After what seemed like hours, David and Karl made it to the shallows of the island, dropping exhaustedly to their knees in the warm water. The storm had dissipated, revealing a sunny tropical island in front of them.
"How is she?" Karl asked, dragging himself over to where David held Ariana's face out of the water. She was still breathing, but blood still trickled from the wound on the right side of her forehead. Karl pulled his sister into his arms so her could inspect her head. He tried shaking her but she didn't stir.
"We need to find a doctor. Then call the coast guard or something, get a search party out."
"You just LEFT him!" David said, standing up.
"I had to! I would have drowned. Maybe he got out and he made it to shore too. For now, we have to get to-"
"K-Karl?" Ariana's weak voice came from Karl's arms.
"Hey Air-head. How do you feel?" Karl asked, brushing a piece of hair from her wet cheek.
"Like I lost a round with a plane and drank the ocean." She said weakly, coughing up some water.
"Well, we're going to get you some help. Here, lean on me." Karl said, standing and pulling her up with him. She swayed and almost tipped back into the water, but David grabbed her arm and steadied her.
"Wait. Where's Dad?" Ariana asked as they began trudging to the beach. "Isn't he here!?" She looked around, eyes pooling with tears.
"Ari, he didn't make it." David said, taking her other arm and continuing to help get to shore.
"Don't worry about it right now. Lean your head on my shoulder and just keep going." Karl said. Ariana's head lolled back as they dragged her along.
They made it safely to shore and after a brief debate and rest, decided to keep going until they found civilization. Karl put his sister on his back and led the way from the beach up into deserted grasslands.
"We've been walking for hours..." David complained as they moved into rocky terrain. "Where are all the people?"
"I don't know, Davey. Just keep walking." Karl panted. Ariana's head lolled on his shoulder. She'd passed back out.
They crested a ridge and came upon a massive outcrop carved in the shape of something that looked half dragon-half lizard.
"What the hell is that?" David asked.
"I dunno," Karl replied as he leaned down and dropped Ariana into a sitting position so he could sit down himself. His eyebrows creased with worry as her head flopped to the side. "but we can't stay here long. She's getting worse." He felt her forehead. "She's burning."
"I think-" David was cut off when a sudden explosion threw him to the ground.
"What the hell?!" Came Karl's voice through the smoke. David coughed.
"Sorry! Sorry!" Came a new voice nearby. The smoke cleared to reveal an older man hobbling towards them. "Expedition for sunstones, I'm under the Volcaneum council, I have the paperwork-" He noticed the three sitting on the ground.
"Well well well. What have we here?" He peered through thick spectacles. "Looks like your friend isn't doing so well, eh?"
"I'm Karl, this is my brother David, my sister Ariana." Karl said, standing up and walking over to the strange man.
"Crabbe, Cyrus Crabbe, I'm a scientist. Well, a collector too. I have a shop in Waterfall City." He pulled a business card out of his grungy coat.
"Great," Karl said, taking the card, "hey listen, can I use your cell phone? I need to make a-"
"A what?" Crabbe cut him off. Karl stepped back, confused.
"You know... to call someone with? Where can we find a phone?" David picked his way over.
"You'll want a postal bird for that, but I'm not sure what good it will do. You boys aren't from around here, are you?" Crabbe looked them both up and down then his gaze flicked to Ariana, still unconscious by the outcrop.
"I'll take you to a village where you can catch a bus to Waterfall City. I think your questions can be answered there." Crabbe said.
"Wait, where are we?" David asked.
"Dinotopia, my boy. This is Dinotopia." Crabbe limped his way over to Ari and stooped over to check her forehead.
"Dinotopia?" David said quietly to Karl. "I've never heard of-"
"Hey, don't touch her." Karl said, taking a few steps towards Crabbe, who had begun checking for a pulse with one hand while examining Ariana's head wound with the other.
"Back down, big brother, I'm only having meself a looksie." Crabbe said, dropping Ariana's arm, which fell limply into her lap. "Now, I'm no doctor, but I reckon your sister won't last the night unless you get to a healer, so let's get on the road." He began stumping off. Karl shot a look at David then picked Ariana back up and began trudging along after Crabbe. David brought up the rear.
After a short walk, the motley herd emerged from the jungle onto a road. Through the smoke and bustle, a modest village could be seen just up the road.
"Here we are," Crabbe said, leading the way through the people thronging about."you'll want to catch a bus, but not before ye take your sister to a healer, eh?" He pointed with his cane at a sign up ahead marked with strange arrows. "That'll do, boys. I'll be takin' my leave now. You'll want a bus for Waterfall City once you're done with the healer, but I suspect that the next bus will be at dawn."
"Waterfall City?" David asked.
"Any questions'll be answered there. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to catch the bus to Volcaneum. Have to talk to the council about my findings today."
"Findings?" David asked.
Crabbe made an explosive motion with his hands and David nodded in understanding. Crabbed raised his eyebrows, then hobbled off. David let out a heavy sigh, then turned to the sign Crabbe had indicated before.
They had just started over when a loud roar sounded from the other side of the marketplace.
"What the hell was that?" Karl asked David. A scream pierced the air and several people began running towards them. Another roar. Then David's jaw dropped clear to the ground.
A ten foot dinosaur was stampeding through the marketplace, mace-like tail smashing everything that stood in its way.
"That's a dinosaur!" Karl shouted, barely heard over the din.
As they watched, everyone cleared away from the rampaging Ankylosaurus except for one young woman who walked determinedly up to the bellowing animal.
"What's she doing?!" David said. "She's going to get herself killed!"
The boys watched as the woman held out her hand to the dinosaur. Much to everyone's surprise, the animal stopped bellowing almost instantly and put its large, scaly head up to her palm.
"What's wrong..." She cooed to the large reptile. It growled and opened its mouth, wagging his head back and forth. Tentatively, the woman reached her hand inside, grasping something. She tugged, hard, and the ankylosaurus whined. She fell backwards, a large lumpy object grasped in her hand. The dinosaur roared in pain, shaking its head.
"Toothache!" The woman declared, holding up what must have been the dinosaur's tooth. Behind her, the ankylosaurus was beginning to calm down, its source of agitation gone.
"Wow..." David breathed. "How did she even know?"
"That's a dinosaur!" Karl exclaimed again. David slapped his shoulder and pointed. Slowly, the boys took in their surroundings.
The entire town was filled with dinosaurs.