Shadow Fall: Chapter 9: Dinosaur Mountain

In the days that followed, the moon dinosaurs settled into their new forest.  Each day they grew stronger, and more animated as the fresh food and water invigorated their anemic bodies.  The remaining debris of the human camp was cleared, and put away so that it would not hurt anyone.  There was one exception, which was the main lodge, but it was not of concern at the time.  Grumpy’s cavern was discovered, and would be big enough for the pack.  While it was lacking in certain amenities, the multiple science and engineering team members quickly set to work to start the enhancements to bring it up to dinosaur standards.  

The adaptations were proving to be difficult, as the usual technologies the moon based animals would have used to create things were now gone.  This is where the older tyrannosaurus shined, and explained how to make things using the limited tools and supplies that he had stored in the cavern.  Grumpy’s main issue was his tiny arms, which made it extremely difficult to craft things.  That was why he was secretly glad when Cobalt and Pudgy would stop by his eastern cave, and help him build things.  Thankfully one thing was not lacking: a plentiful source of raw and adaptable materials located in the adjacent former human camp.  This was proving to be extremely useful to the dinosaurs, and resulted in their works to be done much quicker than any had expected.  

During these happy days, Pudgy spent his time telling stories.  The little hedgehog would help with projects as best as he could.  He was surrounded by giant animals, which made a navigation key concern to avoid being stepped on.  The critter was the first choice with regard to tiny tasks, such as squeezing in tight places or locating a missing screw.  At the exterior of the cavern, doors were installed on the cavern entrance.  They were mounted on tracks at the ceiling, and allowed the panels to be slid back inside the cavern, and out of the way to facilitate ease of access.  Sleeping chambers were also carved into the rock very carefully, while making sure to support the top of the cavern.  

During the building boom, Grumpy kept mentioning about the cold, and how he would sleep for a long time.  Pudgy explained to the other dinosaurs was a concept of hibernation.  Dinosaurs were cold blooded, so when the warmth of the day dissipates, their bodies start to shut down and long periods of sleep would occur.  The older dinosaur nodded, advising that at times, the surrounding area’s temperatures would plummet.  The science team members listened, and talk of a heating system akin to that of the pyramid started in earnest.  An engineering team member explained that the wide black hexagonal windows would absorb the sunlight, and in turn warm the air within.  The dinosaurus daily movements also caused heat, so while it was not necessarily a roasty toasty warmth, it was sufficient to keep everyone alive.  The remaining engineers did not have an immediate answer, but were contemplating solutions and taking measurements of the cavern.  

Shortly afterwards, the dinosaurs asked Pudgy what he was doing this … winter time?  The hedgehog bounced happily, and explained that he would make a fire in a wood stove to heat and cook.  That resulted in intense questioning of what a stove was, and how was it constructed?  The little critter explained, and drew pictures on the dirt on the floor to help explain.  The principles discussed were sound, and Grumpy explained that he had a similar system built at his other cavern.  The older dinosaur nodded, saying when it worked, the cave was nice and warm.  But he could never reload the fuel, which meant it would still get too cold and he would go to sleep.  After much talking, and minds full of ideas, Pudgy was sent with a couple small green dinosaurs with white feathers back to the human camp.  

Pudgy climbed up onto the back of a small yellow feathered dinosaur, and with a soft roar, his new dino friend started to run off.  As the little critter rode along,  they passed through the forest.  The distance from the cave to the camp was short, and at the current rate of speed, they reached it in ten minutes.  There were helpful paths cut through the forest, where the humans used to hike and walk during the day.  Checking the debris piles, there was nothing of use that could be adapted into what they needed.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, and suggested that they check the remains of the former lodge in the center of the camp.  And without a second thought, or any warning for that matter, the dinosaurs took off quickly to reach the remnants of the main lodge building.  At one point and time, it was an impressive structure, with clearly an A frame style design for the roof.  There was once a huge fireplace at one end, but now the multi-colored field stones had collapsed into a pile.  

The critter patted his dinosaur friend on the back, and then pointed, “hey 47 …look over there!”   There was something black peeking out from underneath a couple of golden oak beams that had snapped from their nearby supports.  Dismounting the dinosaur, Pudgy scampered into the lodge, and started to search.  After a few minutes of poking around carefully within the debris Pudgy said excitedly, “Oh boy, Pudgy found it!”   A couple dinosaurs’ heads popped up, and then they started to hop over the debris to reach the position where Pudgy’s voice was coming from.  All could see that there was a large black cast iron wood stove in relatively good condition in the one corner.  “This is a human wood stove.  You put the firewood inside the firebox.  When the fire is going, the heat comes out here …here…and here…”  The hedgehog narrated as he pointed, while the engineers nodded and made mental notes.  

There were also several sections of black metal pipe sticking out, or bent at strange angles.  “The pipe is how the wood smoke exits the stove, and goes outside.  Otherwise, the smoke would fill the cave, and no one could breathe.”  Pudgy said, while continuing to look around.  One of the larger dinosaurs that had come with the group went to the stove, and tried to move it. “Unnngghhh … this is so heavy!  We will never be able to move it.”  The group started to look a bit sad, until Pudgy got a thoughtful look.  “We will need to clear a path, and make a sled to load the stove on.  Then we can ask 8K or Grumpy to pull the sled back to the cave.  It should not be too hard to hook up the stove, and ready it for winter use.  Oh, and we will need to gather fuel for the stove as well, and something in case the fire gets out of control.  Oh wait, what is Pudgy thinking?  First we need to tell the others, so they can come over to help us.”  

The dinosaurs nodded in agreement, and started to back out of the debris pile.  Pudgy scampered through the debris, and over a wall beam to climb back up onto his feathered friend.   A couple engineering team members decided to grab sections of stove pipe with their mouths.  They made faces as they started to taste the ash within the pipe, and spat out the foul acrid black power.  After making note of how to retrieve the pipe, the dinosaurs began to drag back their respective pipe sections with them.  This resulted in the return trip to the cave taking much longer, since they could not run along at their normal pace.  Pudgy offered a suggestion when his dino friends were starting to become grumpy, that they should just roll the pipe.  After a test roll, it was determined by the group that the hedgehog was right.  It was indeed much easier and more fun for the dinosaurs to roll the pipe, and so they pushed it along with their heads.  

After an hour or so, the expedition returned, and spoke of what had been found at the remains of the human lodge.  The larger members of the group nodded while they inspected the sections of round hollow metal that had been retrieved.  The remainder of the group agreed to assist with the recovery efforts, though Grumpy protested about being a pack horse again.  He couldn’t help but agree with the plan, and nodded with a thoughtful look on his face.  The older dinosaur motioned, and noticed that there was even a small hole in the cavern’s ceiling that could be used for the vent pipe exhaust.  

With the plan made, the entire group exited the cavern, and started to head back to the lodge.  It was a nice warm day, full of sunshine and scant clouds.  It was a perfect day for projects, or just lounging about beside the lake.  Once reaching the former lodge, the entire pack helped to clear a safe direction to work and reach the stove.  Another group worked on the sled to drag the stove, and a simple design was opted for which consisted of a couple logs beams.  However, a new issue occurred, once the operations dinosaurs asked how the sled would move?  They had no means to pull the sled, as the sled was just two logs on the ground, with two supporting cross beams.  With sad looking, but thoughtful dinosaurs standing around and looking up into the air.  The solution to their limitation was overcome when one dinosaur potted these strange colored triangles in the trees above.  

Pudgy looked up, and it was a series of rope bridges.  “Oh boy, they have a climbing course!”  The little hedgehog exclaimed, and explained what he meant by climbing course?  He also had to explain what rope was, and how it could be used for the sled.  The rope system was strung through the trees, around the trees, and down to the ground in various places.  “If we can get the rope, then we can make a harness for Grumpy,” the melanosaurus said while nodding.   The older tyrannosaur grumbled, “I better get 2 deer for this.”  So while the more agile members of the pack were sent over to the rope course to obtain the necessary materials, Pudgy took this time to explore the former lodge in the meantime.  He carefully squeezed through a tight spot, to get underneath a pile of beams.  8K looked down from above as the little critter disappeared under the debris, “please be careful in there Pudgy.”

The hedgehog found a collapsed book case, which had several books on the shelves. Pudgy was able to read the spines of the books, and they were a series of assorted themes.  Most of the books were of a religious nature, with crucifixes on them, which meant that this was most likely at one point a church camp.  However, the books were wet and soggy from the rain, and smelled bad from mold.  As the sunlight peeked through the debris in places, the little hedgehog navigated to find a set of stairs going down.  He called out, “8K …Pudgy found stairs.  There is a basement underneath here,” the critter spoke while starting to carefully head down the polished wood staircase.  

It soon became very dark, so Pudgy turned on his headlamp on the mining helmet.  A tiny beam of light shone forward and illuminated the area where he was heading to.  Tread by tread, the little critter climbed down, until he reached the polished white concrete floor.  A small bit of water pooled on the floor where at one point a floor drain worked.  The rains that had managed to reach down here were draining, but very slowly.  However, the rest of the basement seemed to be dry and safe to explore.  When the critter looked up, he could see the drywall was a funny black and brown color, as the mold spread throughout the ceiling.  

In places, mushrooms were even growing, at angles Pudgy did not know they could thrive?  In terms of size, the area was perhaps a ten foot by ten foot basement.  Located at this back section of the lodge, this was where  the various mechanical components of the building were required to be placed.  There was a furnace, 2 hot water tanks, multiple boxes full of tools, a long oil/paint stained workbench, and cardboard boxes of various camp items piled in places.  

There were noises above him coming from the dinosaurs clearing the debris.  Eventually a beam of sunlight started to pour down the staircase, and the curious  pale green melanosaur poked her head down the staircase. “Pudgy are you ok?  Boy it is dark down here….”  The hedgehog scampered to the base of the stairs, “Pudgy found tools and all sorts of things down here!”  A couple smaller dinosaurs bounced down the stairs excitedly, almost knocking over the poor hedgehog.  He laughed, and watched as his dino friends scampered around to look around the basement at the treasures that had been found.  All sorts of excited noises started to escape from the mouths of the ancient animals, and Pudgy watched as they started to grab things in their mouth and claws.  

The dinosaurs then began to bounce excitedly, and began to climb back up the stairs, though at a slower pace since they were weighed down.  Sadly, Pudgy could not carry anything as it was all too heavy for him.  He decided to climb the stairs to get back outside, and stay out of the way as best as he could manage.  By the time the little critter had reached the surface once more, the basement had been emptied by the excited small dinosaurs.  The melanorosaurus was able to help with the tool boxes, and placed them off to the side of the staircase entrance.  The hedgehog found that the debris had been moved and piled to one side.  The once shining dark oak floors of the lodge were glistening in spots, and severely warped in others.  The stove was already gone,  and two deep gouges on the wood floor, and then in the dirt showed the direction the cast iron monstrosity had been dragged.  

A huge pile of tools, and boxes were at the top of the stairs.  The dinosaurs had already made a second sled, and the found supplies were being piled onto it.  8K was hooked up with a series of rope harnesses to the tool sled, ready to begin pulling.  Grumpy was nowhere to be seen, but the tracks made from sled number one meant that the older tyrannosaurus was already pulling the stove back to the cavern.    While his moon dino friends were busy, Pudgy could feel his vest vibrating.  The teleportation stone was detecting a ley line node nearby, which was what the Great Spirit had told him about a few days ago.  

The little critter scampered along the warm grass covered yard beside the cabin.  Thoughts of home crept into his mind, mixed with thoughts of sadness, since he would eventually have to leave the dinosaur forest.  But those thoughts were few, since the first order of business was to locate the node.  Once located, that meant that he could return here whenever he wanted to.  As the hedgehog started to search for the direction of the node, his stone would vibrate more strongly towards the west and north.  The hills were rolling in that direction, with what looked like a series of small cabins in various states of disarray.  These were the out buildings where the children would sleep, during their time at camp.  There was a mixture of pine and leaf bearing trees in the direction of the node, as well as what appeared to be a clearing of some sort?

Pudgy’s movements were at hedgehog speed, so that meant he did not travel that far.  However, it was enough of a distance, that resulted in a little dinosaur to hurriedly run up to him with a concerned look.  “Pudgy, where are you going?  The sled is ready, and 8K will be dragging it back to the cavern.  Grumpy already took the stove, and we need you to help us hook up the stove.”  The hedgehog nodded while he turned, “Pudgy was finding the ley line node, which seems to be in that direction.”  The critter pointed to the direction of the teleportation stone vibration, and he continued to speak.  “It is a magical way to travel, so Pudgy can eventually go home.”  After the hedgehog spoke, the dinosaur frowned and wailed, “noooo!  You can’t go home yet!”  Of course when the high pitched words were spoken, they echoed and carried on the wind.  More dinosaurs of various sizes, shapes, colors, and feathers began to run over whimpering.  “No Pudgy, please stay here!” The dinosaurs pleaded and repeated themselves in almost unison.  

Pudgy shook his head and spoke with a soft tone, “no … Pudgy is not leaving yet.  Pudgy needs to stay to help …. but Pudgy has to go home eventually,” the hedgehog explained.  The dinosaurs were still upset, and began to hug him while whimpering.  They would not calm down until he climbed back up on his feathered friend from earlier.  Once Pudgy was safely on top of the dinosaur, he had to hold on for dear life, as the whimpering creature  ran as fast as it could back towards the cavern.  The other ones fell into line behind the lead, and chased afterwards.  In no time at all, they had reached the cave.  Grumpy was laying beside the cave huffing and puffing, “why do humans make these darned things so heavy.”  8K was leading against an oak tree wheezing as he tried to catch his breath, “I … can’t believe you dragged it three quarters of the way here by yourself?  My part was almost too much for me to bear,” the younger tyrannosaurus said. 

8K saw the smaller dinosaurs run past saying, “you can’t go Pudgy!”  The comments both confused him, and made him sad.  “Wait one moment, who said Pudgy was going?”  The group slid to a halt, and turned to face 8K.  “We found Pudgy heading towards something called a ley line.  He said it is magic, and will send him home.  We said he can’t leave us!  Pudgy has to stay with us!”  The little ones all started to bounce and protest, while the hedgehog slid off the back of the feathered dinosaur.  The critter scampered up to 8K’s leg, “Pudgy was not leaving yet, but wanted to find the ley line node.  The Great Spirit told Pudgy that the node will take Pudgy home, to Pudgy forest.  But Pudgy wants to stay and help here, Pudgy not going yet.  Pudgy has been gone for months, and Pudgy forest friends must be so worried.  This is the longest Pudgy has ever gone from the forest.”

An exhausted Grumpy looked up, as he started to stand back up weakly.  “Argente is going to be quite cross with you when you get back.  I do not envy you, since she can get inside your home.”  Pudgy explained who Argente was, and described what she looked like to the small dinosaurs around him.  The older dinosaur nodded once more, “this place is usually fine, and Pudgy would be well suited to live here.  But as I have explained, the winters are very bad.  The snows are sometimes so deep, it comes up to the top of my legs.  Eventually, it will be better for Pudgy to go home.”  A series of hisses and whimpers started to emerge from the pack, as they voiced their displeasure of their hedgehog friend leaving.    

“I will need more of an explanation as to how these ley lines work.  However …. now that he knows where we live, he can always come back to visit.  Pudgy is quite skillful at travelling long distances.  Plus Cobalt can always help Pudgy get here, if something happens.”  Mr. Dinosaur had a soft tone, well as much as he could manage one, but it helped to calm the little ones.  The little hedgehog whimpered, and ran off into the cavern.  As the rest of the group also calmed, they watched with curiosity as Pudgy scampered into the cavern.  One by one the dinosaurs followed, and noticed that the little critter was examining the wood stove.  He did not want to talk about ley lines, or Cobalt, and pointed to the stove.  This was best for everyone, as thoughts of work were the best way to make sad feelings wander off for a time.  The group went back to work, and started to install the wood stove.  The hole in the cavern ceiling dictated where the stove could be placed.  With some proper adjustments: the stove was levelled and positioned into place.  The long sections of black stove pipe were moved into place by the taller dinosaurus with their long necks.  

The stove position was towards the front of the cavern, and off to the left side.  The other supplies from the basement were stacked on the opposite side of the cavern.  Thankfully sled number two had brought the tools, which made the next step much easier.  The black pipe for the smoke stack were in pieces, and there were clamps that required connecting bolts to keep the pieces together.  Pudgy climbed up the side of the stove, and once there watched as a dinosaur brought over one of the tool boxes.  The contents spilled out onto the ground, but it was ok, as Pudgy quickly saw what he needed.  Pointing to a little wrench, the dinosaur picked it up with their mouth and set it on the top of the stove.  The little critter took the L shaped wrench, and started to tighten connecting bolts at the stack pipe connector above the firebox.  “Pudgy wants to know who Allen was, and why did he have his own wrenches?”  

The little critter joke drew a snort from Grumpy,and a smirk.  The statement was lost on the others.  With assistance from a long necked dinosaur, Pudgy was able to be lifted into position.  He carefully began to tighten the various bolts on the chimney pipe.  The connecting clamps were every five feet, so this eventually required a taller dinosaur, and Pudgy to be lifeted high off the ground.  He was careful while standing on the head of the dinosaur, and worked as quickly as he was able to.  In a short period of time, the job was done, and the critter was lowered back to the top of the wood stove. 

Once safely back on top of the cast iron stovetop, Pudgy bounced when he realized this stove had a striker inside, which would make sparcs.  That was a feature his stove did not have, and meant that making fire would be much easier.  The excited hedgehog explained in a happy tone what the striker did, and what could be burned within the wood stove.  After the explanation was finished, Mr. Dinosaur nodded, “good, because I was going to ask you how to light the fire?”  The stove was a magnificent sight, and resulted in a small group of dinosaurs who  wanted to fire up the stove now.  There was an opposing group that were against it, and it resulted in a spirited discussion.  When the argument started to result in raised voices, the hedgehog waved his paws to get everyone’s attention.  “No, we should not run it yet.  It is too warm today, and if we make a fire now, the cave will be too hot inside.  Besides, Pudgy is tired, and poor Grump and 8K had to drag these heavy things back here.  Maybe instead …. Pudgy should tell another story?”  The dinosaurs bounced happily, and started to gather around the wood stove in a semicircle.    

Once all were situated, Pudgy began to tell his next grand tale.  This was the epic story of Pudgy fighting the Kaiser and his demons.  It was also the longest story he told, which occupied his dinosaur friends’ minds.  Acting out parts drew oohs and ahhs from the assembled group.  His friends asked many questions along the way, so the story did not complete until late in the evening.  Once finished, Pudgy took a small bow, in silence.  Grumpy was shocked, and was the first to speak.  “Pudgy … I am glad you survived that one.  I .. I knew some humans were bad … but that was horrible.  Even though it is closed, I never want to go to that prison.”  8K nodded, shaking slightly, “that was a terrible place.  How could humans do that to themselves?  I thought our kind did terrible things ….” The young tyrannosaurus said, while the others in the group nodded.  “Well, we can’t sleep!  We need a happier story!”  A feather dinosaur protested.    

Pudgy nodded, beginning the tale of the owls.  However, it was just as sad, with scary coyote attacks and Cobalt disappearing.  When Pudgy got to the desert part, with the bunny airship and the crazy cacti, the dinosaurs finally started to relax.  They became more animated,  and were fascinated by the desert lands to the south west of their current mountain.  The descriptions of the empty human cities, dark and devoid of life, were eerily similar to what occurred during their ancestor’s time.  The grand parliament, and the gathering of the owls and birds, also resulted in many questions.  A very sleepy hedgehog started to explain the differences between each owl.  But the little critter could not stay away, and fell forward onto the stovetop and immediately went to sleep.  The dinosaurs also too succumbed to sleep one by one, until the cavern was very quiet.  

Morning came and passed, then afternoon, then evening, until night once more arrived.  The group woke, and after attending to some tasks, returned to the stove where Pudgy continued his story.  The parliament ended, Pudgy was made an honorary arctic owl, and he returned home.  The return of Cobalt in a new animal form, the building boom of his forest with its little buildings, and the ending of another Pudgy adventure caused another round of cheers.  8K grinned, “well, that was a better story Pudgy.  I am glad it all worked out in the end.  But I suspect you have one more tale to tell us?”  The little critter nodded, and began to tell the tale of the bears.  The dinosaurs were fascinated by Cobalt, and his dragon body.  It sounded very similar to that of a dinosaur.  However, as the little hedgehog spoke of what was occurring with him, they became concerned.  

The trip to the island of bears, and the battle of the ice bridge, resulted once more in a very quiet room.  Except for Grumpy, “aww man!  I missed another battle!  I would have loved to eat …err …defended the bridge from the wolf attack.”  Despite the bluster, the older tyrannosaurus wondered just how many wolves there were?  If his hedgehog friend’s story was to be believed, there were thousands. The description of the Mother of all Bears fascinated the dinosaurs, with one small one even heading outside of the cave to check if the star face of the matriarch was looking overhead.  The night sky was cloudy, so they could not see her.  The trip to the lodge, and rest for all, rounded out the story.  Pudgy continued on explaining about the island, the visits from neighboring bears, parties, and lots of fun.  Then it was time to go once more with Alabaster, as they returned to the owls’ great ice tree.  

As the hedgehog told the tale, the part about the falling space debris caught 8K’s attention.  “that one part, with the black windows!  That was our exploratory vessel, where did it land?”  Pudgy looked up, “it hit the ocean and exploded.  Pudgy sorry, but it sank under water.”  The other engineers grumbled, while 8K nodded.  “I see, that is unfortunate.  It had sensors, tools, and other materials that would have been of use to us.”  Grumpy looked over at his younger counterpart, “oh sure, are you trying to get the eagle’s attention?”  Pudgy nodded, “8K … that would be bad.  If you started to use dinosaur technology, the Great Spirit may become angry again.”  The other dinosaurs started to quiet down, and pondered what was spoken.  Pudgy continued on with his tale, as he returned home.  The intense heat that blanketed the lands, the hedgehog’s multiple jumps on the leyline, until another chunk of debris sent him off course.  

Then the cacti showed up again, and were more incoherent.  Grumpy blinked, “Pudgy …do not go anywhere near those cacti again.”  The little hedgehog nodded, “Kekti and Cactikakos were nice, and told that dumb Larry to shut up.  They took Pudgy under the ground all the way to the mountain, and then disappeared during the night.  Politics is dumb, so Pudgy hope they settle things.”  The tale concluded with the trip up the peak, and running into the Razar with 8K.  The smaller dinosaurs pouted, “no fair!  Why is 8K in the Pudgy story and not us?!?!”  The young tyrannosaurus grinned, “I’m special.  But if you think about it everyone … when Pudgy gets back home … We will be part of this story.”  The group cheered once more, and the hedgehog’s grand tales were over.  

Grumpy grinned, “well the story is not quite over yet.  We have to help Pudgy find that ley line node.  Once we know where it is, our hedgehog friend will be able to go home.  And more importantly return to visit us,”  the older dinosaur added with a nod.  The small dinosaurs pouted, “no, we want Pudgy to stay! But we will help find the node, let’s go now!”  The stories had lasted all the way until morning, so the area was being illuminated softly by the rising sun.  The hedgehog slid down the stove, and scampered over to his friend Grumpy’s tail.  Scampering up onto the tail, the hedgehog climbed along his spine, until he reached the top of his friend’s head.  

The older dinosaur led the way, with soon the entire pack following along.  Through the woods they walked, back to where the lodge building was.  The little hedgehog’s vest started to wiggle when the stone began to pulse once more.  Giving directions, Grumpy headed up what was once a gravel driveway that led up to a series of bunk houses.  The buildings had fallen apart, but the support posts that kept them off the hilly land were still sticking up.  8K nodded, “we could rebuild the platforms.  Perhaps to store things … or experiments?”  The melanorosaurus with the long neck nodded, “we have the materials, and human tools to build them.  We could also use this area to begin to grow our food supplies.  The trees are tasty here, but I do not know if they would yield enough to sustain our pack.”

Grumpy shook his head, “the hunting is good here, and in the valley below.  I can teach 8K the basics, but instinct is best.”  8K looked at him, “while the …fish as you call it … was indeed tasty.  I am not sure if I would like this …deer … you have spoken of.  Besides, our kind evolved past eating meat out of necessity.  We have limited materials, but once growing, we will be able to create a stable food supply to serve all our needs … even yours.”  The older tyrannosaurus snorted, “we’ll see.  Pudgy, how much farther is it?”  The little hedgehog pointed at a wide flat granite boulder.  It had been painted by the campers blue and green, with pink doilies dancing around the base.  The dinosaurs were fascinated by the human paintings, and nudged the rock hesitantly with their snouts.  

The hedgehog slid down the back of his dinosaur friend, and then hopped off of his tail to land on the ground.  The critter scampered through the tall pale green grass, and up to the rock.  His teleportation stone wiggled hard, and started to warm in his vest.  Turning to the group, “this is it.  This stone is where the ley line exits the earth.  The owls told Pudgy that ley lines run all over this world.  There is even one … somewhere … that runs under the ocean all the way to the other side.  The teleportation stone that Pudgy has is attuned to Pudgy.  This means no one else can use it, but if Pudgy were to hold onto someone, Pudgy can take one animal with Pudgy.”  

The dinosaurs looked at each other, and then at Pudgy.  8K nodded, “I see.  Pudgy, our kind needs to stay together.  The Great Spirit has allowed us to live in peace, and this forest is a nice place.  Grumpasaurus has been a gracious host, and has allowed us to stay here with him.  But as much as it pains me to say this … you need to return home to your forest.  But not before you give everyone a hug first!”  The group of dinosaurs nodded, bounced, and roared happily.  One by one the little hedgehog bounced and hugged with each dinosaur friend.  Grumpy was last to be hugged, but he got the coveted second hug from Pudgy.  The little hedgehog scampered back over to the boulder, and climbed up onto it.  Reaching the center of the rock, the hedgehog started to check his backpack.  The remaining supplies were stowed away, and secured.  Tying the straps on his pack and helmet down, the hedgehog waved to all all of his friends.  

“Bye everyone, Pudgy has to go home now!  But Pudgy will be back to visit, so please don’t worry.  If you see Cobalt, can you tell Pudgy went home?”  The dinosaurs nodded, and waved in their own certain ways.  The stone began to glow with a soft green light, and in a flash of white light, the hedgehog disappeared.  The activation of the stone immediately burned away the paint, and it returned to its natural gray brown color.  Grumpy nodded, “good bye for now Pudgy.  I suspect we will be seeing you again …”  8K nodded, “agreed.  I think we need to mark this area, and perhaps even set up an observation station here.  If the owls can travel on the ley lines, who knows what else does as well?”  A dimetrodon science team member nodded, “agreed.  Everyone, please head out in pairs, we must further explore this area.”

As the dinosaurs began to spread throughout the forest, the little hedgehog was speeding away through the swirling magical energies of the ley line.  The air was thin, and the heat of the earth sweltered.  Flying faster and faster, without warning, the little hedgehog was shot out of the earth and high into the sky.  The little hedgehog was yelling in terror, as he flew over what was once the outskirts of Wichita Kansas.  Rolling into a ball, and clutching the teleportation stone, soon he headed towards the next node.  Whoosh, he was sucked into the large stone, and once more into the earth he went.  The pattern continued: from Wichita to Columbia, Missouri; to Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The little critter was getting sick, as he was starting to spin like a ball.  He could feel himself being pulled to the next node.  

However, there was a bird in the way.  Uncuring from his rolled position, Pudgy shouted.  “MR. BIRD, PLEASE GET OUT OF WAY, PUDGY CAN’T STEER!”  The bird did not respond, and with no control, the hedgehog slammed into the bird from above.  The bird started to screech loudly, and it began to wrap around Pudgy.  “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?  DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT WAS TO GET UP HERE TO FLY IN THE FIRST PLACE?”  The bird shouted in a very familiar voice.  Pudgy looked up, “Comix Villain?  Is that you?”  The two animals were spinning terribly, and holding onto each other when the two were sucked into the ley line node.  The bird was in fact a red tailed hawk, and his brown eyes went wide as the magical energies swirled around them.  Looking down at Pudgy, he watched the hedgehog’s nose wiggle.  “Pudgy??!!  What are you doing here, what is this place, where are we going?”  The little hedgehog nodded, “boy does Pudgy have a story to tell you.  We have time until the next jump, so let Pudgy explain …”

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.

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