"No." Cera said. Her voice simple and sharp. As she turned to walk away, Pterano spoke up again.
"No? Did you not hear me? The Mysterious Beyond is a very dangerous place. You won't make it out here on your own. Not without my help." Pterano said.
"I don't want your help. We'll be fine." Cera snapped.
Pterano swooped up into the air and hovered right over Cera's head, even as she continued walking. "Come now, let's not let our shared history cloud you judgment now. After all, if I hadn't intervened you would be food for a pack of Fast Biters right now."
"And I am grateful for that. Now, please excuse us. We have a long way to go." Cera continued on past Pterano. The pterosaur folded his wings and landed softly on a small rock jutting from the ground.
"Very well. Although I should at least warn you. Those Fast Biters? They are the least of your problems out here." Pterano gestured with his wings. "As of late, it has gotten worse. Entire herds of dinosaurs, specifically longnecks have been killed. A few times some survive, but more than once herds of at least twelve or more have died. Killed by a pair of sharpteeth."
"Lucky for us, there are no longnecks with us right now." Cera dryly retorted.
"I shall at the very least tell you what these sharpteeth look like, so that you may keep an eye out for them." Pterano turned from Cera and motioned to Petrie. "My dear nephew. I'm sorry your friend is not interested in my help." Cera rolled her eyes. "There are two of them. The first is very old. But also very large and very strong. The strongest sharptooth I have ever witnessed. He is dark green and keeps his right eye clamped shut almost all the time." Pterano ran his fingers lightly over his right eye for emphasis.
Cera stopped in her tracks. "Wait," she faced Pterano again, "you've seen that sharptooth?"
"So in the beginning you didn't want my help, but once I mention one carnivore you instantly turn around. How quaint." Pterano mocked.
"Shut up." She snapped. "You mentioned there was another sharptooth. Not just the old one."
"Yes. One much younger, but nearly as powerful. And this one was deep purple instead of green." Pterano explained.
"This purple sharptooth," Cera said, "how much younger would you say he was? Was he about our age?"
Pterano shrugged. "I cannot say for certain. It quite likely that that one might even be younger."
Cera sighed and shook her head. "Cera," Ducky spoke up, still nursing her injured leg. "You don't think it might be Chomper?"
"He did disappear about the same time Littlefoot left with Doc. And then Sharptooth left soon after…" Cera said.
"But wouldn't Chomper just go back to his parents? Which Red Claw gone, there would be no more reason to live in Great Valley." Petrie said.
"I don't know." Cera said. "I don't want to think that Chomper would team up with the Sharptooth. But even so, we need to find Littlefoot. Pterano, I don't suppose you've seen a pair of longnecks. One also old and the other young?"
Pterano shook his head. "I can't say I have. But I do know the migration routes of a few herds. I can lead you to them if you aren't too opposed."
Cera rolled her eyes. "Fine." She said grinding her teeth. "Lead the way."
Littlefoot plodded along. One footstep after the other. His head hanging low, and tail dragging behind him. How much farther would he go? Where was he even going? He had told Ali he was headed to the Longneck Rock, but what was the point? Doc was now dead. Littlefoot was alone.
This was the first time he had truly been alone since his mother died. The fact that both times were for the same reason did not escape him. His mother was killed by Sharptooth, and now Sharptooth has killed Doc.
His heart sank to his feet. Never before did he feel so weak. So tired. So empty. And so alone. Footstep after footstep, mile after mile, he walked. Dark-grey clouds moved in, casting shadows over the land. The sky grew dark and thunder rumbled in the distance. Chances were good that Sky Water was on its way. Littlefoot hardly noticed. "When you're on your own, you have to be the grown-up." He whispered to himself. "Cause there's no one there to tell you what to do."
He reached the top of a small hill. Just as he started down the other side, his front foot caught on a rock and he fell forward. His head slammed hard against the ground. Littlefoot winced and groaned. He shook his head back and forth to work out the dizziness. Looking around at the rock formations that lay before him, he thought he could almost see Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike in them. "And I miss my friends when daylight ends. And there's no one else to care for you." He muttered as he pushed himself back up. "It's kind of lonely when you're on your own."
Up ahead of him, only a short distance away, was the Longneck Rock.
The migrating herd continued on its way. Ali walked somewhere in the middle. She tried her best to stay away from the edges, for fear of any attacking predators. They had already run into too many of them on this journey. Ali's eyes were fixed on the ground as she walked.
Already she missed Littlefoot. She worried about him. When he'd left he was greatly upset and depressed. Did he have any plans whatsoever? What was at Longneck Rock for him to find? None of it made any sense to her. Why not just stay with the herd? In larger numbers he would be safer. Except that Sharptooth had no problem attacking a large number at once.
Ali sighed. Up ahead the sentry called out, "Herd approaching!" Off in the distance another herd of longnecks, this one made of various different species, came into view. There were some with long towering necks with long front legs and sloping backs, others that held their necks and tails almost horizontal, some that only reached Ali's shoulders, others and seemed to reach the clouds above. This herd was not like Ali's at all. This one was formed from many different wandering individuals while hers was made up of many generations of the same family.
The two herds converged and the leaders stepped forwards. While this other herd was made of many different longnecks, the leader was the same kind as Ali's herd. An older male of similar coloration to Littlefoot, Ali noticed. Next to the leader stood a tall, green, longneck with front legs longer than his back legs, giving his back a slope down to his tail and a neck that stood almost vertical.
"Hello, there." The other herd's leader said. "My name is Bron. I don't believe I've met you before."
"You're beliefs would be correct." The leader of Ali's herd said. "We are on a migration route to the Great Valley. We unfortunately lost our previous leader and others of our herd to a sharptooth attack."
Bron's winced and shook his head. "I'm sorry to hear that. I myself have felt the sting of losing a loved one to a predator. I hope to never feel it again. But if you are heading to the Great Valley, my herd and I would be more than willing to escort you. We were on our way, ourselves. My son lives there and I was planning on visiting with him."
"We would be very grateful, thank you." Ali's leader replied.
Beneath Longneck Rock, Littlefoot slept. Sky Water pelted the ground in large droplets turning the dirt to mud and soaking the earth. A fierce wind blew, and Littlefoot shivered.
"Hey, kid." A voice on he wind said to him. Littlefoot twitched in his sleep. In his Sleep Stories, he heard the same voice. The voice of Doc. "Shouldn't you be with your little pals?"
Littlefoot's eyes snapped open and he jolted up from his sleep. "Doc!" He shouted. But of course Doc was gone. The storm had subsided to a light drizzle by now. He folded his legs back underneath his body and rested his head over his front feet. Still he was tired. Tired of running, tired to being alone.
A young dinosaur screamed our of fear in the distance. Littlefoot turned in the direction it had come. "Mother! Help!" The young dinosaur shouted. Another sound quickly followed. The roars and growls of carnivores.
Littlefoot got back to his feet, a look of grim determination on his face. No more. No child should be separated from their mother because of a sharptooth, not while he could help it!
He took off as fast as his legs could carry him. He followed the sounds of the attacking predators and soon found them. A pack of Fast-Biters had surrounded a mother Dome-Head and her young son. They snapped at her, snarled and growled. Slashed their claws in the air to intimidate her.
The mother Dome-Head held her son close, refusing to let him go. She mock-charged her attackers, hoping to make them scatter. They held their ground, some even advanced. One behind her jumped forward and snapped at her tail. She spun around and tried to head butt him, but the Fast-Biter was too quick and leapt away. Another lunged forward and slashed at her feet, making her jump. She was already growing tired, which was exactly what they wanted. Soon they would move in for the kill, and the mother would had no strength left to fight.
Littlefoot would not let this stand. He lifted his massive body up and stood on only his back legs. He then brought his whole weight down and slammed his front feet to the ground. The Earth shook from the impact, causing the other dinosaurs to stumble. "Hey!" Littlefoot shouted. "You want to take them, you'll have to go through me first!"
The Fast-Biters hissed and snarled. A full grown longneck would certainly be a better prize than two Dome-Heads. They moved away from their previous target and came to surround Littlefoot. Their claws clicked and tails swayed behind them, each poised to attack at any moment. Littlefoot watched them all intently. From what he knew about Fast-Biters, it would be most likely that one of those behind him would try to attack first.
He was not wrong. The one directly behind charged and leapt, its huge toe claw prepared to slice flesh. Littlefoot shifted his weight and swung his tail. He caught the Fast-Biter in mid air, sending the predator crashing to the ground.
It got up in a daze, shook its head and growled at Littlefoot. One strike would not be enough to make them leave. Littlefoot would need to use everything Doc taught him to win this fight.
The Fast-Biters continued to charge him. Some to act as distractions, others to inflict damage. Littlefoot knew which were which. He knocked each away with a swing from his powerful tail, the predators never even landed a scratch. Eventually, they gave up and left, tired and beaten.
Littlefoot watched as they ran. A smile formed across his face, he was filled with pride. He had done that. Using what Doc taught him, he chased them away. The mother Dome-Head came up to him. "Thank you, Mr. Longneck. I don't know what I would've done if you hadn't shown up."
"It was my pleasure." Littlefoot said. He was older, stronger now. He wasn't the weak little kid he used to be when his mother was taken. Now, he didn't have to be afraid. Now, he possibly could avenge his mother's death, along with his grandmother's and Doc's. Now, he knew he was strong enough to face Sharptooth. And he could win.
(A/N: This too way too damn long to update. I won't let it happen again.)