All right, time to start my first real fanfic! Before we start, there are some things I must go over.

One, this story is based off of the Fossil Fighters: Champions storyline, but with my own peculiar twists.

Two, this fanfic was partially inspired by ShayminMarx's "Fossil Fighters: The Champions" story, so a big thanks to you.

Finally, I do not own Fossil Fighters - that honor goes to Nintendo and Red Entertainment.

Enjoy!

It was midnight on the Caliosteo Islands. Green Ribular Island's trees swayed gently in the soft breeze that had begun to blow. Cold Ilium Island was as still and silent as the grave. But over barren Cranial Isle, something flashed through the starry sky over the city.

If anyone were on the streets at that time of night, and possessed good enough vision to see what the disturbance was, they would have seen a majestic flying beast soaring at impossible speeds over the island. It rapidly reached the coast, occasionally flapping as if in a panic.

"Hurry!" urged the figure on its back. "We must get away from Cranial City with all speed!" The creature, a Vivosaur called Nycto Ace, was beginning to get annoyed. She was as terrified as her master was, but his constant nagging was growing tiresome.

I'm going as fast as I can, thank you very much! she snapped. The figure instantly grew guilty. "Sorry, friend," he apologized. "I never doubted you."

The young boy, sixteen years old, was named – well, no one knew his name. He went by the name of Cotton, short for Cottonmouth25, which was the Internet name he had given himself. He was unusual for a Fossil Fighter in many ways.

For one, it was odd that the Champion of the Caliosteo Cup would be fleeing from the islands that he had called home for the past week. For another, he had wings.

When he had just been born, he had been kidnapped by a race of alien people called Dinaurians. Although most of the Dinaurians had agreed to live in peace with humans about three years prior, some still wanted to exterminate them and replace them with their own species. This rogue group, led by a warrior named Raptin, stole five human infants, planning to tamper with their DNA and turn them into Dinaurian chicks. If successful, they would do the same to every human on Earth.

However, it was far from successful. Four human children died in the experiment. The other lived, but had acquired pterosaur-like wings and talons. Disgusted with their failure, the rogue Dinaurians put him back on Earth and gave up their dreams of repopulating the planet.

Cotton had grown up a freak in the eyes of his fellow humans. He had never been loved, or even liked, meaning that he had been lonely his entire life. Only when he entered the Caliosteo Cup just a week ago, and won magnificently, was he admired. It had been glorious, and for someone who had never experienced such a thing, it was overwhelming.

However, a meeting with the owner of the fossil park, Joe Wildwest, had become a disaster. Cotton, horrified at what he had learned, fled with the help of his closest friend, Nycto Ace. And now, he had no idea where they were going. He only knew that they were flying away.

Nycto Ace spoke up again. I'm getting tired, she panted, and her wingbeats slowed slightly. We have to rest. Cotton nodded silently and scanned the ocean below for any sign of land. After a minute, he found one – BonechipIsland appeared in the distance.

"There!" he called out over the wind. "Just a few kilometers more!" The Vivosaur took one look at the distant speck of land and shuddered. It's the rumored base of the BareBones Brigade! We can't land! she screeched indignantly.

Cotton sighed and responded, "It's our only hope. We can't keep flying – who knows how much farther we'll have to fly in order to find safe land!" Nycto Ace gave him a skeptical look over her shoulder, then dissolved back into a Dino Medal.

Catching the small disk-like object, Cotton beat his wings frantically, eager to make the last of the journey and end their flight away from the Caliosteo Islands. The closer he got, the more he thought about the BB Brigade and how they tried to ruin the Cup.

A sudden inspiration struck him, and he momentarily stopped midflight, hovering and deep in thought. He began to fly again, this time with more purpose. Cotton smiled in anticipation of what he was about to do.

Two members of the BB Brigade stood guard on either side of the entrance to their hideaway. They had been at their post for two hours, and nothing interesting had happened.

"Wouldn't it be great if someone came looking for a fight or something?" asked the first guard. "Then at least we'd get to do something."

His companion nodded agreement. "Yeah," he piled on. "I need some ac- wait! What's that?!"

The pair looked out at the sky and started. Something was flying toward the island! When it landed, they saw that it was a boy – a Fighter, from the look of him – that had wings sprouting from his back. What was this?

No matter. He was an intruder, and intruders needed to be captured for interrogation. Instantly, the two BB guards had each seized one of the newcomer's arms. Surprisingly, he made no move to fight back.

"There's no need to restrain me," he murmured. "I'm not looking for trouble." The BB Brigade members exchanged skeptical looks. "Then you've come to the wrong place, Fighter," the second one wisecracked, and they both laughed.

Then the newcomer said something that immediately shut them up: "I seek Don Boneyard."

Two Years Ago

Twelve-year-old Dina looked out over the landscape from her vantage point on the cliffside. She saw nothing but trees for miles around, and the greenery even covered the slopes of the mountains in the distance. She smiled contentedly at the serene view. However, something rudely pulled her out of her thoughts. Or rather, someone.

"HEY!" yelled the green-clothed boy from somewhere behind Dina. She reluctantly turned around to see him waving at her from the base of a slope that wound upward toward the top of the cliff. "Dina! You going to join me or what?" he hollered again.

Sighing, the girl leisurely walked over to him. "You move too slow!" the boy whined. Dina sighed yet again.

"Todd," she began. "I'm not deaf, you know. And I'm not lethargic either." Todd rolled his eyes. "Come ON, Dina! It's not every day you get to see a wild Vivosaur!" At this, Dina thought back to a month ago.

Both Todd and her had learned of the existence of mysterious prehistoric creatures called Vivosaurs, which were the revived forms of ancient beasts such as dinosaurs. When they researched more, they found out that there was an entire sport built around these awesome creatures – Fossil Battling. The two friends had rapidly become huge fans, and hoped to become Fossil Fighters themselves.

That was why they were at the base of this mountain, to find their own Vivosaurs and become champion Fighters. Dina grinned inwardly as she imagined all of the future victories that would be hers.

"Still daydreaming?" Todd smiled and waved a hand in front of her face. "Come on! I'll race you to the top!"

Pausing to consider, Dina suddenly said, "Go!" and began to sprint up the mountainside. "No fair!" yelled Todd, and he tore off after her.

The duo rapidly reached a plateau covered with trees and shrubs. The mountain extended much higher up, but Dina and Todd were exhausted, and stopped here to catch their breath.

"This is… high enough… don't you think?" panted Dina after a few seconds. Todd replied. "…Yeah. I need… to rest." He looked around a moment. "Hey! There aren't any Vivosaurs around!" he exclaimed angrily. "Someone must have lied to me!"

Dina shook her head, causing her orange hair to hit her in the face. "You honestly thought that they'd be walking around in plain sight?" she asked sarcastically. "Come on, if we look carefully, then we can –"

Suddenly, a loud crashing reached their ears. The trees in front of them shook, but not as much as Todd. "Wh-what was that?" he asked, rapidly starting to panic. "Shh!" Dina gestured for him to be quiet. "Whatever it is, it won't find us if we don't make any noise! Now stay here – I'm going to check it out."

Cautiously, Dina approached the bushes. But in a flash of white and green, she went tumbling backwards. Grunting due to the impact with the ground, she shook her head to clear it and instinctively looked up. Staring down at her was a reptilian face with bright, cat-like eyes.

The Vivosaur grinned, showing jaws full of razor-sharp teeth. Flexing its talons, it shrieked at her. Dina screamed and jumped backwards as its claw narrowly missed her.

Todd was already running away frantically, trying to put as much distance as he could between him and the carnivore. Being a slightly faster runner, Dina caught up to him in a heartbeat. They both heard the Vivosaur's frustrated growls as it chased them.

"What dinosaur is that?" Todd gasped to Dina, who knew much more about natural history than he did. "I think… it's a… Velociraptor!" she replied, huffing and puffing for breath. Then all of a sudden, it was in front of them. As one, they turned tail and ran in the other direction. But the Velociraptor was agile enough to block them almost instantly. No matter which direction they ran, it was quick to stop them.

"We're trapped!" Dina yelled. "We're snacks!" Todd squeaked. Feinting with its deadly claws, the predator herded them toward the edge of the cliff. Todd gulped as he felt the back of his feet touch empty air.

With a sudden burst of confidence, Dina shielded Todd from the Velociraptor, steadily coming closer. "WHAT are you doing?" Todd screeched. Before Dina could reply, a similar screech sounded in the distance.

Both of them looked beyond the cliff to see a yellow-and-blue thing streak toward them. Obviously, the sight drove Todd into an even greater state of fear. "Eeek!" he screamed. "We're going to be bird food!"

Dina rolled her eyes despite the situation. "It's a Pteranodon, actually. And – wait. Is there someone on its back?"

Indeed there was. A man wearing an outfit straight out of an old Western film extended a hand from the pterosaur's back. "Jump on, the two of ya!" he called.

Todd was frozen to the spot, but Dina immediately decided to act. Grabbing hold of Todd's hand, she dragged her protesting friend behind her and jumped off the cliff. The man gained a secure hold on her outstretched hand, and the three of them left the Velociraptor, shrieking its frustration, behind them.

Landing safely at the base of the mountain, the man's Pteranodon went back into its Dino Medal – a kind of medallion that allowed Fighters to easily transport their Vivosaurs. Sticking it into his pocket, he was about to say something, but was interrupted by Todd's gasp of surprise.

"OHMIGOSH!" he suddenly cried out. Dina started at the noise and said, annoyed, "What was that for?"

Ignoring her, Todd pointed a shaky finger at the man who had saved them. "Y-you're… Joe Wildwest! The famous Fossil Fighter!"

Joe nodded in acknowledgement. "Yep, that's me. Surprised you know my handle, kid."

"Are you joking?" Todd asked, now really excited. "Your Fossil Battle skills are legendary! You're the greatest Fighter EVER!"

Joe just smiled at him sheepishly, as if embarrassed by the sudden attention. Dina caught his eye and grinned, as if to say "He's always like this."

"My name's Dina," she spoke up. "And this is my friend Todd." Todd jumped up and down in an excited frenzy. "Pleased to meet you! Dina and I always cheer for you on TV, Joe! Oh my gosh, I can't believe I'm talking to you in person!" Joe looked even more embarrassed, and Dina quickly stepped in before her friend got out of hand.

"Thanks for saving us, ," she said gratefully. "If you and your Pteranodon hadn't appeared when you did –"

"Rawr-RAAAHHH!" came a familiar noise from higher up the mountain. Todd went from overly jubilant to extremely terrified in a heartbeat. "AHH!" he screamed, instinctively hiding behind Joe. "I-it's that V-Velociraptor!" Dina narrowed her eyes, squinting up at the mountain. She saw the shrubs rustling as the Vivosaur came nearer.

"That Velociraptor's madder than a sack of hornets," he remarked. Dina replied rhetorically, "Yeah, I kind of noticed…"

Joe turned to her and Todd. "We ain't got no other choice – we've gotta subdue the critter in a Fossil Battle!"

Joe suddenly looked at Todd. "What ya say, small fry? You up for it?" he asked. Todd simply stared, fear forgotten. "I'll even lend ya one of my Dino Medals. How's that?" Joe added.

Todd and Dina shared a quick glance, then Todd suddenly groaned and clutched his stomach. "OOH, my stomach!" he exclaimed in mock pain. "It must be that rotten banana I had this morning – yeah, that's it."

Dina slapped a hand to her face – Todd had a tendency to do this whenever he chickened out of something… One of these days, he's going to have to learn that you can't run away from everything, she thought privately.

"Hm, fair enough," muttered Joe, who then diverted his attention to Dina. "What about you? Think you can take out that Vivosaur in a Fossil Battle?"

She instantly stepped forward. "Of course I'll do it!" she said, both excited and determined. She caught Todd shooting her an envious look from the corner of her eye.

Joe dug his hands into his pockets and drew from them four Dino Medals. Each were a different color, and each had a picture of a different creature on them. Dina bent over Joe's outstretched hands and examined them while he explained, "There's Aeros, Toba, Tsintao, and Dimetro. They're all reliable types who'll grow quickly and you can depend on when you're in a bind!"

Dina quickly looked them all over. Hmmm…she considered. Then she rested her eyes upon Aeros, and something strange happened – she heard a voice in her head. It wasn't clear, but she could tell that it was calling out to her, telling her to choose the green Dino Medal.

"I choose Aeros!" Dina said confidently, picking up the little medallion. She instantly felt something strange; she felt – how should she put it? – a little more complete when she touched it, as if a patch had covered a hole in her heart that she hadn't even realized was there.

Joe, oblivious to all of this, said cheerfully, "Now that's a mighty fine choice, small fry! Just toss it at the V-Raptor when it comes out of them bushes, and yer Vivosaur will be unleashed!"

Right on cue, the foliage in front of them exploded and the Velociraptor, which Joe had called "V-Raptor", streaked out in a white blur, ready to tear into its prey.

"Aeros, let's see what you're made of!" shouted Dina, hurling the Dino Medal in front of her. There was a white flash of light, and when it faded, the medallion was gone. In its place was a massive blue dinosaur with yellow feathers on its head and back – an Aerosteon. So that's why it's called Aeros, Dina realized. Vivosaurs must be referred to by their names in short form.

Struggling to remember how Fossil Battles were fought from what she had seen on television, Dina was shocked to see V-Raptor rocket straight at Aeros, slashing it with its claw. Aeros roared in pain, staggered, and then steadied itself. "Vivosaurs with a higher Speed level get to attack first," explained Joe from the sidelines. Oh, OK. Makes sense. Now, what attacks can Aeros use?

Remembering suddenly, Dina commanded, "Aeros, use Wind Blast!" The great blue Vivosaur roared with a fearsome intensity, causing a blast of gale-force wind to come shrieking out of its mouth. It slammed into V-Raptor and knocked it to the ground, but the tough little raptor jumped right back into action.

Dina knew that Aeros couldn't attack again, so she decided to end her turn. Not that the V-Raptor gave her a choice in the matter – it attacked with another claw swipe, but luckily Aeros managed to avoid it. One Wind Blast later, the V-Raptor was again knocked to the ground, and this time it turned back into a Dino Medal.

Aeros gave a roar of triumph, and Dina cheered. She had won her first Fossil Battle! All of a sudden, she heard the voice in her head, this time a little clearer. Somehow, she knew that Aeros had enjoyed battling with her. Is it the Vivosaur itself speaking to me? Dina wasn't exactly sure.

"Nice work, pard!" called Joe, walking over to her now that the fight had ended. "You handled that battle like a pro!" Dina blushed at the praise and looked modestly at her feet.

Of course, it wasn't long before Todd also came rushing to meet her as well. "That was AWESOME!" he exclaimed, but before he could continue, Dina cut him off. "Wait. Wasn't your stomach hurting before?"

Todd paused. "My stomach? Oh yeah… That's weird. It stopped hurting all of a sudden." There was an awkward silence before he said, "Well, who cares about that! Am I right?"

Joe stepped in at this point. "That V-Raptor was abandoned by some cruel fighter. I reckon that's why he had his pants in a twist. Ya see, Vivosaurs need to be with a Fighter they can trust and make friends with – otherwise, they turn feral and their true nature emerges." Dina shuddered, then gasped as she remembered something.

"Mr. Wildwest!" she held out Aeros's Dino Medal. "Oh, I durned near forgot that Dino Medal I loaned ya!" Joe abruptly stopped and seemed to think for a second.

"Tell ya what," he said, stooping down to be on eye level with Dina. "How about you keep Aeros as my thanks for all the help?" Dina was shocked – first Joe saved her and Todd's lives, and now he gave her one of his Vivosaurs?!

"Th-thank you, Mr. Wildwest," she stuttered, staring at Aeros numbly. She couldn't put her finger on it, but it seemed happy to be staying with her. Joe smiled kindly. "Don' mention it, small fry. And call me Joe, will ya?" Dina nodded, an excited grin spreading across her face.

"Aww, man!" said Todd jealously. "How lucky are you, Dina? Too bad my stomach started to hurt…" Dina's grin widened. "Yeah, about that…" she began.

But Joe once again interrupted. "I can tell that the both of ya have potential as Fossil Fighters. Love your Vivosaurs and share their passion for battling, and aim high! But not as high as me… aim even higher than that!"

He winked, then added as an afterthought, "I've got one more rogue Vivosaur to round up, so do ya think you can make it home safely?"

Todd jumped up, clapping his hands. "You bet, now that Dina's got a powerful new friend to take care of us!" Dina heard another voice, this time with a proud feel to it. It's Aeros. I'm sure of it. But how?

"Adios, Todd and Dina!" Joe said in farewell, then walked back up the mountain and out of sight. They waved after him.

"Wow, we just got advice from Joe Wildwest himself!" Todd squeaked in excitement. "No choice now, Dina. We HAVE to become Fossil Fighters!" Dina nodded agreement, and looked again at Aeros's Dino Medal. It twinkled merrily in the sun, as if encouraging her. Together, Aeros, you and I will be unstoppable!

She could have sworn that the picture on the medallion smiled.

So that's that! Please review, and wait patiently for Chapter 2, "Into the Caliosteo Islands"! (Did I imitate the V-Raptor's roar accurately?)

TRIVIA: I seriously considered making the main character male, but decided on Dina at the last minute.