” Ruby asked innocently.

Thunder roared and it started raining hard, as if a switch had been flipped to activate the precipitation.

“Yeah, now I do,” the dinosaur said.

They walked in and Ruby grabbed a large salami from the fridge and set it on the table.

“Do I eat this?” Dagger asked.

“Uh, I guess if you want to,” Ruby responded, quietly giggling.

The dinosaur sunk his teeth into the hunk of meat eating it in two bites, “Pretty cold…”

“Yeah, it was in the fridge,” Ruby said. She rummaged through the fridge and cabinets.

“What are you looking for?” Dagger asked.

“I don’t know, something,” She said, sitting down on the metal table, it was cold against her legs.

“Gah!” she leapt off the table, “that’s cold, I’m cold. I’m gonna go upstairs and get some jeans on,” she briskly walked out of the kitchen.

The house was very dark now. The rain had really started pouring now. Every so often lightning would light the pitch black mansion. She heard something coming from the master bedroom, but when she noticed it was Nos and Amanda, she passed by. Eventually, she found her room. Fondling the darkness for a pair of jeans, she thought she heard another noise, this time from her bathroom. But she dismissed it. Finally she felt the rough denim of her jeans. She slipped off her shorts and put on the new pants. Lightning flashed again. This time revealing a threat. Ruby saw the raptor in the doorway to her bathroom, but darkness returned. So she ran. Slamming the door behind her, she delayed the dinosaur and made it to the master bedroom, In which Nos and Amanda were still in bed.

“Help!” Ruby screeched.

“Ah! What!?” Nos yelled.

“The raptors are not all gone. I saw one in my room!” Ruby squealed.

Nos got up and withdrew his Sword and ignited it, he was fully clothed, as was Amanda.

“What were you guys doing in here?” Ruby asked

“Asking each other questions, what did you think we were doing?” Amanda asked.

“Nothing….”

“Well, let’s find this raptor!” Nos called.

“Hey Amanda? What kind of weapon do you use?” Ruby asked.

“This,” she pulled out a large black pistol, “It’s a work in progress, but soon it’ll be done. It’s a Laser Pistol.”

“Sweet,” Ruby said, smirking at the weapon.

“What are you to doing in there? Come on!” Nos whispered loudly.

They all walked into the dark hall, apart from rain spattering on the roof, it was silent. Something down the hall fell with resounding clang. The group looked up, Nos held his blade out, slightly lighting the room.

“Ahhah! Help!” Ruby cried. They turned around to see a raptor pulling her out of sight as she screamed and pulled at the carpet, which was now stained with blood.

“Ruby!” Amanda and Nos yelled. Nos sprinted after her, following the blood. She had dropped one of her axes. But hopefully she had the other one. His heart was pounding. The place was pitch black, his weapon only provided a measly orange glow.

“Come out vile raptor!” Nos yelled.

Ruby was swatting at the dinosaur, who’d expertly dodged the swings. The raptor had let go of her earlier, but now the battle had moved to the balcony, rain drenched both of them, and the floor had become extremely slippery, with each swing, Ruby seemed to loose balance. She stopped and held on the wall. Lightning flashed and she couldn’t see the raptor. She felt a sharp pain in her chest and she fell over the railing, into her pool. The chlorine stung her open wound. She surfaced and felt the rain striking her head, it was very stormy now.

“Come on, come on,” Ruby said to herself, trying to focus on healing.

Lightning cracked, and the water splashed, that had to be the raptor. Ruby climbed out, but was knocked flat on the ground. She could feel the creature pulling on her hair.

“Soon, you will be dead, and the cerato can perform his role,” the creature snarled. It dug its claws into her back.

“Augh!” She screamed and rolled over. The raptor lost balance and fell. Ruby limped to her axe and sorely picked it up. Her healing just couldn’t keep up, she stumbled to her knees.

“You have been bested!” The raptor snarled.

“NO!” Dagger shattered through one of the mansions windows, catching the feathered beast in his jaws.

“Curses cerato! We knew we couldn’t trust you! Rephagus will hear of-” the creature was cut off by a loud snap.

“Ruby!” Dagger yelled out, searching for the girl.

Ruby’s head started to hurt, her vision blurring, and she fell into a muddy patch of dirt near the house.

The clouds had parted. Sun glowed on the mansion’s backyard. Rain droplets fell from the trees and gutters. Ruby’s head really hurt, the sun burned her eyes. But most of her wounds had healed. But her clothes were torn and soaked, as well as red with blood. She ached and swelled, hobbling to the hot tub, she hoped she could relieve herself of all the pain.

“Ruby! Amanda called from inside, “You’re okay!”

“Yeah,” she squeaked, wincing from the pain.

“Let me come down there!” Amanda called, running down the stairs.

Ruby wasn’t sure why her wounds still felt so sore, they had mainly healed, but it still felt rather fresh.

Amanda came out of the back of the house, wearing a swimsuit.

“What?” Ruby said quietly.

“I love swimming, I was just, well, nervous about asking you if I could,” she noticed that Ruby was staring at the swimsuit she was wearing, “Oh, I think this is your mom’s, but she won’t mind, will she?”

“Maybe, I’m not sure if she’s alive still…” Ruby moaned.

“Oh, sorry…” Amanda apologized. Ruby rested her feet in the hot tub, it was cold, but maybe it still worked.

“May I come in?”

Ruby looked unsure, but she let her, “Where are the guys?”

“They went out to town, search for information while I looked for you,” Amanda stretched in the water, “Starting to get warm now, nice.”

“Yeah,” Ruby felt nervous near Amanda, “Say, uh, when I got attacked, I healed slower, I still feel a bit sore now, do you know why?”

“Possibly, the raptor could have a type of poison in its saliva which can infect the bloodstream, your body is probably fighting that before fixing wounds. Do you need a massage?” Amanda asked.

“No… no…” Ruby quietly responded. Eventually, her body stopped being sore and aching and she could relax. 

Chapter 21: Holy WarEdit

Skadi rode ahead of the group on her huge mammoth, she didn’t look very small compared to it, in fact she was almost as tall as the wooly elephant. But everyone else was uncomfortable on their mastodons. Faroe struggled to not look down, as it was at least an eighteen foot drop. And Irene had a hard time holding Bristle and hanging onto the beast at the same time.

“Do you want me to slow down?” Skadi asked turning around on her mammoth.

“No, we’re okay,” Faroe said.

“Uh, no. Grease fingers here can’t keep a grip on me,” Bristle complained.

“Yeah, let me help you with him Irene,” Skadi said, hopping down from her mount. Despite the snow being knee deep for her, everyone else would be buried by it.

“Say Skadi, do you know the name of the town we’re heading to?” Faroe asked.

The giantess picked up Bristle, “Yeah, its Skadyrberg,” she trudged through the snow and climbed onto the mammoth, placing Bristle in her lap, “I would very much know…”

“Why’s that?” Irene asked, enjoying not having the dinosaur, but wishing for the warmth he gave her.

“Because its named after me, my friend,” she smiled.

“Are you worshipped there?” Faroe asked.

“Yeah, me and Njord… although the townsfolk don’t particularly like giants,” she said.

“Then they dislike you?” Faroe asked, unsure why they'd worship a giant.

“Of course not! I'm a frost giant, not a mountain giant. We frost giants are a dignified race,” Skadi said, stroking Bristle’s quills. The little dinosaur’s teeth chattered as her cold hand touched his tail.

The sun glowed over the snowy mountain, stinging the eyes of Faroe and Irene. Icicles dripped as birds chirped. The journey down the mountain had ended. The town was very close, people chattered amongst each other as they saw the heroes riding in on mastodons, as well as the blue giantess on a mammoth.

“Those are mastodons, giants ride those,” a red bearded man stated.

“Dat means dey killed dem,” A white haired girl said.

“Heroes! Did you slay the wretched giants!” the town hersir called.

Skadi turned her head.

“Yes! They are defeated! Your village can live in peace once more!” Faroe called.

“Vhat about da ice giant?” the white haired girl asked.

“Excuse me miss, I'm Skadi, the patron of your town," Skadi said, annoyed.

“Vee cannot trust zis giant,” the white haired girl said, "Zou must be in league vith ze others!"

“If you can trust Njord, you can trust me!” Skadi roared.

“Let us talk to ze other gods, who knows vhat zhou might try!” she said.

“I’ve had it! Frost giants are noble and peaceful, not like those brutish mountain and fire giants! And I am this towns goddess for Freyr’s sake!”

“Ve vill allow you into the city after our prayers to Thor,” the white haired girl said.

“Absurd!” she yelled, “I’ll leave if that’s what you want,” she turned the mammoth around and trekked off into the woods.

“Uh, are you taking me?” Bristle asked, his quills falling as a sign of submissiveness.  

“Yes, you and Faroe are the only sensible people I know, and I can’t cuddle a human…”

“Hoo Boy…” Bristle sighed.

They had traveled for a few hours and came to a cliff, Skadi sat in the large cavity, although her ice blue skin couldn't show it, she seemed to be fuming. She furiously stroked Bristle's back, the little dinosaur sighed in futility, as each stroke hit harder and harder.

Faroe and Irene sat in the tavern. Vikings cheering them, with many norse women swarming Faroe.

“Irene, do you think it’s right that we left Skadi?” Faroe asked.

“Iunno, why?” she hiccupped, “Bartender! More mead!” Irene demanded.

Faroe sipped his beer, “I think you’re drunk…”

One of the girls leaned over to him, “I can hold my alcohol, so much better than her, watch!” She chugged her mug and fell backwards. In a few seconds someone else had taken her place.

“I need some fresh air,” Faroe said. He stepped outside in the cold outdoors. Nobody seemed to be around.

“Faroe! Wait up!” Irene called.

“What?” Faroe asked.

“You, are so handsome, I don’t even know,” she mumbled.

“Yeah,  you too,” Faroe saw the temple. No lights came from it, “I thought they were praying to the gods tonight…” He turned to see Irene who was stumbling about, “Get some rest.” He took her by the hand to the house they had woken up in, and placed her in the fur bed.

“Now stay here! I don’t want to have to look for you!” Faroe demanded. She belched and chuckled to herself.

“Yeah, bye,” Faroe said.

“No! Stay!” she called.

“I’ll be back soon, just get some sleep!” he softly commanded.

After leaving, he walked to the temple, pushing open the door, he saw only darkness. He ignited a torch with his lightning. The room was quite large, and in the back was a tall statue, a burly man with a small hammer stood, next to him was another man with a bow and arrow. Near the back was a great bulky man with a beard carved into the wooden wall.

“Thor. And that must be Ullr?” Faroe asked to himself. He examined the statues, both carved intricately from wood, made of a single log, except for Ullr's arrow. It appeared to be placed there afterwards, made of different wood to. Near the statues was a large box, he couldn’t seem to open it though, must have been locked. That was it, there was only a single room, but he could have sworn people had entered. Where did they go?

“It’s ze arrow,” a voice said. Faroe swiftly spun around. The white haired girl stood in the doorway. She was young looking, probably 14, her skin as fair as snow, not to mention her hair, which was almost as blindingly white as Skadi’s.

“What is? And who are you? Shouldn’t you be praying to the gods?” Faroe asked.

“Heh, does zat matter? I have told zou of ze arrow, zou should thank me.”

“Why should I?”

“Zis towns patron has been nothing but pain to me, I figure zou can be its down bringer. And vith ze follower's gone, she vill be too,” She said with a devious smile before closing the door and running off.

“Who is that?” Faroe asked himself, “And what about this arrow?”   

He walked over to the statue. He felt the arrow and pulled on it. It fell out and a trapped door opened between the wooden gods.

“A secret door!” he looked down and saw candlelight, “they must be down there.”

He quietly climbed down the ladder, carefully looking for people below him. When he made it to the bottom, he saw some people, including the white haired girl. They all stood at another great statue, this one made of a shining black mineral. Similarly to the wooden statues, this one had a counterpart, a woman with half a face, the other half a skull.

“I’m not sure, is that, um…”

“Hel, daughter of Loki,” the white haired girl said, smirking, she was staring right at him.

“Hel?” Faroe said to himself, “then that must be… Loki!”

She quickly disappeared, a black smoke bursting from where her body was, killing everyone in the room, except Faroe.

“What’s going on!” Faroe yelled.

“Draugr, arise!” the girl said, her voice filling the room. Each of the men who had collapsed stood, their flesh was now old and grey, their hair fallen out in most places, and their eye sockets empty.

The girl reappeared in front of Faroe, she had a huge grin on her face.

“Explain what is going on! Or else I’ll blast you!” Faroe threatened.

“Don’t worry, I mean YOU no harm, but I ask of you a favor,” she calmly said.

“What!?” Faroe demanded.

“Follow me,” she said. Leading him to the statue of Loki, she forced him down to a kneeling position, “Just pledge your allegiance to the mighty god Loki, if you do, your loved ones will be spared and you will serve him loyally and powerfully, if you don’t, we’ll kill them and you’ll serve Loki loyally, but weakly,” She grinned.

“Why do you need me!?” Faroe demanded.

“The gods love you, they favor you. They bless you with powers! You are the strongest person on this planet! And Nidhogg listens to the strong…”

“Nidhogg! Who are you!?” Faroe asked angrily.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I guess I didn’t tell you… I! Am! Hel!” she screamed, one half of her face stayed the same, but the other slowly aged into a skull with long black hair.

“That’s why you wanted to drive out Skadi! She’s a god! She could have stopped you!”

“You are smart! I see why the gods bless you! Skadi was the one who imprisoned my father, and now she must pay for her foolishness”

“I’m smart enough to know not to obey Loki!”

“Maybe you are not smart, actually, you're rather stupid…”

Faroe tried to stand, but her godly power held him down. He closed his eyes and focused.

“If you wont comply, I’ll start with Nos, then Irene,” Hel deviously threatened.

“No!” Faroe yelled, breaking from her godly grasp, he fired a bolt at her, but it simply absorbed into her.

“I see… Say goodbye to your friends, it’s a shame too, Olivia and Leon are so adorable,” Hel smirked.

“FINE!” Faroe kneeled, the words seemed to flow from him, rather than him actually speaking, “Great Loki! Accept my pledge to you. I will serve you and your great wyrm Nidhogg! You deserve the throne of the great gods!” Faroe felt a burning presence in his mind. A goddess sprung from his head, then a god, then another.

“Hel!” One roared.

“You! What are you doing here!?” she screamed.

Faroe looked up, his eyes blurry, but he saw Isis, Odin, and Hades.

“You forced a man to do your bidding! That’s against the rules of the gods! Unless you wish to sacrifice your immortality,” Isis said.

“Well, he already played his part, you can have him!” She disappeared in a black cloud. The draugrs converged on the gods, only one was motionless, seemingly unaware of the situation.

“Quick! Protect Faroe!” Odin commanded in a powerful voice.

Hades put on his helm and vanished, quickly cutting down the undead, and they appeared to sink through the floor, presumably going to the underworld.

Odin’s spear struck one of them and curved to strike two more. Isis held up an Ankh which fired glowing white spheres, which glisteningly exploded on contact with the dead warriors. Soon they were all gone, barring one, which sat limply in the corner. Isis briskly walked to Faroe and lifted him up.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, I think,” he said, “How did you guys know about this?”

“We were watching, we knew something bad was about,” Odin said.

“And its too late, the dragon is free, so is Loki,” Hades said, his voice echoing in his helmet.

“Oh no, this isn’t good is it?” Faroe asked.

They all shook their heads.

“What can we do?” Faroe asked.

“Ask Skadi, she will know,” Odin said. He and Hades vanished in a burst of light.

“Remain strong Faroe, Hel may be wrong about many things, but she knows one truth. The gods do favor you,” she kissed him on the forehead and vanished.

“Oh gods…” Faroe said to himself, worried.

It was late, Skadi was asleep with Bristle in her arms, he gave up trying to wriggle free hours ago. Surprisingly, she didn't seem as cold as she had earlier, so he didn't mind burrowing into her bosom for warmth.

“Skadi?” someone yelled.

“Huh?” Bristle chirped.

“Skadi!” the voice yelled again.

“Skadi! Skadi! Wake up!” Bristle whispered, squirming. He nibbled on her arm, but to no avail. He bit her nose, “SKADI!”

“Huh!” she awoke, dropping the little dinosaur.

“Someone wants you!” he yelled from under the snow.

“Oh, sorry,” she picked him up and brushed the snow off him. She wrapped her arms around the psittacosaur, who was dwarfied by the giantess, and looked around for her caller.

“Skadi?” the voice said again.

“What!?” Skadi bellowed. But then she saw that it was Faroe, “Oh, what?”

“I feel like the town will be a bit more accepting of you now.”

Chapter 22: YllaEdit

The hot midday sun burned down on the trio, Olivia had been silent for more than three hours since her explosive rage. Sweat dribbled off of Leon’s nose, his heavy steel armor not making him any more comfortable, despite being raised in the blistering sands of Persia. Olivia's leather abscondus was dark with sweat, beads of it ran down her abdomen. Thick walked with heavy steps, his head rising and falling greatly with each plodding stomp.

"The way I acted back there... I apologize, I shouldn't have gotten so mad..." Olivia said quietly.

"It's fine, everyone has emotions, sometimes they get the better of you. It's part of being a person, be it a naga, a human, or a dinosaur, you just can't suppress it, even if you try to be happy all the time, " Leon said.

"Oh Leon..." she hugged him tightly.

"I love you too darling," he looked up to Thick, "how are you holding up, friend?"

“It’s too hot for much more travel, my wounds and the stress of the heat are getting to me,” Thick panted.  

“If we find a lake or river, we’ll spend the rest of the day there, I promise,” Leon said, taking off his helmet to wipe his forehead.

Olivia fell out of exhaustion.

“Olivia! Are you okay!?” Leon asked, slowly jogging over to her. She was on the ground, panting, looking extremely hot. The nagini’s whole body was glistening with sweat.

“I… I don’t think so…” she quietly said.

“Thick, we need to find some water,” Leon stated.

After trekking for what seemed like hours, they found a small flowing stream.

“About time!” Leon rejoiced, removing his armor and wading in.

Olivia slid in and gave a massive sigh of relief. The euphoria of cool, refreshing water running over her small body, making her shudder in pleasure. Thick laid down downstream, the water building up behind him. Olivia swam over to Leon and put her arms around him, Splashing a bit of water on him with her tail. She swam around him happily, diving under the shallow water and blowing bubbles. Her face emerged from the water, a beaming half circle of a smile shining up to Leon.

"This is so nice Leon! I just want to stay here all day with you," she hugged his legs.

“While it is nice, we should talk about where we’re going next, we're here to find warriors,” Leon started.

“We should go up north, where it's cool,” Olivia suggested, almost completely underwater, "Although I'm not sure what kind of people we'd find."

“Well, I though about going south, to Byzantium or something. It wouldn’t be much hotter than here,” Leon suggested.

“I wouldn’t know, whatever you guys think is right,” Thick said happily as he soaked in the flowing water.

Downstream, a group of three Nagas laid in the grass. One was chubby but under his fat he was muscular, his hair was long and in a ponytail and his tail was a muddy brown. The other was very thin, his green hair was cut very short and he had a shifty glare on his slender, bony face. The finale one was a fit, well endowed female,. She had a beautiful face and body that many would kill for, her prominent bosom being held back by some leather tied with string. Her tail was black with some red patterns running down the back. Her long, wavy hair was black as well, it was glossy and clean, unlike that of her two companions, she didn’t seem to have any weapons wither her. The whole group also appeared to have fang like teeth, unlike Olivia. The thin male with a green tail had a crossbow and was aiming for a deer.

“Let’s just rush it! Cut ‘em up with my blade!” the biggest one said.

“It would just run!” the thin one hissed.

“Silence! The both of you!” The female demanded. She was obviously the leader, as the two others shut up at her command, “As much as I wish we could rush it, I agree with Koba, it would run.”

Koba staid silent for a few seconds, then shot the crossbow. The deer fell to the ground.

“Good, I get first pickings, then King, then you Koba,” The female said.

“Hey! That’s no fair! Come on Ylla!” Koba complained.

“Some ones gotta go last,” she smirked.

“Well it shouldn’t be me! I’m the one who killed it!”

“You heard the boss, you go last!” King said.

The three moved to the deer, while Koba muttered to himself.

“Well they are nagas, maybe you and them could talk about sharing the food, we're starving,” Leon suggested, as they watched the three nagas from afar.

“Only you would get food, I like to limit the meat I consume, and Thick is a vegetarian,” Olivia said.

“Maybe they know where other food is, or where there’s civilization,” Thick said.

“Maybe… Fine I’ll talk to them,” Olivia said.

King took out his scimitar, ready to hack the carcass.

“Look, a naga!” Koba whispered.

“Oh! Ever better than a deer!” King said, licking his lips.

“Shut up!” Ylla barked.

I don’t like the look of these folks… Olivia thought to herself.

“Hello,” Ylla said, “what’s another naga doing out here?”

“Oh, just, nothing. What are you doing here?” Olivia said.

“The same thing you’re doing,” Ylla said.

“Say, where are your fangs?” King asked.

“Fangs?” Olivia looked shocked.

“These things you little ditz!” Koba said, pointing at his mouth.

“So, you don’t have fangs, I take it your not a forest naga then?” Ylla said.

“Uh, no I’m not.”

Ylla looked to King and Koba smirking.

“Are you a river naga?” she asked.

“Yeah, why?”

“Well, just feel free to have a bite,” Ylla said.

Olivia beckoned to the other two, “you can come over,” she called.

The other nagas looked shocked. Who was this nagini? Most nagas only stick with other nagas, not humans.

“Who are these?” Ylla whispered to Olivia.

“These are my traveling companions, Thickback, he’s the dinosaur, and Leon. You don’t mind if they join do you?” Olivia asked.

“Let me talk with my companions,” Ylla said. She quickly pulled them to the side, “We are gonna be eating for weeks!” Ylla squealed excitedly.

“Maybe, but they don’t look to foolish, they’re probably going to be a hassle to kill. This will have to be perfect to work,” Koba said.

“Which is why I’m going to plan everything myself,” Ylla said, “I’ll seduce the man, then kill him, you can do what you want with the nagini, and finally, we will gang up on the big lizard.”

“I think we’ll have to separate them,” Koba said.

“Of course you idiot, did you think I was going to try and do it when everyone is together?” Ylla snarled.

“Is everything okay?” Olivia asked.

“Yeah!” Ylla called moving back to the others.

“This is why you eat last,” King told Koba, laughing.

“Yeah, we were just talking about…” Ylla started as she sat down on a log.

“Building fires, to uh, cook the deer?” Koba lied.

“Cook it?” King quietly asked him.

“Not really you dolt,” Koba whispered hitting him on the head.

“Yeah, we can’t eat it cold, right?” Ylla asked, she couldn't remember the last time she ate cooked meat.

“Me and uh…” Koba started.

“Olivia,” Olivia said.

“Me and Olivia will find some good wood for making a fire,” Koba said.

“Maybe, I could…” Olivia started resisting Koba’s urge to bring her with him.

“Just go with him, we’ll still be here when you come back,” Ylla said.

“Jeez, I sure am thirsty,” Ylla said leaning back, “say, sir, do you wanna go down to the river so I can get some water?”

“Sure,” he wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. If it was hot before, now it was like being in a furnace, and he couldn’t take his eyes off of her abscondus, which appeared to be bursting at the seams.

“Are you gonna come?” Ylla asked, seeing that the man had stopped moving.

“Yeah! I mean, yeah I’m gonna go,” he said.

The two walked silently towards the river. The hot sun was slowly setting, but Leon was still dripping with sweat.

“Say, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced, I’m Ylla,” Ylla said, wiping sweat from her chest.

“I’m Leon,” he said, staring at her.

“Yeah, the girl told me that,” Ylla said smiling, “Boy, it is so hot,” she said, teasingly.

“Yeah, it is,” Leon responded.

She moved down to the flowing water, she took off her abscondus, revealing her unnaturally large bosom, “Come in, the water is so cool,” she seductively tempted.

“Uh, lets just get a drink, then we can go,” Leon said uncomfortably.

“Oh, honey, this was never about the drink,” she said, emerging from the water, wrapping her arms around the warrior, “I want you.”

Olivia and Koba were gathering sticks from a small forest. They quietly bent over, picking up twigs, not saying a word.

“Sooo, you said your name was Olivia?” Koba shy asked.

“Yeah,” Olivia said, not looking up from her gathering.

“Olivia is a sweet name, fits you…”

“Aww,” Olivia said, “do you think this is enough?” she asked holding up a bundle of sticks.

“Maybe… lets just get some more to be safe,” Koba said, wanting to spend more time with her, but then a thought crossed his mind. He was the omega of the trio, so when they got back, King would want to have Olivia, probably even Ylla would too, and that wouldn’t do. He had to try something. But what? Spoil the whole plot?

“Olivia?” he sheepishly asked.

“What?” she responded.

“You need to run,” he said, “they’re gonna try and eat you! You have to go!”

“What!? What about Leon and Thick?” she shouted.

“It’s probably too late, just save yourself!” Koba tried to say.

“No, I have to help them!” she quickly darted off, Koba was worried, so he followed after her.

The two had made it back to the deer, Thick sat on the ground, looking bored, while King ate some deer.

“Eww! Are you eating that raw?!” Olivia shrieked.

“What?” he said with his mouth full.

“That's sick! Spit it out! And where's Leon?” Olivia yelled.

“He’s down by the river with Ylla,” Thick said, “why?”

“We need to leave, NOW!” she shouted.

King dropped his food and slowly looked towards Koba, who’s eyes were darting around.

“Come on Thick, let’s go!” Olivia yelled, slithering quickly.

Leon struggled to resist Ylla’s seductive temptation. She was starting to curl her tail around his legs. Leon had to decide quickly, but it was too late, the sultry nagini had her arms around his neck. She licked her lips, specifically stopping to run her tongue over her fangs.

“I cant do this! I’m a married man!” Leon yelled. He broke free from her wrap and backed off.

“Oh don’t worry sweetie,” she said, with a hand behind her head and one on her hip, “I know how to make sure she’ll never find out…”

“No, I can’t,” he said, running back to find the others. After running for a few minutes, he collided with Olivia.

“Oh am I glad to see you!” Leon yelled, kissing her all over.

“So am I. But we need to leave!” she hollered.

King showed up, dragging Koba, “You aren’t gonna get away!” He yelled.

“No you are not,” Ylla said, still missing her top.

“Oh boy,” Leon gulped.

“Why is this place so hostile?” Thick asked, sighing.

Chapter 23: BetrayedEdit

Ruby was leaning forward with interest, Amanda had been telling a story about one of the first major conflicts she fought in. Ruby found it hard to imagine this beautiful woman in a one piece, fighting legions of interplanetary marauders. Although her athletic physique certainly hinted to a life of adventure.

“So as we quickly darted across the hall, Sergeant Brown thought it would be funny to point the laser guide at the guy’s crotch, and before you new it, the poor pirate was writhing on the ground! Those things are really strong!”

“Wow! Is Sergeant Brown still part of your squad?” Ruby asked.

“Not much of a squad anymore, most of them died on our other missions. Brown was too close to me, so I put him on co-pilot duty when I became captain. He was like my brother, him and Lieutenant Bakker.”

“Any girls on your command?” Ruby asked.

“Yeah, there’s Meriem, Ria, and Polam. They all were part of my patrol on one of the planets, I can’t remember which one though…” she said, "I left them once I got promoted, and then met even closer friends as captain, including Nos. I still see a lot of my old pals in the VS Corps though."

“You’re such a cool person Amanda, tell me more stories!” Ruby begged.

“Uh, well, my skin is getting prune-y, I think I’m gonna go inside for something to eat.” Amanda got up from the water.

“Aww… Say, do you want me to make you something?” Ruby asked, trying to perhaps bribe another story out of her, or at least get on her good side.

“I’m just gonna make a quick bite, them im gonna try and get the main power grid back on. It seems only the back quarter of the house has electricity.”

“The kitchen and backyard… Wow, pretty clever!” Ruby said, hoping off the side of the hot tub.

“Yeah, I guess, but we need all the lights to claim this place as ours again,” Amanda said, opening the sliding glass door. After taking a few steps she spun around and sprinted back.

“Yeah, we’re staying out here…” she whispered.

“What’s in there?” Ruby asked, sounding a little excited.

“Another damn dinosaur! Holy mackerel am I sick of those!” Amanda sneered.

“Don’t let Dagger hear you, “she smiled.

Inside, a dinosaur snooped about, he was much bigger than the raptors, but still small enough to fit in the building. He had a small head with a flat beak and a crest between his eyes. On his back, a tall sail ran from his shoulders to the base of his tail. His scales were dark yellow. He lowered his head to sniff at the ground.

“Yep, he was here,” he said to himself, grinning. He walked to the main hall, looking around at the suits of armor and weapons lining the walls, “These look like the ones the troodonts made, but better. Stupid theropods…”

“HIYAH!” Ruby roared as she ran into the room with her axes ready.

“Woah, watch it mammal! I’ve got a thumb spike!” the dinosaur bellowed as he backed away on his hind legs with a frightened look on his face.

“Wait! Where are your teeth? And claws? You’re the wimpiest dino I’ve ever met!” Ruby smugly mocked, holding back her axe fury.

The dinosaur landed on four legs with a heavy thump, knocking some weapons over. He shook his head, “I am Ouro, and I am no carnivore! So back off with the metal, eh?”

“Yeah, you’re not a threat…” Ruby said, chuckling.

“Hey! I’ve got these!” he held up a hoof like hand. Where a thumb would be a spike resided, one that was about two or three inches long.

“Have fun making shish kabobs with those…” Ruby joked.

“Whatever, anyways, have you seen a big green person, or as you would say ‘Dino’ around here? Three orange horns and really big teeth?”

“Wait… Dagger? Daggerhorn?”

“Yeah, Daggerhorn the so called ‘Brave’! He stole my name! I’m Ouro the Brave!” the reptile raged.

“Listen buddy, its no use to just travel through time and space just to, Idunno, get your name back? You should just go home,” Ruby said.

“No, that’s not it! He’s a spy, he’s working for Rephagus, the nasty lizard!”

“What! No! He’s with us! He’s a good friend and a member of the… the dino-legion? I can’t remember! But he was good!” Ruby yelled.

“What’s going on?” Amanda asked, entering the room.

“Your friend Dagger is a traitor!” Ouro barked.

“So do you know about what happened at the Stone estate?” Nos asked a man in a white lab coat. They were in a small coffee shop, Dagger had demanded that Nos let him come, but he just scared away all the waiters and waitresses apart from two, who stood in the corner watching fearfully, but at the same time, excitedly. Another man in a lab coat was working tiredly on a crossword puzzle.

“Yes I worked there before the monsters attacked, the ones like your pet there,” the man harshly jabbed his fingers at Dagger.

“How insulting! Maniaptors and Ceratosaurs are nothing alike!” Dagger snarled.

“You’re all just super lizards!” he barked.

“Stop it you two! Now, give us a list of the survivors,” Nos demanded.

“Survivors? How are we supposed to know who survived?” The man shouted, “Most are dead, me and Gabe are alive, maybe a few more people, but I don’t know.”

“So you don’t know where Mrs. Stone is?” Nos asked.

“She left prior to the attack, she and Robert got in a fight,” the man explained, “She nabbed his car and went to the cops or something? What was it Gabe?”

“Hospital,” Gabe said without looking up from his crossword.

“Yeah, she went to the hospital, for something, maybe donate her body to science?” the man said, shrugging his shoulders.

“So should we go check?” Nos asked Dagger.

“I’m not sure, they’d probably try to kill me, knowing these humans,” Dagger said.

The male waiter whispered to the waitress and then walked up to dagger.

“Hey dude, can I like, have one of your teeth?” he asked shakily.

“Sure. If I can have one of yours!” Dagger joked.

“But yours grow back man! Dude, me and Katie are dino fanatics! We just want one, please!” he begged.

“Ugh, fine!” the dinosaur violently slammed his open mouth on a table, one of his teeth fell onto the floor.

“Dude! Thanks bro!” he said, gleefully staring at his souvenir, “Hey Katie I got it!”

“I know! Sweet!” the waitress cheered.

“Let’s go,” Nos said.

“Why’d I bang my head like that… it was already loose…” Dagger complained.

“Maybe it’s your tiny dino-brain,” Nos joked.

“Hey, can you drop me off at the mansion? So I don’t have to go to the hospital,” he asked.

“Sure thing,” Nos said, entering the cockpit. Soon the ship was whizzing through the air, and in less than a minute they made it to Stone labs.

“I think I’ll stop by for a minute to say hi, see if Ruby is okay, and grab a cola and sandwich,” Nos said. As they walked into the building, they met an unfamiliar face, at least Nos did.

“Dagger! It’s time to face justice!” Ouro roared.

“Oh no…” Dagger moaned.

“You betrayed us! We knew we couldn’t trust you! You, you dirty theropod scum!” Ouro roared.

“No stop!” Dagger bellowed.

“Why should I?” He barked.

“Just here me out, I… uh…” Dagger looked around the room, Amanda looked at him scoldingly, and Ruby seemed sad, “I’m sorry, I cant lie to you guys, I did work for Rephagus…”

“And?” Ouro said, knowing there was more.

“And I revealed the location of our operations…”

Chapter 24: Fire and Ice Edit

Faroe and Skadi braved the cold, waiting to go back to the town. Skadi sat with her back to a tree, holding Bristle in her arms, looking up to the starry skies. Faroe sat across from her, dearly missing the Victory Sound, his room, his priestess, and especially missing the warm gentle face of Irene, who was so tantalizingly close, yet so far away.

“What are you thinking about?” Skadi asked, brushing Bristle’s quills back as she stroked him.

“Me?” Faroe asked, shifting his gaze to the giantess.

“Yeah, who else? The trees” She sarcastically quipped.

“Sorry, I was thinking of home, well maybe less of home, but where I live,” he answered.

“Huh? What’s the difference?” She asked.

“Well, my birthplace is far off, in Libya. But I live on a huge ship, in space, ever farther off,” Faroe said, looking up to the skies, "I guess that's my home now."

Bristle squirmed in the arms of the goddess. Writhing and biting, trying to get free.

“What’s wrong?” Skadi asked, letting him go.

“I smell something... Something like a predator!” he gasped, searching around quickly.

“What!?” Faroe and Skadi yelled in unison.

Just then, a large wolf bounded from the brush, it was huge, but still only came up to Skadi’s waist. Obviously, like any wolf, it wasn’t alone, two more followed it, their fangs bared, snarling at the three tired travelers. The trio quickly and agilely split up, one ducked down and snatched Bristle.

“Like Niflheim you will!” Skadi roared, punching the wolf that had leap up to try and bite her. She turned and chased down the other beast, with all her might she jumped and lept onto its back. She tried to wrestle the giant canine, and eventually it slowed. Dropping the small dinosaur, who had suffered injuries around his waist. She jumped off the wolf, and it tried leaping at her, but instead she gave it a swift kick to the face, flinging it back into a pine. Faroe battled the massive dog, and Skadi’s mammoth helped hold back the other creature. Faroe quickly slammed his staff several times into the wolf, each hit knocking the animal backwards. Just then, the largest wolf stopped battling the mammoth, quickly ducking under its legs and calling to the others. They all quickly turned and ran, following the leader.

“Should we follow them?” Faroe asked.

“No, we need to get to town, Bristle is badly injured.” Skadi replied. The parrot looking reptile was unconscious, his skin red and torn.

“We better act quick, he does not look good.”



Irene, darted around the building. She was hardly clothed and the town seemed to be collapsing around her, panicked screams and cries rang out over the crackling of fire. Just a few minutes earlier she was sound asleep, dreaming of the planet she grew up on, missing the warmth of the sun, the trees rustling, the animals barking, roaring, and bellowing in the distance. These icy conditions were driving her mad, and now it seemed things were taking a turn for the worse.

“Where did I leave my shirt!” she asked herself, digging around the room. The roof shook and dust and debris fell down to the floor. She stood still, looking up and breathing hard. The ceiling creaked, and appeared to be sinking inward. But then it lifted and made no more noises.

Irene sighed, “Crap,” she ran to a table and pulled the fur cloth around herself, using it as a makeshift shirt.Retrieving her guns, she slowly snuck outside.  The bright orange light of fire pieced her eyes, as well as the rush of heat from the flames. Recoiling she backed into the wall of the house.

“Search the houses! And if he’s not there, burn them down!” A loud voice roared.

Suddenly a mass of fire and coals rushed by. It seemed to be in the shape of a human, only much bigger.

“This is really, really, bad. What am I gonna do?!” she quietly said to herself. Back against the wall, she slid around the building, trying hopefully to go unnoticed.

“Who are you?!”

Irene swiftly spun, eyes wide with surprise as sweat dripped from her forehead. But she quickly shut her eyes, for a burning bright figure stood in front of her.

“Talk, or you’ll be burnt to cinders,” the powerful voice roared.

Irene slowly opened her eyes, but all she could do was squint at the burning figure, “Uh, I’m Irene, I don’t think you’ll have any use of me,” she stuttered.

“Good, because you were going to burn anyways,” he bellowed.

Irene screamed, "Please! Don't!"



“Oh, no!” Skadi cursed, seeing the blazing fire giant and Irene, who appeared to be living her last few moments, “Irene! Hold on!” She bounded across the flaming village, trying to avoid stepping on corpses or kicking any fleeing citizens.

“Oh?” the fire giant said to himself, looking up at the approaching giantess, “Oh.”

With a swift punch, he slammed Skadi to the ground, she skidded back, crushing fences and knocking down a building wall.

“Ouch,” she said sitting up and holding the back of her head in pain. Standing she turned around to check for damages, in the building, a shocked looking girl looked at her in awe.

“You gotta get out of here kid,” she said, quickly ushering her to the village gates. Skadi then launched a second attack, when the fire giant threw a punch she ducked and kicked the flaming monster. The giant stumbled back into the thatched roof of the town center, turning it into an even more massive inferno. All the heat was getting to Skadi, she was a frost giant, as in made of ice, but it only made her sluggish, she wasn’t melting.

“Skadi? How can I help?” Irene asked.

“Get out of here!”

“What?”

“Go! I’ll meet up with you, I know I will!” Skadi heaved, she was way too hot for fighting, she was probably going to lose.

“Okay, where’s Faroe?” Irene asked.

“Somewhere, just get out of the village!”

The fire giant sprinted at Skadi. His arms ending in lumps of flame.

“Better improvise!” Skadi yelled. Grabbing a wooden beam, she swept snow at the giant, it hissed and melted, slowing the charging foe. He attempted to strike her but missed. His attack connecting with a nearby house, causing wood to splinter in every direction. Skadi turned and fled, the pile of rubble slowing the approaching fire giant.



Irene was running faster than she ever did before. She made it to the front gates of the town,  Bristle and Faroe were outside, Faroe looked conflicted, holding the small dinosaur, but looking desperately at the town.

“Oh thank the gods!” Faroe exclaimed.

“What happened?” Irene asked, looking at Bristle, who was dripping blood.

“He was attacked, we were attacked, and I looks like you were attacked.”

“Yeah, does this have something to do with the gods?” Irene asked.

“It has to, they must be angry that Skadi is intervening. I fear this has something to do with the Norse apocalypse. The wolves, the fire giants, it seems familiar…”

“Let’s not dwell on that, we need to get Bristle back to the VS and help him,” Irene said.

Faroe looked towards the city, “We’ll go to the Victory Sound, then come back as quick as possible.

“Alright…” Irene agreed.

Faroe took out the transporter and they hurriedly stepped on.

Chapter 25: Predators and Prey Edit

The three nagas closed in, Ylla’s scrunched up top in her hand, her chest completely open to the environment. She looked fiercely at Leon, but even more so at her two henchmen, who she knew would mess up eventually. It was her fault for trusting them. The hot air was slowly lifting, as the atmosphere developed more of a breeze.

“Leon? Where’s her shirt?” Olivia asked sternly, blushing at the sight of the nagini's great heaving breasts.

“She tried to seduce me!” He shouted.

“What!?” Olivia gasped, she faced away from the group briefly, trying to avoid staring at Ylla's chest.

“Yeah, that’s kinda her shtick,” King laughed heartily.

“Silence yourself!” Ylla roared, her face turning as red as her tail. Her fists tightening.

“Stand down! You wouldn’t want to risk getting stomped on,” Thick warned. He moved in front of Leon and Olivia, “But if you’re asking for hostility, I guess I’m going to have to give it to you.”

King looked at the big dinosaur, then to Koba, "Shoot the thing you idiot!” he commanded, hitting him in the back.

Koba held up his crossbow and aimed for Thick's head. He shut one eye and readied the shot.

“Thick! Watch out!” Olivia screamed to him. He turned, and saw the snake man aiming for him, the dinosaur lashes out with his tail, the weapon sauropod dinosaurs cherished most. He struck the crossbow and sent it flying through the air, shattered pieces of wood soaring with it.

King quickly darted at him, his blade in hand. Thick reared up, avoiding his strike. Koba backed away, and saw Leon charging towards Ylla, who put her abscondus back on hastily. Koba sprung into action, he aimed his crossbow and fired, the bolt clanging off the Persian warriors chest, Leon turned to face the new threat, and Koba pulled out a dagger and swiped at him.

“Hey! Get off him!” Olivia demanded, searching for an arrow to fire. Before she could get one, Ylla slammed into her, swatting her bow from her hands.

“You’re hardly a morsel, but I do so enjoy river naga,” she smiled madly, firmly gripping Olivia’s arms. She pushed her to the ground, and darted in to bite her neck. Olivia quickly rolled over and narrowly avoided to strike. She whipped her tail out and wrapped it around Ylla’s torso, but the Nagini seemed unfazed, she instead bit at Olivia’s tail, forcing her to let go.The bite just grazed the scales, and no blood was drawn.

“Listen buddy, I don’t want to hurt you,” Leon said to Koba, who was struggling to gain an advantage against him.

“Well I do!” He laughed desperately, lunging at his foe, only to be slammed to the ground by his spear, groaning in pain.

Nearby, Thick was having trouble against his smaller adversary. Trying to keep him at bay with kicks and sweeps of his neck and tail, but they were easily dodged, and sometimes followed by a cut from his sword.

“So…” King said, panting, “what are you?”

Thick exhaled, he too was overheating from the fighting, his large size made heat his enemy, “I’m what you'd call a saltasaurus, in my native tongue, it would be a Shelbeccick.”

King wiped his forehead. And Thick shook his head and neck. And the two returned to their languid combat.

Ylla had her arm around Olivia’s neck, her face turning red, “See, once you stop squirming like a fish out of water, it’s not so bad is it?” she sneered, a sinister smile stretching across her lips. She began to wrap her tail around Olivia’s stomach, working its way to her ribs, she sputtered and gasped for air as she was constricted. Trying desperately, she pulled her hand from under Ylla’s muscular tail, reaching to her quiver, but her opponent grabbed her arm, “Don’t try to fight it,” she warned. Ylla completely overpowered her in every way. She tried one last option.

“Leon! Help,” she wheezed.

Leon swung around and saw his wife struggling, “Olivia!” He shouted. He took the butt of her spear and slammed it into Koba’s stomach and ran to her.

“You couldn’t have just accepted it you worm!” Ylla roared. Squeezing her harder, then throwing her down. She turned to Leon, and darted at him, punching him square in the face before he could react. He fell back, dropping his spear. With extreme agility, she whipped her tail behind his legs, tripping him. She began to wind around his ankles, starting to restrain his movements, she bent down and reached for his spear.

“Let me go!” He yelled, struggling under her tail’s crushing embrace.

“You could of had me, she sighed, fingering her chest, and tugging on her top, flaunting her ample bosom, “a creature of your caliber deserves a girl like me.”

“You’re a monster!” He shouted.

“You’re only saying that because I have a tail, aren’t you?” she sneered. Holding his spear she lightly cut his cheek, and with a forked tongue, licked at the red liquid that oozed out, “sadly you won’t be able to have me… But I most certainly will be able to have you,” she hissed.

Olivia screamed at the top of her lungs, her throat still hurt, but in her rage, she didn’t think twice, scrunching up her tail, she sprung at Ylla. She slammed her to the ground and tried to sink an arrow into her neck. The two struggled on the ground, Leon couldn’t stand it, he was helpless as he watched his love try to save him.

“You tiny little pest! You’re bones are as brittle as sticks! You have the proportions of a sun dried corpse and are only half as attractive,” Ylla fumed, she tried grabbing one of Olivia’s arrows, but she had to let go of Leon in order to, “Koba! You worthless bag of skin and scales, kill this human scum!”

Olivia backed away as Ylla let go of him, she stared into her eyes, rage building between both of them, hatred and fear, life and death on the line.

Koba stared. He didn’t want to help either of them. Ylla was abusive, even if he did help, when they won, she’s probably hit him and yell at him, and Olivia would never love him back, he could see her devotion. He backed behind some trees.

Leon stood up, he charged Ylla and took hold of his spear, forcing it from her hand. Spinning it, he swiped and slammed the butt into Ylla’s side, she was flung into the air and crashed down into the tall grass near the edge of a forest.

They stood and watched. Olivia leaned against Leon, rubbing her red throat. He turned towards her, and took her in his arms. He brushed her hair off her forehead, and wiped the sweat above her eyebrows, and gave her a kiss. She held him for what seemed like an eternity.

“Leon, Olivia!” Thick bellowed. They looked to the Saltasaurus, on the ground was King, who was panting and gasping, clearly defeated, “Let’s get out of here!”

“Olivia,” Leon said, taking her hand, “I really, truely… Love you, I always will,” he smiled.

The trio quickly fled the river. The hot sun still scorched their skin, but they were glad to be away from the nagas. Leon held Olivia’s hand in his own. He feared separation from her now,

“So where are we off to now?” Thick asked, after walking for a while.

Leon thought. There weren’t many options, nobody knew where any towns or cities were. And he doubted Olivia or Thick knew any better.

“Maybe we should follow the river,” Olivia quietly suggested, “maybe there will be a place nearby… Since, you know, it’s a source of water.”

“Yes, water is the source of all life,” Thick said, “so that makes good sense, let’s go.”

They continued down the river, it was quiet, every so often a lone bird would call out, and maybe receive and answer. Apart from that, it was very quiet.



Ylla leaned up, her stomach was burning, her skin was covered in cuts and bruises. She entered the clearing near the river, she spied King and Koba who were coiled on the ground, talking. There was a loud crashing sound. Ylla paid it no mind, but the other two nagas glanced around, until they spotted her. They both jumped in shock. She made her way to them.

“We’re uh…” King started, his eyes darting around.

“We’re sorry, they, uh, got away,” Koba said, panicked.

“I would kill you right now, then defile your corpses in more ways than you could possibly imagine you…” she reached for words, “Disappointing, worthless, poor excuses for living beings!” she exhaled sharply, “but I don’t want to waste my time.”

“Once again, we’re really sorry, but look on the bright side,” Koba started, “we’re all alive and okay, right?”

There was another crash, birds took wing and flew over the clearing.

“What is that?” King asked.

“I hope its some food,” Koba said.

“Don’t get your hopes up, you won’t be having any,” Ylla snarled.

“Hey…” Koba sighed.

“Actually, do get your hopes up, the defeat will be so much nicer to watch.”

She slithered over to the trees. King lagged behind. Koba stayed in place until King turned and waved to him. They went into the forest. There was loud stomping, the three looked around.

“Is that the uh… Salty-saur?” King asked.

“I don’t know… Sounds faster, less feet,” Koba answered.

“Excellent tracking,” a voice hissed behind them.

Koba leapt in shock, he spun to see a mid sized creature, it looked like a bird crossed with a lizard.

“Wha-wha- what are you!” Koba asked.

It hissed in annoyance, “I am an agent of Rephagus, he’s seeking new… talent, for his goals. You seem capable enough, despite your poor performance earlier.”

“You outta shut your beak before I break it off,” Ylla scowled.

“Mammal, I’d love to see you try,” he snarled.

Koba snickered, but Ylla shot him a look and quickly shut him up.

“Velkar, stand down,” a deep voice commanded. From behind a mound of boulders, a massive creature emerged.

“Yes sir, Rephagus,” Velkar obeyed, moving backwards, away from the trio of nagas.

“You, you heard what my agent said, I need allies, I must spread the word about the saurian greatness. You appear to have the right idea when it comes to influencing others.”

“Do we? We couldn’t seem to catch those other guys earlier,” King said.

“Trust me, those people are truly a challenge to persuade. Especially that, Thickback, I could eradicate an entire race, and his motives never wavered,” Rephagus said coldly.

Ylla stood in silence. Thinking about how someone managed to eradicate an entire race, she felt fear for the first time in a long time.

“I don’t feel like working for anyone,” Ylla said, stoically.

“That’s a shame, kill her Velkar,” Rephagus said calmly.

“Wait! No! I will join you, I will!” Ylla cried pleadingly.

Koba and King looked at eachother. Koba sighed, “I guess we will too.”

“Great. Great news, now, prove yourselves, go to the nearest village, and… Influence their army to join us. That should prove your skill completely,” Rephagus stated, he turned away, “come back with an army, and you’ll earn your place.”

The trio slithered out of the forest, out into the sunny plains. Clouds were moving in but the days heat still lingered, now mixed with the humidity of the encroaching downpour. Ylla stayed quiet and looked up ahead.

“So, we gonna head back to that town we passed?” King asked.

There was no response.

“Ylla?”

She turned, slowly, and spoke, “Leave this to me, you’ve failed enough times already, and we don’t need you ruining this shot. That beast back there knows about the blue nagini and her mass of husband, if I can join him, I might get a second shot at crushing them, and trust me, I WILL succeed.”



“Leon! Olivia!” Thick barked.

“Yes?” Leon asked.

“I found a settlement!” Thick replied, “Over there!”

The three made their way to the small town, In search of people to talk with.

Chapter 26: Battle of Stone Labs Edit

“How could you!” Amanda exploded. Her lip curled and her eye twitching.

“I’m sorry…” Dagger sighed.

“When was the last time you updated him?” Amanda roared.

“Uh… Earlier… Today…”

“I shouldn’t of trusted you, you’re one of Rephagus’ kind, you follow his beliefs, you side with him!” Amanda fumed.

“Amanda, calm down,” Nos said, “Dagger, we are extremely disappointed, but we ourselves cannot convict you, we’ll head back to the dinosaur realm and you will face your punishment there.”

A look of shock ran over Daggers face. He knew the punishments in his world were much less forgiving than anywhere else. However, it’s possible the ornithischians were a bit more lenient towards crime than his brothers the saurischians.

“I suppose it must be done,” he finally said, grief in his voice.

“Good, glad you see it our way,” Ouro said.

"I'll tell the others where we're going," Amanda said, sending a quick message to Irene's group that they were at the Stone residence. She then began to send a message to Leon.

“I suppose we’ll escort you out then,” Nos said. He marched to the doors, gripping the knob, he turned and saw Ruby, sitting forlornly up against the wall, looking away. Nos sighed, and opened the large wooden door.

“Glad you could spare the information, comrade,” a raspy voice hissed.

Nos spun to look out the open door, standing there was a graceful looking dinosaur, roughly five feet tall, it had a long neck when a thin, pointed snout. Its green and tan body was quite muscled, but was small compared to its tapering tail and alert neck. The most striking feature was a long red scar on the creature's eye, it didn’t look blind, as the eye itself was blood red. On both sides of it were a mix of humans and dinosaurs, armed with an array of weapons, such as spears, swords, and guns.

“Who are you?!” Nos yelped.

“It matters not, for the dead do not need to know,” it bounded forward, landing on Nos’ chest and slamming him to the ground. The soldiers behind it moved into the house, swinging their weapons and firing them. Amanda stopped sending her message and returned fire with her pistol. Dagger backed off and Ouro did as well. Ruby stood up, stunned.

“Come on you idiots, fight!” Nos roared, pushing the surprisingly heavy dinosaur off of him.

Amanda fired several more blasts, “you heard him!” she shouted, “fight!”

Ouro swallowed hard and charged forward, knocking the smaller men and dinosaurs aside, his skin being torn by glancing blows and gunfire.

Ruby quickly stood up, she ran to Dagger, who was backing off, “Hey, prove yourself, don’t succumb to their evil!”

Dagger looked up, then nodded.

“Let’s kill some chumps!” she screamed, running into the fight. With a quick swing, she drove her axe into a soldier’s neck, yanking it out, she quickly spun and slammed a raptor with both blades, blood spewing from its wound, drenching the girls arms in red liquid.

“Atta girl!” Nos cheered, his blade slicing the barrel of a gun off, before he quickly threw a punch, knocking the wielder to the ground.

“Don’t falter men!” Amanda commanded, blasting a swordsman who got too close. There was a low guttural roar behind her, she whipped around to see Dagger sprinting in her direction, running past her into the fray. He swung down and sunk his large teeth into a raptor, its thin bones crunching in his powerful jaws, he flicked his head forcefully, like a ragdoll, the lifeless creature was cast into a group of soldiers, who were flung to the ground.

“Yeeowch!” Nos squealed, a bullet had embedded itself into his right hand, quickly he took his sword in his left and continued battling.

“Nos!” Amanda screamed.

“I’m alright,” he responded, swinging the blade to repel a group of raptors.

“Let me heal you!” Ruby shouted.

“We don’t have time!”

Many more troops flooded into the building, the main hall started to overflow, the few heroes were pushed into other rooms. Nos sprinted up the stairs, a trio of large raptors and a small group of men followed in hot pursuit. At the top, he took his sword and sliced a grandfather clock horizontally and shoved it down the stairs, knocking two of the raptors and a few of the men down as it landed with a loud and low ring.

Amanda was pushed into the dining hall, kicking and shooting only got her so far. Looking frantically, she saw in one of the many weapons cases was a set of caltrops, she fired into the glass and swept them onto the floor. Several soldiers and dinosaurs winced in pain as they pursued her, several falling to the ground. Her eyes searched some more, she noticed a tall halberd mounted on the wall, high above the fireplace. She sprinted to the wall, climbing a china cabinet full of large daggers and knives. She yanked at the spear, but it wouldn’t budge, she pulled and pulled. With one last tug, she felt the cabinet beneath her wobble, several dinosaurs were clamboring up its sides as spearmen stood below it. She then realized she could do something. She pushed the cabinet, and firmly gripped the hilt of the weapon. The wood and glass shattered as it hit the ground, and she dangled above the foes. Quickly climbing to the left, the weapon fell from its position, and she slammed to the ground as well.

Ouro remained in the main hall, sweeping dozens of foes at a time with his stiff tail. His bulk protected him for weaker weapons, but the masses were overwhelming. His skin was torn ragged in many spots, his thick sail was punctured by bullets in dozens of places. The doors were slammed open, from the outside a long necked dinosaur entered, he was like Thickback, but he walked on his hind legs. The creature charged, his long forelimbs outstretched, a hooked claw on each of them. Ouro wanted to flee, but he was too large to escape. He turned and braced himself.

Ruby was flung into the refrigerator, she fell to the floor, dizzy. A man with a gun fired at her, the bullet grazed her arm, her tee shirt ripping, and small amounts of blood stained the white fabric. She shook her head and stood up, she ran in an erratic pattern, and struck, the attack failed to connect and she hurled herself onto the counter. Bullets hit the metal and ricocheted off, weapons struck near her, an axe dug right above the back of her thigh, the pain was intense, she cringed and fell slightly limp. Another searing pain met her in the stomach, she gritted her teeth and sprang up, quickly swinging her weapons, blood spattering into her face, onto her clothes into her red hair. Guns rang out, bullets buried themselves into her body, only to dissolve and heal over, she still fought strong, the room slowly seemed to get less crowded, previously upright bodies now laid sprawled on the brown tiled floor. A single soldier sat huddled in the corner. Ruby approached him slowly, opened the door behind him, and removed a can of diet soda. She drank some and let out a massive sigh of relief, then dumped the rest on his head and burped with a massive amount of vigour. She leaned down and snatched his gun.

Dagger sprinted out to the back yard, not because he was he was forced to, he just wanted more room to exercise his power. Swiftly, others followed. He rammed forward, knocking a few soldiers into the pool. He sunk his teeth into another and swung him around, keeping the others at bay. A raptor snarled and leapt up onto his back. Dagger quickly ran to the wall, and threw his side into it, knocking the now unconscious creature to the dirt. He ran back to the crowd of soldiers, it seemed their numbers were thinning. With a forceful jump, he pinned a gunman to the ground, driving the middle talon on his foot deep into his jugular. The ferocious dinosaur swung his head and knocked several more opponents to the ground. The taste of mammal blood made him sick, like a grown man eating baby food, he wasn’t used to the flavor anymore, he kept his jaws shut as he rammed the next set of cronies.

Nos tipped as he ran down the hall, behind him the green dinosaur from earlier was in hot pursuit, gaining on him with each step.

“Back!” Nos roared, swinging his sword with his left hand. The beast was just out of reach, but that was not a problem, as it jumped up, mouth gaping and claws open. Nos was again slammed to the ground. The animal on top of him was growling and snapping at Nos as he feverishly fought back.

“That girl of yours, the one with the fur of red, does she mean anything to you?” it snarled.

“You won’t have her!”

“Unfortunately, we need her, extinction can take a long time, and the mighty Rephagus will not live forever, unless we steal the healer from you,” it hissed.

Nos kicked the beast in it’s stomach, and he turned and ran.

“Run, ignore the inevitable, that is what you do!”

Nos stopped, he turned, red in the face and ran at the dinosaur. The downward strike was quickly dodged, and was returned by a bite into his side. The pain was unlike anything he had felt before, not like the burning sensation of a high powered laser, or the quick, sharp pain of a bullet, it was like a thousand dull needles not breaking the skin, it was extremely painful, but slowly dulled. The creature let go.

“Go on, swing with all your might, hack at my corpse with the fury you hold back, but as I said, the inevitable will catch up with you.”

Nos ran at it, swinging hard, the creature didn’t seem to move, his blade severed its torso from the bottom half of its body. It fell in two large pieces, the smell of singed flesh hung in the room, mixed with fresh blood. Nos picked up the scent of blood, he looked around, his eyes coming to his feet, a small pool of blood had collected around his left boot, he didn’t think much of it, until a small ripple sounded, he looked back down. A drop of blood splashed into it. It was his own.

Amanda fired at the gunmen, and sweeped at the close ranged foes with the halberd. They leapt back with each swipe. some not fast enough. The force of the strike made her stumble each time. Melee weapons were prehistoric, she never used one like this in her life.

Ouro stumbled back, the larger dinosaur had him pinned to the ground, he tore at the soft skin on his chest and neck. But Ouro had one secret weapon, he thrust the small spike on his thumb into the attacker’s eye. Causing it to step back. Ouro rolled to his feet and charged the opponent head first. He slammed his head into his chest, knocking it into a wall, which broke apart slightly. Ouro reared up and delivered a powerful thrash from his front legs. The other dinosaur kicked out, cutting into Ouro’s leg, he collapsed onto the downed dinosaur.

Ruby slowly made her way to the main hall. She wiped sweat for her forehead, and dabbed a piece of her shirt under each armpit. Back to the wall, she slid into to the ground and closed her eyes.

Nos stumbled down the stairs, he held his wound, he could feel the deep gash with his fingertips, but no pain registered in his body. He reached the closed door leading to the main hall, desperately he slammed it with his fist. Trying with all his dexterity, he gripped the knob, and pushed it open, before falling to the soft, carpeted floor.

Amanda hid from her last foe, an armored soldier rapidly blasting her with a semi automatic rifle. It noisily chewed through the thick wood she hid behind. She was fiddling with her pistol, attempting to overcharge it by using her communicator as well as some batteries she had just in case. The power slowly drained from her device and the pistol was ready to use. She rolled from behind her shelter and fired a powerful burst, which seared the rifle and almost immediately killed its wielder. She dropped the gun quickly, fearing a burn, and exhaled softly.

Dagger was the last to enter the main hall, his remaining energy was far greater than the rest. But he stayed quiet. The stench of spilled blood hung in the air. Beads of sweat clung to each individual's face. Ruby squatted over Nos’ body holding his wound in her hands, allowing it to heal over.

“So what do we do now?” Ruby moaned.

Chapter 27: Delayed Reunion Edit

Faroe emerged from his bedroom, clothed in new, cleaner robes. He was going to begin meditating, clearing away any disruptive thoughts, allowing him to focus his magic, so hopefully when he returned to help Skadi, he'd be more powerful. As he began to sit down, there was a loud knock at the door.

Faroe sighed, “Who is it?” he asked.

“It’s Irene, and it’s an emergency!”

Faroe rushed to the door, he swung it open, Irene jolting back, avoiding getting hit, “What? What is it?” Faroe asked.

“I’ve been consistently trying to contact Amanda, but she’s not responding, it’s been like, two hours.”

“She’s probably fine, it's only been a few hours.”

“No, I don’t want to risk it, I’m getting Bristle and we’re going to help.”

She ran down the hall, Faroe kept his gaze on her, before shaking his head vigorously and going back in his room to get his equipment. He threw open his closet, looking around, he snatched up his staff and some golden armor and threw it on. Before he exited he knelt down and closed his eyes, trying to meditate away his disruptive emotions.

“Hurry up!” Irene said impatiently from the hall.

Faroe sighed and rushed out the door.

He quickly rushed down the hall, following the distant footsteps of Irene and Bristle, who was recovering rather quickly from his injury, he finally reached the transport room.

“Hurry up!” Irene barked.

Faroe stepped on and readied himself. Before long, the damp, humid jungle air made itself apparent. Faroe didn't much care for humidity. He was used to hot, dry climates, never jungly ones. Irene and Bristle seemed comfortable, however.

“Which way to the house?” Irene asked.

Bristle looked around, “I’m not really picking up the same scent from last time,” he said.

“Yeah, and I don’t see it either…” Faroe said with a hint of fear.

“Well, you’re probably not looking hard enough, and Bristle, maybe it's the wind or something, I’m positive we’re in the correct location.”

“You better be,” Faroe said.

The three started walking, “Is this the right way?” Bristle asked.

“Yes, I’m positive. Don’t ask me again!” Irene snarled.

The trekked through the thick jungle, their clothes damp from all the moisture on the leaves and in the air. Sweat dripped down Irene’s nose and Faroe wiped his forehead, they continued walking. They stopped at the foot of a huge ficus.

“Hey, Bristle, do you think you can climb that tree and look for the city?” Irene asked.

“I could give it a try… Our kind aren’t the most arboreal of creatures however.”

Faroe stood back, watching the small green dinosaur scramble up the tree. Irene folded her arms as she watched.

Bristle made it to one of the low branches, pausing to regain himself. As he readied to climb higher, Irene whooshed past him, acrobatically swinging on the branch, then flipping onto a higher one.

“I think I got this one, you can stop,” Irene laughed as she athletically moved amongst the branches.

“How can she be so energetic in this heat?” Bristle asked as he hopped down to the forest floor.

“Who knows,” Faroe said, “I never was the best at deciphering women, ancient text and prophecies, sure, but put a person of the opposite sex in front of me, and they’re a mystery to me.”

“I’ve noted that you mammalians treat gender so… Oddly. Its as if there is a conflict between the two.”

“That’s just how foolish humans view gender, the two are always at odds with one another.”

“Hey guys!” Irene shouted from atop the tree, “I’ve found civilization!” She quickly leapt down from the branches, landing near Bristle, causing him to jump in shock, “It’s that way,” she pointed beyond the tree.

“Is it close by?” Faroe asked.

“Err… Kind of, we wont make it before dark, so we’ll have to camp out for the night.”

The three walked until the sun no longer shone. They clambered up a tree and laid back against the trunk on separate branches. Before long, the quiet amongst the group was broken by the short, high pitched breaths of Bristle sleeping. Faroe found it hard to sleep on the hard branch, and the buzzing and whirring of insects, as well as Bristles huffing, kept him wide awake.

“Hey, Faroe,” Irene whispered from the branch above him.

“Uh, yes?” Faroe whispered back.

Irene slid down from her branch and sat at Faroe’s feet, “I was thinking, about how I was acting a bit earlier today, and I’d like to apologize. I was really sort of stressed. I’m not sure if I can handle all this, all this, heroic stuff. I’ve never been with so many people, nor have I ever been needed or depended on before. So I kinda just, snapped.”

Faroe sat in silence for a while.

“Faroe?” she said again, quietly.

“Don’t apologize, it’s fine. We’re all together in this.”

“Did I ever tell you something?”

“I think you’ve told me a lot of things…”

“Well… Yeah, I have. But you really remind me of someone.”

“Oh yeah? Who?” Faroe asked, sitting up.

Irene sat quietly, “Andrew, my brother.”

“Why’s that?” Faroe asked.

“Well, he was always willing to help, he never put himself before others, he would sacrifice his free time to help out the family. You do too.”

“I bet you miss him…”

Irene sighed. She was quiet for some time. Far off thunder rumbled under the chorus of bugs, birds, and beasts in the dark damp jungle. Some water dripped down from the leaves above.

“Yeah… I do…”

“Maybe one day, we can go back and visit him,” Faroe suggested.

“He won’t even recognize me… I probably wouldn’t even recognize him,” She said, quietly.

“It’s always worth a try.”

The distant thunder bellowed in the distance. The hundreds of trees blowing in the wind stirring in unison with a noisy rustle.

“I wonder if he’s married to that girl. The blonde one,” she asked.

“Yeah, he did…” Faroe answered quietly.

She didn’t hear him.

Light flashed around them. Irene’s face was illuminated and Faroe could count each freckle on her cheeks in the intense lightning. Now the rain had reached them. The falling droplets slapped the leaves around them and splashed on their faces. It was surprisingly cool and refreshing.

“Rain,” they heard Bristle say quietly.

“Yeah, I doubt we’ll find anywhere dry. We’ll have to soak it up.” Faroe said.

“I’m fine with that, but how will we sleep?” Bristle said.

“I’ve slept through worse,” Irene said. She grabbed several leaves and held them over her head. The water seeped through anyways, “there goes my idea.”

“Let’s just walk to the city.” Faroe finally said.

They hopped down from the tree, landing in the soggy forest floor with a squelch.

“Gah!” Bristle exclaimed, they all tugged against the mud, the thick goo sucking at their feet.

“This is gonna be a really long walk...” Faroe sighed.

The rain soaked through their clothes, their shoes drenched and slimy. Faroe wiped at his eyes, the dark black eyeliner rubbing off on his wrist. Bristle stopped quickly.

“Everyone, hush!” he whispered sharply, “I smell something… bad…”

“What is it? A predator?” Irene asked.

“Yeah, the worst kind…”

“What do you mean?” Faroe asked, worriedly.

“The scent is faint, but it's unmistakeable. Its one of Rephagus’ goons, a dromeosaur as you’d call it.”

“Do they have night vision? They looked similar to the Tallbirds and Nightsprints on Kronos, and those guys love the night…” Irene asked.

“I think, but they prefer smelling.”

“Wait, I’ve been practicing a new technique, it creates a small orb of light, we can find him with it!” Faroe said.

“Don’t! He’ll see us!” Irene warned.

“Not if he’s blinded!” Faroe said proudly.

“You’re brilliant, man of Gondwana, you make mammals look like archosaurs, did you know that?” Bristle said.

Faroe retrieved his crook and cast out a small iridescent light, which illuminated the area, making the raindrops glow in an array of bright colors. Nearby, a large feathered creature leapt up. Irene charged towards it, slamming it into the mud and undergrowth.

“Wait… This isn’t a dinosaur,” she said, struggling in the grime. She stood up with the now seemingly small animal tightly in her grasp.

“It looks like an ostrich…” Faroe said.

“Huh, it smelled like a raptor…”

Irene tossed it down, “So false alarm?”

“Yeah, it would seem so.”

“Then let’s keep moving,” Faroe said.

And they did, slowly moving through the forest as the rain intensified. Now everyone was wet and muddy. Making it hard to travel comfortably. Finally, they made it to the edge of the forest. A small city sat ahead of them, beyond it, was Stone laboratories.

“I’ve never seen a city like this before…” Faroe said in awe.

“Neither have I…” Bristle added.

Irene stared with nostalgia, while drastically smaller, it reminded her of her own home, “I’ve seen a city like this…”

“Let’s see if we can find a place to get out of the rain,” Faroe said.

They crossed a road between the city and the trees. A few people stood under an awning at a bar, laughing and chatting. As the trio walked by, they quieted.

“Forgive me for asking, but where are you coming from?” a man asked, setting down his beer.

“Uh…” Irene paused.

Faroe glanced at her, then at the man, “A… Party, we’re coming from a costume party.”

“Aww, cool, who’re you supposed to be lady?”

“I’m… from a movie, you probably don’t know it.”

“Huh, what’s it called?” he inquired.

“Erm… Ya know, I can’t remember, sorry!” she said awkwardly.

“I see…” he said.

“We have to get home, we’re soaking wet,” Faroe said with a wide smile. Lighting flashed and the rain fell even harder.

“Have a safe walk…” the man said, a look of disbelief and bewilderment on his face.

“Glad he didn’t see me,” Bristle said.

“We’d have a hard time explaining that…” Faroe laughed.

“I hard a hard enough challenge coming up with one for me…” Irene said jokingly.

The street lights illuminated the sidewalk every few meters. The three laughed every time they saw each other, drenched in rain and sopping wet. Irene’s hair clung to her neck and over her eyes. Faroe’s eyes had a murky blackness around them. Even Bristle’s quills were drooping over.

“Let’s just find an Inn to stay the night at,” Faroe said.

“That’s a good Idea,” Irene said, “but I think they’re called hotels in this era.”

“Ahem… I don’t know what either of those are…” Bristle chimed.

“It’s a place to stay when there’s nowhere else to,” Irene answered simply.

“Sounds good to me,” he said.

They walked around town until they came across a large building, labeled “hotel de la estrella de oro”

“This looks like a hotel,” Irene said.

They entered the lobby. It was a very fancy place, the walls a clean white with old looking oil paintings. Columns on the left and right were adorned with ferns. Soft classical music was playing as a lonely looking man sat at the counter. He was young and dark skinned with curly black hair.

“Excuse me sir,” Irene said, “do you have any open rooms?”

“Perdon?” he asked.

“Huh?” Irene said in surprise.

“No hablo inglés,” he said.

“Wait, I thought the World Transporters did translations too.” Irene said.

“Me too…” Faroe said, pondering what’s wrong.

“Excuse me, but I can help,” a woman said, walking up behind them.

They turned to see her. She was somewhat short and dark brown skinned and wore her black hair up under a wide brimmed hat. She walked between Irene and Faroe and started to the person behind the counter.

“How convenient…” Bristle said.

The woman turned from the counter and smiled, “Well, because of you people, I’m out of a job, but then again, you seem to deserve a bit of help.”

“What? Wait, what?” Irene said perplexed.

“It’s okay if you don’t remember me, your room is number 1407, it’s on the 14th floor, fully payed off, go make yourselves warm.”

She walked to the doors. They opened up, the sound of the rain grew louder.

“Who are you?” Irene asked.

“Doctor Melinda Connery, tell Ruby I said hello,” she walked out the doors, which closed behind her. The lobby falling into relative silence.

“I think I remember her…” Faroe started, “She was in the room with us when we met Ruby, wasn’t she?”

“Maybe…” Irene said.

They walked to the elevator and went to the 14th floor, and walked to their room. Instantly, Irene ducked into the bathroom. Faroe stood near the heater, and took off his crown and some of his accessories.

“Well this is nice,” Bristle said, “I think.”

The room was large, it had two massive beds and a fancy flat screen TV. In the corner was a bar with several drinks sitting on the counter. A sofa sat in a separate room with another television and a table stacked with magazines. Outside, one could see the tiny lights shining through windows in the city.

Irene emerged from the bathroom, a white towel wrapped around her chest. Her wet hair draped on her shoulders, freed from its usual ponytail. Faroe passed her and entered the bathroom after her. Irene grabbed Bristle and sat on one of the beds. She began to run her hand across his back, as much as it annoyed him, he found it pleasurable and began to grow drowsy. After several minutes, Faroe emerged with a towel around his waist and another one around his head.

“I’ve just realized how tired I am,” Faroe said awkwardly.

“Yeah, me too. Bristle as well,” she gestured to the sleeping dinosaur.

“Hah, cute,” Faroe chuckled.

“Quiet,” Bristle murmured.

“Hey Faroe…” Irene started.

“What?”

“Do you mind… If we all sleep together?”

Faroe was somewhat taken aback by the suggestion.

“NO! Not sexually like that…” she said, “but like… like a family… Brothers and sisters.”

“I suppose…”

“I want warmth, and comfort, and someone to rest my aching feet on…”

Faroe was confused, but he figured this could possibly be beneficially for him, he could learn to disregard suggestive situations and keep his head clear of distractions in the future.

“Sure,” he said.

“Cool… I’m going to dry off now,” She exited and returned to the bathroom. Faroe heard her towel fall and the blow dryer start.

Bristle suddenly popped up, “mass sleeping, reminds me of the olden days, the nestling days when me and my siblings slept through the cold nights tightly packed like a hadrosaur’s mouth.”

Faroe leaned against the headboard, “You should sleep in the middle.”

“Well of course, I’m the smallest, I’d need the most warmth.”

“Perfect,” Faroe said.

Irene emerged from the bathroom, dressed only in her plain white undergarments. Faroe slipped down to rest his head on the pillow. He closed his eyes. Soon, he felt the other side of the bed sink down.

“Okay, listen,” he turned. To his surprise, Irene was wearing a grey sweatsuit now. She slipped under the blanket.

“What, you didn’t think I was gonna sleep like that, did you? I’m freezing!”

“Of course not,” Faroe chuckled.

“Okay, goodnight,” she said quietly, the light disappeared from the room. Silence took its place, only the soft pattering of rain to be heard.

“Brother,” Irene added.

Faroe smiled.

Chapter 28: The Tyrant's Command Edit

Olivia and Leon sat inside a tavern while children gathered around Thick, who happily played around with them, very careful not to knock them over with his tail or crush them under his feet. Olivia and Leon had been wandering around a plaza, asking citizens if they had seen anything unusual.

“Any suspicious happenings lately?” Olivia asked a short pale man gnawing on a piece of mutton.

“Suspicious? Not until you snakey,” he said, glancing at her tail and tearing into the meat.

Leon laughed nervously, “Thank you sir, we’ll be on our way,” he put his hand on Olivia’s shoulder, who was glaring at the patron.

"Wait!" another man yelled, he hopped up from his chair, setting aside a small tankard of ale, "There was an army that came by weeks ago, they placed many of their soldiers here as guards, but they've left for some reason, they even took our militia with them, we're completely defenseless."

"Really..." Leon answered, "We'll keep that in mind..." The two left the tavern and gestured to Thick for him to come along, the giant dinosaur carefully moved away from the swarm of children. Leon began to think about what the man said, he didn't talk about them in a negative or positive light, which seemed odd. The mysterious army couldn't have been very intrusive, nor blatant about any sort of intentions. The three entered a medium sized alleyway.

“Hiya!” A young girl said, running up to Olivia. The girl had light blonde locks and big, curious blue eyes. She was barely up to Olivia’s waist.

“Hi there,” Olivia greeted, smiling sweetly.

“I… Like your tail,” she grinned, “I want ya to have this!” she held out a small piece of bread.

“That’s very kind of you,” Olivia said, accepting the food, “and what do you call yourself?”

“I’m Elette,” she said, “and my momma’s Elette too.”

“And what about your daddy?” She asked. Taking a tiny bite out of the warm loaf.

“He’s Hyde, but you can’t meet him,” she said peculiarly.

“Why do you say that?” Leon asked.

“He left a while ago,” she said, “one of your friends took him. I think mommy went later.”

Olivia looked confused. She turned to Leon with a puzzled expression.

“Do you remember what she looked like?” Leon asked.

“She wasn’t very dark skinned like you-” she started, but immediately Olivia turned to Leon in fright, she knew this character couldn't be a good one.

“Elette, take us to your home, quickly please?” Olivia demanded, “Thick, come with us.”

They marched through the village, not wanting to waste a second, but the trio had to say at Elette’s pace.

“I don’t know if mommy’s home, but you can come in. Not you big dragon, you’d break the roof,” she giggled.

Thick sighed, stepping back. Leon and Olivia walked in, the place looked ransacked, tables and chairs flipped, wooden spoons and bowls scattered around.

“We have to find them!” Leon turned to Olivia.

Olivia turned to Elette, “You need to go find someone to stay with for a while.”

“Okay, bye bye,” she turned and skipped out the door.

“Will she be alright?” Leon asked.

“I’ll go with her,” Olivia said.

They emerged from the house.

“Guys, I caught a flash of red from the forest, it’s gotta be something,” Thick said.

“Perfect, take us there,” Leon said. He climbed on the back of the beast, “Olivia, follow Thick’s footprints. We’ll wait for you for as long as we can.”

“Okay, please, be careful…”

Leon slid from Thick’s back, “I will, and you too,” he leaned over and kissed his wife, running his fingers through her short blue hair.

“I’ll be as fast as I can, but you need to find those nagas,” she turned and slithered after Elette.

Leon got back on Thick, “come on, let’s go!” he kicked the dinosaurs side instinctively.

“Hey, stop that,” he said sharply.

“Sorry,” he apologized sheepishly and the two headed off into the forest.



The duo continued for half an hour, the cool breeze rustling through the trees, chilling the beads of sweat on Leon’s cheeks and forehead. Thick’s footsteps cracked through the undergrowth and small trees shuddered with each impact.

“Thick, tread lightly, those nagas will hear you eventually.”

He stopped, “get off.”

“What?”

“Get off, I need to stand up.”

Leon slid off. Thick reared up, his neck going from only 10 feet high, to 45. He surveyed the area, turning his head to focus on all the areas with each eyes.

Before he could look in all directions an arrow grazed the back of his head, “Geez!” he came down with a crash.

“What happened?!” Leon asked.

“I found ‘em!” Thick snarled.

“Where are they?”

Thick pointed with his head, Leon turned to his left.

“Hurry up!” Leon yelled, running through the forest. The two then burst into a small clearing, Ylla stood in the center, her tail wrapped around a young woman with long blonde hair, her cheeks were stained with tears streaming from her red eyes. She struggled slightly, only to be coiled harder, she exhaled hard and started gasping.

“Well hello, glad you could join us for our little show,” Ylla teased, running a finger under the woman’s chin.

“Drop her!” Leon shouted.

“It’s not her I care about,” Ylla started, “It’s him,” she gestured over to a tall, muscular man with short brown hair, who was being held down by King.

“Why? What are you doing?” Leon yelled.

“Just a little favor for someone,” Ylla said.

“Drop both of them, now! And while I’d love to run my spear straight through your spine, I’d rather not have to kill anyone.”

“Ah, a hero, how charming, will you be able to rescue this fair maiden?” Ylla taunted. She forcefully gripped the woman’s face and pushed it back, “just let me enjoy a little nibble.”

She opened her mouth, her forked tongue flicked out and tickled the woman’s neck. As she prepared to sink her teeth into her victim, an arrow zipped right in front of her face, in shock, she dropped her captor.

“Oh gods, that could have gone really badly…” Olivia said, as she reached for another arrow.

“I knew you’d show up eventually,” Ylla said under her breath, "Never far from husband."

“And a good thing too, for now it’s two against three,” Thick said.

“Oh you're quite wrong, three against three,” Ylla flaunted, “Koba, get out here you imbecile,” there was nothing, Ylla turned red, “Hey! I said get out here!” There was still no response.

“It seems you’re down one, so you can surrender now,” Leon said.

“Heh, you’d love that,” Ylla said.

They stood in the field, wind rustled the grass. Ylla looked back and forth between Olivia and Leon, then to King, who had a sword up to his captors throat.

Ylla thrusted the woman down, and darted forward, with a quick punch to the neck, Ylla threw Leon to the ground, Thick sidestepped and lashed out with a kick, but the nagini easily dodged it, rolling to the ground she snagged a sharp stick and jammed it into the sauropods leg. He stumbled to the side slamming to a tree, and collapsing in pain.

“One down!” Ylla sneered.

Leon stood up holding his neck, as Ylla sprung in for the attack, he charged her as well, the two clashed together, the collision shocked Leon, her strength was intense, almost matching his. Beyond them, Olivia bent over the woman, who she presumed was Elette.

“Are you okay?” she asked, touching her shoulder.

“I… I can’t see…” she stuttered.

Olivia looked to see King gripping the man, who was struggling harder at the sight of his wife’s misery.

Olivia charged towards the naga, “Hey Ylla, wanna get the reinforcements now?” King yelled, drawing his sword towards the foe.

“Wait! What!?” She yelled, stopping her movement.

“Do it!” Ylla roared, as she wrestled with Leon.

The snake man gave a high pitched whistle, from the trees marched hundreds of armed soldiers and dinosaurs. Leon looked up in shock, Ylla took this time to strike, she grabbed his spear from him, and swung it hard. With a dull clang, it smacked against his thick armor, denting it slightly. She spun it and jabbed, Leon dodged and gripped the spear, tugging it away from Ylla who maintained a firm grip. Meanwhile, Olivia stood her ground, the approaching army getting closer, she realized the wore the colors of the city she was just in.

“What are they doing?” Olivia asked.

“Heh, they’re getting ready to kill you!” King sneered.

“Why!? I didn’t do anything!” She cried.

“They’re just obeying boss's orders,” he chuckled.

“Who?”

He didn't respond, only smiling.

“Who!?” she yelled.

“‘Im” he lazily pointed a finger behind Olivia. She turned, and standing in the shadows of the trees was Rephagus, who looked over the field.

“It’s him!” Olivia said, not believing her eyes.

“Do you know that creature?” King asked.

“I… Don’t want to…” she answered.

“Out of the way!” Thick roared. He charged into the soldiers, knocking them down and trampling over some, limping as he ran. He bent his head down and quickly lifted Olivia up. She slid down to his broad back and began firing arrows randomly into the masses of people. Thick whipped his tail around and slammed it into King, who soared into a rocky outcropping. The Soldier he had in his grasp broke into a sprint towards the center, he slid down and picked up Elette. Near the trees, Leon continued to battle Ylla, who was much more agile, but couldn’t put much damage out to a fully armored man.

“Give up, you’ll never be able to strike a foe so agile as this,” she sprung up with her tail and grabbed Leon’s helmet from his head. She cast it aside into the brush.

“You’re going to regret challenging me!” He ran at her and threw a punch, which she quickly avoided.

“You’d never hit a girl would you?” she said innocently.

“I’ll hit whoever I God damn please!” he roared at his infuriating foe. His brain clouded with rage.

“Well don’t get mad about it…” she sighed, darting behind him, quickly, she wrapped an arm around his throat and started curling up his leg.

“Get… off…” he gasped, trying to fling her from his back.

“Say please, it usually helps me get off,” she grinned maniacally.

Leon, stumbled around, he tripped over his spear and landed on his back, the nagini struggling underneath him.

“Get off me! You heavyweight half-wit!” Ylla roared from beneath him.

“Say please!” Leon laughed. But his smile soon disappeared, as Ylla used her powerful tail to fling him off, now she sat atop him. Her tail coiled extremely tightly around his abdomen, one arm trapped under it, the other being held down by Ylla.

“You’re the most stubborn man I have ever encountered, you make me lose my appetite, how troublesome you are.”

“I've always been polite, it's you who's the problem,” Leon said, in a slightly raspy voice. The tight coils started making breathing difficult, she was actually bending the metal armor he donned.



“Elette, we have to get out of here!”

“But… Hyde, I’m just too…” she gasped and fell, stars in her eyes, head spinning

Olivia saw them out of the corner of her eye, “Thick, that way!” she commanded. Thick went as fast as he could, spears and arrows mostly bouncing off his tough, bony hide, but every head that embedded itself into his skin slowed him down. He bent down and picked the two up.

“Thank you snake woman!” Hyde said joyfully.

Thick began to pick up speed, until a familiar voice stopped him.

“Our little survivor friend. Killing my number two warlord, such a bold move of you.” Rephagus said, stepping from the trees.

Thick gulped, “Go, run,” he said to his passengers. They slid off into the tall grass to hide.

“You said you were above us, saurischians, yet you’re the one sinking to our level, claiming superiority, and defeating those against you.”

“He was bringing it upon himself, I was avenging my kind, and-” he stumbled slightly, he wounds were not severe, but many.

“You look weak, I know a way I can help,” he said.

“Very clever, you foul beast,” Thick responded, his left forelimb quivering a bit.

“Now, escape is impossible, but how would you prefer to meet your demise?”

“Over your rotting corpse,” he snarled.

Rephagus laughed. In a few bounds, he was already atop Thick, and hacking into his skin with his teeth and claws. Thick attempted to fight back, he gave out a few animal like bellows, lashing with his tail, trying to fling Rephagus off. The added weight put on Thick brought him down to the ground, Rephagus pushed off and made a small amount of distance between him and the sauropod, who was breathing heavily, each exhale finished with a high pitched wheeze. The old dinosaur was losing blood, and Rephagus knew this.



Ylla remained on top of Leon, “you know, male nagas never get as strong as you, they put all their attention into their tails and never anything else.”

“What are you talking about?” Leon said, squirming vigorously, he was growing tired of Ylla's constant teasing and talking.

“You know, I’m suddenly getting my appetite back, you armored airhead.”

As she proceeded to go in for the kill, a sudden force knocked her down. Leon looked up, Olivia stood above him, she had struck Ylla's head with Leon's spear, holding it like a club, “When will that disgrace of a nagini leave us alone?”

“She never knew when to quit,” Leon said.

“We should go back and try to help Thick,” Olivia said.

“I will help him, you people came to rescue me, now I must save him,” Hyde said, “Elette, take care of our dear if I am to not succeed.”

“No, you can’t!”

“I’m a warrior, this is my duty,” he drew his sword, “those snakes should know to disarm a warrior before capture!” He charged out, several other soldiers tried to block him, but he ran through them quickly and effortlessly.

“The lone rebel, being joined by the like minded mammal,” Rephagus said as Hyde approached. He dismounted from Thick’s side, and stood tall when Hyde made it to him.

“I don’t know who you are, but-” Rephagus stomped down, Hyde quickly rolled and lashed out with his sword, striking the dinosaur in the back of the leg. The weapon drew blood, but the beast barely seemed to notice.

“You’re a very determined creature, but you seem to have made your decision not to join me, so enjoy your fate alongside the traitor Thick,” Repahgus stepped to the side and brought down his giant three toed foot, it crushed the man’s legs with a sickening, wet sounding crack. Olivia turned and buried her face in Leon’s chest.

Elette screamed, “Hyde!”

“Go! Run!” He yelled in pain.

“We’re going to help!” Leon said, he ran into the field, but quickly stopped as the large force of soldiers moved in front of him.

Thick stood up wearily, he rushed towards Rephagus and slammed into his side. However, the massive creature barely flinched, and bent over and sunk his teeth into the sauropod’s neck. The giant animal fell to the ground, gallons of dark red blood oozed from his massive wound, as the creature collided into the ground with an earth shaking impact, he let out one final gasp for air, for life. The clearing was silent, and Thick exhaled slowly, and on his last breath, said, "Family..."

“Thick!” Olivia yelled, reaching out to help with a futile hand. Tears welled up in her eyes.

Rephagus pivoted on the young soldier and brought his head down, “you have served a noble cause,” he said quietly, “warning others about the fate of those who cross me,” Opening his massive jaws, he tore the man’s torso from his hips, nobody could look, Elette collapsed to the ground, weeping.

“How could you let this happen!” Olivia screamed at the soldiers, who stood unmoving, “He was one of you! He was your companion was he not?!”

The soldiers lowered their weapons.

“Leave,” one of them said.

“No! We won’t leave, you’re being-” Leon was cut short, as a soldier slammed him in the head with the butt of his spear.

“Leave!” He said harshly. Leon sat up, wishing he had his helmet as he rubbed his bruised head.

“Come on, we have to go,” Olivia said. Elette was weeping heavily on the ground, Olivia gently lifted her, “We cannot stay, we’ll all be killed if we do.”

“I will, I will stay!” She sobbed.

“Elette, you have a child who needs you! You can’t stay!” Olivia said rather harshly. Elette became quiet.

“Okay…” she said, stifling back more tears.

The three quickly ran from the field tears in all of their eyes. Not looking back on the field, on the death and destruction, on the treachery and evil brewing, none of which they could stop.

“Wait, I need to go back and get my helmet!” Leon said, stopping in the forest.

“We don’t have time,” Olivia said, “you’ll need to get a new one.”

Leon knew she was right, so he returned to following them. The helmet that served him well for all his live was lost forever.



In the clearing, Ylla dropped the heavy steel helmet into the grass and coiled near the bloodied corpses of Thick and Hyde. She breathed in the smell of blood and flesh, smiling broadly as she looked at the red muscle and meat exposed on the bodies.

“You deserve your reward,” Rephagus said, standing in the shade, the dark canopy masking his face.

“Thank you,” she said, getting ready to chew at a large mass of red flesh.

“I trust you’ll be able to gather more mammals as time goes on, correct?” he said, looking rather disgusted at her.

“Of course, human’s are all fools, easy to influence,” she said as she swallowed hard.

“Perfect, you’ll be a valuable asset to me, and the others I've obtained, reptmammal.”

“What did you say?” she asked, wiping her face with the back of her hand, not noticing that Rephagus had said "others".

“You are like a reptile, as well as a mammal.”

“Yeah, if it means anything to you, I’m more reptile,” she said, trying to raise her value to him.

The titanic beast said nothing, turning and walking along the edge of the clearing in the shade. Ylla continued to eat, dining in great ecstasy, with the taste of human returning to her after a great absence. She picked the helmet off of the ground and stared at it, she knew, as long as she staying with Rephagus, she’d meet those two again, and finally get to settle things.



“You have to leave!” Koba said frantically.

“Why’s that?” a large man asked.

“You’ll all be destroyed if you don’t!” he said.

Olivia, Leon, and Elette walking into town, and saw the naga standing amongst a large crowd of people.

“Is that who I think it is?” Leon asked.

They ran up to him, weapons drawn.

“You! You know I’m telling the truth!” He yelled.

“What are you talking about?” Leon said, stepping up to him.

“Ylla, the dragon, the army they’ve possessed, soon they’ll be here!” he said.

“Did they tell you that?” Olivia asked.

“Yes, yes they did! They forced me to shoot at you, but then I fled, I had to save the innocent people here!” He said shakily.

“We have to clear the city out!” Leon said, “Come on!”

The three ran off, going to the houses and warning people of the encroaching danger. Koba stared ahead at them, then to the dissipating group of people around him. He quickly fled the city towards the forest.

“Are you sure we should trust that guy?” Elette asked.

Olivia paused. Leon did as well. They began to rethink their decision.

“One of us has to go find him, we need more information,” Olivia said.

“I’m on it, should we continue trying to clear the city?” Leon asked.

“Yes, we have to be safe about it.”

“Okay, I’ll be back as soon as possible,” Leon said, he embraced Olivia tightly.

“Stay safe,” she said quietly, and gave him a soft kiss goodbye.

He quickly ran out to the forest, in search of Koba.

Chapter 29: Journey to the Manor Edit

Faroe woke up, still feeling exhausted and sore. The towel he fell asleep in had soaked up most of the water on his skin, and was now damp. He got up to go change, before he stepped into the bathroom he turned to see Irene, who was deeply asleep, tightly clutching Bristle, whose head was burrowed deep into her bosom. Irene let out a sigh and scratched her rear, before releasing a low pitched fart. It seemed subconsciously she kept her previous, wild, personality. Amanda couldn’t fix her as completely as she thought she could. Faroe was fine with it though, they didn't need two Amandas, and as long as she didn’t smell too bad, he was okay with her habits, she was his new sister after all.

Faroe put on his clothes, which had dried fully, he glanced at himself in the mirror, his eyes red and tired, with dark grey circles beneath them. He scratched his head and rubbed his eyes.

“Faroe?”

It was Irene.

“Yes?” Faroe respond.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Is there not a clock next to the bed?”

Faroe walked into the main room, he saw Irene with her eyes closed, tightly gripping Bristle. She was curled in a way so that her thighs had Bristle’s tail between them.

“It says 11:34,” Faroe said, “We can stay here longer if you want.”

She responded with soft snoring.

“I see,” he smiled and went back to the bathroom.

A few hours had past, Bristle began to stir, he felt a tight grip around him he craned his neck to see two graceful, yet strong arms holding him tight. He wiggled and writhed, trying to break free, but Irene remained asleep. For someone usually so attentive, she seemed out cold.

“Ahem-” Bristle started. Irene responded with rather unlady-like flatulence, Bristle sighed, he found mammals utterly disgusting. He opened his beak wide and brought it down on her arm.

“Owch!” she screamed falling out of the bed.

“Oh no, what happened?” Bristle asked innocently.

“I don’t know,” she shook her arm and began to suck on the wound, “wait a second…” she said, looking up at the small green dinosaur.

“What?” he said.

“Watch who you bite buddy,” she said sternly. She got up and stretched, sighing in pleasure, she turned to look at the clock, “Gah! It’s 1 o’clock already!”

“What’s that mean?” Bristle asked hopping from the bed. and following Irene.

“It means that the morning is already over,” she walked into the bathroom and slammed the door in Bristle’s face, “now, uh, go talk to Faroe please…”

Bristle turned and checked around for Faroe, he wasn’t in either of the beds, so he peered into the other room, nobody was there. He walked back to the bathroom, “He’s not here.”

He heard her sigh, “Then wait for me to be done, give me a moment.”

Bristle hopped up onto the bed and curled up, he sat alone with his thoughts for a while. He wondered how his companions were doing, his dinosaur companions, he missed Dagger, and Thickback, and especially Hypsi. He didn’t trust Shatter with her, he wished he was her guardian, but alas, he wasn’t a fighter like Shatter.

Irene stepped out of the bathroom, “Where is he then?”

“How should I know,” he answered, “I guess we’ll have to go find him.”

Irene quickly changed into her shorts and vest, she grabbed her backpack and went to the door, “Come on, he’s probably somewhere in the building."

She swung open the door and walked out, pulling down the bottom of her shorts to fix them in her haste. She looked down the hall, there was nobody.

“Come on,” she said impatiently. Bristle began to follow her.

“Are you sure nobody will react to seeing me?” he asked.

“Do you want to climb in my backpack and hide?” she asked in response.

“Actually, I’ll take my chances out here,” he said, slinking up to Irene.

“I wish we had some way to contact him,” she said, as she walked down the hall.

“Well, he is a wizard or whatnot, isn't he? Maybe he knows what we’re up to now,” Birste said.

“You really think that?”

“How am I supposed to know? You lumpy mammals are a mystery to me,” he shrugged.

The two walked to the elevator and waited for it to come. Irene whistled a quiet tune.

“What are you doing?” Bristle asked.

“Whistling, what does it sound like?” she said.

“What is that?” He asked, “some alternate form of communication? You can insult me in a tongue I understand, I could care less.”

“No,” she chuckled, “it’s a thing people do to pass the time.”

“Hm…”

"Especially in awkward situations," she muttered.

The elevator finally arrived, the two stepped in. Irene figured Faroe would probably be on the main floor or somewhere outside the building, so she pressed the button with the “1” on it. The machine lunged downward.

“Gah, I don’t remember feeling like this the first time we used this thing,” Bristle said, leaning on the wall.

“It’s because we’re going down, I presume it goes faster that way.”

The doors slid open quickly, the two were greeted by a lobby populated by a few people. Most of them sat on recliners reading books or newspapers, others stood at the door, probably waiting for relatives or friends.

“So where should we look?” Bristle asked.

“Lets start-”

“Hello you two!” Faroe called. He walked up to them holding a cup and a sandwich.

“Where were you?” Irene asked.

“I was getting some lunch,” he said, “want some?”

“No,” Bristle started.

“Yes!” Irene said, cutting him off, “I’m starving, where can we find some food in this place?”

“I’ll show you!” Faroe said, he gestured for them to follow.

They went down the empty hall, until they came to a small kitchen and dining room.

“Oh my…” Irene said quietly, looking at a buffet table of food, a soda machine, and a tray of desserts.

“Yeah, its free too,” Faroe said.

Irene's face lit up like a 4 year old child's in a toy store. She quickly dashed to the table, grabbing up, pounds of fruit, several warm sausages, doughnuts, chicken drumsticks, and rushing to the soft drink fountain to fill up a 32 oz cup with soda. With her tray overflowing with bountiful food, she plopped down at the nearest table.

“Do you want anything Bristle?” Faroe asked.

“What sort of vegetation do they have?” He asked.

“I don’t know, a salad of some sort probably.”

The two got some food and sat next to Irene, who seemed to be inhaling all that was on her plate. She made short work of her food and sat back, drinking her soda. Setting it down on the table, she put her hand on her bloated stomach and burped quite loudly, “'Scuse me,” she smiled.

“Someone's a bit voracious today,” Bristle scoffed.

“I haven’t eaten in ages, I was starving!” She pleaded, grabbing the rest of her soda and downing it quickly.

“Well, once we’re all done, we have to meet up with the others, remember?” Faroe reminded her, he brought a fork and sausage up to his mouth.

“Oh yeah, we gotta get going!” Irene quickly remembered, she cast aside her plate and rushed to the hall, “Come on!”

Faroe set down his food and frowned, "Always on the move..."

Bristle hopped down and nodded for Faroe to follow. The three ran into the lobby, ignoring the curious looks of the hotel guests as the watched them run by. The doors slid open and they entered the bleak, grey outdoors. A light mist struck their bodies as they looked around the near empty streets.

“So which way are we going?” Irene asked.

“That way,” Faroe pointed down the road.

“How do you know?” Bristle asked.

“Trust me, alright?” he said. The three walked down the street, there was a distinct moisture in the air, leftover from the deluge that occurred the day before. Thanks to this, the streets were mostly empty, allowing the trio to escape awkward encounters. For the most part.

“Woah!” A young man yelled, running up to the window from inside a coffee shop.

“Uh oh, attention...” Faroe said quietly.

“Hey dude! Wait!” the man said, running to the back of the store.

“What does he want?” Irene asked.

“Apart from our time, I don’t know…” Faroe answered.

The boy rushed out with a cheery looking girl with long blonde hair, “Hey! We noticed you’ve got a Psittacosaurus… Sibiricus?” he started, “with you, and we were wondering… Could we have one of its quills?”

“What!?” Bristle barked, “Why?”

“Well… We’re big dino fanatics, we’ve already got a tooth, we were wondering if we could get another item.”

“Another?” Irene asked.

“Yeah… There’s been a surprising amount of dinosaur traffic… Talking dinosaur traffic… recently,” the girl said.

“Well, that means Nos and Co. are here,” Irene said.

“What’s with the dinosaurs though? Does this have something to do with that genetics lab in the mountains?” the boy asked.

“How do you know about that place?” Faroe asked.

“The workers know only one place to get coffee, and it’s here,” the girl said.

“Can we leave now?” Bristle asked, "We have places much more important to be."

“Wait, can’t we get a quill?” The girl asked.

“No,” Bristle answered sternly.

“Let ‘em have one, will ya?” Irene asked.

Bristle sighed, and turned around, “find a loose one.”

“Oh thank you!” the boy cheered, he rummaged around and pulled one out effortlessly.

“Thanks cutie!” the girl said, kissing the dinosaur on the head, Bristle quickly pulled away, looking panicked and sickened.

“Alright, lets move on,” Faroe said, heading out.

The two young waiters chattered excitedly as the group left. The girl fanning herself out of joy.

“Enjoy your gift,” Bristle snorted.

The three continued down the road, before coming to a tall gate, with the words “Stone Estate” written on a old iron sign above it.

“I suppose this is it,” Faroe said, "unless there are more Stones around here."

“It looks like it,” Irene confirmed. She walked forward and pushed on it, with a shrill, harsh squeal, the gate slowly opened. Irene whipped out her pistol, “I’m not sure if there’s anything in here, but we’d better be prepared.”

The trio trudged up the hill leading to the giant house, it started to drizzle again, the scent of damp grass filled the air, but soon, that smell was overpowered by a smell similar to blood.

“What is that?” Faroe asked.

Bristle sniffed at the air, gagging fiercely, reluctantly he then sniffed the ground, “It smells like blood, somewhat fresh.”

“I hope everyone’s alright,” Faroe said nervously, “Come on, let's hurry up!”

They rushed up the path, which was becoming overgrown. Before making it to the front door, which seemed battered and worn, in fact, it was slightly ajar. Irene pushed on it and whispered, “hello?”

There was no response, she pushed in further, then gestured to her companions to follow. The three stood in the main hall, none of the lights were on, scattered about were dead humans and dinosaurs.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Irene muttered.

"You... Think you have it-" the small dinosaur coughed, "bad? I have a nose much stronger than yours. Every ounce of blood and sweat in this room is amplified to a million."

Faroe looked amongst the mess. Seeing the dead bodies also made him a bit ill. Perhaps now would be a good time to try out some new magic he thought. Holding out his staff, he attempted to remove the bodies, “I cast you to the afterlife, may your bodies be relieved of the mortal realm!” in a flash, the corpses of the men disappeared, as well as the dinosaurs.

“Oh I am so glad they’re gone,” Irene said, exhaling.

“Faroe? Irene?” They heard a familiar voice call. The three turned to find Amanda emerging from the doorway leading to the dining hall. She saw them and smiled warmly, “I’m so glad to see you guys, why don’t you come to the dining room, you look tired.”

They walked into the expansive room, which was littered with shards of glass and wood, dozens of weapons were strewn about, and in the center of it all was a tired, sweaty, bloody group of people, Nos, Ruby, Dagger, and another Dinosaur, one that Faroe and Irene weren't familiar with.

“Faroe! Bristle! Irene!” Nos exclaimed, running up to them, “It’s great to see you three, come, sit.” He led them to the long wooden table, which was full of bullet holes and deep gashes, remnants of Amanda's battle in the dining hall.

“What happened here?” Faroe asked.

Ouro stood up, with a look of disgust in his eyes, “Dagger, he’s what happened here.”

“Ouro? What are you doing here?” Bristle asked, recognizing the yellow hadrosaur.

“I was tipped off that your little horned friend is a traitor,” Ouro barked.

“Dagger?” Bristle looked over to the ceratosaur.

“Listen friend, I have accepted my punishment, but, if you can find it in your heart, to forgive me, I would serve you to the end,” Dagger said ashamedly.

“What did you do?” Bristle asked.

“I conferred with… The others, about the position of our forces.”

Bristle sighed, "This is why I trust so few, Hypsi should take my advice more often."

“You realize that as my kind, I am a rebel, my family as well. Rephagus knows this and he used it to his advantage… But at least they’re safe, as are you all.”

“What about the others,” Bristle demanded.

“I cannot say, for I did not tell him,” Dagger explained.

“I will pardon you for now,” Bristle said.

“Outrageous!” Ouro barked.

“We are all safe, are we not?” Bristle retorted.

“You have no authority to retract his punishment,” Ouro said.

“A punishment for what? Nobody was hurt,” Bristle said, beginning to lose his temper.

“Fine… I see your point,” Ouro sneered.

Dagger walked over to Bristle, “Thank you, you understand my plight.”

Bristle looked up at him and gave a small nod.

“So now what? Should we go get Olivia, Leon, and Thick?” Nos asked.

“Perhaps, this whole splitting up thing didn’t work out too well,” Faroe said. He took a seat, stroking his chin, “Maybe we should quickly gather some forces and just face our foe as soon as possible.”

“Is that wise?” Nos asked.

“Rephagus has allies all around, we’ll need many strong warriors,” Briste said.

Amanda walked over to Ruby and Irene, “These talks may go on for a while, I’m not sure if strategy and war plans are your thing,” she told them quietly.

“No thank you,” Ruby said smiling.

“And you, Irene?” Amanda asked.

“Naw, I’ll hang out with Ruby.”

“Enjoy yourselves,” Amanda shrugged, before going back to the table.

“So, wanna go for a walk?” Ruby asked.

“How about around the house? Its such an expansive building, I’d love to see it all,” Irene said.

“I suppose, I’m not sure how safe it is right now,” Ruby said, she took Irene by the hand, “You’re gonna have to be careful, the place is kinda falling apart.”

“Heh, okay,” she said awkwardly, being tugged by the young woman.

“So Irene, where are you from?” she asked.

“Me? I was born in the United States, North Carolina to be exact,” she said.

“Never heard of North Carolina, is it one of the United States?” she asked.

“Yeah,” she responded.

“So do you wanna see the lab?” Ruby asked.

“Why not, where is it?” she asked.

“Just down here,” she walked down the hall, towards a staircase going down, “come on,” she called.

Irene walked over to the spunky redhead and glanced down the short staircase, there was a large metal door with a small glass window, through it, she could see a bright white room with a bright light flickering on and off.

“This is creepy,” Irene said.

“I know, isn’t it cool?” Ruby smiled, “Come on!”

Irene went down the stairs and followed Ruby, the room was blindingly white, except for where it was stained with chemicals and upturned containers.

“This is not my idea of cool,” Irene said, the bottom of her boot now covered in a green sludge, making it stick with each step.

“So what do they keep down here?” Irene asked, looking around the room curiously.

“Well, they used to have loads of experiments and creatures, it was a genetics lab after all,” Ruby explained, “A few apes, some pigs, goats, loads of rats.”

“Any left?”

“I’m not sure, we’ll have to find out,” she said.

She pushed open another door, this one leading to a hallway, with various doors on each side, some were swung wide open, others tightly shut. Muddy red footprints and splatters were on the walls and floor, a few guns and feathers were strewn about. It was eerily silent, apart from the whirr of a machine near the end of the hall, and the soft whoosh of the ventilation system. The lights flickered in the lab and the hallway, staying dark a bit longer than before.

“Come on,” Ruby waved to Irene to follow.

They walked into the hall, their footsteps clicking and echoing. Ruby stopped at a closed door, “Remember this?” she tugged on it forcefully, trying her hardest to open it.

“Let me try,” Irene said, taking the door handle. She twisted it and pulled hard, finally, the heavy door swung open, she sighed, “There we go.”

They walked in. The room was nearly identical to how they left it, a mess. Dried blood was encrusted on the ground, deep gashes in the walls and upturned equipment. A large cabinet had fallen, yellow, purple, and white documents scattered around. A small white rat ran from beneath the cabinet.

“Sheesh, it seems like so long ago,” Irene said, sitting down on the cabinet.

“Yeah,” Ruby sat down next to her.

A ray of light from a small window illuminated a spot in front of them, showing two drained bags of blood, a large, two toed footprint next to it.

Ruby looked to Irene, “You didn’t like me then,” she said.

“What?” Irene replied, slightly shocked.

“I remember you yelling at me, about accidentally killing Nos,” she said.

“I was… I guess I was a bit emotional at the time, it was really intense.”

“Yeah…” Ruby said.

“I’m sorry if I’m not very inviting,” she shrugged.

“No, it’s just cool I’ve got people to be with, who’ll protect me, and stand up for me.”

Irene smiled, “Me and you, we’re not too different.”

“Really?” Ruby asked.

“Of course, my life was a very interesting one-” she began, but the lights flickered off, plunging the room into darkness, the small bit of light fading. There was a flash from outside, briefly illuminating the room in a blueish glow, then a roar of thunder.

“It’s raining again,” Ruby sighed.

“And the power cut out,” Irene said.

“Well, I could find a flashlight around here,” Ruby suggested.

“Yeah, let’s stick together,” Irene said, standing up, “you probably know this place better than I.”

“Barely,” Ruby said, “I haven’t been down here much.”

“Well, if we get lost, we’ll be lost as a team,” Irene laughed.

The duo slowly walked out to the hallway. Something fell over and landed with a crash.

“What was that!?” Ruby jumped.

“I knocked something over,” Irene said.

“I nearly peed myself," Ruby said, in short gasping breaths, "I’m not a fan of the dark."

“You didn’t really did you?” Irene asked unsurely.

“I mean, no, I was just really frightened,” she chuckled.

Irene patted her on the shoulder, “If you find it comforting, you can put your hand on my back, so you don't get stuck behind.”

“Mkay,” she gripped her shoulder.

“Why are you so scared of the dark?” Irene asked, "If you don't mind me asking."

“It’s dumb,” Ruby said.

“I doubt it,” Irene responded.

“Well, when I was younger, my dad would do a lot of work at night, I’d sometimes wake up, in my bed, torn from a dream and into pitch black, only hearing people yelling or animals growling or roaring,” she shuddered.

“Woah, that’s a perfectly fine reason to be afraid, humans are naturally fearful of the unknown.”

“I gue-” Ruby was cut short by a loud crash, this time far down the hall, “What was that!?” she squealed.

“Okay… That time it wasn’t me,” Irene said. She took out her pistol, “It might be a leftover dino from before,” she said.

“Maybe. I hope it was just something that fell,” Ruby said.

Irene stepped forward. Ruby still tagged behind, her hand tightly gripping Irene’s shoulder.

“Hey uh, loosen up back there would ya?” Irene joked, but Ruby kept on tight.

There was another small crash, followed by a flash of lightning. Irene crept over to the noise, trying to identify its source. Irene took a few steps, there was a click, then something scuttled across the ground.

“Did you hear that?” Ruby asked.

“I think it was a rat,” Irene answered.

There was another clicking sound, “Wait… Its a footstep, a dinosaur!” Ruby said.

“Are you sure?” Irene asked, cautiously standing guard.

“Yes, I’m positive.”

“Hey! Show yourself!” Irene yelled.

Ruby started breathing heavily. Irene heard her back away. Outside there was a flash of lighting, it illuminated the hall very briefly and limitedly, only showing a small portion of the room, metal carts and upturned bins. Within a cart Irene noticed something small and black, clearly a living creature. She held her gun towards it, “You! Show yourself!”

The creature scampered out of the cart, knocking it over and spilling utensils all over. It leapt up, digging its claws into Irene’s chest and legs, adding to that she felt a searing pain in her shoulder.

“Ruby! Help!” She yelled, shoving the creature off of her, onto the ground. She fired wildly at it, attempting to hit the shadowy animal, but it was quick, running from her attacks and striking Ruby’s legs, knocking her down.

“Christ!” she screamed, lashing out with her foot, landing a blow on the creature's flank.

It snarled at snapped at her leg, she felt its something cut up her calf. In response, Ruby hacked down at it with her axe, yelling a battle cry.

The creature dodged, only to be met with a powerful kick from Irene, sending it flying into another room. A loud crash as equipment fell about it.

It was silent, Irene looked at Ruby, who was sitting on the ground holding her leg.

“You alright?” Irene asked.

“Of course,” she stood up wobbly. Suddenly, a dark shape struck her down, “Crap!”

Irene spotted the creature and tried to bring her foot down on its head, but it dodged the attack. The thing climbed the wall and leapt down at Irene.

“This thing is not a dinosaur!” Irene yelped as she dodged the attack. In a flash of lighting she saw its form, unlike anything she had ever seen before, “It looks kinda like a bug or something,” she said.

“Oh…” Ruby said, “I may know what it is,” she slammed the creature with her axe, missing it slightly, she fell forward landing on it and Irene. The three landed on the ground, the creature scuttling away, Ruby held Irene tightly, “Its something they were working on, a kind of insect they found in madagascar, they were trying to modify it for a multitude of purposes. Of course it messed up, but they kept a few to study.”

“Why is it so aggressive?” Irene asked.

“I’m not sure,” she said, “All I know is I want to get out of here,” she stood up and rushed towards the exit, trusting her memory of the location.

“Wait!” Irene said, running after her. She sprinted to the door, tripping on an obstacle in the dark room.

“Irene!” Ruby ran to her aid. In the dark she fumbled around, grabbing Irene’s ponytail.

“Ouch,” she yelped as Ruby tugged her hair.

“Oh, sorry,” she helped her up. Deep in the hallway there was another click.

“Wait…” Irene stood up, “There’s a dinosaur in here too, I know it.”

“Well, I don’t wanna find out if there is or not,” Ruby pulled Irene’s hand and darted to the door. She grabbed the door to the hall and pulled it shut, she felt around under the handle, “Lock… lock… Lock!” she twisted it and there was a loud click.

“Okay, hopefully when the power returns, we can see what’s really in there,” Irene said.

There was a short silence. The room was a bit lighter than the hall, Irene could see Ruby standing awkwardly.

“Why don’t we go see what the others are up to, they might be worried about you,” Irene suggested.

“Me?” she asked.

“Yeah, of course,” Irene said. She walked to the door of the lab leading to the house, “Come on.”

Ruby quickly followed, as the two got out of the lab, the house seemed much brighter, rain spattered against the windows, thunder growled outside. Down the hall they could hear a few people talking quietly, no longer about military matters, but casual talk. The two walked slowly down the hall.

“Hey Irene…” Ruby started.

“What?” she answered.

“You’re really cool,” she smiled.

Irene smirked, chuckling almost silently.

“Say…” Ruby said.

“What?”

“Do you have any nicknames?” she asked.

“Don’t think so, just Irene,” she said.

“Right, alright,” Ruby said.

They walked into the dining hall, the room was lit up, apparently by Faroe’s magic, everyone was sitting around casually talking and laughing, someone had made a small meal in the kitchen and now it was mostly eaten. Amanda was in a tanktop and shorts and sat on the table chewing on a piece of chicken.

“Hey!” she called, “How was your walk?”

“It was… Interesting,” Irene said, sitting down at the table, looking around for scraps, “We found a few creatures in the lab, one of which I’m determined is a dinosaur.”

“Really?” Bristle said joining their conversation.

“Yeah, no clue what kind,” she said, grabbing a piece of fried chicken and biting into it, sending bits of breading to the floor.

“It certainly wasn’t the most aggressive thing in there,” Ruby said, “so perhaps it's a good guy.”

“Or perhaps it's an enemy on reconnaissance,” Bristle stated.

“Should we find out?” Irene asked.

“No, not you humans at least, your senses are too dull to work in the darkness.”

“So you will go?” Amanda asked.

“Yes, Dagger and Ouro too,” he said, walking away from them.

“Amanda,” Irene said, mouth full of poultry, “Howdja make this food when the power went out?”

“We didn’t, we made it beforehand,” she answered, “Ruby, care for some food?”

“I’ll have a soda,” she said, taking a seat next to Irene.

“Anything else?” she asked, standing up.

“Iunno, maybe a pop tart?” she asked.

“I’ll see what I can find,” Amanda answered, going to the kitchen.

Bristle, Ouro and Dagger walked by, standing in the doorway, “We’re going to investigate your claim,” Bristle said.

Irene looked up to them, “I should go too,” she said.

“Why?” Bristle asked.

“Because I know I can help you,” she said confidently.

“Fine, come along,” Bristle said.

“I want to come too,” Ruby said.

“It would be wise for her to join us,” Irene said.

“Let them go,” Faroe called across the table.

“Alright,” Bristle said, and the five left to investigate the lab.

Amanda returned, holding two cans of Diet Dr. Pepper and some pop tarts, “I’ve got your… Food…”

“I’ll take it,” Faroe said.

“Where’d they all go?” She asked.

“To investigate the lab,” Faroe said. There was a loud thunderclap, “But as I said, I’ll take her food.”

Amanda put the food down on the table, “I’m going to go with them.”

“I’ll go too,” Nos said, standing up.

Faroe’s head dropped, “I suppose I’ll go too.”

He got up and grabbed his staff and amulets, and the three rushed off to meet with the others.

Chapter 30: Defending the City Edit

Leon clambered between the trees, the canopy wasn't as dense as the forests he was used to in India, but the bushes and logs made for a densely floored forest. The day had mostly cooled down, earlier it had been scorching, but now a pleasant, light breeze rustled the trees, cooling the sweat that covered Leon's face and making the beams of sun dance on the forest floor. Leon continued searching for King, until he heard someone speaking further away.

“They’re clearing the city out,” the voice said.

“Excellent, we’ll have a new base of operations, as well as enough meals for a year, Rephagus said he’d have soldiers waiting on the south side for this very event.”

Leon’s eyes grew wide, oh no, they wanted us to evacuate the city, he thought. He scanned the forest, his eyes caught a glimpse of a red and black tail. Do I get them, or warn the others?!

The tail disappeared into the woods. Leon panicked, “Okay, I’m going back,” he ran back, leaping over roots and bushes. He burst into the city, trying to find Olivia and the others. The whole city was abandoned, doors still open, fires still burning in kitchens.

“Olivia!” he shouted, “Olivia!?”

“Leon?” She slithered out from an alley.

“We have to arm the civilians,” he stated.

“What?” she said.

“There are soldiers waiting to ambush the civilians, we have to bring them back to the city and get them weapons,” he said, “Or else they’ll all be killed.”

“But I just…”

“I know... “ he said calmly, “but we have to bring them back.”

Leon walked past her heading towards the sound of the townsfolk.

“Wait!” Olivia slithered over to him as fast as she could.

“People!” Leon yelled to the crowd of about 200, “Return to the city, arm yourselves and prepare for defense!”

“What’s going on!?” Someone screamed.

“What authority do you have?” Another man yelled.

Leon paused, “I have no authority… But please trust me!”

“Yes! Trust him!” Olivia said.

Elette ran up to Leon, “Trust him!”

There was murmuring in the crowd, “That’s Hyde’s wife.”

“If she trusts them…”

“You want us to arm ourselves?” Someone said.

“Yes! Go to the armory, get weapons, armor, anything to defend yourselves, stick together, stick with us,” Leon commanded. He gestured for them to follow. Olivia did as well, the two returned to the town square, followed by the town’s inhabitants.

“Go to the armory,” Leon pointed to a large building, smoke billowing from the chimney.

Elette walked over to Leon and Olivia, her daughter tightly gripping her hand, “Should we hide?” She asked.

“Where’s the safest location?” Olivia asked.

“The basement of the brewery, the wine cellar,” she said, “It’s hundreds of feet down, we can hide there.”

“Okay…” Leon said, “I have a feeling this battle won’t end well…”

“Perhaps this is a mistake…” Olivia murmured.

“If they evacuated they would have died, we might as well have a fighting chance,” Leon said. As he spoke, several men and women emerged from  the armory, covered in steel plating, holding swords, spears, and crossbows.

“Okay, stand guard at the front gates, swordsmen in front, spearmen behind, archers in back,” Leon said commandingly.

Olivia slithered to his side, “Those of you unable to fight, follow me,” she slithered to the brewery with Elette.

Hardly a moment of peace passed before soldiers were heard outside the town.

Thick… Without you, this will be a fearsome battle, Leon thought.

The gates in the front began to bend, creaking and finally smashing, Baro, the long necked dinosaur stood there, surrounded by dozens of humans and smaller dinosaurs who were miniscule compared to it.

“Archers! Fire at the large one’s head!” Leon barked. Arrows flew towards the big creature, but none of them landed, its small head and thin neck was too hard to hit.

The humans below him charged forward, holding their spears high, yelling a battle cry. The swordsmen parried the spears, some weapons being chopped in half. A few spearmen were successful, piercing the front line, several hitting the opposing spearmen behind. Leon pushed through, attacking the enemy. He swept his spear to the side, knocking several soldiers over, a small, featherless dinosaur lept up onto him, clawing fruitlessly at his armor, but he simply flung it aside, to be defeated by some other soldier

Olivia emerged from the brewery, bow drawn, aware of the situation outside. She scanned the battle, her eyes locking onto to Leon, “Oh thank goodness,” she fired off an arrow into the crowd of enemies.

She moved in a bit closer, drawing arrows quickly and firing accurately, with Leon safe and by her side, it made fighting less frightening, each life she took was for Leon's safety, so it was worth it. Someone ran up behind her with a spear, aiming for her back. Leon lunged forward, slicing his inferior weapon with his own and forcefully throwing a punch into the assailant's jaw. Olivia smiled, firing another arrow out into the crowd of enemies.

“Where are they?!” Ylla scoweled, she looked over to King and Koba, “Why haven’t they come down this trail yet?”

“I don’t know,” King replied, “perhaps they’re taking longer than expected.”

“Well, our forces are divided, extremely unevenly, Rephagus trusted us with a large force, we convinced him we could handle it… And now look!” she screamed, “It's being wasted!”

“Madame, perhaps it would be wise to attack the town,” A soldier suggested.

Ylla threw King and Koba out of the way to see who spoke, “You sir, are intelligent, perhaps you’d be better off serving second in command with me, as opposed to those nitwitted nagas.”

“If it is your wish, madame,” He responded.

“Shut up,” she sneered, “Come on, let’s go!”

...

Leon and his allies marched back, Baro had pressed forward, he was slowing down from injuries, but a 40 foot tall, 110 foot long beast is hard to stop. For the most part, the civilians were faring well, only a few injuries, Leon didn’t even know if any had died yet. The sun was directly above them, beating down harshly on the fighters. Leon wiped the sweat from his eyes, retreating back slightly.

“We’ve got them weakened,” he said to another civilian.

“We have to keep this up,” he said.

The battle raged on, the militia backed deeper into the town, eventually stuck against the one of the walls surrounding the town.

“We need more offensive pressure,” Olivia called.

There was a low rumbling for far off, Leon looked to the source. He turned to Olivia, “Is that what I think it is?”

She nodded, “What should we do?”

“Charge!” Leon yelled, the group pressed forward, breaking the opponent’s defense, Olivia darted to the side, slithering into the brewery. She carefully gripped the railing as she went down the stairs, praying to not fall, she managed to hop down each step with her tail.

“The army is pushing out, we need to hurry up, as the city may soon be overrun,” Olivia said shakily. The people began to rush for the stairs, pushing her out of the way. This is a terrible idea…

Most of the crowd had left, Elette and her daughter remained, “Olivia, let me help you up these stairs,” she said.

“No, it’s going down that I can’t, but thank you.”

“I’d like to thank you for trying to protect our city,” Elette said.

“I’d accept, only I’m not sure if we can…” she sighed.

“Don’t worry, you mean well, and we’re better off in your hands then nobody’s. You see, our town has been in turmoil for a long time, no leader, no morale, we’ve been trying hard to survive this way but perhaps a new age is upon us,” she explained.

“I hope it is a good one,” Olivia said, let’s go, we don’t want to be left behind.

The three climbed up the stairs, the light shining down on their faces, a large piece of rock fell in front of the door, the building above began to crumble, planks of wood falling around them.

“No!” Olivia screamed, pushing on the rock.

“What happened!?” Elette yelled, trying to help push it.

“It’s stuck…” Olivia sighed.

“It can’t be!” she moaned, pushing hard on it. Outside, they heard a very low pitched growl.

“They escaped?” they heard it growl, “I knew I couldn’t trust you.”

“It wasn’t my fault, that damn human and his nagini, they’re… too good,” a female voice said.

“Yes, I have heard they’re a handful, but still, you have failed me.”

“Wait! I haven’t completely failed,” she pleaded.

“...How so…” the voice responded.

“You can now take the town, use it for your own purposes,” she said.

“Ah… Clever, you’re very good at this,” the voice purred.

“Now, may I remain alongside you and your forces?” she said.

“You may, but watch yourself, I’m am not forgiving the second time around.”

“It’s Ylla and Rephagus,” Olivia whispered to Elette, “They’re the ones from the field.”

“Mommy, what’s happening?” the younger Elette asked.

“Don’t worry dear, we’ll be fine,” her mother comforted.

“Perhaps we can stay down here, do you know if there are tunnels down here? Or those holes with the water and urine?” Olivia asked.

“Maybe, I haven’t been down here much,” Elette responded.

Olivia nodded, “Alright,” she sat on the railing, then slid down the bannister, quickly getting to the bottom, “I figured out how to go down the stairs,” she smiled.

Elette and her daughter followed her, “This is going to be tough… We don’t have any food, and the only liquid is alcoholic.”

Olivia put her hand to her mouth, “Hopefully Leon will come to save us,” she said, “that would be romantic…” she said wishfully.

Elette sighed, “You two are very close,” she stated.

“Yes, we are,” Olivia responded.

Elette whimpered, letting go of her daughter’s hand.

“Oh I’m sorry Elette!” Olivia dashed over to her, giving her a hug, “I’m so sorry about everything.”

“I wish it was me… Not him!” Elette whined.

“Don’t say that Elette!” Olivia barked.

“Mommy?” the young girl said, tugging at her dress.

“Yes dear?” she said, her tears not being held back.

“Don’t cry.”

“She’s still back there!” Leon said, looking through the crowd, “I need to go back!”

He told the crowd to move to the nearest city, which they agreed to, knowing it was a safe one. Leon then turned and began to run back to the town. He could see Rephagus’ head over the wall, he made sure to sneak up to the wall, trying to make as little noise as possible. He pushed though a small hole in the fortification, finding himself in an open alleyway. There was a crash, he saw a large rat run from a toppled shelf, stopping to gnaw on a piece of vegetable. It was suddenly snapped up in the arms of a person, Ylla. Leon backed against the wall, breathing heavily, This isn’t happening.

The nagini sniffed at the air, “Somebody's here…”

Leon slowly started moving to the other side of the building, his armor scraped against a rock.

“Ah!” Ylla leapt out, her eyes focusing on Leon, “You!?”

“Listen woman, you don’t have to be like this, you hear?” Leon said.

“Sorry pal, but it’s in my nature,” She smirked, lunging at him.

“Have you no free will?” Leon said, struggling with her, throwing the nagini to the ground.

“You learn to like it after a while,” she taunted, slamming him with her tail, the warrior hitting the wall of a building.

“Come on, you’re a very cunning person, don’t throw your life away like this!”

“You know,” she stopped her attack, holding her chin, “You’re a very stupid person,” she lunged at him, her fangs bared, the warrior just barely dodging.

“Well you leave me no choice,” the warrior sprung up and ran at her, his spear aimed for her heart. She quickly ducked under it, the weapon lodging itself into a wall. Ylla swept under his legs, knocking him over, she darted on top of him.

“Here we are again, and this time, there’s nobody to save you, so accept your fate,” she said, leaning in towards his face. She flicked her tongue out, tickling his lip. He felt her tail coiling up his leg, the pressure of her grip was powerful.

“You damn succubus! Why are you doing this?!” he shouted, struggling.

“I enjoy seeing the struggle in your eyes,” she smirked devilishly, “and plus it’s fun.”

“You’re a sadist!” Leon said.

“What about it?” she asked teasingly, tightening her grip on him, “Don't you like it? Because I can pleasure you in ways your poorly endowed wife never will.”

Leon fumed, his strength surged, he stood up and with all his might, flung the nagini off of him.

“Gah!” she squealed landing hard on the ground, Leon charged at her, he grabbed her by the throat and held her up, she wheezed, gasping for air.

"No! No..." Leon sighed, “No... I’m not like you,” he scoffed. He dropped her to the ground and walked away.

She sat in silence, what the hell just happened?

Leon found the brewery, its door blocked by a pile of rubble, he began to pull at it, dislodging planks of wood and debris, until all that remained was a large boulder, he pushed it over, revealing the staircase leading down. He cautiously made his way down, carefully watching the poorly lit steps. As he turned the corner he was tacked to the ground.

“My dearest Leon! I knew it was you!” Olivia squealed holding on to him tightly.

“You certainly were confident,” Leon laughed, “Now, we have to get a move on, I’m positive that I’m being pursued.

“Elette! Come on!” Olivia called. The woman quickly followed, carrying her daughter.

They rushed up the stairs, Leon holding Olivia in his arms. As they reached daylight, there stood Ylla. Her fists clenched and a scowl on her face.

“You think your words affected me?” She asked, “nothing you say will ever change me, so if you please, make this easy for me and save yourself the struggle.”

“Never!” Olivia screamed, she leapt from Leon’s arms and dove towards Ylla, throwing her fist at her, aiming at the nagini’s nose. As it collided, she barely flinched, Olivia recoiling as she held her own fist in pain.

“Your attempt at combat is truly remarkable, an attack worthy of a moth,” she lunged forward and slammed her to the ground, biting the smaller nagini in the arm. Olivia screeched in pain, unsuccessfully holding back tears. Leon ran to the two, getting ready to pry Ylla off and fight her himself.

“With her out of the way, I can finally finish you off,” she said, a bit of blood dripping from her mouth. She dashed at him, her red lips open wide, revealing her teeth stained with fresh blood.

Leon stared at her in disbelief, How did I let this happen? He thought to himself, his rage began to build, I’ve fought you so many times before, it’s time to put an end to this.

“I’ve had enough!” He grabbed her by the arms tightly.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Ridding the world of you, scum,” he said. She lashed out with her tail, which he put his foot down on, she was now completely subdued, unable to struggle out of his grip, she became calm, looking up at him.

“W-what are you going to do to me?” she asked, sweating and growing red.

Leon closed his eyes, she’s enjoying this…

He shoved her to the ground, running over to Olivia and picking her up, “Goodbye fiend,” he scoffed, he grabbed Elette’s hand and ran to the forest. Ylla sat up and watched him run, massaging her sore tail while breathing shakily.

“Olivia?” Leon asked, holding her under a tree.

“Is she alright?” Elette asked, her daughter hiding behind her.

“I don’t know, Ylla might be venomous, but I don’t know the effects,” Leon put his head to her chest, “Her heart is beating, but… not regularly…”

“We need to find a cure for it!” Elette said.

“Olivia, please, hang in there, I need you…”

Chapter 31: Death's Grip Edit

“Here we all are, 2 tons of heroes clogging up a hallway,” Faroe said, pressed up against a wall. The group stood in front of the stairs, which led to the lab. Amanda had a flashlight attachment on her gun, illuminating the hallway. Ouro and Dagger took up most of the corridor, their large bodies too big for the doorway at the bottom of the stairs.

“Perhaps too many of us came,” Nos said, standing in front.

“The house just wasn’t built for multi-ton, 20 foot lizards…” Ruby laughed.

“Allow us to go on ahead, Dagger and Ouro, you’ll have to stay behind, I suppose that Faroe can stay behind as well, to make sure you two don’t get into any fights,” Nos said, “We’ll go in and find this dinosaur.”

Ouro snarled, “I suppose we have to,” he sat down on the ground.

“Alright, we’ll see you in a bit,” Nos went down the stairs and opened the door leading to the lab. He looked about the room, “Did you get a look at this dinosaur?” He asked, his gaze still fixed on the dark room.

“Not really,” Irene said.

“We need to be careful, there are still some leftover experiments in here, me and Irene experienced one up close,” Ruby said.

“Experiments?” Amanda asked. She considered what sort of dangers would be in there, and if it would ven be worth finding out.

“Yeah, a few biological chimeras, if you will,” she smiled.

“Like what?” Amanda asked.

“A few insects, some hybrids, mostly things that want to bite your face off,” Ruby chuckled.

“Really? Specifically the face?” Amanda asked.

“Eh, maybe, who knows,” Ruby chuckled, “Probably not too bad, that insect was rather nasty, eh Irene?” She said.

“Yeah,” Irene answered casually, "I suppose."

The group cautiously walked into the lab, the rain had subsided, leaving a hot, dense, and wet atmosphere. The room was illuminated only by the beam of the flashlight, the glow landed on a small creature that scuttled away in panic.

“Was that it?” Amanda asked, her finger lightly touching the trigger.

“No, I think that was a rat, possibly something else, but it's certainly smaller than a dinosaur,” Ruby said.

They pressed on further, reaching the end of the hall, where it turned to the right and continued further.

“I suppose we should go that way?” Nos asked, as he looked into the unlight corridor.

Ruby nodded. The girl led the way into the previously unexplored area.

“Do you think this is worth it?” Nos asked, “What do you think we can even gain from finding this creature?”

“Quiet!” Bristle chirped, he scampered ahead, listening intensely.

“They’re surprisingly more competent than we suspected, our forces were absolutely flattened,” a raspy voice echoed in the darkness, it sounded similar to one of the dinosaurs heard before.

“Well of course, you think our lord would send his best fighters? It was expected for them to lose, but not quite so badly,” A calm, dry, voice responded, it was more humanlike, but lacked emotion.

“So what do we do?”

“We can flee, regroup at the dark pass, Rephagus can get more portals set up, and get us back with a stronger force,” the human like voice said.

Irene looked at the group with a frightened and confused demeanor. Ruby stared intently ahead Nos cleared his throat. They all silently considered their options.

“If we decide to run, go without me, there’s someone I’ve been wanting to have for a while…” The voice said.

“Then it will be done, I will see you again at the pass,” the hoarse dinosaurian voice drifting further away.

Nos stepped out in front of the group, “We waited too long!” he whispered, “We have to apprehend them!” He ignited his blade and pushed into the room. The dull orange glow of his sword barely revealed anything, until Amanda turned her light to the room, standing in the center of it was a cloaked man, a wooden mask over his face.

“Don't move!” Nos commanded to him. He pointed his sword at the cloaked man.

“I wasn’t planning on it,” the man said.

“Who are you?” Nos asked, holding his sword out.

“I believe you already know me,” he said, walking closer to the group.

“Take off that mask,” Ruby demanded, walking forward.

“Ah, red haired girl, you certainly remember me,” he said.

“No sir I don’t, you have to be mistaken,” Ruby responded, “You are not familiar whatsoever.”

“Perhaps not in this body…”

Irene looked at the stranger curiously, “What do you mean?”

The man stood silently. Unmoving.

“Hey! I asked you a question!” Irene snapped, walking up to the man.

“Let me give you your answer,” Nos said.

“What?” The huntress turned around, looking at her leader with confusion.

“They call me the influencer, where I come from,” Nos said.

“What are you talking about Nos?” Amanda asked.

“What do you mean what am I talking about?” He responded.

Amanda shook her head, “My powers are very strong, the host never even realizes what’s happened.”

“I don’t remember saying that…” Nos scratched his head.

“What the heck is going on!?” Ruby shouted.

Bristle darted between her legs, “They are so strong, they can travel from world to world without falter.”

“Bristle, you know about his powers?” Irene asked.

“No, I’m just as in the dark as you are… And wasn’t I just standing over there? I must have lost focus and just started to move…”

“Wait… Influencer?” Ruby said to herself.

“He must be-!” Irene started.

“Very good pale woman, you’ve finally realized my power,” The masked man said.

“You must have been following us! Who else have you possessed?” Ruby asked.

Nos and Amanda looked confused.

The man turned around, “I said, red haired girl, you have met me before, however fleetingly, on many occasions.”

“Just tell me!”

“The boy in the barren realm, he called himself Aiden? I had been using him for a while, destroyed most of his previous relations, mistakes happen,” the man said nonchalantly.

Ruby’s heart sank, “Oh no… Me and Dagger were so mean to him…”

“Yes, that man had rather powerful will, eventually I was expelled from his body, right when you fled to this place.”

“How did you follow us?” Nos asked.

“I didn’t. I followed them,” The cloaked body made a stiff gesture towards Bristle and Irene.

“Us? How?” Irene asked.

“You sparked an old draugr’s curiosity…” he said

Irene and Bristle were quiet. Alot had happened when there were in the cold north, many people met the two, and neither knew what a draugr was, which didn’t help narrow down who this mysterious figure was. Nos looked at the two with concern.

“It was Faroe, you followed him!” Irene finally pieced together, slamming her fist on her open palm.

The man shifted, “Yes, you figured it out pale woman.”

Ruby shook her head, she drew her axes and charged at the man. Ready to subdue him, “Enough talking, your powers are worthless if you’re dead!”

The man’s cloak fell as soon as Ruby said that. Revealing a torn up body, bloated and red, deep cuts and gashes all throughout it, some showing the pale white bone beneath layers of red muscle and shiny pink fat. But most striking, was his chest, shredded and clawed, his ribs shattered and organs rended and dripping. A piece of intestine dangling out. Ruby dropped her axes and fell to the ground, covering her eyes. Nos and Amanda recoiled, Bristle letting out a sickly gag. Irene was fixed on the hole in the chest.

“You see red haired girl, I am dead, and I have been this way for centuries,” he said. As he spoke, the organs in his chest shuddered and leaked. Beneath him a pool of fluid started to collect, “Thankfully, your little home had a body just as dead as my old one in the north.”

Ruby’s eyes opened, she realized who she had been looking at.

With a stiff, cumbersome move, the man removed his mask, Robert Stone’s face glared at the group, half of it red with old claw marks, he began to leave.

“Where are you going?” Nos asked.

“The red haired girl is too strong,” he said. Robert Stone’s body fell limply to the ground.

Amanda kneeled down next to Ruby, “Come on sweetie, let’s go,” she said soothingly, trying to pick her up.

“H-h-he, was just… Using him, his c-corpse…” she stammered.

Irene lifted her up, Ruby resting an arm on both women’s backs.  

“You need some rest, dear,” Amanda said, “Irene, run her a bath. I’ll make her some food,” The three slowly left the room, which was beginning to smell of decay.

Bristle looked at Nos, “These things… Rephagus is growing too strong, he may be unstoppable soon…”

“Not if I can help it,” Nos said, “He’ll be nothing but a memory before next month, we’ll rally up our forces, and attack the Dark Pass.”

“But his influence, it’s growing too wide, we’ll be destroyed.”

“Bristle, believe in us, we will have justice, as we always do.”

Chapter 32: Poison Edit

Leon set down the transporter, he fiddled with the small buttons and controls, hoping to set it up properly, so he could meet with the group. Olivia laid on the grass, being tended to by Elette, who frantically checked her heart, her mouth, and about every part of the sickly nagini, who was losing color in her skin, and the tip of her tail twitched spastically. Leon stood up, quickly walking over to his wife, and checked on her.

“The device is ready, we should be able to go now,” he said. Elette nodded and stood up, taking her daughter’s hand. Leon tenderly picked up his wife, holding her close, “Let’s go.”

They got on the transporter, Leon noticed Elette looking around uncomfortably.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah, I am, it’s just that… I don’t know, I don’t want to leave the place I used to live…” she said.

“Don’t worry, I know what it’s like to leave home, it’s not so bad,” he sighed, looking at his love, “Let’s do this then,” he pressed a small button and the four instantly appeared on the Victory Sound. Markus looked up at them, his eyes fixing on the Elettes.

“They’re with me,” Leon said, rushing out of the transporter room, he entered the white hallways of the crew dorm area. Trying to remember where the hospital wing was.

“Leon!” Elette called, pointing down a hallway. He ran over to her, seeing the sign that said “Medical”.

The three quickly sprinted to the hospital, Leon flung the door open, the bespectacled secretary looked up at him.

“What’s the problem?” She said, standing up and looking at the sickly Olivia with concern.

“Poisoned, please help,” Leon said quickly.

“Come with me,” she said, taking them to one of the operating rooms. Standing in the corner was a bizarre looking person, he turned around, his appearance was certainly strange. He had leathery, light blue skin, darker, indigo hair, under it were two dark horns which stuck out and up from his forehead, and finally, instead of just two arms, he had an extra set beneath his normal ones.

“What’s the issue?” He said in a deep, nasally voice, writing on a clipboard while he began to wash some tools.

“She’s been poisoned, by a bite,” Leon said.

“What bit her? Snake, Jahzrin Lizard, Spider, Gortog?” He asked.

“Forest naga,” Leon said.

“Naga eh?” He put one hand to his chin as he wrote it down, “never had one of those before.”

“Will you be able to help?” Leon asked.

“I’ll have to extract some blood, run a few comparative analyses, and search the venom database… Shouldn’t take more than 48 hours,” he said.

“That’s too long!” Leon said.

“You’re right, she doesn’t look healthy. Extremely thin, likely malnourished, definitely poor immune system, her temperature is soaring too,” he said, writing down more information on his clipboard, reaching for another pen and writing something else on a paper on the wall, “Put her down on this bed, leave the rest to me sir, this’ll all be sorted out in 24 hours.”

“What should-”

“Go, leave please, I need to concentrate,” he waved with two of his hands for him to leave.

Leon reluctantly left. Reuniting with the Elettes.

“So?” she asked.

“I think she’ll be alright… The doctor is a peculiar person, but I think he can save her.”

Elette put her hand on his shoulder, “I hope so,” she smiled.

“You need a place to stay…” Leon said to her, “I’ll find someone who can give you a room.”

“You don’t have to do that,” she smiled.

“No, I should, you can’t just stay in the travellers sector, not that I know what it’s like, but I assume it's not as good as my room.”

“Leon, you are a very good man,” she said, “Olivia is a lucky person to have you.”

Leon exhaled, “I hope she’s alright…” He turned and sat down in one of the chairs, his armor stopping him from completely sitting down.

“You should go put on something less… Dangerous,” Elette said.

“You’re right, I’ll go take this off,” he began to walk to the dorms, “Stay at my room for now, why don’t you?”

“If that’s alright,” Elette said.

“I’ll be in the medical area tonight, so you can have the bed,” Leon told her.

Elette smiled, taking her daughter’s hand, “Thank you.”

After a journey across the massive ship, they made it to Leon’s room, Elette and her daughter sat down while Leon went to the bedroom to change. They girls had never seen a place like this, lavishly furnished for its own time period, it looked like the palace of the gods to them.

“If you need anything, there is a button near the door for service, just ask for something and they’ll find a way to help you out,” He called from his room.

A few minutes later, he stepped out, wearing a silk shirt and some brown pants that were in his closet and saw that the two were asleep, he smiled and carried them to the bed, then quietly left for the hospital wing.

“Sir? Sir!” The nasally voice called, the doctor shaking Leon to consciousness.

“Wha-?” Leon mumbled, slowly opening his eyes.

“Sir, your patient, I have news about your patient!” he said.

Leon shook himself awake, sitting up and looking at the multi armed doctor. He held out a small bottle of clear liquid and quickly flipped through the papers on his clipboard as he scratched his head.

“What is that?” Leon asked, looking at the vial.

“Venom, our database shows that it’s closest to that of a taipan, albeit much more mild, it simply causes mild paralytic reactions, swelling, relieving of bladder, and unconsciousness.”

“Is she alright?” Leon asked impatiently.

“Yes, she’s fine, go see her if you wish,” the doctor said.

Leon darted out of the seat, rushing to the room she was in. He quickly opened the door, in the bed was Olivia, a hospital gown much too large for her served as a blanket, which she was contently sleeping in, the tip of her blue tail hanging off the end, nearly touching the ground.

Leon’s eyes lit up, “She’s alright,” he smiled.

“Leon?” Olivia asked, turning over, she opened her eyes slowly, then gave a small smile.

“I’m so glad you’re okay Oli,” Leon said, going in to hug her.

“Yeah,” she rubbed her forehead, “I don’t remember… What happened?”

“Ylla…” Leon lifted her arm and showed her the wound the forest naga had given her. She sighed in annoyance.

“I don’t want to see her again…” she said sleepily.

“Me neither,” Leon said, shaking his head.

Olivia put her arms around him and held him close to her, “I long for the day when we can stop fighting, and just live like a normal pair, go back to India and just get to live in peace…”

“I’m sure that day will be soon,” Leon reassured her, “I’m sure it will be soon.”

“Sir?” Called the doctor impatiently, opening the door to the room.

“Yes?” Leon sighed, still holding Olivia in his arms.

“Two things,” he said, holding up two fingers, “The bill is without charge, so you don’t have to pay anything.”

“Really?” Leon asked, “That’s very gracious of you.”

“Yes, or rather, its gracious of the organization, but I digress, we’ve received a somewhat urgent distress call for you two and a third person known as ‘Thick’ to go meet with the rest of the world protectors.”

Leon looked at Olivia, the nagini solemnly closing her eyes, then back to the doctor, “Where might they be?”

“They said they were at the... Stone residence,” he said, stroking his chin in thought.

Leon nodded, turning to his wife, “Do you think you’re ready to go?” he asked.

Olivia looked down at the end of the bed, her mouth drooping. She looked up, an optimistic smile growing, “Yes, I’m ready!” She sprung out of the bed, the flowing hospital gown engulfing most of her body, she looked down at it, scrunching her face.

“Let’s go get you some real clothes,” Leon said.

Olivia took his hand and slithered out of the room with him, the multi-armed doctor writing a few things on his clipboard, and then following them out to the lobby.

“Here you go ma’am, if any pains come up, just swallow these,” he held out several different containers in each arm, the couple each took two containers to carry. They made their way out.

“Wait!” The doctor called.

Leon and Olivia turned around.

“I wish you two luck, and stay safe,” he nodded.

“Thank you, we will,” Olivia said.

The two left the room, moving down the hall to the distant dorms. As the pair made the long trek to their rooms, they passed a large group of men, dressed in full body jumpsuits, each with a helmet under their arm. One stumbled on Olivia’s tail as she tried to move out of the way.

“Oi, watch it!” he sneered, looking at the nagini as he continued to march.

Leon tapped a passing man’s shoulder, “What’s going on here?”

“We’re going for a few test flights, what’s it to you?” he said, stepping out of the group.

“Test flights?” Olivia asked quizzically.

“Yes, test flights, we are part of the aerial combat force, and who are you? Medusa’s little sister?” He snapped at the nagini.

Leon stepped forward, “No, she’s one of the world protectors, I’m not sure if you know who they are.”

The man suddenly looked afraid, as if he had insulted a great and dangerous force far beyond his control. He shook his head, “My apologies sir, madam,” he nodded, before quickly rejoining his squad, sweating rather profusely.

Olivia looked over to Leon, slightly confused.

“I didn't expect that to work…” Leon admitted, “Let’s get going.”

They continued across the large ship, every so often passing a person or two and getting a much friendlier greeting. Recently, ramps had been installed next to the stairs, making it easier for treaded robots or carts to go up and down, in turn, Olivia and any other naga could make it up the incline as well. However, Leon still enjoyed carrying his wife every so often, so he’d quickly snatch her up and dart up the stairs, the two laughing as they ascended.

“When we’re through with all of this, where should we go to live?” Leon asked.

Olivia sighed, she knew she’d have to answer this question eventually. The truth was, she wanted to live in Acrullia, but after the attack, she feared going back. She didn’t want to see the ruin of where she lived most of her life. Were there still people there? Were the bodies of her loved ones still lying where they had fallen? She shuddered to think about it.

She turned to Leon, “Perhaps, we could live in…” she paused.

“Acrullia?” Leon cut in.

“Yes…” Olivia sighed, “Maybe we could help put the poor place back together…”

“Of course, it’s a place of history, it deserves to be preserved,” Leon smiled.

Olivia smiled at the ground, sticking out her hand, which Leon took, and the two continued to their room.



Elette struggled to get the door open, as her daughter jumped up and down in frustration behind her.

“I think I’ve got it, just let me try,” she begged.

“But we have a key, we can get in ourselves,” Leon said woefully.

“No no, I want to try it,” she said.

However, before she could return to fiddling with the locks and handle, Leon had already opened the door.

“We had to come in,” Olivia said, “We’re going to find the rest of our companions.”

“What should we do?” Elette asked, “should we come?”

Leon looked at Olivia, then to the young woman, “I’d suggest staying here, we don’t want you to get hurt, especially not anymore than you already have.”

“If we stay, then what?” Elette asked, “We’re going to be trapped in a place we’re unfamiliar with.”

“Well if you come with us, you’re heading straight back into a war-zone. It’s not safe, and frankly, casualties are not something I want more of,” Leon said sternly.

Elette was silent, frowning, she looked desperately around. She frankly didn’t want to stay alone, unhelping. She had watched her husband be brutally killed, and it struck a chord of vengeance in her, one that she didn’t want to stifle.

“I can fight I swear,” she pleaded.

“No, you have a child, do you not? Stay here and keep both you and her safe. We can determine what you can do later,” Leon said.

Elette turned to Olivia for some sort of support, but she gave a blank, slightly stern stare. Elette gave up, “Fine, I’ll stay behind.”

Leon began to walk to the bedroom, Olivia followed after. Elette threw herself down on the glowing white couch and closed her eyes in frustration.

The two emerged from the room a few minutes later, Olivia wearing a rather beautiful looking orange and pink sari, and Leon wearing his heavy plated armor, he held a new helmet in his hands, he looked at it unhappily, then put it on with a grimace.

“Elette, we’ll be back in at most a few days, if you need anything, just use the button on that phone,” Leon pointed to the small black rectangle on the table, “The button with the red symbol.”

“Okay, thank you,” Elette answered, her daughter lying beside her.

Leon began to leave, “Come on Olivia.”

“Hey Elette,” Olivia started, “try and keep your chin up,” she said softly.

Elette sighed, giving in to an optimistic smile.

Chapter 33: Family of Heroes Edit

Ruby sank deep into the frothy bubbles staring blankly at the wall as she mindlessly played with her hands under the bathwater. She looked exceptionally pale and even in the warm, comforting tub, she shivered. Irene stood nearby, leaning on the wall and facing away from the young redhead. Next to the small bathtub was a plate with some warm mini tacos, that Amanda had made earlier. Irene cleared her throat.

“How are you doing?”

Ruby sighed.

Irene rolled her eyes and began to go for the door, “If you need anything I’ll be downstairs.”

“Wait,” Ruby called, sitting up in the water, her body covered in a thick layer of white suds.

“What?” Irene turned around, she saw that Ruby had a sorrowful expression, her mouth in a small frown and her eyebrows furrowed weakly.

“I don’t know, I’m just a bit… Sad…” she sniffed.

Irene walked over to the tub and sat down on a stool, she looked down at Ruby.

“And I mean, I never really liked my dad, but I just couldn’t stand seeing him like that… I remember always wishing his was dead or gone, but that was… I didn’t even know… Who killed him.”

Irene exhaled, she didn’t know what to say, it wasn’t really her strongest suit trying to talk with and consoling people, nevertheless, she felt obligated to help.

“I’m sure we’ll find out what happened to him,” Irene started, attempting to give a comforting smile, “for now you should just rest.”

“Has anything like this ever happened to you?” Ruby asked quietly, putting her hands on the edge of the white bathtub, she was gazed up at her through her large green eyes, still holding a lot of youth in them, despite what she had gone through recently.

“Not really, I’ve seen a lot of death, but, no, not this bad,” Irene said calmly.

“Anyone you were really close to?” Ruby asked innocently.

“No, not really, there was this boy I knew, a really long time back, who was killed by an animal, I didn’t really see it, not like I wanted to, but I guess that’s it.”

“Oh…”

Irene looked down at her awkwardly, “I’m sorry about what happened,” she said, coming back to the original topic out of desperation.

Ruby reached for one of the mini tacos. Irene took the plate and held it out for Ruby to take.

“Thanks,” she said, taking one of them. She fumbled with it, the small snack falling into the water, Ruby quickly fished around for it, snapping it out of the water in a few seconds, then taking a few bites.

Irene looked at her quizzically, I’ve eaten some strange things in my life, but… ew…

Ruby smiled, she stood up out of the water, bearing most of her body for Irene to see, apart from some spots covered in white soap. She appeared to be blushing.

“I’m gonna go to my room now,” she said, grabbing a towel.

Irene averted her gaze, “Alright, I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better.”

Ruby wrapped a light green towel around her chest, and pushing her long hair over one shoulder. She smiled at Irene and hugged her tightly, wetting the woman’s shirt as she pressed her slightly rounded stomach against hers. Irene grimaced at the dark spot running up and down her outfit.

“Thanks,” she smiled weakly, watching Ruby walk out of the room. As soon as she was gone, Irene sighed deeply, and opened the drain, “I really ought to work on my comforting skills, I’m surprised I got out of that so smoothly…”

She sat on the edge of the bath and began to eat the remaining mini tacos. She began to harken back to her days alone on Kronos, Ruby had a life like mine, didn’t she? Irene took another bite, chewing slowly as she thought, so why is she so… so comfortable with people? Maybe she’s just natur-.

“Irene?” Ruby walked in, dressed in a Jurassic Park t-shirt and some short pink soccer shorts which hardly contained her wide hips and round behind, which was coming out from the bottom, “Is the bathroom the place where you always eat?”

Irene looked up at her, seeing the rather provocative shorts she had on, and the shirt which tightly held her body, including the bump of a belly she had. Noticing Ruby's curious stare, she glanced at the mirror, there were small bits of beef and grease around her mouth, she wiped it off quickly, “Whoops,” she smiled, sincerely, suddenly feeling a lot more comfortable talking, “I usually don’t eat in the bathroom, I actually prefer eating outside.”

“Really?” Ruby asked.

“Yeah, although in my case, I guess that would be the bathroom too,” Irene laughed.

Ruby snickered, “Gross!”

Irene smiled at her, “Here, you can have the rest,” she held out the plate, which now only had a couple remaining snacks on it. Ruby gratefully took it.

“Frankly,” she said as she shoved one into her mouth, “these are the only reason I came back.”

Irene smirked, “Enjoy,” she walked out to go find the others, “I’ll be downstairs if you need me,” she shouted from down the hall.

“We strike the main canyon here,” Nos said, pointing at an extremely old map. Amanda nodded and looked around the table, Ouro, Bristle, Dagger, and Faroe all stood around the map, they were carefully studying it and adding their two-cents, Bristle’s words usually holding the most validity.

“But with how many? If we lead our masses through the bottlenecks, any sort of attack could destroy a considerable fraction of us, we’d be doomed after the first strike. I suggest we launch several strikes, here, here, and here,” Bristle pointed at a small canyon branching from the largest one, then a small circle marked “cave”, and finally a cliff close to the the large shape labeled “fortress”.

Ouro pointed his spiked thumb at the cliff, “Would we allocate our ranged soldiers there? Because they’d be wide open, we should put them here,” he moved his thumb to another cliff, “that’s the edge of the cedar forest, not only would they have cover, they’d have trees to hide in for extra points of fire, if my terminology is correct,” he said unsurely.

“Terminology means nothing in the battlefield,” Dagger said, “But Bristle, he has a point, the forest would be much better.”

“We could airdrop them in,” Amanda suggested, “In case any dinosaurs are hiding in the forest.”

“Remember though,” Nos started, “Rephagus has more than just dinosaurs on his side, and with that… that…” Nos looked at Faroe.

“Draugr.”

“Draugr on his side, he could grab any sort of creature and stick it in his army,” Nos shuddered, “Imagine a giant, or a military general.”

“With a military general…” Amanda said, looking horrified, “He could get a whole army, he could grow twice as large in an instant, and then even the entire VS Corps wouldn't stand a chance…”

Irene walked in, “What’d I miss?” she asked Faroe quietly.

“Not much,” he whispered, “I’ll fill you in later.”

Nos scratched his head, “So if the main canyon is 35 meters wide at the narrowest, we should put our heaviest artillery and vehicles there, and make sure they’re protected.”

“Who knows what kind of toys Rephagus has gotten his talons on, you’d want to be careful with crucial vehicles,” Faroe said.

The hallway outside grew bright, and they heard the familiar clanking of Leon’s heavy armor.

“Leon and Olivia are here!” Faroe said, a second before the two walked into the room, curiously poking their heads in first, to ensure they were in the right place.

“Ah, hello!” Leon said, walking over to the group.

“We were gonna be here later, but we ran into a bit of trouble,” Olivia smiled softly.

“What happened?” Nos asked.

“Olivia was bitten and had to get some venom removed, our job was done anyways, so we decided to regroup with you using the coordinates on the teleportation history,” Leon said.

“I must say, he’s very good with the machines you people use,” Olivia smiled widely, hugging his arm.

“He seems to be. It took Faroe 2 weeks to figure out the kitchen basics,” Nos chuckled.

Faroe rolled his eyes.

“But enough of that, should we get you up to date with our information?” He asked.

“Soon,” Nos answered, turning back to the table.

Leon walked over to the table and found a spot between Nos and Dagger, Olivia sliding in with him.

“Now where were we?” Nos asked.

“I was going to suggest holding off on tanks and vehicles until we clear out the canyons, we won't need them until we get to the center, so it's better to keep them safe somewhere else,” Amanda said.

“Bristle, how many dinosaurs do you have at your disposal?” Nos asked.

Bristle looked annoyed, “Hypsi has a few hundred ready to fight for us.”

“We have about 200 VS Corps infantry units and 10 air support units,” Amanda added.

“I could get some soldiers myself,” Faroe said.

“I'm sure I could,” Leon chimed in.

Olivia’s eyes darted around the group, even though they weren’t talking very technically or using any obscure jargon, it all went over her head, and she grew a bit flustered.

“Amanda, how many T-96 light assault craft do we have?” Nos asked. The T-96 was a medium sized tank, much longer than it was wide, and was equipped with a large mounted turret on the front. Nos had piloted one before and instantly fell in love with it's usefulness, and hoped they would return to this battle.

“Depends on how generous General Kingler is,” she responded.

“Would it be advisable to bring shellbacked dinosaurs in the front or back?” Ouro asked.

“Shield bearers should be in front,” Leon suggested.

“Infantry gunners, they can’t shoot through people can they?” Nos countered.

"How many people do you predict will be killed during the march?" Ouro asked.

"I'd be willing to let a few soldiers die if they must," Amanda said, "the VS Corps is trained to fight until the end."

Olivia shook her head, her eyes tightly closed. She slithered away from the group, “I’m sorry, I can’t do this, I’m gonna go somewhere else.”

Irene smirked and rolled her eyes.

“It’s alright, we don't need everyone here anyways,” Nos said, “You can go if you want to.”

She nodded, and slithered off quickly. Leon remained where he was standing.

“Anyone else too confused?” Irene asked. Leon looked at her and shook his head, she didn’t notice.



Olivia scoured around the house, she found the stairs and began to transcend them, she tightly gripped the banister and hauled herself up each step, after a few minutes she reached the top, breathing heavily.

“I don’t know how I’m going to do this,” she said to herself, “I don’t want to kill people, I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don't want anyone to... die... How did I get myself into this!?” she buried her face into her hands. She took a deep breath, and began to slither to one of the doors in the hall, she opened it to find a darkened bedroom, she fell into the large soft bed and closed her eyes, only realizing she wasn’t alone.

“Excuse me?” she heard a girl say.

“Oh, my bad,” Olivia straightened up. A lamp was turned on, assaulting both of their eyes with its harsh light.

Olivia saw the girl, she recognized her long red hair and slightly plump body, “Sorry… Ruby,” she hazarded.

“It’s okay,” she responded, “Do you want to sleep here? It’s the best bed in the house, you can have it if you want to rest you tired… Tail.”

“No no, it's fine.”

“Please, you don’t have to be so polite,” Ruby said.

Olivia leaned back into the bed, “If you so insist.”

“We’re teammates here, my bed is yours,” She smiled.

Olivia stared off at the wall, “Do you think you’re ready to kill people in order to have peace?”

Ruby flinched, “What?”

“Kill people, end their lives, so we can have peace in the long run,” she repeated.

“I-I suppose,” Ruby stuttered.

“I’ll never understand how people can do it,” she sighed. She tugged at her sari, “I don’t know why I wore this stupid thing,” she pulled it off, her usual outfit on underneath, “Really… I just don’t want to die on the battlefield, it’s like being robbed of a true death.”

Ruby looked down on the bed, she began to think about what the nagini was saying.

Leon peered into the room, “Olivia?”

She turned around, “What?” she asked.

Leon started to take off his armor, slowly steadily, “Listen, you don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with.”

“It’s not me, Leon, I’m just not comfortable with…” she choked.

Leon set down a piece of armor plating, putting his hand on her shoulder. He looked deeply into her eyes and nodded.

“I’m not comfortable with you doing it.”

“Oh Olivia…” he shook his head.

“Leon, you know what happened to everyone I loved,” she sniffed, Leon wiped a tear from her eye, “I don’t want it to happen again.”

Chapter 34: Last Meal Edit

“Wake up!” Nos commanded.

Leon opened his eyes groggily, his arm was round his wife, Olivia, but there was  another arm around her, a slightly tanned one with clean, polished nails. It was Ruby, who not only had an arm over her, but her legs as well, in fact, most of Olivia’s tail was under Ruby.

“Hey, wake up you two,” Leon said, shaking Ruby and kissing Olivia’s forehead.

Nos knocked on another door, he opened it slowly, “Wake up Irene.”

She was sprawled across the bed, most of the pillows were on the floor and she had one hand down the side of her pajama bottoms and her other arm was behind her head. She groaned, stretching and covering her face with the other hand.

Faroe and Amanda marched up to Nos in the hall. Amanda looked wide awake and well dressed in her black, medal doused trenchcoat. They all had been awake for a few hours already, as it was the day that the group was going to return to the prehistoric lands, they were going to round up the Okinons and meet the rest of the soldiers at the canyon system. Neither Nos nor Amanda could sleep, so they occupied themselves for a few hours, then decided to go for an early morning swim in hopes the frigid water could keep them energized.

Leon yawned as he stepped out of the bedroom.

“Leon, are you any good at cooking?” Amanda asked.

“Cooking? Of course I am, I’ve cooked for 12 all by myself when I was a teenager.”

“Then get in the kitchen and lend me a hand, I’m not familiar with this kind of technology,” Amanda said, “It’s like ours, but less… Good.”

"I’ll see what I can produce,” Leon sighed. He walked with Amanda down to the kitchen. Out of the bedrooms emerged two of the remaining women, Irene looked extremely tired, she ran her fingers through the frizzy hair that usually found itself in a ponytail, only now it draped over her shoulders and over one of her eyes, revealing half a freckled face and one bright blue eye.  Meanwhile, across the hall, Olivia tenaciously opened the door, curiously looking around the hall.  

“Good morning,” she said quietly. Her eyes focused on Irene’s rugged state, her eyebrows furrowed, and she smirked a little. Irene sneered at her, walking toward the bathroom to attempt to fix her situation. Olivia frowned, she didn't mean to offend this time, in fact she was willing to help fix the huntress' hair.

“Good morning Olivia, I trust you had a restful sleep?” Faroe asked.

“Yeah,” she responded, stretching a bit more. She massaged her tail, sighing tiredly as she worked out the sores from Ruby sleeping on it.

“I’m gonna run through some more strategies with the dinosaurians,” Nos said, “You two should be down and ready in a few minutes.”

Nos began to walk off from the group. Faroe scratched the back of his head, preparing to talk, Olivia could sense this, and prepared for a chewing out.

“Now yesterday I noticed you were a little tense during our discussions, and you left a bit... prematurely,” Faroe smiled slightly, hoping to make the nagini feel comfortable.

“I’m sorry, it’s my fault.”

“Don’t say that, we’ve got different beliefs, and I’m sure you don’t want to go against yours, it’s certainly not an easy thing to have to go through, especially for a pacifist,” Faroe scrunched his face slightly, “You are a pacifist, right?”

Olivia smiled softly, “Yeah, I’d say I am, for the most part.”

“My apologies then,” he shook his head, “has it been hard for you?”

Olivia looked up in thought, “Well, when I’m on a battlefield with my husband, I find myself fighting not for my life, but for his, I just want to make sure that if there’s someone I love, that they’re safe, and I’d put my own safety on the line for them,” she paused, “But even then, I struggle to let my arrow fly, knowing it has the power to take a life…”

“Well, when I must kill, I know their fate isn’t truly mine to decide, it is what the gods decree, not me.”

The two heard the door to the bathroom open, Irene walked out quickly, looking much less tired and out of it than before. Her hair was in its usual ponytail, although the woman herself still had on her sleepwear. She looked over at the two and made her way over.

“So, we gonna head down for breakfast?” Irene asked.

“I am a bit hungry,” Olivia mumbled.

“I’ll see if Ruby’s awake,” Faroe said. He looked around at the doors, until he identified Ruby’s, he held a finger to the two women and walked in. Olivia looked over to Irene, who quickly looked away.

“So… Have a good sleep?” Olivia asked.

“It was fine.”

“Good… Good…” Olivia mumbled. She tried to think of something more to say, but struggled to get anything of conversational value.

Irene groaned as she did a few stretches.

“So… Do you have anyone special back home?” Olivia asked, knowing she was late to the “getting to know you” session with Irene.

“Brother,” she grunted, not looking at the nagini.

“Oh, hey,” Olivia smiled a bit, “I was really close to my brother too.”

“Great,” Irene said stiffly. Olivia turned away.

“I’ll see you downstairs,” she said in a wobbly voice.

Irene realised she had struck a nerve with Olivia, I sure hope “was” doesn’t mean what I think it does…

“Irene?” Faroe said, walking out of Ruby’s room with the red headed occupant, she looked pretty conscious, at least compared to how Irene had looked. She smiled at the sight of the huntress, who was looking a bit distraught, "Where did Olivia go?” Faroe asked.

“She went downstairs, why?” Irene answered.

“Why? She was here a minute ago, I’d say that’s a good enough reason to ask,” Faroe exhaled in satisfaction, “Well anyway, that’s everyone, we’re going to hit the breakfast room and fill up for the first, and hopefully last, siege in this conflict.”

“Hurrah!” Ruby cheered jokingly.

“Indeed, now let’s go,” Faroe nodded, gesturing the two to come down with him. The trio walked down the carpeted hallway, sunbeams reached out from the windows, dirty with grime and rain. The building looked like it hadn't been kept up in years. From down the stairs they could hear a loud, angry voice. Faroe looked at the two, and made haste, going down the stairs two steps at a time.

“Dead!? You let him die! Damn you mammal, I thought we could trust you!”

“What’s going on!?” Faroe entered to room, Ouro was almost on top of Olivia, one pointed thumb pointed in the direction of Leon, the giant reptile breathing heavily, the sail on his back flushed with blood, causing it to glow red.

“Listen! He sacrificed himself to save countless others, It was a noble action of his!” Leon barked.

“You listen! You could have saved his life, he was one of my greatest- He was my best friend!” he snarled.

“You’re attacking the wrong people,” Olivia pleaded, “We didn’t kill him! Rephagus did, shouldn’t you know he’s the real enemy?”

“You stood by, didn’t you! You figured he was disposable! You mammals are as bad as he is! He’s not as valuable as you are, is he?”

“Ouro!” Bristle snarled.

“Oh listen to you, Hookbeak! You love them so much, don’t you?” He turned to the smaller dinosaur.

“Trust me, I don’t. But you are acting like a complete idiot, moron, flat-headed pebble-brain! Do you not realize that they couldn’t do anything!? Two humans, against a great theropod, and probably countless numbers of minions, not even you, or even Dagger could last a bee’s wingflap against him.”

“Two humans?” Faroe mumbled to himself.

“Ouro, you have proved to be even more of a hassle than the problem you were sent to collect,” Bristle scorned, “Leave the two alone, and I won’t tell Hypsi about your behavior.”

The larger beast stepped back, Leon quickly collected Olivia and lifted her up. He looked at her, and she nodded shakily. Ouro walked away, his stiff tail almost knocking into Bristle, the smaller dinosaur backing into the wall to avoid it.

“Olivia, Leon, are you okay?” Faroe asked. Ruby looked at them fearfully.

“Yeah,” Leon sighed.

“I understand his anger,” Olivia mumbled, “But… Wow…”

“He’s always been like that,” Bristle said, “And difficult to trust because of that.”

“I see…” Olivia said quietly.

“Well, if anyone still has an appetite, I have some breakfast prepared,” Leon said, going into the kitchen which was across the hall.

“Great,” Irene smiled, “I’m starving.”

“Me too,” Ruby rubbed her stomach, “Sleeping takes a lot out of you!”

“Well I’d hate to see what happens after you actually expend yourself,” Bristle said, walking past the group to the end of the room.

Irene sat down at the long wooden table, previously used for battle strategies the night before, it was now lightly set with a few utensils and plates. Ruby took a seat directly next to her, and Faroe found another. Olivia found a chair a bit further away.

“Olivia, why don’t you come sit over with us?” Faroe asked.

“Yeah, come on!” Ruby waved her over energetically.

She slithered over to them slowly, “Are you sure?” she asked.

“Of course!” Ruby smiled.

Olivia smiled widely, giggling a bit to herself, “I don’t know why I thought you wouldn’t be. I’ve just, I don’t know, been stressed lately about this big mission.”

“We’ve all been stressed,” Faroe said, “ Truthfully, I'm a bit against our joining the VS Corps in battle, since we're really not trained for front line combat. But we’ll have even more great people with us when we get there, and by the gods, our victory shall be great!”

“Calm down there, Major Enthusiasm, we’ll see what happens when we get there,” Irene snarked jokingly.

“Yeah, yeah, hopefully I can get some of those people we’ve met in the norselands to help us, I’m certain Skadi would enjoy a good battle.”

“Skadi? Who’s that?” Olivia asked.

“She’s a frost giantess from the north, she loves to hunt and do battle like all vikings, only she’s much taller,” Faroe explained to her.

“And much more made of ice,” Irene added.

“And much prettier,” Faroe tacked on.

“And much more out of your league,” Irene smirked.

“Now why would you assume I’m infatuated with her? I was only stating a fact, gods live off of compliments.”

“Okay you two, quit bickering,” Ruby said in a mock motherly tone.

Olivia smiled at their exchange, but the talk of the giantess put her off a little, all of her previous encounters with giants had ended poorly, most had started poorly as well.

“Is Skadi friendly with humans?” she asked.

“Of course,” Faroe answered, “She helped defend the village we were sent to earlier, after it was attacked by Hel’s army, Hel was enraged at her for torturing Loki, her father, so in an attempt to gain revenge, she tried to slaughter her followers and companions. After I foiled her plans, she shifted her godly crosshairs on me...” Faroe gulped, “Crosshairs, right?”

Irene nodded, Ruby did as well.

“Well, I guess there are some good giants,” Olivia said quietly.

“Of course there are,” Faroe said.

“Okay, who’s in the mood for food?” Leon said, carrying in a few dishes.

“Ooo! It smells delicious!” Ruby smiled, “Bring on the breakfast!”

“Now, I had a little help, most of these foods I’m not very familiar with, but I’ve got sausages, bread rolls, fruit, and some other meats and breads,” Leon set down the plates on the table.

Irene to a big whiff of the array of foods, they were all fresh smelling and warm, steam rose from the rolls and the meats glistened with grease and flavor, the rainbow of fruits caught Olivia’s attention, yellow pineapples, red strawberries, blueberries, orange melons, it seemed like a flavor filled paradise. Nos entered the room, looking over the group.

“Everyone fill up, since today will be the day we rally up all our allies, and go for the attack.”

The group began to snatch up food, quickly wolfing it down and going for more, everyone seemed hungry, even Olivia had a few large pieces of fruit on her plate. They noisily muched and drank, with a few scattered conversations and compliments to the chef. After a few minutes the dining settled down. Irene gave an immense belch and patted her stomach, claiming it was the greatest compliment she could give to Leon.

Nos Stood up, he surveyed the table, lined with his all of his companions, he prepared his instructions in his head, then cleared his throat loudly, “Okay, finish up everyone. We’re going to split up again once we’re all done. Irene, you’re going back to the Norselands to gather up the warriors you met there, Olivia, Leon, you two will will see if there are any people in your homelands willing to join you, start in Persia. Me and Amanda will work with the world protectors. Ruby, I suggest you join us, but you don’t have to. And Faroe, go to Egypt and gather your soldiers. Once that is complete, you will report directly to the battlefield, I will give you the coordinates on the Victory Sound, so we will all be in the same area at the right distance from the fortified lair of our enemy.”

Everyone looked around, they were all nervous, Olivia shook with discomfort, Ruby breathed quickly and shallowly, Faroe seemed to be praying. Irene took a drink and stood up.

“Here we go guys, this is the last time we’ll see each other before the battle,” Irene said.

“Are you sure we’re ready to go into this sir?” Faroe asked Nos.

“We’ve been forced to, time wasn’t on our side, and now we must gather the forces we originally split up to find. Of course, Rephagus was a step ahead, due to some internal espionage, so we really failed at that for the most part, but he won’t expect a retaliation so soon, and we’ll strike while the iron isn’t looking! We will overthrow the evil tyranny and bring peace back to Bristle’s homeland, and all of existence as we do!” Nos stood with his fist in the air, “Now, let us go to the Victory Sound, and we will part ways from there.”

Everyone at the table stood up and gave a cry of determination, just two weeks ago the World Protectors was a mere duo, now it was a legion of seven great heroes, Ruby: the energetic healer, Bristle: the wise strategist, Irene: the headstrong huntress, Olivia: the emotional archer and her husband Leon: Warrior of steel and courage, Faroe: the most favored of magicians, and Nos: swordsman, pilot, and, leader. Alongside them would be countless other heroes, famous as well as unsung, and each one would play a role in saving countless worlds.

Chapter 35: Gathering Forces Edit

Nos watched as great masses of armed, VS Corps soldiers marched in the hangar bay of the Victory Sound. Some large landing craft were stationed in the middle, the large ships had a sleek white design with small orange stripes on the wings on each side, they were large enough to carry around a hundred people each. The bright hangar lights forced him to squint his eyes, but he could clearly see each black rifle the soldiers leaned against their shoulders, and the grey and brown clothes they wore, loosely covering the tough armor beneath. The door behind him opened, and Amanda entered the balcony, flanked by her assistant Ria, a slender, bored looking girl, with sleek, shoulder length black hair, styled so that it covered one of her eyes. Her skin tone would suggest Asian descent, but she wasn’t from earth, just like Nos and Amanda, it was a result of her distant ancestry. She wore a similar outfit to Amanda, only it lacked many of the badges her superior wore. Around her neck was small silver chain, a striking purple gem hanging over her chest.  

Nos was relatively familiar with Ria, she was one of Amanda's assistants, and the secretary to the recruitment offices many many years ago, when Nos was still fresh meat. He had a small crush on her when he first joined, but by spending more time with her, he began to think of her as more of a friend. Now, she was in charge of recruit training, and was much less of a slacker she had been before. Although she retained some of the nasty habits she had years back.  

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been up here,” Amanda said, looking over the edge with awe. Ria mimicked her, peering over the edge with fascination.

“I’ve never seen this before,” Ria chuckled in disbelief, “I see all the new recruits individually, but wow, I never realized how many there were, maybe I should keep track when sleeping with the new guys…”

“Ria!” Amanda gave her a fierce glare, but behind it was a tiny bit of pride. The kind a sister would show. Nos wasn't amused.

“This is serious you two,” Nos said, “we’ve got our soldiers ready, and we’re going to try a mass teleport to Hypsi‘s Realm. Hopefully everyone else is doing well.”

Ria looked at Nos, “So what kinda people you got on your little team? Surely thet can't be better than a whole army of VS Corps soldiers.”

Nos smiled, “The best people.”



Irene shivered fiercely, she had brought a coat to the norselands this time, but it just wasn’t enough, the arctic fury clawed at her face, and any other piece of exposed skin it could rake with its frigid talons in the darkness. Next to her was Ruby, who was even less prepared for the cold, her subtropical upbringing didn’t prepare her for the dry, windy, and frozen wastes. The two weren’t far from the village Irene had stayed at a few days prior, she could recognize the mountain she had summitted.

“S-s-s-s-so… W-w-w-a-a-a-s it th-th-th-this cold last t-t-t-time?” Ruby asked, shaking violently.

“Maybe a bit warmer,” Irene answered, her voice muffled by her coat’s upturned collar.

"I'm getting a brain freeze just from breathing," she shivered.

Ruby sneezed, the air coming from her mouth echoing around the cold lands. It was met with a distant noise. Ruby attentively shot up, a small string of snot coming down her nose. Irene smiled at the sight, but her attention was drawn by the far off sound.

“What was that?!” she asked, her voice sounding stuffy and sick already, she wiped her nose.

“I don’t know, stay back,” Irene said, holding her arm out in front of Ruby, guiding her behind herself. She lifted her gun, and looked over the sights, inching closer to the sound.

“Ruby, get ready…” Irene warned, she had seen the beasts that called these lands home, and she didn’t want Ruby to face their wrath up close.

The distant being groaned, Ruby panicked, “Outta the way Irene!” she charged forward, Irene stumbled in an attempt to grab her. But it was too late, the eager young woman was bounding through the snow, ready to fight the unknown assailant.

“Ruby!”

Ruby awkwardly ran through the snow, her axes held high, only to be knocked into the ground, a cold blue object pressing her down.

“Skadi?” Irene yelled.

“Irene!” The object lifted, which Ruby realized was a large bare foot. Her face was red from contact with the icy foot, cold only being one of the reasons.

“Irene! It’s felt like ages!” Skadi beamed, “I take it you’re here for me and my followers.”

Irene nodded, “How did you know?”

Skadi pointed up at the sky, smirking.

“Ah,” Irene nodded, knowing what she meant.

“Who’s your friend?” She asked.

“It-t-t-ts, Stone, R-r-r-r-uby St-t-tone,” she shivered.

Skadi kneeled down, going face to face with her, “What impressive spirit you have, and the weapons of a true viking too!”

“Why thank you!” Ruby nodded, shuddering in the cold.

“And the wide hips of a fertile nordic mother!” Skadi complimented. Lightly tapping Ruby's thighs a few times.

“Okay, well…” said Ruby quietly.

“Well come, come, you two must be cold, I’ll take you to the village and we can rally the men there,” Skadi stood up and tilted her head in the direction of the city.

Irene put an arm around Ruby, enveloping her in the coat she had brought. Ruby smiled and rested her head on Irene’s shoulder, and the three trekked through the deep snow. Skadi was far ahead, easily going through the snow, which barely came up to her ankle. While the other two sunk in deeper and deeper with every step. Several minutes of trekking through the snow brought them to the town. Repairs were being made on most of the buildings, but the damage seemed worse in the dark than it did now.

“The damage doesn’t look so bad,” Irene stated, “How much repairs have gone on since I’ve been gone?”

“The battle was really only limited to one part of the town, I beat back the giants with the help of our great soldiers. And anyone else was a pushover,” Skadi pushed open the massive gates with a soft grunt. They widened rather easily, it appeared that even Irene could have opened them, but it obviously wasn’t the case.

“Once Faroe left, what did the attackers do?” Irene asked.

“Now that you mention it… As soon as you left they began to fall back…”

Ruby chimed in, “That must be why the city’s only been partially ruined.”

“Right…”

“I think Hel’s army might be after Faroe…” Irene said.

“If that’s the case…” Skadi looked concerned, “Is he alone?”

“I think, he might have his priestess with him,” Irene said, “I don’t remember who he was going with…”

“What do we do?” Ruby asked.

“We have to help him!” Irene answered.

“But what about Nos and the battle? We need to get there in time,” Ruby responded.

“We’ll have time, Nos would never leave Faroe to die, and vice versa, they’re close companions,” Irene said, “Let’s just get these soldiers and go.”

Skadi walked forward, toward the center of town, she leaned against a building, “Let’s hope he’s safe...”



Faroe sat comfortably on a soft gold sofa in a well furnished room, overlooking the large city he called home for the later part of his life. It was midday and he had grown accustomed to the baking heat of the egyptian sun. His priestess Akila was even more so. Although she was much less burdened by clothes and gold compared to Faroe, as she only had a light covering of silk and a few amulets around her neck. Faroe had easily mustered up an army as per Nos’ request, since he was the ruler here for many years, and had left an advisor in charge for the few months he was gone.

“Master Faroe, why do you wait out here while the army is already gone?” Akila asked.

Faroe sighed, “I don’t know, I’ve never admired the beauty of the city before,” he said wistfully. Akila looked over the balcony, the sun glaring on the sandstone houses, making everything appear the same blinding tan color. She furrowed her eyebrows.

“It looks worse than it usually does, lord.”

“Perhaps there’s beauty in that, the imperfection of it all.”

“Whatever you say,” she turned on one foot and exited the room. Faroe stood up and looked over the city.

“I’m going to miss this place…”



Akila marched in front of a group of hooded men in pristine white garb. They were minor priests that she had trained personally. Faroe had informed her that they would have to be stationed for healing during the battle, and Akila was ready to test them.

“Now, Sab, you must dice the flesh of Astes, so that he may heal it, enduring the chaos of pain and focusing his Heka, so that he may not lose the precious flow of blood in his being,” Akila held out a small dagger, the priest took it. She stood back to watch.

The priest didn’t hold back as he sliced the wrist of his partner, who winced as the pain surged through his body. Sab stepped away, his partner, Astes, held out his other hand shakily to try and heal the wound, breathing shakily in short, rapid bursts.

Akila quickly moved over to him, gripped his bleeding arm and held her other hand over it. She stared into his eyes, and the wound began to grow over with new skin.

“You have to ignore the pain, distractions make you weak, they make you lose focus on your inner power,” Akila said, “You should stay here. Sab, Mur-kau, and I will go, for our powers are strong enough to function in the heat of war.”

“Astes, you are still welcome to join us,” Faroe said, stepping into the room.

He smiled, “Thank you, o gracious one.”

Faroe smiled back, “You are a skilled priest, use your Heka for combat rather than healing, or simply pray for our men as they march, so that they get to the battlefield filled with valor and strength.”

A soldier barged into the room, out of breath, covered in cuts and wounds. He had a spear in one hand, gleaming with dark red blood, and a metal shield with several dents in it.

“Attack! We’re under attack!” He yelped.

“Attack? There’s not been any sign of unrest in years,” Akila said.

“Come on!” Faroe quickly exited the room, Akila followed suit with the priests. They quickly walked down the winding flight of stairs leading to the entry hall. Outside they couldn’t hear any fighting. Faroe peered out of the arched entryway.

“Anyone?”

“No one,” Faroe turned around.

“Then what happened to that soldier?” Akila asked.

“He vas simply doing what had to be done.”

“That voice!” Faroe looked around the hall, from behind a curtain stepped the familiar goddess Hel. She smirked, and conjured from the darkest corners of the room dozens of beasts, stone skinned trolls with great muscular arms and short fat legs, giant rabid wolves of the deadliest pedigree, and armored soldiers with not a hint of skin showing. Akila and her priests stepped back, Faroe stood, unmoving.

“It’s time for you all to meet your gods,” Hel said.

“I already have,” Faroe growled, he drove his staff into the floor and sprung into an attack. Akila chanted to herself, she began to glow with a great intensity.

“They say Akila is the strongest priest in all the earth…” Sab whispered to the other priest.

Akila grew a pair of radiant gold wings, glowing with the power of the sun, the glowing woman sprung forward with one hand she emitted a beam of solar energy, which petrified the trolls charging into the room. But the advances of enemies did not falter, the dark corners of the room did not lighten even as Akila illuminated the rest of the palace. Ahead of her Faroe was surging bolts of lightning into the armor clad vikings. One continued his march, even as his metal apparel cooked and his fur tassels burned.

“Akila!” Faroe barked. She turned from the wolf she was wrestling, with a swift punch, the canine was off of her. In a few wingbeats, the encroaching soldier was on the ground, knocked off his feet by the soaring priestess.

“He’s undead, I’m not sure how many of these things are,” Akila said, feeling the aura of life in the room.

“I need-” Faroe was cut off by a clearly living man in a wolf skin, he furiously pushed Faroe, slashing at him with his fingernails and lashing out with kicks. Akila didn’t want to risk injuring Faroe with magic. She leapt up, landing on his shoulders, and squeezed his head between her powerful thighs, throwing him to the ground, the winged priestess sprung up as he landed, and fired a beam into the downed ulfsark.

“I’ve never seen a move like that!” Faroe yelled over the commotion.

“You have to improvise sometimes, sir,” Akila responded.

The two other priests fought back as well as they could, but the army of Hel continued to march from the darkness, the massive hallway filled up, Faroe stopped his attacking and begin to start shielding his allies instead, he knew the army wouldn’t be defeated, but at least his companions would remain alive.



“Skadi!” Irene yelled, the giantess lagged behind helping some of the workers fix their homes.

“Irene, I have to help my people, you have gathered my soldiers, so you can go without me,” she said, “I can come later.”

“You need to come now, we need your strength, you’re a goddess!” Irene said.

“I’m not as strong as you think I am, huntress. Even if I was allowed to have my godly strength on earth, I’d be killed by Hel in an instant.”

“Killed?” Irene asked, “But you’re a god.”

“It’s easier to kill a god than you think…” Skadi said, “Ruby, you go with Irene, you have a lot of energy and willpower, you will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Irene groaned, Ruby was a pretty good fighter, but she needed the sheer force of a giant woman. Irene was beginning to sweat out of anxiety, she needed to get to Faroe but even with all the viking soldiers they'd still be too weak, they needed Skadi. Irene took out her transporter, and set it on the ground, Ruby eagerly stepped up to it. The two were going to go alone.

“Skadi,” Irene started.

The giantess looked up, taking off her fur lined hood.

“We’ll see you soon,” Irene and Ruby disappeared instantly.



The temperature jumped 80 degrees, the heat and bright sun scorched their skin and their eyes equally. Irene shed her coat, thinking momentarily, she took off her vest too. Ruby seemed much more comfortable. Only feeling a little hot in her form fitting jeans. Irene scanned the city, noticing the commotion in the palace. She turned to Ruby and gestured to the building, they began to run to it.

“What do you think we’re gonna find in there?” Ruby asked, wiping sweat from her forehead.

“Something terrible, I presume,” Irene answered.

They hopped up the stairs leading to the open archway. A fur cloaked soldier tumbled out of it, crashing down the long set of stairs in a series of painful impacts. Ruby swallowed hard, the two went up the last few steps and saw a mass of fearsome soldiers, they couldn’t see Faroe, but could recognize his shield spell, appearing every second to block a projectile or push back some charging warrior.

Ruby ducked down, “What do we do?!” She whispered to Irene.

“I don’t know, we needed Skadi!” Irene scowled.

Ruby fanned herself, the heat getting to her, wet spots already forming under her arms, “I wish I had stayed with Nos on the ship,” she complained.

“Go,” Irene told her. She didn't have any other ideas.

“What? Go where?” Ruby asked.

“Charge right in, just keep hacking away, get to the middle, I’ll be right behind you, and if anything happens, just cover your wounds and just try and heal yourself,” Irene said.

Ruby nodded, “Okay, I’ve fought people before, it shouldn’t be too hard…” She sprung up and sprinted into the room eyes closed and swiping left and right with her axes, kicking, screaming, punching, trying to drive back any counter to her rampage. Someone grabbed her, she closed her eyes even tighter.

“Ruby?”

She saw Faroe, to her left, in front of her was a scantily clad, dark skinned woman. Ruby blushed at the sight of her, the girl growing a bit wobbly.

“You know her?” the woman asked.

Irene lifted Ruby from Akila’s grasp. The priestess firing off more beams of energy now that her hands had been freed. Irene firing a few shots into the crowd of enemies, Ruby looked over her body, the only major wound was a deep cut in her belly, which was healing over quick, soon the only evidence would be a gaping hole in her shirt.

“So what’s going on here?” Irene asked.

“This is a tricky one to explain,” Faroe said, he turned to face her, “I’m thinking th-” He was interrupted by a massive wolf jumping onto his back, bringing him down and ripping his clothes, blood leaking out. Akila blasted it with another beam, and Irene finished it with a bullet. Akila began to approach him.

“Ruby, help him!” Irene barked, the young woman fell down and put her hands over his wounds, healing them rapidly. Akila looked shocked.

“You have healing powers?” she asked.

Ruby grinned, “Yeah!”

Her meeting was short lived, more and more foes sprang forth from the darkness, there was a bellowing horn. The soldiers all stopped. They parted and a great beast emerged from the dark voids. Like an eel it slithered across the ground, its skin looked toxic to the touch, its eyes had a fierce gaze, like it had a vengeance against all men.

“What is…” Akila gasped.

“He is my brother's son,” Hel said from afar, “Elver of ze midgard serpent, impervious to mortal weapons and hungry for ze flesh Loki’s enemies.”

The serpent lunged towards Faroe, rows of dull yellow teeth bared. Akila lunged forward and gripped it’s head, diverting the strike towards the ground. The creature’s thrashing tail sweeping away hordes of enemies as it struggled against Akila’s grasp.

“Don’t hold it! It’s skin is toxic!” Ruby yelled, feeling it’s slippery body.

Akila flung it down, the creature lunged again, the priestess flying back into a pillar, she sprung off of it and fired a beam at the serpent, Faroe joined in, sending thousands of volts into the beast's long body. Irene pelted its skin with bullets and Ruby hacked away while the other priests flung glowing spheres of Heka at it.

“We can’t stop it!” Faroe yelled.

“Finish zem off!” Hel commanded, the soldiers marched forward.

“Not if I can help it!” Skadi roared into the room, a single stomp crushed the life out of several soldiers, a sweep of her hand flung a dozen foes across the room. She stood triumphantly as Hel's soldiers redirected their attacks.

“Skadi?” Irene gasped.

“Skadi!” Faroe smiled, he ducked out of the way as she drove a 15 foot spear into the giant serpent, brutally ripping it out and using it’s toxic blood to coat her weapon.

“Deus ex machina…” Ruby said in awe.

She continued her furious assault, stopping to whistle loudly, “Come on!” she yelled. In through the archway charged the soldiers Irene had gathered, in a bloody frenzy, they pierced and slashed with spears, swords, and axes. Soldiers yelled and monsters bellowed, as everyone fought with all their might. The horde still didn’t seem to stop.

“What do we do?” Ruby asked as she pulled her axe from a troll’s shoulder.

“We can’t keep fighting, the goddesses army seems to be infinite!” Akila said, a rabid looking berserk in her grip. She casually fired a beam of light at him, and then casted the man aside.

“Skadi, lift us out, through the opening there!” Faroe pointed to the window on the roof, as he swatted at a wolf with his staff.

“Then what?” she asked, an undead warrior slowly being compressed in her grasp.

“You demolish this place?” Irene asked, shooting a charging warrior, who flopped back into an archer, causing his shot to instead hit a troll in the back of its neck.

“Exactly,” Faroe said, “Akila, go get Astes.”

The winged priestess flew up out of the room. Skadi lifted each person individually. Stomping out any foolish creature that dared to fight her. Ruby was the last to go, she crawled through the hole, seeing the rest of her allies waiting near the edge.

“Now what?” Irene asked.

“We use this,” Faroe held out his transporter.

“What about Skadi?” Ruby asked.

“Right…” Faroe pondered to himself.

“Wait, she got here without one…” Irene said.

“She is a goddess,” a powerful voice called. Faroe turned, he was greeted a man in a hat, covering one eye. On each shoulder was a raven.

“Odin…” Faroe bowed.

“Don’t worry about Skadi, she can reunite with you later.”

“How did she get here? I thought the gods couldn’t use their powers to help mortals,” Faroe asked.

Odin smiled, “She didn’t apparate herself here.”

“Really?” Faroe asked, “Who did it?”

“Zeus, those Greeks are never above breaking the rules,” Odin said, “Now go.”

Faroe turned back to the others, “Skadi and her soldiers will be fine, now let’s go!”

Faroe cast a transporter down to the ground below, Akila flew down to it, Astes in her arms. The rest scampered down the side of the palace walls, jumping onto the teleporter. Faroe began to punch something into a keypad.

“Let’s go! Now!” Ruby yelped.

“Soldiers get out of there!” Irene yelled.

From inside Skadi relayed the command, “Soldiers, get out!”

The warriors ran from the building, Skadi backing out as well. As soon as they were all gone, she swiftly chopped at the pillars holding the hallway, each knifehand digging into the chiseled rock. The sandstone began to crumble, chunks of the heavy roof began to collapse onto the horde, Skadi turned and ran as the building finally gave way, destroying those within it, and covering the voids from which Hel’s army spewed.

Faroe watched as his palace fell to ruin. He shook his head, "I will miss this place..."

Chapter 36: Due Reunions Edit

Olivia and Leon sat atop the massive elephant, Harish, Leon’s trusty mount for almost his whole life. They trekked through the warm grass, the middle eastern sun low in the sky. Olivia yawned, leaning forward on her husband and wrapping her arms around him. He had taken his armor off a while back, to help stay cool, and it was very much working.

“Oh Leon… It’s been so long since we’ve gotten to be alone together, just out in the wild like before,” she rested her face on his back.

“It’s nice, isn’t it. The lovely sunset, cool breeze, and beautiful nagini, I couldn’t imagine a better life than one like this,” He patted Harish, the elephant stopped near a small watering hole. Leon turned so that he could look at his wife. She smiled gently and put her arm around him. The evening chorus of birds began to warm up, and a small herd of deer moved across the grass far from them.

“We don’t have to worry about anything out here,” Olivia sighed, “wouldn't you like to live out here? Build a home, raise a child, never have to worry about being away…”

“It would be nice,” Leon took her hand, “I talked with Nos, after our battle, whether we win or lose, whether it's the last battle or the first of a thousand, he’s going to let us retire from the group, and we can settle down and start a new life.”

“Oh Leon,” She looked deep into his eyes, her sweet smile was met with one of his. She couldn’t help herself, she wrapped her arms around his neck and softly touched her soft lips to his, it had been a long time since they could share a real kiss, and it was joyous, the rush of excitement ran through her system, as they gently held each other to the sound of rustling grass and calm wind, the warmth of contact spreading through their bodies. Leon put his arms around her waist. Firmly lifting her and placing her in his lap. She slowly pulled away from the kiss, looking up innocently with her big blue eyes, deep into his.

They stared at each other for a magical eternity.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever said how much I love you,” Olivia said. She ran her fingers through his short, curly black hair.

“You don't need to tell me,” he said quietly.

The plains had turned a deep pink as the sun began to retreat. The two watched as the stars emerged from their hiding places, to greet the lovers stared up at the night sky. Leon climbed down from Harish, Olivia in his arms, close to his body, they way he always held her.

“Let’s find a place to sleep,” he suggested.

“Leon… Let’s not got to sleep just yet,” she whispered into his ear, the words tickling as the came out of her mouth. He shuddered in delight. But he exhaled sternly.

“Olivia, please,” he said. Letting her out of his arms.

“I’m ready to try again,” she told him. Looking determined, but equally frustrated. Her eyebrows lowered, mouth scrunched to one side.

“My dear, I don’t-” Leon tried to argue, but she had already removed her abscondus, and she slithered in arms outstretched. Leon gave in, he gripped her tightly around the waist and fell into the soft grass, passionately locking lips with her, remembering the feeling of her small body against his mighty one.



Bristle squeezed through a small hole, Hypsi followed closely behind. Compared to Britstle’s stocky green body, covered in quills and thick scales, Hypsi was extremely slim and long, with pale yellow skin, her big eyes helped her see in the dark room they had entered. Bristle sniffed around, compared to Hypsi, he had a much more powerful sense of smell.

“Can’t pick up much,” he said, shaking his head.

“No dangers?” Hypsi asked, hopping forward, almost like a big scaly wallaby. She glanced around, scanning the room as if it were light.

“There’s a faint scent of maniraptorians, but they’re not recent.”

They expected to find some kind of life in there. The two had gone on a small scouting mission to the dark pass, in an attempt to map out the opponents battle plan. They started by infiltrating a guard tower near the entrance. But the place seemed to be abandoned. It was surprisingly eerie, the architecture was like that of buildings he had been to before, but now it was overrun by spiders' webs and dry plants.

“Should we keep looking?” Hypsi asked. Hopping forward and looking around, she scratched at the walls with her slender clawed forearms.

“Why not,” Bristle followed her to an upward slope, leading to the next floor. The light from the small hole faded as they ascended. Hypsi stopped, Bristle accidentally ramming his head into her backside. He shook his head.

“What?” Bristle barked.

“I haven’t seen markings like these before,” she slowly moved closer to the wall.

“What, what are they?” Bristle asked, his eyes weren’t as good as hers, so he had no idea what she was talking about.

“They don’t look like any of the scripts I’ve seen, at least of dinosaurian production. Perhaps they’re… No, they have to just be scratches, no importance.”

Bristle took her word, they continued up in the darkness. There was a distant sounding crack, a few rocks fell down at Bristle’s feet. He stepped back, looking around cautiously. A tiny sliver of light glimmered down, Bristle peered out of it, not seeing anything.

“Hypsi?” he called out, feeling alone.

“Yes?” She responded far ahead in the darkness. Her voice echoing as it traveled down to him.

“Was that you?” Bristle asked, watching his step as he walked forward. His eyes were so poor in the dark, they still hadn't adjusted to it.

“Those rocks?” Hypsi pondered momentarily, “I don’t believe so, this place has to be long abandoned, its falling apart.”

“We should turn back,” Bristle began to descend.

“Right, we don’t need to explore any further, I’ll follow you.”

Bristle cautiously walked down the steep slope, he stepped on something sharp, causing him and the mysterious object to tumble down to the bottom. Bristle sat up, his head throbbed and his quills were flattened.

“Bristle!?” Hypsi ran down, seeing him sitting on his haunches, scratching his face.

“I’m fine, I’m fine.”

“Wait, this…” Hypsi crouched down, picking up the mysterious object in her small hands. Bristle squinted to look at it.

“What is that?”

“It looks… Kind of like a skull… But not a dinosaur…” She set it next to the light seeping in through the opening, it was a dry and striking white, big holes on each side, and a long beak without teeth in it, “Huh,” she set it down onto the dirt.

“This place is awful, let’s get out of here,” Bristle suggested.

“I was thinking the same thing,” Hypsi began to squeeze through the small hole. She quickly scampered back in.

“No no no no no no no!” She pushed herself against the wall, “Against the wall Bristle!” she whispered. He obeyed, darting across the gap from her. They were silent. Bristle’s eyes darted around the small sandy room. Dust fell from the ceiling, a few pebbles clicked as they hit the ground.

“What’s out there?” Bristle asked.

“A lot… of… a lot of them…” Hypsi gasped.

Bristle peered out with one eye, he saw a large cloud of dust as a huge army marched across the dry badlands. Taking up the front were a wide variety of humans, raptors, and other creature that he couldn’t make out. The rest of the army was obscured by the dust, only a few long necked sauropods and tall humanoids.

“Okay, we’re in trouble…” Bristle gulped.

“Come on, we’re going up!” Hypsi spirited forward, Bristle nipped her tail, trying to keep up.

“Where are we going to go!?” Bristle asked, his mouth partially closed over Hypsi’s tail.

“I don’t know… Anywhere but there,” Hypsi made a sharp turn, springing off the wall for momentum. The tower began to lighten after a few more seconds of high speed fleeing, they had reached the top. Hypsi sat down, her nostrils flaring quickly, heart beating fast.

“So, now what?” Bristle asked, peering over the side of the tower, he watched as the procession of evil march through the infinite stretch of canyon. He sneered, spitting off the tower in there direction.

“We should wait for them to leave,” Hypsi said.

“Wait, wait, wait… Shouldn’t we have just left?! There probably going to use this tower eventually, and when they find us… Well you know how Rephagus refuses to take prisoners,” Bristle snapped.

“Well then let’s go back-” Hypsi began to run for the ramp, but in the way stood a raptor. The beast wasn’t much bigger than the two, it had a thick covering of mottled red feathers, it spread its wings out, reaching its claws towards them.

“I hadn’t expected to find such a prize catch up here,” it snarled.

Bristle looked at Hypsi, wide eyed in terror, she returned the gesture. They backed up slowly. The raptor looked at them, shifting its gaze from one to the other. It began to turn towards Hypsi, its eyes narrowing as it focused on her.

“Count yourself lucky you little hookbeak, Wight here is what Rephagus wants dead. Once I’ve wrung his skinny neck, I can do the same for yours. So tell me where he is.”

Bristle looked at Hypsi, "He doesn't realize..." he whispered.

The raptor lunged at her, his curved inner talons raised to cut into his prey. Bristle ran in to headbutt him. he landed a glancing blow on its side, which was enough to redirect its trajectory, making it miss and land against the wall. Hypsi ran over to Bristle, staring at the downed raptor. It stood up shakily, ruffling its feathers and dusting itself off.

“Last mistake,” the raptor let out a blood curtling hiss, bounding forward, it jumped onto Bristles side, trying to rake its claws into his side, he struggled, trying to throw the hitchhiker from his body. Hypsi desperately danced around him, trying to find an open point to attack, she couldn’t identify one. Bristle managed to clamp his beak around the raptor’s ankle, flinging it onto the ground. The creature struggled to get back up, Bristle could taste the metallic flavor of blood in his mouth.

“Even if you kill me, I’ve already called for reinforcements, you won't get out alive,” he sputtered.

Hypsi peered over the edge of the tower, “I don’t see anyone coming,” she called.

“Then run,” Bristle yelled, “go!”

Hypsi darted down the ramp, Bristle followed quickly, trotting down the path after her, closely. He stumbled slightly in the darkness.

“Hey, why dontcha slow down?” Bristle barked, trying to build up more speed.

Hypsi sprinted on, ignoring his request. He heard her screech to a halt on the sandy ground. Bristle caught up, breathing heavily from the running. He took a deep breath and turned to her in the darkness.

“Why’d you stop?” He wheezed.

“Out there…” Hypsi whispered. Bristle looked out of the small hole, from where he was standing, he could see a set of long shadows, clearly belonging to dinosaurs. Bristle huffed.

“Good or bad?” He asked.

“Can’t tell…” she responded. She peered down, she seemed shocked, hopping up and running out.

“Hypsi!?” Bristle panicked, running out after her. The bright sun stinging at his eyes, he couldn’t imagine how Hypsi would have felt.

“Shatter! Bludge! Reeth!” Hypsi called out in glee. Bristle focused in on her voice, seeing her next to three comparatively titan dinosaurs.

Shatter glanced down at him, smiling with his crooked teeth. He had a very shifty appearance, long yellowed teeth, two big semi-circular red crests running down the top of his head, like dishes. One of them had a massive crack in it, met by a scar sliding down the side of his face, rendering one eye blind. His thin body was a dark green with black reticulations on the top, making him look like a massive shadow. Bristle assumed the large bulky dinosaur covered in natural plating was Bludge, who was a dull grey all over, loaded with dull spikes on his back and sides, making it almost impossible to get close without hurting yourself. Adding to that, his tail had a mass of solid bone, made for crushing the bones of any Sorvid foolish enough to get close to him.

“Bristle! My brother! How are you!?” roared Reeth in a booming, jolly voice. Reeth was a massive beast, he was a dark purple, with radiant orange patches on his sides. Like a rhinoceros, he wielded a massive horn over his nose, over 3 feet long and pointed at the end. His big skull had a frill on the back, and unlike other horned dinosaurs, it was adorned with 6 outward splaying spikes, a halo of death.

“Reeth?” Bristle squealed awkwardly, “What are you doing out here?”

“We’re following the herd of despair, we picked up the sound of squealing bird meat, and then found you,” Shatter said, his voice raspy and wet.

“It wasn’t us,” Hypsi defended, “There was a raptor up there, we managed to take him down, but he may still be alive.”

Shatter gave another toothy grin, “Well if he is still kicking, he won’t be for long.”



Leon slowly opened his eyes, stretching a bit, but remaining close to his wife. The grasslands were covered in a deep blue tint of the early morning, the moon sunk low in the corner of the sky, and the first few rays of sunshine crawling over the east. He enjoyed the small bit of warmth she gave off, but he knew she appreciated his protection, so he kept his body over hers. He gently felt her bare chest, kissing the back of her neck.

“Hey, sweetie, let’s get up,” he whispered.

She yawned and stretched out her body, tail extending to its maximum length. She rolled over and smiled at him.

“Hopefully we can get to the town come evening,” Leon said, “But we’ll have to leave soon.”

Leon stood up,  making his way over to Harish, who was lying in the tall grass. Olivia followed closely, slowly putting on her abscondus and sapiente.

“Here let me help you get on,” Leon said, he picked her up slowly and gently, she groaned in pain as he did so. Leon attempted to be slightly more slow with moving her. He brought her closer to him, letting her bury her head in his chest.

“You alright?” He asked.

“Yeah…”

He hoisted her up a bit further, she sat down on the elephant's back with a soft grunt. Leon glanced up at her and she nodded, telling him she was alright, but part of him didn’t believe it. He patted Harish on the side and told him to get up, the loyal elephant obeying his command without hesitation. Leon climbed up as the elephant rose, keeping his grip on the creatures tough, leathery skin.

They slowly ambled across the dry grasslands, Harish stopping every once and a while to pluck the brown blades of grass from the ground and put them in his mouth. The sun had finally emerged fully from the horizon, the cool blue tint becoming a harsh bright day. The brisk night breeze turning into a hot wind. Leon felt a surge of nostalgia, the climate that he had left years ago was just as he remembered it, in his opinion, he preferred the hot dry middle east compared to the humid and damp jungles in India, although since he had Olivia, it was easy to deal with.

On the other hand, Olivia couldn’t stand this dry, hot, place. Her kind wasn’t well adapted for low humidity, and she personally didn’t care for heat when it got so excessive, it made her uncomfortable and sweaty.

“I can’t wait to get to your home,” Olivia sighed in the heat.

“The heat’s getting to you?” Leon asked.

“Yeah, I just wanna take a bit of a rest,” she leaned back resting on Leon.



They continued to march, the day escaping them after hours of walking, in the distance was the light of a small city, far off from them. Olivia had fallen asleep, and Leon was close to doing the same, but his eye’s lit up as he saw the faint glow of civilization. He gently shook Olivia awake.

“We’re almost there, dear,” he said quietly.

“Wha...?” She groggily shifted.

“It’s alright, keep resting,” he stroked her hair.

Leon swallowed, it had been years since he had been to his home, how much would be the same?



“Open the gates!” Yelled a man in a deep purple robe. A turban hastily wrapped around his head.

Two burly men pulled the heavy doors open, a man stood next to them, yelling at them to go faster. With roars of exertion, they tugged them open and in stepped the elephant. Some handlers approached him, guiding the animal towards the stables.


“So, traveller, what brings you here?” One of the handlers asked.

“Just visiting family,” Leon answered.

The man looked over at Leon and nodded his head, “Good enough reason.”

Leon reclined, taking in the town that he had longed to return to for ages. The familiar bustle, even in the late evening, reminded him of his youth. He closed his eyes and let the soothing noise wash over him. Something wasn’t right. He opened his eyes and looked around, the handler was staring at him.

“Y-y-you’re Leon… Leondre Bitar…” He said quietly.

“Yes?” Leon asked, smirking a little.

“Oh wow… What a pleasure to meet you sir! I never thought I’d meet you, after hearing all those stories, and now I’m meeting you...” he began to ramble.

Leon smiled awkwardly, “Take me to the stables please.”

“Oh, yes yes, of course!” He pulled the elephant over to the large building with tall wooden doorways. It smelt of hay and manure, something Leon was very familiar with, and although he’d never say it, fond of. Olivia on the other hand, seemed appalled.

“Can we go somewhere, less smelly?” She asked sleepily.

“Yeah, soon,” Leon answered, the handler pulled the tall wooden doors open, and the two got off as he guided the giant grey beast in. He took Olivia’s hand and walked into town. Many of the widows they passed were glowing orange with fires inside, people cooked and talked, they overheard stories and laughter, a few children squealing with laughter as the skirted around furniture and sprinted through their homes.

“If I remember correctly, my home should be down this alleyway,” Leon said, as they came across a small courtyard, in the center was a small fountain which quietly gurgled with flowing water.

“This place is really beautiful…” Olivia smiled, “I wasn’t expecting to like a city in the desert, but it’s magnificent!”

“Yes, it was a nice place to grow up too,” Leon added.

“A magnificent town rears magnificent people…” Olivia hugged his arm.

Leon stroked her hair, and the two made their way through the cobblestone alley. Leon’s eyes lit up, he stared at the door to his right, he guided Olivia’s gaze to it.

“Here we are…” He slowly held out his hand to knock.

Olivia watched enthusiastically.

Leon struck the door three times. From inside they heard a small commotion, people walking around the house, some footsteps began to emanate from inside.

The door swung open, air whooshing through their hair. In the doorway was a large brown skinned woman in a nice looking dress, her face turned from the inside of the house towards the two in the alley, revealing her round smiling face. She was no more than 15 but was nearly as tall as Leon, and appeared to be almost as burly as he. She had long curly black hair and the same brown eyes that Leon had, there was even a coating of small black hairs on her arms like he had. She looked at Olivia, then to Leon, focusing on him. Her blank face slowly forming a smile.

“Leo!” She screamed, leaping on top of him.

“Leon?” Someone said from inside.

“Here we go…” Leon laughed, fighting off the advances of the girl Olivia presumed was his sister.

To the door rushed several boys and girls of various sizes and ages, Olivia counted 6, behind them was a much older looking woman, and a very fit white skinned man.

“Leon’s back!” the youngest boy yelled. The group charged him, he sighed, but not out of exasperation, he was just glad to be back. Olivia quickly darted out of the way as he was charged by his siblings.

“Kids please, let your brother come in!” the older woman laughed.

“Nah, it’s fine mom,” Leon sat up, the swarm of children rushing back into the house. The older girl still stood by Leon’s side. Her arms wrapped tightly around him.

“Look at how old he got!” his sister whispered, her eyes wide and a huge smile on her face.

His mother looked at him softly. Small specks of moisture forming around her eyes.

“He has grown, hasn’t he?” She smiled.

“Let’s go inside,” Leon said, “come on Oli,” he waved for Olivia to come over.

She began to slither over, a smile on her face from what she had seen.

“Sheesh! She has a tail! A snake tail!” Leon’s sister shrieked, darting away towards her mother.

Leon saw her smile flatten out, so he put his arm around her waist and drew her close.

“Don’t say things like that Jasmine, it's rude,” Leon’s mother scorned.

“I-I get it alot… Well… I do now,” Olivia stuttered.

“I’m sorry, Jasmine just really hates snakes,” his mother explained, “Oh, dear, I didn’t mean that in a mean way.”

Olivia smiled weakly at her, “It’s alright, I know what you mean.”

“Let’s get inside, I am starving,” Leon said.

“I could go for some food too,” Olivia said quietly.

“Well, come in, come in!” Leon’s mother waved them in, “Habba, make some extra chicken for Leon and…”

“Olivia,” the nagini said.

“Make some more chicken for Leon and Olivia. That's a beautiful name by the way,” she said.

Olivia blushed, holding Leon’s arm, “I think I see where you get your sweetness,” she lightly pressed her lips against his cheek.



Shatter brushed the feathers from his mouth, his thin black tongue rolling over his teeth. As he walked, the others talked and nodded, discussing plans for an attack.

“The palace may have a few small openings near the back, heck, it may have openings all over, the place is mostly natural rock formations. I doubt the theropod scum bother to check for weaknesses,” Hypsi began to explain.

“Oi!” Shatter snarled.

“No offense!” Hypsi called.

The dilophosaur turned and brought his head down to the hypsilophodon’s. Bearing his teeth and snarling. Bristle backed away, his eyes shifting between the two of them.

“None taken,” he smiled.

“So how big are these holes?” Reeth grumbled, “Big enough for a saurian of my size?”

“Doubtful, they wouldn’t leave anything so big for people to sneak into, when it’s so big, is it even sneaking in?” Hypsi said.

“Pardon me then,” Reeth growled.

Hypsi chittered, the way she does when uncomfortable. Reeth laughed.

“I’m only jokin’,” he snorted.

“Yeah,” Hypsi hopped ahead, “see the forest up there?” She gestured toward a large cliff, at the top it was covered in dense conifers and plants, as opposed to the dry rocky outcroppings around them.

“What’s up there?” Bristle asked.

“Nothing, which is what makes it so crucial.”

“How is that important?” Bludge asked.

“Its so far out of the way from the saurischians, and is so shielded, that we could hide mammal soldiers up there. I know how much they like those ranged weapons, it would be a fantastic strategic point.”

“I’ll be sure to tell Irene that when we cross paths again,” Bristle said.

“Excellent,” Hypsi beamed.

“Which will hopefully be never,” Bristle snarked.

“Come on Bristle, you don’t like any of them?” Hypsi asked.

“I suppose the Faroe fellow is pretty bearable, he has some self respect, not like the rest of them.”

“I’m sure they’re all fine,” Hypsi said in a comforting voice.

“Well you hardly know them,” Bristle scoffed.

“And how well do you know them?” Hypsi retorted.

The small ceratopsian was silent, before shaking his head and marching forward.

“Hm,” the Ornithopod smirked, trotting after him.


Chapter 37: Seeing Death Edit

Faroe sprung awake, sweat soaking his entire body. A viking soldier walked into his tent, telling him to come outside.

The group stood around the beach. The cascading waves of the mediterranean hitting the sandy shore. Ruby had rolled up her skinny jeans and was wading around the deep blue water. Faroe made his way to Irene, who sat on the rocks protruding over the sea. She looked at him as he sat down, she was holding her vest in her hands, glaring over the holes and cuts and scorch marks that populated it. She scrunched her face, and threw it down onto the sand near the rocks.

“I just got that thing, how'd it even it messed up?” she said scornfully, before smirking, “ah whatever, I’ll get Amanda to find me a new one.”

“I think you should wear it proudly, the damage is like a reminder to your enemies, a reminder that you’re not a fresh face to combat,” Faroe said, wiping some sweat from his brow.

Irene considered for a moment, “You know, you’re right,” she leapt down from the rocks, splashing into the water below. Faroe glanced over the edge, searching the water for her. She surfaced surprisingly far away, swiftly swimming back to him.

“I just wanted to cool off as well,” she smiled, tucking her hair back behind her ears and out of her face, “You should come in, it's nice.”

“Well, I don’t really swim much,” he said, waving his hands at her.

“Oh sure you don't,” she said, “Come on! It’s so nice, and you might as well start enjoying yourself now, before you have actual obligations to meet during battle.”

“Speaking of which, we should get going, we don’t want to keep Nos and Amanda waiting.” “Well then you better hurry up and get in here, since you care so much about your friends time,” Irene said, less playfully than before.

“But I don’t even have anything to swim in…” Faroe said.

“You have this sea right here,” Irene said.

“That’s not what I meant…” Faroe rolled his eyes, “I was talking about clothes.”

“Okay, hang on,” Irene sprung from the water, climbing up the rocks until she reached Faroe. She looked him up and down, “You don’t need these,” she said, taking the amulets from his neck, removing his crown, and virtually everything covered in gold or metals, “And I don’t need these,” she took her tanktop and shorts off, casting them on top of Faroe’s gold.

“Okay, now what?” he asked.

Irene once again rolled her eyes, firmly grabbing his arm, she ran to the edge of the rocks and jumped.

“Irene wait!” but they had already hit the water, though not wanting to admit it, Faroe thought it felt nice. He let the cool salty water rush over him. His head broke the surface, looking around, finally seeing Irene standing next to Ruby, the two looking down at him. Irene had a small grin on her face.

“Well, you got me in, happy?” he asked, spitting out some salty water.

“Yup,” responded Irene, “now let’s-”

Irene turned, she was cut off by the thunderous footsteps of Skadi, walking casually towards them. The giant icy woman was quickly upon them, towering over the trio. The water around her ankles frigid. Irene wrapped her arms around her chest.

“Do you mind taking a few steps back?” Irene asked, shivering.

Skadi chuckled, “Whoops, sorry ‘bout that,” she took a step back, the water still cold, but a bit less so.

“So what are we doing? Just taking a little break before we head off?” Skadi asked, her large voice carrying over the water.

“Nope, we’re going right now,” Faroe said firmly, standing tall over his female comrades.

“Damn, I wanted to stay a while longer,” Skadi stomped her foot, sending a barrage of massive ripples over to the three, splashing over their heads.

“Well, we could stay if you wanted,” Faroe smiled.

“Oh, so when she wants to do it, you do?” Irene jabbed a finger accusingly, she brushed her dripping hair from over her eyes.

Skadi removed her thick fur coat, setting it aside on the beach, exposing a small otterskin fur covering for her bosom. Faroe glanced at the disrobing giantess.

“I see, you’ve got the hots for the colds,” Irene smirked.

“No I don’t,” Faroe shifted his gaze back to the two humans, “I just don’t want to suffer the wrath of a giant huntress.”

“But you seem fine invoking the wrath of a normal sized one.”

“But she’s a goddess!”

“Guys!” Ruby barked.

They quickly looked to her. Her face seemed to be as red as her hair.

“Stop arguing, you two should enjoy these moments before we’re thrust into war, instead you’re turning your time into a cruddy debate session,” Ruby threw her hands into the air, “so put on your swimsuits and enjoy yourselves!”

“But we don’t-” Irene started.

“Just swim!”

Faroe and Irene shrugged. Irene dove under the water and began to swim away with powerful strokes. Faroe shook his head, turning away and facing the rocks, “I pray that we’re not delaying Nos and Amanda…”

“You’re not,” the familiar, full voice proclaimed.

“Gah! Skadi!” Faroe leapt in fright. He spun around, expecting to see her.

“Up here!” She called. She was lying up on the rocks above him, her long white hair resting on the protruding stones.

“How did… I didn’t…” Faroe stuttered.

“Before you say anything, it’s not godly magic, you just weren’t paying attention,” she snickered.

“How do you know we're not wasting time?” he asked.

“Okay, well that’s godly magic,” she smiled, reaching down and twirling her index finger in the water. Faroe felt the temperature drop, goosebumps crawling up his body.

“Well why should we mess around here, we should go and prepare ourselves!” He barked.

“You are preparing yourself, by not thinking about what’s to come, you’re not going to throw yourself off early and back off in fear. Granted, we vikings don’t think twice about our safety.”

“And gods don’t even think once,” Faroe mumbled.

“Right you are about that!” she laughed.

Faroe smiled slightly, straightening up quickly, “But we should go, shouldn’t we?”

Skadi shook her head, “No, you’re not listening, we don’t have to go now, therefore, we should spend this time wisely, together, as companions.”

Faroe was quiet.

“You’ve fought in wars before, you-”

“I just want to get it over with!” He put his hands over his face, concealing whatever emotion was going to come out. Skadi looked at him. She realized something was wrong, he knew something about the battle ahead, he knew… He knew someone was dying.

“Faroe,” she put her hand on his back, although her palm started at his shoulders, her fingertips touched his legs.

“I’m doomed,” he choked.

“Faroe, you can’t be certain,” Skadi started.

“I know it’s me, when have my dreams been false?” he shook his head, “I can’t think of anything other than what I saw this morning, I can’t think of my friends, I can’t think of myself, I only see that… Dream…”

Skadi gently lifted Faroe onto the rocks she was laying across, he was much lighter than she anticipated, carrying Bristle seemed just as easy.

“I’m going against my meditation,” Faroe stated, “I shouldn’t be losing control like this,” he wiped a small bit of moisture from his eye.

“Wait, try some magic,” Skadi said.

Faroe held a hand aloft, then flung it toward some rocks near the edge of their resting spot. They rocketed off and soared far from them, landing with a distant plop in the water.

Faroe furrowed his eyebrows. He turned sharply, looking at Skadi, who shrugged her shoulders.

“I thought my magic grew in strength when I bottled my emotions…” he said quietly.

“Maybe it does, but it's possible it grows when you show them as well,” Skadi smiled.

Faroe smiled back, but it faded.   

Skadi stood up, hoisting Faroe up with her. She embraced his small body, squeezing him tightly in a powerful hug, burying him between her large, but ice cold breasts. He shuddered, the cold being a stark contrast to his body, now growing hotter on its own. It was an embarrassing secret of his, he had a thing for goddesses, and particularly for Skadi, who he was growing fond of.

Skadi set him down, chuckling slightly.

“What?” Faroe asked.

“I know,” she smirked.

Faroe stared at her, “What?”

She smiled devilishly, “Let's just go swimming.”

With that, Skadi moved close to the edge of the rocks and stepped down into the water, she held out her hand for Faroe to step onto, but instead, he ran across the rocks and leapt in. Forgetting that the water around her feet was chilled by her presence. He broke the surface, shivering intensely. Skadi laughed, and walked toward Irene and Ruby, who were playing around, splashing and blowing bubbles.

Akila watched Faroe wade in the distant water, she held out her hands, lifting a stone, and thrust them forward with a grunt, sending the stone flying to the edge of the sea.

“He threw them further…” she noted quietly.


Ylla sat quietly on her coiled tail, around her echoes the drips of water amongst the stalactites and stalagmites in the dark and damp basement of Rephagus’ palace. She was told to wait down there along with King and Koba, sat quietly across from her, against the cold cave wall. She wasn’t used to feeling fear, but this was certainly helping her get used to it. only a few beams of light made it this far down, and it illuminated the caverns like the gaping mouth of an immense beast.

The distant sound of clacking talons rang through the cave, King sat up and looked down towards the small opening of the cave. A small bird-like head appeared, the animal had matted brown feathers and in general looked diseased, as the neck was covered in scaly bald patches.

“My lord will see you now,” it hissed.

King lunged forward and took it by the neck, he felt its greasy skin and feathers slicken up his skin.

“Why did you force us down here?” He yelled, his voice echoing around the cavern.

“Our master had things to attend to, no time for half snakes like you,” he spat, his saliva landing on King’s arm. It was almost more like mucous, filled with red chunks and white swirls.

King let the dinosaur go, Koba and Ylla stood behind him, the creature scurried up to the main part of the palace, Ylla shoved King to the side and slid after their impolite host. It was a relatively tight squeeze for Ylla after a certain point, she was unsure why Rephagus wanted them to go through the back exit of the caverns. She presumed it was for her own safety. Her thoughts were cut short, the small raptor had stopped in front of her. The creature turned around and stared at her.

“I suggest you go back down,” he hissed.

Ylla shook her head, her lip curling to reveal a glossy white fang,  with a swift punch, she knocked the slimy animal out of her way and emerged into the main hall. In front of her was the massive figure of Rephagus, he was facing away, but she could tell by his scent that he was pleased.

“You’re a bold one,” he growled, the sound of his voice shook her.

“I suppose I am,” she said quietly.

“It’s a great quality to have,” he turned to face her, his small yellow eyes zeroed in on her, meeting her eyes, but penetrating deeper.

Ylla swallowed hard and she moved back.

“When the whole world wants to quash your ideals, closing your eyes and thrusting them upon the people without second thought,” the giant reptile roared in increasing volume. He paused, and in a softer voice, he hissed, “It’s bold.”

“Thank you, sir,” she bowed. Behind her Koba and King emerged from the caverns. Koba hopped back at the sight of the giant theropod.

“Come with me, we have a few people I’d like you to meet,” the large dinosaur turned to one of the hallways, each giant stride causing the ground to quake slightly. Ylla slithered after him, King and Koba glanced at the raptor sprawled on the ground, then at each other, before following quickly.

“I’m not liking the look of this place,” Koba said quietly. The massive hallway they were trekking though was littered with bones and debris. A massive skull was leaned up against the wall, two long horns over each eye socket and a fan shaped mass of bone attached to the back of the head. King’s eyes widened at the sight.

“What is that?” he asked.

“How should I know?” Koba answered.

“He was the chieftain of a small tribe just north of here, he fought bravely during one of my first attacks, but of course, his bravery wasn’t enough to triumph over me,” Rephagus explained.

Koba gulped, he was beginning to have second thoughts about joining this creatures army, he had known fear when it came to Ylla, but Rephagus was an entirely different beast. He had an even greater disregard for life, and a much more horrific track record. Not to mention, Ylla was a small nagini, of course, she was incredibly strong and ill tempered, but he’d take her over a titanic killing machine like Rephagus any day.

“Enter through here,” he stood aside, in front of him was a large jagged archway made of the same orange stone as the rest of the palace, through it was a large circular chamber, filled with a few other dinosaurs, as well as some humans and what appeared to be creatures of myth, ones that Ylla never thought existed.

“Ylla, look at that,” King whispered, pointing a finger at a creature with a very bulky human like body covered in thick hairs, and a head exactly like that of a bull. In one arm it grasped a club, and in the other it held a necklace of skulls, most of which human, a few looked like they once belonged to the raptors that Rephagus employed. He turned and stared at the three nagas with a ferocious gaze.

“I think that’s a minotaur,” she explained, averting her eyes, “never knew they existed though.”

“Me neither,” King responded.

A small theropod edged around them, sniffing at the bases of their tails and snarling as it trotted away towards the creatures in the room.

“These,” Rephagus started, all the voices in the room quieted and the eyes turned to the great beast, “are the new captains I have acquired. Tonight, to test their skill, they will initiate a killing of the small scouting party we spotted on the cliff face.”

Ylla looked over at King and Koba, she seemed determined to please her leader.

“Well, come on,” she snapped.

“Oh, tonight is a ways away small one,” Rephagus said, “Enjoy a feast here before you go.”

“I wouldn’t want to ruin my appetite, sir,” she smiled.

“I’d suggest you do as he says,” a huge theropod snarled, its body was like that of Rephagus’s, but he had longer arms ending in 3 clawed hands, and a different shaped head, much slimmer but longer and taller.

“Charkus, is right, I want you to eat here,” Rephagus said.



Apart from the layout, the dining cave wasn’t much different from the other rooms, the walls had the same orange look to them, and everything was made of stone. However, it certainly smelled different, rancid meat tinged the air, the rotten scent was usually a welcome smell, only this was a smell long past its prime. On the way in, Ylla had picked up a much worse scent from the storage cavern, one of urine and feces, it very much spoiled her appetite.

The three sat near the front, one of Rephagus’s grimey servants forced them to sit there. Around them the room was filled with noise, some sounded like retellings of war stories, of how a minotaur murdered the children of a family as they were forced to watch, others spoke of burning a village and ambushing the survivors as they fled down a forested road, however, most of it simply sounded like animalistic grunts and roars.

“Sheesh, these guys make us look like we aren’t even trying,” Koba muttered.

“Yeah, we have to try a bit harder,” Ylla said quietly.

“I mean, that one blind monk we tricked was pretty skillful,” King responded, shrugging his shoulders.

Rephagus entered the room silently, the rest of the crowd quieted down. He stood at the front, on a small raised slab a few yards away from the nagas. A long necked dinosaur, roughly the same size as him entered after, in its long forelimbs was a sorry looking human, bound, gagged, and blindfolded. Nothing more than skin and bones, hardly a cloth on the body. The dinosaur harshly threw the person to the ground, his claws raking the captive’s flesh as they flew from his clutches.

Rephagus scanned the crowd, his eyes fell upon the nagas, their piercing yellow stare sucked their breath away, they each felt winded and fearful.

“Will one of you stand beside me?” He said.

They looked at each other, Ylla slithered up to the front before they could turn their gazes to her.

“I knew it would be you, you have the soul of a true hero,” he growled.

Ylla struggled slightly to get up the incline, her arms felt weak and powerless as she pushed against the rock to get her tail up. The crowd watched her in silence, her eyes fixated on the floor, even after she had hoisted herself up. She remained still.

“Come,” Rephagus said, sounding impatient. The crowd began to laugh.

Her head darted up, and she nodded, slithering near him, she caught a glance of the cadaverous body, it made a weak groan and she turned her attention away from it.

“Now… Show the people what happens to those without the qualities of a great soul, they are weak, they are are a burden, they are worthless,” Rephagus stepped back.

“I have no weapon,” she said.

“Use yourself, a great being needs no weapons, they are their own,” he hissed.

She slithered close to the body, it had a pungent odor of waste and blood, the skin was pale and stretched tightly over the bones. The hair was long and dirty, dark with grease and dirt. Ylla could hardly even tell the gender of the captive.

Her heart was pounding as she considered her options to kill this person. She made up her mind. The crowd watched in silence as she lifted the body. She realized the emaciated human couldn’t have weighed more than 60 pounds.

The dry lips opened, “For...give…” it sputtered. The crowd erupted in laughter and jeering. Rephagus remained silent, watching the nagini closely.

“Am...anda… I… made a… mistake…” Ylla now realized it was a man, she wasn’t sure what he was talking about though, all she knew was that the audience found his struggle to live to be quite entertaining.

Ylla gripped his chin and the back of his head.  

“Please… end my-” there was a crunch, the body collapsed to the floor as the crowd went wild, fists were raised and creatures bellowed. Ylla smiled, beginning to laugh, her grin beamed to the audience as they cheered. This was it, her efforts were being rewarded, no longer did she have to be scorned for her way of life.

Rephagus nodded and a swarm of small feathered dinosaurs leapt to the platform and began to tear at the carcass, Ylla charged in, flinging them off effortlessly, she raised a gaunt severed arm in the air, and then tore at it gleefully, deep red blood spattering her face and hair. The roar of approval drowning out the desperate muffled screams coming from behind her.

Shatter stood atop a small rock, scanning the dark canyon like a bird. Behind him Hypsi and Bristle scoured the cliff faces in search of tunnels and caves, currently they found none, but there was a suspicion there were some hidden away. Reeth plodded over to them.

“Find anything yet, brother?” he bellowed.

“No, nothing yet, I suggest we just give up for now,” Bristle said, hopping down from the rocks onto the gravelly sand below.

Hypsi stepped down, “Rephagus’s palace isn’t too far away to begin with, I doubt they’d have tunnels so close.”

Shatter rushed over to them, “You mentioned the palace was close, well, I suggest we head back.”

“Why’s that?” she asked.

“I’m picking up a scent, I can tell its hostile, we need to go, quickly,” he sprinted past Bludge and stood tall and alert, “Come on!”

Hypsi quickly followed suit, as did the others, “I fear that if we’ve come this far, we may not be able to escape.”

“Tell me,” Bristle started, “did you recognize the scent you picked up?”

Shatter thought on it. He shook his head, “No, not really, it's not like any dinosaur I’ve known.”

Bludge huffed as he caught up to them, “I smell it… They’re… Mammals… Musky scent, sweat, those kinds of things,” his boxy armoured head rising and falling as his breathed. His squat body doing the same.

Hypsi looked at Bludge and Reeth, she sighed, “I suggest we get moving, for when they catch us, I want to be far from that infernal palace.”

“Don’t speak like that!” Reeth growled, “We will make our escape, every last one of us.”

They began to quickly traverse the canyon, Hypsi and Shatter constantly slowing down as to not leave the others behind. Bludge was furthest from the group, as he lagged behind due to his heavy armor and stout limbs, not built for quick pacing.

“Go on without me,” he gasped.

Hypsi stopped and turned around, “We will not leave one of our own behind so we can have a quick getaway, whatever it is, your fate shall be the same as ours.”

The small dinosaur felt a searing pain in her hip, before she even heard the whoosh of the arrow. She squealed in pain.

“My lady!” Bludge bellowed as she collapsed down. He looked around the canyon walls, straining as he scanned the area with his small eyes. The group in front of him turned at the sound of her cry. Shatter’s eyes widened. In a few bounds he was above her shaking body, she chittered in fear, as she looked around.

“What was it? Did we trigger a trap?” he bellowed.

“No, it was someone above the cliffs, a trap wouldn’t be able to hit her at such an angle,” Bristle said as he looked over the small pale yellow creature.

“There’s no cover here,” Reeth panicked.

“Bludge!” Bristle ducked under him, “Bludge, move over to one of the cliff walls, we can hide behind-” he was cut off by another arrow, this one grazed between his quills.

“There!” Shatter howled, “I see him!”

Atop the cliff ducked the archer, hiding behind a large jagged stone. He was hundreds of feet higher up than them, but he was clearly a humanoid.

“No place to hide, no place to run, we shouldn’t have come here, why did we do this,” Bristle began to panic.

“Accept your fate,” called a nearby female.

Shatter shot up, looking around the canyon. His gaze so fierce it could cut the rocks he scanned.

“Come out coward,” he roared, “There’s no honor in what you’re doing!”

The earth shook as a large pile of rocks and boulders collapsed from the cliff wall. The largest of which were almost twice the size of Shatter, they rolled to a stop a few feet away, kicking up dust and obscuring everyone’s vision.

[i]I can’t see you, but I can smell you.[/i] Shatter thought to himself, he inhaled, but began to gag as dirt and dust filled his nostrils. He sprinted towards his companions, attempting to stay safe in numbers. His eyes made out the silhouettes in the dust. Before he made it to his destination however, his back was struck with an immense force, slamming him to the ground and forcing all the air out of his lungs.

“Ah...ha… Now it’s a…” Shatter gasped, a smile growing on his face, “Fight!”

He lunged forward, avoiding a second strike, with a quick turn, the dilophosaur leapt up to slash at his foe, landing with all his fury on a large hairy body. With no effort, the target flung him off, he crashed into the rocky wall of the canyon, he knew for sure he had broken some bones, but his focus did not waver. With a few bounds he charged for another attack, the dust started to settle, and he saw his enemy was not like anything he had ever seen, it was a minotaur.

“Bristle, I suggest you get Hypsi somewhere safe,” Bludge said, “You two can't hold off much.”

“I agree,” Bristle nodded, he hoisted Hypsi over his back and tried to make his way out of the canyon.

Shatter tried to bite at the hulking bull man’s arm, but couldn’t strike close enough, as he was constantly swatted at. He circled his enemy Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted more threats. A pair of humanoids with snake tails that started at their waists, a small flock of sickle clawed grunts, and a small group of armed humans, wielding bows, swords, and axes.

“Guys!” He barked.

Bludge and Reeth turned to his aid, “Okay Shatter, let us big boys take care of these thugs,” Reeth bellowed, pawing the ground like an enraged bull.

“I’ll go for master’s target, the rest of you can kill these wastes of skin,” the black haired snake woman hissed. She darted past Shatter and the minotaur, avoiding detection from Reeth and Bludge, and sneaking after Bristle and Hypsi.

Reeth roared, lowering his head and bounding forward into the enemy formation, the snake man quickly dodged his attack, but the others weren't as lucky, most were torn apart by his circle of horns or were trampled by his bulky body. He felt a few blades rake his flesh, but they didn’t bother him, he slowed down and turned, scratching the earth again, before unleashing another high speed lunge.

Shatter heaved, neither he nor the minotaur had landed any more blows, he had expended all his energy dodging strikes and ducking swings.

“Oi! Bludge!” he exclaimed, “Help a friend out!”

The armored ally nodded, and trotted as quickly as he could over, letting out a deep war cry as he skidded in the dirt and turned his heavy body, flinging the bony mass at the end of his tail in the direction of the minotaur, it slammed the hairy creature with a meaty thud, toppling it over into the ground. Shatter charged him, but the beast was not out quite yet, it launched a kick with one of its hooves directly into Shatter’s chest, sending him into the air and onto the rocky ground beneath. Bludge continued to thrash his tail whacking the minotaur repeatedly, mashing its skin and flesh like a mortar and pestle. He wound up another strike, this time however, his club did not smash anything, as his foe had caught it in its powerful hands. Bludge tugged away, the minotaur not loosening. From its belt it withdrew a large scimitar, Bludge wasn’t sure what he was going to do with it at first, that is until the bull headed creature brought it down between his plates. Bludge roared in agony as the blade pried between them.

Bristle heard a horrible scream, he turned around, far from him the battle raged, he quickly looked away.

“They told me to do this, so it is what I’ll do,” he marched through the canyons with Hypsi limping beside him, chittering nonstop.

Bristle grew annoyed, “Hey, you’re going to be fine, your guards back there are taking care of every-” before he finished his sentence, he was thrown to the ground.

“Now, please make this fun for me,” the female voice he had heard earlier whispered.

Bristle Wriggled in her grasp, “Who are you?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she started, “your death shall come swiftly regardless.”

She put one arm around Bristle's neck, propping one hand on the ground near him. A searing pain ran up and down his back, he gritted his teeth, but quickly thought of something. He opened his hooked beak wide and brought it down on her arm.

She screamed in pain, “What the hell are you doing!?”

“Getting you off of me!” he mumbled, her arm still in his jaws.

She pulled her arm away, a stream of blood flowing from it. She fumed, staring fiercely at him. Bristle backed away, watching her closely. He saw her raise her arm up to her mouth, a thin forked tongue emerged from her full, red lips and flicked at the wound. She put her mouth over it, lapping up the thick red liquid. Bristle felt sick watching it.

“I hope you realize the mistake you just made,” the woman hissed.

Bristle nodded, “Yes, I have. Don't worry, I have,” he continued to back away.

She smirked, her teeth speckled with blood.

“Once you’re dead, I’ll kill your friend, then finish off those other fools behind us,” she lunged, Bristle turned and ran as she pursued. Trying desperately to think up some way to defeat her.

Reeth had virtually trampled all of his foes, all who remained was the slippery snake man who was avoiding his attacks with ease.

“Do you mind standin’ still for a moment?” he asked.

His foe swung his sword around skillfully, his eyes locking with Reeth’s.

“The name’s King, and you are?” he asked.

Reeth cocked his head, “Uh, I’m Reeth, the many horned warrior of the north.”

King nodded as he looked at his foe, glancing at the dinosaur's underbelly, “Pleasure to meet you,” he said before he shot forward to attack, Reeth doing so as well.

Sliding close to the ground, King darted under his enemy, pulling out his sword and driving the blade into his soft underbelly. Reeth stumbled forward rocking side to side before crashing to the ground. King rose up and looked at his fallen foe.

“Good match,” he quickly slithered over to fight Bludge and Shatter.  

The two dinosaurs battled fiercely against the minotaur, Bludge broke from it’s hold and was now keeping it at bay with his powerful tail, while Shatter regained his strength, watching carefully from a bit off.

“Ready to come back?” Bludge barked.

Shatter grinned, “Of course!” He lunged from his resting spot, teeth bared and claws extended. He was in his signature killing pose, and with the beast distracted by Bludge, he would be easy prey. The second before he struck, something gripped his neck, throwing him off course. Shatter threw his head down, flinging the jockey off of him. His slitted eyes narrowed as they met with the naga’s.

“Thought you'd slash my throat?” Shatter laughed, “It takes more than that to defeat me!”

King ran his fingers across the blade, “I’m prepared to give you more!” He sprung forward, his attack was cut short by a lashing kick from the theropod. The talons lightly raked his chest, causing him to slide back. He wiped the wound with his fingers and looked at the dripping blood, he furrowed his brows at the sight.

“Now leave, I’d like to avoid having to kill you,” Shatter stepped back.

The naga held his blade out and shook his head, rushing back to battle. Shatter lunged again, this time, the naga spun to the left, bringing the sword down onto Shatter’s side, where it hung after forcing itself out of King’s grip.

Shatter craned his long neck around to look at the weapon. He snarled, plucking it out with his mouth and casting it aside. He lowered his head and charged forward. King struggled to work up a counter. He simply ducked, throwing himself to the ground and darting between the dinosaur’s legs.



The snake woman had Bristle and Hypsi cornered, pressed close to the hundred foot rock wall on the side of the ravine. She was after the psittacosaur, for she knew the cripple wouldn’t be able to get away. Bristle lowered himself onto four legs, gaping widely and sticking his tail and quills up, it was his best attempt at intimidation. She stared at his display, then smiled.

“Incredibly noble of you, trying so hard to protect her, actually no, it’s rather laughable,” she shook her head, “You runt of a lizard, why even bother?”

“I’ll never let myself be bested by a mammal, especially not one so ugly as you,” he snarled lowly.

“Pest!” She lunged at him, ready to sink her fangs deep into his flesh, Bristle panicked, turning around and attempting to claw up the rocky wall behind him. However, he had made the right decision and Ylla recoiled in pain, two long, pointed quills hung from her mouth. Bristle snatched up Hypsi and made a break for it, each stride kicked sand and dirt up into the air as he fled back back to the other dinosaurs.

He slowed down as he approached them, Shatter and Bludge were still fighting, and he couldn’t see Reeth. He saw a shallow indentation in the rocks, he darted in with Hypsi. Carefully watching them battle.

Bludge pressed his feet into the ground, building leverage for a swing of his tail, he felt it brush against the minotaur’s skin. It was getting bolder, moving in closer, he could tell. Bludge tilted his head and looked behind him, he grinned, swung his tail to the left, then quickly stepped back and swung to the right. He had anticipated correctly, the minotaurs attempt at dodging putting it directly in the path of Bludge's clubbed tail. The satisfying impact sounded across the ravine, the soft thud of pulverized flesh signaling Bludge’s victory.

King watched the bull man sail into the jagged rock wall as he was struck. He didn’t want to suffer the same fate, he quickly began to head back to the the passage they had come through, Shatter quickly cut him off, Bludge closed in. The naga looked around, until he spotted the sword lying past Shatter’s feet. He considered going for it, but it was hopeless, he’d never get past both of them.

“King!” he heard his leader bark. She moved into view, two streams of blood dribbled from her lips, streaking her chin and dripping onto her bosom.

“A little help?” King yelped. She shook her head in disappointment.

“Where’s Koba?” she asked.

Shatter and Bludge looked over to this new appearance, King seized the oppourtunity, he grabbed the sword and turned to Shatter, before the dinosaur could react, he drove it into his chest, the blade cutting effortlessly where it was plunged.

Shatter sputtered, each breath failed to sustain him, the air he took in seemed to flee through the hole in his chest.

“You battled bravely,” King watched the wounded dinosaur fall slowly. Before the dying creature fully collapsed, the ground around him shook, and King briefly glimpsed the armored reptile charging behind him, but in a split second, King’s chest was crushed, and his body crashed to the rocky ground. He closed his eyes as the pain finally registered to his body.

Ylla watched the titanic beast as he turned to face her. He walked slowly towards the nagini, who quickly moved out of his way. He continued after her regardless, sweeping his tail back and forth.

“Surrender, or you will suffer a death like his,” Bludge warned.

Ylla glared at him, not an ounce of fear in her. She spat a glob of blood out onto the ground in front of him, the red liquid spattering on the dirt and rocks.

“So be it,” He began to gallop forward, each time his 10 ton body struck the ground, Ylla wobbled from the impact. As he made it closer, he leaned in to strike with his clubbed tail. Before he managed to swing it, an arrow whizzed by and buried its head into his leg. Bludge halted and turned. Biting at the arrow, eventually tearing it out. Ready to attack again, Ylla had disappeared.  

Bludge sniffed around, “I can’t pick up her scent…” he looked around, “All just a blend of smells…” He looked up, his nose picking up the distinct aroma of Hypsi.

Bristle saw Bludge standing calmly. The fighting must have ceased.

“Hypsi, how are you doing?” He asked.

She chattered loudly before calming down, “My leg is... It’s better,” she nodded weakly. Above them he heard a loud screeching sound, like one of the dropships from before.

Bristle cautiously stepped out, looking around for any sort of danger. He slowly walked over to his armoured companion. Hypsi began to follow, him, nervously peering around the canyon like a mother bird on alert, it was unusual for her to act this way, but she had never known the vile cunning employed by the nagas. She especially wished to forget the pain of arrows.

Bludge was relieved, they were alright. He had feared that while they were seperated, something could've happened.

“Let’s get out of this place,” Bludge suggested, “Hypsi needs some healing, and I’m sure Rephagus will be sending more minions.”

Bristle saw Reeth and Shatter, their bodies laying lifeless in the dusty ravine. Bristle couldn’t look away from Reeth, his horns coated with blood, his body decked in scratches and cuts, one massive slash along his chest.

“And what to do with them?” Bristle said quietly.

Hypsi looked around, then to Shatter, she screamed, echoing across the mighty chasm, she sprinted over fell down next to the large creature’s body. He wasn't dead, but hardly alive, there would be no saving him. One last breath escaped the dinosaur's limp jaw.

“We have to leave him,” Bludge sighed.

“It’s finally happened… He gave his life to protect me…” Hypsi closed her eyes and laid her head on his chest.

“A valiant warrior, he was,” Bludge began, “And his sacrifice will continue to be remembered, but we must leave.”

Hypsi nodded somberly, she left her deceased soldier and quickly made her way back to the others, they all hastily fled, not looking back at the friends they had lost, fearing they’d never want to leave.  

Chapter 38: Before the Storm Edit

“Roger!” A voice crackled over a small radio that Nos held close to his ear.

“That’s AS-1, he’s doing a flyby before coming back, hopefully he can map out the place and take the guesswork out of our plans,” Nos explained to Ria and Amanda.

The three stood in the hot and dusty plains near the opening of the Dark Pass. A light breeze ruffled the women’s trench coats and cooled them off for a brief moment. As soon as it had settled, they immediately missed it.

“It’s been a really long time since I’ve been here,” Amanda noted, “I could have sworn it was wetter.”

“It’s certainly no spa,” Ria muttered, “When’s everyone else gonna get here?”

“I’m not sure…” Nos pondered, “I’d expect Faroe to be here soon, he’s not one to waste time. As for Leon and Olivia,” Nos paused, “Well, I’m sure they’re enjoying their time off, but I hope they realize they’ll get more of it.”

“I want to meet these people, see if they’re good enough to be wasting our time like this,” Ria sat down on a craggy rock, stretching her legs before asking, “What do you think of them Amy?”

Amanda smiled at the nickname she hadn’t heard for a long time, “They’re a fine group, they all bring something unique and valuable to the table,” she answered.

Deep off in the cavernous ravine, they heard a distant commotion, one of clanking metal and bellows of massive combatants. Nos looked to Amanda, then to Ria.

“I don’t want to go down there,” Ria said.

“I wasn’t suggesting we do so. It's none of our concern, since Hypsi and Bristle couldn’t possibly be the source of that noise.”

“I wonder what it is then…” Ria wondered.

They waited for a while longer, making small talk and sharing stories, the familiar screech of a starjet found their ears, the distant vehicle approaching at a high speed. Soon its shadow was upon them, the slim black vessel stopped midair, the thrusters on the back powering down, while the ones in the front countered their force. Air shot out from the bottom as it vertically descended down near them. The landing gears touching down on the dusty ground. Clamboring out of the top was a bulky looking man, a helmet seemingly squeezed around his head.

“Well, the area is scanned, I didn’t catch much signs of life, apart from a small trio of dinosaurs, one of which appeared to match the description of ‘Hypsi’,” he said.

“What are they doing down in the ravine?” Nos asked, “I was told they were going to scout the towers along the edges.”

“There are two explanations,” Amanda began, “They either found something important down there, or they were captured. Which might explain that third party member of theirs.”  

“I’ll go check it out,” Nos said.

Amanda thought about stepping forward to volunteer, but she was silenced as Nos began to talk again.

“Ria, you should come with me, I can’t tell what sort of things we’ll find down there, so I need an extra set of hands for this.”

Ria raised an eyebrow, “While I appreciate the offer pal, why don’t you bring your little snuggle buddy instead?”

Amanda chuckled, “I’m not a snuggle buddy-”

“I want someone who knows the team to stay, and Amanda fits that description. ”

“If that’s what the captain wants,” She shrugged her shoulders and shook her head.

“It is,” Nos responded.

“I wasn't talking to you,” Ria turned to Amanda.

“I suppose he has a point, I don’t mind hanging back,” She said.

Nos gave a thumbs up and picked up his sword, Ria began to gather supplies from the dropship they had ridden to the location. she grabbed some food and drinks, a few beers for herself. Nos watched her curiously, she really didn’t take this job any more seriously than the one she had several years ago, when she worked as a receptionist, when she would test new recruits on their ability to satisfy her in bed or how quickly they could eat a plate of wasabi, some strange kind of ancient japanese horseradish. Nos was curious how well she could handle a gun when faced with a threat.

“If you need rescue, the dropship is a call away,” the pilot said.

Nos nodded and thanked him, he slung on a backpack filled with supplies and began his trek into the Dark Pass. Ria slowly jogged beside him.

“Why aren’t we taking that thing?” She pointed at the dropship.

“I thought I explained it to you, it’s way to slow to get in there safely, and way too big to navigate the tight turns and dangerous rocks.”

“What, do you think they have any kind of anti air presence? There are no flying dinosaurs are there?”

“Oh, yes there are,” Nos said, “I read a bit on it, these things called Quetzalcoatlus, giant dinosaurs the size of starjets, not as fast, but a thousand times more maneuverable.”

“Have you seen them?” she asked.

“Well, no, but they’re out there, Bristle told me about them, he had an encounter as a child. Doesn't talk much about it.”

“What happened?”

“He doesn’t like me talking about it,” Nos said, he honored Bristle’s privacy, and considered himself lucky to even get that kind of information out of him. Bristle absolutely despised mammals, no matter the genus.

“I don’t even know the guy, just tell me,” she begged.

“If you don’t know him they why would you want to know,” Nos opened a canteen of water and took a sip.

Ria reached behind her and took out a large can of beer, she snapped the lid open and took a few gulps. wiping her mouth with the back of her sleeve.

“How often do you drink on the job?” Nos asked.

“It would be easier to tell you how often I don’t,” She took another gulp.

“How often would that be?” Nos asked.

“Iunno, never?” She laughed and set the can down on the ground, “Let’s take a break.”

Nos shook his head, who was this woman?

“We’ve barely walked 500 feet,” he said, “Are you that tired?”

“Not tired, lazy.”

“Ugh, I should have left you back at the ship,” Nos groaned.

“You must have an absolutely abysmal opinion of me,” She sneered, “Well I’ll show you why Amanda made me her second in command,” She stood up and began to run down the ravine.

Nos picked up her half filled beer can, “You’re technically her third in command…”



Bludge slowly plodded down the dusty trail, Hypsi and Bristle resting on his wide, flat back, lying between the rows of spikes running down his length. The sun was slowly dipping behind the walls of the canyon, causing the area to grow dark, even though the sky was still light. Not a sound resonated, the group moved in silence as they reflected on the previous events.

A small pile of rocks made their way down the canyon wall. Bludge stopped and checked his surroundings, nothing was apparent, which put him on even more of an edge, things don’t just happen, especially not in a place like this. He smelled the air, and looked around.

“Hypsi, see anything?” he asked.

She lazily looked up, peering around the edges of the cliff face. He eyes adjusted to the dark as she looked around the walls. She shook her head.

“No, nothing around… here…” she focused in on a small set of pebbly rocks, piled on a big red boulder.

Bristle caught her gaze, he took in the scent and narrowed his eyes, “What is that?” he asked.

“It's a rock,” Hypsi said.

“A rock that is,” Bludge nodded.

“Look harder Hypsi, your eyesight is better than mine,” Bristle said.

“I am looking, it's a rock, and you should take my word for it. My eyes are twice as big as yours after all.”

Bludge swept his tail along the ground, flinging up pebbles and dirt, which deflected harmlessly against the rock.

“See, rock,” he said.

They continued on, Bristle warily watched the rock, eventually deciding there was nothing to worry about. He briefly picked up the scent of theropod, but it was so faint, it had to be from earlier.

“Boy am I hungry, I’ve never gone so long without a good grazing,” Bludge muttered. He licked his wide beak longingly with a muscular tongue.

“Hold it!” Bristle commanded, he held his nose aloft.

“You smell it too?” Bludge responded.

“Humans,” Bristle nodded, “But… If I’m not mistaken, they’re friendly.”

“How can you tell?” Hypsi asked.

“It’s the goo in Nos’ hair, I recognize the smell.”

“Let’s get a move on then!” Hypsi squealed.

Bludge began to quicken his pace, while it wasn’t much faster, it was certainly an improvement. Each time the giant reptiles feet hit the ground, the earth shook. The earth shook even when his feet weren’t hitting the ground. Bristle took notice, and looked around. The devilish face of a carnotaurus rushed past, its piercing green eyes met his. The blood red creature, with knob like horns over each eye, spiny, rock like scutes covered his back and short snout, skidded past them and stopped in front of the ankylosaur.

“I’m really quite surprised,” he growled, “how those mammals couldn’t even kill you, the most idiotic of simpletons.”

“I thought we were through with these guys,” Bludge moaned,.

“Apparently not,” Bristle grumbled.

“Quick, hop under me, you’ll be dead otherwise,” Bludge suggested. They complied, darting under the heavy dinosaurs legs. It was a relatively tight fit, but they watched the feet of the enemy carefully.

The big predator circled Bludge, forcing him to turn so he could keep his eyes on him. Underneath Hypsi and Bristle dodged his shifting feet. The carnotaurus rushed forward, leaping up and stomping on the ankylosaur’s back, he braced against the impact, the smaller dinosaurs felt his stomach press against their heads.

The carnotaurus pushed off, landing back on the ground, “You’re doomed little Hypsi, either run and be killed, or be crushed by this beast’s own bulk.”

Hypsi began chittering nervously, “He’s right, I’m stuck down here…”

“Hey, you really think that little of me?” Bludge barked, “This thing will be mush when I’m done.”

The ankylosaur forcefully swung his tail, the demonic predator easily dodged the attack. He shook his head in disbelief, “They couldn’t even bring you down? Someone so slow and predictable? What does Rephagus see in those mammals?”

Bludge swung his tail, missing once again.

“See, it’d be best if you surrendered now, heck, I’ll let you and the hookbeak live, so long as I get that pale scaled rebel.”

“Of course,” Bludge said, “have her.”

The ankylosaur stepped to the right, exposing the small hypsilophodon. She looked around in a panic, “What are you doing!?”  

The carnotaurus rushed in, his jaws wide, exposing a fearsome set of serrated teeth. Bristle tugged Hypsi back, and Bludge lashed out with his tail, the bulbous mass crashing into the foe’s skull. He stumbled around, opening his mouth to let several broken teeth fall out and scatter across the ground. The side of his face was quite clearly fractured, but he seemed determined.

The beast opened his mouth to talk, but failed to do so. He shook his head, lowered it, then sprung into a charge, he was almost upon them before he collapsed to the ground.

Bludge looked around his small eyes noticed a human standing a few hundred feet away.

“You’re with Hypsi, aren’t you?” he heard a man say.

“Yes, yes I am,” Bludge answered. Bristle recognized the voice and darted out from under.

“Nos?” He called out.

“Bristle!?” Nos responded, “You’re alright!”

“Of course, it takes more than some mammals to kill me,” he grinned, “Now get me out of this terrible place.”

Ria and Nos gestured for the others to follow them, Hypsi did, so Bludge followed close. The sun had now disappeared from the sky, and the array of stars and constellations came into view.



Skadi sat in the warm sun, wiping a small cloth over her wet, icy body. The rag could barely wrap around one of her fingers, but she still systematically moved around herself. Faroe reclined in the sand next to Irene and Ruby, both attempting to work on a tan.

“What are you two doing?” Faroe asked.

“Tanning,” Ruby said, her face in the sand.

“And that is?” Faroe continued.

“Making our skin darker, makes us look better,” Irene said.

“Is now the best time to do this? We’re going to a massive battle soon.”

“Yeah, well, I want my corpse too look good. Open casket my friend,” Ruby chuckled, turning over on her back, covering her breasts with her shirt,

“The sun is probably just as bright where we’re going. Nos is patiently waiting for us to get there,” Faroe stood up, turning to the horde of 50 or so vikings, “Alright men, let’s get out of this place, we’ve got a war to win!”

The group cheered, Skadi stood up as well, throwing a fist in the air in celebration. Faroe searched himself for the transporter, plopping it down onto the sand. He called everyone over.

Ruby quickly threw on her shirt and scrambled over, “Here we go!”

“You’re pretty excited,” Faroe noted.

“She’s got real viking charisma,” Skadi commented, “I’m excited too.”

Faroe gave her an gloomy look.

“Well, I mean… I’m not that excited,” she smiled at him.

Faroe understood her gesture, so he smiled back.

“Right, so, let’s get on this thing and go,” Faroe knelt down, modifying the teleportation input so that it would allow such a large amount of people in. He was only vaguely familiar with the device, but he was sure Nos taught him well enough. The black rectangle started glowing intensely, Faroe held an arm out, he carefully stepped onto it and found himself in a dry wasteland. The beach was gone, and instead the area was covered in light orange sand and rocks. Not too far away was a pair of black vehicles landed at the opening of a great ravine. More people started pouring from the transporter.

“We’re here,” Faroe said, looking around the new landscape.

“Are you sure? I don’t remember it being so dry last time,” Irene responded, rubbing her boot on the gravelly ground.

“I don’t expect the whole planet to be equally tropical,” Faroe said.

Ruby curiously peered around, “Hey, that looks like Amanda over there!”

“Good, tell her she has to sign for an order for 50 viking berserks,” Irene said, beginning to walk towards her. Amanda spotted the massive group and waved.

“I was waiting for you guys,” she called.

“All of us?” Irene gestured to the army behind her.

“Most of you,” Amanda snickered.

The pilot carefully walked over to Amanda, “And who are those?” he asked quietly.

“That’s Irene, the woman with the black hair, then there’s Ruby, the red headed girl, and that’s Faroe, he’s the… Well, Pharaoh.”

“What about the giant?” he asked.

“I think I know this one…” Amanda tried to conjure up her knowledge of earth mythology, she had previous knowledge of it from study sessions with Nos and the other officials, she threw her hands up, “I’m blanking.”

Skadi heard this, she scowled and walked over angrily, stomping the ground with each step, “How dare you disrespect the great goddess Skadi with your foolishness!?” she roared.

Amanda bowed, “I apologize my lady, I didn’t mean-”

Skadi fell to the ground, laughing hysterically, slamming the dirt with an icy fist, frosty drops of water pouring from her eyes.

“You actually thought!” she sat up and wiped away her tears, “You actually thought I was mad at you? Heh, I don’t even know your name, why should I be mad!?”

The pilot chuckled, and Amanda rolled her eyes and sighed, “Very funny. I can tell you and Irene must get along well.”

“That we do young lady, same goes for the red headed lass and Faroe.”

By this time, the others had convened around Amanda and Skadi, curiously watching their interaction.

“Has this little woman wronged you, my lady?” A swordsman asked.

Skadi shook her head “no”.

Amanda cleared her throat, “So, now that we have everyone here, why don’t we discuss a little business. With this added force we can start setting up a base camp, in a few hours we’ll have the medical centers on way and some temporary holdouts. Any marksmen will traverse with the group up until the first clearing, we’ve found a small path leading to a perfect perch for them. I expect Olivia and Irene to be stationed there alongside some others.”

Irene groaned, “I don’t think you should put the snake up there, she probably can’t hold her own in a fight, and her bow can’t be more accurate than my rifle.”

“She’s better off up there than down on the front lines, I suggest you keep an eye on her though,” Amanda turned to Faroe, “You should practice your shielding spell, I hope we can use it as a defense as we make our way to the fortress.”

“I’ll try my best, it's a tall order, but anything’s possible,” Faroe thrusted his staff into the ground, generating a light transparent shield, stretching a few feet short of the furthest viking warrior, who was about ten feet away.

“That seems good enough, It’ll be a perfect defense against inaccurate long range attacks, so that we can get close and strike,” Amanda noted.

“I’ll go with the huntress, I’m a great shot with a bow after all,” Skadi gloated, she held out a massive hunting bow carved from a great log. The wood was covered in intricate designs of monsters and animals. The giantess pretended to draw it back and fire.

“Alright, but be ready to come down and fight at a moment’s notice,” Amanda said.

Faroe’s face gleamed, “Amanda, perhaps she can bring her mammoth, and join Leon’s cavalry?”

“A mammoth? And what might that be?” Amanda asked, scratching her head in confusion.

“Like a big hairy elephant,” Faroe explained.

“Actually, mammoths are smaller than elephants,” Skadi said.

“Like a hairy elephant,” Faroe restated.

“That sounds like it could work, sure why not,” Amanda gave a small thumbs up.



The night was as pitch as tar, the group stopped to make a small shelter. Hypsi sat quietly, looking around the canyon with fear. Ria held a flashlight, illuminating the wall of the cliff, where Nos stacked some dried branches and rocks.

“Why don’t we just go?” Ria complained.

“We’re much safer staying here than trying to leave in this darkness. The canyons are full of branching systems and caverns, any wrong turn would spell death for us. Now turn that light off, I’m done with the shelter.”

Nos sat under the shoddy lean-to. It wasn’t much, but it obscured them from the eyes of night predators, and that was better than nothing. Bristle and Ria made their way over, carefully stepping to avoid any injuries.

“Ow!”

“Sorry Bristle,” Bludge grunted.

“I hate the dark,” he groaned.

“Sorry about this, but it’s for our own safety,” Nos ducked into the shelter, “Hypsi, are you coming in?”

“Yes, in a minute dear mammal,” she remained where she was, watching the canyon carefully.

“So, Bristle, know anything about flying dinosaurs?” Ria asked nonchalantly. Nos huffed, his anger apparent even in absolute darkness.

It was silent. Hypsi remained outside.

“They’re to blame,” Bristle said quietly.

“Abou-”

“Those cowards. The wings that once carried the watchful eyes of heroes, now carry their defenseless souls away from danger. I’ll tell you about the flying dinosaurs.”

Nos sat up. He hadn’t heard Bristle speak like this before.

“Hundreds of cycles ago, when the land was still vibrant with life, when order was still kept, and the saurischians migrated with the ornithischians. I was but a hatchling, a word yet to escape my beak.”

Ria leaned in, listening intently.

“I had left the safety of my nest, moronic of me, I don’t even recall why. But after that, I was lost for good. After days of walking, my skin clinging to my bones, I collapsed. As the light of the world returned to my eyes I found myself in a place far from the familiar. Over a great sea, looking towards the resting place of the sun. It was the nest of a Leaverskull, a Pteranodon.”

“It took you in as its own?” Ria asked.

“It kept me from dying. I am not one of its own,” Bristle growled, “As I grew up, he taught me about justness, compassion, respect for the lives of every dinosaur, bird, fish, and mammal. I learned from a creature that the world thought holy.”

“And?” Ria asked.

“Will you shut up!?” He roared.

Ria covered her mouth. Nos blinked in shock.

“And then Rephagus came. Hero general from land afar. Everyone was told of his great deeds towards dinosaurian kind. The saurischians loved him, they at last found a model for their kind. But soon they realized how different they were from us. They were less numerous, less diverse, they all shared in similarities. They were the ones who began to think less of their kind, not us!” Bristle shook his head, “They began to secede from our perfect society. They reverted their primal urges, they killed us, they ate us, they enslaved those strong enough to work and killed those too weak for any other purpose.”

“How do the flying dinosaurs come in-”

“I thought I told you to shut your fool mouth!” Bristle exploded at Ria’s interjection, “The fliers saw the threat, they didn’t know how to quell such a huge change in the world, they weren’t so wise, so they fled, the flew away, they betrayed what they stood for, and now here I am, a student of their teachings, but  I damn them all! I hope they drop from the skies like a two day old gnat, may their rotting bodies be left to the molds, for no beast should taste the treachery in their flesh!”

Bristle could barely make out the shadow of Hypsi. He grunted.

“Rephagus has no rivals. And it should be plain to see that we’re all doomed to die at his jaw.”

The group heard soft weeping from out of the shelter. Bristle growled.

“But, a person is not something to take lightly. Perhaps… He can…” Bristle could barely muster a voice, “Perhaps the greater beings will spare him from their harsh judgement.”


Olivia nibbled at the fruits given to her. Most of Leon’s family had finished dining and were off to sleep. The dinner table was only occupied by five people, a considerably smaller amount than before. Olivia watched the two remaining siblings with an awkward smile, as to try and seem pleasant.

“So Olivia, you’re part of the army? A woman like you?” Leon’s younger brother asked.

“Yeah… I suppose,” she answered shyly.

“You suppose? Come on girl, speak confidently!” He grinned.

Olivia answered, “Yeah, I am.”

Their confidence intimidated her, she never liked to think that Leon had people he was more comfortable around than her. It was a foolish thing to think, but she thought it anyways.

Leon began to speak up, “So I’m going to visit the barracks and try and convince the warriors to join me. It shouldn’t be too hard.”

“Good luck Leon, and please, once this is done, I could use your hands back here. It’s a lot of work keeping up the house, and our worker isn’t doing too well, which is a shame.”

“I’ll see what I can do mom,” Leon nodded.

“Good luck!” His oldest siblings called.

He guided Olivia out the door. The two stood outside next to the house as Leon looked down the street, searching for the barracks.

“Sheesh, what a weird woman. She’s as thin as a twig, hair as blue as the sky, and can barely speak a greetings worth,” Leon’s brother whispered loudly.

“The tail! My god the tail, it’s actually scary, I swear it touched me,” Jasmine whispered back.

“Don’t make fun, let Leon love who he wants to, no matter how strange or how normal,” his mother scolded the two, “Now go get ready to sleep.”

Olivia had heard everything, she wiped her eyes, and sniffled quietly. She looked down at her tail. It was a short, thick tail. One unlike most naga’s, long and tapering. It was out of place among her kind, and to be feared among Leon’s.

“What’s wrong with my tail…” she whispered.

Leon tilted his head, “Excuse me?” He turned and saw her reddened eyes, he instantly fell to a knee and looked at her, “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Your family hates me, all of them, they whispered about me when I didn’t eat any meat, they hate my tail, they think I’m stupid.”

“Hey, no they don’t. They’ve just never seen someone like you before, it’s different to them.”

“But why would people care if I’m different? What did I do wrong to them?” she wiped her eyes, “Irene hates me, your family hates me, you probably just pity me…”

Leon shook his head, “You know that’s not true. You’re the greatest part of my life, you’re the light I see when things are dark, every difference between us is another reason to love you. There’s no one else like you.”

“Leon…”

“Yes? What is it you need? Anything.”

“Stay with me, during the battle, I want you to be next to me the whole time,” she said.

“I’ll do what I can,” he smiled, “Now let’s find these soldiers and let’s go.”

They quietly walked the streets until the barracks came into view. The walls stood as tall as Leon remembered, and the inside was light with torches and roaring fires. The two knocked on the doors, a strong man pulled them open, upon seeing Leon he grinned.

“Back for more?” he asked.

“I’m here for soldiers,” Leon responded, cutting past the small talk.

“Maybe, I’ll see what the ruler has to say,” he withdrew into the building.

“He’s not going to let us in?” Leon asked.

A few minutes passed until the man came back, he opened the door only slightly, “No, no soldiers will be given to you, for whatever it is you’re doing. It doesn’t matter if you’re the son of the general, almighty Sardar want to maintain the protection of the city.”

“I promise though, I will ensure their safety,” Leon pleaded.

“No Bitar, I’ve said it once-”

Olivia pushed herself in front of Leon, “Let us take them!”

“And what are you going to do about it, worm?”

Leon knocked him out in a single punch. The two moved around his body.

“Let me talk to Sardar myself,” Leon made his way to the back of the building, where he knew Sardar would be. Olivia followed closely, curiously glancing into each room they passed, sometimes making eye contact with a very confused occupant. Leon found a large set of polished wooden doors. Through these they’d find Sardar.

Leon knocked forcefully, “Sardar?”

“Enter, please,” he said from within.

Leon pushed the heavy door open and trudged in. He bowed to the only man in the room, Sardar, who sat atop a small wooden throne. Like Leon, he had dark brown skin and curly black hair, the man's face was thin and covered in a stylish beard. Unlike Leon, he was very thin and lanky.

“Leondre Bitar… You look just like your father,” he chuckled, “and this woman of yours… A nagini? You truly do like the exotic ones. Tell me, have you ever met a Selkie?”

“This is not why I’m here,” Leon said, “I need warriors for a mission.”

“A mission?” Sardar asked, he leaned back into his chair and stroked his chin.

“Yes, but it’s quite a difficult thing to explain…” Leon thought of what to say.

“Well then, if you cannot explain it, it isn’t worth my time, so leave,” he scoffed.

“What sort of philosophy is that?” Olivia frowned, she slithered up to him, a hand firmly on her hip.

“It’s the philosophy you should subscribe to, my legless friend. Why waste time with what cannot be explained. There is no satisfaction in that.”

Olivia shook her head, “No satisfaction? What a pity, since the best things in life cannot be explained.”

“Leon, your woman here isn’t the most… Brainy of-”

“Excuse me!” Olivia barked, “Love, religion, life itself. They defy our logic, and that’s where their beauty comes from. A life of explanations is no life at all.”

Sardar laughed, then shook his head, “Leon, take her out of here, perhaps you can explain why you need these soldiers.”

Leon looked at Olivia, who was sternly glaring at the cocky mogul. He closed his eyes and cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry Sardar, but I’m with my wife, I cannot explain it,” Leon began. He felt that he could, if given enough time, inform Sardar on what his plans were, but in defense of his wife he remained adamant, “I will just take myself elsewhere.”

He took his wife’s hand and left through the great wooden doors. Sardar began to roar in laughter, “You aren’t kidding are you? You let your woman decide what you do? Hah, perhaps you are better off wandering like you have been.”

Leon turned around, “Well old Sardar, love does defy explanation. It truly is an anomaly.”

Olivia smiled, “You bet it is!”

Sardar growled, “You may leave now!”

As the two followed their path out, a gruff looking man stumbled from one of the doors, he was much wider than Leon, especially in his face, which was adorned in scars and gashes, an eyepatch covering one eye and metallic teeth peeking from behind his lips.

“So you are Leon?” he asked, “Son of Bahadur?”

“Yes, that would be me,” Leon said, unsurely, “do you need something?”

“I was a good friend of your father’s, and you are just as chivalrous as he. I’d be glad to offer you my camelry division.”

Leon beamed, “Really?!”

“Of course, let me gather them,” the old warrior waddled off to the stables. Leon looked to Olivia and smiled.

“Some things defy explanation. Who knows what Sardar was thinking?”



The group of about 20 camels and their riders ambled about the outside of the town. Leon and Olivia sat on top of Harish, the great mammal rocking about as it watched the camels intently, unsure if they were friend or foe. As one approached he held up his trunk as if ready to strike the oncoming animal. Leon quickly tapped the elephant’s trunk before it did anything foolish.

“So you will find our foes to be something quite unlike what you are familiar with. Much bigger than any elephant, much fiercer than any wild dog, scales like that of steel armor.”

The men listened, their seasoned history made fear a thing of the past, the horrors of war were always fresh in their mind and nothing new shocked them. But what they heard sent their imagination soaring as they envisioned what might come to them.

“I cannot guarantee anyone’s safety. Not even mine. But I ensure you, we will share the same fate, whether or not it is death or life”

“Leon, we will follow your command. I know that any order from you is a wiser move than an order from Sardar. Your father was a cunning man, and I see that you are too,” the head of the camelry said.

“Then let us go, our glory awaits!” Leon yelled eagerly. The camels began to disappear, and soon Leon, Olivia, and Harish found themselves in the equally dry and dark land of dinosaurs.

“Let’s get moving everyone!” Nos stood outside of the lean-to, clapping his hands together. Bludge hoisted himself up, shaking dust and rocks from his underbelly. Ria groggily emerged from her shelter, Hypsi and Bristle following after. The sun had just barely begun to peer over the wall of the ravine, the rest of the sky being a deep magenta, the day had hardly started.

“What’s wrong with you? It’s like, 2 am…” Ria scratched her head and yawned.

“Frankly, I’m risking a lot by letting us leave this late, who knows how many search parties are out by this point,” Nos said, his hand over his eyes as he searched the area.

“Come on grease skin, just go,” Bristle barked at Ria. He quickly began to head down the ravine, toward the place they had entered.

“The voice of reason, that guy is,” Bludge laughed.

“Hey, why don’t you give me a lift, tank-a-saurus, my feet are burning,” Ria whined.

“Don’t expect a swift journey then,” Bludge said in response, Ria quickly climbed up the spiky reptile, using each protruding spike as a grip to scale the large creature.

The group had set off, in a half hour they’d be back with the others, Hypsi lagged behind slightly.

“You alright Hypsi?” Nos asked, slowing down to walk beside her.

“Yeah,” she sighed, “I’m good.”

“You don’t sound like it, what’s on your mind?”

Hypsi felt slightly annoyed at the mammal’s persistence, it was a foreign feeling, she was usually open to conversation, but something about the night before made her want to clam up, but regardless, she spoke.

“Well, honestly, I just never thought this moment would come. I never thought I’d see my mistakes be fixed,” She looked up at the taller human, “You know how my kind acted towards Rephagus, we welcomed him, we were blind to his motives, we basically endorsed his reign…”

“But that’s not your fault,” Nos said, “you’re taking the blame of your forebears.”

“Well I most certainly didn’t stop them, it’s just as much my fault as theirs because I didn’t intervene.”

“Don’t be so harsh on yourself, it won't be long before Rephagus is a thing of the past, and we can start living without worry. And you’ll be at peace with you relatives,” Nos said, noticing her mood, it wasn’t like her. She seemed down because of Bristle’s story the night prior, it struck an odd chord with her.

“Hey, Segnosaurs! Get your slow moving carcasses up here!” Bristle shouted up ahead.

“Yeah, you’re letting an ankylosaur outpace you!” Bludge laughed.

The two picked up their pace, meeting up with Bristle in the front. The chasm was beginning to look more familiar, and soon they would be at its mouth, where the rest of the World Protectors waited, and soon, they would return to the narrow passages of the Dark Pass, only with the intent to destroy what lied at the end. Nos was eager to get a day off at the end of all this.



“What a lovely creature!” Skadi grinned, tugging lightly at Harish’s ear. She had never actually seen an elephant, but being a goddess, she knew what it was and almost everything about it, however she still had to catch herself from calling him a mammoth.

“He’s been in my possession since we were both calfs by our mother’s side,” Leon laughed, “The lifelong bond between man and beast… It’s not like anything else.”

At this, he turned around, Olivia had been cautiously sitting behind him, trying to avoid the sight of the frost giantess.

“Of course, the bond woman and beast is stronger,” Leon chuckled, pointing a finger at himself, "at least with this beast."

Skadi was about to extend a hand of greeting, but a figure in her peripheral vision distracted her. She turned, seeing a hulking armored reptile two people, and two smaller creatures.

“Bristle!” She bounded down to the mouth of the crevice. The small green dinosaur sighed, but accepted his fate as she swooped down to embrace him.

“Hello,” he grunted under her constricting arms.

“Never thought I‘d see you out on the front lines,” she said, stroking his quills, something Bristle would never admit he enjoyed.

“Well I never thought I’d see you, well, ever again,” Bristle sneered, “or, rather, hoped.”

“Aww, I’m gonna miss you someday,” Skadi set him down.

“Ah! Skadi, welcome!” Nos greeted, rushing ahead and extending an arm, the giantess smirked as she shook, her hand completely enwrapping his.

“You’re…” Skadi paused.

“Nos, leader of this operation, for the most part.”

“Pleasure to meet you,” Skadi said, she released his hand.

“Now that everyone’s here, I’m going to call in the VS to fully stock us up on soldiers and tools. We should grow at least three fold with the added troops,” Amanda said, she began to dial into a small white device, roughly the size of her hand.

Olivia clutched Leon, resting her head on his shoulder, she closed her eyes and took several deep breaths.

“Hey, don’t worry about this, you’re going to be fine,” Leon said quietly, “It’s no different from when we would defend Acrullia. I’ll be at your side, and no harm will come.”

“I must go gather the dinosaurs who volunteered to fight, I shall return soon,” Hypsi announced. Before anyone could respond, she had already sprinted off.

The small group buzzed and chattered, talking amongst themselves, getting to know eachother a bit more.

“Hey Irene!” Ruby called, she was standing atop some tall broken rocks, the stones beared the marks of primitive cutting and wear, like from an old construction project.

“What’s up Ruby? Everything okay?” Irene asked, jogging over to her. She hopped up onto the rocks and sat beside the redhead.

“Yeah, of course everything’s okay. But uh, when we start moving, do you wanna fight with me? Like you know, not with me, but, near me?” Ruby asked.

“Oh, well, I’m not really a front lines kinda girl,” Irene held out the sniper rifle she had over her shoulder, “This baby has a range well over a thousand yards, not incredibly useful if I’m right in front of the sorry chump I’m aiming at.”

“Right... “ Ruby said, she chuckled, “How much practice does it take to master that thing?”

“Not sure, if you’re anything like me, maybe… 12 years? Perhaps more,” Irene laughed, “But don’t worry, we’ll get to share twice as many war stories this way.”

“Right, so long as you make it out alive,” Ruby smirked.

“Ha, yeah, it’s me you have to worry about, right.”

“Hey, you won’t catch me getting sliced up by dinosaur, it would take a hydrogen bomb to stop me! Or maybe just any bomb.”

Irene laughed, Ruby chuckled as well. It was going to be a long day, and deep down, neither of them wanted to go, the bond between them was tightening, Irene was the friend Ruby never had, and Ruby was the same to Irene. Ruby reclined on the rocks, her hand landing on Irene’s, the huntress slowly moved it over.

“Heh, sorry,” Ruby said quietly.

“It’s fine,” Irene responded, the human contact was nice, she had to admit.

Across from them, in the vast badlands, a few large birds mulled around, picking at the dry grass and feeding amongst the brush.

“I don’t like the look of those things,” Irene glared at them from a distance, “If they’re anything like Tallbirds, they’re gonna be all over us at night.”

“Really? They look kinda like ostriches-”

“Ostriches! That’s what they remind me of, thanks!” Irene shouted, banging her fist on her hand in realization.

“You couldn’t remember what ostriches were?” Ruby puzzled.

“Hey, I never had to use the word for about 20 years, and my dictionary didn’t have a picture for them, I was beginning to forget.”

Ruby laughed, “Hey, well sometimes I forget what the word ‘friend’ means.”

“But then you look at me and you remember, right?” Irene asked.

“Yeah, that’s one of the words, after fart, burp, and arm hair, then I think of friend,” Ruby smirked.

“In that order? You really associate me with fart before burp? Gosh, I guess you and I have a different perspective on myself,” Irene said, feigning a shocked voice.

They laughed, the sun hanging over them as a chorus of hissing insects rattled on in the heat. From a distance Faroe watched the two women sit, he chuckled to himself.

“What’s so funny?” a familiar deep voice asked.

He turned and saw an icy blue pair of ankles. He craned his neck to see her face, which loomed about 20 feet above him.

“I just thought,” Faroe began, clearing his throat, “that it’s notable how I mentor Irene, and she then, in turn, mentors Ruby, it is perhaps as if I’m mentoring both of them.”

Skadi laughed.

“See, it is peculiar.”

“No, that’s not why I’m laughing,” she said, sitting down next to him and crossing her legs. Her head was now only about 8 feet over his, “I’m laughing that you even think that. The things a man tells to a woman are vastly different than what a woman tells another.”

“Really? What difference does our gender make?” Faroe asked, genuinely curious.

“Men and women are very different creatures. When you and her talk, you don’t reveal everything you’re thinking, it’s just how most people work. But when two men or two women converse, they usually reveal more.”

“You’re right…” Faroe said, “I wonder why that is…”

“Hey don’t ask me, I’m not Odin or anything, I don’t know the answer,” Skadi threw her hands up in defense.

“Well, whenever I have a query, I know which god not to pray to,” Faroe chuckled.

Skadi pulled back a finger and flicked his side, an action otherwise negligible, only to Faroe it hurt immensely.

“Hey, watch it,” Faroe winced, rubbing his side.

“Oh right,” Skadi smiled awkwardly, “sorry.”

“Eh, it didn't hurt that much…” Faroe lied. He didn’t want her to feel bad. In fact, he was starting to grow attracted to her. She was wise when she needed to be, but was quite fun loving as well.

“So Skadi, what happens if you… die… in battle?” Faroe asked.

“Die? I can’t die.”

Faroe furrowed his brow, “But, I thought you could die in the mortal world.”

Skadi chuckled, “Maybe some other Norse gods. But you have to remember, this is Skadi you’re talking to,” she grinned.

Faroe nodded, laughing quietly, “Well, you should still be careful.”

Skadi smiled warmly, “Thanks for being concerned. But truthfully, a Norse god can only be killed by whoever is destined to kill them.”

Faroe tilted his head, “How can you tell who’s destined to kill you? Couldn’t that be anyone?”

Skadi looked down to him, “Well, yeah, it could be anyone. Unlike other Norse gods, I don’t actually know. But I fear my fate could be like that of Baldr, in that someone I know and trust might be my demise…”

Faroe shook his head, he began to ponder the idea that he could be the bringer of her death. Not only would it be a severe strike to his role in the divine plan, but it could also force him to lose someone he was close to. He always feared this. And while it never actually happened, it just made him all the more wary that the dreaded time was upon him.

Skadi seemed to sense his feelings, she extended a consoling hand.

“Don’t worry,” she said soothingly as she stroked his back, the way you might pet a dog, “I know it won't be you.”

Faroe smiled weakly, it was helpful to hear, somewhat.

The sat for a while, mostly just in silence. Listening in on all the distant conversations as their words drifted through the hot air. It was a calming sound. The blend of voices creating an incoherent melody.



Hypsi entered the forest clearing. It was a long way from the badlands, but she had made it. Near the center of the fern filled plains was the mighty stone building that she once resided in. It was oddly quiet, the usual sound of chatting dinosaurs was absent. Something seemed wrong. She quickly bounded through the ferns, as she approached the tall stone structure her attention shifted to the door, a few medium sized boulders were stacked in front of the entrance, almost like a barricade. However, it was certainly not keeping anything out. She hopped up on the rocks, effortlessly reaching the top, a few meters off the ground. The main hall was empty, if anyone was in there, they’d be deeper in the grey stone caverns. She scampered down the rocks into the building.

There was hardly any noise as she watched, apart from her claws on the rocky floor. Systematically clicking every few seconds. She stopped. Looking around the cavernous hall, tiny streams of sunlight streaming in through the open holes in the ceiling of interlocking stones. She put her head to the ground, there was a faint scent of herbivore, but something overpowered that. It appeared to be the familiar scent of a flesh eater.

She was now incredibly cautious, she walked slower now, gently setting down each foot, as to not make a sound. There was a distant whisper.

“I think they’re gone.”

Hypsi recognized that voice, it was the elderly warrior Thorne.

Out of the deeper reaches of the corridors emerged a small group of dinosaurs. Thorne stood in front. His sagging old body poised sideways to defend the bodies behind him. Even in the dark Hypsi could see that he hadn’t changed much since they last met. His dusty red body was still covered in wrinkles of age, his small beaked head was as tired as it always was, and his back housed the smooth plates that he had developed since birth, some hundred years ago. Like the other members of his once common kind, he had a few sharp spikes jutting out of his tail.

“Thorne, it is me, Hypsi,” the small dinosaur called. She watched as his defenses relaxed.

“Hypsi, is everything alright?” He asked.

“Yes, but, what happened here?” Hypsi responded.

“There was a raid here, not long ago. Rephagus’ goons, alongside some mysterious creatures, came through this way, they pillaged some of the buildings and eventually made it here. Thankfully, the brave Rufflearm distracted them.

“Rufflearm?” Hypsi tilted her head, she knew Rufflearm, he was a tall and feathered dinosaur, but wasn’t much in the way of fighting, maybe running. He wasn’t sure how he could distract all of Rephagus’ raiding party, “What did he do?”

“He claimed he was you,” Thorne laughed heartily, “he’s yellow, you’re yellow.”

Hypsi shook her head, “You aren’t serious, we’re not even remotely the same size, and he has feathers, I don’t.”

“These appeared to be Rephagus’ less educated followers, thankfully.”

A smaller dinosaur stepped out from behind Thorne, he was a deep grayish purple, and atop his head was a thick bony done. He smirked slightly, “So, why don’t you tell us why you’re here.”

Hypsi sighed, “I need to gather the able bodies. We’re leading the attack very soon and we’re low many fighters.”

The dome headed dinosaur stepped forward, “Of course, I thought you’d never ask.”

Thorne stepped aside, and every dinosaur moved forward. One of which was Dagger, who had arrived there earlier. Hypsi smiled as she saw him, and he smiled back. However, she dreaded the moment when she would have to tell him about Shatter.

“Good luck,” Thorne nodded, “may your ancestors fight beside you in spirit.”

Hypsi lead the group of forty out of the rocky building. As they marched through the field of ferns to the thick jungle, Hypsi began to think, with the group’s size, it would take hours to get to the badlands.

“Okay, archers and sharpshooters, get a move on the the lookout points,” Amanda barked, she pointed to a small raised path parallel to the canyon floor, "Sorry you won't be able to be air lifted in, but we're pressed for time and resources."

Olivia began to shake, she wasn’t ready to go alone.

“Olivia?” Leon asked quietly.

“Leon… I don’t want to leave...”

Leon stroked his chin, he held up a finger, “Wait here.”

He made his way over to where Amanda was standing, up on a small metal platform, raised a few feet over the ground, a clearly portable device, that would likely buckle under the weight of a few more people.

“Excuse me,” Leon called.

Amanda looked down, upon seeing him, she smiled, “Yes?”

“You wouldn’t mind if I went with the archers for a while? I’ d like to keep my wife company for a little longer.”

Amanda groaned, she didn’t want to complicate things by leaving someone out of the battle for too long, but in the end, she couldn’t bring herself to say no.

“Sure, I don’t see why not,” she nodded.

“Thank you,” Leon gave a short bow, then made his way to his new group. Soon, he was off, walking the sides of the steep cliff with 50 or so ranged soldiers.



“Now spearmen, march to the front, if you don’t already have a shield please get one, and don’t forget…”

Bristle watched the distant trees, ignoring Amanda’s pointless commands. He sat motionless. Hypsi was taking her sweet time coming back, and deep down, he feared it was his fault.

“What are you doing?”

“Ack!” He leapt up, snapping his head to see Ruby leaning over curiously, “Do you mind?!”

She nodded yes. And sat down next to him.

“If you really must know, I’m waiting for Hypsi to come back. She has all the other reinforcements we’re going to get, and if she doesn’t pick up the pace… Well, we’ll be here longer than we have to.”

Ruby laughed, “Yeah, I really want to go home too,” she paused and scrunched her face, “Well, maybe not home, but I don’t want to be here, no offence.”

Bristle sighed, “It’s not like I live here, you and I both want to leave just as much.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

Bristle reconsidered, “Actually, I want to leave more.”

“And why’s that?” Ruby asked.

“I suppose I shall tell everyone then. You mammals certainly know how to pry information from someone.”

Ruby held up her hands, “No, if you don’t want to.”

Bristle stared at her, “Well, that’s certainly polite of you.”

Bristle heard the sound of shaking trees, he peered across the rocky flats to the trees, a moderately sized group of dinosaurs made their way out of the forest.

“There they are,” Bristle said.

“Wow, look at all them,” Ruby said, wide eyed in amazement.

“It took them long enough,” scoffed Bristle, who began to make his way to Amanda.

“Won't you greet them?” Ruby asked.

“Yes, once they get here,” he turned to Amanda, “Hypsi has returned with the others.”

“Good,” she said, the human forces were already lined up and ready to march. It wouldn’t be incredibly hard to get the dinosaurs into the mix as well.

The herd came to a stop at the mouth of the canyon, Hypsi hopped forward and looked to Amanda, “Well, here I am, and I’ve brought the rest.”

The thick headed dinosaur stepped forward, “Would you look at that, I’ve never seen creatures quite as strange as these, he cocked his head as he looked Amanda up and down, then the rest of the humans, who had mostly stopped what they were doing to look at the herd.

Amanda struggled to think about her education on dinosaurs, “You must be a… Stego… Stegoceras?”

The dull purple reptile shook his head, “Not at all… The name’s Warskull,” he nodded proudly.

“I believe he is what you would call a ‘Pachycephalosaurus’ if I’m not mistaken,” Bristle chimed in, walking towards the group, “Now that everyone’s here, why don’t we get this battle over with?”

Amanda mulled it over, then cleared her throat, saying, “My armies will be here briefly, once they arrive, they’ll line the back and then we can move.”

Almost as soon as she said it, the area was bathed in a harsh light, the signal that indeed the last of the soldiers had arrived. And it was truly magnificent, rather than simply bringing people in, the Victory Sound crew had brought in a few giant landing craft. Nine in a triangular formation, slightly above the ground. The one in the front opened it’s door, out of it stepped the red skinned general, General Kingler. He looked around at the group and nodded.

“My word Amanda, you never fail to surprise me. What a fantastic army you’ve gathered,” He smirked.

“You’ll be happy to hear there are more soldiers already on there way to the battlefield, getting ready.”

Kingler grinned, “Excellent, I've brought my fair share of men and women as well. Not to mention a couple of T-96's."

The rest of the landing craft opened their doors, legions of men and women marched out with big black guns held tightly in their hands. Amanda helped them line up in the back, where they could fire from the sides and from the back of the group.

"The medical centers will line the back, and they are already stocked with healers," the General nodded.

Ruby inhaled, “Here we go…” To her left was a middle eastern looking man with a large spear, to her right was a hairy viking, holding two axes just like hers. She could see in the front she could just make out Faroe readying his staff for some kind of spell.

"Ruby," Amanda called, "why don't you come back here and work at the medical center?"

Ruby slowly weaved through the horde of soldiers, she awkwardly said "sorry" and excuse me" as she bumped and knocked into them. She briskly walked over to Amanda.

"If you work in the medical center, you can put those healing skills of yours to good use," Amanda said, before Ruby could even open her mouth.

"But wouldn't I do better as a field medic?" she asked.

"A field medic is an even bigger target than a soldier. I don't want you to get hurt."

Ruby was confused, her healing powers would certainly keep her safe from any sort of attack. Amanda was acting like they didn't exist.

"I think you'll be better off situated in the healing bay," General Kingler intervened, "the battlefield is a dangerous place."

"I... but..." she sighed, "okay, yeah..."

Ruby now realized she wouldn't have many war stories to share with Irene.

Faroe grumbled looking his staff up and down, he began to think about Irene, then about Skadi, They didn’t say goodbye to me, what kind of friends are those?

Nos sheathed his sword, he checked his pistol then put it in his holster, finally insuring his armor was on correctly, “Okay, let’s do this…”

Bristle stood next to Hypsi. She craned her neck down, looking at him.

“We’re going to be infiltrating the fortress,” she said, “You, me, and a few humans.”

“Who said that?” Bristle asked.

“I did, just now.” She smirked.



“Okay, we’re moving now,” Amanda’s voice crackled over a small radio.

“The group is Oscar-Mike, I repeat, Oscar-Mike,” Irene declared in a commanding voice.

“Mind explaining what that means?” Leon asked.

“On the move,” she said, “It’s old war lingo.”

The group was moving carefully across the ledge. They were forced to travel single file, their backs pressed against the jagged brown stone. Skadi, luckily, was large enough to climb over the cliffs that blocked their way. In her arms was Harish, who was even less capable of squeezing by.

“You’re being careful with my elephant up there, right?” Leon asked.

“Of course, elephants are incredibly fragile, I’m being incredibly careful,” Skadi laughed. Harish seemed less enthused about his situation.

“I hope she’s being careful...” Olivia whispered.

“I’m sure she is,” Leon gave a small smile, “don’t you worry about it.”

“Wait…” Irene held up an arm, she withdrew a pair of binoculars and peered down the canyon, “I see a bit of movement…”

“What does it look like?” A bearded archer asked.

“The tail seems too low for a dinosaur, reminds me of..” she pulled away from the binoculars, and cocked her head at Olivia, “Kinda looks like more snake folk. What would they be doing here?”

Leon considered the possibilities, “I think I know…”

Olivia nodded slightly, in agreement, “Evil can recognize evil…”

“What does that mean?” Irene asked, annoyed.

“It means you probably spotted Ylla, what color was this naga?” Leon asked.

“Black. Black and red I think.”

Leon sighed, “Yes, that’s Ylla…”

“Well? Who’s Ylla?” She asked.



Ylla inched her way through the small crack in the cliff wall, leading to the subterranean tunnels. She left King’s body where it had fallen, avoiding the temptation to bite her old companion. Now she was alone, in the dark cool cave. Far off in the tunnels she heard a rock collapse, its sharp echo carrying through the corridor.

The sound made her jump, she grew cautious, slowly slinking through the darkness, her eyes not yet adjusted to it. She heard the rhythmic tapping of taloned feet.

“Back from your embarrassing defeat, I presume,” the rasping voice asked. Ylla presumed it was one of Rephagus’ many feathered goons.

“I’ll have you know it was a great success,” Ylla responded, her nose turned up.

“Really? So that dreaded yellow beaked fool is dead?” the creature continued to pry.

“She is… Likely not going to make it. My best archer managed to land a hit on her.”

“Sounds like she got away,” the reptile said sternly, “perhaps you aren’t as great as Rephagus presumes you are.”

“I’ll let you think that,” Ylla hissed as she slithered away, continuing down the caves back towards Rephagus’ fortress.

The enormous reptile looked down at the two nagas. He huffed quietly as they stood in silence. Ylla buried her deep fear, and stared back at him with great boldness. Around them the great hall was empty, what once housed hundreds of fearsome and ruthless monsters from all over the world, worlds even. Now, it was barren.

“I am disappointed in the loss you suffered,” Rephagus finally spoke. His voice alone was enough to fill the great emptiness. It reverberated for a few seconds, before dying down.

“He was of no importance to me. I managed to survive without him,” Ylla said sternly.

Rephagus seemed to be taken aback by the statement, “You do not seem to care for your companions.”

Koba peered at her, wondering what she would say next.

“The more people I grow attached to, the less committed I am to things that matter,” she sneered, “My father killed my mother, and I plan to follow in his teachings.”

Rephagus paused. He lowered his head until it was a few feet from the ground and he spoke quietly, “Please exit, I must speak to your companion privately.”

The nagini complied, briskly making her leave. Rephagus watched as she left. The massive reptile turned to face the trembling naga, who was beginning to fear what was going to happen next.

“Tell me about that snake mammal’s life. You are her companion, so you must know.”

Koba exhaled, he knew that he was safe. However, the demand was an odd one, he hardly knew anything about his leader either.

“Well, I do know why her father killed her mother,” he began softly.

“Tell me.”

“Well, she was more of an omnivore than he was, and I’m talking very marginally, as in, he’d eat a deer, and she’d eat a deer with a berry on the side. So every time she would go out to find a bush to finish off her meal, he’d have to wait for her to find some particular fruit or plant. So, fed up with it, he grabbed her by the neck and slammed her head against a rock. Didn’t even eat her. He laughed about it then went on his way, and that was the last Ylla saw of him, she went off on her own after that.”

Rephagus thought for a moment, “You fear your fate will be like her mothers.”

Koba swallowed, “I’m not sure…”

“When you’re away from her, you indulge yourself.”

“Maybe, maybe sometimes…”

“A mammal like you doesn’t live on just meat alone.”

“What do you want!?” Koba yelled.

“Eat the leaves that grow in the gardens, she will never know.”

The hulking tyrannosaur began to move towards the room’s exit, he paused before ducking through the archway.

“Ylla is not who I want beside me.”

Koba cocked his head, “But, wait, why?”

“She plans to succeed only on her own, she doesn’t consider her own companions for anything. She hasn’t even told you about your friends death.”

“Wait, she was talking about… Not King…” Koba gasped.

Rephagus turned and left. Koba sunk low to the floor, he held his hands to his head, shaking it in disbelief.

“Not King, he couldn’t be, how…” Koba couldn’t manage a coherent thought, “My only friend…”



The giant theropod walked the halls, tracking Ylla’s sweaty, distinctly mammalian scent. He considered how she had attempted to cover up that she was a mammal back in the clearing after they had first met. It was fascinating how she tried to appease him that way. He found it slightly pitiful. But her talents were not to be overlooked. A small feathered reptile emerged from the craggy walls.

“Master Rephagus, the army is approaching! What are we to do?” he squawked.

Rephagus recoiled slightly, cocking his head, “We must get our own battlers into position then, I wasn’t expecting such a bold move on their part…”

The little dinosaur nodded and skittered off to rally the others. Rephagus turned around and marched deeper into the palace.



“We’re approaching the first basin, get ready to set up medical station,” Amanda commanded.

The army began to widen as the entered the more open area. The large mobile medical centers began to move to the sides of the canyon. The hovering vehicles stopped and landed gently on the red rocky ground. The large white doors folded down, creating a small platform on the side of the hovercraft.

Ruby scampered out, seemingly desperate to see the battlefield and leave the close quarters of the hovercraft. Granted, it was currently just the soldiers on her own side. SHe turned around to one of the other crewmembers.

“What? Where is everyone?” she asked.

“Rephagus’ kin? Probably on their way, but we didn’t want to stop and fight before setting up a forward camp,” a young man said as he mindlessly set up the medical station.

“Oh, I guess that makes sense,” Ruby said, constantly looking back at the openings of the canyon, in hopes of spying some targets.

“Get in here and hold this pole up, will you?”



Faroe sat down. He closed his eyes and began to meditate, trying to sense the presence of any unwanted visitors. He reopened them. His conscious fixated on Irene and Skadi. He stood up and dusted himself off. He glanced at his staff.

“I can’t die today,” he said to himself, “The gods chose me to be their warrior. They wouldn’t let me fall in battle.”

“Hey you and me both,” a soldier said, resting his gun on his shoulder, “They’ve been with me in the casino, they sure as hell better be with me here.”

Faroe forced a chuckle, “I don’t think you quite understand.”

“Listen, I don’t really care. You don’t have to explain your whole faith to me, alright?” He turned away, and began talking to someone else.

Faroe furrowed his eyebrows, “Well that was rather rude,” he said, “the gods better not make me die and have him live,” he shook his head.

“Faroe,” it was Akila. She marched through the crowd of soldiers, who parted to make way for the imposing priestess. She stood in front of Faroe, who simply smiled.

“Hello,” he said.

Akila gave a confused look, “Are you prepared?”

“For what? A fight?”

She nodded.

Faroe’s smile wavered, but still remained, “Yes, of course I am,” he said confidently.

“Well good, because they’re about to launch their attack. I’d advise you be aware and ready up your shield, my lord,” Akila informed, “You clearly don’t have your mind on what’s at hand.”

Faroe straightened up, “Of course I do,” he held his staff aloft and formed one of his magical shields, “See look, head is perfectly in the game.”

Akila shook her head. She summoned her wings and flew a few feet above the soldiers, looking over the area, “I’d advise we get ready.”

Out of the canyon emerged a small pack of dinosaurs, they all looked to be the same species, some type of sickle clawed carnivore. The spearmen in the front lines braced themselves, holding up their solid steel shields. Akila swooped down next to Faroe.

“You can lower your defenses, my lord,” she said, “and perhaps go for an offensive position.”

“Right,” he said.

Faroe held his staff in both hands, but he quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to attack anyone with a line of shields in his way. Akila looked at him, and shrugged.

“Still, be alert,” she said.

The spearmen lunged forward, a few of the feathered dinosaurs hopped up on their weapons and leaped over the men’s heads, others were skewered as they attempted to attack the well armored soldiers. Those behind them began to scatter, attempting to fight off the dozen or so assailants. Akila lunged forward and punched one of the assaulting raptors, who had pinned down one of Amanda’s riflemen, he stood up shakily and gave a thumbs up.

The battlefield began to settle down. A few of the soldiers looked around and began to murmur amongst themselves. Nos marched up to the front, searching for Faroe. He spotted the Egyptian’s golden crown.

“Faroe, there you are!” he jogged over, nodding to Akila, “What do you think their plan is? Are they trying to disrupt our soldiers before they really begin?”

“It seems so sir,” Faroe said.

“I’ll contact Irene, perhaps they can keep us informed on any coming engagements,” Nos said, he withdrew a device from his belt and put it up to his head.

Chapter 39: Fight to the End Edit

“Hello there!” Irene smiled, her own communicator held up, “We’re up at our post and uh, things are good.”

She paced around, nodding and pausing exaggeratingly, she looked around the group smiling, though she mostly received confused glances.

“Well, I don’t see much now,” she said, tilting her head up and looking around the canyon, “though earlier I saw another snake lady, so I’d say we’re in a good spot. Hold on,” she noticed some more movement, “Wait wait, I see some more stuff, yeah, it looks like a pretty big attack force, I think you should get ready.”

Leon looked over to Olivia, if there really was a large attack coming, he would have to go down and fight. She knew this and wrapped her arms around him in an attempt to keep him from leaving.

“Alright, will do,” Irene said. She hung up and slid the communicator into her pocket, “The time has come men, and women I guess, also you Skadi, and of course snake people, how could I forget them,” one of the snipers waved his hand gesturing for her to hurry up, “Oh right, well, get to the edge people, and ready your guns!”

Olivia knew it was time for her to part with Leon, she turned to him, but quickly turned away. A goodbye was necessary, but she found it impossible to act on. She choked back tears.

“Hey?” Leon called quietly.

She whipped around and embraced him.

“I don’t want to leave you,” she whimpered.

“I don’t want to leave you either,” he said, “but we must.”

“I don’t want to lose you…”

Leon stood back, his arms on her shoulders, “Olivia, trust me, you won’t.”

Her expression didn’t change.

“We’ll see each other soon,” he gently pressed his lips on hers.

“Okay guys, hurry up,” Irene barked, focusing on the enemy with the rest of the group.

Olivia wiped her nose and slowly made her way over to the others. Harish tramped over to her, wrapping his trunk around her waist. Her eyes met his. Moisture formed behind his heavy eyelashes.

“It’s okay Harish…” she looked at Leon, then returned her gaze to the massive elephant, “I’ll see you soon.”

Skadi smirked, “I wish my elephant looked at me the way hers does.”

“Come on!” Irene barked, Harish loosened his grip and let Olivia catch up with the others. The elephant made it’s way over to Leon.

“Oh hey, Leon,” Skadi added.

“Yeah?”

“There’s a path down there that leads to the canyon,” she pointed beyond some trees, “It’s a lot faster than the way you’re going.”

Leon nodded his head and smiled, he patted Harish a few times and began to move towards the trees. Olivia watched as he left. She sat and pulled her bow repeatedly, Irene began giving commands that she was tuning out. Skadi knelt down next to her, readying her bow.

“Hey, I like your bow, do you hunt?” she asked.

Olivia shot up, she looked up to the giant goddess, “Oh uh, no I don’t really hunt…”

Irene overheard this, she quickly scooted over to them, “Oh she hunts.”

“Really?” Skadi said, “What do you hunt?”

Before Olivia could answer, Irene butted in, “She hunts giants.”

Skadi squinted, “Really huh?”

Olivia was silent, she glared at Irene.

“Okay, well let’s get shooting eh? The targets won’t just wait around until we do,” Irene held her rifle up and aimed at the group far below them. The cluster of warriors were mostly human, scantily clad swordsmen and archers as well as a few heavily armed knights, donning heaving spiked armor and tall black spears. The only non humans were a couple of minotaurs and a pack of medium sized blade toothed dinosaurs.

“Okay, people with bows, aim for the people with less armor, guns, focus on the monsters and dinosaurs,” Irene held her rifle tightly, “Okay… get ready…”

The muzzle flashed followed by a quiet snapping sound. One of the steel clad soldiers collapsed. The group looked around, panicked, they were instantly caught in a deluge of arrows and bullets zipping past their heads and striking their skin. A few of them began to shoot back, most of their arrows struck the cliff face and fell back to earth, one of them pierced through the head of the archer next to Irene, who tumbled down to the bottom of the ravine.  

“They’re not retreating,” Skadi said, shooting one of her extra large arrows.

“Yeah, why is that?” Irene responded.

“Maybe they’re not as well organized as we feared, maybe they don’t have any good instruction,” the giantess said.

Olivia chimed in, “Well if nobody told them what to do, wouldn’t they be running away?”

Irene glanced at the nagini.

“Actually, that would make sense,” Skadi stroked her chin, “there’s something more going on.”

After a short firefight, the soldiers below began to retreat, leaving behind a few bloodied corpses, most of the other bodies were dragged away by dinosaurs.

“Do you think we should follow them?” Irene asked.

Skadi paused, “What if it leads to a trap?”

“But what if they’re going to tell their boss where we are?” Irene retorted.

Olivia began to speak quietly, “We should-” she raised her voice awkwardly, “We should just go somewhere else, then we would avoid a trap, and their information would be valueless…”

The others nodded and began to murmur in agreement.

“Yes, that’s a good idea little snake,” Skadi said, “We should go somewhere else, we might be able to climb down the cliff and go across to the other side,” she pointed to the mesa opposing them, it was sparsely vegetated compared to the side they were on, but could still offer cover if needed.

This time the group groaned.

Skadi whipped around, “Would you rather be a little tired, or dead? Let’s move it!” She hopped down into the ravine, which wasn’t much of a drop for her, and began climbing the other side.

Irene looked at Olivia, then to the group, “Well come on!”


Nos took a seat in a small fold out chair, “I’m sure we could have done better than this,” he muttered. The rest of the soldiers were resting as well, some sitting on the ground, others leaning against each other. Amanda approached him, looking wary.

“Why are we resting? We’ve barely started!” she shook her head, “What will happen if they attack now?”

“We’re not that unprepared,” Nos said, “and it was Kingler’s idea, he wanted them to have energy when we move again,”

Amanda scoffed, “That guy is too soft sometimes, I understand why he’s in charge, but he’s certainly not the person he was 10 years ago. I’m much more qualified for his job.”

“Hmm…”

“What, you don’t think I’m good at my job?” she barked.

“On your feet men!” someone shouted. The huge masses of warriors began to stir, exiting the mouth of the ravine was a large band of Rephagus’ soldiers. Amanda snapped her head to the approaching enemies, then to Nos, then over to her position near the T-96 assault craft in the back, she quickly ran over to the back.

Nos pulled out his sword, the blade beginning to heat up. He watched as the two armies clashed, the difference between weapons and technology was astounding, he wondered how it would be possible to lose. He took a deep breath, and charged into the fray.


The sound of clashing swords, screams, and clanging armor wormed its way into the medcenter Ruby was stationed at. She couldn’t see anything, but knew what was going on. A short man in a white doctor’s coat waddled over to her, “Our job’s about to get a lot harder” he grinned.

“Do people only start coming in after the fighting stops?” Ruby asked.

“They come in whenever they get the chance, and be ready for anything.”

There was already one person in the room for treatment, he had a series of teeth lodged in his leg. It wasn’t something Ruby could deal with, since her healing would leave the teeth in him. She felt utterly useless now and wished that she could have one shot at fighting alongside everyone else.


Faroe thrusted his staff forward, unleashing a surge of electricity through the enemies in front of him, arcs of lightning jumping between bodies, singing the air. Next to him fought Akila, kicking out with her legs and casting balls of fire wherever her legs couldn’t reach. The two had a strange natural coordination, it led them around the battlefield without ever causing any disruptance to their fighting, or anyone else’s. Nos darted over to them, he began to fight alongside the two Egyptians.

“It’s been awhile since we did something this big together, eh Faroe?” he said, slicing through an enemy's sword, as well as the man himself.

“Yeah, I remember when it was just the two of us going on adventures, nothing so big like this though.”

“But master Faroe, you fought off the Greek army oh so many years ago, they were much more of a challenge than this,” Akila added, stomping down a raptor and blasting two other warriors with fire.

“Yeah, well not with my best friend, and hopefully after this… Hopefully we’ll be able to be together more often…” Faroe stopped fighting.

“Master!” Akila swooped down, grabbing a minotaur by its horns before it could impale the stationary Pharaoh, “Move!” she commanded.

Faroe shook his head and leapt back, Akila lifted the bull man then slammed him to the ground. Nos swiped with his sword and cut through the creature’s chest.

“Why’d you stop friend?” Nos asked, slashing at two sharp toothed dinosaurs that had gotten too close.

“Take back what I said, I hope we aren’t together after this,” he swung his staff and shocked the two predators away from Nos, “you should head back, me and Akila can handle this.”

Nos began to protest, but the two quickly pushed further ahead, leaving him behind.

What was that? He thought.

“Okay, near here should be an entrance to the fortress,” Hypsi explained, standing close to the rocky red wall of Rephagus’ palace, with her was Bristle, two humans from Amanda’s battalion, one pale with light blonde hair, and the other with dark brown skin, hair shaved, and a norse warrior donning a bear's skin, its brown fur contrasting his bright red facial hair.

“Yeah, you’re right,” one of Amanda’s soldiers confirmed, looking at a small scanner in his hand.

“We’re going to rig this place with detonators, while it won’t be enough to destroy the whole thing, we might just be able to do enough damage to force the inhabitants to run out, and be easy targets for our gunners,” the other soldier said.

“We’re the only two with communicators though, so if we split up, make sure one of us is with you.”

The other three nodded in agreement, the blonde soldier moved forward and began to cut a hole in the side of the rock with a powerful laser, soon the chunk of rock broke off and fell in. The five entered one at a time. Inside it was rather light, large windows let in sun at the ends of the hall, they glanced around.

“Okay, so I think we have to go that way,” Hypsi said, pointing her nose near a rather dark passageway, much narrower than the twenty-some foot wide hall they had entered through.

“What do we do if we get caught?” Bristle asked.

The viking stepped forward, “You run, I stay back and my do my part,” he leaned a very large axe on his shoulder.

“Yes, well what do we do if we get caught, you know, by one of the titanic killing machines Rephagus keeps holed up in here?” he reiterated.

“Like I said, you run, and I do my part,” he glared.

They quickly walked over to the shadowy corridor, deep in the cavernous halls they could hear talking, growling, all sorts of noises, none of them knew if they would leave the palace alive, if at all.


Faroe drove the enemies back, lashing out with his staff and casting arcs of lightning in all directions, Akila soared around, picking off any foes he missed. Around them other soldiers fought, ceratopsian dinosaurs charged forward, driving their horns into anything too slow to avoid their attack, hulking cyclopes and minotaurs thrashed and flailed their weapons and fists, crushing tens of defenseless warriors with each sweep, Nos dodged the attack of one unlucky cyclops, and drove his superheated blade into his eye.

“Nobody does that to me!” He roared, blindly running and flailing in rage, until he collided with the front end of a T-96, which fired its front mounted canon into his chest, launching the one eyed monster airborne. His hulking body smashing into one of the mobile medcenters, knocking it over and sending it rolling.

“Holy crap!” Ruby screamed, everything around her began to spin, containers of medical supplies spilled out, raining bio hazardous materials down on her, the intense lights began to flicker as the vehicle tumbled along the rocky ground, it finally stopped with a loud crash, the lights remaining off as sparks briefly illuminated the room she was in.

A small pack of raptors darted in between the legs of the VS Corps in a highly coordinated move, and all leapt up simultaneously to attack a camel mounted swordsman, throwing him to the ground and sending his ride into a panic. The man tried desperately to swing his sword in defense, but soon his blood was drained and his guts were dragged across the rocky ground. Amanda spotted them approaching her, she began to fire with her laser pistol, taking out most of them, the few remaining scattered back into the chaos.

The VS Corps began to push forward once more, they had the upperhand, through both numbers and training. Before the day was over, the palace would be under attack.

The forward spearmen began to clean up the last of the enemies. The area returned to an eerie silence once more.

“Think that’s the last of them?” one said.

“I’m not sure, this guy has to have a few more dinos up his sleeve, we barely saw any,” another soldier answered.

“Oh yeah, he has more,” Warskull chimed in, the large deep hued pachycephalosaur walked ahead of them, “you haven’t seen anything yet,” he turned his head over to them, “When he does send in his strongest allies, we’ll stand no chance, it will take the miracle of all miracles to win.”

“Warkull!” Ouro briskly walked over, his four graceful legs chugging along furiously, “Don’t get the soldiers worked up, that’s not how you should do business.”

“I’m just telling the truth,” he said.

“Listen, mammals, Rephagus’ strongest battlers are no match for us, we have the power of good on our side, there’s no way we can lose,” Ouro said as he walked away.

“And they say my kind are thick in the head,” Warskull said.

“Okay, VS Corps and all other soldiers get moving, we’re soon going to approach the second canyon opening, where the Palace of Rephagus lies, once we are there, expect him to throw everything at us,” Amanda called through a loudspeaker, which was built into one of the T-96’s.

A few officers moved in and reorganized the great mass of soldiers, putting them back into their proper place. The army began to move towards the canyon ahead, leaving behind a few medics and mechanics to clean and salvage the battlefield.


“Are you alright?” Ruby asked, carefully feeling around in the darkness. She didn’t want to be poked by any strange needles or syringes, as she didn’t know what effect they’d have on her, “Hello?”

She got no response, and she couldn’t hear any breathing or movement either. Not having any other option, she tried to scamper up to the doors, which were now facing the sky, hopefully if they could be opened, then she could better judge the situation inside. However, it was easier said than done, there were hardly any platforms she could find to make it up. Sparks flashed again, illuminating the room again, briefly. Ruby looked around quickly, but she wasn’t fast enough. SHe waited, light returned and she quickly looked around, to her right was a table, built into the floor, and above it was something else, something she couldn’t make out in time. But she knew enough, she clambered onto the table and felt around, waiting for more sparks to come.

She continued to wait. Minutes continued to pass her by.

There was nothing more it seemed.


“There it is…” Faroe said, up ahead was Rephagus’ palace, the stoney fortress was hundreds of feet tall and was comprised entirely of a single sandy red rock, in the center was a massive spire around it were smaller stalagmite-like towers with small windows carved into them, in the front was a large archway that appeared to have no door, though beyond it was pitch darkness...   

“This places looks no good master,” Akila said, “I’d hate to see what lives in there.”

“I’ve seen the things that live there, and you’re correct,” Faroe said, “I wonder what surprises he has in store.”

“Listen up,” Amanda called from behind, Everyone fan out, try and cover this whole area, so the cannot surround us, Irene and her marksmen will have us covered on the cliffs incase they try and pull any tricks. And just remember, what we do today will determine the future of not just this realm, but all others in existence, once we have lost, hope is lost. But, if victory is to come to us, know that the future will be bright for as long as we live, and know that we are the ones who made it so!”

The army roared a great battle cry, the noise louder than any gunshot or canon blast made before, which echoed in the great canyon around them.

From the dark entryway of the palace emerged three titanic bodies, they looked superficially similar to Rephagus, but different as well, they had bulky muscular arms, ending in 3 clawed hands, their heads were longer and thinner, and over each eye was a red ridge of bony knobs and scutes. They were also bigger.

“That’s new…” Faroe swallowed.

Underneath emerged human soldiers, monsters, dinosaurs, and a great array of other, horrible things that Rephagus managed to scrape up in his travels.

“And so are those,” Faroe continued.

They continued to spill out, their numbers began to rival that of the army standing behind Faroe and the others, in a full out sprint, they began to draw close.

“Okay Akila, get ready to blast some bad guys,” Faroe said, thrusting his staff into the ground and creating a large shield of magic.

“Will do master, and if I am to fall during this battle, know that I am honored to do so at your side,” she said, summoning a large fireball in one hand.

“Soldiers! Attack!” Amanda roared from behind.

The army surged forward, screams of rage erupted from both sides as the met in the center of the battlefield, lasers and bullets shot by, arrows soared through the air, sword and shield clashed as bodies were thrown to the ground or air. Akila and Faroe pushed forward, Faroes shield kept most high velocity objects out, and Akila made sure any intruders were swiftly dealt with.

A large red creature slithered out from beneath the legs of their opponents, it looked somewhat like a salamander.

“Master, perhaps his army is not so strong, if it’s relying on lizards to do anything,” Akila said, casting flames at the creature, it flinched, but didn’t seem fazed otherwise. It lunged up at bit down on Akila’s leg, tugging her down on the ground.

“Akila!” Faroe turned and tried aiming a thunderbolt at the attacking monster, however, he didn’t want to risk hitting his companion.

“Hold on!” Nos sprinted in slashing down on the red creature, cutting into its back.

Akila kicked its head, and leapt back, this time she charged a great beam of light, and shot it into the beast that had bitten her, the creature squirmed and collapsed, clear liquid poured from its body.

“I think that was a fire salamander, avoid its body, they’re quite poisonous,” Faroe said.

“Good to know,” Nos nodded.


“Hey, looks like they finally got this battle going,” Irene said, looking over the ledge of the Mesa they were standing on, “Move over here, let’s help these guys out.”

The marksmen quickly made it over to the ledge she was stationed at, they began to ready their weapons and get into position.

“Now let me think, who’s on our side and who’s on theirs,” Irene said to herself.

Skadi gasped, “Uh oh, I’m running out of arrows,” she said.

“Already?” Irene asked, “How?”

“There aren’t any my size in the ammo boxes.”

“Well, keep shooting till you run out, after that you can go down there and kick some butt hand to hand style,” Irene said. She lined up a shot with an archer on the battlefield, quickly firing, “We also need to make sure that we stay out of harm’s way, guys, make sure to take out any archer you see.”

Olivia made each shot carefully, making sure not to kill any soldiers, but each one she crippled made her feel more and more guilty, she couldn’t stand seeing them injured, but she couldn’t bring herself to kill any.

Come on, you, she thought, You’ve done it before, do it again. These people are evil, if you don’t kill them, you’re not any better than they are.

She shut her eyes, and took a deep breath, in the distance she heard a trumpeting cry, she bolted up, far below on the battlefield was Leon, riding atop Harish, charging through all the enemies that got in their way, she smiled and drew her bow, firing at soldier standing in front of him. She saw Leon look her way, she waved an arm so he could tell it was her.


Leon smiled at his wife’s gesture, he was happy that she could put her bow to good use. But for now, he had to focus on the battle at hand. From his on top of his mount, he could see a great horde of dinosaurs and monsters stretching all the way back to the palace.

“Hey! Leon!” he heard Nos call, he looked around the battlefield and saw him, battling alongside Faroe and his priestess companion. Leon kicked Harish’s side and marched over to them, the armored war elephant grabbing an unfortunate raptor and flinging it aside.

“Nos, how goes the fighting?” Leon asked, thrusting his spear at an enemy swordsman.

“Good enough, I suppose. Amanda has told me to meet up with Bristle in the palace, so if you don’t mind taking my place here, that would be appreciated.”

“Not a problem sir.”

Nos turned over to Faroe, “I want you to come with me, I’ll feel safer with you”

“Well sir, I…”

Akila stepped forward, “Go on with him, master, I will stay back here with the knight Leon.”

Faroe paused, he wasn’t sure sure exactly what to do. He was afraid that his involvement with Nos would lead to both of their deaths, and even though he’d be dead, he couldn’t bear knowing he caused Nos’ demise as well.

“I suppose I will go with you,” Faroe said, albeit with great restraint.

“Well that’s good, since we may be friends, but it’s still an order,” Nos smiled and gave Faroe a hearty pat on the back.

Faroe gave a weak grin, and began to follow Nos towards the back of the army, Akila quickly followed after him.

“Wait master,” she said. Faroe turned to face her, curious as to what she had to say. The priestess held a hand to her mouth and spat in it, the thick saliva plopping into her palm. She placed her hand in Faroe’s, “May my powers always be with you, ready to assist when yours are failing.”

Faroe smiled at her gesture, she gave a small, nearly unnoticeable smirk, before nodding and turning around, leaping back into combat like a secretary bird leaps upon a snake.

“Thank you!” Faroe called out. But his words were not heard over the noise and calamity. Faroe almost wanted to say it again, partially in hopes of her hearing, and partially in hopes of staying behind for a few more seconds. But he decided he had a job to do, and that he would do it. He jogged after his captain to catch up with him.

“Where’s the entrance to this palace, Nos?” Faroe asked, as he kept pace with his leader.

“Amanda says there’s an opening in one of the cliff faces that leads directly into the building, she followed an enemy scout back into one.”

Faroe began to look at the sides of the steep cliffs, looking for any sorts of holes or caves, he spied one, far off near where the marksmen were stationed. It was well above the ground and probably wasn’t the one Amanda had found. He imagined what was in it anyway, picturing black, deep tunnels, filled with vicious monsters and dangerous drops and holes.

They approached the rear, spotting Amanda stationed with a few soldiers near a small command set up. Nos began to question Amanda’s idea to split himself up from the rest of his team. He was beginning to worry about those he had grown to care for. He felt uneasy imagining someone dying and him not being there to help them hold on.

“Nos, hurry it up, I need you in the palace quick,” Amanda stopped, looking at Faroe, “You didn’t need to bring him,” she said.

“I wanted to.”

“Well It’s probably better for him to go back to the battlefield,” Amanda said.

Nos shook his head.

“No!” Faroe yelled. Nos whipped his head around to look at him, he was just about to say the same thing.

“Nos is my greatest friend, my greatest ally. I would sooner end my life than see him go off to the palace and die on his own. He needs me and I need him. I will not go back. I will never go back and you can’t tell me otherwise.”

Amanda stared at Faroe blankly, she could feel an aura of energy around him, “If you so chose. But I had these commandos ready to help him,” she said.

“I will take them. Thank you,” Nos said, “Go over to the tunnels, I will meet you there.”

The soldiers quickly moved off to the cliff face, Faroe slowly following after them. Nos turned to his ally. He gazed at her in the sort of respect any fellow officer would give, but also with that of an adoring young man in love. He opened his arms to embrace her.

“I’m going to end this conflict, if not for the safety of myself and the people being ruled by this tyrant, then for the safety of yourself. I cannot live in a world where you are not with me.”

Amanda gave a faint smile as he embraced her, but her arms only rose in slight to return the affection. Nos didn't seem to care. He broke from the embrace and have her a kiss before giving an “I love you” that seemed to fall on the deaf ears of someone who was already turning away. Nos looked on with slight confusion as she moved off to the station.

“Okay sir, time to go,” Faroe called. Nos began to follow.


Bristle edged around a corner, the sunlight beginning to weaken. In the hallway ahead there were several rocky indentations that jutted inward, large enough to house a person or two, but too small for anything larger, it would be unlikely that a large creature would even realize any one was in there. Hypsi followed closely behind. behind her were the humans. Nobody said anything nor did they make any other noises. So once all hell broke loose it came as sort of a surprise.

Two gargantuan bodies lumbered through the corridor, the dark area obscured their form, all that could be determined was that they were dinosaurs, and that they were carnivores. The stench of rotting meat permeated through the already stale air. Without saying a word the group split apart, Bristle Hypsi, and the viking ducked to the right, while Amanda's soldiers darted into a hole on the left. The titanic creatures lumbered past. The air was still, breathing was a threat to their lives so even that was not done unless absolutely necessary. A bright and instantaneous flash lit the corridor, illuminating the still faces of fear and horror for a brief time. Darkness returned, and although they could not see them, the group knew that the two dinosaurs would be making their return. There was no time to decide what to do. Bristle and Hypsi began to run the other way, while Amanda's soldiers attempted to fire. Their flashlights, the source of the bright light, revealing the horrid faces of their foes, their dagger like teeth gleaming and soulless eyes adjusting to the glow, the rest of their bodies were shrouded in the dark. One lunged down and snapped up the blonde soldier, his comrade stepped back, screaming in terror. The other beast locked eyes with him, as it began to move closer the soldier considered his options, pulling out an explosive, he shouted, “Run!” turning knobs and priming the charge, with just one push of a button it would explode, but before it could be detonated, he was torn away from his possession. His body effortlessly lifted from the ground and swung about like a dog with a toy. In place of screams were noisy crunches and wet slapping sounds. The explosive fell to the ground, clanging against the rocks, and nestling into a crevice, one ill move and it would spell doom for anyone in a nearby radius.

Bristle, Hypsi, and the viking scurried down a narrow decline, leading into the cavernous bowels of the palace. They felt slightly safer there, no giant predator would be able to reach them no matter how hard it tried. However, they soon felt their dread return when they reached a dead end. The stone looked worked, as if this were a tunneling project that had yet to be completed. The three looked around in silence, wondering what to do.

“I guess we have to turn back now,” Hypsi said, looking at the wall ahead of them, she couldn’t seem to find anything that suggested a weak point or hidden exit.

“And walk right back into the jaws of those nasty fiends? I don’t think so,” Bristle said.

“Well there’s not much else we can do Bristle, who knows, they’re probably gone by now, let’s go and see.”

Bristle groaned, there weren’t many other options but perhaps Hypsi was right. Though he never felt it wise to underestimate the determination of Rephagus’ minions.

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