Month Eighteen, Two Months Before The End
The sun rose over the landscape of Bone Butte, revealing the landscape and its inhabitants. Vast groups of Edmontosaurus and Triceratops dominated the area, browsing on vegetation. Other herbivores, like Torosaurus, Leptoceratops, and Thescelosaurus, which were much less common, also roamed the prairies and forests. They also ate many of the region’s plants to sustain themselves. However, where there were herbivores, there were also carnivores to enact the balance on the land.
A group of five Acheroraptor was watching a herd of Trikes. Being roughly the size of dogs, they stood no chance against the three-horned face. They heard rustling in the bushes and began to run, their long legs propelling them forward. A snout swung down, grabbing one of the Acheroraptor by the neck. The snout shook it around, snapping its neck. The killer raised its head, revealing itself. She was an alpha-female Dakotaraptor, a rare and elusive predator in the area. Placing a foot on top of the carcass, she leaned down to take a bite, but something stopped her.
A grayish-black foot landed on the ground behind her, carrying a body of the same color with orange-yellow markings on his neck and head. His skull sloped down from his forehead, gifting him with a devastating bite-force that could snap solid bone. The Dakotaraptor turned around, seeing the predator, who revealed himself as a male Tyrannosaurus rex - Hell Creek’s largest carnivore, and its apex predator. She fled from him as he picked up the Acheroraptor in his jaws and tossed his head back, swallowing it whole. The Rex was Stan, who, at this stage in his life, was now a young adult.
Blood coated his jaws as he stepped into a clearing in the forest. Compared to his stocky sisters, he was more sleek and streamlined. His ribs showed through his thin and lean body as he observed his surroundings. In addition to being skinnier than his siblings, Stan was also lighter and smaller. He stood eleven feet tall and measured thirty-seven feet long, shorter than Sue and Trix in both length and height. Like his older sisters, he was on a mission to kill a Triceratops to prove himself. He walked through the forests, sniffing the air. A herd was nearby, and it wouldn’t be too hard to find it.
Creeping through the underbrush, Stan found a herd of Trikes nearby. They were standing and eating, and the juveniles were playing, as were the infants. The Rex quietly crept around them, circling the herd. He was looking for a weak and vulnerable individual who was still large enough to satisfy his hunger. The Tyrannosaurus found a female who was bellowing at her offspring, trying to get him to return to the herd. The only thing standing between them and the Rex was the herd. He would have to get around them to get to his prey.
Stan quietly moved through the dense vegetation, taking careful steps. He made sure the herd didn’t spot him. Turning his massive head, he looked back at the mother Triceratops, who was still going after her young. Stan moved in closer, trying to find a good position to get to the mother.
The adult female bellowed towards her young. Unlike her male counterparts, she had a smaller frill and horns, and duller colors. She was also significantly lighter, with males being roughly two to three tons heavier. However, this gave her greater speed. She chased after her young, who squealed and chirped. Suddenly, he cried out in fear, before his screams were cut off. The bushes shook, and the female Trike stepped back as a male Tyrannosaurus rex entered the clearing, carrying the corpse of the baby. He tossed it up before swallowing it whole and snarling at the female.
The Trike was nine feet tall and twenty-eight feet tall, and the Rex stood two feet taller than her. She turned to flee, but Stan grabbed her by the left side of her frill, scraping her shoulder with his toe claws. She slipped free and turned around to face him, ramming him in the head with her frill. The Trike then tilted her head to the left before slamming it to the right, hitting Stan’s side and cracking a rib. The slender Rex stumbled into a tree before raising his foot and slamming it down on her snout, behind her nasal horn - a tyranno-SMASH.
He shoved her back and clamped down on her neck, forcing screams of agony out of her. He tightened his grip, determined to succeed where Sue had failed. For ten minutes, they stood there, Stan’s jaws around the Trike’s neck as she moaned and groaned. Finally, her screams stopped as a snap emanated through the air. Stan dropped her to the ground, throwing his head back and bellowing in victory. He didn’t devour the carcass right away; he was waiting for his family.
Eventually, Thunderstorm, Earthquake, Tyroca, Orion, Trix, and Sue arrived. Tyroca nuzzled Stan, expressing her pride in him through a series of chirps and trills. Together, the seven Rex tore the corpse apart, tearing off pieces of meat and swallowing them. Soon, the siblings would face their next test--working together to bring down large prey.
"Part of the journey is the end..."
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