Men & Monsters

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City Chaos

The city was thrown into further chaos once the dinosaurs had arrived. A guard who tried to close the gates was quick to be gored by a brutal styracosaurus that had taken to Taurus’s side at the lead of the small army, further allowing the dinosaurs to spill into the city. People cried out as raptors attacked viciously, and the soldiers who had taken to hiding from Giant now poured out of their hiding places to take a stand against the new menace. Their swords and arrows brought down many of the dinosaurs, but as the battle continued, the new and very alien threat proved to be overwhelming. Duckbilled hadrosaurs charged into carriages and splintered them, while ceratopsians laid waste to all caught in their path.

“Zey fight bravely, but we fight harder!” Louis reported to Taurus as he stood back from the carnage to watch. How his brother would have loved it, the horned carnivore thought as he surveyed. Rogue had maliciously chased down stragglers running from the fight to finish them, and while there seemed to be much focus set on Boulder, his swinging club and impregnable armor devastated the horses and men caught in his path.

“Tell your men not to kill the unarmed ones. Females and children specifically. Giant would like them as subjects to his new world.”

“Oui, sir!” The velociraptor snapped back before running off to tell the others. Unfortunately it would be a task that would prove to be difficult for the increasingly bloodthirsty lot. As the battle continued, Taurus held his head high, looking up at Giant in the distance, spitting fire on those who opposed him around the castle. Then something caught everyone's attention.

With a thundering boom, the castle wall doors opened. The great panels groaned and moaned loudly as they continued to widen, and a golden rider rode out to meet the opposition. A few more knights on horseback followed behind him, but they lacked the confidence or significance of their leader. It was Tanner, and as his eagle took to the skies above, he unsheathed his sword and rode valiantly into the fray.

His eyes set on Boulder, the Eagle General rode his horse as fast as it could possibly go as he closed the gap between them. With his poor eyesight, the ankylosaurus didn’t see him until he was but a few meters away. That was all he needed, he thought. With a massive stroke, the heavy club at the end of his tail spun around and crashed hard into Tanner’s steed. The horse buckled and broke under the devastating hit, launching its rider forward to the ground just before the dinosaur.

He grunted loudly as his armor crunched, and an ear-splitting screech filled the air as it scraped against the cobblestone street, but not a moment passed too late when Tanner was back on his feet. Narrowly dodging Boulder’s club, he seized an opportunity to leap upon the beast’s back and drive his sword down into his neck. The sword, beautifully crafted and costing more than any soldier made in his lifetime, instantly shattered against the ankylosaur’s thick shell. Boulder laughed wickedly when he bucked the Eagle General from his back and slammed his tail down hard after him. Rolling, Tanner narrowly missed his skull from being squashed, by both the tail and then a powerful stomp the dinosaur had planned for him afterward.

With his sword now hardly a dagger, Tanner took a deep breath when he met eyes with Boulder, who delivered a sinister chuckle.

“What have you now, little fella? What to fight against my mighty armor and tail?” Tanner narrowed his eyes and slowly exhaled.

“Little else but this, I’m afraid.” Then, rolling over the dinosaurs back, Tanner caught Boulder off guard when he landed on his other side. Boulder gave a surprised and gurgled cry when the knight swiftly drove his shattered sword up into the exposed flesh of his neck. A grisly scene played out as he tore the blade toward him, and once the knight had the weapon back at his side, Boulder collapsed with his throat torn wide open.

Tossing what remained of his beloved sword to the side, Tanner turned just in time to come face to face with Rogue. Throwing a heavy gauntlet forward, the knight gave a wicked punch to the dilophosaurus before he could tackle him, offsetting his balance at first, then another punch.

Regaining himself, however, Rogue forced Tanner to the ground, where he hovered over him with a cackle and pondered where his devastating blow might land. A clawed hand shot forward and lifted the general’s visor, blinding Tanner at first with a flood of light. When his vision finally did adjust, however, all he was met with was a toothy maw grinning back at him.

Time suddenly stopped for a moment as others arrived through the city walls. Small in number but proud, Rex led the charge as he stomped on a raptor darting on past. He gave a thundering bellow to signal the others of their arrival, as Rust, Rampage, Crash, Thorn, and Swipe all appeared at his side. Bernard unsheathed his sword and held it up valiantly as he sat at the base of the tyrannosaur’s neck. Swinging his head down like a club, Rex threw Rogue away like a rag doll when Bernard leapt off the dinosaur’s back. Quick to the younger man’s side, he offered the Eagle General an armored gauntlet.

“Could you use a hand here, lad?” Helping Tanner to his feet, the general scoffed.

“This team against this army? Ha! Drunk again, eh? Still...I suppose any assistance is good assistance. Thank you, my friend.” Together they watched as Rampage tore through smaller ceratopsians charging him, and continued his assault by running through any beast who opposed him. Likewise Crash ran her thick skull into countless raptors, and Swipe kicked back those who sought to jump and claw at her sides. Thorn had taken off to deal with Rogue as he got back to his senses, and Rust held Taurus at bay with his impressive size and snapping jaws.

“I see things have gotten bad.” Rex observed as he looked up at Giant just as he landed on the castle once again.

“Aye, they have. None of my men know how to fight this lot, and with him flying about setting everything on fire…” Tanner replied as he too looked up at Giant.

“Is there much we can do?” Bernard asked.

“I fear not. He’s set fire to all of my catapults. Without them, our arrows can’t even pierce his hide.”

“We bring him to our level,” Rex said as his eyes narrowed. “Then we get him to fight us.”

“And what? Do you plan on fighting him?” Bernard asked. The tyrannosaurus looked down at the knights with a coy grin.

“Who else? I’ve learned a thing or two about fighting since this has all started.”

“Well you’re not going alone. You still lack experience in the way of fighting my boy, despite what you think.” Rust said as he turned his attention away from Taurus, only to snap his jaws back at him when the carnotaurus sought to advance. Rex smiled at the acrocanthosaurus, then looked back down to Bernard and Tanner.

“Shall we?”

“Go on ahead, Rex. We’ll stay here.” Thorn said as he stood over a defeated but not dead Rogue.

“Yeah! We’ll make sure none ‘a these fellas comes sneakin’ up on ya!” Swipe added as he turned and his tail whipped around, sending a hapless raptor reeling behind him before it could strike. Rex nodded in thanks to those around him as he and the others started toward the castle gates. Tanner felt apprehensive about trusting these dinosaurs, but they did happen to save his life. Surely the guards at the castle walls would let them pass so long as he was with them.

Taurus started after them, ready with several of Giant’s minions behind him, when they were stopped by a wall formed by Thorn, Swipe, Rampage, and Crash.

“Go ahead, try to get through us.” The dome-headed dinosaur scoffed. Taurus narrowed his eyes at the ragtag team of dinosaurs. Surely he had superior numbers on his side, but these beasts, he realized, had ambition, and a lot of it. And so the carnotaurus took a slow step backward before standing tall, his nose raised up at the small band.

“I need only wait for Giant to deliver victory. I don’t even have to raise a claw.” He was met with a myriad of snickers and sneers. Finally Thorn looked up.

"We'll see about that, lad. We'll see."

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