Part Two: Migration
*A month later*
The three herds continued on in search of a large body of water. The Earth had been stripped of most vegetation, leaving a harsh, hot desert world littered with rotting corpses. The carrion wouldn’t last much longer for carnivores like Vladimir, Rex, and Regina. Vladimir stood over a Dicynodon and ripped into the dead creature’s flesh. He would prefer fresh meat, but that wasn’t available. The two Archosaurus carried on, Regina carrying their egg in her jaws. They were on the herds’ trails, when they saw Vladimir. Rex hissed at him, telling him to back off. In such a hostile and desperate world, he had no time for a fight.
He ignored the Gorgonopsid and continued on with his mate as the winds blew, carrying toxic gas with them. The two archosaurs strained, but had greater resistance to the gas than the Scutosaurus and Dicynodon, whose herds lost more members. The Lystrosaurus burrowed into the ground when they saw the other two herbivores drop dead, saving themselves. Vladimir was out of the range of the gas. Rex and Regina approached a dead Scutosaurus, ripping into it. They needed as much food as they could find. After eating their fill, they continued after the herds as Trident and her offspring finished off the carcass.
Tusk and his kin climbed out of the ground as they followed the Dicynodon and Scutosaurus, the latter of which was reduced to three members. They pressed on, fatigued, starving, and thirsty. The Lystrosaurus were in a slightly better position because they could burrow into the ground and consume plant roots, which contained enough water to keep them going. They persevered through the Great Dying, genetically gifted. However, their genes would be tested by the Permian Extinction. Could even the strongest of the genus survive?
The Scutosaurs dragged on, severely weakened, fatigued, and malnourished. One of the three bellowed before collapsing, never to get up again. His ribs were showing through his body, indicating his lack of food. The remaining two Scutosaurus mourned, feeling an impending sense of doom. Their species was doomed, soon to be lost to history. Shield and his mate were the last of their kind, condemned to extinction. However, they didn’t make it far before Shield’s mate collapsed, her breathing labored. She could barely make any sounds as Shield nudged her in an attempt to comfort her. She eventually stopped moving, dead. Shield was now alone, the last Scutosaurus ever to exist.
He was too depressed to continue on, having watched his family suffer years of malnourishment and pain. Shield simply stood by his mate, head lowered in mourning for her. He was so sad that he didn’t notice the powerful predator approaching behind him. It was only when a pair of saber teeth dug into his shoulder that he realized that he was being attacked. Shield groaned in pain to see Vladimir grabbing his shoulder in his jaws. He ripped himself free and turned around to face his attacker. Both were sickly and thin from starvation. This was a battle between the last individuals of two species, both of which were doomed.
The two beasts, one carnivorous, the other herbivorous, stared each-other down. Both had nothing left to lose but their lives. Vladimir, a creature of indomitable will, lunged forward, slashing at the flanks of the Scutosaurus with his razor-sharp teeth. Shield had lost everything; he had lost the will to live. Vladimir continually used hit and run tactics, snapping at his limbs, flanks, and throat before Shield let out a weak growl. He fell over onto his side as Vladimir rushed in and grabbed his throat, shaking it like a dog on a toy. He snapped Shield’s neck, inhaling a deep breath. The last Inostrancevia had killed the last Scutosaurus. He savored the taste of fresh meat, but it wasn’t enough to make up for all the days and nights he had gone without food.
The Lystrosaurus and Dicynodon continued on, indifferent to the extinction of Scutosaurus. The Dicynodon were slowly dropping dead from famine and disease. They left a trail of corpses as only five continued to live, the pangs of hunger and thirst rumbling their stomachs. They were vastly outnumbered by the tough and hardened Lystrosaurus. Rex and Regina thrived on the corpses, the latter keeping their egg close. However, they faced another challenge; thirst. Most lakes had been reduced to mere puddles, which they drank dry. Toothless had no time to mourn, as he had to care for his remaining four herd members. The two archosaurs ignored the lumbering Dicynodon and Scutosaurus as more punishment struck the Earth.
Rain clouds blocked out the scorching sun, but they only brought more torment: acid rain. The Lystrosaurus began to panic as Tusk bellowed, ordering his herd to burrow into the ground. They used their arms to dig away at the dirt, taking shelter beneath the surface. The surviving Dicynodon were left to endure the Hellish rains. They groaned and thrashed in pain, as did the Gorgonopsid and archosaurs. Their skin was seared before the rains ended, the clouds fading away in the sky. Tusk climbed out of the ground, taking in his surroundings. The familiar arid, desolate Pangaean deserts filled his entire line of vision. He snorted to his herd, signaling that it was safe to come out.
The Lystrosaurus and Dicynodon continued on, in the final phase of their journey. However, not all of them would make it. Trident and her two offspring were feasting on some Dicynodon carrion, watching the herds travel through the barren deserts. The mother Thrinaxodon led her children, following the herds. Far away, Vladimir was also on the herd’s trail, his ribs visible through his skin. Not too far behind were Rex and Regina, who would have a special destiny if they could survive. However, their fate is uncertain, as are those of Tusk and Trident.
"Part of the journey is the end..."
I'm surprised that Scutosaurus went extinct so fast. This was a really good chapter.
Godzilla... Truly a God incarnate.
Very good chapter, impressive. I feel bad for Shield and his mate.
Whatever it takes...
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