Month Nine (Eleven Months Before The End) to Month Fourteen
Within Hell Creek, the fight for survival continued as it had been since life began 3.8 billion years before the time of the humans. Herbivores continued consuming the area's vegetation, with the carnivores, beasts of balance, keeping their populations in check while also sustaining themselves. This was no different with our family of Tyrannosaurs. Thunderstorm, a descendant of a Golden-Land Rex named Tyroln, was the most powerful animal in his territory. No animal could hope to challenge him except a pure-blooded Golden-Land Tyrannosaurus.
Yawning as the sun rose over a world that would soon end, the Lightning Rex looked over at his family, all of whom were still sleeping. Using his large and powerful legs, he stood to his full height of eighteen feet before moving out. His massive feet left deep marks in the muddy ground as he walked. The alpha-male looked around with his one good eye, his left, which was a deep, iridescent blue in color. His right had been blinded in a fight with a Giganotosaurus, who had also left three claw marks running down his face. Thunderstorm shook his head as the sun began to beat down on his black-scaled skin, which was broken by an electric-blue stripe running down both sides of his torso.
He hiked towards a swampy part of his territory, splashing the water with his large feet. Borealosuchus lurked in the water, but none were big enough to pose a serious threat to Thunderstorm, whose only interest was quenching his thirst. He lowered his head, opening his massive, bone-crushing jaws, and began to scoop up water in his lower jaw. He threw his head back, swallowing large gulps of water, before returning to his pack. Wet vegetation clung to the tarsal scutes of his feet, but they came off as he stepped through the murky waters.
When he returned, his pack was awake, and they had been awaiting his return. Thunderstorm chirped to Sue and her siblings, communicating that they would have to watch him, his mate, and their parents hunt. The siblings trilled in response, obeying their uncle, who then led the pack away. Hadrosaurs and ceratopsians were common in this area, with no herbivore having a greater population than Triceratops prorsus. The Tyrannosaurs sniffed the air as they walked, picking up the scents of a densely-populated herd of ceratopsians; irresistible for an apex predator such as T.rex. Their mouths watered in anticipation and glee.
Walking through the dense forest, the Rex family saw a mixed herd of Triceratops, and a rarer ceratopsid, Torosaurus. The herd contained far more Trikes than Toros. Leptoceratops maneuvered around the feet of these titans, relying on them for protection. Despite their small size and nimble speeds, they had no other defense against Tyrannosaurus rex, instead relying on the larger Triceratops and Torosaurus for protection. All three species had the duty of scouting for predators. The vast number of large ceratopsids scared off carnivores like Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor, and even solitary Tyrannosaurus. However, a bold and domineering alpha-predator like Thunderstorm would not back down from such a challenge, especially when he had the backing of his mate, sister, and brother in-law.
Thunderstorm let out low chirps, trills, and coos, ordering his pack-mates to take up strategic positions so they could scatter the herd. Tyroca's maternal instincts led her to stay with her offspring so they would not be picked off by adult Rex. Staying in the trees, the Rex slowly took positions at different angles around the herd. The Lightning Rex intended to scatter the horned dinosaurs, then single out a target, who would most certainly fall to three Tyrannosaurus rex. Thunderstorm looked past the herd towards Earthquake, signaling for her to begin the hunt.
Earthquake charged out of her spot, and the herd instantaneously went into panic mode, with dinosaurs scrambling in all directions. Sue, Stan, and Trix watched their aunt as she looked around for a suitable target. She then laid eyes upon an easy meal; one Trike was dragging a broken hind leg behind itself as it attempted to flee. She released a series of chirps and growls, telling Orion and Thunderstorm that she had found a target. The two males then moved in, with Orion charging in from a different direction than Earthquake. The Trike was cornered with death from behind and in-front of himself, but he wasn't going down without a fight as he bellowed.
A set of sixty, deeply-rooted twelve-inch teeth that could crush solid bone dug into his pelvis, penetrating skin, tissue, and even sinking into the bone. The Trike groaned in pain as Orion charged, only to be met with a ram from his solid bone frill. Earthquake's thicc teeth sank deeper and deeper into his hip, and he struggled harder and harder as Orion bit down on the ceratopsid's snout. Thunderstorm walked in as the Trike was restrained by the two siblings, his mouth slightly open as he approached his helpless prey.
As all of this happened, Sue, Trix, and Stan spotted a Leptoceratops attempting to flee the carnage. They dashed towards it; despite growing at a rapid rate, they still possessed the curiosity of all young animals. The Lepto bellowed as it sprinted for its life, fleeing from the juvenile Rex. Tyroca bellowed at Sue and her siblings, but the Tyrannosaurs continued chasing the ceratopsid, who dashed towards the Trike that was restrained by the adults. The Lepto was small enough to run underneath the adult Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops and maneuver in a zig-zag pattern, but Sue, Stan, and Trix just crashed into the adults, allowing the Trike to slip free and drag himself away as her packmates shook their heads.
Thunderstorm snarled and hissed at his nieces and nephew, berating them for what they had done. Sue's head was lowered in shame, her tail between her legs like a dog. Her two siblings also assumed this position, feeling guilty for costing the hunt. Thunderstorm snorted and went after the Trike by himself, ordering the others to stay with the juveniles. The juveniles watched as their uncle vanished into the trees. Now they would await his return.
The lone Triceratops was unable to regroup with his herd. He had been attempting to move as fast as he could, but his injury and fatigue slowed him down. The Trike’s speed gradually decreased, until he stopped in a clearing in the trees and laid down, panting like a dog. Gasping for air, he raised his head and bellowed, hoping that one of his herd members would pick up on his calls. Another animal did hear his distress calls, but it was no Trike; it was the species' most hated and infamous enemy, Tyrannosaurus rex.
Hearing rustling in the trees, the Trike watched in fear as a massive alpha-male emerged from the clearing. Thunderstorm was back for more, snarling and growling at the ceratopsian. He opened his jaws, his twelve-inch steak-knives for teeth visible behind his lips. It was as if the Rex’s one good eye was staring into the soul of the herbivore. Thunderstorm lunged forward, craning his neck back like a pelican. He then brought his massive skull forward, clamping down on the left brow horn of the Trike. He shook his head, feeling the solid bone cracking beneath the force of his jaws. The Lightning Rex released his grip, snapping the horn in two.
Shaking his head, the Trike bellowed as Thunderstorm was quick to move behind his frill and grab him by the neck. He bellowed as Thunderstorm tightened his grip, standing up slightly. His massive, three-toed left foot stomped down on the ceratopsid’s snout behind his nasal horn. His left arm gripped the edge of the head-crest of the Triceratops before the creature ceased to move. Stepping back, Thunderstorm’s dewlap vibrated as he let out a rumble, signaling to his pack that he had brought down a kill. After a few minutes of guarding the corpse from smaller carnivores, Earthquake, Tyroca, Orion, Sue, Stan, and Trix arrived in the area. They all feasted on the body, their powerful neck and leg muscles showing through their scaly skin.
After that day, the juveniles watched their father, uncle, and aunt hunt with their mother watching over them. They were completely tuned into the primordial hunt, ignoring all distractions. As time passed, they grew bigger in size, becoming two large for Acheroraptor and Dakotaraptor to pose a threat to them. Eventually, Tyroca re-joined the hunts. Sue took note of the way they worked together to tackle large prey items, knowing that they would be important in helping her survive. Their familial structure was like that of a pride of Lions on the African savannah. When the family wasn’t hunting, eating, or sleeping, the adults would lay down and rest like Lions on the African savannah while the juveniles honed their fighting skills against each-other. Their fights became more vicious; small amounts of blood often dripped from their faces after they finished.
The Rex also refined their skills as hunters, killing small animals like Thescelosaurus, Leptoceratops, and Didelphodon for small snacks. The trio also began shedding their feathers; by the time of their fourteenth month, they only had feathers on their heads, necks, and backs. At this time, they were going through their growth spurts. Their lean and skinny bodies became more robust, muscular, and bulky, and their bite forces became their primary weapon. They still remained curious about the world around them, having several encounters with other creatures. Once, the entire family was feasting on a hadrosaur carcass when a mated pair of Anzu walked by and looked at them, moving their heads from side to side. The juveniles just stared at them before Thunderstorm scared them off.
Life was still tough for the Tyrannosaurs, but their close familial bond pulled them through their many endeavors. Sue, Stan, and Trix were also large enough to defend themselves from anything but another Rex. They became larger, stronger, and more formidable. The pack was also at the top of the food chain of their vast territory, which was populated by vast amounts of herbivores.
The territory in question was beautiful. Vast streams and rivers cut through the ground, providing a home to crocodilians, as well as a place for dinosaurs to quench their thirst. Lush forests full of conifers and flowering plants carpeted the land in green. It was an ideal habitat for all the creatures of the area; a land full of life considering this world will soon end.
Far away from all of this, even to the east where the Dinosaurian Pharaoh dominated, beyond the stratosphere, the dinosaurs’ fate was sealed. A meteor, six miles in width, will soon crash down from the heavens. The Mesozoic has only six months left before The End.
However, a local disaster would force the family to relocate...
"Part of the journey is the end..."
Another great chapter, love the cameos from all my characters--and the tie-in to The End itself.
Whatever it takes...
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