Dinocalypse Now: Chapter Five

It’s chapter five of Dinocalypse Now! Will our heroes escape a New York City overrun by psychic saurians? Will Mack and Jet ever see eye to eye? Will you back the Dinocalypse Trilogy at Kickstarter, today? Tune in and find out!

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Chapter Five

New York City

It was bad enough being in the crowd above. It was bad enough having to set foot on the streets of the city and feel anchored to the earth in unspectacular fashion. It was bad enough to have to climb down into the city’s secret bowels through a series of doorways and boltholes.

All of that paled in comparison to being chased through those aforementioned bowels by a shrieking albino hell-a-saur bent on ripping them to shreds.

Mack was not happy.

As his footfalls echoed through the tunnel, he couldn’t help but think of flying over some tropical isle, gazing down at waterfalls and crashing surf—in his mind’s eye he imagined the soft leather of Lucy’s controls in his hand, all her buttons and gauges splayed out before him. It’s why he named his plane with a woman’s name—beyond it being the convention, of course; it was nice to have a woman in his hands who did everything he asked. Predictable as the tickity-tock of a Swiss clock.

Unlike, say, Sally Slick.

The three of them were running together, the beast snapping at their heels—when suddenly she and the light she carried were gone, snuffed out in the darkness. As Mack and Jet barely managed to squeeze into a side tunnel, they found themselves without their third.

No Sally.

And, stranger still, no monster.

“Sally,” Jet said, breathless. Then he called out: “Sally!”

“Shhh!” Mack said, clamping a hand over Jet’s fool mouth. He hissed: “You want to draw that thing’s attention?”

Jet wriggled free. “It’s probably chasing her, you dolt.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I’m sure they each just went their separate ways.”

Mack felt sure the kid was rolling his eyes. He couldn’t see him in the dark, but a gesture like that, you could hear in a person’s words. “Don’t you roll your eyes at me.”

“I don’t know what she sees in you.”

“Wait. What? Sally sees something in me?”

“No. What? Nothing!”

“No, hold on one second, you just said—”

Their conversation was quickly cut short.

Just behind the two of them, the beast roared. With it came the scent of rotten food in its maw, the belching breath of blood and meat and fur. Its tongue slapping against teeth.

Mack did the only thing Mack knew to do in a situation like this:

He winced and cocked a fist.

A fist he never had to throw.

There came a sound of groaning metal, and a shadow moving to the right of the beast—suddenly, a great gout of white steam bloomed in the air, blasting the creature’s head.

The beast screamed—a horrible sound that cut clean to Mack’s marrow. But then it reared its head and wriggled swiftly backward, twisting its body in such a way so that it managed to turn itself around and flee.

As it did, Mack saw something.

At the back of the creature’s head, Mack caught sight of a tiny glowing spot—soft, diffuse, an eerie icy blue something pulsing against the creature’s leathery flesh. And then Mack could no longer see it, for the beast was fast escaping. He tucked that information away, not sure what it was that clung to the creature…

Or what it meant.

Flame erupted—the light from a hand-held torch illuminating Sally’s face. In her hand she held a wrench, and dangling beside her was the pipe breathing great gouts of steam.

“Boys,” she said over the steam-hiss.

In this light, Mack suddenly found her—

—with her brow slick from the steam and almost glowing, really—

No, no, couldn’t be. This wasn’t—

No.

He liked women like Lucy. Soft, comfortable, putty in his hands.

Jet laughed. “Nice moves, Sally.”

“Don’t I know it.” She gave Mack’s shoulder a little punch and the touch sent a thrill grappling up his arms. A thrill that quickly got the kibosh. “What’s wrong, Silver? You look like you saw a ghost.”

“I almost just lost my arm in a dinosaur’s mouth. Pardon me for being rattled.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t try to punch angry dinosaurs,” Jet said.

Sally waved them both ahead. “Hush up and come on. That monster is gone now, but it won’t be for long. That blast of steam wasn’t much more than a whack of a rolled-up newspaper on the nose for a monster like that.”

Mack found himself seeing Sally in a new light as he wrestled with new feelings and…

Well. Mack would’ve rather been wrestling with the monster, instead.

* * *

The door rattled on its hinges against Sally’s boot. Rust whispered from old hinges, hinges made that way from their proximity to the water. A second kick, and a third, and finally the door swung open.

The gray light of a day moving from afternoon into evening hit them like a blinding tide, but it wasn’t long before their eyes adjusted…

And they saw just how much trouble they were really in.

The door opened out of a small marine shed and overlooked the Hudson River. The sinking sun was caught in pools of liquid light, plainly and perfectly highlighting Mack’s heavily-modified Boeing-314 clipper—a “boat plane” that needed no runway as long as it had a good stretch of water. One problem, though:

The boat was guarded by the enemy. A dozen saurian agents—once again projecting their smiling human faces—clustered together like an arrangement of humanoid bowling pins by the end of the floating dock, blocking anybody hoping to get close to Lucy.

They didn’t move. They didn’t even stare at one another.

They just… stood there.

Stock still. Staring forward. Fake reptile smile.

“They got Lucy,” Mack growled.

Jet sighed. “We’re going to need to find another way.”

“They got Lucy.”

“We heard you—”

“Nobody stands in the way of me and my plane.”

Mack started taking off his boots.

“You think that water’s cold?” he asked.

“Frigid,” Sally said.

“Good. I could use a little wake-me-up. I hope you two can swim.”

And with that, Mack ducked low and bolted toward the water.

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