Chapter 1: Kids out of Time
Time is particular in its own way. And if time is wasted, it can not be regained. But if time is controlled, it can be a great passageway into the past or into the future. One group of talented kids and teenagers have found a way to do both. They were called the time Watch Corporation kids. Using special Japan technology and the state of the art tools, the kids and several adults made the first two prototype time watches. It took weeks and a month to build them but they had accomplished what no human has done before. They could travel back in time to the past and the future with just a twist of the watch’s disk. But the watches had one serious error; energy. No matter how much they time traveled, the watches could not hold on to an efficient energy supply. It took two and half weeks just try again and again but so far, nothing. Then when the corp. intended on shutting down for good, three brilliant teens from the employees’ job found a technique around the energy predicament. By converting solar power on the watches and perfectly small rays designed by the three, they had done it. The watches now ran on solar power energy. It took three weeks but soon three new watches were made and the corp. had been saved from a major shutdown. The three kids were now given special authorization to time travel whenever they wanted provided they didn’t mess with ancient times or the future. The three employees were Josiah clover, Shelly Blake, and Ken Blake. Shelly and Ken were brother and sister yet complete opposites. Ken liked being on his computer and was referred by his sister as a ‘hacker’ a ’nerd’ and a ‘Brain box’. Ken never did like the great outdoors very much. Being only ten years of age, he was younger then his sister who was twelve and who liked the outdoors more then him. Shelly never appreciated her brother’s behavior about the outdoors and saw it as annoying. She liked the outdoors and didn’t care whether are not her brother didn’t. She was taller then ken and being older then him, would make sure he got it. She was never scared of the flora and fauna out in the woods when they went camping nor was she afraid to go to the outhouse by herself at night. Ken, unluckily, would always take a flashlight with him and an extra roll of toilet paper to the outhouse just in case. If an animal or some other critter did come near him, he’d shriek so noisily that half of a trailer park would wake up and wonder who is making all that noise in the middle of the night. He wasn’t very bold when it came to large animals’ ether. He was frightened to death at the very sight of anything larger then him. Be it an elephant, horse, or giraffe, Ken didn’t like ether of them. And when it came to time traveling back to prehistoric times, Josiah clover led the two on the craziest ones. Josiah loved time traveling to prehistoric times and interacting with the animals alongside Shelly. Josiah, being twenty years of age, was the oldest of the group and the leader. That made him responsible of the groups protection when they time traveled to certain periods in time. Josiah took this seriously and never let his guard down for a minute. Because the last time that had happened, Ken was attacked by a plesiosaur that had nabbed him by seat of his khaki shorts and tossed him around like a dog with a toy. Poor ken never got over it and was traumatized by for days when they had returned to the future. On top of that, his shorts and underwear were torn by the teeth of that animal. Good thing Josiah and Shelly used the corporation Gadgets to help him out. The time corporation had a steady use of gizmos and gadgets from Japan from time to time and they’d permitted the corporations use of them during time travel voyages in the past. Provided they bring them back to the future after use. Items left in the past in certain movies had always been misused by people in history. And that is what the corporation couldn’t risk. The last thing anyone wanted to do was create a time paradox. The watches could not be used for financial gain by anyone from the institute, either. The intent there was to explore time itself. Not to corrupt it. The kids knew that. Everyone at the corporation knew that. This was the one rule they had: never interfere with time. Time was not a game to be played with nor was it to be taken for granted. Josiah, Shelly, and Ken never forgot that one rule. It was the one rule they never broke together. Another one was to stick together as a team. But like all teams, some things come to an end.
Chapter 2: The Break Up and a New Disovery
Ken walked down the busy hallway of the complex to waiting room 341. He’d come to a tough decision for himself and for his sister and Josiah. He was going to quit, Pure and simple. He’d had enough of time traveling and wanted to start summer school in July as soon as possible. His future was essential to him and he wanted to something to do other then time travel every summer. He sighed to himself and went into the room. It was a circler room with a counter for group sign-ins and outs. In one area there was a room for uniforms and gadgets. The clothes for exploring time were the same color as the employee’s uniforms. The colors of the shoes were red and yellow with blue lacing. The khaki shorts were brown where as the pants were tan with a green line down the side. The shirts were long to short sleeved with a green and blue color. In the right room with the insignia of time was where the time watches were stashed and guarded for later use. The room also had two large monitors with video screens for time rings arrivals and leavings. He first went to the uniforms room, unchanged into his normal clothes and went right over to the counter to sign out. He really didn’t want to do this. Deep down, he thought he only wanted an ordinary life with no time traveling and no dangers. Instead, he was quitting for no reason other then to stop all the running, spearing, animal attacks, and hazards that he had seen fact-to-face over the months he’d been with the others. He sighed once more and after he was done, left the room. “I hope my sister and Josiah understand this,” he muttered under his breath as he made his way to find his sister and friend. “Oh, I understand,” snapped Shelly angrily. “You just don’t wanna be part the group no more, is that it?” Ken had just explained to his sister and Josiah that he was quitting. And he was right. She did not understand at all. “That’s not true!” ken protested back. “I like being part of the team. It’s just that I….I can’t handle time traveling like you and Josiah can.” Shelly didn’t seem to want to listen to this excuse from her brother. She had heard this before from him and didn’t understand how he could be so egotistical about quitting the team. “Oh, boo hoo,” Shelly mocked sarcastically shaking her head. “So you can’t handle a little time traveling, Big deal. You don’t see me complaining about it or quitting!” “You and Josiah can handle things without me, can’t you?” Ken asked almost hurt by his sister’s words. “You’re better off with someone who is a better member to the team then I am.” Josiah waved his hands trying to brake up the argument. “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” he said. “You don’t have to quit, Ken. I know you’ve had some accident in the past and future, but you can’t quit just because of that.” But Ken just shook his head. “Look, Josiah, who are we kidding?” He turned away from them and sat down on a bench. “I’m not a time traveler. I’m a normal kid. I wanna be normal for once in my life. I’m not built for exploring through time and space like you guys, I never was.” Josiah was confused. “What are you talking about?” he asked. “I…can’t explain,” he croaked. Shelly glared. “Oh, that’s just great,” she said furiously. “First you turn in your watch and uniform and now you’re ditching us?” Ken couldn’t meet his sister’s or Josiah’s eyes. “It’s my decision!” he yelled angrily, getting up and turning away. “I quit! I don’t wanna be I time traveler anymore!” For a moment, Shelly and Josiah watched Ken depart out of the doors of the institute without another word. “Fine!” Shelly yelled after him, her voice braking “But I won’t give up on being a traveler of time. I’ll continue to work at this corporation with Josiah, whether you’re my brother or not!” With that, Shelly turned and walked away down the hall in tears leaving Josiah all alone in the hall. Josiah walked down the empty hallway of the second floor of the corporation building alone for hours. His team was crumbling and worse, he didn’t know what to say to either of them. Shelly had dedicated herself to time travel ever since she heard news about the prototype watches on TV. Back then, she couldn’t wait to join the time watch corporation. She had even encouraged her brother to join as well and the two had successfully made it in. Josiah had come along after that and soon the three became quick friends and a team. Had it not been for Josiah’s quick thinking over the two months they time traveled back to the past, the group may have not have survived anything time dished out. So, for the next two weeks, Josiah time traveled by himself. It was lonesome. But he soon got over it. He met new people and got a chance to visit his favorite eras. In the old west he had to be careful of outlaws and thugs who tried to steal his items from his back-pack. In Camelot he was almost burned at the stake for being black and dressing strangely. He got out alive by using deception and the gadgets from his bag but never went back to medieval times again after that. The 1950’s seemed less friendly then 1880’s as blacks were not allowed in community theaters or restaurants. Once, he got into a fight with a white teenager who had called him a "Negro" in front of his friends at a local drug store. The fight didn’t last long because the police force showed up and Josiah had to make a run for it. His watch wasn’t smashed up but he had to be careful from then on. He couldn’t risk the time watch damaged by fist-fights in the past. It was not worth that. Another week past and still Shelly and Ken refused to talk with each other. Josiah had to give up on the two of them. If they wanted to act like brats, that was fine with him. It was no longer his problem. He time traveled with Shelly when he got the chance but it wasn’t the same without Ken. Then on Wednesday, news arrived on TV in the lounge room. News that could help the old team join back together again. It was reported and shown on live video that a secret vast underground world was found under the ground near a collapsed ice chamber in a tunnel near a clearing in a dense forest not far from a campsite. And found from within were perfectly preserved dinosaur bones. The scientists and diggers didn’t know how they got there but wanted to study and explore more of the prehistoric world. They discovered that volcanic emissions and waterfalls were once there and active. but no longer. The waterfalls and magma were now gone and the air had become old and decayed with deceased and crumbled cycad trees and plants. The ice ceiling was no more and the once beautiful Jurassic tropical forest that was so alive with animals was now as dead as a wasteland. The diggers and the scientists could not understand how this world could have survived the great extinction of the dinosaurs. The meteorite that had hit the earth 65, million years ago in the late cretaceous had wiped out everything on earth including the dinosaurs. The underground world was about as old as the ice age and that was impossible for them to believe. Mammals and dinosaurs didn’t coexist with each other back in the ice age. When the news lady had finished her report, Josiah excitedly ran off to find Shelly. He knew she would love to hear about this and the preserved dinosaur bones and travel back to the ice age to see the animals herself. But there was just one dilemma he had to take care of first. He had to get ken and her back to talking to each other again. Only then could the team time travel back to the past and find the underground world of the dinosaurs. If this world did exist in the past back in the ice age, he wanted the entire team to be there with him. He only hoped that he wasn’t too late. Because if he was wrong, then nobody was going to the ice age.
Chapter 3:Journey to the Ice Age
Josiah and Shelly had packed what they needed for their trip to the ice age. Ken wasn’t coming. He had made that clear to the two of them. Shelly had tried in vain to convince him to come along with them but she knew her brother too well. He was too stubborn and talking to him was only wasting their time. They made their way to the time ring room, making sure they had everything ready, and then activated their watches. The rings were golden and round with a glass barrier to protect the room from time energy that flowed from the rings. The time route was on and ready for them. This route was activated for the Pleistocene era millions of years in the past. The watches were designed and programmed to travel through time at the designated time period in the past and future. The scientists informed Josiah and Shelly that it took approximately five hours for the watches to recharge after use and would take less then five minutes to get them back to full power. Each of the watches five small green bars would fill gradually in less then four hours, providing they got in the rays of a strong sunbeam. If the sun was shinning with no clouds in the sky then the energy needed to power the watches would amplify. A steady hum of the rings intensified as the two kids set themselves up for their time traveling journey to the Pleistocene era. The instructors then gave them the ok sign which meant the coordinates were set. With that done, Josiah and Shelly activated their watches. The feeling of time travel was like three sonic booms and then vanishing without a trace. Josiah knew those sonic booms all too well. He’d closed his eyes to prevent himself from going blind even though shelly reassured him there was nothing to worry about. The whirring grew louder until there was a flash of white light, leaving two empty rings. From a window outside the room, Ken watched the two disappear into the past. Even if he wanted to go, none of them would have appreciated his help. And even if he did join the two, he’d probably be attacked again by some wild ferocious beast. As much as he hated being lunch to some animal in the past, he couldn’t leave his sister and Josiah by themselves to face the dangers of the ice age alone. The urge to join them was strong, and Ken could see that his time watch was still in on the rack, waiting for him to put it back on his wrist again. Squeezing his fists tightly, he made his way back to the uniforms rooms. The first thing that they saw was the snow. Small flakes of snow that rained gently on them. There had been the triple flash of light, followed by the sonic booms. Josiah realized that he and Shelly must be in the Pleistocene era. All around them was vast tundra and valley with snow, trees, and blue sky’s. The valley looked like the wild plains of a prehistoric world. A world that time forgot. It was slightly cold but the sun was out and shinning giving the air slight warmth. Josiah took this chance to survey the area. Using the wrist communicator on the right side of his arm, he scanned the forest for a few seconds. The gadget gave off a few blips as he moved his arm in every direction around the forest. When it was safe with no hostiles, Josiah turned it off. “The areas clear, Shelly,” Josiah said. “Not a mammal in sight!” Shelly stood staring out at the tundra. Josiah walked over and put a hand on her shoulder. “Beautiful, isn’t it?” Shelly said admiring the landscape. “Mammals rule here. It would be perfect for a holiday retreat lodge, don’t ya think.” Josiah breathed in the sweet wintry air and sighed. “Yeah. I can definitely get use to this.” Then he added. “But without the chilly weather.” The two gathered their things together and walked through the frozen tundra. If they located the hole in the ground before nightfall, the two would go in and follow the underground chamber’s tunnel and then they would arrive at the secret world of the dinosaurs. They followed a clear path of dirt that was formed by animals and trudge along through the dense forest. There was no sound accept for the ones coming from their shoes that made steady crunching sounds as they walked. As they continued searching for the hole, Shelly looked to her left and saw something in a clearing. She stopped to check it out. “Hold on, Josiah,” she said walking over to the clearing. “What is it?” Josiah asked, concerned. “You see something?” She didn’t say anything but continued to walk over to the clearing. When the two of them got their, Shelly’s mouth was hanging open. They were standing in the middle of a ruined playground. The place looked like it had been destroyed by rampaging kids on high sugar rushes. Josiah took in the damage all around and scratched his head. “This place is totaled,” he muttered under his breath. “What could have done this?” wondered Shelly. “This place doesn’t look like a 21 century playground and already its destroyed.” They wandered around the clearing poking about and taking pictures of various spots like the vine swing, ice slides, glyptodont shell roundabout, and obstacle course. All of which were demolished. At first they thought that the Cro-Magnons made this. The problem was, Cro-Magnons couldn’t have had the knowledge of building a playground for their kids. A playground like this was too advanced for Cro-Magnons to build and where would they get the idea? No. In the kids eyes this place had been built by someone else. The question was who made it? Josiah got down on his knees and picked up pieces of an ice mobile that he had spotted on the ground near a tree. It had been decorated with a once large glittering crystal that dangled from a broken tree limb. But now the bright green crystal was broken into many pieces. Alongside it were other pieces Josiah couldn’t identify because they were shattered and partly melted. He got up and went over to Shelly to show her the pieces of the mobile he found. Shelly bent over to study the pieces up close. After she was done, Josiah put the mobile back where he found it. Shelly then turned to her partner. “I think we should fix this place up,” she said. Josiah shook his head. “I think we should leave it as it is,” he replied. “We can do it. It looks easy fix,” Shelly urged him. “May I remind you that we have a world under the ice to find,” Josiah reminded her. “We can’t go around doing a good deed. We have a schedule to keep.” He pointed to his wrist communicator and showed her the time. It was 10:04 in the morning. Shelly gave him a demanding look. “We are going to fix it and that’s that!” “Okay, okay.” Josiah relented. “You win. Lets get to work.” As much as Josiah liked Shelly it was never a good idea to get her angry. So for the next half hour, the two kids worked on the battered playground together. A few things had to be replaced and a snow man had to be rebuilt. Josiah worked on the heavy stuff while Shelly handled the stuff that had to be put back together again. By 10: 59 it was done. The playground was as good as new. Maybe better. Josiah had built a brand new swing and had brought in two massive logs for seesaws for the kids. Shelly had redone the ice mobile and smoothed out the slides and obstacle course with a fresh coat of ice. “We did it, Shelly,” Josiah said proudly but tiredly. “This playground is officially fixed and ready for use!” He sat down on the log at the entrance and wiped his brow with his hand. Shelly came over and sat down next to him. “It’s amazing, Josiah,” Shelly said. She had also done a good job. She had fixed the ice mobile so that it was as good as new. It glittered while hanging from a tree limb. The suns rays caught the crystal’s base and it glittered radiantly bathing the playground with an emerald shine. “Oh, Josiah,” Shelly murmured, speechless for words. “It’s beautiful.”
Chapter 4: Meeting the Herd
That night in the playground, Josiah and Shelly had pitched up their tents. They had come to an agreement that tomorrow they would find the hole into the dinosaur world. That is if they could find, first. Outside of their tents, the twinkling night was as silent as a star. From inside his tent, Josiah sat up on his sleeping bag and traced the outline of the map to the hole in the ground. According to the map the hole was a half mile away from where they where now. “A little hike to this spot here and that world will soon be in our grasp.” Josiah said to himself as he held the flashlight up to the map’s surface. “This might be a problem.” “What do you mean?” Shelly asked from her tent. Josiah crossed his arms. “If we go out into an open area, we will be seen by the animals.” “They won’t bother us if we don’t bother them,” Shelly said. “If we mind our own business and keep on the path, the animals will leave us alone.” “I hope so,” said Josiah almost doubtfully. “Wild animals are unpredictable.” Shelly didn’t answer. Josiah heard her snores in the tent next to him and knew she had fallen asleep. Josiah knew what they had to do tomorrow, but if something bad happened? Josiah slept well that night in his small tent. When he woke, the sky was just starting to go from gray to orange. The forest was quit, the air light with a slight cold. Shelly was still asleep. Josiah felt stiff. He got dressed and crawled out of his tent then stretched. His breath came out in a misty white plume and he felt the chill of the early morning. Knowing his body’s needs, he took out a role of toilet paper from the tent and headed into the woods. Josiah found himself a nice old brush were the rising sun managed to peek through the trees. As soon as he was done, Josiah felt a sudden prickle at the back of his neck as if something was watching him from behind. He knew because the hairs on his neck always prickled when something was watching him. It was like a sixth-sense to him. He turned slowly around to face whatever it was behind him. He was astonished to find that she was nothing dangerous at all. Standing behind him was a mammoth calf. She sat up and blinked at him with her big bright green eyes. The fur was short and brown with a dark little mane around her neck. She also had short whitish stubby tusks and small ears. Josiah had to laugh to himself. Rarely in his life had he seen anything so adorable. She was the size of giant carnival prize teddy bear and probably weighed more then that. But she had the gentle harmlessness and curiosity of a baby elephant. “So you’re the one who snuck up behind me, huh?” Josiah said. The calf made a small trumpeting noise through her short trunk. It sounded more like a tooting sound then an actual trumpet of an adult. Josiah let out a small chuckle and reached down to gently stroke the calf’s trunk with his hand. Giggling she reached out with her trunk and wrapped it gently around Josiah’s hand. The trunk was furry yet soft to the touch. Josiah could not help but smile affectionately down at the little mammoth as he stroked her trunk. But then he remembered something very important. If this was a calf, where was the mother? Josiah looked hurriedly around the clearing for the mother mammoth. If the mother thought he was harming her then there was no evading her attack. The good news was the mother was not insight. The bad news was how he was going to lose the calf. As much as Josiah liked the little mammoth, he could not bring her back with him to the campsite. Certainly not! Shelly would flip out and scold Josiah for bringing a wild animal back with him. She liked animals too but bringing one back with her was something she’d never do. She had watched the Discovery Channel many times before and had never taken that show for granted. Including the nature channel. Josiah knew he could not take any risks with this baby mammoth. So he made his way around the calf until he was behind it and started walking away. “You’re better off in the wild, little one,” he said. “You can’t follow me. You have to stay here.” The calf looked around helplessly. Josiah’s sense of responsibility started to grow. Deep down, he wanted the calf to come with him. He reached for a bush and broke off part of the branch, handing it to the calf. The calf looked at the branch and then dropped it and started towards Josiah. “Oh, no.” Josiah backed away. “You have to stay here.” The calf kept following him. “Go on!” Josiah yelled at it. “Go home!” He ran behind a large tree and waited to see what the calf would do. The calf looked around, then sat down in the snow and started to whimper. ‘Oh, no, don’t cry,’ Josiah thought. ‘Please not that.’ The calf continued to whimper. Josiah felt a twinge deep in his heart. He knew he couldn’t leave that calf alone in the forest. If something happened to her, he’d never live with the guilt for the rest of his life. Josiah came out from behind the tree and started towered the calf. As soon as the baby mammoth saw him, she looked happier. “If you weren’t so little and cute this wouldn’t be so hard for me,” Josiah grumbled under his breath. The calf went around behind him and wrapped it’s trunk around the back of his belt buckle. it hanged on to him like a baby elephant would do with it’s mother’s tail. Josiah rolled his eyes. “Don’t get cute, missy, when your momma shows up you better go to her,” He shook his head. “Bleeding hearts of the worlds unit! I’m talking to a mammoth!” When Josiah returned to the campsite, Shelly was up and dressed. When she saw the baby mammoth she gave him a perplexed look and Josiah had to explain what happened when went to use the bushes. But Shelly just frowned. “Clover, whatever you’re doing, it’s a bad idea,” she said. “Her mother might be looking for her. And the last thing I wanna do is tango with an angry prehistoric pachyderm.” Josiah shook his head strongly. “Shelly, I know. But what would you have done in my place?” Shelly looked at the ground and gave it some thought. What would she have done if she had been in Josiah’s place? She would have done the smart thing and would have just walked away, that’s what. But she to felt the pang of quilt in her heart and knew she would have done the same thing. She looked back up to Josiah and the calf and said in a serious tone, “I don’t like this idea, Josiah,” She then pointed at the calf that was now poking at the tents with curiosity. “But we can’t leave this baby mammoth here. Let’s pack up our tents and move out.” As soon as the tents were packed, the small group made their way into the forest again. The little mammoth stayed clinging to the back of Josiah’s belt. “I think she likes you,” Shelly said with a smile. “How do you know it’s a ‘she’?” Josiah asked, while keeping his pace so that the calf didn’t fall behind. Shelly was about to reply when a loud trumpeting rang out around the forest making all three stop in their tracks. Out of the forests came two enormous mammoths that walked out into the middle of the road towards them. One was a male and the other was a female. The male was a brown bull with a floppy tail, earth-shaking feet, poofy hair on top of its head, and 16ft (4m) tusks. The female was lighter brown with a reddish-brown fluffy topknot on her head, a dark brown mane around her neck and shoulders, Smallish furry ears and emerald green eyes like the calf. Hanging from her tusks were two Dark Brown striped possums. Beside the two mammoths were two other mammals that didn’t seem like they fit in at all in a normal herd. One was a sloth with ping-pong eyes, a round nose, buck teeth, sharp claws, and discolored light brown fur. The other was a saber tooth-tiger with large hazel green eyes, ruffled Orange-Brown fur, 8 inch long fangs, a short bob tail, and a whitish under belly. All six mammals stopped in front of the two humans. Josiah and Shelly stood close to each other and didn’t make any sudden moves so as to frighten them. The mammals probably had never seen humans before from the future. Josiah kept shelly behind him protectively while glaring at the odd herd. He only used these glares either to threaten or keep people at a distance when he wanted some space to himself. If the mammals did attack them he would use the stun weapon in his holster. These weapons fired a none-lethal but painful jolt of electricity at a target making it fall down in a heap. Affective and useful. This pistol had been created in Japan just like the others at the corporation and Josiah was glade they made it. He only hoped he didn’t have to use it on them. He was never the one to cause trouble, but if trouble tried to hurt his friends then he would have no choice. The baby mammoth peeked out from behind Josiah’s leg and guiltily walked up to her family. The mother mammoth reached down and scooped up her calf tenderly while scolding it with soft annoyed growls. Josiah and Shelly couldn’t understand it but they thought they heard the mother mammoth say, “Peaches, you naughty girl! don’t you ever do that to me and Manny again!” Josiah craned his ear and listened harder. The father leaned over and scolded the baby mammoth, too. “Young lady, you almost gave me and your mother a heart attack. You know better then to wander off in the mornings,” he then rounded on the sloth who was trying to sneak away in the other direction like he was guilty of something. “And you, Sid, where supposed keep Peaches out of trouble!” The sloth tried to protest. “Oh, come on, Manny, She got out of my sight for just a few seconds. Besides, my body has needs you know.” Josiah’s mouth fell open upon hearing the sloth speak. It wasn’t possible. These animals could talk! Josiah and Shelly had traveled through time to many different time periods and so far they encountered many animals from dinosaurs to future reptiles. But talking mammals from the Pleistocene era was something they did not expect. In their time of 2010, animals couldn’t talk. It was scientifically impossible. The only animals they knew that could talk were parrots, dogs, and macaws from the genus world record books. Yet these animals could talk perfect English like normal humans. After the father mammoth was done pummeling the sloth who was now rubbing his head, the mother came towards the two humans. She stopped a few feet from them and curiously examined the male and female with her emerald eyes. Both kids felt uneasy as the female mammoth studied them from head to foot. Ellie had never been this close to humans before in her life. Manny had always told her that humans could not be trusted because they were hunters and had driven most of the mammoths to extinction. She had also heard, from Sid and Diego, that Manny’s original family was killed by human hunter’s years ago before she met them. But these humans were young and didn’t seem dangerous at all. They hadn’t hurt her daughter and she seemed to like them. If Peaches thought these humans were friendly, she had nothing to worry about. So instead of walking away from them, she reached out her trunk to them. The older human stepped in front of the young female protectively, uncertain of the mammoth’s intentions. “It’s okay,” she said. “I’m not going to hurt you.” The two humans looked up at the mammoth and then at each other. The mammoth’s voice was comforting and Josiah could tell she meant good and not malice. So, he reached out with his hand and gently stroked the mammoth’s trunk. Shelly summoned up her courage and stepped up to stroke the mammoth’s tusk. Josiah then stepped back and introduced himself. “My name is Josiah. Josiah clover,” he nodded over to Shelly. “And this is my friend, Shelly Blake. I’m sorry if the sight of us with your baby worried you, miss….?” “Ellie. My name is Ellie,” She pointed to the possums on her tusks.” And these are my brothers, Crash and Eddie.” She then pointed to the rest of her herd. “And this is Manny, that’s Sid, and that’s Diego,” she then pointed her trunk down to the little calf. “And this is our daughter, Peaches.” The two possums hopped down from their sister’s tusks and landed on Josiah and Shelly’s shoulder. “Dude, where did you guys come from?” Eddie asked while examining Josiah’s time watch and futuristic clothes with curiosity. “That’s classified,” Shelly said. “But I will say this; we’re not like the normal humans you know.” The bull mammoth known as Manny stepped forward. He had a not so trusting look on his face. “And what’s that supposes to mean?” he asked suspiciously while eyeing their future clothes. These two didn’t look like the humans he, Diego, and Sid had encountered years ago. The humans they met wore ragged animal clothes and lived in huts made from the ivory bones of mammoths they’ve killed in their hunts. The very thought of it made him uneasy. Shelly took a step back from Manny a bit unnerved by his sudden apprehensiveness. “What it means is that we’re not like the Cro-Magnons you’ve met before,” She tried to explain. She might as well tell him. “Me and Josiah are from a different time period. Basically, we’re from the future of the year 2010.” The herd didn’t say anything. At first, Manny didn’t want to accept the fact that these two came from a time far in the future. Ellie was mystified too. She had always wondered what the humans of this world would be like in the future and now here was the proof standing right in front of them. Two humans from the future that could time travel at will. Diego stepped up to Josiah. “So you can travel through time? With those thingies on your wrist?” he asked pointing to the time watch. “That’s right,” replied Josiah. “These babies are called time watches. They were designed and created by the time watch corporation in 2010.” Diego was impressed. “Wow! You guys are pretty advanced.” Manny still didn’t seemed convinced that anyone could travel through time. It was impossible. Yet these two could pass through anywhere they wanted in time and all it took was their time watches to do it. He had a serious feeling that Josiah and Shelly were not here just to explore. They were looking for something here in the ice age. But what could it be?
Chapter 5: The Underground Passage
After the herd’s introductions, Josiah and Shelly said their goodbyes and continued the hike to the holes location. Although Ellie volunteered to take the kids to their location, they said they could handle the walking and didn’t want to impose. But Ellie was stubborn and insisted that she get them there anyway. Manny told her not to go unaccompanied but Ellie just told him that she did not need anyone with her and that she’ll be back and not to worry. As soon as the her herd was out of site, Ellie knelt down to let Josiah and Shelly climb up on her back. At first, Josiah didn’t want to get on her back. He thought it was not appropriate to ride a mammoth like a common pack animal. Ellie just rolled her eyes and wrapped her trunk around Josiah’s waist. Using the muscles in her trunk she carefully placed him on her back. Shelly clambered on and sat behind him. It took Josiah and Shelly a while to get used to the rocking motion of riding a mammoth bareback. To pass the time, Elle told them a little bit about her personal life before she met Manny, Sid, or Diego. When she was young she got separated from her herd in a blizzard. She thought she was all alone. She tried calling for her herd but nobody came or answered. In tears, she took shelter under a tree and curled to keep warm. If it wasn’t for the possum mother and her sons that had shown up, she would have given up hope. Ellie had then on lost all her memories of being a mammoth and grew up being a possum-despite an unfortunate incident when one of her uncles tried to give her a piggyback ride. Josiah had to laugh at this. “You grew up being a possum?” He glanced back at Shelly who was snickering under her breath. “I can’t believe it.” “Believe it, honey,” Ellie said nudging his leg with her trunk. “My possum side even told me that being brave was just dumb.” “Why would it say that?” Shelly asked. Ellie said. “Bravery to a possum can get you killed quicker in the wild. But if you play dead, you survive more.” Then Josiah and Shelly told Ellie about the corporation and how the time watch was created. How the time stream was controlled by the computers time circuits for locations and periods of time. Josiah didn’t tell Ellie all the details about the future, just the about the company and the people who worked there. He didn’t even mention about the extinction of the mammoths to her, either. It was not his place to say anything about Ellie’s kind going extinct. That would just cause questions and spread fear among the mammals. Fear always lead to anger and anger lead to hate. And hate would lead to suffering. Suffering in this time was not needed for the mammals. It was best for Josiah to just keep quiet about it. A half hour later they had finally arrived at the hole. But Josiah and Shelly were disappointed in what they found when they got there. The cavern’s entrance had completely collapsed. Large boulders and ice covered rocks had entirely sealed the hole up. There was now no way inside the cavern. This meant there was no way to the dinosaur world under the ice. All that time traveling gone to waste and nothing to show for it. The entrance was a wide hole that was almost certainly 30feet across and 29 feet wide. Big enough for mammoths to pass into and certainly big enough for a dinosaur. But the slaps of fallen ice made it impossible for entry now. Josiah and Shelly got off of Ellie’s back and looked down in dismay at the hole. Without a way in, they were sunk. Their plans for exploring the secret world were buried in ice. “I’m sorry, guys,” Ellie said while putting a trunk on Josiah’s shoulder. “But when me and my herd came back from that world, Buck sealed it up. He thought it was best to keep that world down there and this world up here.” Josiah nodded understandingly to Ellie and stood up. “We’ve got to find a way into that world. There’s gotta’ be a way into that tunnel.” He scratched his head and took out his pick and started combing his hair. He did this all the time when he tried to think of something to solve a solution. Nothing came up. He turned to Ellie and thanked her for the ride. “Don’t mention it,” she said waving the thanks aside. “You two are alright. For humans, that is.” Shelly chuckled and said. “We’ll keep that in mind,” With that, Ellie turned and lumbered away. Josiah watched her go. ‘If only she knew,’ thought Josiah. ‘Knew that her kind will not last forever.’ He shook his head of the negative thoughts and turned to Shelly. “Let’s try and find another way down there,” He said. “We can’t give up now. Not when we’re so close to finding the dinosaur’s world.” Shelly crossed her arms and shook her head not wanting to give up but also not wanting to accept the reality that there was no way into the tunnels. She suggested that they couldn’t dig their way in. that would take too long and they didn’t have the gear for digging past rock or ice. They could go around and look for holes but that could take all day. “But what if we run into some ferocious animal?” said Josiah while looking around the clearing. “We don’t know what we’ll run into if we do look for the hole around here.” Shelly scoffed at that. “If any mammal messes with me, I’ll open a can of 21 century whoop ass on ‘em.” In a flash, one of the bushes branches reached out and grabbed Shelly from behind. Shelly let out a shriek that echoed loudly around the clearing. Josiah was ready to fire his stun pistol on the bush, but then he heard laughter-familiar laughter. The bush loosened its grip and Ken Blake came out from behind it, laughing. “What are you doing here, Ken!?” Shelly shouted irritably at her brother while clutching her chest. “Vacationing,” ken replied sarcastically while giggling a bit. “And this time I came prepared.” He dug into his blue and gray backpack and brought out a stun pistol, food rations, flashlight, compass, wrist communicator, and a camera. He wore brown khaki shorts, the green and blue t-shirt of the corporation, and red and yellow hiking boots. Josiah had to hand to hand it to Ken. He knew how to pack. But Shelly wasn’t letting him off that easy just because he showed up out of nowhere. “Go away, Ken!” She scowled. “You quit, remember? You’re no longer part of the team. Besides, me and Josiah are looking for a way into...” But Ken cut her off. “I already found a way in,” he insisted. “What?” she challenged, not wanting to believe her brother. He pointed to a path made in the snow by some small animal. Shelly and Josiah followed his finger to a forest path that led into the woods up hill. Shelly turned back to her brother. She didn’t understand why he was here, but smiled a little at his gumption for being here anyway. But as soon as she suddenly remembered why he quit, she frowned again. “What ever happened to ‘I quit!’?” she asked. Ken shrugged his shoulders. “Could have, but didn’t.” he said. “I decided to give this time travel thing one last chance. But if I get attacked again, I’m out of here.” Shelly opened her mouth, about to make a wisecrack, but Josiah cut her off. “Great!” he said warmly. “We need all the help we can get. Ken, can you show us the way?” Sure enough, Ken led the two up the hill to the hole he discovered. The hill wasn’t sheer but the going was slow. The forest snow was thin on the ground which made it easy to slip on the icy ground. Twice Shelly and Josiah almost slipped on ice and smashed into Ken. After about a minute, they finally made it. The hole they arrived to was 12 feet tall and 50 inches wide. Jagged slabs of rock framed a path into the gloom of the crevasse. Wisps of steam rose out of it like an ancient dragon breathing white smoke. “The world of the dinosaurs must be down there,” Josiah said. He stood in front of it, peering into the dark tunnel nervously. If Ken was right, then this underground passage could lead to the secret world of the dinosaur’s utopian paradise. But if he was mistaken, then this trip would have been for nothing. Taking a deep breath, Josiah entered first into the hole. Shelly and Ken followed in after him. The passage was long and narrow with overhung stalagmites on the ceiling. The steam wasn’t hot but lukewarm to their faces. The darkness wasn’t a problem for them. They took out their headlamps and turned them on. As the group made their way deeper into the tunnel, Ken checked his time watch to see what time it was. It was 1:45 in the afternoon. Another few minutes and they’d be there. The tunnel soon opened up to a vast icy cavern full of rubble from a cave in. to one side were remains of a bone suspension bridge which was now gone. On the other was a clear intact path to the ground floor on the other side of the bridge. The cavern gave of a dim light from the ice from up above. It was eerily quite to the group. The only sound was the calm drip-drip of water from stalagmites on the ceiling. It sounded more like the drip-drip-drip of blood then water to them. The threesome made their way down the side of the narrow ledge and to the ground floor. The light was stronger now and Josiah had a feeling that they were getting close.
Chapter 6: The Secret World Under the Ice
It took a second or two to adjust to the bright light emanating in front of the group but soon the three looked in wonder at what they where seeing. What they saw was something nobody in the future could have seen a long time. Right in front of them was a vast perfectly preserved Jurassic jungle. The very site of it made the groups eyes go wide with excitement. In the distance they saw brachiosaurs and a herd of iguanodons in a meadow. With them were triceratops and stegosaur-like dinosaurs with pointed plates that looked like spikes. In the skies were flying pterodactyls that swooped and cawed under the ice ceiling that was supported by rocky pillars that stood as high as skyscrapers. And it looked like there were several more in the distance in the vast underground world. There were waterfalls and forests full of cycads that were similar to the appearance of ferns and palm trees, which were common in the Jurassic period. The light coming down on the jungle was caused by the sun that shone through the thick layers of ice up above. In other words, it was as bright as daylight. It was also very warm. Like a mild rainforest. “This is unbelievable,” Said Ken in awe. “We’ve discovered the secret world beneath the ice!” “And not a moment too soon,’ said Shelly. Josiah stood at edge of the ridge and spread his arms out wide. He then let out a yell of victory that echoed around the rock outcropping. At first, Shelly and Ken could not understand Josiah’s sudden outburst but knew instantly that this was how he expressed himself. He calmed down and turned to his friends and saw the look of bewilderment on their faces. He chuckled a bit, embarrassed. “Sorry about that, guys,” he apologized smiling. “I got caught in the moment.” “That’s okay, clover,” Shelly said nonchalantly. “I’d yell like that to if I was that excited.” Ken rolled his eyes and snorted. They followed a trail into the dense jungle foliage. There were no insects or pests in the jungle flying in their faces and the jungle sounds seemed to be everywhere around them. In the distance they heard the trumpeting of dinosaurs. They soon stepped out of the dense foliage into a lush field filled with brightly colored tropical plants. Ken stopped to catch his breath. "Hold on, guys," he called. “What now?” Shelly asked, irritably to her brother. Ken looked around. “I’ve got a funny feeling we’re being watched.” “When don’t you have a funny feeling!?” Shelly declared frustrated. “I don’t sense anyone or anything watching us!” Suddenly, the earth under their feet rumbled. ‘Oh-no,’ Josiah thought, watching a pack of compsognathus scattered into the brush. Ken clung to Josiah’s shirt as the ground continued to tremble. “It’s okay, guys” Josiah tried to keep his team together. “It’s probably nothing to worry about.” The kids looked around anxiously. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! A long shadow unrolled along the clearing. The kids looked up and felt their jaws drop open in fright. Towering over them was an enormous tyrannosaurs rex! The dinosaur looked to be about 40 feet tall and 80 feet long from snout to tail. She had four ridged bony plates along her muzzle. Along her head, neck and above her eyes were 10 short black spikes. Her talons and claws were black-brown and her scales were burnt-orange with a cream underbelly. But it was the golden eyes that caught Josiah’s attention. They where alert and scanning the clearing for prey. Josiah heard Ken gasp in fear from behind him. “Don’t move,” Josiah whispered. “A rex tracks motion. She won’t see us if we don’t move.” Josiah, Ken, and Shelly stood perfectly still as the rex moved her head from side to side. The gigantic predator sniffed the air and growled low in her throat. Josiah knew that a rex could pick up a scent from miles away. He had read the books about dinosaurs. The three of them smelled of soap, deodorant, and human sweat. Theses were alien scents in her environment. She didn’t understand the bizarre smells in the clearing. So long as no one moved. The rex sniffed the air. Then she let out another huge bellowing roar that echoed through the clearing. Ken had heard enough. He turned and ran into the jungle. That was something the rex saw. The predator swiveled her head in their direction. The golden eyes blazed. The rex roared. Then she stomped towards the humans with earth-shaking footfalls. Josiah and Shelly turned and ran after Ken, with the rex right on their heels. They darted between the heavy trees, back down the path they had come. The rex squeezed through the spaces behind them. Smashing branches and growling in rage and aggravation, the predator was slowed in its pursuit of her prey. Slowed, but not stopped. Josiah and his group leap over low-lying branches, darted around muddy potholes in the earth, and headed straight for higher ground. Behind them, the rex was gaining on them with every step. Ahead, Shelly and Ken were breaking through the cluster of heavy trees. But they suddenly stopped. Breathing hard, Josiah joined them, wondering why they had come to a stop. Then he saw why. A sheer cliff was blocking them from escape. They were trapped like rats in an ally. There was no place for them to run now. They turned back and saw the tyrannosaur stomping toward them. She stopped a few feet in front of them and growled down at the three showing her razor sharp teeth. Josiah stood protectively in front of Shelly and Ken. If the rex wanted to eat them, she would have to go through him to do it. He turned to Shelly and Ken and whispered to them. “I want you guys to run when I say ‘run’, you understand me?” They both looked at each other then at Josiah. They nodded. Josiah turned back to the rex and glared at her. The rex growled, advancing towards them. Josiah growled back. “If you even try to eat my friends, I swear you are going to get it!” She came closer, snapping her jaws. But just before the rex reached them, Josiah stepped between the rex and his friends. He took out his stun pistol and pointed it at the rex’s face. The rex looked at the pistol in surprise then at Josiah. Then, to Josiah’s bewilderment, she stepped back. Josiah grinned. He felt like Dirty Harry. “You’re smart tyrannosaur. You may not know what this thing is in my hands, but you know its dangerous to you.” He turned to Shelly and Ken. “Run!” They didn’t need to be told twice. They took off running in one direction up the cliffs paths. As soon as they were out of site, Josiah tuned to the rex and fired his pistol. A blue bolt of electricity shot out and struck the rex right in the shoulder. The animal bellowed in pain and stumbled backward. Using this as a distraction, Josiah turned and ran to join the others. When he caught up with them, they were standing in the path waiting for him. “Come on!” Josiah yelled. He led the two through the underbrush as the tyrannosaur bellowed again. After reaching a safe-looking spot, Josiah stopped. Grabbing the front of Ken’s shirt, Josiah slammed him against a tree. “Why did you run?!” Josiah demand furiously. “When I tell you to don’t move, you don’t move! You almost got us killed!” Shelly took a step forward, but Josiah held her back with a look. He was tired of Ken and his complaining about time travel. He wanted the kid to just give it a rest. Ken didn’t say anything. He kept his eyes averted from Josiah’s. With a hurt in his voice, Ken said. “I didn’t want to die,” he choked. “I knew what I did was stupid. I know that. I just want to tell you that I’m sorry.” Josiah shook his head, disgusted. “I ran because I was afraid,” Ken implored. “Some of the worst things are done out of a fear, man,” Josiah said. “You rushed off with no thought of the consequences, to yourself, me, or Shelly.” Shelly stared speechlessly, stung by the force of Josiah’s anger. “You shouldn’t have come here, Ken. You should have stayed at home in the future.” Concluded Josiah. Then he let go of Ken and turned away, leaving him to consider his words. As they continued to walk, Ken lagged behind still feeling the guilt from Josiah’s words. He felt sick. Sick from being worthless on the team. He had let Josiah and Shelly down and worse he had put the team in danger with his lost nerves. He shook is head to get rid of his fear. ‘You’re afraid.’ He thought. ‘Very, very afraid.’ And it was at that moment that he was overcome with self shame. All his life he’d been afraid and lonely and that he would never be like his sister. She was fearless when it came to facing danger and never hesitated to tell their mother or father about it. He wished he was more like Shelly, too. She acted more like a fearless tomboy with that short light-brown hair kept down with that green bandanna. Her three freckles on each side of her face. And that good humored smile she shone around that got plenty of laughs. He had none of her looks. Short blond hair and brown eyes were common in school. They were the only things he had from his fathers’ side of the family. He was even shorter then Shelly, by a foot. He was neat and tidy all the time at home and a good swimmer at the Y.M.C.A. during the summer. All these things he was, except for being brave. ‘If only I can be brave like them’ he thought to himself. ‘I Guess I’ll never be like them’ He rejoined the two up the path but kept his distance from Josiah. That anger towards him was unforgettable. But Josiah was right. He probably shouldn’t have come. But, it was too late to go back to the future now. He was here, the watch needed recharging, and he didn’t want go back up to the surface alone. He’d might as well stay with his sister and Josiah. Hours later, the small group arrived at a jungle clearing. Josiah did a quick scan of the area and found no hostiles within the perimeter. “We’ll rest here for the night,” Josiah to the two while taking off his pack. “Let’s get our tents setup.” The tents were setup within five minutes, just as darkness enveloped the underground world. The moon shone a brilliant bluish shade in the darkness of the primeval world. In the distance Josiah saw a bit of a red glow that radiated in a vast field. ‘Those must be lava fields,’ he thought while rubbing his goatee. ‘Best to stay away from those until we know the layout of the land down here a little better’ A bonfire was lit for warmth and the group sat around the warm embers as they danced and flickered in the steady night. By 11:05, the group went into their individual tents for the night and slept. All but Ken. He was still wide awake, but eating some of the cookies he’d packed in his bag. After he was full, he turned off his battery powered lamp and stretched himself on his sleeping bag and went to sleep. The tent flap was open because he was a bit humid and didn’t want to get too hot. This was also why he wore his blue rubber swimming Speedos to bed along with a gray t-shirt. Unknown to the newcomers, a pair of golden eyes were watching them from the trees. Those eyes belonged to Momma Dino, the tyrannosaurus rex. Below her were her hatchlings, Shelly, Egbert, and Yoko. They too were watching the newcomers. Not with fear, but with curiosity and wonder. They had never seen creatures like these before and they were egger to know more about them. But their mother had told them not to go anywhere near them. When she had retuned to lava falls, she had a burn on her shoulder from something they couldn’t identify. Whatever it was, it made her made. The burn had gone away but the image of that creature holding that weapon stayed in her mind for the rest of the day. Momma didn’t like the look of those creatures. Not one bit. The smell that came from them was alien and unknown to her. She didn’t know where they came from or how they got down here to her home world, but she was going teach them a lesson not to mess with her or her babies.
Chapter 7: Ken Abducted
The night continued on in the clearing with the three tents. The only sound was the gentle noise of the crickets. That was all Momma Dino needed. Very slowly she entered the clearing towards the tents. She was careful not to let her footfalls make too much noise for it might awake the creatures. Momma had given her hatchlings strict instructions not to follow her into the clearing. She knew they were curious and inquisitive about almost anything in the jungle. And that was unsafe right now, especially since Rudy survived the fall into the deep chasm and was now madder then ever. She had made it clear with a victory roar that she had defeated Rudy in battle. Now Rudy respected her and her strength, but only to some extent. He didn’t like her or her kids but kept to his territory none the less. Putting that aside, Momma started to circle the tents. She had never seen structures like these before but that was not what she was here for. The sweet odor that wafted in her snout from one of the structures was what got her attention. That odor was something she had picked up from one of the twoleg creatures. Momma sniffed again and approached the structure with the opening in its flaps where the smell was strongest. Slowly she eased her snout inside of the structure and then her whole head. The sweet odor was strong now and Momma looked down to see one of the twoleg creatures asleep. She sniffed it inquisitively taking in the odd smells and as she cocked her head to one side to look at it some more she realized it was a male hatchling. She knew it was a hatchling because of the size and odor. Momma had no intention of hurting a hatchling. But she came here to teach these creatures a lesson and that was what she was going to do. Leaning down she opened her jaws and gently clamped them down on the blue materiel that the young twoleg wore around its lower body. It had a rubbery taste to it but she disregarded it as best she could. Slowly, she carried the still sleeping twoleg out of the structure and held it in her mighty jaws. The creature stirred in its sleep but did not wake up. Momma had no idea what she was going to do with the little twoleg but she knew she had to leave now while the others were still asleep. She turned to the forest and disappeared into the brush among the trees leaving behind large footprints in ground. Ken didn’t know what had happened when he had fallen sleep in his tent. One moment, he was laying flat on his stomach sleeping and then the next, the seat of his Speedos were grabbed by the jaws of the same terrifying tyrannosaurus he and group encountered earlier that day. In his tent he was uncertain if it was a growl he heard outside his tent. In the middle of the night in the semi darkness his eyes came open and he was awake and he thought he heard a growl. It was not the wind. Turning his head slowly to the left of his tent wall he saw the shadow of the tyrannosaurs head. It terrified him. The animal had somehow found its way into the campsite and now he was looking at it right in the face. He saw the shadow move over to the entrance to his tent. He had carelessly opened his tent flap and left food around on his sleeping bag. ‘Soo stupid!’ he thought furiously to himself. ‘I’m soo stupid!’ He forcibly tried to act as if he were asleep to fool the rex. He kept his body as still as possible and made sure his breathing was slow. Ken felt the tent shutter as the rex poked its head through the flaps. He could feel it now within the tent with him. He could smell it, too. A malodorous smell of rotten meat and the sweetish blood-smell mixed in with the stench of the carnivore. Ken was dizzy with fear, his heart pounding inside of his little chest. Then he felt the snout of the tyrannosaur rub against his backside. He felt the rexes hot breath on his body and the growling she made deep in her throat. Then he felt something else. Something tugging on his swim Speedos from behind. Then he felt himself being lifted out of his tent and into the dark night. At first he wanted to scream. Scream soo loudly that it would alert the others and they would awake and Josiah would shoot her with his stun pistol. Unfortunately, if he so much as yelped, the rex would drop him. It was fourty feet down to the ground and Ken had no intension of breaking his neck. So he kept his mouth shut and his eyes closed. An eerie morning mist swirled through the campsite as Josiah and Shelly woke up. When they saw Kens tent ruined and empty they desperately looked around the clearing. “Ken!” cried Shelly. “Ken, where are you?!” “Ken!” Josiah shouted as loud as he could. “Answer us! Please!” There was no answer in the clearing or in the surrounding jungle. No sound of Ken. Their voices simply joined the chilling chorus of grunts and squawks and eerie ancient cries that hadn’t been heard in 65 million years. Then they saw the tracks of the tyrannosaur. Upon seeing them, Shelly shook her head and tried not to cry. ‘It couldn’t have eaten him,’ she thought. ‘There’s no blood inside the tent.’ Josiah went over to the trampled tent and rummaged through it. He picked up what looked like to a bag of cookies, which was now empty. Now he knew why the rex had come into their campsite. Ken had thoughtlessly left food lying around in his tent. A rex could scent for miles and it probably picked up the smell of the cookies and came running. “That stupid kid!” he yelled as he hurled the bag on the ground soo hard that small pieces of cookies went everywhere. “He had food in his tent! That’s why the rex came here!” Shelly couldn’t say anything. She was still upset about finding her brother gone. “We gotta find Ken and find him fast. For what its worth, that brother of yours maybe still alive,” he said this while packing his backpack. “A rex usually brings live prey back to its nest for its offspring feed on. By then, we should be able to catch up with ‘em.” “Do you think he’ll be alright, Josiah?” she asked finally. Josiah gave her a reassuring smile in spite of himself. “He’ll be fine, Shell,” he said. “And believe me, there is nothing that Ken Blake can’t handle.” Ken awoke that morning hanging upside-down from his Speedos. When he tried to look upwards he saw only the snout and the teeth of the rex. He was frightened and a bit woozy from all the blood rushing to his brain. Luckily his Speedos didn’t rip from all that swaying. He was thankful that he had rubber ones in his pack. His gray shirt was folded over his head so he couldn’t see much. As the rex continued to carry him, ken tried many ways of right himself. But those didn’t work. All they did was make him dizzier. Maybe if he talked to the dinosaur that would help. He was a little bit scared, but he had to do it. “Huh, excuse me?” he said timidly up to the tyrannosaur. The rex didn’t seem to hear him. It just let out a snort and kept moving through the jungle. He decided to try again, a little louder this time. “Excuse me, miss tyrannosaur? Could you please put me down? I’m getting a bit queasy here.” To add to the effect he faked a retching sound as best he could. The dinosaur looked down at its prey and snorted with a growl. Ken knew it was impossible to convince a dinosaur to do anything. “Your going to be fine, Ken.” He told himself in a whisper. “Everything’s going to be alright, you’ll see.” The rex finally arrived at a clearing. It had a flat jungle area with a cliff and a small pond. In the distance he saw a waterfall and a river that ran through the jungle. ‘This must be her home,’ he thought. ‘This must be where she lives.’ Looking around the clearing for danger, the tyrannosaur lowered her captive to the ground and let it go. Ken didn’t know what to do next. It was either run or stay put where he was. If he ran, the rex would have him in her mouth again. She he stayed put, the dinosaur would eat him anyway. Ken looked around the clearing then back up to the rex. The animal watched him like a hawk over its prey. Ken tried moving away but the rex followed his every move. Finally he had to give up. There was no way he could get away from this super predator without getting eaten alive. Knowing that her prey could not get away, Momma Dino turned to the bush and called to her children. The three baby tyrannosaur ran over to their mother and nuzzled her closely. She then motioned over to Ken with a soft growl. They looked at him then at her, clueless as to what to do with him. She nodded her head toward Ken, telling them to eat him. Ken started to back away. Whatever those nods meant he did not like it. “No way! Nuh-huh!” Ken said, backing away from the hungry dinos. “I don’t wanna be eaten by the likes of them!” he went on, looking at Momma Dino “Look at me. I’m too skinny to make a decent meal for your kids, Miss Momma!” Ignoring Kens please, the mother seized him by his Speedos again and dangled him over her kids. Ken could see the little t-rexes eyeing him, considering him. “No, no, no!” He told the dinos, trying to keep his bare feet away from them. “I’m not yummy, you guys. I’m way too skinny and you’ll probably not like the taste and…” Before he could finish, Momma rose abruptly and tossed Ken high into the air. He screamed his arms and legs flailing frantically. Before he could hit the ground however, Momma Dino caught him in midair by his t-shirt. “Stop that, Momma!” He yelled behind him at the dinosaur. “What do you think I am? A salad for you to toss around?!” Momma snorted and dropped him on the ground. Ken let out a yelp of pain as he landed on all fours and turned his head upward to the young dinosaurs. They looked down at him with curiosity and one of them with the blue eyes wagged its tail. Then without warning, one of the dinosaurs leaned forward and nipped him on his backside. He yelped in surprise by the unexpected attack and rubbed the spot where the Dino had bit him. “Cut that out!” he snapped at the baby dino. “You are not eating me!” The baby dino backed away from him, and when Ken tried to make a run for it, Momma dino lunged and knocked him gently to the ground with her tail. He yelled and scrambled to his feet, but Momma pounced, and pinned him to the ground on his stomach. He tried to crawl away, but Momma grabbed him by his Speedos once again. “No! Let go!” Ken shouted as he once again hung from his bathing suit. “Heeeelp!” Elsewhere in the jungle, Josiah and Shelly moved quickly and quietly through the trail, following the tyrannosaurs tracks. A sudden high-pitched scream came from out of nowhere, echoing around the forest. Shelly recognized the cry immediately as her brothers. “That’s Ken!” She exclaimed to Josiah.“He must be farther up the trail,” Said Josiah. “We gotta move fast!” Shelly nodded, and they continued up the path with sprint. In the distance, a pack of raptor-like guanlongs watched the humans from a rocky perch. Silently, they began to creep after them.
Chapter 8: The Incredible Buckminster
Josiah and Shelly continued their trek through the jungle path. The footprints of the tyrannosaur were still fresh. The hike through the jungle without Ken was hard on Shelly. She was never concerned about that kind of thing but now Ken needed her and Josiah more then ever. They were a team. Together they were strong. Shelly knew that they had to save Ken, no matter what. The footprints finally ended at a rocky path with several dark tunnels. They had to pick a tunnel and quick. Every second they dawdled, Ken’s life was more in danger. “Which way do we go, Josiah?” Shelly asked. “These tunnels might run for miles,” Josiah looked doubtfully at the tunnels and sighed. “We have no choice, Shelly,” he pointed to the middle tunnel in front of him. “We’ll take this tunnel and see if it’s the right way. Come on.” Together they entered the dark passageway. The tunnel wasn’t as dark as it looked. The sunlight provided a dim shine in the creepy mine-like cave. This was good, considering it was full with old dinosaur bones and skulls. As they made their way down the tunnel, Josiah had that feeling they were being watched again. Suddenly, a large round spiked tail slammed down behind them. They both jumped and turned to see where that tail had came from and who it belonged to. What they saw made them back away in a hurry. A dinosaur that was twice the size of a rhino stood right in front them and glared with threatening eyes. It had horns on its triangular head. Thick bands of armor with large plates and spikes wrapped around its body. And on its tail was a thick round pointed club. The armor and the head were red while the under belly was a cream color. Josiah knew what this dinosaur was, right upon seeing its clubbed tail. An ankylosaur. An unhappy ankylosaur. “We must have startled it,” Shelly whispered to Josiah while backing away. “What do we do?” Josiah knew just what to do. “Run!” Clutching Shelly’s hand, Josiah ran as fast as he could away from the dinosaur. The clubtail charged after them with a bellowing roar. Panting hard, they ran out of the tunnel and into bright sunlight. But they suddenly came to a screeching halt. The ledge they had arrived on was gone. The only way out of this was for them to jump to safety. But that was suicidal. They were on a cliff and below them was a pool of water that was fifty-feet high. Josiah looked around for a way out. There was none. They were trapped.
Behind them the ankylosaur charged out of the tunnel and slammed its tail against the ground. The creature was about to crush them with its tail, when Shelly spotted a long-necked brachiosaur marching past the cliff they were on. Thinking fast, she ripped a green frond from a nearby tree and shook it over the edge of the cliff where they stood. “Here, girl!” she shouted, as if she were calling a big dog. “Over here, girl! Come and get the nice big plant!” Sure enough, the dimwitted long-necked dinosaur turned in her direction. When she saw the juicy-looking frond, she came over and began munching on it. “Climb on, Josiah!” Shelly urged him. She hopped onto the domed head of the dinosaur. “Hurry!” “No way I’m getting on that thing!” Josiah declared. As much as he liked slides, this was too much. The mad-crazed, jolly red giant with the club!“Its ether this peace-loving dinosaur or…” Shelly pointed to the ankylosaur who was ready to attack them. “The mad-crazed, jolly red giant with the club!” With that, she jumped onto the neck and slid down its slippery surface, yelling, “Future girl wants to live! Tally ho!” Josiah heisted for one more second. But just as the dinosaur came closer, he jumped aboard, too. The brachiosaur lifted its head high over the cliff, away from the ankylosaur. While he was sliding down the sleek neck and back, he cried, "YAAAAAAA-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOEEEYYYY!!!" A few seconds later, the two friends slid down the dinosaurs’ tail and fell through the air, landing on the ground with a hard, ‘oof!’ Grunting in pain, Josiah and Shelly stood up and rubbed the soreness from their aching muscles. But when they looked up again, they saw several dinosaurs towering over them. Josiah and Shelly stood frozen, staring in fear at the enormous dinosaurs. “I feel soo…small.” Josiah commented as he gazed up at the iguanodons and kentrosaurs. All of a sudden, a loud trumping rang out. Brownish-Orange with several brown spots on its whitish belly and chest. On its right eye it wore a leaf eye patch like a pirate. Its other eye was blue and on its chin was a tuft of white fur that looked like a goatee. In one hand it held an ivory-looking knife that was made out of a dinosaurs tooth, and in the other was a vine. The weasel grabbed the vine and swung himself in front of them. “Take cover, you two!” the weasel yelled. He yanked a grenade-looking berry from his belt and tossed it to the ground. BOOM! A thick yellowish cloud of smoke instantly surrounded Josiah and Shelly. “Come on!” using the foul smelling smoke as a screen, the weasel led them away from the dinosaurs and into the jungle. As they walked along the jungle path, the weasel scanned the area for danger. Josiah and Shelly watched him almost in admiration. “Excuse me,” Shelly asked the weasel as politely as she could. “But, who are you?” The weasel responded by throwing his knife at Shelly’s foot. She took a step back, as if he was going to attack her. The weasel crawled down the tree creepily and started to sniff the two humans curiously from top to bottom. Josiah was a bit freaked by this. His personal space was being invaded by a weasel with an eye patch. “BUCK!” it bark, so suddenly that it startled the both of them. “Huh?” inquired Josiah. The weasel spoke again, only this time it was with an English accent. “The name’s Buck,” the weasel declared with a flare. “Short for Buckminster. Long for…” he opened Josiah’s mouth and finished, “BUH!” He then scurried over to Shelly and examined her stun pistol. “Hmm, nice toys,” he muttered after running a finger over its whites surface. After that, he turned to them. “What are you two humans doing down here?” “My little brother, Ken, was taking by a tyrannosaur,” Shelly explained. “Really? A t-rex, you say? Well, he’s dead,” Buck replied while putting on a false smile. “Welcome to my world. Now, go back to wherever it is you came from. Off you pop!” Josiah glanced at Shelly. She looked as if she was going to cry at any moment. Josiah turned and glared at Buck. This weasel was not making this situation any easier on them. “We’re not going anywhere, Buck,” he said determinedly. “Ken is not dead. We came this far and we are not gonna give up now.” That made Shelly smile a bit, in spite of her doubt about Ken being dead. They were about to reenter the jungle, when Buck jumped in front of them. “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” the weasel said while waving his paws at them. “If you go in there, you’ll find your little brother….” Buck’s words trailed off creepily. “In the after life. Do you two want to join him? I mean, this is no jungle paradise for cub scouts,” He whispered. “And what are you two going to do with those puny weapons of yours when you run into the beast?” Shelly gulped. “What beast?” Buck said creepily ones again. “The beast I call….RUDY!” “What are you saying?” Josiah demanded. “What you mean, Rudy? Are you saying there is something else bigger then that tyrannosaur?” “Aye.” Buck nodded at him. “And he’s the one who gave me this.” He pointed to the eye patch covering his right eye. Josiah just shook his head and leaned down to the weasel. “I think we can handle the ‘The beast’ on our own, Buck.” Getting up, he and Shelly marched off into the jungle. Buck watched the two of them go. “Abandon all hope, he who enters there!” “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Josiah called back irritably from the jungle. “What ever!” Meanwhile, back at lava falls, Ken was having his own problems with Momma Dino. She had tried many ways of trying to eat Ken but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Whenever she felt that urge to eat him, he’d back up against a tree and beg for his life. Momma now had him in her jaws and was about to fling him once again in the air and consume him whole, when Ken grabbed a vine and held on to it for dear life. Momma stopped, stretching Ken’s Speedos like a rubber band. “Momma, please!” Ken begged. “Don’t do that!” She continued to stretch him. Ken’s arms couldn’t hold on forever. He didn’t know who was going to let go first. Him or Momma Dino. Having enough of this, Ken shouted at the dinosaur. “I’m not going to be eaten! I’m staying alive!” He thrust his bare feet at Momma’s snout and started kicking as hard as he could. Momma growled and stretched him even more. Ken knew the rubber of his bathing suit wouldn’t hold out much longer if this continued to go on. “You let go of ME!” THWAP! Ken went flying, right into the tree he was hanging onto with a CRASH! Momma wasn’t so fortunate. She had hit her scaly head on a low hanging branch of another tree when she had let go of Ken. With a bellow of pain, she shook her throbbing head. Ken was not so good ether. He had a painful bruise on his left leg and several cuts on his hands from the tree. The dinosaur kids watched from behind a rock. Ken groaned in pain. But that groan quickly turned into a scream when he saw Momma loom over him, an angry look in her eyes. “Look,” Ken said while backing away. “I didn’t mean to kick you. I’m sorry. It’s just that….” CHOMP! Momma lunged at the tree, snapping her jaws. Leaves and branches flew everywhere as Ken tried to scoot to safety. “I’m trying to apologize to you!” Ken tried again. “What more do you want?” CHOMP! This time Momma bit half the tree branch. By now, Ken was hanging from a skinny limb. CREAK! The limb broke off and Ken fell to the ground. As he fell, his foot got caught in tangle of vines. The next thing he knew, Ken was hanging upside down, dangling five inches above the ground. Momma growled, advancing toward him. Ken gulped and tried to swing away from her. But it was no use. His feet were twisted in the thick vines. “If you eat me, Miss Rex, you’ll get a stomach-ache soo badly you’ll have the runs for weeks!” Momma Dino cocked her head, as if she were thinking it over. Ken held his breath. ‘Maybe she won’t eat me after all,’ he thought. ‘Maybe my bluff worked,’ Instead, Momma leaned forward, jaws open. Ken braced himself for the attack, eyes clenched shut. With a low growl, Momma’s tongue snaked out. It was thick and reddish-pink, with no little forked groove on the tip like a lizard. Gently, Momma licked Ken’s face and then his stomach. Ken tried not to giggle as the slimy muscle tickled and rubbed against his skin. After a moment, she withdrew her tongue and licked her scaly lips. Then instantly pulled a face. She had never tasted anything so bitter in her life. This two-leg’s bare skin had a tart flavor that agitated her mouth. If anything that tasted like that didn’t want to be eaten, she was too happy to oblige. By then, Ken had gotten himself down from the tangle of vines and started to wipe the wet saliva from his body. “Gross! Dino spit!” he muttered under his breath. He then looked up at momma and grinned. “I guess I’m off the menu tonight, huh Momma?” The dinosaur snorted then turned around and mischievously smacked Ken into the vines again with her tail. The force of the tail whip wasn’t strong, but it was enough to send Ken flying and spinning around the tree. When he stopped, Ken was tied to the tree’s base. Poor Ken let out a groan and said feebly. “And those menus all tied up.” Elsewhere in the jungle, Josiah and Shelly were still following the tracks of the rex. Buck had tagged along with them, much to Josiah’s annoyance. The weasel said he knew his way around the jungle and that they should work together to find Shelly’s brother. But Josiah said ‘no’ to him and said that this was a human problem and that he should stay out of it and not get involved. But Buck tagged along anyway. As Buck scouted ahead for danger, Shelly walked alongside Josiah and whispered. “Why can’t he come along with us, Josiah?” Josiah looked back at her. “He is an unneeded detraction. Besides, you saw that rock and plant he was talking to. I think he is slightly insane.” “That maybe,” Shelly said. “But we need all the help we can get down here. He said that the tyrannosaur is at Lava Falls and I believe him. If it’s to save Ken, then I feel Buck is the one to count on.” Sighing, Josiah said. “All right, all right….” He nodded. “He can come with us as far as lava falls. But that’s it. If he gets in my way, he leaves. I will not have a deranged hermit get in the way of our mission.” With that, they walked on.
Chapter 9: Night Story
“WE HAVE TO WHAT?!” Josiah screamed at Buck. The weasel had just informed the two humans that to get to lava falls faster they had to fly there by pterosaur. Buck said that if they wanted to save Ken they had to trust him. Josiah and Shelly didn’t like the idea of flying on a giant winged reptile that could drop them from a height of a thousand feet. The weasel had told the two that the pterodactyl nests were located over the Misty Falls and to get there, they had to cross the Chasm of Death, to the Plates of Woe. “That’s a lot of nonsense, Buck,” said Josiah. “We don’t have to ride any flying….” “Bup-bup-bup-bup! Rule number one! Always listen to buck!” retorted Buck. Josiah snorted and rolled his eyes. He had heard Buck’s so-called rules before when he’d let the weasel join them. Rule number one: always listen to Buck. Rule number two: stay in the middle of the trail. And rule number three: he who has gas, travels at the back of the pack. Of course, Josiah didn’t like taking orders from Buck. But since Buck was the adult of the group, he had no other choice in the matter. It was ether follow Bucks rules, or get lost in the jungle full of angry dinosaurs. It took a couple of hours to get to the chasm of death and then to the plates of woe. The chasm of death had hazy green gas that made Josiah’s voice sound high and squeaky like one of the chipmunks. Shelly, being the smart one, didn’t breath in the gas. It took a second or two for Josiah to clear his head and stop laughing uncontrollably. Buck had informed the two that the gas had made other dinosaurs laugh soo uncontrollably that they died laughing. He pointed down in the chasms to verify his point about the gas.
Several skeletons of dinosaurs littered the ground and they all looked like they were laughing. Or had been laughing. Next were the plates of woe. The plates were dusty, saucer-like rocks that were held up on unsteady tree branches. Nether Shelly or Josiah liked the look of the place. In the distance they saw a steady river of lava and cliffs with high outcroppings. Buck had said that he had been here to the plates a while back when Manny and his herd had been looking for Sid the sloth. Josiah looked around the craggy gully with a bit of uneasiness. The only sound coming from this place was the wind. ‘Something about this pace isn’t right,’ he thought. ‘There’s only the wind. What if there is something else here with us? Watching us right now?’ Just then, the plates below their feet began to crack and crumble wildly. “Jump!” yelled Buck. At the last moment, Josiah and Shelly leaped onto a safe, protected ledge with Buck. The plates they were just walking on had fallen with a loud CRASH!Panting in relief, Josiah turned to Buck angrily. “Why’d I listen to you, weasel? ‘Everything will be alright once we get across the plates of woe.’ The only way we are gonna’ save Ken is that we go our own way without your help!” Buck shook his head. “But I’m leading you on the right track, lad. It’s the safest route to lava falls.” “Safe?!” Josiah waved his hand across the plates of woe back and forth. “Look at this place. Its cursed, weasel. It’s falling apart! Open your eye and it…” he looked down suddenly as his boot landed in something soft and stinking. Buck took one look at it and started to dart his eye around alertly. “Guanlongs,” he half whispered. “What?” Shelly asked. She had never heard of that kind of dinosaur before. “They’re pack animals, lass,” Buck continued. “Very fierce and very dangerous. The only things sharper then their minds are their claws,” Josiah looked around worriedly while clutching his stun pistol and whipping his boot. Guanlongs sounded like bad news to him and he didn’t want to take any chances. The group continued on their way through the ravine while Buck kept a lookout for danger on Josiah’s shoulder. Josiah still didn’t think it was a good idea to have the weasel tag along with them. Could they count on him to help them find Ken? True, he was an unneeded detraction and a bit insane but he knew his way around this world better then any Nick Dundee in a movie. Meanwhile at lava falls, Ken was having a bath in the shade of pool with a water fall with the Dino kids. The water was cool and refreshing and Ken cleaned himself. Momma watched this odd routine with a raised eyebrow from the shore. She had allowed Ken to stay with her family, but only until they found his other friends. She didn’t like the idea of going soft on anyone but her hatchlings and the sloth named Sid. Her children missed him and so did she. The little mammal had shown her kindness and in return, she had allowed him stay with her family. She had even let him sleep with her and the kids because of what he said about his friend probably not missing him. Those words had brought back memories about her past and how she had not been missed by anyone when she had been lost and alone. Fearsome as she was, Momma Dino often got lonesome for companionship. Sid wasn’t much of a mate, but he was the closest thing to a father her children had. And now this young two-leg had entered their lives. What would have happen if his friends thought she had eaten him? It would be Revenge. It would lead to that if she had eaten the little one. The male two-leg with the strange weapon in his hands would kill her and her children for harming his pack-mate. She knew that feeling all to well. It had happened before with the sloth when he stole her eggs. She remembered how she wanted to devour him for taking her precious eggs from her temporary nest in the ice cave. She remembered how her hatchlings came to Sid’s defense and growled up at her. The older male would not think twice about harming her children out of vengeance for his friends’ life. But she was not going to allow that male to harm her children. Momma had dedicated her life to protect her young and that was what she was going to do. But the weapon was still in the back of her head. Where had these creatures created such things? These two-legs had come from another world and she wanted to know why. But first, she wanted get to know this young male two-leg first. Getting up off her haunches, Momma wadded into the pool with her kids and Ken. Playfully, she started to splash them with water with her tail. Ken had a momentary lapse of shame at being half-naked around another individual. Then he remembered that Momma, a dinosaur who had never seen a human before, did not care in the slightest. He relaxed and swam near her. Her wet burnt-orange scales shone in the setting sun of the waterfall and Ken couldn’t help but admire her beauty. She was beautiful and strong and not to mention fierce with those fangs. He swam over to her and clambered on her back and started to rub her scales. Upon feeling his hands rub her back, Momma turned abruptly around to glare at him with one of her golden eyes. She let out a low growl from her throat as if saying. ‘Get off my back, little one,’ Ken stopped and slid off her back carefully so as not to bother her. He but his hands in front of himself and backed away slowly out of the pool. “Sorry, Momma,” He apologised. “I didn’t know you didn’t like back rubs.” Momma snorted in his face and nudged him out of the pool with the tip of her snout. Ken started to resist as the tyrannosaur continued to push him. But then he stopped. The biggest snake he’d ever seen hung from a branch just a few feet over the heads of the three baby tyrannosaurs. The snake’s mouth was open, its fangs bared. Ken didn’t know if a snake could bite through the hide of a young dinosaur. What he did know was that if it could, and if the snake was poisonous, the baby dinos probably wouldn’t survive. Ken instinctively dipped his hand into the water. Fishing around, he came up with a nice-sized rock. He circled around Momma and pointed behind her at the snake. The tyrannosaur followed his finger and when she saw the snake she froze. There was a worried look on her face and Ken knew he had to do something to help. He pulled his hand out of the water and threw the rock right at the snake. It struck the serpent in the back, making it hiss loudly and startling the babies into looking back over their shoulders. When they saw the angry snake, they scrambled out of the pool to their mother with frightened sequels. Then Momma roared at the snake, making it retreat from the pool's low branches. As soon as it was gone, Momma leaned down and nuzzled Ken gently with her snout. A deep purring vibrated in her throat as she smiled at him, her way of saying thank you. The baby dinos rushed over and hugged him tightly. Ken felt himself fill with happiness. He had done a good deed and in return he felt his heart fill with happiness. He’d only been trying to help. Another saying his father said to him: No good deed goes without its rewards. Ken had thought it was just a stupid saying that his father made up. But it seemed especially true now. His good intensions, or bad, could have serious consequences if he was not careful of how to use them. After she was done nuzzling him, Momma gently pick him up and placed him on the back of her neck. She then motioned for her young move out with a soft grunt. It was growing dark and Momma didn’t want to sleep in the open were her babies were vulnerable to predators. She crossed the river and entered the shelter of the jungle. Night had fallen in the jungles outcropping near the Plates of Woe. Josiah and Shelly decided to sleep in their sleeping that night instead of their tents. It was too risky to sleep in tents and Buck wanted them to be ready for anything encase of an attack. Before they went to sleep, Buck told them the story of how he lost his eye and got Rudy’s tooth. The two of them hung on to Buck’s every word while trying to stay awake. “What happened next, Buck?” Shelly asked eagerly. She was starting to like the story more and more. “I thought I’d gotten away from Rudy when the next thing I knew, he snatched me up in his jaws!” Buck said dramatically while making sward fighting gestures with his knife. “Never had I felt more alive than when I was so close to death,” Buck went on. “Just before Rudy could suck me down his gullet, I grabbed hold of that pink fleshy thing that dangles at the back of the throat,” “Nasty!” Josiah burst out. “You grabbed the uvula! That’s what it was.” “Right, lad. I hung on to that sucker,” Buck went on, “and I swung back and fourth, back and fourth, back and fourth, back and fourth until finally I let go and shot right out of his mouth. I may have lost an eye that day,” he added, “but I got this.” He whipped out his knife and twirled it in the palm of his paw. The kids were totally impressed. This one-eyed weasel survived an encounter with a super predator that could have easily swallowed him whole. And yet, he showed fearlessness that any normal mammal wouldn’t show to a predator of that size. “you are ultra-cool-weasel!” Shelly said. Overwhelmed, Buck did some scattering hip-hop sound effects and ended it by clapping Shelly’s palm. Josiah gave her a look. “What?” Shelly said with a shrug. “It’s true. He is.” Buck smiled at and placed the knife in his sheath. “Aye, lass, I am,” he agreed. “Now let me tell you another story of how I used a sharpened clam shell to turn a t-rex into a t-Rachel.” “Ugh!” exclaimed Shelly. “Whoa! Whoa,” Josiah cut in. “That’s enough stories for tonight, Buck. Let’s get some sleep.” “Right-o. You guys get some shut-eye,” Buck told them. “I’ll keep watch.” Minutes later, the small campsite was quiet. Josiah and Shelly were sound asleep. While they slept, Buck remained wide-awake, listening for danger and keeping an eye over both of them. Meanwhile, Momma had arrived at the same cave she had slept in before. She bent down and the three babies clambered on her snout. She then placed them inside the cave and she climbed in after them. There was just one other person she forgot. Ken. The poor boy had slipped off Momma’s neck and went to use the bushes, but had forgotten to climb back on when he was done. He tried to climb up after them, but his bare feet kept slipping, sending him tumbling downward. He hated climbing. But there was nothing he could do about it. He tried again but took a careless step and slipped on a loose stone. With a small yell, he landed on his back with a thud. Ken let out a cry of pain and felt tears well-up in his eyes. Upon hearing the cry of pain, Momma poked her head out of the cave and looked down at Ken. At first, she was annoyed by the sounds the boy was making. Her children were trying to sleep and he was making this racket outside like a scavenger. Then she saw him crying. She tilted her head to one side to look down at him. She thought about letting him sleep with her and her young. He did save them from that snake. She wouldn’t have been able to save them in time if it had attack. And if that had happened, she would never forgive herself. She looked out at the jungle and made a small growl in her throat. She looked back down at Ken. Seeing him like this made her once again think about her past. Giving in with a sigh, she leaned down and gently lifted him by his shirt collar. At first, Ken thought she was going to toss him into the bushes to quit him. But then she put him down in the cave right among her young. When he was settled, she curled her tail around them to give them warmth from the cold night. Ken didn’t know what to say to her. What could he say? Thinking of the most touching words to say, he sighed and said. “Thank you, Momma. You do have a big heart under all those scales, you know that?” he wiped his tears away with the back of his hand and curled up with the kids. Momma glanced down at Ken and snorted, annoyed, but she smiled a little at the words he had said to her. Momma placed her head down beside her family and slept.
Chapter 10: A Rude Awakening and Trouble
Momma Dino opened her eyes as the sunlight streamed in from outside the cave. Lifting her head, she yawned showing her rows of teeth. She nudged her children awake with her snout and they got up groggily, yawning in unison. Using her flexible tail, she lowered them down to the ground. Before she could climb out of the cave herself, she suddenly remembered something. She looked back down at the still sleeping Ken. He was nestled beside the base of her tail and was snoring softly. Lowering her head, she started to nudge him awake. But that didn’t do any good. The boy was still sleeping. Momma grunted in irritation and tried again. Ken still refused to come around. Then Momma got an idea. Sticking out her tongue, she snaked it towered the sleeping two-leg and…. SLUUUURPPP! Licked him right in face. When he felt that, Ken woke up suddenly and when the stench hit him he let out a yell of disgust. Then he looked up and saw Momma’s tongue near his face. He rolled away, looked up at the dinosaur and glared at her with revulsion. He could feel the warm, wet foam of dinosaur spit on his face. “Ugh! Dino breath! Yuck!” Ken got up and started wiping the slobber from his mug to get rid of the smell. He felt like he was going to choke. Momma made a sniggering sound in her throat as if she was laughing. But Ken didn’t find it funny at all. “That’s not funny!” he snapped. He walked to the entrance of the cave and started climbing down. Momma was still chuckling a bit but stopped when she had climbed down after him. Her kids gave her a questioning look as if asking what’s so funny. Their mother lowered her head and growled something in their small ears.
When she was done, they turned their heads to Ken and let out squealing giggles, while trying to cover their mouths with their short claws. Ken gave them an irritated look. “You guys should tell your mother to lay off the meat, nasty!” Momma lowered her head down to gently nuzzle Ken on shoulder to tell him she was sorry. Ken gave her another irritated glare but softened up after words. She was only trying to wake him up and in truth, he was a heavy sleeper. At home his mother would try five times to wake him up and get him ready for school. A glass of water was the last straw for her to get him up. Except, Ken didn’t get a class of water in the face. He got a lick attack in the face by a t-rex. Talk about a rude awakening! Ken’s stomach rumbled. As did the baby dino’s. They hadn’t eaten since yesterday. When she heard the stomachs of the young ones growling, Momma decided to go hunting. She led the children back to lava falls and told them to wait around a flat round rock to eat. While they waited, Ken tried his wrist communicator to see if it still worked. The device was giving off bleeping sounds and Ken saw the red dot that was him. But then his eyes traced to two other dots not far away from his location. ‘It couldn’t be,’ He thought. ‘is that Josiah And Shelly?’ He looked again. It was them. He knew it was them. But why hadn’t the device gone off last night? Then he remembered he turned it off right before he slept with Momma Dino and the kids. His time watch was left in the tent with his other stuff during the night he got kidnapped. Ken knew that his only chance to get away now was to run away from Momma Dino. At first, he didn’t want to leave. Momma had been kind to him, sort of, and Ken didn’t want to hurt her feelings by running away. So as an alternative, he activated his location beacon on the left side of device. If he couldn’t go to them, he would lead them to him. The communicator was linked to the other’s communicators by a radio wave link. He hoped they would pick up the signal soon. Momma came back carrying a large chicken leg-like carcass. She dropped it on the stone table and stepped back to let them eat. The dino kids instantly dove in. but Ken was a little apprehensive about eating raw meat. But hunger in his stomach made him think otherwise and he took a large chunk of meat from carcass. It didn’t smell too bad and he was hungry. But the thought eating raw meat made his stomach tighten. He opened his mouth, took a bite, and chewed. It had a gummy texture to it and the smell was a bit off. But it really didn’t taste that bad. He took another bite, chewed and swallowed. It was chewy but satisfying. He turned and nodded up at Momma. “Thanks for the food, Momma,” The rex nodded back at Ken with a smile. Shelly and Josiah woke up from their sleep and wiped the sleepiness’ from their eyes. Josiah look around the outcropping for Buck. He couldn’t see the weasel anywhere. The morning sun cast an eerie gray morning in the plates of woe. It was creepy and didn’t seem safe just to lie here out in the open. Josiah got up and packed his sleeping bag as quickly as he could. Shelly did the same but more gradually. “You seem tense,” Shelly pointed out to her friend. “What’s the hurry?” “Bucks not here,” Josiah said, hurriedly zipping up his bag. “I don’t know where that weasel went to, but we got to hurry.” He strapped on his pack and waited for Shelly. Suddenly, a deafening roar came from the jungle. The two of them turned towered the sound and froze. Shelly looked at Josiah. “What was that?” Josiah took a step back and whispered, “That’s not the rex. Its sounds bigger.” A rustling came from the bushes to their left. Buck suddenly sprinted out of the jungle and headed for them. “We gotta leave!” Buck called. “We gotta leave now!” Josiah didn’t look at all pleased to see the weasel just show up out of nowhere. “Where did you go?” “No time, mate! Rudy’s coming!” gasped Buck. “We gotta get to pterosaur bluffs, now!” Buck took off running down the rocky path to the bluffs with Josiah and Shelly right behind him. As they ran, they heard the roar again. To Josiah it sounded like an evil primeval screeching roar from another world. The sound was blood-chilling. Josiah hoped to god that Rudy didn’t find Ken before they did. As they hurried along the plates to pterosaur bluff, Josiah and Shelly tried to keep up with Buck. It was hard to believe that a weasel could run that fast when in a hurry. ‘That roar must have really frazzled Buck big time,’ Josiah thought while running alongside Shelly. ‘if that dinosaur finds Ken, I don’t know what I’ll do.’ At that moment, Buck came to a sudden halt which made Josiah and Shelly nearly crash right into him. “We got company, mates,” Buck said slowly. And he was right. In front of them was a pack of raptor-like guanlongs. But they were not normal guanlongs like the ones in fossil records in the museums in the future. The creatures were 4-feet tall and 3.4 m long from snout to tail. Their scales were blue with pale streaks across them. They had red-orange patches around their eyes and had cream underbellies. Along their neck and backs were black, porcupine-like quills that rattled like rattlesnakes. Buck got into a battle stance and took out his knife. He turned to the kids and pointed down a clear path to the left. “You guys gotta’ take that path to pterosaur bluffs without me,” he informed them. “I’ll take care of these dinos!” with that, he jumped into the air and came down on dinosaurs with his knife and whip with such swiftness and cunning that the guanlongs were having a hard time trying to eat him. With Buck battling the dinosaurs, Josiah and Shelly took off down the path to the left in a run. They darted over shattered logs and broken rocks which were scattered on the trail. Behind them they heard Buck whoop and holler with exhilaration as he battled the pack of guanlongs. In this world, beneath the ice, no dinosaur was safe from the wily and swash-buckling weasel. Meanwhile, Momma dino had the kids huddle together under her belly for protection. For right in front of her was Rudy the Baryonyx. Rudy was a large albino Baryonyx with Red eyes, with yellow around his pupils. His scales did look like they were white, but there was a bit of gray to his small black spikes that ran down his head, neck and back. He had a long, narrow snout filled with teeth that were coned-shaped. His size was 33 feet long and 12 feet high. A normal sized dinosaur of his kind. But since he had been living under the ice in the secret world for ages, his size had been altered. He was bigger and longer then any of his kind could ever be. Ken quivered behind the kids as the super predator narrowed his eyes at them. Momma growled at him to keep his distance. The Baryonyx snorted at her. He took a step forward. Momma lifted her head and roared at him threateningly to get back. Rudy snarled and backed off. As the savage behemoths growled at each other, Ken felt sweat pour down his face. The baby dinos weren’t afraid though. They growled at Rudy like their mother and showed their teeth. Ken stayed where his was. If he ran, he’d put himself in danger of being eaten alive. But he couldn’t stop his body from shaking like a leaf. Rudy gave Momma one last growl of defiance, turned and walked back into the jungle with thundering footfalls. Ken and the kids breathed a sigh of relief and came out from under Momma. She was still looking intently at the spot were Rudy disappeared. Just seeing him again unnerved her. She felt that she had failed in defeating him when she had pushed him off the cliff to his apparent death. But this sudden encounter just confirmed her fears that Rudy did survive the fall into the chasm. Then without warning, there was a sudden scream in the distance. Momma tilted her head to one side and listened closely. There was screeching, yelling and a familiar BOW, BOW sound she had heard before. “That’s Josiah and my sister!” Ken said. He rushed off to follow the sound. Momma and the kids tried to follow, but Ken was darting too far ahead of them. He raced ahead with every intention of seeing them again. He burst out of the forest and into a rocky field and saw them. They were near a cliff and were battling a pack of raptor-like dinosaurs. Momma Dino and the kids caught up with him and stared at the fight that was happening in the clearing. The other two-legs were fighting off the guanlongs with the same weapons she had seen that browned-skinned two-leg shoot at her with. Ken tried to go into the clearing to help his friends, but Momma seized him by the scruff of his shirt collar to stop him. Ken tried to pull away but there was nothing he could do. “Let me go, Momma!” he cried. “I have to help them!” He struggled again but to no avail. Momma wasn’t going to let him get hurt by those guanlongs. She knew how persistent and cunning they were in a pack. And how deadly, too. Large animals like iguanodons and triceratops were always targets for them. Gaunlongs never messed with her kind or any other super predators down here in her world. They scavenged for carcasses but that was about it. They never messed with a rex. She looked down at Ken and then at his friends who were still battling the pack. They needed help. Her help. She had to do something. Letting go of Ken, Momma opened her jaws, threw back her head and let out a mighty roar. It echoed across the clearing, scaring birds from the trees. The gaunlongs and the two two-legs stopped and looked towards the source of the roar. Then, with brutal speed, Momma charged into the clearing. The closest gaunlong near her was seized in her jaws and was chomped down on in an instant. It let out a pitiful shriek then was silent. Momma spat the gaunlong out and charged at the others. The pack scrambled for cover, but the t-rex was faster. She swung her tail and smacked several gaunlongs aside like bowling pins. She roared at the remaining pack members who were left behind and they ran. Checking around the clearing for danger and finding nothing, Momma motioned for her kids and Ken to out. Upon seeing his sister and Josiah, Ken ran to them shouting, “Guys!” As he ran to meet them, he read their faces-disbelief, joy, relief, and love. Every emotion seemed to be there in his friends faces, it felt wonderful! Ken ran right into Shelly and Josiah’s arms and hugged them strongly. As tears spilled from Shelly’s eyes, she hugged her brother as if she’d never again let him go. Josiah hugged Ken strongly and smiled down at him. “We thought we lost you, you silly kid,” “Was lost but now I’m found,” Ken said. “I thought I’d never see you guys again.” Momma and the kids approached the group. When he saw her come near, Josiah took out his pistol again and pointed it at her. She stopped and gave a confused grunt at him. Ken ran to her defense. “Josiah, wait!” he pleaded, while standing between Momma and Josiah’s pistol. “It’s okay. She isn’t going to hurt anyone.” Josiah stared at Ken, unable to accept those words. This t-rex in front of them had kidnapped Ken with the intention of eating him. He glared at the rex while keeping his finger on the trigger of his pistol. “This beast, Ken, took you away from us,” he said angrily. “She doesn’t deserve to live!” Ken and Shelly couldn’t believe what Josiah was saying. Was he acutely going to kill a living thing with babies? In truth, Josiah was a bit vindictive toward anyone who hurt his friends and showed more aggression then the two of them combined. It was his aggression that got him in trouble with the staff at the corporation. Now he was going to turn that aggression on an animal that was bigger then him. Josiah glared at the tyrannosaur and said, “Animals like this one only care about filling their bellies and killing innocent lives of those who have done no harm to it accept run away out of fear!” he looked down at Ken and frowned. “We have done nothing wrong to her accept for when I shot her with my pistol for us to get away to safety.” Then Ken realized the truth. “So that was why she had the burn mark on her shoulder,” he said. “You shot her with your pistol!” “Serves her right!” said Josiah. “She was going to pursue us anyway even if I didn’t shoot my pistol.” “But she’s not attacking us now,” Ken pointed out. “I even saved Momma’s kids from being bitten by a snake. And in return, she saved me, Josiah.” Josiah lowered his pistol and gave Ken a quizzical look with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean?” Ken explained what happened after he was abducted that night. He told them everything. Every detail. When he was done, Josiah and Shelly were sitting on the ground. Shelly was looking at her brother in admiration while Josiah, still holding the pistol in his lap, looked as if Ken’s story was untrue. Josiah knew from experience in books that a t-rex would eat and scavenge anything when ever it could. It didn’t matter if the victim was small or large because a tyrannosaur was not choosey about what it ate. Shelly got up and walked over to her brother. She studies him for a moment then puts a hand on his shoulder. “Are you sure your alright, Ken?” she asked, concerned. Ken only shrugged and nodded his head. “I’m fine,” he says, with sigh and stretches himself. “Just a bit sore, that’s all.” Josiah stood up and walked over to Momma and the kids. He stopped a few feet from them and scowled at Momma. Josiah confronts Momma“You had no right to take Ken away from us,” he said furiously up at the female tyrannosaur. “He’s just a little kid! So why take him? I’m the one who shot you in the shoulder. Yet, you have the nerve to come into our campsite and take him away from us, anyway!” Momma took a step forward and leaned down so that she was eye level with him. Josiah took a step back as a growl escaped her throat. Not a threatening growl but a growl of understanding and acknowledgment. Josiah lowered his voice and said, “I’m sorry that I shot you, Momma. I just wanted to protect my friend, that’s all.” Momma nuzzled Josiah on his torso with her snout and made a soft growling sound while smiling in understanding. At first he was a bit tense at having a carnivore this close to him because the rex was so…so right. In his mind, Josiah saw this prehistoric animal as a great hunter. A tyrant queen of her kind that made him feel small in comparison to her size and power. He reached out with his right hand and stroked Momma’s broad snout. “Can you ever forgive me for the wrong I did?” he inquired softly. Momma bent forward and gently licked Josiah with her pinkish-red tongue. It was wet, warm and peaceful and as she moved it to his face, Josiah didn’t move to avoid it. He just let it move across his face freely and felt the wet muscle run across his cheek and forehead. When she was done, Josiah walked back to his friends. Ken was busy changing into a new set of clothes and Shelly was checking her Time watch. She gave him the heads up. “The watches are ready for time travel, Josiah.” Josiah checked his and nodded. “I guess this means we can travel back through the tunnel and up to the surface. Then we can go to the time rings and activate our watches.” Ken turned to Josiah and his sister. “We’re leaving?” he inquired while tying his shoes. Josiah nodded. “What about exploring this place a bit more?” he asked. “Actually,” Shelly pointed out, “He as a point, Ken.” Josiah gave Ken an inquisitive look. “You don’t wanna’ leave?” Ken shook his head. “I want to stay down here a bit longer, for a while,” Josiah considered the decision. If they stayed down here and explored and interacted with the dinosaurs, how were they going to protect themselves better? And what about Rudy?
Chapter 11:Pterosaur Attack
Late afternoon had come to the clearing and the distant trumpeting of brachiosaurs joined the chorus of the sounds of the jungle. Josiah and his group had pitched up their tents and made a fire using the lighter that Ken carried. Momma and her kids stayed close to the fire for warmth while also keeping their distance. Ken sat and leaned against Momma’s belly, feeling the warmth of her scales. The calm, steady rumbling of her stomach soon put him to sleep. Since Ken had decided to sleep with Momma, Shelly took down his tent. The dino kids curled up with their mother, and closed their eyes. Momma curled her tail around them. She heard the sauropods trumpeting softly in the distance. She looked down at Josiah and Shelly who were crawling into their tents for the night. Momma closed her eyes, and slept. Josiah was awakened by something sitting on his stomach, followed by a giggling squeak. He opened his eyes and saw one of the baby t-rexes with the blue eyes bouncing up and down and wagging his tail like a dog. Josiah yawned and sat up. He stretched sleepily and petted the hatchling on the head. The rex sniffed at him, and then rubbed his head against Josiah’s neck. Josiah chuckled. The orange-red scales felt warm and dry, with the pebbled feel of a football. The little rex didn’t have the broad snout of its mother, but a short snout with two small boney ridges. Down its neck were three short spikes. Josiah guessed that when this baby rex grows into a full-grown tyrannosaur, his body would mature. Then Josiah crawled out of the tent and stretched out the drowsiness from his body and yawned. The baby rex did the same thing. Josiah chuckled and took out his pick. He combed and brushed his hair and the little rex mimicked the movement. Nearby, Ken had woken up and was rubbing the sleep from his eyes. Momma Dino was nowhere in the clearing. Josiah looked at Ken and asked, “Where did big momma go?” “Hunting,” he said. “She woke up and told her kids to stay here with us. I think she wants us to baby-sit them until she comes back,” he yawned again. “I tell ya'", Josiah, being friends with a tyrannosaur family really pays off.” Josiah nodded at that. Having the queen of the tyrant lizards protect them didn’t seem like such a bad idea. She was a super predator and a protective mother to her young. She also seemed to trust them, especially Ken. After all, he did save her kids from a snake. That brave deed had earned her trust to the three of them. As Ken went to use the bushes, Josiah looked around for Shelly. She wasn’t in her tent and Josiah started looking around the clearing to see if she was nearby. As he searched, he heard giggling and chitterling coming from a clearing near his left. Josiah walked around the corner of the brush and found Shelly up a small tree, holding out handfuls of fruit to five baby brachiosaurs. The five babies were the size of newborn giraffe calves and had the same dimwitted-look as their adults. Their scales were yellowish with a blue stripe running down their backs, neck and tails. Shelly was laying on a low-hanging branch on her belly and was hand feeding the babies one at a time. As soon as she saw Josiah, she smiled in relief. “Good to see your up, Josiah,” she said. “Wanna’ help feed these guys?” she handed another piece of fruit to them and shifted on the branch. “They’re very messy eaters.” Josiah had to hand it Shelly. She had a way with animals. He went over and moved his way amongst the baby brachiosaurs, careful not step on their tails and toes. Shelly past him the pear-like fruit that was as big as water bottles. They were green in color and had a sweetness to their smell almost like green apple bubble gum and a pear mixed together. Josiah tried one. It had a crunchy texture and he found it had none of the wetness of a normal pear that he had eaten in the future. It tasted like a normal pear but with a sweetness similar to a pineapple. One of the baby brachiosaurs leaned over and took the half-eaten fruit from Josiah’s hand and ate it. “Hey, watch the fingers, little guy.” Josiah said. The baby finished chewing and licked its lips. It opened its mouth, waiting for more food. Josiah could see the slim flat teeth, and the rose-tinted tongue. “Okay, just a second,” Josiah said, grabbing another fruit from the tree. “You guys are gluttons for punishment, you know that?” He handed the fruit to the baby and it ate it greedily with noisy chewing. The five baby brachiosaurs didn’t seem to show any fear of the humans as they ate the ripe fruit with enjoyment. It had reminded Josiah that dinosaurs down in this world under the ice had not seen humans before. So, there was no logical rationale for them to fear man. “Maybe we can ride one of them,” Shelly said. “I’d bet it be fun.” “Let’s not” Shelly made a face, but Josiah ignored it. The dawn was coming and Josiah wanted to get back to camp. Shelly climbed down the tree and the baby brachiosaurs started crowding the tree to eat. Shelly made her way past the babies and to Josiah’s side. They made there way back to camp and saw Ken playing peek-a-boo with the baby tyrannosaurs. The three hatchlings giggled and squealed in delight as Ken played with them. The sun from up above came out as Josiah and Shelly made breakfast for themselves. The three baby rexes watched inquisitively as the humans prepared their morning meal. They ate silently and watched a flock of pterodactyls fly by the cliff. They had 45 foot wingspans and blue bodies with red marking on their backs, neck, head, beak, and small crest. They had cream underbellies and short stubby tails. Josiah glimpsed one of their beaks and saw that they had pointed teeth. They ate fish and dead carrion, he remembered. Shelly looked up at the sky and shaded her eyes. “Can those things hurt us?” “I don’t think so. They only eat fish and dead animals.” “Hmm,” said Ken. “They look pretty big.” And then he added, “Are you sure, Josiah, that they can’t hurt us?” “Don’t worry. I’m pretty sure.” One of the pterodactyls twirled downward, a blinking shadowy shadow that flew over their heads with WHOOSH. “Ow!” Ken shouted, grabbing his shoulder. “It scratched me!” “It what?” Josiah and Shelly said in unison. “It scratched me! That thing scratched me!” when he took his hand away, they saw that his shirt had been torn at the shoulder. Blood had began to blossom. Up in the sky, five more dactyls dove, heading right towered them. Josiah did the only thing he could think to do. He dove into his tent and brought out his stun pistol. He pointed it skyward and fired a number of bolts at the dive bombing dactyls. Two bolts struck two advancing dactyls nearest to them. The animals shrieked and cawed as the blue bolts hit them square in the wing and upper body. Shelly and Ken took out their pistols and joined in the firing. The baby tyrannosaurs hid behind a rock and gazed at the dactyls with wide frightened eyes. As the three humans fought off the flock, one of the dactyls, that had flown over their heads, turned around and dove at them from behind. It reached out with its hind claws and grabbed Ken by the shoulders. The animal’s huge wings flapped broadly on both sides of him. Ken started screaming, waving his arms wildly while trying to shoot at the dactyl. Shelly dove at the dactyl, grabbing it around the neck and started squeezing. The animal made a choking sound and dropped Ken on the ground. Shelly drew back her fist and punched the dactyl hard in the head. It screeched in pain and flew off, hobbling. “Come on and fight, you dirty dactyls!” She shouted at them, waving her fist. “I can lick the lot of ya!” In response, the dactyls cawed and screeched at them defiantly. "CAHHRRRR!" All at once, the whole flock attacked together. Josiah and Shelly held their ground for the final air raid. But just before the flock could attack, bomb-like berries shot out of nowhere in the sky above them and blew up in their faces. They squawked in confusion and were disoriented by the sudden attack by the unnoticed foe. Using this as a diversion, Josiah and Shelly lifted their pistols and fired again at the flock. Overpowered by the attack on both sides, the pterodactyls took to the skies with frightened and angry screams. They were soon all alone again in clearing. “That was too close,” Josiah said. “Any closer,” Shelly said. “And we could have ended up a pterodactyl smorgasbord!” “But who fired those berry bombs?” said Ken, looking skyward for the one who help them. And then they saw a pteranodon fly toward them. It had a rider on its back. When it got closer, Josiah and Shelly saw who it was immediately. It was Buck! The pteranodon landed in front of them and the one-eyed weasel jumped off. “Well, nice to see you guys again,” he said gladly. “Your lucky I found you in time before you became dinner for ‘em nasty birdies.” He raised his paw. Josiah leaned down and clasped it. “Glad to see you, Buck,” Said Josiah. “Thanks for coming to our rescue.” Shelly rushed forward, scooped up Buck in her arms and hugged him closely. “Oh, thank you, Buck!” Shelly said. “We were almost goners if it hadn’t been for you.” Buck looked like he was being squeezed to death. “Easy, lass,” He gasped. “Bucky can’t breath!” Shelly loosened her hold. Buck gasped for breath and smiled at her. “What happened to you two?” Buck inquired. Josiah and Shelly filled Buck in on what happened yesterday when the gaunlongs attacked them. After words, Buck nodded and said, “Well, I say you humans had a lot of excitement when I was gone.” Shelly then remembered her brother and the injury he had received. “Ken, are you alright?” she examined his shoulder and saw that the three cuts were still bleeding, a little. But he didn’t seem bothered by them. “I’m fine, sis,” He said. “Its smarts a bit, but I’ll be fine.” “Well, I had to make sure.” The three baby rexes came out from behind the rock. They gave Ken a concerned look when they saw the cuts. “I’m alright, guys,” he reassured them. “Nothing a little first-aide can fix.” Buck walked up to Ken and gave his wound a quick-over. “I know where to find some leaves for that, little mate.” He said brightly. “I’ll be right back.” He leaped aboard his pteranodon and with a whooping yell, the weasel took to the skies. The kids watched him go until he and pterosaur disappeared over the jungle.
Chapter 12: Baryonyx Cave
It took a while for Momma dino to come back to the clearing. When she arrived, she took a look at Ken's wounded shoulder and gave her kids questioning look. One of them with the lighter brown eyes talked to her in dinosaur speech and she replied back. Momma turned to Ken, leaned down and started licking his exposed injury with careful licks. Ken winced a bit as the mother rex tended to his wound. Her tongue moved slowly up and down the cuts, rubbing wetly against Ken’s skin. “Eeww,” Ken said. “Momma, cut it out. I told you I’m fine. It’ll take a lot more then some flying dactyl to kill me.” Ignoring Ken, Momma moved her tongue past his shoulder and playfully wrapped it around his head. Ken squeezed his mouth shut as Momma’s slimy rough muscle covered his face. Ken started shouting but it was muffled by the tongue. Josiah and Shelly started laughing their heads off. But Ken didn’t find it funny. He tried heaving it off but it did no good. Momma had it around his face firmly. Finally, she let go. She withdrew her tongue back in her mouth leaving Ken covered from head to shoulder in dino drool. As Shelly and Josiah continued to snigger under their breaths, Ken stood in the clearing, wiping the drool from his face and hair. “This is the second time, Momma, you covered me in slobber.” He said irritably. “But I think it did some good. My cuts are feeling much better.” Ken changed out of his shirt and into a new one. After he was done changing, Momma turned to the bushes and picked up an animal carcass she had stashed away. She dropped it in front of her kids and Josiah’s group and nodded to them to dig in. The dino kids dug in almost quickly but Josiah gave the carcass a once-over and then turned away in disgust while making a face. “What?” Ken stared at him. “Your not gonna’ eat with the kids? The meats not that bad and its more food then Momma and her kids eat in a week.” Josiah gave Ken a questioning look with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean ‘not that bad’? Ken, you didn’t eat that stuff, did you?” Ken awkwardly looked down and scratched his leg. “Well….yeah.” Josiah looked at Ken, appalled at the thought of him eating raw meat like a wild boy. Shelly was less then approved. Her brother eating uncooked food was something he’d never do in real life. “It wasn’t that bad,” he informed them, hoping not to make the two of them squeamish. “Once you get past the bone and fat, it’s really quite good.” “I’m not eating this,” he stated, turning away from the carcass. Ken didn’t sympathize with him, at all. This was all Momma had to offer to her kids and his group as a sign of friendship. The three of them didn’t know their way around down here and Momma could protect them. It was vital to stay on her good side. “You’re insulting her and you’re embarrassing me,” he insisted pointedly. “Eat it!” But Josiah just walked away. He stopped, glancing back. “I’m taking a walk. I’m not eating raw meat just because you did, Ken.” “Fine!” Ken shouted, watching him go. Josiah walked for about five minutes to calm his tension until he stopped near a river. He sat down on a rock and refilled his canteen. The water was pure and sweet and had no problem like the water in the future. Josiah guessed it had something to do with the magma and river water mixing together to make it pure water that was drinkable for the animals down here. The lava heated the water and killed bacteria while also giving it a purifying shine and clarity. When the jug was full, Josiah sat on the tree trunk near the bank’s edge, and looked at the ice ceiling high above his head. As he stared, heard a crashing sound in front of him on the other side of the river. Then silence. He waited, and heard it again. It sounded distinctly like something big, moving slowly through the jungle. Something big. Something near. A big dinosaur. Josiah stayed where he was on the log. If he ran, the dinosaur or whatever it was would chase him. He heard another crashing sound through the undergrowth. It was coming closer. He waited quietly, hearing the rustling again, and finally he saw the source of the sounds. Across the river, a baryonyx emerged out of the jungle and peered at him. It had brown scales with a cream underbelly and bluish eyes. along its back were a row of small spikes. He didn’t seem as big as Buck had described to him and Shelly the other night but looked to be about half that size. He was 33 feet long and 8 feet tall and Josiah guessed he weighed about 1.7 tons. The animal didn’t seem to show any aggression toward Josiah and only seemed curious about him. The crocodilian-like head tilted from side to side to look at him. He had seen a baryonyx skeleton in a museum once, a large skeleton, but that was a display. This one was real, and much bigger then the one in the museum. The sun caught the scales on hid body. Shining brown and cream the baryonyx studied Josiah for another second, just studied him, then lowered his snout into the stream to grab a fish, moving his jaws back and fourth, and snagging a big one with his thumb claw. It had another one in his jaws and as Josiah watched, it leaned back and swallowed the fish whole. The one in his talons was hooked firmly by the thumb claw. He sat down on his haunches and started feeding on the fish, stripping and delicately using its rosette teeth to tear at the meat. Josiah smiled at him. This animal was just like a bear fishing for food. After it finished with the fish, it scooped up another one and flung it over to where Josiah was sitting. It flopped around near his boots for a while and lay still. Josiah didn’t know if this was intentional or if the baryonyx was just sharing it’s catch with him. In the wild, in the future, bears would share salmon with each other when there was enough to go around. Even young cubs got a fare split of the food. Josiah didn’t know what to do. Take the fish or not take the fish. He knew that Japanese people ate raw fish all the time. And if he did not take the fish he would be offending the baryonyx and his generous offer. That convinced him and he picked up the fish in his gloved hand and was ready to take fake bite when a second baryonyx appeared out of the bushes then a third and a fourth. The one that came out of the bushes beside its partner saw the fish Josiah was about to bite into. He darted across the river and grabbed the fish right out of Josiah’s hands. It happened so quickly that he had no time to respond. He could have eaten him and he would have done nothing to protect himself. When he looked closer he saw that this baryonyx had two sets of scars on his right eye. What happened next was something Josiah would never forget. As soon as the scar-eyed baryonyx went back to the shore, the baryonyx, who had given Josiah the fish, attacked him. The scar-eyed baryonyx was not going down without a fight. The two dinosaurs faced each other, clawing, snapping, and whipping each other with their tails. Scar-eye finally backed down after the lead baryonyx swiped him hard, and he went down. The dinosaur loomed over scar-eyes and placed it’s front claws on his neck. Scar-eye let out whining groan of submission and crawled away down the bank and into the jungle. The leader snorted with approval while the other two baryonyx bowed their heads in that order. Satisfied, the leader dunked his head into the river again and came up with another fish. But instead of tossing it to Josiah, he walked over and placed the fish in his hands. It wiggled and flopped but Josiah got a firm grip on it. He looked up at lead baryonyx and managed a small grin. “Thank you,” he said. “I guess I should be going now,” He got up off the log and was about to turn and leave when he felt two strong, giant claws grasp him around the middle of his front. “Whoa!” he cried nervously. “What are you doing?” Then he heard it. A ferocious shrieking roar that echoed around the clearing. Josiah knew what that was. Rudy. The leader turned to his other partners and growled at them to move out. They did as they were told and dashed down the riverbank. Another roar came, this time followed by thundering footfalls, rapidly drawing nearer. With one last look behind him, the leader held Josiah close to his muscled chest and ran down the riverbank after his comrades. Minutes later, a giant shadow spilled over the river. Rudy bent down and sniffed the area hungrily. While Josiah was being taken by the baryonyx, Buck had returned to the rocky clearing with the berries he collected. As he tended to Ken’s wounds, a terrifying roar echoed all around them. Buck recognized it at once. “Rudy!” he cried. Momma dino instinctively gathered her kids and moved in the other direction. She stopped at the edge of the jungle, waiting for the others. And then, from somewhere in the distance, they heard a yell. Shelly recognized the cry immediately. “That’s Josiah!” she exclaimed. “He most be at baryonyx river,” said Buck. “Their not as aggressive as Rudy, but your friend might have been captured by them.” “Are they going to hurt him?” asked Shelly. Buck shook his head. “They eat fish and dead dinosaurs, but live prey is hard to come by,” “What do we do?” Ken asked. Buck took charge and began to talk very fast. He stood in front of the two humans. “There is only one thing to do, humans.” He turned to Shelly. “Shelly, your with me. Ken, you go with Mommy dinosaur and stay with her until we get back. Don’t argue with me. Your safer with her.” “What?” Ken shook his head. “But Josiah’s off the trail! What about one of your rules that Shelly told me about? You know, rule number two?” “Rule number six says you can ignore rule number two if there’s a friend involved, or possibly a cute dog….” Buck’s voice trailed off. “You know, I just make up my rules as I go along.” “Yeah, but…” Ken stammered. “Josiah could be in danger.” Shelly stepped up. “It’s all right, little brother,” she said. “Me and Buck will be right back.” “Now you’re talking,” said Buck with a nod. “Come on,” he told Shelly. “Let’s go.” They raced off down the trail to the river. Ken stood there, not knowing what to do. Momma went over to him and scooped him up with her tail. He didn’t struggle. He didn’t even protest. He just watched as Shelly and Buck disappeared down the trail. Josiah, meanwhile, was taken down river to a flat river bend were a cave was situated in a ridge wall. Littered around the cave entrance were remnants of kills and old fish bones. On a ridge were two more baryonyx who were keeping watch for danger. The one that was carrying him lifted its head to the two and made a trilling growling sound. The two baryonyx answered in reply with short nods and the same trilling snarl. With that done, they entered the cave with Josiah and the leader baryonyx following after. The cave was big and semi empty, as far as Josiah could tell. There were other baryonyx inside the cave besides the one carrying him. There were females with hatchlings and young males with bite marks and darker scales. All of their eyes were on him. He felt nervous and he started to shake in the scaly arms of the baryonyx holding him. Josiah could smell the remains of kills and the muck of baryonyx waste. It didn’t sting his nose, but it hung in the air like a stuffy subway station cubicle. The only light that was in the cave came from fissures on the cave ceiling or the cave entrance. He swore under his breath. He had to get away somehow, but the cave was full of baryonyx who blocked the mouth of the cave. If he tried to run, they would chase him. He would have to make an escape plan later. He decided to name the baryonyx who was carrying him Barry. He didn’t know why, but the leader of the pack looked like a Barry to him. Barry found a little spot on a rocky shelf and placed Josiah on it, carefully. He stood back and watched him intently. A couple of smaller baryonyx came closer. A female stood by Barry’s side and made a questioning thrilling sound. She had her eyes on Josiah. She had blue markings that were the color of the waves of an ocean and gray like a rocky shore. Josiah decided to call her Flood. Barry growled something to her and she approached Josiah cautiously but inquisitively. Her snout was inches from his face and he could smell the fish on her breath. But what worried him the most were the teeth. Two jets of hot damp air wafted on his head. Josiah sat there, unmovable, eyes focused on her. Flood sniffed at Josiah’s clothing from the head to foot. Reaching out with a thumb claw, she delicately snagged Josiah’s corporation shirt and sniffed at it admiringly. She licked at it with a long red tongue, then let go and stood back with Barry. She whispered a growl in his ear and he growled back shaking his head as if saying ‘no’. Flood growled again and pointed a claw at Josiah. He knew that Flood and Barry were discussing about him and what they were going to do with him. Barry seemed to want Josiah alive for some reason while Flood disapproved of allowing her mate to let him stay here. From out of a corner of the cave came another baryonyx. Josiah studied the bright crimson markings along the strong, powerful body. He wasn’t as big as Barry and Flood but still was an impressive sight. He stopped behind the two bickering baryonyx and hissed loudly at them. They stopped abruptly and turned to the elder with bowed heads of embarrassment. Flood gently placed the bottom of her snout under the chin of the elder and made a soft trilling sound followed by a whimper. The elder tenderly rubbed Flood’s cheek. He made a soft purring growl and told her to go to the back of the cave with the others. He gave Josiah a quizzical stare then turned and walked away into the darkness of the cavern. Barry watched the elder go then turned back to Josiah. He motioned for him to stay where he was until he came back. Josiah nodded grimly and watched Barry leave him alone. Staying where he was, Josiah laid down on the mossy green surface of the shelf and slept an uneasy sleep. Meanwhile, Buck and Shelly arrived at the river. Buck searched around the rocky stream for clues while Shelly looked out for danger. Bucks eye darted around, finally landing on a log. “Something smells fishy around here,” he announced, picking up a dead fish. He sniffed it and then recoiled in revulsion. “Shelly, we have ourselves some clues!” he pointed to two sets of clues. “Half-eaten piece of fish. Baryonyx footprints!” He whirled around to face Shelly. “Here’s what I think happened: baryonyx attacks Josiah. Josiah fights off baryonyx with piece of fish, leaving baryonyx a guppy.” Shelly stared at him. “Are you off your nutter? Josiah can’t use a fish as a weapon! And where’s the so-called dead dinosaur?” “Your right, Shell, good point,” Buck admitted. “Theory two: Josiah’s eating fish. Baryonyx eats Josiah. Baryonyx crushes fish, leaving guppy a sushi.” “Buck, when did you lose your mind?” Shelly asked, frowning and trying not to giggle. “Four months ago,” Buck replied. “I woke up one morning married to a pineapple. An ugly pineapple,” he added with a romantic sigh. “But I loved her.” Shelly gagged. Ahead were trees and grumbled rocks with deep claw marks. “Um, Buck, what about these?” she asked showing Buck. The weasel blinked and his expression turned dark and foreboding. “Well, Josiah might be alive, but not for long. Rudy’s on his way down stream. Your friend’s going to have some company real soon.”
Chapter 13: An Unwelcome visistor
Josiah woke up with a sore neck and an aching back. For just a couple of incredibly sweet seconds, he didn’t remember where he was. He thought he was home, safe with his friends. Then he remembered everything and the apprehension knotted up in his stomach all over again. He was separated from his friends, he was alone in a cave full of fish-eating baryonyx, and he didn’t know how he was going to escape. ‘The others will come for me’ he kept telling himself that over and over, as if thinking it were enough to make it true. Looking around, he saw that most of the baryonyx within the cave were asleep. A few hatchlings were playing and scampering about amongst the sleeping adults. At that moment, a young baryonyx came up to Josiah and stared at him curiously. He looked up and tenderly reached up to rub his scales. The infant jerked his heads back, his dark yellow eyes staring at him with hesitation. Josiah looked more closely at the animal. He looked like an up-right baby crocodile, the size of a toddler. He was grayish with reddish blotches. He had a crocodilian-like head and long snout, but he stood on strong hind legs, balanced by a thick balancing tail. The little baryonyx sniffed at Josiah, and then rubbed his head against Josiah’s hand. He smiled. Josiah petted the animal, feeling the dry rough scales, and to keep it quiet. He remembered something about music calming the minds of animals that were aggressive. Josiah decided to try it. He picked a song that first popped into his head and he started to sing it.
I see a spark of life shining AlegríaI hear a young minstrel say
Alegríafor what would always be the joy of suffering, so extreme
But there is a love in me raging
A joyous, magical feeling
Several of the adults jerked their heads up. The singing must have been magnified by the cave walls. The adults snorted, bobbing their heads. Then one of adults got up from its haunches and began to walk towards him. “Oh-no,” Josiah whispered under his breath. “Maybe I sung to loudly.” Closer and closer, it came. The baryonyx stopped before Josiah. The crocodilian dinosaur leaned forward, until it was inches away from Josiah’s face. The teenager trembled. He tried to back away, but the baryonyx hissed loudly at him to not move. All the blood seemed to drain from Josiah’s face, and all his strength. He wanted to run for the cave entrance, but he barley had strength to breath. This was for real! He was really done for this time. Closing his eyes, he felt the dinosaur’s shadow fall across him. He heard the breathing of the dinosaur as it leaned over to inspect him. His hot breath blew across his face, and Josiah trembled as his cold, wet tongue brushed him from corner to corner of his chin and neck. He grunted once, as if to say he wasn’t worth bothering with, then he turned and lumbered away. Opening his eyes, Josiah saw his tail disappear into the darkness of the cave. When he heard the steady breathing of the other baryonyx in the cave, Josiah relaxed and sighed with relief. The little baryonyx leaned back, stared at Josiah, and wiggled his forearms in the air. Josiah saw the long thumb claw on each of the hands. Then the baryonyx burrowed his head against his neck. He warbled softly and rubbed affectionately next to his body and curled himself up in Josiah’s lap. He felt the steady heartbeat of the dinosaurs close to his chest as he slept. Josiah yawned, and closed his eyes again. Elsewhere, Shelly and Buck were hot on the trail down river. They knew Rudy was also up ahead and moving fast. Shelly saw the huge footprints of the dinosaur in the stream bed and was almost stunned by the sheer size the beast might be. Buck didn’t seem deterred by the prints. He had his mind on only one thing: Rudy. Buck had tried on many levels to try and control that albino baryonyx. He remembered how he was riding on top of the massive dinosaur laughing, as he ran through the jungle. However, he and Rudy continued their feud with each other from then on. Rudy, Buck knew, had no mate of his own in the dinosaurs world. He was feared by all the creatures in the underground world minus himself. The other Baryonyx in the area steered clear of Rudy whenever they got the chance. They feared and despised him and that only fueled Rudy’s rage towards any dinosaur that crossed his path. Buck knew that Rudy was persistent. He knew all, saw all, ate all. Prey never got away from him and Buck was no exception. Rudy still had the scar on his mouth from where Buck had broken out of jaws. Buck also knew that the scar was still causing small pains in Rudy’s mouth and so was the hole the tooth was once in. But Buck could care less for what Rudy felt. The Baryonyx was just an adversary to him and nothing more. But Buck did show Rudy respect in a fight and never used his blade against him. Shelly, on the other hand, didn’t know what to think about Buck’s bad blood was with Rudy. They both lost something; an eye, and a tooth. They were both even. But Rudy and Buck still continued their clashes with each other like Captain Ahab and Moby Dick, the white whale. Shelly knew the ending of the fight between the two. Ahab was killed and Moby Dick survived the fight. This was going to be the same for Buck and Rudy. Only one of them would stand. “Hey,” Buck said, “Listen!” They heard roaring, mixed with snarling from a group of other dinosaurs. The roaring was coming from beyond a bend, farther down the river bank. They listened, and heard the roaring again. “Was that Rudy, Buck?” Shelly said. “Aye,” Buck said. “And it sounds like he found where Josiah is.” The roaring was repeated. Then more snarling. “It sounds like a bunch of crocs fighting,” Shelly said. “A lot of crocs fighting,” Buck raised a finger to his lips for her to be quiet. Slowly, they moved toward a bush and glanced around it. What Shelly saw made her hair stand on end. She caught a glimpse of a long crocodilian snout, powerful clawed forearms, and an albino body. Shelly first thought that this was a suchomimus, (a crocodile mimic) but it didn’t have the sail-like structure along its back. And this beast was huge. Larger then Momma dino and more ferocious in attitude. How were she and Buck going to save Josiah now?
Chapter 14: Two Degrees of Seperation in a Chasm
Josiah was having his own problems at the moment inside the cave with the baryonyx. The cave entrance had an unwelcome visitor. Josiah saw a long narrow albino snout and large red eyes darting left and right from one baryonyx to the next. He stared in disbelief as the dinosaur’s massive, battle-scarred head blotted out the suns light from cave entrance. The albino baryonyx bared its teeth, showing a missing one in front. Josiah squinted and he thought he saw a hole were the tooth was missing. ‘This must be Rudy,’ Josiah realized. He was much bigger and aggressive-looking then Josiah had ever imagined. ‘This guy must be the Moby Dick of the dinosaur world.’ The other baryonyx in the cave snarled and snapped their jaws at the dinosaur. Barry marched foreword and growled angrily at Rudy’s face. Rudy growled back and nodded his head towards Josiah, his tongue slithering around the gap in his teeth. Barry turned to Josiah and then back at Rudy and growled a hiss at him. Rudy growled deep in his throat and withdrew his head from the cave opening. With retreating footfalls, the albino baryonyx was gone. The cave calmed down and Josiah lowered his pistol back into his holster. He was shaking a bit, but not a lot. He’d never seen a dinosaur like that one before in the fossil accounts. He knew that common alligators were sometimes albino and so were small kangaroos from Australia. But this baryonyx was grayish-white with black talons and small spines. It had bags under its eyes like it had not gotten any sleep at all in its life. Plus there were the red eyes. Josiah shivered. There was something about that baryonyx’s eyes that just sent a shudder down his back and made the hair on his head stand on end. There was a hunger in those eyes, and something about Rudy unsettled him. All the baryonyx in the cave were upset by the appearance of Rudy. All except Flood, who was the only one who didn’t snarl or snap at him. On the contrary, she seemed happy to see him, which looked eerie on her crocodilian face. Did she like Rudy? Josiah had his doubts about that. Baryonyx hardly ever mated with rouges. Flood was no different. It was love at first sight for her. Of course, no one knew how baryonyx behaved or how they courted each other. While the other dinosaurs calmed down and went out to hunt for food, Josiah stayed behind and played with the baby baryonyx. The adults were tolerant of his presence now and didn’t mind if their young were near him. The playful youngsters tugged and pulled at Josiah’s shirt and scrambled on his shoulders and legs. Barry came over and snorted at them to leave. They scampered away to their mothers with annoyed squeaks. Barry nudged Josiah to his feet and led him over to the cave entrance. And standing in the door of the cave, waiting for him, were Buck and Shelly. “Buck? Shelly? What are you guys doing here?” Josiah said, looking from one to the other. “We were looking for you, mate,” said Buck. “After you disappeared by the river, me and Shelly went looking for you.” “What about Ken? Is he alright?” “He’s fine,” Buck said. “He’s with Mommy Dinosaur.” “Thank god for that. Who better to look out for him then the tyrant queen herself?” All of them chuckled. After saying goodbye to Barry and Flood and giving Barry a shiny plastic armlet as thanks, Josiah, Shelly, and Buck traveled back to lava falls. Buck said he knew a shortcut to get back to lava falls faster and they took it. “We have to cross this?” Shelly said doubtfully. Buck had led them to a log bridge. It was fifteen feet long, with coils of vines around its trunk. Below it was a chasm several hundred feet down. The craggy walls were covered with twisting vines and ivy. Lava falls was just on the other side. “Fastest way to lava falls, lass,” Buck said, gesturing for them to follow him. Josiah hesitated. “Look at this thing! It’s ancient.” Buck shook his head. “It’s safe. I’ve crossed this here bridge countless times and I have not once fallen.” Shelly and Josiah shook their heads. Buck sighed and started across the log bridge. “If it will make you two feel better, I’ll go across first and then you can follow,” They agreed. They watched him walk across, stepping over and around rotted holes in the wood. When he was across, Buck waved for them to come over. Josiah went first and then Shelly followed him. The log was wide and sufficient for their feet to walk across. Josiah tried not to look down as he made his way across. Shelly clung to Josiah’s arm to steady herself. “Hey, Buck!” He shouted. “I think we’re getting the hang of this.” Buck was scanning the trees and bushes for danger. He turned around to make a wisecrack, but his reaction was not what he expected. He pointed his finger and yelled. Josiah and Shelly twisted around and looked back. Rudy was standing at the edge of the jungle, his red eyes on the two of them! At lava falls, Momma and Ken were waiting for the others. ‘Where are they?’ Ken thought. ‘They’ve should’ve come back by now,’ Suddenly, a ferocious roar came from the jungle. At the sound of the roar, Momma and her kids straightened up. Then there was a high-pitched scream. ‘Shelly!’ “It came from over there!” Ken cried. Momma scooped up her children in her jaws and took off through the jungle in the direction Ken had pointed to. Ken followed, as fast as his short legs would allow. Josiah and Shelly stood on the bridge in frozen terror. Rudy lifted a claw and took a swipe at them. They both ducked. The claw had missed them, but it came so close that they actually heard the claws whiz above them. Josiah spun around, determined to get off the log before Rudy started attacking again. Behind him, Shelly also turned to run, but her foot slipped and she started to fall through the hole in the log! “Shelly!” Josiah shouted. Shelly fell through the log, but managed to grab hold of a vine. The next thing he knew, she was hanging there with the deep, misty chasm beneath her. Josiah raced quickly toward her, stepping carefully to make sure he didn’t fall, too. When he reached the hole nearest to her, he kneeled down to help. POW! POW! Josiah saw several purple berries whiz over his head and strike Rudy in the face. Rudy reared back and bellowed, swatting at the greenish cloud. Buck took out his knife, glaring at the dinosaur. Rudy glared back, his tongue slithering around the gap in his teeth. “What’s the matter, snowflake?” he taunted. “To busy picking on these kids to fight me fair and square?” Rudy growled and slammed his tail on the log. The log gave a violent jerk as it shook from the attack. Josiah almost lost his hold on the log as it creaked and groaned loudly. Shelly shouted a curse word at Rudy. Josiah reached down toward her. “Grab my hand!” he yelled. As he struggled to reach her, splinters of wood fell out of the log and into the chasm. Shelly grabbed his hand. Josiah held on tight and tried to pull her up. “Don’t let go!” Shelly screamed below him. “Please, don’t let go!” “I swear to god, I won’t!” Josiah shouted back. But Rudy now had the end of the log in his talons. With a sinister grin, Rudy heaved the log over the side.
With a sickening fall, the log fell down into the chasm, and Josiah lost his grip on Shelly’s hand. The next thing he knew, he, the log, and Shelly were falling. By the time Momma, the kids, and Ken reached the spot were the log was, Rudy was gone. Only Buck remained, sitting on a rock, staring down into the chasm. Ken stopped beside him, wondering what the weasel was staring at. “Where are my sister and Josiah, Buck?” Ken asked, breathing hard. “What happened to them?” With a sluggish movement filled with sorrow, the weasel pointed at the gap between the chasm. “They fell?” Ken guessed. Buck nodded. Ken felt a panicked shock rage through him. They’d fallen into the chasm! There was no sign of his sister or Josiah. Could they have possibly survived the fall? It didn’t seem possible, but the alternative was too awful to even believe. “Come on, Buck!” Ken yelled, starting out along the top of the ravine and following it downhill. “We have to find them. They maybe still alive.” Momma bent down and lifted Ken and Buck onto her back. She nudged her children to follow her. Keeping her eyes peeled, Momma walked downhill along the chasm’s boundary. While she walked, Ken kept a lookout to see if there was any sign of his sister and Josiah. ‘Please, god. Don’t let anything terrible happen to them.’ He prayed. He sniffled loudly and wiped the tears from his eyes. Momma turned her head and gave Ken a sympathetic moan. Ken smiled and hugged her around her broad, powerfully built neck. Josiah didn’t know where he was. His body hurt and his mind was trying to make him drift back to sleep. There was a terrible pounding pain in his head. All that pain made him want to go to sleep. He felt cold. Josiah opened his eyes. he was lying on his back, he’s body aching in several places. He was disoriented for a moment. What happened? Where was he? Seeing the log entangled in the vines just a few feet above him brought back the memory of falling helplessly down, down, into the chasm. How he wound up lying in the bottom of the chasm floor with his body still in one piece, he’d never know. He turned sideways and retched, vomiting all over the ground. He tasted vinegary bile in his mouth and wiped his lips with the back of his hand. Slowly, he got to his feet. In the semi darkness of the chasm floor he saw dinosaur bones, apparently from unfortunate dinosaurs who had fallen into this place same as him. Josiah leaned against the rocky wall and looked around in the chasm. He had to get to the others and find Shelly, but he didn’t want to get lost down here. He knew that he was somewhere in the chasms depths, probably not far from a break in the walls where he could climb out. But then he remembered Shelly. He had to find her, and quickly. “Shelly!” Josiah shouted as loud as he could, not caring if any animals heard him. He listened, but there was nothing but the silence of the chasm. “Shelly!” Josiah vaguely remembered that she had been hanging onto a vine that was attached to the log when Rudy attacked. Was she farther down the incline of the chasm? Or had she climbed back up the vine-covered walls to the surface? Rudy’s attack were confused in his mind. Just thinking about it made him uneasy. “Shelly!” The chasm seemed to close in around him. Feeling uneasy, Josiah listened for anything that could verify that Shelly was alive. Then he heard it. A faint singing that came from somewhere farther down the incline to his left. Shelly was tangled in thick vines five feet off the ground. She had a few cuts on her bare legs and arms, but otherwise she was alright. Her backpack was on the ground and the side of it was torn a bit from the fall. Her hair was dirty from the loose dirt that rained down around her head. Opening her eyes, Shelly looked at her surroundings. It was a little dark and the air was slightly cold with an odor that made her nose crinkle. She moved her arms but found that they were tangled in thick vines. She tried her legs. They moved. If only she could free herself from her tight spot. She began to yell for help. “Josiah! Where are you?! Josiah!” There was nothing. Her voice merely echoed off the rocky walls. “Darn!” she shouted up at the vines, as if to make them feel guilty for her being trapped. She had to get lose and find Josiah. It took fifteen minutes but Shelly finally got herself free from the tangle of vines and was now brushing herself off. She looked herself over and found a number of cuts and scratches on her arms and legs. The good part was that she was able to walk. She started under your own steam down the ravine, trying to find the others and Josiah. It was very quite, and the stillness made her uneasy. “What a creepy place this is,” she muttered under her breath. “I wonder when Dracula shows up,” hearing her own voice and joking around a bit made her feel a little less alone. Maybe a little less scared, too. She decided to sing a song to pass the time.
Is your ship sinking
Did you know that’s arsenic your drinking
Are you buried in ice caps
Did the that bridge your on collapse
Did that place your in explode
Oh, that’s way we’re singing this song
Oh, what the heck, throw in a strain wreck
Oh, what the heck, throw in a strain wreck
Shelly stopped. Then she heard it. an answering shout. It was coming from behind her, up the chasm. Squinting, Shelly saw with relief that Josiah was running towards her. His puffy hair was disheveled and he had a few scratches on his face, but otherwise he looked okay. “Thank god I found you!” he said, breathlessly. “I’ve been looking for you for hours.”
Chapter 16: A Little Bit of Compassion
Rudy had never felt so trapped in his life. Here he was, buried under a landslide of rocks and rubble, and powerless to do anything. His body and arms couldn’t move, save for his neck, head and tail. The earthquake had taken him completely by surprise and it seemed to be a miracle that he was still alive. But now he was trapped under a rockslide and there was nothing he could do to free himself. If he struggled too much, he would only make the situation he was in worse. His neck and head could still move, but that seemed about all he could do. He thought about roaring for help, but changed his mind. No dinosaur in the underground world would ever come to his side to help him. Nobody cared about him and nobody loved him or had done anything to make him feel wanted. Even his own mother neglected him when he was a hatchling. Just because he was bigger then his brothers in the nest, he was always alone. He always knew was different then his siblings because his scales were white and gray and his eyes had a dull redness to them that made him look evil. He wasn’t evil. He was born that way, but his mother and nest mates treated him like he was a bad carcass in their way. It was a hard life for Rudy to endure and it only got worse. Once, when he was full-grown, he was hunting for food and carelessly had his face engulfed by a cloud of ash from lava falls. This caused his eyes to go redder and his head to hurt from squinting in the bright light in the mornings. From then on he hunted during the evenings and nights, to spare him from his head pains. And then there was Buck. The very thought of that miserable little weasel made the pain of the hole in Rudy’s mouth hurt and sting more every time they met. It was a pure insult to have to fight a mammal that was smaller then you. Rudy felt that that weasel was the cause of his mouth hurting him. The hole were his tooth used to be caused him lots of pain whenever he ate or drunk from the river. Rudy raged and fumed whenever he met that little one-eyed mammal. He still remembered the night when it happened. It was raining and he was hungry. He waited in the darkness for pray to come by so that he can ambush it. And then his eye found one, a tasty little mammal. He remembered taking a swipe at the little animal, only wounding its eye. And then it took to the trees to escape. But he was ruthless and was determined to eat that weasel. He finally got his chance and gobbled up the weasel with one bite. But before he could consume him, the weasel crawled back up his gullet and grabbed something at the back of his throat. He tried swallowing but nothing happened. And then it happened. He felt the weasel shoot out of mouth and felt immense pain on his gums and felt his own blood flow from his jaws. He remembered bellowing in pain and clutching his jaws with his clawed hand and feeling the hole in his mouth were his front tooth used to be. From then on, Rudy vowed to devour that mammal and make him pay for the pain he caused him and for taking his tooth, too. Josiah and Shelly were frozen, gaping in terror at the albino baryonyx that was berried under the pile of rocks and rubble. But then Josiah smiled at their good fortune. With Rudy trapped like a rat, there was no way for him to harm him or Shelly. He moved out into the open and sneered up at Rudy. Upon seeing the two-leg enter the clearing, Rudy growled and tried to move but that only made more rocks fall all around him. He roared and growled in frustration as the rocks hammered him in the neck. He felt beaten and weak and now this…this…two-leg was smirking up at him like Buck. “What’s the matter, Rudy? Can’t you move?” Josiah brushed himself off and stared the dinosaur down. “Not so tough now, are ya’, Snowflake?” he sneered tauntingly. Fallen or not, this was too much for Rudy. It was bad enough that the two two-legs were still alive after he sent them falling into the chasm…now; he was being insulted by one of them. Glaring, Rudy turned away from him with an aggravated growl. If he could not devour this little two-leg, he would just have to ignore him. Smirking, Josiah waved for Shelly to come out. Pale with fear, Shelly said, “I’m not coming out,” Josiah said, “He’s trapped, Shelly! There’s a whole mountain of rocks piled on him and he can’t move! What harm is he going to do to us? He can’t even budge.” “Josiah,” She called back to her friend. “I…don’t…he still looks like he can still attack.” “Shell, get over here!” Josiah repeated, jabbing his finger at her. Reluctantly, she stepped out and walked over to Josiah’s side. The dinosaur lifted his head and looked at her for a moment, taking in who she was, then closed his eyes and turned away again. Josiah and Shelly looked at each other and then back at Rudy. Shelly wondered what they should do. This was no business of theirs. They both could just leave and let Rudy die under the boulders. But something inside her mind made Shelly think about Rudy’s position. He was trapped and helpless beneath the rocks, stripped of his freedom. Rudy turned once more and stared at them. Shelly stared back. She could sense the dinosaur was in considerable pain and discomfort, even if he didn’t show it. Josiah looked upward and said, “Its getting dark, Shelly. Lets make camp here.” The kids setup their tents away from Rudy, glad when the darkness hid the dinosaur from their eyes. All accept for his eyes which glowed eerily red in the darkness of the chasm. Shelly made a bonfire and broke out her food rations as she stared at the sleeping dinosaur. Josiah kept his stun pistol close to him as he ate silently beside Shelly. The fire provided a lot of warmth and safety, but didn’t help Josiah’s nerves. The chasm hid many dangers and Josiah was afraid something would jump out of the darkness and attack them. Rudy stared at the two two-legs in the darkness of the chasm. At first, he was amazed that they could make fire and control it. all the dinosaurs in this world were wary of fire. He was almost impressed. Controlling fire was something the gods could know how to do. But these little two-legs controlled it like it was no problem for them. As the night continued on, Rudy observed the two two-legs. He tilted his head to one side and looked at the female two-leg for a long time. Her pleasant smile and blue eyes reminded Rudy of the female baryonyx who had looked at him with loving eyes and not hatred, unlike the others who despised his mere presence. She was the perfect mate for him, but he didn’t know if she felt that way about him. Sure she was the only one in the cave who didn’t snarl or snap at him, but he didn’t know how to express his feelings for her. He never had a mate before in his life. Rudy licked his parched jaws. He had not drunk any water for a while and he was terribly thirsty. He groaned loudly and tried to ignore his thirst. The last thing he needed was to look weak in front of the two-legs. Shelly was the first one to hear Rudy groan in the still night. Josiah turned away from the dinosaur and ignored him completely. The last thing he was going to do was show that…beast any sympathy. Shelly, on the other hand, felt sorry for the dinosaur. All those rocks piled in on him made it look like he might die from being crushed under all that weight. She was also aware that Rudy was licking his lips, as if he was thirsty from the lack of water. She thought about walking over to the dinosaur and giving him some of her water, but thought better of it. Just because Rudy was trapped under a rockslide, and just because he was unable to move, didn’t mean he’d try to attack her. Besides, his red eyes still made her uneasy. Rudy groaned again and licked his jaws. Shelly knew he was thirsty, but what could she do? She remembered something in the bible about giving your enemy something to drink when they are thirsty. And if they are hungry, feed them. That was in Romans 12:20. Shelly never forgot those bible lessons her mother taught her about. And it seemed like Rudy needed something to drink. Gathering up her courage, Shelly made her way over to the dinosaur with a large water bottle in her hand. “No, Shelly!” Josiah warned, grabbing her arm. “Don’t go anywhere near him. he’s dangerous.” “Don’t worry,” She said, freeing herself. “I’ll be fine, Josiah.” Josiah stood up and took out his pistol. “Your not gonna’ give him water, are you?” “I’m just going to give him a little, that’s all.” She replied. She was wary and a little scared of doing this, but she had to do this, although every bone in her body was shaking. She heard the story of how Rudy was relentless. How he knew all, saw all, and ate all who ever crossed his path. Course, that was just Buck talking. And Shelly knew that Buck exaggerated his stories a little bit. She only hoped that half of them were not true. As she edged clover, Rudy lifted his head and stared at her. Shelly made no move or sound. The albino baryonyx regarded her intently for a minute, then slowly eased his head down, his eyes on her. “Uh, hello,” Shelly said, trying to sound friendly. The dinosaur made no response. “Are you thirsty?” Shelly asked, shaking her water bottle so that it made splashing sounds. Rudy perked his head up when he heard the sound of water coming from the water bottle. But then he tilted his head to one side and gave Shelly a suspicious look, as if he suspected her not to give him any water at all and just leave. “Its okay, big guy, I only want to help.” She uncapped her bottle and poured some water on her palm, to show it was harmless. The baryonyx licked his lips again. True he was thirsty, but what if this little two-leg ran away if she got to close? The dryness in his mouth from all the dust aggravated the hole in his jaws. It stung more horribly now then before and he was sick and tired of it. it was time to make a decision. He was sure that this little two-leg intended to give him water, and he was very thirsty. He looked down at the two-leg again and lowered his head so that it touched the ground. He opened his jaws very slowly so that he didn’t look too frightening. Shelly leaned over and started pouring water in Rudy’s mouth. The dinosaur gulped the down like had never tasted anything so life-refreshing in his years. The albino baryonyx drank the water and then sloshed it around in his mouth to get rid of the dryness. By the time his thirst was quenched, Rudy had emptied three bottles of water. Rudy shifted his neck and let out a long, growling belch. Josiah looked revolted, waving his hand in front of his face. Shelly just smiled and went back to the fire. She felt pretty good for doing the right thing. And then she started thinking. ‘What if I help free Rudy from the rocks? If I do that, he’ll try to eat us.’ She turned her head to look at the now sleeping dinosaur. In the chasm he didn’t look pretty scary under all those rocks and Shelly knew he’d never be able get himself out alone. She thought about helping him again. ‘We can’t just leave him like that and let him die under all those rocks. If we help him, he’ll probably leave us alone and…’ Shelly shook her furiously. ‘What am I thinking? He’ll eat us the first chance he gets. He’ll never understand.’ Shelly climbed into her sleeping bag and fell asleep, fighting with herself and her thoughts about Bucks enemy. Rudy slept an uneasy sleep that night. The images of his mother, his brothers, and Flood came into his dreams. Flood was nuzzling him, purring, and was beside him in the jungle, happy. But when he tried to nuzzle her back, she vanished. He didn’t know she vanished, she just did. Was this a sign? Or something worse.
Chapter 18: Flood to the Rescue
Josiah heaved and hauled as many rocks as he could, careful not let any big ones fall on Shelly and Rudy from below. While he worked on the top, Shelly did her best to remove as many rocks as she could below despite her injury. She slowed down to catch her breath once and while and to reduce the pain in her foot. She used her morpheme to help ease the stinging, but that seemed about it. The dressing had been used a while back when Ken had been injured and Shelly had just used the last of it to wrap-up her foot. Josiah heaved and hauled as many rocks as he could, careful not let any big ones fall on Shelly and Rudy from below. While he worked on the top, Shelly did her best to remove as many rocks as she could below despite her injury. She slowed down to catch her breath once and while and to reduce the pain in her foot. She used her morpheme to help ease the stinging, but that seemed about it. The dressing had been used a while back when Ken had been injured and Shelly had just used the last of it to wrap-up her foot. After a while they stopped so that Josiah could check Shelly’s ankle. It was starting to look better, but it still gave Shelly a few discomfort pains. Josiah was glad to see that it wasn’t bleeding. The light had moved above the canyon and it was beginning to warm up. A flock of pterodactyls flew in the sky over the chasm. “How are you doing, Shelly?” Josiah called to her, “Is your foot giving you any trouble?” “It hurts a bit,” she called. “But if I keep off of it, it will get better.” They continued to work all afternoon and stopped when it was time to eat. Josiah went off to hunt for Rudy so he wouldn’t starve while they worked. Although Rudy agreed not to lay a claw on Shelly and him, Josiah didn’t want to take any chances. Better to have a full belly then an empty one. While Josiah went off to hunt, Shelly remained by Rudy’s side. She told Rudy a little about herself and about Josiah and how they both knew about his and Bucks grudges against each other. Rudy gave a little growl at the mention of Buck and turned away from Shelly. “Oh, come on, Rudy,” Shelly said huffily. “Bucks not all that bad. And besides, you and he have both lost something. He lost an eye, and you lost a tooth. You’re square now.” Rudy grunted and still turned away. ‘There’s no convincing him,’ Shelly thought with a shrug. ‘Maybe if I change the subject,’ she inched closer to him. “You know, Rudy, its hope that’s gotten us this far, and if you have a little hope you can achieve anything.” The albino baryonyx didn’t say anything. Shelly sighed and went back to work. Rudy watched Shelly leave, eyeing her for a moment, and then closing his eyes to sleep. Meanwhile, near the jungle of misery, Buck was leading Momma, Ken, and the baby dinos to the chasm’s slope. The slope angled downward to a rocky area that served as great hiding places for prey. But what Momma and Buck also knew is that this was Horn-snout territory. They weren’t very friendly to outside carnivore breeds, especially Momma and Rudy. They considered anything that came into their turf as prey. When they stopped, Buck slid off Momma’s back and turned to them. “Alright, Ken, this is as far as you and Mommy dinosaur go,” He declared. “I’ll go the rest of the way and rescue your sister and Josiah.” Ken nodded and so did Momma and the Baby Dinos. Giving the group a solute, Buck slid down into the incline and walked into the chasm, whistling to himself. Minutes later, Josiah returned with several large fish, strung together with a vine, back to the camp. Each of them was as big as a sturgeon. He tossed them over to Rudy. “Okay, Rudy, here you go.” The baryonyx sniffed the food and then devoured the fish in one bite, vine and all. “Gee, Rudy, those went away fast,” exclaimed Shelly. “Your hungrier then I am.” Rudy let out a growling belch, looking full and satisfied. With that done, Josiah and Shelly got back to work. The evening was coming and the kids worked as hard as they could to move the rocks, their muscles aching from the lifting. Finally, the medium rocks were removed and Rudy was able to move his tail back and fourth with ease. But there were still the larger boulders that still had to be moved, and they weighed a ton. “There’s no way we can move these, Shelly,” Josiah observed, looking up and down at the craggy boulders. “We need more help.” “Don’t worry, Josiah,” Said Shelly, and there was a trace of hope and determination on her face. “We will find a way, Together. Something’s going to turn up, believe you me.” Josiah’s face felt hot. Those very words made him feel like he could just hug her. Josiah was about reply to her when a ferocious growl echoed around them. Rudy reared his head and scanned the rocky spot, growling low in his throat. Another growl came, this time followed by several hisses and growling snarls, rapidly drawing nearer. “Something turned up alright, Shelly,” said Josiah. “And it’s not friendly!” The growls were starting to get closer. Josiah drew out his pistol, as did Shelly. Rudy tried in vain to get himself free. But try as he might, he couldn’t budge. Josiah saw that the situation was not going to go well if they didn’t get Rudy free. Looking around the clearing, Josiah looked upward and saw a large boulder on top of the incline entrance. From his angle, Josiah could see that the rock was tilting. “If I can get a good shot at it…” He muttered under his breath as he took aim. “I’ll block the entrance in here and buy us some time.” Josiah pulled the trigger and the bolt shot right under the boulder, the rim exploding in a shower of dirt and rock. The boulder started to sway and then it tumbled sideways right in the middle of the incline entrance with a crash. Josiah listened and heard roars and agitated growls coming from the other side of the boulder. The good thing was that the way he and Shelly had come in, on the left, was still accessible. The bad part was that Rudy was still trapped under the boulders. Time was running out. The ceratosaurs would probably found another way in and attack them from a blind spot somewhere on the high rocks on the ridges. “Shelly, we need to get out of here now,” said Josiah. “The ceratosaurs might double back and get the jump on us.” “But what about Rudy?” Shelly said, in a desperate sort of plea. “We can’t just leave him like this.” Josiah shook his head. He took a glance at the large boulders. Then at Rudy. He could tell Shelly really wanted to help him. But what could they do? The boulders were too big. Josiah turned back to Shelly. Desperation that they had to stay and help Rudy was etched on her face. Unfortunately, there was still the problem that the ceratosaurs would get them before Rudy even had a chance to defend himself. Suddenly, a growling crocodilian-like hiss came from the right side of the entrance. Josiah and Shelly turned toward the sound and froze. They saw a huge baryonyx appear in the entrance and stand motionless, blue eyes fixed on both of them. Josiah peered at the dinosaur and recognized who it was. “Flood!” Josiah gasped. He ran over to the female baryonyx, relieved to see a familiar face. Flood stepped toward Josiah and gently nuzzled under his chin. He rubbed her snout, smiling. ‘Now we have a chance,’ thought Josiah with hope. ‘With Flood’s help we might be able to save Rudy.’ He only hoped that the ceratosaurs did not show up before they could save Rudy. After a while they stopped so that Josiah could check Shelly’s ankle. It was starting to look better, but it still gave Shelly a few discomfort pains. Josiah was glad to see that it wasn’t bleeding. The light had moved above the canyon and it was beginning to warm up. A flock of pterodactyls flew in the sky over the chasm. “How are you doing, Shelly?” Josiah called to her, “Is your foot giving you any trouble?” “It hurts a bit,” she called. “But if I keep off of it, it will get better.” They continued to work all afternoon and stopped when it was time to eat. Josiah went off to hunt for Rudy so he wouldn’t starve while they worked. Although Rudy agreed not to lay a claw on Shelly and him, Josiah didn’t want to take any chances. Better to have a full belly then an empty one. While Josiah went off to hunt, Shelly remained by Rudy’s side. She told Rudy a little about herself and about Josiah and how they both knew about his and Bucks grudges against each other. Rudy gave a little growl at the mention of Buck and turned away from Shelly. “Oh, come on, Rudy,” Shelly said huffily. “Bucks not all that bad. And besides, you and he have both lost something. He lost an eye, and you lost a tooth. You’re square now.” Rudy grunted and still turned away. ‘There’s no convincing him,’ Shelly thought with a shrug. ‘Maybe if I change the subject,’ she inched closer to him. “You know, Rudy, its hope that’s gotten us this far, and if you have a little hope you can achieve anything.” The albino baryonyx didn’t say anything. Shelly sighed and went back to work. Rudy watched Shelly leave, eyeing her for a moment, and then closing his eyes to sleep. Meanwhile, near the jungle of misery, Buck was leading Momma, Ken, and the baby dinos to the chasm’s slope. The slope angled downward to a rocky area that served as great hiding places for prey. But what Momma and buck also knew is that this was Horn-snout territory. They weren’t very friendly to outside carnivore breeds, especially Momma and Rudy. They considered anything that came into their turf as prey. When they stopped, Buck slid off Momma’s back and turned to them. “Alright, Ken, this is as far as you and Mommy dinosaur go,” He declared. “I’ll go the rest of the way and rescue your sister and Josiah.” Ken nodded and so did Momma and the Baby Dinos. Giving the group a solute, Buck slid down into the incline and walked into the chasm, whistling to himself. Minutes later, Josiah returned with several large fish, strung together with a vine, back to the camp. Each of them was as big as a sturgeon. He tossed them over to Rudy. “Okay, Rudy, here you go.” The baryonyx sniffed the food and then devoured the fish in one bite, vine and all. “Gee, Rudy, those went away fast,” exclaimed Shelly. “Your hungrier then I am.” Rudy let out a growling belch, looking full and satisfied. With that done, Josiah and Shelly got back to work. The evening was coming and the kids worked as hard as they could to move the rocks, their muscles aching from the lifting. Finally, the medium rocks were removed and Rudy was able to move his tail back and fourth with ease. But there were still the larger boulders that still had to be moved, and they weighed a ton. “There’s no way we can move these, Shelly,” Josiah observed, looking up and down at the craggy boulders. “We need more help.” “Don’t worry, Josiah,” Said Shelly, and there was a trace of hope and determination on her face. “We will find a way, Together. Something’s going to turn up, believe you me.” Josiah’s face felt hot. Those very words made him feel like he could just hug her. Josiah was about reply to her when a ferocious growl echoed around them. Rudy reared his head and scanned the rocky spot, growling low in his throat. Another growl came, this time followed by several hisses and growling snarls, rapidly drawing nearer. “Something turned up alright, Shelly,” said Josiah. “And it’s not friendly!” The growls were starting to get closer. Josiah drew out his pistol, as did Shelly. Rudy tried in vain to get himself free. But try as he might, he couldn’t budge. Josiah saw that the situation was not going to go well if they didn’t get Rudy free. Looking around the clearing, Josiah looked upward and saw a large boulder on top of the incline entrance. From his angle, Josiah could see that the rock was tilting. “If I can get a good shot at it…” He muttered under his breath as he took aim. “I’ll block the entrance in here and buy us some time.” Josiah pulled the trigger and the bolt shot right under the boulder, the rim exploding in a shower of dirt and rock. The boulder started to sway and then it tumbled sideways right in the middle of the incline entrance with a crash. Josiah listened and heard roars and agitated growls coming from the other side of the boulder. The good thing was that the way he and Shelly had come in, on the left, was still accessible. The bad part was that Rudy was still trapped under the boulders. Time was running out. The ceratosaurs would probably found another way in and attack them from a blind spot somewhere on the high rocks on the ridges. “Shelly, we need to get out of here now,” said Josiah. “The ceratosaurs might double back and get the jump on us.” “But what about Rudy?” Shelly said, in a desperate sort of plea. “We can’t just leave him like this.” Josiah shook his head. He took a glance at the large boulders. Then at Rudy. He could tell Shelly really wanted to help him. But what could they do? The boulders were too big. Josiah turned back to Shelly. Desperation that they had to stay and help Rudy was etched on her face. Unfortunately, there was still the problem that the ceratosaurs would get them before Rudy even had a chance to defend himself. Suddenly, a growling crocodilian-like hiss came from the right side of the entrance. Josiah and Shelly turned toward the sound and froze. They saw a huge baryonyx appear in the entrance and stand motionless, blue eyes fixed on both of them. Josiah peered at the dinosaur and recognized who it was. “Flood!” Josiah gasped. He ran over to the female baryonyx, relieved to see a familiar face. Flood stepped toward Josiah and gently nuzzled under his chin. He rubbed her snout, smiling. ‘Now we have a chance,’ thought Josiah with hope. ‘With Flood’s help we might be able to save Rudy.’ He only hoped that the ceratosaurs did not show up before they could save Rudy.
Chapter 19: Flood's Love
Rudy could not take his eyes off the female baryonyx, who was called Flood by the two two-legs, and saw that she was very beautiful. She was big and slender with long, clawed black talons, blue eyes, and a face he found so beautifully carved that he had nothing to which he could compare it to. Her scales were brown and blue, with just a hint of gray. Flood moved over to where he was laying. “It’s good to see you again, Rudy.” She said, a little nervous of Rudy’s red eyes locked on her. “It’s good to see you too, Siva. Or should I start calling you Flood?” he said, half smiling. She chuckled a bit and moved closer so that she was snout to snout with Rudy. “You can call me Flood if you like, Rudy,” She said. “I don’t mind.” Both theirs eyes met, and Flood turned away, her face turning slightly red. Josiah and Shelly watched the two baryonyx talked to each other. When Shelly saw Flood turn away, blushing, she sighed and said, “Oh, Josiah, I think Rudy and Flood are in love.” “He sure knows how to catch a girl’s eye, that stud,” Josiah said while nudging Shelly. “I think there’s hope for him yet,” As the two kids watched Rudy and Flood, Josiah got an idea. “Say, Shelly? Why don’t we liven up the mood for those two?” Shelly gave Josiah a raised eyebrow. “How do you mean?” she asked, seeing him rub his hands together. “You know what I mean…Shelly,” he teased. “Let’s sing them a little romantic song to get them going.” Shelly nearly laughed at that idea. “Are you kidding?” She said. “What’s there to sing to them?” Josiah rubbed his chin and said, “Well…we could sing them one of the songs we know from Momma Mia. You and I could sing it together. And I know just the one.” Shelly looked at her friend like he was not right in the head. This was no time to be singing love songs to two dinosaurs. This was about getting Rudy free. “This is not the time or the place for singing,” She told Josiah. “We have to get Rudy free, and I mean now.” He sighed and nodded. “Your right, Shelly, your right. We’ll save the singing for later.” “Much later,” she added. They both rolled up their sleeves and got back to work. Flood and Rudy watched as the two two-legs got back to work moving some of the rocks around Rudy’s tail. Flood was a bit perplexed as to why anybody would get close to Rudy, much less help him. Flood turned to Rudy and asked seriously. “Why are you allowing those two two-legs to help you?” Rudy was almost caught off guard by the question. Why did he allow the two to stay by him? In the beginning, he viewed the two-legs and the other as prey, and nothing else. Now they were willingly helping him get free from the boulders that had him trapped. “THEY wanted to help me, Siva. I didn’t really ask to be help, now did I?” Flood shook her head and sighed. “No. I guess you didn’t,” then she said, “But, what else could they do? Leave you to die?” “Well, that happens all the time,” he replied. “If you’re not strong enough you don’t survive.” “Is that you talking?” she asked, tilting her head. “Or your mother?” Rudy paused, slightly surprised by the mere mention of his mother. “She always said that being stronger was an easy way to grow into a sufficient adult that could survive anything. And now look where I am.” “Your mother, Rudy, lived away from the pack in those days,” Flood said. “She thought that having lean and tough hatchlings outside the pack would better her chances. That was a mistake.” There was an awkward silence between the two baryonyx. Then Flood said, “Why are you down here?” Rudy shifted his gaze back to her. “What’s the difference? No one cares. I mean, you didn’t even come to greet me outside the cave when I came by.” Flood frowned a bit at this cold remark. “Now that’s not true. I was the only one in the cave with the others who didn’t growl at you to go away. You and I both know that we can’t be together because you’re an outcast.” Rudy let out a soft growl escape from his jaws. “Do not remind me, Siva, alright?” the way she said it made him feel angry and ashamed. “I’m sorry,” She said, looking uncomfortable. “It’s just that if my grandfather found out about us, wanting to be with each other, he’d shun me out of the pack.” “Yeah, so?” Rudy said. “It’s your place to be in the pack, remember? You have a life back there. I don’t.” And then he added. “And how can we keep any eggs safe?...that is if we ever had any eggs.” Flood said truthfully, “I don’t need any eggs to be happy, Rudy.” “But what about later when the others in the pack have eggs?” he ask, almost questioningly. Flood beamed and said, “Then I’ll have you by my side.” Rudy felt his face go red. In the first time since he’d been on his own, he felt a wave of emotion creep into his heart. He never in his life felt anything like this before. Not since the day he first laid eyes on Siva’s beauty. He knew there were no dinosaur mates for him, and he would never be able to have one. All because of the way he looked and acted. Flood laid down beside Rudy and nuzzled him under his chin, purring. Rudy nuzzled her back, feeling the tenderness from her love. He whispered in her ear, “Your pack will be angry, Siva.” She snorted and said, “I don’t care. I want to be with you, Rudy. I don’t care if my pack knows. And I don’t care if my grandfather knows, either.” She licked him across his snout lovingly with her pink tongue. “All that matters is that I found my perfect mate for me.” Rudy looked up into floods eyes and said, “You mean that, Siva? You really mean that?” Flood and Rudy nuzzle “Yes, I do.” From their view, Josiah and Shelly both romantically sighed, content that Rudy and Flood were in love. “Good for them,” said Josiah. Shelly moved a rock aside and said, “A mach made in heaven.” Josiah smiled and then moved over to Rudy and Flood. Flood looked down at him, lowering her head so that he was eye to eye with him. “Flood, do you think you can help us remove some of the larger rocks around Rudy?” he pointed to the large boulders on each side of and on top of Rudy. She turned towards the boulders and then back at Josiah. She knew she could help with her great strength to save Rudy. And this was as good as any to do it. After thinking it over, she nodded with a grunt. Clapping his hands together, Josiah said, “Great!” He turned to Shelly and waved, “Shelly, we got us some extra muscle. Baryonyx muscle!” Flood worked with Josiah and Shelly all afternoon till sundown. They had spent so much time moving rocks off of Rudy that they did not become aware of the fading light. So Shelly took out a battery-powered lamp out of her backpack. When twilight descended, she tuned it on and placed it on a boulder to give them some light when they worked. “Do you think we’ll have Rudy free by tomorrow, Josiah?” She asked. “Let’s hope so,” Josiah yawned, stretching himself. “I think we’ve done everything we could to get him unstuck.” Meanwhile, Ken and the three baby dinos were in a bit of a ‘plant’ situation. Apparently one of the incautious baby rexes bit into a reddish fruit plant on a stem in the middle a round-like clearing. This resulted in several vines shooting out of the ground and coiling around each of the ankles of the dinos and Ken. The vines rose suddenly, moving like cranes as they lifted them above an enormous green blossom. The blossom opened, and then the huge petals started closing in on them. “Oh, man!” Ken panicked as the flower slowly surrounded him and the baby rexes. Thwoop! A second later, the flower had completely encased them. Momma had heard the whimpering screams of her babies and had arrived to save them. But she knew that she could not just attack the carnivorous plant. If she attacked it from the roots recklessly then it would clamp shut even more then it was now. Momma knew she was too big for any carnivorous plant to eat her, but that didn’t mean her babies were. She knew the only way of getting out of any plant was to go to the bottom from the inside and pull open a flap that covered the plant’s blue and red stamens. From inside, Ken was pressed up so close to the baby rexes; they were nearly kissing one another. That’s when he felt it. “Uh, guys? I feel kind of tingly.” All at once, the baby dinos turned to Ken with disgusted looks and raised eyebrows. He quickly turned to each of them and retorted, “I didn’t mean ‘that’ kind of tingly! I mean ‘prickle and burn’ kind of tingly!” All four heads looked down and Ken saw thin-green liquid beginning to rise. ‘Uh-oh,’ Ken thought. ‘This is not going to end well.’ He knew it took no less then an hour for plants like this one to fully digest large prey. But he and the baby dinos didn’t have an hour. Since they were small prey, the plant’s digestive fluid would work quicker. The plant would drink them. Drink them and then excrete the bones out, and whatever’s left. Ken had to think of something, and fast before he and the dino kids ended up as a pile of bones. ‘Wait a minute!’ Ken realized. ‘Carnivorous plants, like this one, secrete their ooze from the bottom. Maybe…’ The ooze had reached the baby dino’s necks. Ken took out his Swiss-army knife and plunged to the bottom of the flower. ‘just gotta’ hold my breath for a few minutes,’ It was hard to see and to breathe under the ooze. The baby dinos held their breath as the liquid rose past their mouths. At the bottom, Ken pulled open the flap that covered the plant’s blue and red stamens. He squinted and looked back and forth between the red stem and blue stem-he had no idea which one to cut. He reached for the red one and cut it, sending threatening-looking foam rushing through the fluid. ‘Eeek!’ Ken thought. ‘Wrong one!’ he hysterically tied the red stem back together and then he cut the blue one. From outside the flower, Momma saw the plant begin to shudder and tighten. ‘What’s happening?’ she thought in alarm. Then, without warning, the flower began to distend and inflate like a balloon. Momma knew what this meant. The flower was going to explode. She turned and ducked, just as the plant burst. Digestive juice splashed all over the place. Momma turned back and saw her babies dropped down near her feet, covered in plant ooze and gasping for air. She rushed over to make sure they were okay. The young dinos whimpered as they stood in front of their mother with ashamed looks on their faces. Momma gave them reassuring growls to let them know they didn’t mean to get in so much trouble. Then she suddenly stood up and looked around the clearing. Where was Ken? She turned around and then back at the clearing where the dead plant was. There was plant goop everywhere, but no Ken. As she turned around, her babies started chittering and pointing at her rear. She cocked her head, wondering why her babies were pointing at her. Then momma heard it; a muffled yell, “Momma, whatever you do, don’t sit down!” It was then Momma knew where Ken was. When the plant exploded, digestive juice must have flown everywhere. Which meant Ken must have gone flying and ended up splattered on her rump. From his position, Ken was not happy. Not happy at all. Not only was he covered in plant slime from head to foot, but now he was stuck to the butt of a tyrannosaur!
Chapter 20: Ceratosaur Ambush
Meanwhile, back in the chasm, Josiah and Shelly struggled with last few boulders. Flood stayed by Rudy's side and fed him some of the meat she had stowed away. As soon as they were done, Josiah and Shelly settled down on the opposite side of the chasm and broke out some candy bars. After eating three bars, Josiah went back to work. “Hey, Shelly,” Josiah said. “when this is over, lets not do any more prehistoric field adventures. I think I've had enough of being chased by dinosaur to last me a lifetime.” Shelly looked up and nodded in agreement. “Now theres something we can agree on,” then, just as Shelly was about walk over to Josiah and start working, a ceratosaur leaped down, jaws snapping at the air. “Watch it!” Josiah screamed. Shelly instantly moved away from the rock she was just sitting on. The dinosaur landed on the ground and hissed at the two of them, its yellow eyes leering. Josiah looked upward and saw several more ceratosaurs on top of the ledge, five on each side of a large bull ceratosaur with a blood Red-Horn. At first Josiah couldn't believe that the dinosaurs could find a way around the chasm without them knowing, but he guessed that the beasts must of found a rock slide to climb up and out of the chasm. The red horned one in the middle meant it was the leader. Josiah and Shelly drew out their pistols. A sudden growl made Josiah turn around. Flood had gotten up and curled her lips back showing her teeth. The he ceratosaur on the ground growled back at her and started to advance. “Well, well, well, what do we have here?” Red-horn growled nastily at Flood. “The granddaughter the elder, huh?” the other ceratosaurs around him growled and let out low hisses. Flood kept her eyes on Red-horn and the ceratosaur in front of her. “Get out of here Red-horn!” Flood growled. “And take your pack with you.” Red-horn smiled evilly and snorted. “You can't tell me what to do in my own territory, Siva, you and your little two-legged friends and Rudy are trespassing. Of course if you hand them over to me, I might be Merciful and let you go.” Flood fixed him with a cold glare. “You never keep your promises, Red-horn. And you know it.” She moved between Josiah Shelly. “And these two two-legs are my pack mates. And that also goes for Rudy, who is my mate.” Red-horn and his pack all looked stunned by this statement from Flood. Red-horn narrowed his eyes at Flood and growled, “You can't be serious?! Are you out of your mind?!” “I am serious!” Flood growled back at him. “Rudy and I are now mates.” There was silence for a few seconds and then Red-horn said, “But he's an albino! A white ghost who steals others food.” “You should talk, Red-horn,” Flood scuffed. “You and your pathetic band of scavengers repeatedly steal our fish from our river!” Red-Horn puffed up his cheeks and snarled back, “We have as much right to that river as you do! Now give us those three or you will be dealt with!” Flood stood tall. “No,” she said definitely. “I'm not going anywhere, and you will not harm any of my pack mates!” Red-horn growled deeply and said, in a darkened tone, “So be it.” he nodded to the ceratosaur on the ground and it attacked. Flood was ready for him. She jumped at him, and he jumped back. Then Flood stood up, standing as tall as she could, being about 4 feet higher. The ceratosaur took that chance to attack her middle. But Flood got on all fours and slashed at the ceratosaur with her front claws. The ceratosaur yelped in pain and Flood took that chance to finish it off. She lunged forward and bit into the neck of the dinosaur. It howled with pain and tried to get out of Flood's grip, but Flood's long crocodile jaws were too strong. Then with a final jerk, Flood snapped the neck the ceratosaur. Shelly turned away, but Josiah didn't. He was use to seeing gory stuff like this all the time. He only merely winced at the snapping of the neck. Flood dropped the now lifeless ceratosaur to the ground, her jaws dripping with blood. Red-horn growled and told two other ceratosaurs to attack Flood. At first, they were hesitant, but when Red-horn told them what would happen if they didn't attack, they both dropped down into the chasm to face Flood. First they started to spread out to take her by surprise, but Flood was never surprised. The first ceratosaur lunged and clamped down Flood's neck. But Flood wrenched her neck away and clawed at her attacker. She snarled and snapped and slashed at the ceratosaur viciously. The second one moved in and tried to attack Josiah and Shelly. The humans raised their pistols and fired. The blue bolts struck the dinosaur in the face and the chest. The ceratosaur yelped and backed off. Flood swung her tail and it struck the ceratosaur across the face. The fight continued, during which Shelly had been pinned down by another ceratosaur, the carnivore standing above her with its jaws wide open. "NO!" Josiah cried out. The ceratosaur lowered its head, but before it could do anything to Shelly, a tail came from out of nowhere and struck it hard across the jaws. Josiah saw teeth fly and he looked to see where the tail had come from. He was astounded see that the tail didn't come from Flood, but from Rudy. The albino baryonyx was now completely free from the boulders, and was now standing to his true hight. Flood ran over and stood by his side, ready to fight alongside her mate. Josiah and Shelly also ran over and stood beside Flood. As soon as the other ceratosaurs saw this, they ran off into the chasm, whimpering in fear. Rudy turned to Red-horn. “You might want to give up, Red-horn. You know you can't win against me and Siva.” Red-horn snorted and let out a sudden roar that made Josiah and Shelly back away slightly. Rudy and Siva didn't even flinch. As Josiah backed away, he heard a rustling sound from behind them. He turned and saw another ceratosaur sneaking up from Flood, its jaws ready to kill her. “FLOOD! LOOK OUT!” Josiah cried as the ceratosaur moved in for the killing blow. Flood spun 'round, but was unable to defend herself. Just as the ceratosaur lunged for her neck, Rudy blocked the attack with a swift bite to its neck, stopping it inches from Flood. The surprised ceratosaur's jaws opened and closed, as if trying to still get a hold on Flood. Rudy snarled and tossed the stuned ceratosaur to the ground. “You have a lot of nerve, Red-horn,” Rudy growled. “having one of your pack sneaking up from behind to attack Siva! You're going to pay for that!” Red-Horn growled deeply and then jumped down into the the chasm himself, along with the rest of his pack. The ceratosaurs lined up on each side of their leader, growling and snarling. “The only one who is going to pay, Rudy, is you! You and your little pack of fools are all going to die down here!” “You piece of trash! Why do you want to do this?” demanded Flood. Red-horn's anger matched hers. "Because of him!” he pointed at Rudy with his snout. “He took away my only daughter, my... my precious little hatchling!” There were a few tears in Red-horn's eyes, but he quickly brushed them away. Flood was stunned, not to mention confused by Red-horns statement. “What are you talking about, Red-horn?” Red-horn began to charge her, but Rudy blocked his path. He turned to Red-horn. “Enough talking.” Red-horn snarled. “Try it, Rudy. It's the only way you're gonna stop me.” The two predators started to circle each other, claws and teeth ready to tear each other apart. Josiah and Shelly both gulped. This was probably going to be the final showdown between Rudy and Red-horn. The only problem was who was going to win? Meanwhile, back near the jungle of misery, Ken was not having a good day, ether. He was still stuck to Momma's butt and was, at that moment, being pulled by the baby dinos who were straining to get him off of her. The sticky plant goo had become semi-hardened and Ken and Momma dino were not enjoying their newfound closeness to each other. Ken's legs and arms were free, but his face and upper body were still stuck to Momma. And if that wasn't bad enough, Ken heard a rumbling sound coming from Momma's stomach. He knew for an instant that that wasn't a hungry rumble ether. Something told him that he was in for a unpleasant surprise if he didn't get unstuck now.
Chapter 21: A Tyrant's end and Heading Home
The fight between Rudy and Red-horn was fast underway. A first, Josiah thought that Rudy would have the advantage over Red-horn, but that wasn't true. Red-horn had speed and strength as well as some of his pack mates to back him up in case he was in trouble from being killed by Rudy. Josiah, Flood and Shelly tried to help as best as they could, but the pack wasn't as weak as it looked. Although Flood was able to take down one or two ceratosaurs, more of the pack kept on replacing them. The strain of the fighting was starting to tire them out. But they couldn't give up. They all knew they couldn't give up. Rudy was counting on them to keep the remaining ceratosaurs away from him so that they wouldn't get in the way. The ceratosaurs were not letting up and Josiah and Shelly were almost out of Stun pistol energy. "Geez! There's just no end to these guy!" Josiah yelled. "These guys just don't know how to give up," Shelly growled, sending a shot at an approaching ceratosaur. "But I think Flood has the upper hand." Josiah shot a glance at Flood and saw that she had taken down two more ceratosaurs. He had to hand it to that girl, she knew how to handle herself. The closest ceratoasur got the full brunt of her tail while another got slashed by her thumb claw, sending it reeling. Josiah looked around. They needed to reach higher ground-but the ceratosaurs, with their powerful legs, could leap up any of the the rock ledges easily. Before the dazed ceratosaur could advance on Flood again, Josiah pressed the edge of his pistol to the predator. Its jaws snapped foreword, teeth primed to tear into Josiah's head, but the teenager hit the trigger and made the dinosaur recoil before the bite could land. Blue-white sparks flew into the air and the dinosaur shuddered, then fell to one side, stunned. Josiah heard a hiss and spun, raising his pistol. He squeezed the trigger as another ceratosaur leaped at him-but nothing happened. The weapon's charge had run out! Whack! The dinosaur fell to one side as Flood's tail knocked it in the head. Josiah saw Flood standing in an offence stance, her tail ready to whip again. Next to Josiah, the ceratosaur he had stunned was wobbling. A sudden zap sounded as a bolt shot from Shelly's pistol. The dinosaur fell. "Shelly!" Josiah said. "The ledge! You and Flood need to climb up it for safety. Now!" "But what about you?" Josiah waved his hand for her to go. "Don't worry, Shelly. I'll be fine. Just go!" With that, Shelly started climbing the slope up to the ledge. Her boots slipped on the loose rocks, and slid back down a few feet. She continued up in a crouch, using weeds and vines as handholds. Flood joined her, climbing behind to make sure Shelly didn't fall. As soon as they were safe, Josiah started climbing himself. Two ceratosaurs split from their hidding place and sped toward the teenager. When Josiah looked behind him and saw the ceratosaurs climbing, he started scrambling up the slope faster. "Josiah, come on!" Shelly yelled. She got on her stomach, and then leaned down, trying to reach him. "Grab my hands! Grab them!" Josiah reached for her, his fingers grasping the very end of her hands. Then the rocks under Josiah's feet gave way beneath him. He fell backward, too far away for Shelly to help him. Just before Josiah could roll into the path of an oncoming ceratosaur, Flood reached down and wrapped her tail around his waist, and then lifted him up and placed him on the ledge with Shelly and her. "Great save, Flood," Josiah said. "I guess I'll have a 'tail' to tell about when we get out of here." He Half-hardy laughed and then slumped down on the ledge. Down below the ceratosaur tried to climb up after them, but only succeeded in sliding back downward. Shelly looked back at the battle with Rudy and Red-horn. It did not look good. Red-horn had bitten and slashed at Rudy from multiple angles of his body, severely wounding him. Try as he might, Rudy wasn't as strong as Red-horn. The ceratosaur was quicker and stronger then him. But not smarter. Rudy slammed his mighty tail to the ground and chunks of rocks flew everywhere, causing the stunned ceratosaur to back away. One of the rocks struck Red-horn in the chest, sending him reeling backward toward the edge of the canyons cliffs. Rudy took this chance to finish him off. Summoning up all his strength, He charged forward and rammed Red-horn in the stomach. The ceratosaur tried to fight back, but once more Rudy evaded his attack and continued to push him. Flood seized the moment. She jumped down from the ledge, charged at Red-horn and tackled him in the side. The unexpected attack caused him to lose his balance and fall over the edge of the cliff. The last thing Josiah and Shelly saw was Red-horn's tail disappearing over the edge and the sound of his shrieking roar and then silence. Both Rudy and Flood threw back their head gave out a victory roar that echoed in the canyon. Both Shelly and Josiah let whooping yells of victory and joy knowing that they had survived the fight against Red-horn. The rest of the pack, after seeing their leader fall to his death, fled into the chasm in fear. After Red-horn's defeat, Josiah, Shelly, Flood, and Rudy got themselves out of the chasm and started looking for their friends. The first ones they encountered was Flood's pack, who were looking for her for days. When they saw Rudy with her, they instinctively started hissing growling at him. Flood's grandfather told her to get away from him. But Flood refused to do as her grandfather said. She protectively stood in front of Rudy and faced her former pack. "Grandfather, this has to stop!" The Elder shook his head. "Siva, stand aside. That 'thing' is not worth protecting. And why are you with him in the first place?" Flood tried to think of the words to say to her grandfather and to Barry, who was also giving her a hard stare. But nothing seemed to come out of her mouth. "Well, granddaughter," The elder said impatiently, while clicking his teeth. "I'm waiting for an answer." Flood knew she had to fess up sooner or later. "The truth is, grandfather, is that Rudy and I are now mates." There was an uproar of growls from the pack and the Elder was outraged at the news. He paced back and forth, while glaring at both Flood and Rudy. Josiah and Shelly slid down off of Flood's back and stood beside the pair. They knew what was going on and how it was going to go. Josiah knew that the Elder and his granddaughter were having a discussion on whether or not they should let her leave with Rudy, or remain with the pack. Or that they were having a hard time talking with each other as a family. Shelly felt uneasy at the Elders growling and wanted to intervene to help Rudy, but Flood placed her tail in front of her to stop her from doing it. Shelly gave Flood a questionable look and Flood simply shook her head, telling her not to get involved. As much as she wanted to, Flood couldn't let them get involved in their matters. Shelly gave her an understanding nod and backed away. In a tree nearby, Buck, who had finally gotten out the chasm, was watching the whole thing. At first he wanted to go down there and take on Rudy, but stopped. Now that the rest of the pack was here there was no need to fight him. Finally the Elder calmed a bit and started talking to his grandchild more gently and with a bit more understanding. "Flood, you are my only grandchild. If this is the life you want, then you are free to choose." He turned to walk away and added, with a little edge. "But I hope for your sake he doesn't turn on you." With that, he walked away with the rest of the pack, leaving only Barry. He stared at Flood and then at Rudy. He sighed sadly and said, "Are you sure this is what you want, Siva?" Flood nodded. "You know, the problem with us being mates, is that by and by, there'll be none of us left in this world at all. I've made my choice, Barry." Barry sighed and turned to leave. He stopped and said, barely in a growl, "This world is still the same, Siva. There's just... less of our kind in it." And then he was gone. After the pack left, Flood and Rudy left together while holding tails and nuzzling each other. Flood gave Josiah a goodbye lick and the teenager hugged her back. Shelly wrapped her arms around Rudy's leg and hugged him too. The dinosaur felt a bit awkward but nuzzled her none the less. This new feeling made Rudy kind of happy. And he liked it. After saying their goodbyes, Josiah and Shelly started looking for Ken and Momma Dino. As they searched, Buck appeared on a tree branch over their heads. "Well, humans," He said with a casual smile, while pretending to sharpen his knife. "Where have you been?" Josiah smiled and said. "Helping out an old enemy of yours, thats what." Buck chuckled and jumped down from the branch. "I know, Josiah. I saw everything." Shelly asked, "Why didn't you start fighting with Rudy, Buck. I thought you were going to start battling each other like a cat and dog." Buck shook his head and kicked a loose stone on the ground and shrugged. "There will be other chances, lass. I'll leave him alone to be with the one he loves, for now." Shelly understood and nodded. "Now, humans, let's go find your other friend." "This is, with out a doubt, the worst position I'VE EVER BEEN IN!" Screamed Ken. His face was still plastered agianst Momma rear and it was about to get worser for him. The t-rex let out a slight groan as her stomach did another flip-flop. Thats when Ken heard a slight hissing sound. Ken and the Baby Dinos knew what that hissing sound meant. "Oh no, not that! AAAAAARRRRRRGGHH!!!" Meanwhile, Josiah, Shelly, and Buck were searching for Ken, Momma, and the kids, when they suddenly heard a loud 'PRFFFFTTTT!!!!' that sounded in the jungle to their right. But not before they heard a loud scream that sounded very familiar. "What was that?" Shelly said, scanning the jungle. Josiah placed his hand over his head and looked around. "Buck, what could have made that noise?" Buck started sniffing the air and then he recoiled and covered his nose. When the smell hit their noses, both Shelly and Josiah covered their faces and mouths. All of them groaned with disgust. "Smells like a T-rexe's butt exploded-(smells air again)-and then got sprayed on by a bunch of stink bugs!" Groaned Buck. "Or worse!" Josiah groaned, waving his hand in front of his face. "A dinosaur got a bad case of prehistoric gas and decided to let one fly!" Then running out of the bushes, holding their noses, were the three baby dinos. And right behind them was Ken. As he stepped out into the open, Josiah, Buck and Shelly took a step back still pinching their noses. Ken didn't look very happy, ether. When they looked at him, Josiah saw that Ken's clothes were covered and stained in faint-green slime. His hair was a mess and there was that nasty smell that hung in the air that seemed to be coming from.... "Ken, what happened to you? And what's that god-awful smell?" Shelly asked, while not going anywhere near her brother. Ken glared at his sister and shouted, "Who do you think made that REEK!?" Both Shelly and Josiah pointed their fingers at him and said in unison, "You did!" Ken shook his head incredulously and snapped, "IT WASN'T ME! IT WAS HER!" And pointed his finger at Momma Dino, who was standing behind him. She just stood there, looking innocent while licking her claws with her tongue. "Oh, don't act all innocent, Missy," accused Ken, still pointing his finger. "You did that!" Momma just snorted and rolled her eyes. After hours of walking and trekking through the jungle, the group finally made to the cave were they had first came to the dinosaur world. Buck said his goodbyes and and told Josiah to take care of the group. When he was done, he jumped up onto a tree branch and grabbed a low-hanging vine. He gave a whoop and holler and swung away, back into the jungle. When Buck was gone Josiah, Shelly, and Ken turned to Momma dino and the kids. For a moment, they gazed at the mighty dinosaur. "I'm gonna miss you, Momma," said Shelly. she gave her a hug around her neck. Momma purred and wrapped her tail 'round Shelly's waist and nuzzled her. Josiah leaned down and patted the heads of the three baby rexes. "I'm gonna miss you three the most. you be good little dinosaurs and mind your mother, okey?" The babies rushed over and hugged him tightly. Josiah hugged them back, stood up, and waited by the cave for the others. Ken, on the other hand, did not hug or say goodbye to Momma or her kids. He was still upset about the earlier gas attack Momma had inflicted on him. Shelly turned to him and asked, "Why aren't you say goodbye, Ken?" Ken put his hands on his hips and said, "I'm not saying goodbye to her! She farted on me!" Momma growled at him, showing her teeth. "No offense, Momma," He told her, backing away. "But your one who did all this to me! Do you have any idea what I've been through? I was nearly torn to shreds by a crazy flying prehistoric pterodactyl, I had my speedos ruined by you, and eaten. Got that? Eaten! by a giant man-eating plant!" He took a breath and pointed his finger accusingly at Momma, who was almost taken aback by Ken's outburst. "And not to mention being tossed, nearly squashed, and scared practically to death!" He finish and panted, out of breath. Shelly stood in front of her brother and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Yet your still alive, little brother. I know what she did was wrong but you can't stay angry at her for all of time." Ken gave it some thought and decided that he would say goodbye to Momma. He walked over to her and patted her snout. "Momma, when your babies have grandkids of their own, you better not tell them about me getting stuck to your rear, got it?" She nodded, rolled her eyes and snorted, annoyed, but Ken could see that she was smiling a little. He leaned over and hugged her, wrapping his arms around her broad snout. He whispered, "Goodbye, Momma." and let her go. Momma then threw back her head and let out a sad roar, her way of saying goodbye. Ken tried the same thing, only his roar was small and coughing-like. He sighed, watching the rex family leave. Even when the kids watched her go, it made them feel kind of sad. "Will we ever see her and the babies again? Asked Ken. Josiah smiled down at him and said gently, "What does your heart tell you?" "I hope so. Yes... I guess." Josiah ruffled his hair playfully. "Then we will see them again, Kenny. Now lets go home, guys." As the group started to leave, Josiah thought that it was the perfect time to remind Shelly and Ken that the time watches were ready for time travel and that the corporation might be wondering where the group was. Shelly said not to worry and that the corporation would not find out if they were lat or not. If they hurried to the time rings on time before they gave a warning, then the corporation wouldn't deduct points off their time meter for being late. All they had to do was make it on time. And so, the time kids headed home. Back to the future of 2010.
The End....For now