Pudgy’s whole body was shaking, the roar of the engines was deafening, with Queen belting out melody occasionally making it through. Higher and higher he went, the altimeter quickly speeding. He had gone to 20,000 feet in 10 minutes. The fuel gauges showed he was still good on stage one. The rocket was a delta 2, mark D, for Doomcock. The payload was much lighter than the rocket’s capacity, so it was shooting quick into the skies. Pudgy watched as the clouds disappeared, and the stars appeared in his little window. The rocket started a preplanned turn, to better align with the planet, and continued its ascent. With careful planning by the villains, Pudgy was able to miss all commercial air traffic over the Pennsylvania skies. He closed his eyes, and whimpered, settling in for a very long flight. It would take 4 to 5 hours to reach space, and he could do nothing but sit there. Doomcock’s masked face appeared on a screen, making a thumbs up gesture to Pudgy, and another screen showed the planet. The G forces wedged the critter into his seat, so he wasn’t able to motion back. Pudgy began to pray as the light drained from the interior, the hedgehog passed out.
The little hedgehog woke up after an unknown amount of time passed, finding himself still in the rocket. The hedgehog realized that he had blacked out, as the G forces became too much on him. He could still feel the vibrations, and the screens were showing that the rocket was now in orbit. The earth was immense, with a sea of blue as far as he could see through his little window. His little body while wedged into the module, felt funny. Cobalt had said he would float in space. This was in effect now. He pulled out the paper manual, and watched it float in front of him. Smiling, he knew he would be ok. “Pudgy in space!” As the excited critter watched the screens, the rocket passed over Poland. He could feel the forces against his body once more increasing as the rocket was gaining momentum. Just like the Apollo missions, Doomcock had programmed the rocket to use the earth’s gravity to slingshot the rocket towards the moon. The hedgehog saw that stage one had already been jettisoned, and stage two was 50% burn, with fuel remaining 25%. The mp3 player was still playing music, cycling through various iron maiden songs from Cobalt’s collection. While he was hungry, something told him not to eat yet. Pudgy saw various satellites floating around, and the course programmed was avoiding them. The rocket was climbing higher and higher into orbit, and the earth was growing smaller. Pudgy located the paper manual, which had been tucked away in a tight compartment nearby. Nodding as he realized that this would be a very long flight, it would be a good time to read on the operation of this flight module. The hedgehog hoped everyone was ok back home, and read aloud, “chapter one…”
As the hours passed, Pudgy was now on chapter 27 of the manual, the rocket shook. The computer had triggered a maximum burn, for escape from Earth’s orbit. The paper manual landed on his chest, and he could feel the G forces return. It was time to slingshot from the earth’s gravity. The fuel gauge quickly dissipated, till there was nothing left. Loud clunking noises started to echo though the flight control module, as stage 2 began to come apart and disconnect. Doomcock appeared on the monitor, “Pudgy, you have cleared orbit. Now, let’s see if that ion drive actually works?” Pudgy had actually reached that chapter and started working the controls. “Press switch 4, then tap button labelled Y, then push floor pedal…” outside the module, the rear panel dropped off, and floated away. A long bronze colored tube started to glow as particles started to flow. The panel showed the startup was in progress, as the drive was starting. Inside the lights flickered, as Pudgy remembered what Cobalt said before launch and repeated it, “pudgy push solar buttons after drive start.” The little hedgehog pushed the array, and a new gauge lit up, showing the panels producing electricity. The ion drive hummed, and whoosh, the flight module sped quickly towards the destination programmed: the moon. The vehicle had some cameras positioned in places, so he could cycle through.
The future ruler sat at his control room, sipping what looked to be a cognac. “Good job, my hedgehog friend.” The critter waved, “Hail Lord Doomcock. Thank you.” Pudgy’s belly rumbled, as he was hungry now. As the earth slowly reduced in size on the rear-view monitor, he slowly opened his helmet’s glass face shield, and sniffed. The air was stale. But his helmet was on, and fresh air was coming through an air vent within his helmet. Reaching behind as best he could, he pulled out two long clear tubes. He twisted the cap and started to suck gently. He watched as minestrone soup started to work through. It tasted so good. Diktor looked, “what did you bring to eat, Pudgy?” The hedgehog nodded, “minestrone soup, cheese soup, potato soup, brownie soup, and cookie soup, and water” The lord laughed, “brownie and cookie soup? How do you make that?” The hedgehog nodded, “chocolate sauce from the dollar store, and crumbled brownies with non-dairy half and half. Cookie soup is non-dairy with crumbled cookies.” The lord rubbed his chin, “I have all of that in the lair, I just may have to try that. I will let your friend Cobalt know you are well, and to tell the dinosaur his drive works. I will check in later, Doomcock out.”
Pudgy twisted the cap on his meal, then proceeded to open the water tube. Taking a sip, it was then when the hedgehog remembered that there was no potty on board. Pudgy nodded as he realized he was going to have to hold it for 15 days. That plan lasted 5 minutes, so after realizing the diaper was there for a reason, the critter twisted the good tube caps. Stowing away the tubes, Pudgy locked his helmet’s face shield down once more. The critter checked the displays, and noticed that the screen for the rocket motors stats was now replaced with ion drive stats. The output was 50%, and the battery status was 12%…13%…14%…good was recharging. Wiggling his paws, Pudgy tried to get comfortable. He still had 3 to 4 days to go to get to lunar orbit. Getting the manual out, “chapter 28, water landings….” There were 60 chapters left to read, so he turned on the Doomcock podcast, and sat quietly. Watching the screens and reading Pudgy settled into a routine: read, sleep, wake, eat, repeat. Hours passed, and while he was reading the paper manual again, he realized that half through the Doomcock podcasts had now been completed. The screens indicated he was a third of the way to the moon. The timer indicated 2 more days to go. Pudgy was starting to get bored, which drew a tired laugh.
Pudgy woke up, and checked his panels and gauges, everything was in order. He started eating the cookie soup, which was good. Looking out his little window, he saw the moon with all its craters quickly approaching. The display said 20 hours to go at current speed. Pudgy squinted his eyes, and for the first time, noticed a small light following him with a parallel course. The hedgehog started checking his panels, and sadly his sensors only pertained to his module and engine system. Turning on the rear camera, he saw another light following. As the hours passed, Pudgy watched as the lights continued to flank and follow his flight module. The hedgehog could do nothing but watch, as the rocket did not have any defensive or offensive capabilities. The aliens were apparently monitoring him. So, the hedgehog turned on the radio. Only static could be heard. Pressing the broadcast button, “hello, are you hearing Pudgy? Pudgy see you following.” The radio continued its static sound. The lights faded and disappeared one by one. Pudgy nodded but kept the radio on in case they responded. The hedgehog checked his panels, he had 14 hours to go till lunar orbit.
The moon continued to grow larger as the flight module sped towards it. Pudgy checked the clock, and only 3 hours had passed. He still had 11 to go, so he tried to get comfortable, and he started to drift off to sleep. The computer would alert him when it was time for orbit. The lights started to appear again on a parallel course. The radio started to crackle, “Hisssss……rawwwrr…” then silence. Pudgy missed it, due to light snoring, and his being asleep. It would seem he was not alone. More hours passed, and Pudgy started to wake due to a loud sound. The warning beep was buzzing loudly, as the flight module’s positioning rockets put the module into geosynchronous orbit around the moon. Bouncing happily, he had made it to the moon. The site was awe inspiring, as he started using the cameras to scan the surface of the moon. On display was a sea of white and gray as far as the cameras could point. Deep jagged craters were everywhere, with trails of dark rock inside. The module was slowly descending as the orbit continued. The maps had been programmed into the computer systems, so he accessed the map screen. Pudgy remembered he had to find mares Anguis, since that was where the Villains said NASA said where the moon quakes were occurring. As the hedgehog examined the surface, he saw in clearer focus what was going on. Deep gouges were in the lunar surface.
Pudgy’s ears folded down as he started to realize what he was looking and spoke, “oh crap…… Doomcock, are you there?” The hedgehog was frightened, when he saw that inside the gouge, was a long black tentacle. It was stretching for at least a mile. He found another gouge further away, again with a tentacle inside. He guided the module to follow the gouges, as they were all running towards the same point. Knowing the signal would take a while to reach Xanadoom, he had to gather data to send to the future ruler of the earth. The cameras started to notice movement around the tentacles, so the hedgehog tried to zoom in. The grays were on the surface too, though what they were up to could not be determined. Hindsight being 2020, Pudgy should have asked for more science stuff, but that was too late now. The critter was also able to locate three circular shaped spacecraft around the area where the tentacles were located. It would seem the grays needed to operate from there, and perhaps they needed air too. Lord Doomcock appeared on the display screen. He was moving, but the audio was distorted. “Xanadoom calling Pudgy. Time variance 15 minutes between transmission. See reach lunar orbit. Report.”
Pudgy nodded and turned on the camera. “Pudgy in orbit Lord Doomcock. Huge gouges on the lunar surface, I see black tentacles stretching for miles. Gray aliens along gouges doing something. Too high for cameras and see three circle spaceships along the surface. Following tentacles towards source.” Pudgy turned off the transmit button, knowing it would be a delay to the next transmission. Continuing to zoom in and out with the camera control, the critter did not realize that he had in fact not stopped broadcasting the external video feed. The lord of the earth started to see the lunar surface, and what Pudgy was studying intently. He poured a shot of whiskey and started to sip while watching the video feed. After the delay, Pudgy’s message came through. Diktor downed the remainder of the shot and poured another. Pondering what to do, he watched the feed. The lord watched as suddenly; the cameras changed to an orbit view. Zooming in, he saw a cigar shaped silver craft following the module. “Pudgy, what is that behind you?” He cursed after turning the microphone off, because he knew there would be a 15-minute delay. The cameras kept changing angles. Lord Doomcock consulted maps of the lunar surface and started to transmit landing coordinates via his terminal.
Pudgy in his module, was worriedly looking at his monitors. He had attracted attention from the aliens, who were starting to launch from the lunar surface. A cigar shaped craft had started following. Doomcock’s voice was garbled, but the landing coordinates started to appear. The critter had no control over the aliens, so he would have to proceed with the landing plan. He started to flip the switches, and the flight module started to hiss as the landing feet extended. The hedgehog locked his helmet faceplate into place. While the computer was going to handle many of the landing calculations, Pudgy would need to take over if something unexpected happened. As the rocket’s altimeter decreased, he watched as the alien craft stayed in their relative orbits and positions. “Pudgy, contact …. landing. ” Doomcock’s voice was garbled and hissed as the flight module started to pass over the Mare Tranquilis plains. The positioning thrusters were firing at pre-programmed intervals. It was also the first time Pudgy started to feel an inclination of gravity, though it was faint. While he was excited to be landing soon, also the hedgehog was apprehensive. Even without the looming Eldritch God to deal with, space was dangerous enough.
The displays read the statistics of the module; the hedgehog saw all the numbers decreasing. The oxygen gauge showed 100%, but that was deceptive. At the start of the trip, there was a ring of green dots that surrounded the main gauge. 24 dots, for 24 reserve air tanks. Cobalt had programmed to not use the main air until the reserve tanks had been spent. He had used 9 tanks to get to the moon, or 40% of his oxygen. Based on Cobalt’s calculations, Pudgy could spend no more than 3 days on the lunar surface. That was not a lot of time, which meant the critter had to be smart about his activities. Talking and walking used more air, so he had to be aware of his air usage. BEEEPPPPP! the proximity alarm started to sound, as the flight module positioned to land in an upright position. The altimeter continued to quickly decrease, and the retro rockets fired as the lander touched down on Mare Anguis. Pudgy excitedly spoke, “The hedgehog has landed.”
Earlier, when the ion drive had fired up, landing feet had been extended to form a triangular landing system. Touchdown resulted in the flight module sticking up with the nose cone pointed towards space. The result of this landing was Pudgy now was sitting with his back parallel to the ground. The flight module had landed safely, and Pudgy was now on the moon. He started to work the controls and extended the radio antenna. Typing on a little keyboard: lord Doomcock, Pudgy safe, hedgehog landed. Unlike the previous transmission delays, the hedgehog received a response over the computer terminal: congratulations, first hedgehog on moon. Now, shut down the rocket systems, and prepare for a moonwalk. Doomcock out. Pudgy started turning off the ion drive engine, and various systems. The critter noticed that the gauges all lowered, except for the solar systems, which continued to charge the batteries. Pudgy needed a full charge to restart the ion drive. Pulling a lever, the module interior’s stale air started to be sucked into a holding tank. The interior had to be a vacuum, otherwise the hatch would explode off of its hinges. The interior air pressure gauge started to decrease slowly. Pudgy typed on the keyboard: systems off, solar on, battery 60%, interior depressurization in progress. The space suit started to hold tight against his body as the vacuum increased. After quiet moments, of a hiss as the vacuum pump sucked the air from the flight module passed, a green light blinked, indicating vacuum had been achieved.
Pudgy undid the straps and started to unhook himself. Cobalt had made a rather ingenious setup for the hedgehog’s life support systems. There was an air hose wrapped in three layers, with an outer layer of metal mesh, that connected to the backpack with two tanks. There were handy clips to attach things to the outside. Three air valves were in place to ensure virtually no air loss when he would disconnect from the flight module’s main air tanks. As the critter worked the valves, lights lit up showing progress. Lord Doomcock was also sent notifications of each step. Pudgy’s air tank also had a gauge that was paw mounted. Sealing the third valve, the hedgehog disconnected from the main system, and pushed the button to open the hatch. As the hatch swung open, pudgy saw the black void above, stretching in all directions. Stars crystal clear twinkled, so close it looked like you could touch them. The lunar surface lay before him in all its glory. Boulders the size of cars were scattered amongst the plains. Cobalt realizing how the module would have to land, had prepared a chain ladder. But as Pudgy tossed it out, he noticed the gravity wasn’t right. The ladder floated out in a straight line. Wiggling his nose, the critter opened a compartment and got out his tools, clipping them to his pack. Returning to face the open hatch, he jumped out grabbing the chains. Hedgehog mass won out over space, and he floated down to the gray sandy surface.
Slowly pulling out the rock hammer, the critter began to anchor the ladder into the surface. He also tied an extra cable to the landing strut, in case the anchors floated away. Pudgy bounced on the moon, which sent him a couple feet forward. The hedgehog grinned, pulling free and planting a small flag with the royal crest of Xanadoom. Meanwhile, the cameras were tracking Pudgy, and lord Doomcock couldn’t help but smile as he toasted his hedgehog legionnaire as he planted the flag of Xanadoom in the north western part of Mare Crisium. Diktor watched as Pudgy clipped his tools and bounced off away from the module. The gravity on the moon is 17% that of the earth. That meant a hedgehog bounce would send him forward quite a far distance. Turning back, the hedgehog could not believe how far he had travelled. Realizing that getting lost would be very bad, he started tapping in red flags marked spikes into the lunar surface. Scamper bouncing continued and Pudgy started to ascend a wide hill. Due to low gravity assisted bouncing, in no time flat he was nearly at the top. Turning around again, he saw his module in the distance, with a big blue earth in the background. Sadly, realizing that no photography equipment was brought, he could not take any pictures. However, the hedgehog would never forget that sight.
Checking his air gauge with a nod, Pudgy turned around to continue his ascent. In a couple of minutes, the critter reached the crest of the hill. Once reached, his mouth dropped open as sighting what lay before him. It was not Harvey Cthulhu, but a massive stone structure. The lunar rock had been finely cut, almost too exact. It resembled a pyramid, though with no point, perhaps 2/3 of the height of one. There was a massive set of black doors that were currently shut. Rows of black glass ran along the walls. Pudgy would have rubbed his eyes, had he been able to reach them. Starting to bounce along once more, Pudgy started to descend the crater. The excited hedgehog bounced harder, which meant he went higher, and began to float. Wiggling as trying to get back down, he traversed the lunar surface quickly as he floated slowly down. Gently landing next to a huge boulder of what looked like volcanic basalt, the critter noticed the rocks were different colors. Now muddy red and brown colors. As he marveled at the huge structure, the ground started to shake beneath him. The rocks started to slide, and he watched as the huge doors started to open. A huge burst of atmospheric gas burst, as the airlock opened. Pudgy watched as the cigar shaped object from before started to fly inside the structure. Pudgy felt his body being lifted up and pulled behind the boulder. He wiggled, trying to break free, until he saw three talons cover his face shield.
Pudgy was turned to face a set of yellow goggles covered eyes. The creature too was in a space suit and examined Pudgy as he examined back. The hedgehog waved nervously. His helmet radio crackled, “hiss …. rawr ….” it sounded guttural. Not many people were aware of this, but the hedgehog could speak with other animals. Animal language was essentially the same, though various animal dialects were easier than others. The critter watched as the pointed snout and rows of sharp teeth moved. It looked like a dinosaur, but not as big. There were also various booster jets in appropriate places on the creature’s body to assist lunar movement. Suddenly they were sprinting off, through a trail of boulders.
The hedgehog could do nothing, so he went along for the ride as he watched the gray sandy surface speed below, and as a huge black chasm began to appear. It was as this occurred, he saw a better view of his captor, and the shape resembled a velociraptor. It was dressed in black. Struggling to see where they were going, Pudgy sighed as the dinosaur was running too fast. Quickly they darted into a cave, and the light faded. Pudgy hoped his captor knew where they were going. Checking the air gauge, the gauge read 50%. Feeling movement changing, Pudgy could see the faint dim of lights. His captor slowed and walked. Pudgy’s radio crackled again, and slowly he started to pick up words. The language was similar to a snake, “hiss … door …. open …. intruder …hiss.” The hedgehog blinked, and started to try to respond, but he was never good at snakes. The creature whipped its head towards him, examining him again under the pale light from an unknown source. “Quiet …. hiss …. you …. ” Pudgy nodded, and the creature turned him to look forward. There was a huge underground cavern, with several domes inside. Other dinosaurs in space suits were working, though it looked like a battle had taken place recently. Pudgy frowned and dangled in a clawed hand that gripped him. They started to move forward once more, and the domes started to grow larger.
The critter was tossed unceremoniously in front of the raptor, and he bounced onto a hard pack sand surface. Getting back to his paws, he looked around. There was all manner of dinosaurs around, in protective space suits. Pudgy turned to look at his captor, noting the claws were exposed, but the rest of the body was covered in a pattern of gray, white and black. Pudgy recognized, they were using camouflage. The hedgehog had a white outfit on. So, there was no mistaking he was coming. The clawed hand pointed towards a chamber, so Pudgy nodded and bounced towards it, with the raptor slowly walking behind him. The sand changed to hard stone, and as he scooted inside, Pudgy saw a set of round doors, of an unknown metal. The raptor walked in, and then the outer door started to swing shut. It was an airlock, the critter noted. There was a loud boom, which meant air was present. Sound needs air to move, and Pudgy started to feel the tightness of his suit dissipate. Checking his gauge, he still had 40% of air left. The raptor watched him intently. A loud buzzing sound vibrated the room, then the interior door started to open. And inside a triceratops was standing there in a similar outfit, though with many more markings. The dinosaurs greeted each other, as Pudgy was motioned to move forward. As he started to scamper, he noticed there was more gravity now.
It was easier to walk, though now the tanks were heavier. Pudgy looked back, seeing the raptor taking off its protective headgear, and talking to the large older triceratops. The older dinosaur narrowed its golden eyes at Pudgy as he was presented before it. It lowered its snout and tapped Pudgy helmet and motioned with an upward motion of its snout, to lift the helmet’s face shield. Pudgy looked at his air gauge, and nodded, turning the air valve off. Taking a deep breath, he unlocked his face shield, and lifted it. “H… hello, my name Pudgy.” The large triceratops looked at the strange creature before it and laughed. “This is your intruder Razar?” Pudgy blinked, he could understand, and the voice sounded feminine. The raptor hissed, and which drew a rebuke, “stop that! Our guest should know what you’re saying.” The raptor sighed, “yes…. lead claw. I found … this …. creature on the surface. It landed in a vehicle, planted a flag, and headed towards the Alarian base. I stopped it and brought it here.” The raptor narrowed its eyes at Pudgy. The hedgehog noted another female voice. Boy, when he would get back and tell Mister Dino there are girl dinosaurs on the moon…” the triceratops nodded, “I see. Pudgy, that is your name correct?” The hedgehog nodded, which drew a toothy grin from the lead claw, and spoke clearly. “You were in mortal danger, if they found you. What in Pangea’s name where you doing there?”
Pudgy coughed, while the air was breathable, it had a weird smell to it. Probably too many dinosaurs in one area. “Pudgy came from earth to stop Harvey Cthulhu. Lord Doomcock sent me.” The dinosaurs laughed heartily, “he did?” The raptor started to laugh gutturally and rolled her silver eyes. “Lead claw, this Doomcock sounds either arrogant or incompetent. Why would he send this creature to this moon, potentially never come back?” The triceratops shot Razar a look, and then looked back at Pudgy. “Tell me little one, how did you come here? And please be honest, I’ve lived long enough to know when one is telling falsehoods.” The raptor grimaced and watched as Pudgy started to explain. The hedgehog’s story also included him acting out scenes. The two dinosaurs listened intently. When Pudgy started talking about his friend Mister Dinosaur, the two snapped to attention. Lead claw stomped her foot, “wait stop, backup. There is a Tyran on Earth right now?” Pudgy nodded, “yes, his name is Grumpasaurs. He lives in my forest, in a big cave.” The two started to intently question him, on all details. Pudgy answered, though he was wondering what was going on? Lead claw nodded, “pudgy, does mister dinosaur have any markings on him?” Pudgy rubbed his chin with his paw, and then nodded. He squatted down, and saw the ground had lunar sand. He started to draw a symbol he saw but didn’t know what it meant. The lead clan’s eyes went wide, “engineering corp….. Razar …. a word.” The two started talking in their guttural language quietly. Pudgy looked confused and stood there watching and listening.
Razar nodded, beginning to put the protective gear back on. Once done, the raptor bowed its head while backing up into the air lock once more. Pudgy turned and watched as the airlock door started to seal. He looked back the lead claw, “umm, is everything ok?” The triceratops nodded, “Razar made a detour to pick you up. Walk with me and continue your story.” Pudgy scampered beside the large dinosaur and continued his story. The triceratops nodded and pondered what was being told to her. She lowered her head and motioned for Pudgy to climb up. “Little one, climb up, I want to show you something Pudgy nodded, and climbed up onto the dinosaur head carefully, and held onto the horns, as she lifted her head up. While the older dinosaur walked, she started to talk. “Your mister Dino friend is someone we thought lost to us. So, it took us by surprise, to say the very least. Many years ago, far too long, our kind lived on earth. Our society was advanced far beyond measure. We had science, technology, art, and culture. Our cities were vast and spread all over the world.” Pudgy nodded, “wow, what happened?” Lead claw sighed sadly, “our astronomers detected a massive asteroid coming. Our technology could not stop it, so the decision was made to evacuate the planet. We had already established a moon residence, so our spacecraft began rapid launches. As the months passed, we ran into an issue. The moon was full. So, we sent our young, with a core group of kind to establish a base of operations on the red planet new Pangaea. As the asteroid fell, we watched the planet wide devastation spread.” Pudgy whimpered, which drew a soft look from the older dinosaur.
The two had travelled a distance through a long featureless stone hallway. With the bare minimum of lighting, they reached a black hexagonal set of doors. As they approached, they started to open. And a large chamber started to be revealed. Pudgy looked around, “lead claw, where are we going?” Once the doors opened, the triceratops entered, and Pudgy couldn’t believe his eyes. All manner of dinosaurs were walking around. Big ones, little ones, he saw a pterodactyl flying above landing on a wide ledge. “Wow, look at all the dinosaurs!” Pudgy exclaimed, which drew curious looks at the lead claw with the strange white covered critter riding on her head. The triceratops beamed with pride, “this is one of our living domes. There are several here, guarded by the Razar. They are our armed forces and protect the domes.” Pudgy looked down, “I thought her name was Razar?” The lead claw grinned, “no, that is a title. If she agrees, she will tell you her actual name.” Two Raptors strode up to the Lead Claw, “Lead Claw, what is that?” The hedgehog waved, “hi, my name is Pudgy.” The two took a step back, sniffing, “what’s a Pudgy?” Pudgy pointed, “I’m a hedgehog,” which drew a chuckle from the two approaching dinosaurs. “Alacir, can you assist me for a moment?” The raptor on the left snapped to attention, “yes lead claw!” Lead claw looked up, “Pudgy, go with Alacir. I must take my leave for now. I will return after I confer with the other Razar forces. Alacir, please do not eat our guest, or I will be very cross with you. Show him around, perhaps a trip to our museum?” Pudgy watched as the raptor strode up beside her, and he swung over to drop onto his back. As the large dinosaur walked away, Pudgy found himself with two young dinosaurs who were eyeing him. As he held on, the two started to head off towards another large hallway at a much quicker pace. The hedgehog was aflutter with excitement, looking at the scene around him.
Meanwhile in Xanadoom, Lord Doomcock was monitoring the cameras. The lander was detecting moon quakes at an increasing rate. But what worried him the most, was Pudgy still had not returned. Based on the air use calculations, he was dangerously close to running out of air. Diktor watched the camera pan and then started tracking movement along the crater ridge line. “What is that,” the ruler muttered as several shapes were walking towards the lander. It was a slow progression, but soon the camera focused on spacesuit clad dinosaurs approaching the site, “moon dinosaurs…. how in the?” A loud train horn sounded, which drew a look from the ruler, “I have to turn off that censoring device. I will have words with mister Dinosaur in Pudgy’s Forrest after this operation is over.” In a matter of moments, the moon dinosaurs had surrounded the rocket, and were examining it. “Son of a…..” the train horn sounded again and kept sounding as he beat his fist on the computer desk. A large tyrannosaur approached and picked up the lander in a huge set of jaws. The module was being carried off. “NO!” One by one, the cameras started to turn off, and transmission signals from the lander ceased. Lord Doomcock was holding his head in his hands, worrying what had happened? But, one thing that neither Pudgy nor Cobalt knew, there was a transponder inside the craft. So that signal continued to send in intermittent bursts. The lord could watch on his moon map, and plot where the space dinosaurs were taking the rocket. Diktor also watched on a high-resolution feed, black marks growing all over the surface of the moon. While the surface television was distracted by sports and politics, the science channels were being very quiet as to the events of the lunar surface. That was odd, though not uncommon for a news blackout to occur. Though twitter was ablaze with conspiracies from amateur astronomers. “If they only knew,” Diktor muttered.
Meanwhile, Pudgy was inside a large room with a triangular shaped ceiling. Wonderful murals were painted, showing a panoramic scene of a dinosaur city. They showed the daily life of common folk in all manner of activities. His raptor escorts narrated and explained when he questioned certain depictions of historical events. Pudgy had been set down on a ledge, with tall green leafy plants. He had attracted the attention of younger dinosaurs, who curiously asked him tons of questions. Pudgy would bounce and act out his answers. Which drew cheers, and attention. It was the hedgehog’s description and stories about Humans that drew the most attention. Pudgy blinked when he realized there were about 50 dinosaurs crammed into the museum’s grand plaza to listen to him. He also saw the lead claw triceratops slowly pushing her way through the crowd. She was smiling as only a dinosaur could and was listening as well. After stories about Cobalt, and his cabin in the forest, the lead claw had made it to the front, turning towards the crowd. “Ok everyone, our friend from earth has had a long trip. So, everyone please disperse, Pudgy will be here tomorrow.” The younger dinosaurs wined, but their parents herded them wandering off through the adjoining hallways. The lead claw looked at the two Raptors, “take Pudgy to the museum. I should have asked you to not let him teach a class.” Chuckling she dismissed the young Raptors, “you may go now, thank you.” She motioned with her head, and Pudgy climbed back onto her head, being very careful where he stepped. Turning around slowly, she walked through the plaza. “Did you enjoy the museum Pudgy?”
Pudgy bounced, “yes!” The hedgehog looked around, as he was riding on the lead claw. The walls were smooth cut stone. The wonderful murals ended, and gray stone was seen. All the doors they passed were hexagonal black metal, with automatic openers. Which made sense, as most dinosaurs were walking on all four legs. The Raptors had arms, with three fingers topped with long claws black or silver. The hedgehog noticed the Lead Claw’s horns seemed to be painted red. “Lead claw, why are your horns red?” Pudgy asked, which drew a burst of laughter. “Aren’t you the inquisitive one? There are many lead claws, I represent general operations within the domes. Green indicates science operations, and silver indicates engineering. If you see claw symbols, three claws are the superiors. It’s good that you asked this though, as we are going to a meeting of the claws. The others want to meet you, and then we can discuss what to do with you.” Pudgy nodded, “Pudgy needs to stop Harvey Cthulhu, and get back home to Earth.” The triceratops nodded, “yes, I see. We will discuss your status at the meeting.” The triceratops was moving at a fair pace though not as fast as some smaller dinosaurs who sped past as they maneuvered around the domes. Pudgy looked down, watching as the dinosaur’s skin flexed as her legs moved. She was not covered in a space suit, and could see brown with faint black stripes, almost like a zebra.
As she walked towards another set of hexagonal doors, which slowly opened into another large dome. Pudgy saw all sorts of dinosaurs welding and assembling things. But the sight of his lander sitting in a wide empty spot drew his attention. “Pudgy Lander! Why move it?” His tone switched from inquisitive to upset. The lead turned and started walking towards it. “I ordered Razar to move it here. While I do not believe your intentions are evil, you are a trespasser within our realm. But we will inspect your … lander as you call it. Then our meeting will commence.” She lowered her head, letting Pudgy slide down and drop onto the smooth stone floor. The hedgehog scampered over to the lander and inspected it. Everything looked all right, though. The chain ladder was dangling. He started to climb up and opened the hatch. Inside, his flight module looked all right. The solar cells were still charging, and the battery was at 95%. The lead claw stretched her neck and peeked inside. “So, this is how you came here? It is so small; I would not be able to handle being trapped inside.” Pudgy turned and nodded, “will Pudgy still need an air tank and helmet at the meeting?” The dinosaur shook her head. “No little one, you have my word your lander will be safe.” The hedgehog nodded, and started to disconnect his air tanks, and connect them into the module. He also took off his helmet and placed it into a compartment. With his possessions in order, he took a long drink of water. The dinosaur watched quietly, and then asked questions. Pudgy started to narrate what the various systems were for, and after connecting the air tanks, he began to recharge the tanks. It was a quick process, which drew more questions. Pudgy secured things inside, then moved towards the open hatch, looking out. A long skinny dinosaur with three silver claws was watching him, as the triceratops was talking with a large tyrannosaurus.