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 The Land Before Time: Far Away Home, Featuring Sky and Star
Pangaea
Posted: Sep 23 2009, 11:31 PM


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QUOTE (Caustizer @ Sep 18 2009, 01:36 PM)
Since I think it would be horrendously cruel to end on this note... i'll have Part VI up for Sunday.  It's going to be shorter then the previous five parts but it's also going to wrap up the Act.

That was pretty long for a short chapter. dino_tongue.gif Not that I'm complaining; this is actually one of my favorites so far. in-yes.gif

There are two things I particularly commend you for. The first is daring to show Cera crying (something she almost never seen doing, in movies or fanfics, even though we know she is capable of it). The second is your reminder, as expressed by Cera, that Littlefoot is not perfect. As much as I love Littlefoot, I often feel that it is not indicated often enough that he has flaws just like any other character. Because his shortcomings are not as emphasized as those of the other characters in the movies and TV series, they are relatively easily overlooked by fanfic writers, resulting in his all-too-common portrayal as an individual with no faults besides occasional disobedience of his elders. (To be honest, I was afraid for a while there that you were doing exactly that in this story. dino_tongue.gif)

The one part of this chapter I really didn’t care for was the “royal” fast biters’ belittling of the small fast biter that escaped from Glide. Their choice of disparaging remarks just sounded corny to me, particularly the insult of “worthless rat”. Not only do I doubt that such a term would be present in the LBT dinosaurs’ vocabulary (even as far as sharpteeth are concerned), but technically, rats didn’t even exist in the Mesozoic era; true rodents did not appear until after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 24 2009, 05:25 PM


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QUOTE (Pangaea @ Sep 23 2009, 11:31 PM)
The one part of this chapter I really didn’t care for was the “royal” fast biters’ belittling of the small fast biter that escaped from Glide. Their choice of disparaging remarks just sounded corny to me, particularly the insult of “worthless rat”. Not only do I doubt that such a term would be present in the LBT dinosaurs’ vocabulary (even as far as sharpteeth are concerned), but technically, rats didn’t even exist in the Mesozoic era; true rodents did not appear until after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

That scene bothered me too... I felt like I rushed it and that I didn't get the proper point across.

You see I noticed right away that it was going awfully cliche (royalty is something that has been around in animal kingdom stories for a long long time) when my original intent was to state the status of "Tyron" and his son "Tyrus" to justify the resources they put into hunting the gang. It also justifies Eybron's hate of Tyron as well, because the "hero" of the wingtails experienced the brutality Tyron used to subjigate leaf-eaters into his domains. The sharptooth is at best compared to a tyrannical king, so it's how he got his name.

When the fast-biters were beating on the lesser one though the reason they called him a "rat" was because they didn't know why he was there, and the best reason they could think of for a local coming to them was to snitch on somebody else. That and they also wanted to impress their superiority on the sharpteeth who weren't part of Tyron's crew, so the tyrant could convince more of them to join his ranks. This is similar to how the Nazis worked in the 1930s, gathering support by demonstrating their might to the populace.

I plan to give readers more insight into Tyron and his offspring in Act II, to bring him out of the kingly cliche.

Caustizer.
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 25 2009, 01:57 PM


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Act 2: The Tyrant King's Wraith

Prologue:

“Tyrus and his father Tyron were self proclaimed royalty… they believed that they were superior to all other sharpteeth, and in some ways they were,” began the older Sky as he spoke to the gathered circle of children, “Tyron’s empire began with but a single thought… a thought which turned into an idea, and then it eventually manifested itself into an ideology.”

The children looked at him like he was actually speaking sharptooth, and even some of the adults looked lost. In the hours of the night since Mr. Sky had begun his story a crowd had gathered the likes of which he had never had before, and it pleased him that the spirit of story-speaking was still alive and well in the valley. Ever since Grandpa Longneck died, many feared that it was an art that would be lost. But as fate would have it, Mr. Sky happened to be very exceptional in the field of ‘art’ and a lively replacement.

“What are you talking about?” asked a much older Cera, “remember we all don’t speak the way you do…”

“Ah, point taken,” submitted Sky as he waved a finger, and then he continued, “It is common knowledge that Sharpteeth are not as smart as you leaf-eaters as well as those who have a choice, like me and Ruby here,” he pointed to the fast-runner, who smiled back. The two of them had long gotten over the rift that laid between them, and were now best of friends.

“But it is believed that one day, in the distant past, Tyron was hungry and after going for many days without eating, he finally felled another dinosaur. Upon finishing his meal the sharptooth decided that he did not want to be that hungry ever again – a conclusion that most sharpteeth never reach. He began to hunt all the time, even when he wasn’t hungry, and he stored away his kills in a cold, damp cave to be eaten later.”

Some of the children were shivering, even the brave Xavier, for sharptooth stories were often scary and tended to cause nightmares. Sky continued.

“Eventually he attracted other lesser sharpteeth to his cause – sharpteeth such as fast-biters, sickle claws, and spine backs. They wanted a piece of the products of his hunt, and in turn he enjoyed their company as servants and they split the kills and divided the meat amongst themselves. This was certainly not done out of kindness however, but to expand his influence to the point where he could take on whole herds and win, and achieve a unity between sharpteeth that had never been seen before in the world.”

Sky resettled his wings as he finished, and there were whisperings among those gathered about what his story meant. If the sharpteeth ever united like that again, it would surely mean the end of the Great Valley. Xavier shivered at the thought, for he had heard his father’s tales about sharpteeth, and they terrified him. Unlike his father, the young longneck had never come face to face with a real sharptooth. Coming upon the thought made him wonder about a particular story his dad had once told him, and he decided to ask about it.

“Mr Sky. what happened to the friendly sharptooth, you know the one daddy hatched and named Chompy?”

Littlefoot and the other members of the old gang present laughed at his mistaking of Chomper’s name. Sometimes the story was changed to be more appealing to kids as it passed from parent to parent, so all of their offspring carried different versions of it.

“Don’t you mean Biter?” Wayne corrected.

“Oh no it was Sharpie, it was, it was!” called out Aura, one of Ducky’s daughters.

“Whatever, who cares what his name was… just tell us the story already!” Landar said bluntly as he munched on a handful of bugs he picked out of the tree. The loud crunching noise was grossing out some of the other younglings around Guido’s son, and so he had plenty of space to himself. Littlefoot laughed.

“I see that story has been told more then just a few times,” said the older longneck, “I’m glad that everyone has decided to remember Chomper for what he was, and not what he has become.”

Xavier had been resting on his father’s front arm, and looked up at him in surprise at the statement.

“What do you mean dad? What did he become?” the young blue longneck asked.

“Perhaps we should let Mr. Sky tell us… provided he would like to continue,” Littlefoot suggested with a smile.

“Yeah, tell us what happened to Chompy… I mean Chomper!” Xavier insisted. The rest of the children echoed his desire. Mr. Sky looked around in amusement… there were so many parents present he wondered whether he was teaching the children or the whole valley.

“Very well, see after the Eye of the World…” Sky began.

“Hold it!” boomed a longneck from the far back. Everyone turned to see Ali pushing her way through the trees, and man did she look mad.

“Oh hi my lovely, umm… out so late?” Littlefoot stammered as he tried to make the best of the situation. It didn’t work.

“You should be ashamed of yourself Littlefoot, letting these children stay up so late past Great Circle set… and that goes for the rest of you too!” Ali turned on the crowd which included the male parents of just about every one of the present children. Sometimes Ali wondered what would become of the world if it wasn’t for moms.

“Come on Wayne, Ali’s right I should have never let you stay up so late,” Cera said as she ushered along her son. Soon it was only Littlefoot, Ali, Xavier and Sky left.

“But, but… you can’t just stop now! You haven’t even told us anything yet… what about the Eye of the World… what is it? ... and the Black Dawn, what was it and why was it so bad? Did you and Star ever meet again?”

The young longneck was so full of questions, he was almost bursting. Littlefoot smiled proudly at his son. The little one had turned out just like he was when he was a kid. Maybe Xavier would have as many adventures as he did in his youth, but Littlefoot doubted it. He would never allow it, for one. It was ludicrously dangerous when he did it – so there was no way he was ever going to risk his only son by letting him off on his own.

“You can find out tomorrow Xavier,” chided his mother, “there’s plenty of time for stories some other night.”

“But mom…” Xavier whined, but he obeyed and moved to follow his parents. Halfway out of the circle with the Glowing Cracks he turned and asked another question.

“Please Mr. Sky, can you at least tell me something?” the longneck begged.

“Very well,” the wingtail said, and he cleared his throat, “Star and I did meet again… but like all good memories it was too short to last.”

Satisfied, Xavier ran to catch up to his parents. Mr. Sky stretched briefly, and in a whoosh of air he was gone into the trees.

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This post has been edited by Caustizer on Nov 4 2009, 09:10 PM
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Pangaea
Posted: Sep 26 2009, 07:43 AM


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QUOTE
“I’m glad that everyone has decided to remember Chomper for what he was, and not what he has become.”

Aww... sad.gif does this mean that even after all he's been through with the gang, Chomper's become a bad guy anyway? (I suppose maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, seeing as you haven't actually said what's happened to him yet, but still...)

I also don't like Sky's statement that sharpteeth aren't as smart as leafeaters. (I would have thought—even based only on observations of the sharptooth characters in your previous fanfic—that their intellectual range is more or less the same as that of leafeaters.)

Please excuse my overwhelming negativity here; the prologue is very well written, but it just happens to suffer the misfortune of containing two points that I personally find disagreeable. If it helps, I like the explanation of Tyron's "royal" status among the sharpteeth. It makes sense, and is immensely helpful in downgrading the "kingly cliché" you mentioned before.
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Sky
Posted: Sep 26 2009, 03:00 PM


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Aww, that was a short one... well, it was the prologue after all. smile.gif

Anyway, it's nice to see other dinosaurs and some of the gang members gather for Sky's story. smile.gif
Heh, makes me wonder what happened to our friendly sharptooth...

Well, there is nothing more I can say, we now know how the sharpeeth were united and our lovely Ali interrupted the story. She's such a caring mother. dino_laugh.gif
Guess I have to wait until the next chapter is up. Keep it up. wink.gif
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 26 2009, 03:43 PM


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QUOTE
Aww... sad.gif does this mean that even after all he's been through with the gang, Chomper's become a bad guy anyway? (I suppose maybe I'm jumping to conclusions, seeing as you haven't actually said what's happened to him yet, but still...)


Chomper does not become evil, rather Littlefoot does not truely understand why Chomper did what he did at the end of the story. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that you can trust the plans I have for him.

QUOTE
I also don't like Sky's statement that sharpteeth aren't as smart as leafeaters. (I would have thought—even based only on observations of the sharptooth characters in your previous fanfic—that their intellectual range is more or less the same as that of leafeaters.)


This was a lie Sky told the children to keep them from being truely afraid of sharpteeth. If he told them the truth, they would probably have nightmares and the parents would get angry. His goal is to entertain them with his tales, not to scare them by being truthful and correct. Such is the choice of the storyteller dino_tongue.gif

...

I've noticed that you are liking this story less and less as I continue to write it up (every chapter is pre-planned, I'm just typing it into being every week). Are you finding Far Away Home to be too dark for your liking Pangaea?

Or perhaps it's just my bad habit of keeping all these plot points secret to dump them all on you all at once at the end dino_laugh.gif

Caustizer.
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Pangaea
Posted: Sep 26 2009, 06:32 PM


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QUOTE (Caustizer @ Sep 26 2009, 03:43 PM)
I've noticed that you are liking this story less and less as I continue to write it up (every chapter is pre-planned, I'm just typing it into being every week).  Are you finding Far Away Home to be too dark for your liking Pangaea?

It IS a bit darker than I generally like my LBT fanfics, and some of the less LBT-ish elements I'm not too big on either, but believe me; I'm still enjoying it immensely. My apparent dwindling fondness for the story is probably due largely to the fact that my reviews lately have been mostly comprised of my personal emotional reactions to parts of each chapter. I suppose because it's intended to be a dark story, my reactions are correspondingly dark. dino_tongue.gif
QUOTE
Or perhaps it's just my bad habit of keeping all these plot points secret to dump them all on you all at once at the end  dino_laugh.gif

That may have something to do with it, too. dino_tongue.gif (It's not a bad habit either; I LIKE stories with twists and secrets in them.) The fact that I am uninformed as to what will happen next in the story (I wouldn't want it any other way wink.gif), means that my reactions to less-than-favorable plot developments are almost invariably presuppositional, and usually reflect whatever rating on the positiveness scale those events would immediately implicate, even if they are resolved in the end.

In any case, since I decided to cut spellchecking out of my reviews, they've come to consist almost entirely of my personal opinions. I can't offer recommendations for the story, seeing as you already have the whole thing planned out. And frankly, your entire fanfic is so well written that it's kind of redundant to mention that as a positive point every time I leave feedback. Plus, I imagine that it would become irritatingly repetitive if I simply uttered the (however true) statement, "This was a great chapter! I can't wait for the next one!" in every review. So what's a reviewer to do? If you'd rather I exclude my less positive reactions from my reviews, and focus only on the parts I liked, I can do that, but my reviews will probably be much shorter and less substantial.

This post has been edited by Pangaea on Sep 26 2009, 06:34 PM
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 27 2009, 07:50 PM


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Part I:

It was the entire day before the youngsters would attend another one of Sky’s classes, as from the moment they woke up it was Grandpa Threehorn’s turn, and this time he would be teaching them how to react in event of a sharptooth attack. Xavier thought it would be exciting, or at least informative, but it turned out to be neither of those things. The lesson started off fine until Wayne asked an important question,

“Grandpa Topsy, have you ever seen a sharptooth before?” the dark grey threehorn inquired as he walked beside his grandfather.

“Huh, well of course I have! Back in my day the sharpteeth were a lot bigger and stronger then they are now… but they still stood no chance against a threehorn,” Topsy replied.

After that he started telling stories about the various sharpteeth he’d beaten over the years, but he bragged so much it got boring very quickly. A longneck, a fourwing, a swimmer, a spiketail and a flyer weren’t interested in hearing about how great threehorns were – again.



Later that night the children gathered by the glowing cracks, each assuming their usual position for Mr. Sky’s session. After Grandpa Threehorn mercifully released them they had played the pointy seed game for the rest of the afternoon, so they were understandably tired. Some of them, like Wayne, were laying there with their eyes closed, practically sleeping. Xavier wasn’t the least bit tired.

“Where’s Mr. Sky?” the longneck inquired impatiently as he looked around the sky, “the Great Circle has gone down already!”

Nincea shrugged, and Spike’s daughter Kala just laid there in disinterest. Like her father she appeared to be simple, craving food and sleep along with the company of friends, but unlike him she had learned to speak at a relatively young age. Her preference was to remain silent in most cases, which hid how smart she actually was.

“He’s probably just late,” suggested Wayne, “unlike my Grandpa – threehorns are never late.”

Xavier rolled his eyes.

“Mr. Sky will not be joining us tonight,” proclaimed Ruby as she stepped out of the bushes, “and since he’s not coming, I’m coming instead.” The fastrunner smiled.

“Are you going to continue his story, are you going to tell us what happened to Chomper?” Xavier asked eagerly.

“Of course, after we came home Chomper chose not to come with us… I knew he wanted to be with his own kind, and an opportunity arose for it to happen,” Ruby explained, “I knew I had to let him go but… Oh what am I doing, I don’t want to tell you what happened before I get the chance to tell you!” The fastrunner rubbed the longneck’s head affectionately.

It was good that Ruby believed in keeping secrets a bit less then Sky did, but it also made her stories a lot less thrilling… she always ended up giving away the ending!

“After Cera was kidnapped by that group of wingtails, Chomper and I…”


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“They took Cera, what are we going to do?” Chomper asked frantically. He paced around in circles, unsure what to do next.

“I don’t know, but certainly can’t go back and say we lost Cera,” Ruby said as she thought about what to do, tapping her finger on the side of her face.

The terrain was fairly beautiful around them, with a few groups of trees here and there amongst the high mountain grasses and hilly bluffs. Very close to where Ruby and Chomper sat deliberating their situation the ground caved into a dry ravine, which was on the edge of the Sharptooth Wastes. It was a common travelling route, both for herds of farwalkers and also for the packs of sharpteeth that hunted them. Neither one of them – even Ruby – had ever been this far into the Mysterious Beyond before so there were no landmarks to guide them, and above all nobody they knew who could help them. Not only did they lose Cera, but they were also thoroughly lost themselves.

“Say… where are we?” Chomper gasped in awe as he realized for the first time how unfamiliar their surroundings were. The plants looked different, the air smelt different, and even the wind seemed a little colder then he was used to.

“Well, we have a choice to make Chomper,” concluded Ruby, “we can go back and look for Littlefoot and the others, or we can go back and get back Cera.”

Chomper sweated the decision… he didn’t know what to do. If they went back, they might never find Cera again, yet if they didn’t go back Littlefoot would never know what happened to them. It was a big dilemma, and time was of the essence. They had to decide quickly.

“Umm, I think we should… hey what is that?” Chomper said.

“What do you mean what is that, I just told you what that was!” Ruby stated impatiently.

“No… that!”

Chomper pointed towards the forest, and Ruby heard a deep rumble followed by crashing noises. The sound was getting closer.

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Ruby said nervously, and all of a sudden the massive form of Prince Tyrus burst through the bushes and stomped towards the group of younglings.

“I don’t like the look of that!” added Chomper, and they cowered in fear. Tyrus halted in front of them and raised an eyebrow. What were two small sharpteeth doing wandering alone in the wilderness… they looked barely old enough to emerge from the nest. It didn’t matter; he had no time for this. There were more important things to do.

“Little ones who wander too far from the nest become prey,” Tyrus said coldly, “If that is not a fate you desire then you will return to your nests. There are far less noble sharpteeth in these wastes.”

Tyrus snorted, and then proceeded on his way. Behind him emerged a large group of fast-biters, but they paid Ruby and Chomper no mind. With one of Tyron’s food caves nearby, there was no need to hunt – and besides that, there was hardly any meat on them to begin with. Spreading out into the woods behind their master, the group of fast-biters vanished into the brush as fast as they had came, leaving Ruby and Chomper alone again.

“Who was that?” questioned Chomper.

“A nicer sharptooth then usual, but not as nice as you,” Ruby pat him on the head and laughed, “and I don’t think we can return to our nests either… seeing as our nests are too far away to return to.”

“Okay,” agreed Chomper, “So I guess this means we are going after Cera.”

“We forgot about Littlefoot, the sharptooth is heading right for him!” Ruby gasped in horror.

“He can take care of himself; we’ve taken on mean sharpteeth before.”

“I hope so Chomper, I hope so,” Ruby finished, but she didn’t look comfortable with it at all.

Littlefoot and the others were their friends, it would be careless and cruel just abandon them to their fate. Ruby knew if she was in danger, Littlefoot wouldn’t hesitate to help her. Last time she needed help she was dangling off a cliff, struggling for her life. Littlefoot reached down to her, risking his own life, but didn’t make it in time. She fell, and didn’t remember much after that. Thinking back, she was lucky to survive.

On the other hand, they were lucky to not have been eaten by that strange sharptooth and his fast-biters. If they followed them the group could decide that they were hungry after all and attack. The last thing Ruby needed was to put Chomper’s life in needless danger after she swore to his parents to protect him.

“Come on, let’s go find Cera,” she added unenthusiastically,

“Alright,” cried Chomper, “We’re gonna track down those fliers and make them give back our friend!”




With Ruby in the lead, the two of them made their way along the rocky ground of the Sharptooth Wastes. The sun was a dull tan as it cast its withering heat rays upon them, drying up everything in sight. It was a wonder that anything could survive out here.

“Oh, I’m so hungry!” moaned Chomper, “I could eat a whole longneck… not that I would.”

“I’m hungry too… let’s go find a watering place and I can catch us some water swimmers!”

“That would be delicious,” Chomper said as he licked his lips.

Just the thought of eating one of those brown fish again made him salivate. When Ruby and he first met, just after his parents left the island, he hadn’t eaten for days and she caught him a meal. He wasn’t all that nice to her either, so he probably didn’t deserve what she did for him. Ruby was so kind to everyone, including him, that he had actually started to think of her as his mom. It was strange, but apart from the rest of the gang nobody seemed to understand him like she did.

The pair walked on through the blistering heat and endless rocky desert, and as the hours passed they got hotter, dirtier, and hungrier. After a while Chomper smelt water and so they pushed on, following his sniffer. They came to a dead end, right on the edge of a sheer cliff.

“Awe man… the river is so far down!” complained Chomper.

Farwalker Gorge was called so because it was a notable landmark for farwalkers, a river embedded deep in the earth that snaked its way through a wasteland full of nothing. Once a herd found a way down to the large river at the bottom of the canyon, it could rest for a while and recharge its energy before moving on. Looking down the ridge, it was at least a 100 feet to the bottom. Ruby began to shake.

“What’s wrong Ruby?” Chomper asked.

“Let’s get out of here… I don’t like it here.” Ruby replied nervously. She had never truly got over the incident in the Whispering Gorge, when she fell nearly to her death following an earthshake. She didn’t remember hitting the water, but she did remember screaming and falling. It still gave her nightmares.

“But there’s water down there, and food! We can’t go back,” insisted Chomper.

Ruby looked out over the edge again, and gulped nervously. Unfortunately Chomper was right, they didn’t have a choice. Looks like she would have to face her fears and climb down. She closed her eyes and proceeded slowly after Chomper.



The descent was a slow, but relatively even one. A small path used by the local creatures (they could tell by the footprints) lead right down to the water, and it was relatively safe. Chomper went first and Ruby followed timidly behind, careful not to look down and trigger the vertigo again. When they reached the bottom, she breathed a sigh of relief.

“See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” Chomper said reassuringly, smiling at her.

“Yes, but I’d prefer not to do that again… I don’t like high places,” Ruby said worriedly.

“Well what are you waiting for,” Chomper cried excitedly as he waved her to follow, “let’s go eat!”

Ruby dove into the gently flowing water, and within an hour she had caught a whole assortment of fish. Chomper gobbled them up eagerly, and soon there was a pile of fish bones all around him. Ruby popped up with another fish in her mouth, and spit it onto the rocky shore.

“Okay, let’s divide them up evenly, so we all get to eat!” Ruby proclaimed, before seeing that Chomper had already eaten practically everything she caught. She glared at him.

“Opps,” said Chomper, and he burped. Ruby smiled and chuckled.

“It’s okay… I can have some green food.”

Ruby had a weird habit of looking a lot angrier then she actually was. Apart from the day the domeheads stole Ducky’s food, Chomper had never seen her really get angry about anything. It made her very pleasant to be around.

As the Great Circle set in the distant horizon Ruby and Chomper rested on the banks of the river, weary from the events of the day and fully nourished. For Chomper it was a bit of a shock going from hungry all the time to suddenly full. Now he no longer had anything to do, so he just lied on the rocks enjoying their warmth.

“Let’s go Chomper, we better find ourselves some place safe to stay tonight. Who knows what else is out here to eat us in the dark,” Ruby suggested.

“Oh alright…” mumbled Chomper lazily.

With nothing but the sound of the moving river beside them, Ruby and Chomper carried on up the Farwalker Gorge and into the unknown.


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The night was still young as Star made her way back to the family tree, but she was tired and it had been a long day. Her class was progressing nicely, and some looked like they were really enjoying themselves. It was very fulfilling to know that someday they might grow up to be Creators just like her – and leave their mark in their history like their ancestors did before them.

The family tree was located in the far north of the Feral Forest; the willow had stood for hundreds of years, and had been their home for many generations. It did not stand out against the sea of other similar trees in this part of the woods, but to Star it was everything. After all she was born and raised here, and until her parents died she had lived here with them and her brother. They shared the tree with other members of the gene pool as well – notably her uncle Sturgeon and aunt Fliela. Sturgeon was related by blood to her and Glide, and was an important figure in their upbringing. If there was one wingtail in the world that Glide respected apart from her, it was Sturgeon.

Star swooped into and amongst the branches that had been parted specifically so a large flyer like her could get through. Even though the Age of Creation was gone, there were still Tree Architects around today who had been passed the knowledge by their forefathers. They had connected and trimmed the network of branches to provide a perfect shelter inside the leaves for their family, and then moved onto the next tree of their neighbours to do it for them also. It happened a long time ago when Star was still a baby, but she remembered her mother and father fussing over specific features, like the sound of the wind being too loud and rain getting in. It was one of her last memories of them.

“Did you have a good day dear, you look pooped,” commented Fliela as Star brushed her way in.

“Oh it was fine, just the usual,” replied Star, “planting our future in the minds of young children, so that they might grow strong and proud.”

“And wise,” added Fliela, “what you do is very important to all of us, and you shouldn’t forget it.”

“I know… it’s just so exhausting,” Star said as she collapsed into a bed of dense leaves, “and with Glide gone and all… it’s been so taxing on me.”

“You’re worried about him aren’t you,” assured Fliela, “don’t be… your brother is strong and can take care of himself. He will be back before you know it.”

“I know but there’s also Sky, I don’t want him to get hurt,” moaned Star, “we were friends and well… things happened to tear us apart. I just wish I could see him again.”

There was a swooping sound as another wingtail entered the tree behind them. It was probably just Sturgeon.

“Well just relax, and I’ll get you some tree sweets,” assured Fliela, “Sturgeon could you-”

Aunt Fliela stopped dead in her tracks and gasped. The flyer in front of her was not Sturgeon, and he was covered in blood.

“Oh my…Glide!” she said with a quiver in her voice, and she moved closer to look at his injuries. Her nephew was in rough shape, and his wings and chest were cut up pretty badly. A line of dried blood ran down the side of his face, and his expression was one of pure anger and hatred. Fliela had never seen him look like that.

“Sky happened to me,” answered Glide bitterly, and he shook his wings in frustration. Star shot up at the sound of his voice.

“Glide, Glide your back!” she cried joyously, and embraced him. He returned the gesture.

“Yeah I made it back, I’m okay,” he assured Star as she held him tight. Even as infuriated and in pain as he was, he felt the positive energy of his sister flow into him. He was glad to see her.

“But Glide, what happened to your wings, your face?” Star questioned, and she gasped in fear as she looked over the full extent of his injuries. Overall there was nothing serious, but her brother had never lost a fight before. What could possibly do this to him?

“Sharpteeth,” stated Glide bitterly, “and because of them Sky got away.”

“That’s good,” said Star, “I was afraid you might-”

“What do you mean it’s good?” shouted Glide, “My quest was to find him and take it from him by force, and he gets away and you think it’s GOOD!?! Do you have any idea what happens to me if the elders find out I’m here? I was told to return with the Occular or not come home at all!”

“Glide, stop shouting! If somebody hears you then you will be found out,” insisted Fliela.

“I’m afraid we already have,” came a deep and dignified voice from the entrance of the tree. All three wingtails turned to see Sturgeon standing on the branch leading to the outside. He looked ashen.

“You have been summoned to the elders… they have heard of your return.”

Glide ground his toothless jaw in rage. First he had to endure the horrific fight with those cursed sharpteeth as well as the non-stop journey home, and now he had to go before the elders without even a minute of rest. Fliela and Star stepped back in caution as Glide struck out at a nearby branch, leaving deep claw marks.

“Fine,” uttered Glide as his moment of anger passed, “let’s get this over with.”


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This post has been edited by Caustizer on Oct 10 2009, 01:46 PM
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 27 2009, 07:52 PM


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Sorry I posted this week's chapter so late... with having to write the prologue as well it was a lot of writing to cram into one week! I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
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Pangaea
Posted: Sep 27 2009, 09:30 PM


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You’ll be happy to hear this: I liked this chapter a lot! in-yes.gif I couldn’t find anything to complain about this time! dino_tongue.gif (Well...a few spelling errors, perhaps, but I won’t point those out unless you want me to.)

I thought it was kind of strange at first that you had Ali interrupt the story and send everyone to bed in the prologue, but now I see that it was a clever way to give Ruby a chance to tell her and Chomper’s story by having her take over from Sky at the next storytime.

I’m very relieved, by the way, that Chomper’s fate was not as dark as I initially assumed (I’d worried that he’d been corrupted by Tyron or something dino_roll-eyes.gif). Obviously I still don't know EXACTLY what's happened to him, but I feel much more assured now that it wasn't all bad.

Also, despite what I think of him, I actually feel sorry for Glide at this point; he’s having one heck of a bad day...

Just a question, though; when Tyrus sees Chomper and Ruby, he apparently perceives them both as sharpteeth. Does he regard fast runners as allies, or is he just REALLY bad at identifying other dinosaur species? dino_tongue.gif
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 27 2009, 10:08 PM


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He regards fast runners as allies. Remember the "Pact" speel I had in Act II of Rise of Storm Tide, where fastrunners and sharpteeth had a unique relationship? It's kinda along those lines.

Prince Tyrus is a cold-blooded killer but he also knows his friends from his enemies. By his reckoning, there was a sharptooth and a fastrunner, so obviously the fastrunner was honoring the pact to guide the sharptooth to a feeding place (ironically this proved to be true). Since he was short on time and had other things to do then investigate, he just blew it off as not out of the ordinary and kept going. If he stayed to ask questions he might have had something against their "friendship" but he didn't so the plot goes on. Dino_grins.gif
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Sky
Posted: Sep 28 2009, 03:21 PM


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Finally, I hear more from Star. biggrin.gif

Yes, this was another great chapter. I also like the fact that Topsy hasn't changed after these years. biggrin.gif
It was a nice idea having Ruby continue the story of her and Chomper.

I feel sorry for Glide. Gahh! I want to know what happens next. D=

Guess I have to read Rise of Storm Tide to understand the "pact" of sharpteeth and fastrunners, huh? wink.gif

This post has been edited by Sky on Sep 28 2009, 03:23 PM
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Caustizer
Posted: Sep 29 2009, 10:08 PM


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Hmm... I re-reviewed the story summary today and it looks like Act II is going to be a bit longer then the other acts. It's looking to be around 7-8 parts due to all the character development that I want to occur between the main story events. I could probably shorten it a bit, to "get to the point" so to speak, as well as revealing the plot endings a bit sooner. On the other hand though, I'm sure nobody here wants to see the lovey-dovey or funny scenes cut from an otherwise dark story. What do you guys think?
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Pangaea
Posted: Sep 29 2009, 10:22 PM


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I say, to heck with getting to the point, and proportional act lengths be darned! dino_tongue.gif You're such a flamin' awesome writer that I want to see everything you've got!* in-yes.gif Besides, I like long, comprehensive stories with lots of character development. Dino_grins.gif

*Well...provided you don't have anything reminiscent of that first story you posted......Y'know, the one about Ruby that we'd all sooner forget... dry.gif

This post has been edited by Pangaea on Sep 30 2009, 08:50 PM
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Sky
Posted: Sep 30 2009, 08:43 AM


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I like lovey-dovey. dino_laugh.gif Hehe, why not?
I actually like long stories as long as they're good. This fanfic though, is awesome. biggrin.gif
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Caustizer
Posted: Oct 1 2009, 07:11 PM


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QUOTE (Pangaea @ Sep 29 2009, 10:22 PM)
*Well...provided you don't have anything reminiscent of that first story you posted......Y'know, the one about Ruby that we'd all sooner forget... dry.gif

Killer Ruby will return! Muhahaha!

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Pangaea
Posted: Oct 1 2009, 09:33 PM


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QUOTE (Caustizer @ Oct 1 2009, 07:11 PM)
Killer Ruby will return! Muhahaha!

It might be kind of cool to see her hold her own against a fast biter or something (though killing anyone, even a sharptooth, seems terribly out of character for Ruby), but if she shows any murderous intent toward any members of the gang, I stop reviewing. Got that? dino_tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Pangaea on Oct 1 2009, 09:33 PM
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Caustizer
Posted: Oct 1 2009, 11:09 PM


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I'm not talking about in Far Away Home... I meant as a seperate story sometime down the road. A "revised" and "plot-given" sequal dino_tongue.gif
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Pangaea
Posted: Oct 1 2009, 11:59 PM


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^ Sorry. dino_oops.gif It would seem that I've been making a career out of misinterpreting what you say. dino_tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Pangaea on Oct 2 2009, 12:00 AM
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Caustizer
Posted: Oct 4 2009, 04:33 PM


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Part II:

The dark chamber glowed in a cascade of colours as the minerals in the water provided illumination to the otherwise gloomy scene. When Sky and Petrie followed the rest of the gang into the hole the river flowed fast but shallow, and the two flyers kept their heads above the water without too much difficulty. At the end of the chute, the two of them shot out of the tunnel and splashed down into a deep pool.

“Hey it not deep at all… me standing on the bottom!” exclaimed Petrie as he rose to his feet. Suddenly he came right up out of the water, and it became apparent that he was actually standing on Sky’s head.

“Umm… sort of,” corrected Petrie as Sky smiled slightly and rolled his eyes.

Around the two of them Ali and Spike were pulling themselves together, while Littlefoot was already climbing out onto the shore. Ducky seemed to be enjoying herself in the water.

“This is warm, it is!” the swimmer exclaimed happily as she splashed Spike, who still looked pale from their quick descent down the river tunnel. He didn’t like water that was too deep for him to stand in, especially if it was fast water. Ever since he nearly drowned during the first cold time he left the swimming to his little sister – the water was for drinking and nothing else.

“Hey it is warm… shouldn’t it be cold if it’s down this far?” asked Ali.

“This water system appears to be the product of underground heat… from where though I cannot tell,” explained Sky, “I suspect the rocks here have more to tell us.”

The wingtail waded onto shore and shook his wings to dislodge the moisture. They were wet and heavy, and until they dried for all intents and purposes he wouldn’t be able to fly. Looking around the cavern it was clear that he probably didn’t need to – the ceiling was so low a flyer of his size would have trouble manoeuvring in here.

“But rocks don’t talk…” began Ali, before realizing how foolish she sounded. Sky was just speaking figuratively.

“Oh of course they do Ali, you just have to know where to look.”

Sky picked up a shabby black looking stone and looked at it briefly, before tossing it aside and moving onto another. Littlefoot followed curiously, watching what he was doing. Spike climbed onto shore, and shook himself off. Ali followed and repeated the shake, unfortunately getting Spike wet again.

“Sorry,” apologized Ali as Spike grunted in displeasure.

“Sky,” asked Littlefoot, “who was that flyer that attacked us… and what did he want?”

“That was a self-obsessed wingtail known as Glide - we go back a long way,” answered Sky, “He was obviously after the Occular, speaking of which…”

The blue wingtail withdrew the eyeglass from inside his wing, and checked it for damage. It was certainly well-built as it hadn’t even suffered a scratch. Benzon must have really known what he was doing when he created it – either that or he was very lucky and got it perfect on the first try. Taking advantage of its bi-ocular nature Sky flipped it around so it would magnify the image for him, and looked closely at a very shiny rock he picked up.

“Hmm… visually pleasing,” commented Sky, “But, very impractical.” And he tossed the diamond into the water.

“But why does he want it so bad, it’s only a rock,” asserted Littlefoot, “And there’s plenty of rocks around if he really wants one.”

“It’s not that simple Littlefoot, not that simple at all,” Sky answered hesitantly.

“What is it Sky, what else is there?” Littlefoot pushed. Sky sighed.

“Very well, I suspect that Glide is not the only one who is after the Occular. Take those sharpteeth for instance… I fear that Tyron may also be onto us as well,” Sky explained, but Ali was confused.

“… Tyron? Who’s he?” Ali questioned.

“Tyron is the tyrant king of sharpteeth… the Occular used to belong to him but we wingtails took it back over a generation ago, for it was rightfully ours,” lectured Sky, “if those two who chased us answer to Tyron, then we may have another far more deadly foe on our tails then the one who attacked me up there.”

“But we’re safe down here right?” asked Littlefoot.

“Yes, yes, yes, the sharpteeth cannot swim, so they will never think to come down to where we are,” added Ducky.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” put out Sky as he listened to the pouring of the water out of the chute of which they all came out of.

A string of growls and snarls came echoing down the tunnel, causing the rest of the gang present to look up in alarm. The sharpteeth hadn’t found them yet, but there was a good chance they would come down looking for them. They had to be gone before that happened.

“Sharpteeth,” whispered Ali to Littlefoot.

“This way,” called out Sky, “we have to continue into the tunnels. I believe I know where we are, and with any luck we can find our way out before we are sensed.”

Obeying the wingtail’s prompt, the gang moved to follow him into the depths of the caves.

“But what about Cera, Chomper, and Ruby? We can just leave them up there!” Littlefoot said to Sky. The wingtail turned to him with a look of sincere sorrow.

“I’m sorry Littlefoot, but we don’t have much choice. Your friends will have to fend for themselves.”

Littlefoot took one last glance at the water chute they had entered the cavern with, before turning away. The three of them were on their own now, for better or worse. He only hoped they could keep together and look out for each other like he did. Maybe, someday, they would meet again.


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Despite the initial danger, the journey through the caves went very smoothly. The ground was a former riverbed and was flat and hard, making it easy to walk on. Easy for everyone but Sky that is; the wingtail’s legs were aching like they never had before. He was so used to flying everywhere that his legs were badly out of shape, and he was finding it difficult to continue. It was a good thing there was a slight layer of water covering the floor, as it was nice and warm compared to the rest of the cavern.

“Is it just me, or this water getting higher and higher as we go?” Littlefoot stated suddenly, as he glanced nervously at the thin film of water.

“It must be you Littlefoot, it hasn’t changed at all since we started,” Ali countered.

“I don’t know,” said Littlefoot insecurely, “What do you think Sky?”

The wingtail didn’t answer. Instead he did a very simple test. He focused on a small stationary object, a rock just above the waterline. After a few moments, it became clear that the water was rising. That could not be good.

“I think we should continue, and hope it does not rise any further,” the wingtail answered.

Experience told them that when Sky said something like that, something bad was about to happen. Perhaps the collapse of Saurus Rock had cast bad luck down on all of them, but it was impossible to tell. After all bad luck was relative, as they were all lucky to still be alive after being chased by sharpteeth and Sky being beaten into submission.

“What the matter, it only water,” said Petrie and he shrugged as he proposed the question to the others. Sky opened his mouth to answer, but Littlefoot did instead.

“If the water rises too much, we won’t be able to breathe so we’ll drown.” The young longneck said, and Petrie began to shiver in terror. Why did he bother to ask? He knew it would only make him scared.

“Ah… you certainly are learning Littlefoot,” said Sky, and he gave Littlefoot a proud smile.

There was no better satisfaction for a teacher then to see his students learning on their own, and to Sky’s pleasure Littlefoot was far more gifted then he had realized. The longneck had the knowledge and intellect to understand the things he told him, but rarely he also had a depth of wisdom and experience that was very uncommon amongst other longnecks his age. In addition to this his friends were seasoned adventurers, and never complained about hunger, fatigue or boredom. There was more to these younglings then initially met the eye.

The rising water proved to be non-threatening… the levels went down as the day went on and they ventured deeper into the caves. Sky suspected that the rocks “breathed” as in got bigger during the onset of night, so the water would be trapped inside. It was interesting how living the dead ground beneath them could actually be, and Sky made a note to come back here to study it sometime in the future.



After nearly four hours of walking through the damp dark Icy Caves the gang finally emerged into the outside, and they were exhausted. Apart from some water greens Ducky pulled up from the pool none of them had eaten anything, and they were starving. The green food was sparse at the exit of the cave, but it was better then nothing. As Littlefoot, Ali, Petrie, Ducky and Spike spread out to feast themselves, Sky went to do a little bit of hunting on his own.

Wingtails were omnivores, but their vastly preferred food was fish. Having grown up next to a large lake, there was always tons of fish to go around of many different colours, species, and more importantly tastes. Every year when the cold time ended and the fish awoke from their long slumber, the wingtails took to the skies and took advantage of the stupefied fish to make record catches. One of Sky’s fondest memories was from when he was barely a hatchling, and the Fish Day was going on. The Fish Day was when rather then eating their catches, the wingtails would trade them with each other to try and get the tastiest fish of them all. Because everyone had a different preference when it came to food, for the most part everyone benefitted. The Fish Trade was similar to a yearly festival, and he remembered it as a glorious time of storytelling, singing, and performing. It was there were he learned one year to palm objects, making it appear like he had conjured them up from thin air. This helped him in his teaching immeasurably, as children were the most interested in things they could see and feel, yet did not understand.

As Sky came to rest on a branch overlooking the next leg of their journey, he sighed at the memories. As great as it was, that time was gone now and would never return. He was on the run, and hunted by those of his own homeland. It pained him that they would never understand, that they never know why he ran and didn’t come back. It was a secret he would likely take till the time the skin had decayed off his bones.

A group of three mysterious dinosaurs slipped out of the brush and were bathed in the light of the impending dusk a fair distance away. Sky would have paid them no mind, were it not for the way they moved. Sharpteeth crouched low and spread out when they were hunting, while leaf-eaters tended to walk with their heads held high, so they could see their food. This group however, lay somewhere in between. Sky squinted as he watched their movements, then one of them glanced to the side in his direction.

Even from this distance Sky could make out the fiery red pupils and evil hunger in them, and the glint of sharp white teeth. It was unnerving, but not entirely foreign to him. Sharpteeth who acted this way were not out for a meal, they were patrolling on someone else’s orders. These were Tyron’s scouts. One of them looked him dead in the eye, but after a while snorted and looked away. From a distance they couldn’t tell who he was, so thankfully he was passed off as a local.

After the sharpteeth left Sky bolted into the air… he had to warn the gang.



As Sky took off another fast-biter had his eyes on him, but unlike the scouts this one had a mission, a purpose, and a master’s orders to follow.

Redgar watched the wingtail disappear over the ridge, and wheeled on his feet to tell Prince Tyrus what he had seen. When the group of them had reached the entrance to the Icy Caves they found inside one of their own that was broken and bruised, but fortunately still alive. Before he was mercifully executed and eaten, he told them about the wingtail with the Occular and the children with him. Redgar would have to say in all his years serving Tyron he had never seen anything like it, a wingtail seeking sanctuary within the deepest and darkest of places. From what he knew of them they were a snobby race that believed they were first among the flyers, and constantly violated his master’s domains.

Tyron had often ranted about destroying the insolent creatures, but they were far away, numerous, and very clever. They roosted in the high trees far out of the reach of the sharptooth hunters, and they had also been long suspected as the keepers of the Occular, the object that his princely escortee desired so much.

As he ran back to his new master, Redgar reminded himself that Tyrus was certainly not a weakling compared to his father. Perhaps his title was misleading, but Tyron would have his son called no less. In the fast-biter’s experience it was best to not argue and serve loyally to the best of your ability, and you would be rewarded with a good meal and another day of life. The thought of it made dealing with a mad dog like Tyrus slightly easier to bear.

“What did you find?” growled Prince Tyrus threateningly as Redgar approached him.

“There is indeed a wingtail, although there was no sign of the supposed “friends” he had with him.”

“They are insignificant,” snarled Tyrus, “All we need is the wingtail… alive if possible.”

“Why do you want us to spare is his life?” asked Redgar in confusion.

“I plan to kill him myself,” responded Tyrus gloweringly, and he bared his teeth in glee.


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When Sky reached the gang the darkness had already closed in, and they had already drifted off into dreamland. It wasn’t safe for them here, with Tyron’s scouts sneaking around. If they were caught, he might get away but the children would be dead meat. They had to make it across the Cratered Glen, and they had to do it tonight.

“Littlefoot, wake up we need to go,” Sky said as he landed next to the longneck, and shook him awake.

“Oh… just a few more minutes grandma,” Littlefoot moaned.

“Wake up!” Sky shouted.

“Ahhh!” Littlefoot cried in shock, and he blinked as he came back to the realm of the awake. With a yawn he replied angrily to Sky,

“What was that for? We’ve been walking all day,”

“Sharpteeth… they are here and they are searching for us. If you want to live, we have to go and go right now,” Sky asserted.

Littlefoot grumbled in displeasure and proceeded to help Sky wake up the rest of the gang. They were interrupted by a shrill roar that echoed through the trees and the forest.

“Tyrus,” Sky whispered to himself.

“Get up Spike, get up!” Ducky begged Spike, but he heard it too and didn’t need to be pushed any farther. The sounds of thunderous stomping became louder and louder as death approached from the dark woods. A sharptooth couldn’t see them, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t smell or hear them.

With Sky in the lead the gang tore through the edge of the woods and into the rugged terrain of the Cratered Glen, their primal instincts of survival overriding their exhaustion and fatigue.

The Cratered Glen was known for being pockmarked with craters of unknown origin. Some legends say that when the longnecks stopped the Great Circle from falling out of the sky, pieces of it fell to the earth and landed here, while other legends say that a swarm of flying rocks hit here on their own in times past. Whichever story was true, an apparent feature of this place was how exothermically active it was. The Black Mountain’s volcanic systems ran deep through the land and although it had been quiet through all living memory, its heat still spawned numerous phenomena like the Cordial Springs, the Mudflow, and even the occasional geyser eruptions that occurred here in the Cratered Glen.

“This way children, if we hurry we can escape in the geyser field.” Sky said urgently.

“Sorry, but what’s a geyser?” asked Ali while they ran at a quickened pace.

“You’ll see,” was the only answer Sky would give.

In the open the entire gang was clearly visible, so that even in the dark Tyrus could see their movements and hear their footsteps. In an instant, he burst out of the forest and was on their tails. Ducky screamed.

“He getting closer!” hollered Petrie in anguish.

“Do something Sky, we can’t keep running like this!” Ali begged.

Sky wheeled around and headed straight back towards the impending doom right behind them. It was time for a test, a test to see what motivated this Sharptooth. He dove at the sharptooth’s eyes, and it snapped at him. The villainous jaws came within inches of the wingtail, and he screeched at the top of his lungs. Tyrus withdrew from the horrible sound, and in the moments distraction Sky shouted to Littlefoot.

“Keep going Littlefoot! Don’t stop until you reach the other side!”

“But what about you?” the longneck cried back.

“I’ll handle this.” Sky replied reassuringly.

Following behind Littlefoot the rest of the children went on, and soon it was just Sky and Tyrus. Sky circled around just out of reach, and withdrew the Occular from within his wing. He flashed it the moonlight.

“Looking for this?” Sky taunted, and the sharptooth snarled in rage at him.

Yep, this sharptooth was definitely after the same thing that Glide was, but unlike that bully there was no way he could take the massive Tyrus on by himself. He would have to play a little game with him.

“You want it? Come and get it.”

The blue wingtail swooped through the air and soared towards the geyser fields, keeping low to the ground so the sharptooth would chase him. A smarter thing to do would be to simply fly away and out of Tyrus’ reach, but if he did that the fiend might go after the children, and with them in their current state they would most certainly be slaughtered.

After a minute or two Sky had made it to the geyser fields, and landed right next to an open hole into the earth. He had to end this chase now, and he knew just the way. Tyrus stalked up to him slowly, thinking he had the wingtail cornered. The sharptooth had a look of murderous hunger on his face, but it was not for food. He wanted revenge.

“I can go no farther, take it and leave me be.”

In a surprising gesture, Sky took the Occular out of his wing and flicked it through the air. It sailed through the cool night air, and landed at the sharptooth’s feet. Tyrus may not have understood what the thief had said, but there was no misinterpreting his actions. He was giving it back.

Tyrus would have none of this – he wanted blood to avenge the deed and the dishonour, and he would have it. He extended a foot and mashed the dirt with his claws, brushing the Occular along with the surrounding soil aside into unimportance. There was no misinterpreting that gesture either, as the Sharptooth Prince revealed his rows of teeth and closed in for the kill. Sky just sighed.

“Sharpteeth… so predictable,” he chided.

Just as the wingtail said it a plume of water burst from the ground in front of him, just as he felt it would when he landed, and jetted into Tyrus’ face. The boiling water seared his eyes and nose, and filled his opened mouth. With a horrible shriek the sharptooth recoiled, and began to roll on the ground in agony. That would certainly leave a mark.

Calmly, and almost casually Sky re-acquired the Occular from the dirt on his way back into the air, and left his sharptooth nemesis reeling in pain in a pool of high temperature underground water. Thank the heavens for geysers.



Sky landed next to his young charges, which were absolutely spent and sprawled out under a lush tree they had somehow found. In the distance, dawn was just beginning to break the horizon and drown out the beautiful display of stars. Most of the gang didn’t notice, and had fallen asleep almost immediately upon reaching the other side of the Glen. Only Littlefoot was still awake, but barely.

“Did you get away, is it gone?” the longneck asked.

“Yes… I don’t think he will be bothering us anymore, at least for a while.”

“Great… now can we finally go to sleep?” Littlefoot moaned.

“Yes Littlefoot, you have earned your rest,” Sky replied.

Within a few minutes, Sky too was deep into the realm of sleep with the rest of his travel companions. Who knows what awaited them tomorrow, in the untravelled and unknown woods of the Forbidden Forest?


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This post has been edited by Caustizer on Oct 7 2009, 02:03 PM
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