Disclaimer: I do not own The Land Before Time or any of its characters. Same goes for The Seven Hunters, its lore and any affiliated characters or settings. This fanfiction is created purely for non-profit and creative purposes.


Greetings, everyone!
My name is Julian, and I have been sneaking around this site for several weeks prior to finally creating an account of my own. Now, I originally didn't create this account to write stories myself actually, but after reading all this amazing stuff that's on here I felt the obligation to contribute to it after all.

This is my very first attempt at doing this, at least sharing the result with the wider public, but I always felt comfortable with creative writing, so I do hope it will be an enjoyable read. That does not mean I wouldn't greatly appreciate any sort of constructive criticism and ideas you might have.

So please, do give me some feedback, either by small reviews or faveing or following this story! I would highly welcome it, and I hope to be learning from that as well!

And before we then finally start, it is my honor-bound and oath-sworn duty as a writer to inform you that the whole framework, a lot of characters and the background for many of my ideas were created by "(The Amazing) Rhombus". Especially his first story, The Seven Hunters, provides the background knowledge you might want to have to understand what's going on and what happened to the original gang of seven, so I highly suggest you to read this 75 Chapter long masterpiece of his, if you haven't done so already. And if you're at it, make sure to have a good look at his other works as well, as they are just as good and might just - in fact, I will assure you that they do - provide you with some more enjoyment, information and detail.

In any event, down at the bottom of this chapter you will find a very brief summary of The Seven Hunters, for your consideration.

However, I strongly believe my story does stand on its own. So, if you have an open mind, patience, and you're ready for another adventure, then I'll happily invite you to just go for it! Of course, if there are any questions unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope you're in for the ride! I sincerely wish you a pleasant time with The Eighth Hunter!


Prologue

"Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it." - Common saying

The moon shined brightly on the calm, peaceful scenery below. The only few obvious signs of life made themselves known through their high-pitched tweeting and chirping in an expansive forest nearby. Creatures of different types, together filling the chilly air with their songs. A cacophony, perhaps, to some. To most, however, nothing but the sounds of the night.

Yet, there was clearly something else there. With deliberately slow and silent movement, another creature made its way out into the open and sat down in the dark, under a spacious porch.

It was only after the bright moonlight hit parts of its head that one could have seen a pair of greenish blue eyes, outlined by black frames, carefully scanning the surroundings, adapting to the murkiness all around. Time seemed to pause for this creature as it admired the beauty, tranquility and peacefulness of this dark, moonlit scenery.

With a slow move of its arm, this peculiar creature stroked through its dark golden mane, an untidily trimmed undercut, and pulled a white stick-like object with an orange bottom from behind its right ear, put it between its lips, and after two audible clicks, using one of the many artificial tools of its kind, finally set fire to it.

Gentle sizzling. Inhale, exhale. Wads of grey and blue smoke ascended and dissipated with the mild breeze.

Always hits the spot... It's been a long day. The male human thought to himself, the bitter taste of tobacco fumes greeting his delicate senses while he looked up at the bright full moon, almost in fascination, since it appeared to be especially large on this night.

As the nicotine rushed to his brain and unfolded its effects, causing him to experience this faintly lightheaded feeling he was very much looking forward to, he couldn't help but ponder a little about the things that didn't really deserve pondering when there were better things to do over the day. For instance, that he always felt strangely safe and in control in the darkness that embraced everything in the nighttime. Such has it been for the longest time. Darkness meant security to him, quiet and calm. A personal realm to relax and recapitulate the events of the day, shielded from any unwanted interruptions.

After exhaling another few wads of smoke, his thoughts drifted off further. Into considerations and ruminations that were quite usual for his kind.

That's my, uh... seventh, today... Hmm, I really should be stepping down a notch... He thought, looking down at the fuming stick between his fingers, before immediately dismissing this idea again. Oh, what the hell, who am I kidding? Plenty of time to make a cut later on. Besides, that's well within the margin. Awake for, what, 18 hours now? Tzz... It's not like this one would turn my life around.

Faintly grinning now, he peered at the red glowing tip of his cigarette again, twisting it around a bit between his fingertips, which made the smoke seemingly dance in the midnight air. Indeed, it was a night just like any other. And in just a few more hours he would have to get up again, to attend to some unfinished educational stuff. But until then, he would enjoy the rest of this little ritual of his and not let anything ruin that.

Or so he thought to himself.

Boom!

His gaze immediately shot up to the sky, startled, as soon as that distant booming sound reached his ears. While not even remarkably loud, that noise had a certain level of depth to it. A bassy, sinister depth that, despite its relatively low volume, sent a shiver of discomfort down his spine. For one reason in particular.

The way he processed it.

He had always been proud of his excellent sense of hearing for a human, which has helped him understand and solve multiple situations in his life, from trifling matters to rather precarious scenarios. At the same time, however, at around three diopters in the minus figures, his vision was quite lacking. Though he considered that tradeoff only fair and natural. After all, vision was usually more easily fixable than sense of hearing, the testament of that being the cheap, simplistic glasses sitting on his nose, allowing him to see normally. Nevertheless, having lived a lengthy fraction of his life with good hearing but poor eyesight has ultimately changed how his senses operated.

And in this case, this should become clearer than ever to him, as he moved from under the porch out into the open, scanning the skies with his ears rather than his eyes.

Woah... What... the hell was that?

He shouldn't get a response. More so, with every split of a second that passed, he delved further into his senses, growing more and more uneasy. Everything had gone silent, even the frequent, rhythmic chirping from the crickets and a few birds in the forest was not to be picked up anymore. Neither were the ever so faint sounds of the leaves, swaying in the mild wind. And neither were the ever-present, muffled engine sounds from the freeway, which lay beyond a wide strip of trees of said forest.

Two things, however, were still very clearly audible to him. Deep breathing and a heavy heartbeat. Both of which belonging to himself. So, all this obviously had little to do with a sudden loss of hearing.

And that should soon be confirmed. As, finally, after a few more moments which still felt like an eternity to him, the sounds of life all around came back. Everything was back to normal again.

Weird... A sonic boom, perhaps...? But, in that case, what caused it? Well... Whatever it was, it's gone now...

He listened for any further clues for at least another minute. But, ultimately, absolutely nothing interesting revealed itself to him. An annoyed sigh left his mouth, followed by a slight chuckle when he glanced down at his right hand to discover how much time had passed. More than half of his cigarette was nothing but a lump of ash at this point.

Brilliant... I suppose that was a sign from the heavens...

One last wad of blue smoke went up into the night sky as he disposed of the stub in the small ashtray on the windowsill. He followed that up with a deep breath and a slight shake of his head. Strangely enough, he still felt unusually awake and alert. Not exactly uncommon after a fresh dose of nicotine, very true, but there was something more behind it. Something which he couldn't put his finger on. And he just couldn't shake this weird notion, this strange desire, to stay out longer and observe the sky.

But, indeed, inquisitiveness was one thing, paranoia another.

And I'm not gonna mess up my sleep schedule even more because of silly crap like this...

He hopped back up the little step of the porch and firmly reached for the door handle. Already having the key turned and the lock opened, however, he still spontaneously decided to lean back a little and allow himself one last look at the beautiful moon before going to sleep with a, desirably, clear mind.

And it was only then that he noticed something strange out of the corner of his eye. Hesitantly, he pulled the door shut again, moved back into the open and looked up, adjusting his glasses and squinting a bit at what appeared to be a tiny but distinguishable object, dozens of kilometers in the distance, which appeared to hover right in front of the moon.

Huh? What is...?

He didn't even have time to finish his sentence as the object suddenly and rapidly grew larger. Its outlines became more clearly visible.

A blue ball of light, tightly embraced by the blazing hot flames that the entry into earth's lower atmospheres caused. Petrified by the sight of this beautiful, yet terrifying object, which was seemingly about to crash right into him within the next few seconds, he never even thought about moving.

This just couldn't be. This just had to be his imagination, or a misinterpretation. This just didn't make any sense.

"But... Oh... shit!"

He merely whispered these words as he dropped to the paved ground, acting out of instinct, rolling against the hard stones of the nearby porch, eyes closed and his hands covering his head. He could've sworn seeing a bright flash of blue light, even with his eyes firmly shut and him facing the ground, his glasses firmly pressing against his nose and temples.

A quick moment of realization this was, perhaps. Now he started to expect a shockwave that would throw him around and probably kill him, perhaps wipe out the entire neighborhood. What a foolish decision it had been not to at least run inside for cover.

But nothing happened. No merciless shockwave, no overwhelmingly loud noise, no excessive heat. Nothing.

In fact, everything had gone silent again. Everything but his anxious breathing and the heavy pounding of his heart that resonated in his ears. Like the most terribly déjà vu. This crept him out more than any horror story, game or movie could have done in his entire life, indeed filling him with honest dread and horror. He imagined the area around him dead, a wasteland of rubble, deprived of all life.

Yet, he was still breathing, and evidently unharmed.

He reluctantly opened his eyes again, letting out an audible groan of pain as he rose back to his feet. Despite wearing a comfortable padded wool jacket, jeans and sturdy boots, he must have lacerated both of his lower arms and bruised his knees. Though, right now, this probably was the least of his concerns.

Carefully scanning the environment again, this time primarily with his eyes, he couldn't help but feel even more horrified. It seemed as if nothing had happened at all. That mysterious object, which seconds ago raced towards him with incredible speed, had just disappeared. No trace of it could be found anywhere around.

How... How is this possible...?

That was when he turned around and took a closer look at the small forest next to his home. Almost undiscernible, a blue light was emitted from somewhere between the large trees and many bushes. He hesitated, unsure about how to process this. But, in the end, seeing no other option, and with carefully slow movement, he began walking towards that place. So much entranced by wonder, or perhaps something more insidious, that he did not even notice all the small lights on every house around had gone dark.

There was only the silent darkness, him, and the dim blue light in the woods.

Edging closer to the mysterious object, after around half a minute of time standing right in front of it, he abruptly stopped. Almost as if the force that had dragged him here let go now. However, he didn't ponder this. His eyes were firmly fixed on the object from the sky. It appeared to be a stone, more specifically a meteorite, yet it was vastly different from anything he had ever seen, anything he had ever heard of or anything he could have ever imagined. Not only was the stone perfectly smooth, as if designed and shaped to survive such a planetfall completely unscathed, but it was also glowing from within. The stone's very core emitted bright enough light to enshroud its whole shape. So bright, in fact, that it hurt his eyes to look at it directly for more than a few seconds, the fresh scratches that were now on his glasses not helping much.

And yet, despite this, the environment around it was unaffected by it. None of the trees around this area took on that blue hue. Neither the trees, nor the bushes, nor the lone human. Not even the surprisingly small crater in which the rock stood, presenting itself...

Waiting.

How... can this be? This must've flown faster than a bullet... And it landed without making any noise, without any impact... It's like... this thing didn't want to be seen or heard... That's insane!

This uneasy thought crossed his mind two times before he finally broke out of his pondering and shook his head, muttering to himself.

"Pff! What am I thinking? This doesn't even remotely make sense..."

However, his spoken words should not reflect the unspoken afterthought in his head. Only if one could have read his mind, one would've heard an addition to that sentence.

This... doesn't make sense, right? It... It doesn't.

Indeed, he was at a loss for any reasonable ideas. He walked around the rock for over a minute, thinking about what to do now and fighting this weird desire to do something unreasonable like touching it. Now, technically, he was allowed to do what he pleased to do with that rock. There were a lot of rules and laws in the human society, but none of them explicitly prevented him from taking a stone which fell out of the sky back to his home. And if there were, he didn't know of any. It wasn't exactly a common occurrence for meteorites to land right in front someone's doorstep, especially not where he lived. However, as with many things in human society, there were certain exceptions. Where laws and regulations didn't apply anymore.

And this was certainly one of them. Here, some level of common sense had to be applied, if by force, to a scenario without any rhyme or reason.

Crap, what am I doing here?! I have to call the police. Or, just, someone! Who knows, maybe this thing is dangerous? Who knows where this came from? And a stone shouldn't be glowing from the inside.

With that, he stepped back from the rock and pulled out a black, rectangular device from his jeans. His concerned, bewildered look quickly turned into a weird mix of surprise and serious dread, however.

The device, his trusty cellphone, wasn't working anymore. At all. Several times he pressed and held the only three buttons it had to no avail, even though it definitely was almost fully charged, not having been operated much over the day. He quickly suspected he broke it when jumping to the ground earlier, but the device did not have a single scratch on it. At least none that he could make out with his fingers, as it was too dark to make out clear details.

Looking back in the direction of the blue glowing rock, then slowly turning around to finally discover that all the lights were out everywhere, a clear suspicion formed.

Really...? An... An EMP? Is that possible...?

If it was actually true that a normal rock from space, more or less so, could have produced enough electromagnetic power to destroy or at least temporarily kill the electronics of an entire block, he could only wonder. But that explanation seemed reasonably satisfying and the least confusing at that time. Still, this wasn't enough of an explanation for him to loosen up in any way.

But you're no normal rock, are you? Shit! What do I do now? What do I do? What do I do? I can't just leave this thing here...

The stone seemed to mock him with his presence, passively taunting him, standing there silently with its blue glow. He spent seemingly an eternity in front of the rock and couldn't think of a single thing to do. He had run out of options.

Hesitantly, then, seeing no other way but to give in to his curiosity, he decided to inspect the rock in more detail.

Slowly, shakily reaching out with his hand and touching it, he could instantly feel a strange, warm feeling entering his body. Almost like an indescribable amount of energy now flowing through him, his every single limb, hair and cell, and then back into the stone. An exchange, not of words but far more complicated things. It was indeed a feeling impossible to properly describe, yet he did not recoil from the stone. He embraced that feeling, he accepted this 'trade'. If only to find out what exactly would happen.

Perhaps he shouldn't have. His eyes fell shut, his mind lost in another realm for a moment, and he muttered some inaudible words.

He had always been afraid to lose control. It had happened once, several years ago, after a few drinks too many. And then never again. And while, sure enough, he tried to be popular with the friends he had and never be a killjoy, that also never stopped him from the credo he was following with his mind.

Control. Control over his own body, mind and soul. Control of reasonable thought and action.

But at that moment, as he muttered a succession of words that came from the deepest, undiscovered corners of his soul to the strange rock, he truly reached an understanding like never before.

He had lost control over his mind.

Before he could even come up with a conclusion on what he had just done, the flow of energy suddenly stopped and the rock seemed to glow even more aggressively, pulsating violently, now almost intentionally blinding him. Actively trying to force him back. For another shocked blink of his eyes, his hand seemed to be glued to the rock, as if it was unwilling to let him go just yet. At this rapid change, the human forcefully and with all his power sprung back like the scared animal he was right now, finally detaching himself from that malicious rock, unfortunately also tripping over a large root.

Too shocked to react, too confused to prepare, he stumbled and landed on his back...

Thud!

...hitting his head with a dull sound on one of the numerous tall trees.

For just another second, the world seemed to spin around him as his body slowly, but forcefully, shut down his eyelids. His consciousness would follow. His heartbeat already decelerated. He could still make out the strange blue light changing to a deep red tone, as if foreboding his very doom, before the stone went pitch black.

Only darkness embraced his senses now as everything else slipped away.


So, this is the Prologue to what I hope will be an interesting piece to work on. Please do tell me what you think of this. :)

And now, before we get into the actual story, if you would quickly like a very rough description of the plot in Rhombus' first story, The Seven Hunters, this is it:

It all started some time after the events of the TV series, so Ruby and Chomper were both living in the Great Valley and Red Claw was still terrorizing the Mysterious Beyond together with Thud and Screech. One day, however, a Stone of Cold Fire landed in the valley and the gang of seven wished for the power to defeat Red Claw upon the stone. The Stone proceeded to turn all of them except Chomper, obviously, into sharpteeth. Now five of the seven friends were fastbiters (feathered Utahraptors), and Petrie was a sharptooth flyer (Cearadactylus), and while they retained their colors, they got chased out of the valley as the residents thought they had killed the original children. A very dark journey full of hardships for the friends followed, but in the end, they managed to defeat Red Claw and his minions in a final battle in the Great Valley. Many friendships, even alliances did the Seven Hunters forge on their way, but equally many lives were lost in the process. And yet, the same friends that used to live in the Great Valley became the stuff of legends among leaf-eaters and sharpteeth alike.
After that, they started their new lives far away from the valley, and several years later they grew into a fine pack of fastbiters with their own children, still ready for new adventures, but just as many conflicts to fend off.

This story starts at around this point, eight years after the events of The Seven Hunters.

(Final Version)