A/N: For this story, I wanted to mix in the futuristic science of the Ark, with a hint of realistic needs. The Mega-Ark is a huge place. Aside from the focuses on the main characters, there are tidbits of other survivors here in other regions. The plan is to have the large family spread out over multiple regions. There are many story lines. The majority of them are within the families.
Chapter 2: Ark Rangers
Blue Arm: The Center Region – Jungle North – Along the river
There were screams all around and burning debris of a riverside village. What was once a wood and thatch building filled village was burning roof's docks, and rafts. There were people running in all directions away from a hostile force of soldiers in gray flak armor. All the men were gutted or perished in sword fights. Some were killed by attacking dinosaurs that were ridden by the hostile tribe. One villager was run down by a raptor and its rider. The raptor pounced, pinning the villager.
"No! No! No!" The villager yelled in desperation and fear. The Raptor grabbed his head in his jaws and twisted.
A raider walked over in his flak armor with a metal shield on his back. His armor was grey, only with a red helmet. He had some kind of Fabricated pistol holstered and a sword in the other side of his waist. He watched as his allies decimated the village. "All the women and children are rounded up sir." One of his Raptor mounted Tribemates spoke while running up to him.
"Excellent," The Red helmeted soldier spoke, "And the loot?"
"Primitive sir," The soldier replied, "Though there are some black pearls and blueprints for lever action rifles. It looks like they were in the process of metal gathering. Other than that, it's a fishing village."
"Round up all loot," The Red helmeted raider spoke, "prioritize most valuable and have our caravans come in and get what we need. Separate the women and children and get them on board our ships. Kill the rest of the men. After that. Burn the village to the ground."
"Yes Sir!" The soldier replied. With that, he took off, before whistling at two other Raptor mounted soldiers. They nodded and followed him towards the other side of the village.
The red helmeted man walked a few more feet before he heard someone below him lying on his back. It was a male villager. "Please. Help me," The man asked weakly as he reached for the flak boots of the head helmeted raider.
"Sure thing." He pulled out his pistol and shot a round directly in the crown of the villager's head. The Raider leader looked around the village before walking towards the Eastern entrance. Three Parasaurolophus pulling wagons had begun making their way in the village. Women and children were filed out of the village and onto a Galleon nearby. There were two Frigates with sails up, on either side of it armed with cannons and ballista. The raiding group made a risky move bringing a Galleon down a river. The river was narrow at some points. But there was a place where the Galleon could turn around safely and return East. Other than the loot and prisoners being loaded up, there wasn't much more action for these raiders.
Blue Arm: Island Region – Northeast Coast
"Are you coming? I'm waiting on you."
He woke up. The cold had woken him and the fact that it was getting dark. Immediately, he stood up looking around rather nervously. He remembered something. He was on an island full of extinct creatures. He looked back at the field. The herd of Hadrosaurs had moved down the field towards the forest. He noted how big the field was and that it was spotted with trees and boulders. He got up and walked towards them. It looked like the entire herd was gathering around a body of water and were all in various stages of laying down. Nate looked at the sun as it fell behind the mountains. Even dinosaurs need to rest, like all living things. He watched as the herd settled down, almost huddling close together tightly. Some of them drank from the water while others seemed to be looking around as if sentries. There was a Parasaurolophus and a Corythosaurus that were alert on the edge of the herd closest to him.
When Nate walked up to them, they kind of looked at him nervously. He held his hands out reassuringly before joining the herd once more. The Herd acted like he wasn't there for the most part. But when he got close to one of the Hadrosaurs, each seemed to regard him in some way. The only exception were those in deep sleep, which were mostly the calf's. Getting to the water wasn't hard, but he did have to maneuver a little bit. He even almost stepped on one of the calf's tails. He finally made it to the body of water. It was a pond with crystal clear water. He knew drinking it without purifying it would be a risk, but he was so thirsty. He cupped some of the water in his hands and pulled it to his mouth. The water was so refreshing, that he cupped more in his hands and drank it. He chanced a glance around. The pond he was at the base of a cliff that looked around twenty feet or so high. Atop the cliff was jungle. In the crystal clear pond were fish. They weren't any kind of fish that Nate recognized from back home. They must be extinct fish. It seemed that extinct animals were a recurring theme in this land.
He sat down and dared to lean against one of the sleeping Hadrosaurs. The Hadrosaur briefly opened up its eyes, snorting, then closing its eyes, resuming its sleep. For some reason, the Hadrosaurs didn't mind him. Even he thought it was abnormal for the dinosaurs to just let him do this. But he wasn't complaining. The reptilian skin of the Lambeosaurus he was leaning against was warm. It was barely enough to keep him from being uncomfortable from the cold. He thought about building a fire. Actually, that was good idea. He got up, disturbing the Lambeosaurus once more. It bleated before returning to sleep.
He went around looking for wood and or anything that could easily be burnable. He dug a spot in the bank of the pond and put some of the tinder in. He started looking for any kind of flint or stone, which wasn't hard. His plan was to use them to ignite a fire. He had done so many times while camping. It took him a couple minutes, but the fire began to grow. The herd of Hadrosaurs were mildly curious about the new source of light and warmth, but they didn't really pay much more attention to it.
Nate thought about his family. He wondered if they were okay and where they were. He needed to find them and he was really lazy in doing so, so far. Tomorrow, he'd have to start gathering resources to find them. He wanted to find Brennan, someone he was supposed to begin dating seconds before they were all yanked into the sky. Would they ever get back home? Would they be able to start a life together? That's what he wanted. He looked over at the herd of Hadrosaurs. He had to admit though, being with these animals in the wilderness had its appeal.
Blue Arm: Island – Northwest
"What's you're name?" Peyton asked the Ranger after a long silence.
"Call me….N-8," The man spoke, "or Ranger N. And it shouldn't be long now."
Peyton had heard howls coming from the distance before she saw what was coming. The man who had saved her and the other kids had been tapping something on the radio like he was signaling something. She was ready for help to get there. They had taken shelter at the base of a large boulder that was in the middle of the sandy field. It wasn't much help either.
"There they are," The man said in relief as he looked North up the coast. Coming down off of a frozen waterfall, like a swarm of fur, were large dogs, each carrying two or three kinds of rucksacks. Peyton's mouth went wide open. There were so many of them!
"Whoa!" Peyton said as the whole pack swarmed towards them. They were giant wolves, each being various shades of the grey scale, from white to black and were often mixed with different coats.
"Cool right?" The man said as the wolves came in to file in a straight line around the group of children, "These are called Direwolves. I use them to help me hunt larger carnivores or large amounts of meat. In this case, however, I used them to transport everything needed as they are the fastest method in doing so." He walked up to the biggest Grey and white one and petted it. It had a collar on in addition to the doggie vest with three rucksacks on it. "Good boy." He went to unclip all the rucksacks and put them on the ground. "Peyton help me out will you? Anyone else want to help out can do so as well. My wolves won't bite." Peyton went up to one of the wolves next to the first wolf. It looked younger than the first one. The wolf was granite gray with a white back with golden eyes. Its head alone was just as big or bigger than a bear's. It panted happily like an oversized ball of fluff. Peyton went to unclip the rucksack. The Direwolf laid down wagging its tail.
"She likes you," The man said, "She's only a year old and is the youngest of my pack."
"How many wolves…" Peyton asked, "Do you have?"
"I think around fifty-three total," The man replied as he unloaded another Direwolf, "We got twenty-one right here. The thing is, training them is tough and the harsh environment of this place makes it tougher to keep them alive."
"Is this place really that bad?" Peyton asked as she started on another Direwolf.
"Depends on how you look at it and how far you make it surviving here," The man said, "I've been here for three years. I don't really travel to the other Regions much anymore. We're in a Region that we call, The Island. There are other regions as well, a lot of them probably unexplored and full of different creatures but….."
"Wait…." Peyton said, "You mean there are other places like this one?"
"Yeah," The man said, "Full of extinct animals like T-rex's, giant squids, and dragons. I'll explain it more later when we get you to your parents. But right now, let's get everyone warmed up."
Peyton obeyed, helping the man dress the younger kids in warm fur clothing. She and some of the older kids passed out jars of food. "What is this stuff?" She asked.
"Fria Curry," The man replied, "It's good for you and it'll warm ya up. It'll taste Cajun, but it's worth it."
When Peyton ate some of the curry, her body immediately started to warm up. She no longer felt cold. Being in the fur helped as well. "This is so good!" She spoke.
"Yeah," The man agreed, "We make it in bulk. Y'all eat up and stay warm. I don't know how long it's going to take before we figure out our next move. For now, it's getting dark. He began setting down torches and eventually lighting them. "This will help keep you all warm. Do me a favor, cuddle with the wolves to help stay warm and use the blankets to help cover you faces. You don't want to breath in cold air tonight."
Blue Arm: The Island - Southwest Coast
Everyone had turned in for the night except a few sentries. Shayne had second watch with nine other people. Second watch was the last watch. He stared off towards the Red tower, looking at it with wonder and slight trepidation. In a few hours, he and a few others were going to try and swim across the river to see if they could figure out what exactly it was. Were there people there? Night time had come and was almost over. Once the rest of the group was up, they'd make the trek. It wasn't his idea to go to it. It was some of the others. He'd do it though, just to see what was out there. Not everyone was going. Their temporary camp needed manning and upkeep.
"Hey!" Shayne heard from the other side of the camp. "There's something coming!" Shayne ran over to the other side to see it. Coming from the beach near the red tower was a bulky looking dinosaur with larger back limbs than front limbs. It had an oval-like head with a crested mouth. It ran on all fours quickly moving. But that's not what got Shayne the most. Someone was riding It, having a white flag attached to the saddle. In old times, it was generally the sign of a request for ceasefire for negotiations or messaging. The man on the back of the dinosaur wore clothes that looked like they were hand sewn together, with the shirt dyed in forest green, while everything else including his boots and backpack were brown. On the saddle, like you'd see on horsemen who were hunting, was a rifle of some sort and a sword. He looked very fit, easily able to hold his own in a brawl. He had a brown beard and green eyes.
"Hello," The man said, "I'm Ranger Mitchell of the Ark Rangers. Island Detachment. Don't worry, I'm a friendly." Everyone started to gather around. "I'm sure you all have questions. I'll answer them the best I can." He probably regretted it. They immediately bombarded him with questions.
"Where are we?"
"Where's the closest city?"
"Have you seen our kids or the rest of our family?"
"How do we get home?"
"What the hell is that thing?"
"What are those towers?"
"What is this place?"
Before the questions piled up on the Ranger, he held his hands up. "Whoa whoa," Mitchell said, "Calm down. I'll start from the beginning. The thing is, we're on a place called an Ark. Or a Mega Ark. There is no way off at the moment."
"This island we're on, the distant lands North, West, East, and South? The massive cave system under all that ocean. These landmasses are nothing but exact replicas of smaller arks. The Ark's are lifeboats that were suspended in space around the Earth. But they all returned home, with the exception of this one that builds the Arks. Each Ark has its own geography, fauna, and hazards. There's everything ranging from Dinosaurs to Dragons on them, each with their own special abilities."
This didn't sound real. This sounded like something made up in a fiction book or something. It seemed that no one could come up with disbelieving statements for this, either.
"As for the towers," He continued, "We call them Obelisks. Every major landmass has three of them, Red, Blue, and Green. On other Arks, they were used to travel to different stations and fight the guardians. Here, we're not exactly sure. They don't transport you to the other landmasses, but you can fight the guardians."
"Extremely difficult creatures to take down that are much more powerful than your average creature," Mitchell spoke, "For this island for example, there is the Broodmother Lysrix. Defeating any Guardian unlocks knowledge of advanced technology and treasures used for said technology. The last few tribes and companies to do so, have either all died out, or have gone into hiding. Another possibility is that they moved to one of the many other Regions on the MA…..Mega Ark. And let me tell you. This place is massive."
Shayne felt like this man was speaking a different language. He had seen way to many scifi movies. "Listen," Shayne said, "What you're saying sounds like a bunch of nonsense."
"I'm aware of that," Mitchell spoke, "But hear me out here." He gestured to his dinosaur, "This is a dinosaur. It's called an Iguanodon. If what I'm saying isn't true, then how can this animal exist?"
He had a point.
"Look," He continued, "I've just got word that the rest of your group has arrived on the island as well. There are children on the West coast further North and there are people a little North east of our position near a rock formation. You all apparently have arrived at the same time….I think we should get your entire group to meet under the Red Obelisk…."
Blue Arm: Island - Southeast Coast
Eric and a few of the other guys had made their way to the large rock formation East of where his family and group washed up. The formation looked to have flat surface on some of the tops and was dotted around a small inland pool of water that had access to the outside. The water was just clear enough where Eric could see the bottom of the pool. It was rather deep, having a lot of coral formations and plants down inside. They had originally scouted this way to find more of those from their family. But at the moment, it was about sightseeing.
"This place is pretty cool!" Eric's cousin William said.
"Yeah," Eric replied nodding, "It sure is. I think we need to head back to the group though. There's nothing here."
"True," One of his friend's Zach said, "Might ought to get some of those dodo's on the way. Help out a little bit, ya know?" Eric nodded. He was frustrated at the moment. His daughter was missing and his wife and one-year old son was on an island full of dinosaurs. It was a miracle no one had been hurt yet. They started to follow the path back towards their group. There were many more rock formations that dotted this stretch of land that divided the ocean from the lagoon. There was also driftwood which could come in handy. Before they got far, they heard something above them.
Four large leathery winged featherless birds flew in a flock above them pitching towards the ocean. They flew in and snapped up fish in their long beaks before ascending in the air and banking back towards land at different times. They landed on the rock formations at different spots out of the reach of any would be carnivores. Those fish looked completely prehistoric that the birds had captured. But these birds were huge, easily bigger than a man.
"I hope those things don't like people." Zach said holding his spear a little tighter.
There was another screech, this one coming from behind them over the lagoon. Everyone turned to see another one. But this one had something on the back of it. A rider? The group readied their spears in case they had to defend themselves.
"I'm friendly!" The man on the back of the bird yelled flying around the group. The other birds that were eating their meals took off quickly in different directions. He kept the bird circling them, probably trying to make himself a harder target to hit if the group of five decided to throw their spears. "I'm Ranger Olsen. Yours?"
"Eric Parker," Eric replied, then went on to name everyone else in the group.
"I was sent out because we got word that there were possible survivors who arrived. Look's like I found you. There are more of you out here. Another ranger found a bunch of kids on the west side of the island. I wasn't expecting there to be anyone near Stonehenge."
"That rock formation over there," He pointed at it as he continued to have his bird circle around them. He was pointing at the large rock formation around the water that the group had scouted out earlier. "Listen. I'm not going to attack you all, and I'm pretty sure you all have questions."
"Like for starters," Eric spoke up, "You said you found a bunch of our children? Go ahead and land."
"Whether they're yours or not," Olsen spoke up as the bird landed, "we don't know. But there are two groups that we know of that arrived last night. We might ought to…."
"Hold on," Zach said as Ranger Olsen got off of his bird, "Maybe we should wait until we meet up with everyone else. We're just a scouting party." Olsen wore clothes that looked like they were hand sewn together, with the shirt dyed in forest green, while everything else including his boots and backpack were brown. He even wore a leather flight helmet with goggles.
"I see," Olsen replied nodding, "Yeah, that'd be a good idea. Where abouts are they?"
"Further west down the coast," Eric replied, "They're probably setting up shelters right now."
"Might want to stop them then," Olsen spoke, "Because since all the arrivals are close to the Red Obelisk, we want to rendezvous with everyone there. That way we rangers can explain everything to you all at one go round. It saves time and helps you all adjust to being here. I know you're going to be antsy, but you're not the first to arrive on this island, and you won't be the last. But your group is by far the biggest I think."
"We better get moving then," Eric looking at the rest of the scouting group, "If we want answers y'all. And personally, I want to find my daughter as soon as possible."
"I'm with you there brother." Zack agreed.
"Me too," Cooper spoke up.
"Right then," Olsen spoke walking back to his bird and taking an assault rifle of some sort off of the saddle, "Let me store my Pteranodon really quick." With that, he slung his assault rifle over his shoulder against the side of his backpack then pulled out a blue high-tech cylinder-like object with ridges and held it up at the bird. The bird started to glow blue and pixelate before vanishing in a small flash. "Nice and comfy."
Everyone gaped at Olsen, including Eric. "First off," Zach spoke up, "What the fuck?"
"Oh." Olsen said, "Gonna have to explain that one too I guess. Well, I stored him in a Cryopod. Let's me carry my tames with me portably. Don't worry nothing's wrong with it. It's just frozen. I can bring him back out when I need to. This is one of the common methods of storing dinosaurs. There's another system that is far more convenient, but we haven't got the tech yet. Confusing, I know. But we'll explain everything when we get to the Red obelisk."
Eric briefly wondered what this red obelisk was. With that in the back of his mind, He and Zach led the scouting party back towards the group. Olsen had pulled out a radio along the way. "This is Ranger Olsen," He said, "I'm in route along South Coast towards Weather Top, leaving Stonehenge with some of the new arrivals, over."
"Roger that R-O," Another voice said, "I'm coming through with a Motorboat escorted by Sarcos for river crossing from the Southern Islets. Jackson should be on the other side of the forest by now, over."
"This is Ranger Jackson," Someone on the radio spoke, "Affirmative. Taking care of some Carno's at the moment. We rolled up on a pair. I'll be at rendezvous point alpha afterwards."
"Roger that," Olsen said, "Anyone else found anymore washups? What's the status on Cragg's Island and West coast washups? Over."
"This is Ranger Mitchell," Another voice spoke, "Cragg's Island washups are cooperative and we are almost ready to proceed to Red Obelisk. Evacuating area in eta ten minutes. Over."
"This is Ranger N," Yet another voice spoke with audible wind in the background, "I'm going to need transport for one hundred plus children. I got the escort of Direwolves, I just don't think they'll make it to the Red Obelisk on foot. Over."
"What about the diplos?" Another voice spoke, this one being a female, "We haven't had much use of them as of late. They're fast and capable of staying with the direwolf escorts. Over."
"That could work," Ranger N replied, "Ranger Carly are you available to bring them over asap? Over."
"I am," the female voice spoke, "The babies are all fed and taken care of for the moment. How many Diplos are you suggesting? Over."
"Let's see," Ranger N replied, "There's approximately 155 children here, so I'll take 14 of them. The last person will have to ride with me. Speaking of which, I need a land mount. Since I've got one of them with me, I'm thinking a Galli? Over."
"Why not a flier?" Carly replied, "over."
"Don't wanna scare the kid," Ranger N replied, "Better to stay on the ground. Unless you wanna provide Air support? Give your flock of Dimorphs a little test? Over."
"Good Idea," Carly replied, "I'll be over there, ETA fifteen minutes. Over."
By the time the radio transmissions were over, they had almost arrived to the rest of the group. The sounds of a boat engine could be heard coming down the coast from the East. On either side of the boat was a huge crocodilian with a narrow snout. Those things were at least forty feet long. They kept up with the boat easily. The boat itself was a very large pontoon boat with no roof. Just several seats. The driver waved at the party. The two crocodilians immediately sped up pass the boat killing something in the water. Eric's adrenaline started to kick in at the sight of them. The others showed their discomfort as well.
"Relax," Ranger Olsen spoke, "They're tamed creatures. They won't attack unless Ranger Duncan orders them to. He's got them keeping away potential threats of the boats and survivors. Taming is one of the many things we're going to talk about when we round all of you up."
"Who's this?" Eric's father Donnie asked as the scouting party finally made it to the beachside Parker camp. The boat obviously caught the attention of the group as well. Ranger Duncan had the boat idling away from shore so they could
"Dad," Eric said trying to remain calm, "Gather everyone up. Stop what they're doing. This is Ranger Olsen, and that's Ranger Duncan out there. Just met them. But they've got a whole team looking for everyone who was brought here."
"Whoa slow down," Donnie said as a lot of the group gathered around, "What do you mean? How do we know we can trust these people?"
"Dad," Eric said, "One of them has found most if not all the kids! There's even one of our group close by on an island!"
"Technically it's part of this island," Ranger spoke, "We just call it Cragg's Island." He stepped in. "Look sir, I know it's very confusing. I know you don't have a reason to trust us. But right now, we only want to make sure there aren't any casualties amongst your group. Long story short, you're on a continent full of dinosaurs and creatures of myth and there are a lot more regions with even more species in every direction. It sounds like I'm crazy, but I promise you, I'm not."
"Dad," Donnie said, "Uncle Paul, Carlton. Get everyone over here and stop what they're doing. We don't need shelters at the moment. We're about to leave." Paul nodded.
Pretty soon, everyone was gathered around. "Okay everyone," Ranger Olsen said, "We're gathering you all at the Red obelisk." He pointed at a large floating tower in the distance. "From here it'll probably be a day's walk or so." He pulled out a map and pointed at three locations. "This is where we are. We have to cross three rivers in order to get to the Red obelisk. That's why we have a boat and Sarco's. Sarco's will scare off any Megapirahna in the waters and are good fighters on their own. The Pontoon is here to ferry you all from one side of the river to the other as safely as possible. Those two Sarco's are completely domesticated. They won't harm you intentionally. I suggest that you all gather everything you can carry and let's get moving." There was a distant roar as if to emphasize the importance.
Soon, the group had gathered whatever they could carry and started to trek West. Duncan drove the boat further ahead with the large crocodilians trailing behind. On the way there, Eric and his wife Kayla, who held their toddler, talked. Zach Beaty and his wife Katy Beaty were walking with them as well as Kayla Osborne.
"You think there's a chance that Lillian is with that group of kids?" Kayla asked.
"I sure hope so," Eric spoke looking up at the Red obelisk in the distance, "I knew that we had a couple of kids at the party, but I wasn't expecting a hundred and fifty-five children."
"What I want to know is," Zach spoke up, "How did we end up washing up on this island the way we did."
"What?" Eric said, "What do you mean?"
"Think about it," Zach said, "Most of your family is here. The Parker's that is, and some of the friends of your family, including me. And literally, everyone but the kids are here, except the babies. I think all the kids washed up in the same place. It'd be weird as hell if the Walker's did the same thing or one of the others did."
"That's highly likely," Ranger Olsen said, "One thing you all have to get used to. The science of this place is not exactly the same as science as you know it back home. Having prehistoric animals taking orders from you is probably the best example right now."
"Or riding a bird." Zach quipped.
"Yup," Ranger Olsen said, "You think that's bad. Wait until you see a Mosa rider."
"Mosasaurus," Olsen responded, "Big ass prehistoric whale that eats anything. Seafaring tribes and company's use them for a variety of things. Some build bases or homes on the back of them, others use them for naval combat."
Everyone looked at him like he grew a second head. "Oh you all haven't seen anything yet," He said, "Nothing on this Ark surprises me anymore. I've seen things like Giant squids, dragons, and giant apes. But what will really scare the hell out of you are the Titans. Or Kaiju, depending on who you ask. I've heard they're tamable, I just haven't seen one tamed yet."
"How big are they?" Paul asked chiming in.
"What's the tallest building you've ever seen?" Ranger Olsen asked.
"I've been all over the world," Paul replied, "The Eiffel Tower maybe?"
"The Forest titan stands about that tall," Ranger Olsen said, "It stays in the woods of a distant region so you all are safe from it. It's kids though, that's another story. Anyways, the more I explain to you now, is the more I'll have to repeat myself later." That was the end of that conversation as far as the nature of the Ark went. It was mostly chatter about reminiscing the days before they arrived. It seemed to keep people distracted. Ranger Olsen had told them to be on guard because anything can jump out the jungle at them.
After a few hours walk, they arrived at the river. One of the Sarco's was basking on the shore while the other floated just underneath the water near the anchored pontoon. Ranger Duncan was leaning against the railing of the Pontoon looking to enjoy the sunshine. Duncan wore clothes that looked like they were hand sewn together like Olsen's, with the shirt dyed in forest green, while everything else including his boots and backpack were brown. His uniform differed from Olsen's when he had a beige fishing vest on, aviator sunglasses, and a tan boonie hat. Everyone moved towards the area with caution. That Sarco was much bigger than Eric thought. His uncle Paul was a tall man standing 6 foot 3 inches. His head barely peaked over the crocodilian's rough scales on its back. It's head alone was almost as long as a car. The rougher plates along its back were dark green, while its body was more Brown.
"You sure that thing is tamed?" Donnie said. Everyone was standing back at least thirty feet, which didn't mean much considering it was almost forty feet long.
"Yeah," Ranger Olsen said confidently. To add further confidence, he causally strolled up to it and patted it on its side. The Sarco didn't make much movement, just gently shook its head without a care in the world. "What did you end up naming this one?" He was talking to Ranger Duncan.
"Margie," Duncan said, "She's a beauty. Ollie here is her mate." He gestured to the other Sarco as it slowly floated up to breach the water. "Got a whole incubator of Sarco eggs back home. Think I might have my own little fleet of Sarco's. But that's a long way off."
"Y'all breed dinosaurs?" Eric asked.
"Yup," Duncan replied. Everyone had another surprised look. Duncan grinned pushing his aviators up as they slipped down his nose. "Man, I love beach bob's."
"What's that?" Katy asked.
"It's what we call new people who wash up here," Duncan said standing up, "You aren't the first people who have done so, and you won't be the last. No offense or anything. We've just been doing this for a while. And it's always the same questions, every time. And the reactions are always pretty much the same." He had Eric wondering exactly how many times they had done this before. "Look, I know you're all tire of walking, but we got to get you all to the Red Ob. I can ferry about twenty people at a time and that's pushing it. Any more than that and the boat will start to sink."
"Right then," Ranger Olsen said, "So everyone start loading up."
"Okay first over should be able bodied men," Donnie spoke, "Just to make sure it's safe for the ladies, kids, and older folk." It was about fifteen minutes into the crossing of the group the basking Sarco Margie started hissing. Ranger Olsen stayed with the group on the starter side. He walked over to her side looking over it. There was a theropod coming over. Eric had remained on this side with a few other men with their crafted spears just for an occasion like this.
"Raptor," Olsen said using Margie as cover while resting the gun on her neck pointing at the Raptor, "Look's like a Utah." Eric got a good look at the said Raptor. It was taller than a man, with a slightly stocky build. It had feathers growing from the top of its head, along its spine, the back of its arms, and on the tip of its tail. Each limb was armed with sickle-like claws. It immediately ran at the group.
Ranger Olsen fired his assault rifle at the charging Utahraptor, cutting it down quickly. This got the attention of the other part of the group on the other side of the river. "Keep an eye out for more," He said, "Raptors rarely travel alone. They're pack hunters."
"Right there!" Cooper yelled. Out of the jungle burst out two more Raptors.
Margie let out a bellowing growl before launching herself at the two Raptors. The sudden movement made Ranger Olsen stumble back. One of the Raptors jumped over her snout running towards the remaining group of survivors. The other was snatched up in her jaws and slung around like a ragdoll. The raptor snarled at them running into the crowd.
The men had to act quick. Ranger Olsen couldn't fire an assault rifle into the crowd for fear of shooting someone other than the Raptor. It seemed that the Raptor found itself surrounded by everyone with spears. It knew it was in trouble. It looked around angrily and nervously, spinning around daring someone to lunge at it as it snarled. It seemed to be looking for weaknesses. Nobody wanted to throw or lunge their spear to leave themselves defenseless. But they knew they couldn't keep this up either.
"Hey!" Eric said holding his spear tightly figuring to try something, "Guys on that side. Let it through. It looks like it's trying to get out."
"We let that thing out and it'll come back," One of his cousins said nervously keeping his spear pointed at the raptor,
"We'll be long gone," Eric said, "The rest of us will push it away."
"That'll work," Ranger Olsen said walking up aiming his assault rifle at the raptor, "Just be careful. These Raptors are smart. We turn our backs and it'll pounce before you know it. You five, tighten up and all come together towards us. Open the circle." They started to do so. The Raptor didn't even let them get far before bolting between them. It ran towards the jungle. Eric breathed a little easier now. Duncan had made a return for the eighth time.
"Margie," Ranger Duncan said pointing at the jungle, "Move over there until we get everyone across." The Crocodilian did as he said, positioning her long body like a barrier between the jungle and the remaining people on Eric's side. Eric wondered how it seemed to understand him on an intelligent level. "Alright next few pile in."
A few minutes later, everyone was on the other side of the river, far away from the last Raptor. Margie lumbered into the river again with her mate. "Now that everyone's across," Duncan said to them, "I'm going to the next river down. That one has a wider entrance, so it'll take longer than this time. I'll be waiting."
"Alright see ya there," Ranger Olsen said. Ranger Duncan sped off towards the ocean then banked West down the coast, his two Sarco's following him. He turned to the group. "Do you all have enough food to eat before we continue? I imagine some of you are hungry."
"We got just enough," Donnie spoke up, "We cooked some of those Dodo's before you came to us."
"I'd eat then," Ranger Olsen said, "You're going to need your strength."
The group decided to do so, each taking the time to ration out their food. "Listen. Keep an eye out for anything that might try to attack," Ranger Olsen continued as he threw his cryopod out to reveal his Pteranodon, "I'm going to scout ahead at the peninsula. It's not usually teeming with carnivores, but you never know. Okay? When you feel like y'all can continue, do so. Ranger Duncan and his Sarcos should be over that way."
There were a few nods. The Ranger then got on the saddle and the Pteranodon jumped up in the air and flapped its wings before flying West, getting higher and higher before finding its height. Pretty soon, it had become a tiny dot.
Blue Arm: Island – South Coast
Clyde was standing near the top of the cliff in the peninsula bay. He and a few of the others in their group had travelled up it to see if they could get a better view. A better view was a loose term. To get there, they had to scale some steep terrain and venture into the edge of the jungle. The view from the cliff was amazing and it was probably safer than being on the beach or bay. He could see everyone down below taking care of menial tasks. There were a few friendly waves from those below. Clyde or his group hadn't found anything notable up there, just the occasional Dodo and spitter. Those were easy to kill. The Dodo's were used for meats. The Spitting dinosaurs were used for their hide. Clyde had to admit, without making a tanning rack or something, the hide couldn't be used for much. They needed to make one because they had all kinds of hide from the spitters. There wasn't a name for them that he knew of.
Shortly after their little venture, they went back down to the beach. Tirelessly, the group had been working on gathering resources and materials for shelters and weaponry. Clyde had started crafting a bow before he went on the sightseeing trek. He picked up right where he left off. He was an excellent marksman, favoring a bow for hunting. It was no compound bow, but it'd get the job done when he was finished. The night before, they slept relatively peaceful with no interruptions from the wildlife. It still didn't sit well with Clyde that they had no real weaponry save some spears and rocks. But when he finished his bow, he'd have some kind of ranged weapon.
"Hey guys look at this!" Someone shouted. It was Austin Lilly, Clyde's nephew. He had just turned twenty-one and was somewhat naïve of the world when it actually made sense. A lot of the group had stopped to look at what he was talking about. In front of them was a small dinosaur around a foot and a half tall with a skinny body and three feathers atop its head. Its entire head was angular, almost wedge-like with dark beady little eyes. Its limbs were tiny, and it had three appendages on its hand. He didn't know much about dinosaurs, but Clyde knew a carnivore when he saw one; and this was a carnivore. Not a dangerous looking one, but one no doubt. The little dinosaur didn't look like much, but he knew that looks could be deceiving. It made a chirping sound before tilting its head, blinking, then running back into the forest.
"What kind of dinosaur was that?" Someone asked.
"Not sure," Another spoke, "But next time it comes over this way, we need to scare it off. I doubt it's got much meat to it. Probably a scavenger."
He had a point there. That thing was small. It was probably a scavenger, like vultures or buzzards. The large group went back to working on what they were doing. He could see two of his family members who were his uncle and uncle's son, Uncle Mike and Brodie. They were busy creating fish nets with some of the plant fibers they had been collecting. Mike used to be a game warden and Brodie was the captain of his own Yacht. Both were avid fishermen as well.
"I don't like sitting around here." Clyde heard his wife say, "Peyton's out there somewhere." Her name was Amanda. She was a blonde, with green eyes, tall, and skinny with a thick southern belle accent.
"I don't either," Clyde replied, "But we aren't the only ones in this situation. I'm gonna try and see if we can go looking for anyone who was with us before we wound up here." There was a distant roar as if to emphasize his words. "The best thing we can do is to stay busy. Once we can feed everyone a bit better we might head out to start finding them."
"Enjoy the view up there?" She asked.
Yeah," Clyde replied, "It looked pretty neat. Peyton would love to see everything from up there. There were a couple Dodo's and those spitters too. But nothin' worth mentioning."
A screech had originated from the tip of the peninsula coming from the East. Clyde and the group looked over to see a flying reptile looking creature. It had a long beak and crest, with leathery wings. It was a greenish color. But that wasn't the only thing getting their attention. On the back of the creature, was a human! The entire group got in a defensive position readying their spears incase the rider was hostile. Who the hell rides a dinosaur? The reptile came to a stop in midair over the water, flapping its wings at an increased pace to stay in a singular position.
"So there are more of you…." Clyde heard the man say, "Well hell."
"Who are you?" Uncle Fred asked.
"I'm Ranger Olsen," The man replied, "You just got here yesterday morning correct?"
"How do you know?" Fred asked over some murmurs.
"Because there's about three more large groups similar to yours that came here yesterday," Olsen responded, "One group is on their way towards this direction going to the Red Obelisk…I think you're all related….? And one of the other rangers have found all the kids in your group."
There were many questions that began to arise. "Hold on everyone!" The ranger said over them, "Let me explain. We're trying to get you all together before there are any casualties. In order to do that, I need to let the others know there's one more group added to our original plans. Here. Let me land my bird."
Bird? That thing didn't look like a bird to Clyde. Maybe it was a nickname for it or something. But he was relieved that his daughter had been found. He and his wife hugged in relief. This man had some explaining to do. The man landed the bird looking at the group that converged on him. "Like I said, we're trying to reunite every one in your group. By the way, is there anyone y'all know named Eric Parker or Paul Parker? Those were the two names I remember most in the group East."
"Yeah!" Clyde spoke up, "That's my niece's husband and in-laws."
"Okay good." Ranger Olsen said, "That confirms it. I'm pretty everyone that washed up on the island is part of the same family. That's strange because that normally doesn't happen. At least, not in this large quantity."
"People wash up here all the time?"
"Every month or so," Ranger Olsen said, "The casualty rate is pretty high and usually we arrive too late for most wash ups. I'm going to have to call in some more support. I think the amount of Wards I have now has just doubled, if not increased more. Busy day, busy day. Everyone. I've got to contact the others to let them know we've got another group to watch out for."
There were a few objections. "Everyone calm down!" Clyde voiced his opinion, "We don't know nothin' about this place! This guy seems to be trying to help. Let's let him work. We've got a whole lotta family to get back in touch with."
Everyone quieted down to allow the Ranger to use his Radio. "This is Ranger Olsen," He said, "Everybody read loud and clear?"
"This is Ranger Duncan. I hear ya loud and clear R-O," A man said, "Over."
"This is Ranger Carly," A female said, "Over."
"This is Ranger N," A male said, "Over."
"This is Ranger Mitchell," A male spoke, "Over."
"I found another group from the same family," Ranger Olsen spoke back, "We may need more transport. This group is on the Footpaw Peninsula. Do we have a Galleon nearby? Over."
"This is Ranger Maximus," Another voice spoke, "You need a Galleon? Over."
"Affirmative," Ranger Olsen said, "Are you nearby? Over."
"Yes," The voice on the other end said, "Had to kill a Leed though. Fucker ruined me taming a Meg. Over."
"You've got the worst luck taming sharks," Ranger Carly spoke, Over."
"In his defense," Ranger Mitchell spoke, "We all do. The only semi-aquatic tame we can manage are the swamp tames. Over."
"If there Leeds weren't a thing we'd be set," Ranger Maximus spoke, "Anyways, where do you need the Galleon? Over."
"Probably at my location first," Ranger Duncan spoke, That way I can ferry them out to the Galleon. From there, you can probably make it to Red Ob in two or three trips. Over."
"Sounds like a plan," Ranger Maximus spoke, "Alright give me a few. I'm coming from the East. Over."
"We'll head to the tip of the peninsula," Ranger Olsen spoke, "And be prepared to board when we can. Over."
"Copy that." Ranger Maximus replied, "Over."
"This is Ranger Abby," "Another female said over the radio, "I've checked the Eastern and Northern washup zones. No sign of any other washups. Over."
"This is Ranger Jay," A man said over the radio, "There's someone in the North. I saw two beacons go down and someone walking into the jungle towards the hidden Oasis. The only problem is, he ran right into an Allo hunt. I couldn't spot him. The Allo's killed a lot of Galli's in there. I'm not sure if he made it out. Over."
"Damn." Ranger Carly said, "Hope he made it out."
"I'll keep looking," Ranger Jay replied, "Ranger Jay out. Over."
Ranger Olsen put his radio away. "Okay, we might want to head to the tip of the Peninsula," He spoke, "we'll be waiting a while, but the Galleon will cut your journey in half."
"Where exactly are we going?" My cousin Brian said, "What's this Red Obe?"
"That tower over there," Ranger Olsen responded, "The Red Obelisk is where we're going to have everyone meet. It's the safest Obelisk that's close by." He pointed at the Red Obelisk. "That's the tower right there." The group glanced at it.
"That thing can't be manmade." Amanda spoke, "It looks alien."
"It's not," The man said, "It's manmade, but that's going to be hard to explain. Let's just say it's built by a machine that builds Terraformed Stations. Anyways, shall we?"
The group had started packing up everything they could before heading to the tip of the peninsula. They noticed that on the other side of the water that separated the peninsula and the eastern land, was a small pontoon boat and a crowd of people on the shoreline. There was a large wooden sailing vessel. That was definitely, a Galleon. He, like many, probably hadn't even seen a Galleon in real life, let alone been on one. He was kind of amused by Brodie's antics of learning how the ship sailed. The crew seemed like mindless people all wearing striped cotton shirts, shorts, and leather boots. It took them almost an hour to get loaded up before the Galleon sailed around the distant landmass Southwest, which Ranger Olsen told them that it was called Cragg's Island. Soon, Clyde and his family would be reunited with the others. He just hoped everyone was alive and well.
Blue Arm: Island – Northwest Coast
Peyton Walker wasn't known for her patience. They had waited an hour or so for a woman named Ranger Carly to show up. Peyton was ready to get back to her mom and dad. The kids couldn't really go far as the wolves would kite them back to the group. They were protecting them, but it felt like a prison; at least to Peyton. At least there was a wolf to keep her company. The female Direwolf that Peyton had befriended wanted to play. Peyton didn't mind. She'd tackle the Direwolf playfully and the big pile of fluff would proceed to allow her to lay on her side. Peyton knew that if this wolf was serious, she wouldn't have even made her budge. Ranger N looked at her with his arms folded.
"Does she have a name?" Peyton asked rubbing her side.
"No," The man said crouching down, "When you have a whole pack of fifty plus of them, naming all of them becomes difficult. What would you name her?"
"Codi!" Peyton said immediately.
"You've been thinking about this for a minute, haven't you?" Ranger N spoke.
Ranger N let out a hefty laugh. There was an eagle-like screech. "She's here." Ranger N said looking over at the frozen Tundra area. A massive gray bird of prey glided down. It was large, its head resembling a Turkey Vulture's but with much more feathers on its head. Its plumage was gray with a dark head and feet. The wing tips were just as dark. The bird wasn't the only thing in the air. Behind it, was a flock of small flying reptiles with bulky head. There were about twenty or so of them.
The other kids seemed to panic a little bit. "What kind of birds are those?" Lillian asked Peyton running to her in fear.
"I don't know." Peyton replied.
"The one Ranger Carly is riding is called an Argentavis," Ranger N spoke up, "For short you can call them Argy's. The flock of smaller reptiles are called Dimorphodons; or Dimorph's. As they got closer, the other kids started to panic and huddle up together. Ranger N looked at them. "It's okay everyone they're not going to hurt you. They're going to protect you."
It didn't seem to do much good in Peyton's eyes. She wasn't scared. She was a brave person. But she still wanted her parents. It was all the other kids who seemed to be scared. Nate's niece and nephew Dixie held Charlie who seemed to cry and another girl named Kloe who was somehow related to them.
The Argentavis landed outside the circle of wolves and the flock of Dimorphodons flew around the area in circles like a protective shield. "Good morning y'all." She said dismounting the bird. The bird clicked its massive beak. Ranger Carly wore fur clothing with a pair of flight goggles as well as a backpack.
"Ranger Carly," Ranger N said, "Good to see you. These kids are getting restless."
"I figured," Carly said nodding, "The quicker we get them to their parents, the better off they'll be. Better do this organized then." Ranger N agreed. "Alright kids, I'm about to do a magic trick. Wanna see?" That seemed to get everyone's attention. Even Peyton was curious. "Okay. There's about to be a big friendly dinosaur that appears. It won't hurt you and it wants you to ride it. When it's full, I'll make another one appear. These guys are the friendliest dinosaur out here. Okay?"
There were a few answers and nods. It was like it normally was to Peyton. Jumbled up and unable to tell what everyone said. Peyton was wanting to see what this magic trick was as she was skeptical.
"Okay," Ranger Carly said, "Watch this!" She threw some kind of capsule and in a blue flash something big appeared.
There were a bunch of "oohs" and "wows" from the other kids. In front of them appeared a long neck dinosaur whose neck was long, but its tail was even longer. It had four legs like most animals but was bulky with a big underbelly. Its tail was like a whip and its head had a bulky skull that looked like someone had smashed the sides of its head together. It had a short maw and teeth. In Peyton's opinion it looked derpy. There was a large saddle on its back with five seats on each side and a middle open area to put supplies. There was a seat in the front where the reins were. Each seat had a seatbelt. On either side was a small walkway with a rolled-up rope ladder. Peyton guessed it was so because it would be easier to get onto seats on the dinosaur.
"Alright listen up kids," Ranger N said, "We need you all to get on a one of these Diplo's. Eleven per dinosaur. We'll help you out." It took forever for them to get the first eleven kids boarded with the little supplies that the Rangers could give them. But once they did, the Diplo was moved forward with two wolves guarding it. Afterwards, Ranger Carly made another appear, and the process repeated until there were no children, but Peyton left. She was the oldest out of the kids. She had to promise Lillian that she'd be okay riding the big "longneck dinosaur." Peyton was the only one who didn't have a ride at the moment.
"What about me?" Peyton asked looking at the large herd of occupied Diplodocus'?"
"You ever rode a horse before kid?" Carly asked her.
"Yeah a few times," Peyton said.
"Why don't you ride Codi?" Ranger N asked.
"The wolf?" Peyton asked.
"Well yeah," Ranger N spoke, "I ride Direwolves all the time. In fact. I'm going to ride the pack's Alpha."
"So I guess there was no need to bring a Gallimimus," Ranger Carly said, "They don't really get used much by us."
"Sorry," Ranger N said shrugging, "Didn't think Peyton and Codi would take to each other this much."
"Codi?" Ranger Carly asked, "The wolf? Since when did you start naming your wolves?"
"I didn't name them," He replied, "She named it." Ranger N changed the subject, "Anyways, we've got to get moving before dark."
"Agreed," Carly spoke while getting on her Argentavis, "I'll scout ahead and have the Dimorphs drone around the herd."
"Sounds like a plan," Ranger N said as Carly and her Argentavis took to the sky.
"What did she mean by Droning?" Peyton asked as Codi came walking up.
"It's something she trains all our fliers to do," Ranger N said, "Droning is keeping near the herd in the air but not disrupting their movement. They fly circles around the herd and call out any threats they see. If we tell them to be aggressive, they'll all swarm the threat if the wolves don't go after it."
"Come on now Peyton," Ranger N spoke, "Get on Codi's back." Codi laid down as if trying to encourage her. She let out a small whine too.
"Alright already," Peyton said huffing. Ranger N chuckled.
"You've got to hold onto her fur now," Ranger N said, "Don't worry about pulling on her. She won't feel it much. Just don't go trying to yank any fur out now."
"Okay," Peyton said nervously as she swung her leg over. The wolf was patient, as if she knew it would be tough for the little girl. Peyton latched onto some of the fur on the Direwolf's back near the nap of her neck. Peyton felt something though. It felt weird. "What is that?"
"What is what?" Ranger N asked getting on his Direwolf.
"I feel different."
"You feel a connection almost?" Ranger N asked. She nodded. "That's normal. It's weird, but it helps humans control what they're mounted on as far as riding them and telling them to attack. You still have to train them though. Codi is trained in riding, attacking, and jumping."
Peyton barely nudged her hands forward into Codi for the wolf to move forward. It wasn't like riding a horse. It was much more simpler. But that didn't make her comfortable with running just yet.
"Ranger N," Peyton heard over the radio, "Everything looks clear down the coast. Recommend getting a move on now. Over."
"Roger that," Ranger N said into his radio," We're about to move out. Over." He put it back in his pouch before having the Alpha walk towards Peyton. "Sorry Pey. Looks like you're going to get a crash course in Direwolf-back riding."
Peyton froze up slightly. "I don't know if I can do this."
"You can," Ranger N said, "I believe in you. You just got to have the will to do so. You wanna see your mom and dad right?"
"Okay then," Ranger N said nodding, "Let's move then." They started out slow, both moving towards the front of the herd. The closer they got to the front, the more comfortable Peyton got with riding Codi. When the Diplos started to move behind them, it generated some noise. Fourteen big dinosaurs, several Direwolves, and a flock of little noisy Dimorphs could possibly attract attention of bigger predators.
It wasn't until the Diplo's started running did Peyton realize how fast they were. She didn't think anything that big could keep up with the direwolves. She also felt it easier to ride Codi while the wolf was running. Codi herself avoided obstacles, and she followed in line with the Alpha. Peyton looked back to see the Diplo's doing the same thing. She'd have to ask Ranger N about that. She could hear some of the kids laughing over the ground shaking and massive footsteps. She felt at ease now. It wouldn't be long until she and the other kids would find their family.
Brennan Parker –
Blue Arm: Southern Shores
So many emotions were coursing through her right now. She and her family had washed up on this island with Dinosaurs all over the place. She was on board of an old Galleon. A Galleon! A sailboat that wasn't used much in their time. She looked over at Eric and Kayla; her cousin and his wife. The two were hopeful of finding their daughter, who seemed to be on her way to the Red tower with a large group of kids. She looked longingly at them, happy that their family was going to be restored. In fact, she was just glad everyone was okay. Her friends made it and were there with her and her family. Everything was working out so far. Her mom and dad were there, her brother and his wife were there. Hopefully their son would be with the other children. It seemed everyone important in her life had made it. There was still one name up in the air that she wasn't sure about. Nate Walker; her crush and was so close to starting a relationship with. She couldn't help but worry about him.
She leaned against the railing of the Galleon on the starboard side staring at the island. The worry was apparent on her face. "Sweetie what's wrong?" She heard her mom say, "You've been quiet."
"I-" She began. How do you explain to your mom that you're stressed, but happy that your family is all safe, but your future boyfriend is out there somewhere on this island and you hope he's okay? She sighed. "Mom."
"I-," She said, "I met someone."
"Honey that's great!" Her mom said, "But….when we figure out a way to get out of here…..I'd love to meet him."
"That's the thing mom," Brennan spoke, "He's…..on this island somewhere. I hope he's okay and with his family."
"Ooh," Her mom said interested, "Is he handsome?"
"Mom stop!" Brennan said almost embarrassed, "But yes. He is."
"Well tell me about him," Her mom said, "Where did you meet him?"
"At the festival," She said, "He's really sweet. He bought me a drink. But I don't think he realized what it implied."
"What do you mean?"
"I think he was just being nice." She said, "Because I gave him a drink that I was passing to everyone. At first, I thought he wasn't interested. Turns out he's shy. And he's not used to people."
"Oh!" Her mother said, "So does he know how you feel?"
"Well…." Brennan replied, "We got to talking right before we all were brought here. He wanted to try and start something between us. But…. we were pulled up into the sky."
Her mother looked at her with a heartbroken expression. "I see," She said, "Well I hope we find him. He's probably with one of the other groups."
"I hope so," Brennan spoke rubbing her arms. She wished that she could get out of the bikini and into some real clothes. If she didn't have the white shirt on, it'd be worse. She could not wait to meet up with Nate again….