Shadow Fall: Chapter 8: Thunder Eagle

The hologram of Daedlus stood motionless, eyes transfixed onto the floating hedgehog.  It had been several minutes of silence, with the only sound being that of the hot wind blowing up from the valley below the peak.  While on the outside all seemed serene, inside Pudgy’s mind, he was frantic.  He still could not feel his body, and felt like the world was slowly drifting away.  The barely visible image of the tall human, that seemed somehow darker than the black void surrounding him, had disappeared.  But the hedgehog knew the supreme being was still present.  Deep down, he also knew that form was not the Great Spirit’s true form.  Cobalt once told Pudgy that God chooses to be whomever or whatever God wants to be.  The reason why most humans would see a human man, was that it was what a mortal human would most be able to understand.  The true nature of the spiritual world was much different.  There was no wrong religion, no wrong interpretation, all were pieces of the same universal truth.  

Pudgy didn’t understand what his human friend told him, until he started to go on his adventures.  He had seen glimpses of the world that was past this one, and interacted with beings from that realm.  This time it was different, and the little hedgehog was trying to wrap his head around whom he was able to speak to?  The void spoke once more, in a tone that was neither male nor female, to the critter only.  “I can sense your thoughts, little one.  You have no reason to fear me, and I will return to using your body shortly.  You said the dinosaurs were nice to you when you visited them?”  The critter was not able to speak, and soon felt his mind racing.  All of his adventures from the very beginning to present time flashed by in several seconds.  It did not hurt, and while wiggling his nose he whimpered in his mind, “Pudgy didn’t get to act out the parts.”  The Great Spirit started to laugh, “perhaps next time … current matters are pressing and time is short, Pudgy Hedgehog.  I have seen what I need to see.  Now let us see what the Daedlus will say to my offer?”

Pudgy started to glow bright green once more, and Unetlanvhi’s voice once more came out of his mouth.  “Daedlus, I have conferred with this little hedgehog, who has spoken highly of your kind.  He has petitioned me, through both words and thoughts, asking for mercy to be given.  I am inclined to lessen my wrath.  If I were to stay my judgement, and offer amicable resolution to your status, what would you do?”  The hologram looked down at the possessed hedgehog, who had been floating around five feet or so from the ground.  The undisputed leader of the dinosaurs looked stoic, “Great Spirit … I wish only for my remaining pack to live out the remainder of their days in peace once more upon the ground.  Our home is damaged beyond repair, and many are sick.  Our kind wishes only live once more in harmony with the land, as did our original ancestors.”  Pudgy wiggled his nose more frequently, which was a good sign that he was regaining control of his body.  As Pudgy looked up at the hologram, he saw a look in the dinosaur leader’s eye.  “However … as long as you rule over this world …there will be no peace.  OPEN FIRE!”  Pudgy saw the pyramid’s spire start to glow a bright red color, and in an instant, a beam of energy soon shot straight at the hedgehog.  

Grumpy was running full speed, and had just crested the hill to see the dinosaur moon base fire an energy beam directly at Pudgy.  Roaring out in anger, “you bastard!  Pudgy, I will save you!”  The tyrannosaurus leapt as hard as he could manage, and dove in front of the energy beam.  Roaring loudly in tremendous pain, the energy beam cut deeply into the entire length of his body along the left side through his hide.  The dinosaur dropped hard in front of the hedgehog, and laid there bleeding out profusely.  The beam dissipated, and the smell of ozone filled the air.  “NOOOO!  GRUMPY!” The little critter cried out, and pushed as hard as he could muster, to break free of Unetlanvhi’s presence.  Dropping onto the ground, Pudy scampered over to his hurt dinosaur friend.  Crying hysterically while circling around the large animal, in a short matter of time he reached where the wounds were clearly visible.  Frantically he took off his pack, and got out the winter weather gear from his pack that had been shredded.  “NO GRUMPY! DON’T DIE!”  The hedgehog cried out, and started to try and stem the bleeding.  In the background, the hologram of the Daedlus was starting to laugh with an insidious tone.  “Well we missed the so-called Great Spirit, but we did cut down that prideful idiot.  Razar, charge up the energy batteries, we will ready another volley.”  

Inside the dinosaur’s pyramid base, as the Daedlus stated, there were indeed many sick dinosaurs.  They were being led by the Razar into a glass chamber that was globe-like located in the main energy production facilities deep within the structure.  Those selected to be sacrificed were protesting as loudly as they could muster, but ultimately could not resist as the Razar were too numerous.  The numbers of soldiers inside were far more than were represented verbally, though one part was true.  The nonmilitary members of their society indeed were thinning precipitously.  The reason why the base was not able to be repaired was that the supreme leader strengthened his military force, rather than the civilian forces that would repair and enhance the base.  “600, close the chamber, and begin energy production.”  The Razar lead raptor hissed out, as the subordinate pushed a series of triangular shaped white buttons.  The glass chamber closed, and roars of pain soon started to echo throughout the chamber.  The bodies were immediately disintegrated, turning into a cloud of white energy.  However it did not last, as the white gaseous energy was then vacuumed away to be added to the energy storage systems.  

200 pushed the communication panel, and the dinosaur supreme leader appeared on a small hexagonal view screen on the wall.  “ Energy reserves at 105%  Available fuel, 25 bodies.”  Daedlus nodded, “good work.  Round up the remaining available fuel sources, and ready them for use.  We may need to fire another volley.”  In the central command chamber a few levels higher, the dark blue skinned Tyrannosaurus smirked.  The hedgehog indeed had proven useful, and their cover story had convinced the stupid creature to advocate on their behalf.  The dinosaurs had gone to war against the great spirit, feeling that it kept their kind from ascending to their true destiny.  The dinosaurs wanted to reshape the universe in their own image, throughout all of creation.  The dinosaurs in the chamber were silent, working at their stations in various states of disbelief.  Not all shared the Daedlus’s plans, but he was too powerful to be resisted.  

The station heads worked their controls, trying to scan the horizon, as well as the surrounding area for any sign of the Great Spirit.  “All stations report!” The supreme leader roared, and a small green dinosaur with feathers stammered out.  “D … D … Daedlus …no sign of the Great Spirit.”  The Daedlus Claw nodded, “ hmm .. we have scared it away for now.  Once we have dispatched that eternal thorn in our side, we can emerge from this place.  Once more our kind will spread upon the world, and reshape the world in our image.  We are the superior beings, and I am the highest of all powers.  The animals of this world will serve our kind, and those who do not willingly submit, will be dispatched in accordance with the old ways.”  The smaller dinosaurs put their heads down, and did not respond.  While the Triceratops Lead Claw spoke, “by your will Daedlus, it shall be done.”  The science team Lead Claw nodded, “the empire of Pangea shall rise once more!”

After the statements of affirmation resulted in a smug looking Daedlus, the whole base started to shake violently.  The vibrations were so severe, that it sent several dinosaurs falling out of their stations.  The small dinosaurs rolled out into the open floor, and struggled to get back to their feet.  On the view screen, the skies started to blacken.  All the stars faded, the moon faded, and the land began to glow with a dull white light.  The Triceratops’s eyes went wide as she stared at the monitors, “the Great Spirit comes once more!”  The undisputed supreme leader narrowed his eyes, “prepare to fire the energy cannon.  We will strike down the false spirit, and reclaim our birthright!”  On the monitors, the dinosaurs watched in a mixture of awe and horror as something began to emerge from the void.  At first it seemed to be somehow darker than the black void, just barely visible.  The shape began to change, and glimmer with a faint magical energy.  

Outside of the Pyramid, Pudgy was pressing hard on the open wounds of his dinosaur friend.  Mustering all of his available strength, he was applying pressure on the open wound, to slow the bleeding.  Grumpy groaned incoherently, as his breath started to become labored.  Pudgy cried out, “Great Spirit!  Please help!” The hedgehog looked up while he pleaded to see that lightning bolts had started to fill the sky.  The flashes were far too numerous to count, and the thunder  violently boomed overhead.  The whole mountain was shaking hard, and made it very hard for Pudgy to remain in place on Grumpasaurus.  Putting his head down, the hedgehog slid down towards his backpack.  Turning it upside down, Pudgy got out his other winter weather gear.  He pulled it behind him as he scampered back up the injured dinosaur’s side.  Biting and tearing the fabric, the little hedgehog was quickly working to pack the long wound with fabric.  The cries of an animal boomed overhead, it was shrill and high pitched.  

Looking back up into the sky, Pudgy’s mouth dropped as the white feather covered head of an eagle was filling the sky.  Its beak was pure silver, and its eyes were glowing with a golden light.  The eagle was easily larger than the entire planet, and had to be floating in space in order to fold its wings around the sky.  What the little hedgehog did not realize as he stood in awe watching, was that the arrival of Unetlanvhi was not just centered over the mountain peak that he was standing upon.  The entire planet could see the Great Spirit, even beneath the ocean.  Far away on Kodiak Island, the Mother of all Bears was bowing in reverence.  All remaining bears were bowing as well, watching as brown and white feathers started to spread over their island.  In the Great Ice Tree, the arctic owls hooted in reverence as they bowed.  In the desert lands, hundreds of cacti had gathered to make peace.  With the emergence of the Great Spirit, the lamentations of the small cactus that had been the source of much angst was silenced.  All plants were pointing to the sky, watching as the gigantic brown feathered body of the eagle was floating over their desert.    All animals were humbled and paid respect in their own way, and those who had forgotten, were reminded of who was in charge.  

“FIRE ALL BATTERIES, SHOOT DOWN THE FALSE SPIRIT!”  The undisputed supreme leader of the dinosaurs roared, which sent the station heads to frantically work the controls.  Several large beams of pure red energy blasted out of the spire of the pyramid and towards the head of the eagle.  Along the exterior of the base, the hexagonal windows began to open, and energy cannons were slid out into position.  Staffed by Razar soldiers, they began to load incendiary rounds and started to fire into the sky as well.  Pudgy whimpered as this occurred, and covered his ears with his dinosaur blood covered paws.  “Pudgy doesn’t want anyone fighting!  Pudgy doesn’t want anyone hurt.  Pudgy …Pudgy….” the critter stammered out as he began to cry hysterically.  His dinosaur friend was hurt by the good dinosaurs he thought that lived in the pyramid.  The dinosaurs turned out to really be bad, and the Bear Mother was right about everything.  Looking up at the Great Spirit with tear filled eyes, the hedgehog wiggled his nose once more.  

The volleys of energy blasts, incendiary rounds from the cannons, and other weaponry all were thrust into the sky.  The Great Spirit was struck directly, and did not make any attempt to dodge.  Explosions, fireballs, strange colored lights filled the sky and temporarily blocked out sight of the Great Spirit.  As the air began to clear, Pudgy realized that the full might of the dinosaur base had no effect. Unetlanvhi’s glowing golden eyes were transfixed upon the pyramid.  “Is that the best you can do?  The last gasp of a dying empire?  Now, let me see just how many of you are actually left inside of there.”  Pudgy watched as the eagle body began to rise up, and shifted into an attack position.  The brown feathered belly started to move overhead, to reveal a gigantic silver clawed talon began to thrust down from the sky above.  The talons caught fire as they entered the atmosphere, and raked against the pyramid’s stone structure.  Deep gouges were cut into the stone exterior.  While not a speedy attack, the talons of the great spirit did massive damage.  Multiple times Unetlanvhi attacked the heretical animals’ structure, and each time the bodies of the Razar soldiers would fall out of the base and onto the ground.  Each dinosaur that fell from the base was immediately disintegrated on the ground.  

A second claw started to descend as well from the sky, and also was attacking the opposite side of the pyramid.  Stones that had survived millions of years were falling in all directions, with most cascading down the side of the peak.  The last structure of the dinosaur empire was ripped to shreds in a matter of seconds by Unetlanvhi.  The individual floors were soon revealed, and as Pudgy looked on, he could see that the vast majority of the inside was empty.  At one time, thousands of dinosaurs could be held within the structure.  More worrying for the pompus dinosaurs within, was that the central command chamber now clearly was visible.  The gigantic dark blue skinned Daedlus sitting at his command platform.  The remaining Razar soldiers had formed a defensive ring around him, armed with any remaining weapons that could be scrounged.  At the same time, the large hexagonal doors of the airlock opened, as a stampede of frantic dinosaurs were racing to escape.  They were plant eating dinosaurs, and the remaining science and engineering team members that had been referred to earlier as fuel.  

The 25 remaining non military members of the society reached the exterior of the structure, and limped out onto the dusty ground.  They had not fully acclimated to the earth’s gravity, and dropped onto the ground in total exhaustion.  The Razar were in pursuit, hissing angrilly, “GET BACK IN HERE, WE NEED TO FIRE ANOTHER VOLLEY!”  Without realizing it, the raptors crossed the threshold of their structure.  As soon as their clawed paws touched the dirt of the earth, their bodies immediately burst into flames, turning into dust which scattered upon the wind.  The Great Spirit’s beak opened, and the eagle cry boomed overhead.  The remaining structure of the pyramid began to collapse, and with a defiant roar, the Daedlus spoke once more.  “We will never bend to your will.  This world was made for us.  We are its supreme rulers.  You are just a false god!  I am Daedlus Claw of the Dinosaur Empire of Pangea.  You will submit to my will!”  

From the beak of Unetlanvhi, fire rained down from the sky.  Flaming meteors blasted into the pyramid and exploded.  Gigantic chunks of rock and metal were sent flying out of the base,  with the cleansing fire purifying the structure of the remaining Razar forces.  The thunderous volley of near constant chunks of flaming space debris, lasted for many tense minutes, until the base was no more.  In the pile of rubble, only a few small sections of rock supports were left, and the Daedlus was burning.  Roaring in pain, the last vestige of the old dinosaur order was being erased as his body began to turn into dust.  The Daedlus roared defiantly for the last time, “damn you Great Spirit!”  The remains of the once mighty pyramid also turned into a glowing white dust, and blew upon the wind.  The original land soon began to appear once more, with the peak reshaped back to the way it was before the dinosaurs had landed.  

Pudgy whimpered as he turned to the dinosaurs that had escaped the structure, watching them look over at the blood covered hedgehog and his dying dinosaur friend.  Unetlanvhi’s talons were pulled up from the earth once more, and his head once more appeared over the mountain peak.  His golden eyes looked upon the surviving dinosaurs, and the dying one beneath the hedgehog.  Unetlanvhi’s voice softened, “it would seem that not all dinosaurs were in defiance against me.”  The little hedgehog watched as both his blood stained winter weather gear disappeared, and Grumpy’s wounds were healed in a golden magical light.  The injured dinosaur’s breathing eased, and his eyes opened up once more.  Groaning, “ugggghhhh …Pudgy.  Next time, you need to dodge!”   The hedgehog protested, “Pudgy couldn’t move body, Unetlanvhi was still in control!”

It was by this time, an exhausted young tyrannosaurus reached the summit.  8K’s eyes went wide, seeing the pyramid was no more.  He had watched from afar the last desperate attack, and had rushed as fast as he could muster to get back.  There was a group of assorted dinosaurs with red, green, and silver colors on various parts of their bodies.  The great Spirit Unetlanvhi’s golden eyes scanned the ground, and seemed to stare directly through the ancient animals.  Pudgy watched silently, and slid off of his dinosaur’s friend’s side.  He located his backpack, and started to put away the scattered contents.  Strapping his pack back onto his back, the little critter looked up at the eagle.  Unetlanvhi’s voice boomed once more overhead, “you seem to harbor no disrespect, or ill will to this world.  I shall grant leniency, that is conditional.  If you take any action against this world, any action against its inhabitants, or any word and deed against me: I shall wipe your remaining kind without a second thought.  It is by my will, that this world exists, and my word is absolute.  Is that understood?”  The remaining dinosaurs nodded, and responded in their various ways to the Great Spirit.  Unetlanvhi nodded, “then it is done.  Mind my words, and know I am watching ….always.”  

The eagle started to fade away, with its body no longer blocking the skies.  The stars reappeared, as well as the moon.  There was no cloud at all, in the dark nighttime sky above the mountain peak.  In a matter of seconds, the Great Spirit was no longer visible.  But all knew it was still there, watching silently once more.  Grumpsaurus stood up, and stretched his body while lowering his tail onto the ground.  “Pudgy, climb up.  While everything seems to be over, I think we should still leave as quickly as possible.”  The little hedgehog nodded, and after checking he didn’t leave anything behind, climbed up onto his friend’s tail.  He scampered up the spine of Grumpy’s back, and then huffed and puffed when he reached the top of his head.  As the older Tyrannosaur turned around, he started to walk past 8K.  The younger dinosaur nodded, and fell into line behind him.  

After a couple of minutes, Pudgy turned around to see that all the dinosaurs had fallen into line behind them.  They were struggling to walk, as the gravity was still too much for them at this time.  “Grumpy, everyone is following you.”  The hedgehog said, which drew a look upwards from the large dinosaur.  He slowed his pace, and turned around to see the laborious walking of the dinosaurs.  “What are you doing?”  8K grinned, “well … I’m coming with you.  And the rest of my friends, decided to follow along with me.  We are strangers to this world, and you have lived here for many years.  That makes you best to follow, at least for now.  We will have no Daedlus, no soldier class to subjugate us any further.  The Great Spirit has given us a chance to live in peace, and we wish to do so.”  The ordinarily grumpy dinosaur nodded, “well then, hmm…. I can’t stop you following me.  My home is a fair distance, but not great, from this mountain.  I live in a fairly large cavern, which while tight, should be able to accomodate you.”  The smaller dinosaurs nodded, and roared that they agreed.  One dimetrodon wiggled his fin, “can we stop every so often though?  We are not acclimated to this world yet.”

Grumpasaurus nodded, “yes, that is fine.  I’m kind of stiff anyway, having taken an energy blast from the pyramid.  I will slow my pace, that should also help.”  Turning around once more, and walking forward at a slow pace, Pudgy watched as his dinosaur friend was following the toll road that led down from the mountain.  As the hours passed, and after many rest stops along the way, the group reached the base of the mountain.  There was a decaying human structure that collapsed beside the road.  It was the toll station where humans would pay a fee, so they could drive up the mountain.  8K looked at the human structure, “what is going on?”  Pudgy waved, “all the humans are gone now.  They once covered this world, and built many things.  Everything that they made is going away, some quickly, and others more slowly.”  The younger tyrannosaurus nodded, “looks like they had the same hubris as we did.  Then Unetlanvhi reminded them who was in charge, as he did our ancestors.  The Daedlus was the last surviving member of our ancestors, who had lived during the old times.  The Necromancy and life extending technology was keeping him alive ….”

While the rest of the group caught up, and started to rest, a small melanosaurus walked up to Grumpy.  However, it was not to talk, and instead to look at a white colored tree with leaves that were tinged in red.  Pudgy called out, “that is a maple tree.  When they get big enough, you can tap them to make maple syrup.”  The young dinosaur craned his neck up, and started to eat the leaves from the tree.  His soft brown eyes lit up, “it tastes so delicious!”  Several other dinosaurs moved up beside him, and started to taste the leaves.  Grumpy chuckled, “well …it’s a good thing my cave is surrounded by oak trees.  I wonder if they like pine needles too?”  8K laughed, and watched as the sunlight started to appear.  “It is indeed a happy day, to us all …  what are pine trees?”   Pudgy started to explain, while the dinosaurs all started to move once more.   The human roads were in various states of disrepair, with many sections having been reclaimed by the earth.  This meant that it was easier to walk through the forest, and allowed Pudgy to give a grand class on the forest.  

The dinosaurs listened, but some could not hear, and resulted in the same lesson being repeated.  That was fine, Pudgy loved talking to the dinosaurs.  After another long couple of hours, the group had reached their limit.  The sound of running water could be heard, and the dry desert air was filled with moisture.  They were in a thick forest, but the grassy areas were still allowing ease of travel.   Grumpy grinned, and headed towards the source of the noise, a deep creek flowing with water.  The thirsty older tyrannosaurus leaned forward and lowered his head down to take a drink.  He had forgotten Pudgy was on top of him, and watched as the hedgehog fell into the creek.  The little dinosaurs shrieked, but calmed when the little critter surfaced.  He was swimming back to the shoreline.  The group watched as Grumpy took a long drink of water from the creek.  One by one they lined up, and lowered their heads as well, drinking deeply.  Pudgy reached 8K nose, and waved, drawing a laugh from the young tyrannosaurus.  

The wet hedgehog reached the shoreline of the creek, and once safely back on land, turned to take a drink as well.  Grumpy raised his head, “there is a lake nearby here.  But I know all of you are tired, so we will stay here.  Pudgy scampered up to his dinosaur friend, “where are we Grumpy?”  The older dinosaur nodded, “the humans once called this place Cascade.  Actually, it was a campground at one point, but the human buildings have all collapsed.”  The little hedgehog nodded, and curled up underneath a nearby fern, and promptly fell asleep.  The dinosaurs took their cue from the critter, and soon had arranged themselves along the creek and eased down to fall asleep as well.  8K looked at Grumpy, “I will stay awake, and call out if something happens.”  The older dinosaur nodded, and dropped down onto his side, and drifted off to sleep as well.  

The young tyrannosaurus was so full of wonder at the new world he was exploring.  Even if he wanted to sleep, he could not.  In the distance a pack of strange brown colored animals on four legs were running on the opposite side of the creek.  They had black noses, and white puffy tails, with many having strange arrays of pale brown colored horns.  Pudgy would know what they were, but he was asleep.  Strange sounds were overhead, as small animals flew in the sky, of too many colors to count.  As the hours passed, sleep inevitably called, and 8K was powerless to stop it.  He too fell asleep, as the wind softly blew through the forest.  Grumpy had awakened earlier, but was still laying down to rest.  As the hours passed, and the sun crossed the horizon, it was not until the early evening that the group had risen.  The small dinosaurs were exploring the area around the creek, and easting many strange plants.  

Pudgy had even found some acorns beneath an oak tree, and used his tools to crack the shells.  He was busy munching on the nut located within the husk.  This led to another discussion of the forest, which drew many questions.  Pudgy was patient and kind, answering them multiple times, while munching happily.  Soon it was time to go once more, and the little critter climbed back on top of Grumpy’s head.  The pack crossed the creek at a less deep crossing, and were heading towards the lake that had been mentioned the day before.    Since Grumpy was much louder than Pudgy, he relayed what the hedgehog was saying, so the group could hear.  Pudgy explained the difference between oak trees, maple trees, pine trees, ash trees, and the other plants that they were passing.  As the deer started to run and play once more, Pudgy explained the deer were nice.  They ate plants too, and the male deer were called bucks.  The bucks could easily be separated from the does, since they had antlers.  Grumpy added they tasted good, which drew a shriek from the plant eaters.  8K laughed, and nodded, “well … even I have adapted to eat plants.  Perhaps in time you will as well,” the young tyrannosaur nodded.  

As the night sky formed once more, the forest opened up to reveal a wide body of water.  They had reached the lake, and the moon reflected from the surface of the water.  After maneuvering around to reach a suitable spot, the pack bedded down to sleep once more.  Each day, it was becoming easier to move, and the former space bound dinosaurs were adapting.  However, something else was occurring, which made Pudgy sad.  They were starting to lose dinosaurs, who would disintegrate into a fine white dust and scatter away.  8K was the first to notice, and he explained to Pudgy that they did not die in pain or anger from Unetlanvhi.  The pyramid was never meant for long term living away from Pangea.  There was an illness that had spread throughout their kind.  They would slowly waste away, and pass in their sleep.  He also went into many details, after much prodding by the hedgehog, and it was akin to a cancer of some sort.  There was no cure, and the bodies would be repurposed once the passing.  The true horrors were not revealed to their kind, until the broadcast by the Daedlus.  It was upon that revelation, that made them question their fealty to the supreme dinosaur leader.  

In the morning, after all had rested, Grumpy took a count of their pack.  Of the 26 that had left the peak, twenty three remained.  The plant eating dinosaurs feasted upon the bountiful plants, and drank deeply from the lake.  Strange water born animals were swimming beneath the water, which drew fascination from the moon dinosaurs.  And a bit a shock when Grumpy drove his head underneath to catch said underwater animals.  8K was curious, and imitated the older tyrannosaurus.  After a few attempts, he had caught a strange animal in his mouth.  It was flapping around wildly inside, and so 8K decided to take the plunge, and munch down on it.  The taste was not like anything he had ever tasted before.  It was delicious, and slid down his throat.  A decision was made collectively to stay at the lake for the time, which Grumpy was fine with.  It was the summer time, and the mountains were still warm.  

Happy days passed, with many grand hedgehog tales told.  Pudgy spoke about all that had happened since he had left.  Fascinating tales of demons, shadowy forces, owls, bears, wolves, and the human world were revealed.  When the rains fell, at first it frightened the dinosaurs.  But they calmed when Pudgy played around in the rain, and explained what it was.  When the group was ready, it assembled once more, and the pack headed towards the cavern.  Across the remnants of a human highway the pack crossed, and headed high into the mountains across from the lake.  The trails were narrow and steep, through thick forests.  However there were no more disappearances of the moon dinosaurs, and they followed along.  Now that they had been acclimated to the earth, they could travel much farther.  So it was after a day or so, they they reached a large lake ringed by tall pine trees that stretched into the sky.  

Pudgy wiggled his nose,  and listened to Grumpy speak. “The humans once camped on this side of the lake, which they called Palmer Reservoir.”  The cavern could be seen from across their position, and was tucked into a steep hill. The hedgehog nodded, “this is a nice place Grumpy, no wonder you spoke so highly of it.”  The older tyrannosaurus nodded, “yes it is.  But it is lonely, so that is why I wandered off.  Then I found your forest, and decided to stay for a while.”  Some of the smaller dinosaurs nodded, “we want to visit Pudgy’s forest too!”  8K laughed, “I do too.  How far away is it?”  Grumpy nodded, “hmm … well it took me a couple of months to reach it.  I had to avoid human areas though, so perhaps only a month now.  It is too late in the year to start such a journey though, fall is soon upon us, then winter.  It is very cold here, and snowy.  That is why I stay in my cave, as much as I can.”  

The dinosaurs nodded, and started to spread out to explore the area.  Plants were tasted, water was drank, and lessons by the hedgehog given of what birds were?  Several birds stopped by: robins and cardinals, curious as to who Grumpy’s new friends were.  The dinosaurs listened, but could not understand what the animals were saying.  Pudgy had to translate for them, and wondered if it was because the dinosaurs were ancient?  The animal speak of their time, did not translate to the animal speak of today.  If that was the case, how could he understand the dinosaurs for that matter?  Over time however, Pudgy discovered the cause.  It was the volume, as many had not developed the degree of hearing that animals of today held.  

Day turned into night, and once more the pack bed down beside the shore of the lake.  When all were asleep, Pudgy scampered up to the water’s edge to take a drink.  On the surface of the water, it started to shimmer, and the image of an eagle began to form.  The hedgehog wiggled his nose and waved, “hello Unetlanvhi.  How can Pudgy help you?”  The Great Spirit laughed softly, “all is well Pudgy.  This is a good place for the ancient animals to live.  As long as they do not stray from their promise, I will cause no harm to them.”  The hedgehog nodded, “what happened to the ones that disappeared along the way here?”  The Great Spirit’s eyes softly glowed with a gold light.  “Their kind developed an illness, as was described by the one known as 8K.  In time, this world will heal them.  However, my will stands firm, and they shall not reproduce.  They will live out the remainder of their days in peace, and when it is time for their passing, they will join with me.”

The little hedgehog nodded, “is that where all the humans went?”  The Great Spirit nodded, “those that were worthy were returned to me.  Those deemed lacking were sent away, for appropriate measures.”  Pudgy frowned, “Pudgy doesn’t want anyone hurt.  But Pudgy know you are the Great Spirit, and you know what is best.”  The eargle started to laugh softly, and the image started to disappear.  The voice spoke one last time, “stay here awhile and rest.  Then it is time for you to return to your forest.  There is a ley line node nearby, which you may use to travel home.  Fare thee well, Pudgy Hedgehog.”  The little critter waved, and watched as the lake grew dark once more.  The moon was almost full, and now devoid of life.  The evil moon dinosaurs had been defeated, and the good ones were now living on the earth.  Pudgy did not have to worry about them any further, they were safe.  That made the hedgehog very happy, and he scampered around to hug each of his new friends.  The dinosaurs grinned in their sleep, and soon it was time for Pudgy to fall asleep.  He curled up beside Grumpy, and sighed out happily, “nite nite….”

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

One reply on “Shadow Fall: Chapter 8: Thunder Eagle”

Good chapter! I’m glad some of the moon Dinosaurs survived but that Daedlus was truly evil. In my mind he’s the worst villain you conceived. Harvey was funny/ridiculous, the Kaiser was redeemable but that Daedlus was insane and doomed the dinosaurs for all time. I wish the dinosaurs could reproduce, it’s sad that they’ll go extinct. Solid writing as always though, your world building is sooooo on point.


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