Dinocalypse Now: Chapter Six

In this sixth and final installment of our Dinocalypse Now preview, we learn a little bit more about what has transpired. Want to learn even more? Back the Dinocalypse Trilogy kickstarter before it concludes — soon! — and you will!

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Chapter Six

Outside New York City

The dinosaur roared, and the Conqueror Ape roared with it.

The dinosaur in question: a Giganotosaurus, its head lifted high, its wretched scream ululating from its rippling throat.

The Conqueror Ape in question: Gorilla Khan, warlord ape and all-around megalomaniac.

Gorilla Khan wore his best outfit today. This day of true conquest, this day the world was made finally to kneel and see its weakness splayed out before all eyes. Armor made of bones and teeth and painted red-and-gold—red for blood, gold for the color of kings—adorned his broad primate’s chest. And upon his head, a helmet made from the skull of a long-dead saber-toothed cat, the colorful plumage of the similarly long-dead archaeopteryx thrust up from a ring mounted in the top of the hand-made helmet.

Both creatures, the cat and the bird, were ones Gorilla Khan hunted and killed himself.

One should wear his conquests, he said. You do not conceal your gifts.

That was why he sat astride this massive reptilian carnivore. Bit in the beast’s mouth, braided leather reins gathered up in one of Khan’s crushing fists.

Let the world see him upon this most glorious of creatures. A creature that died out millions of years ago. Before mankind and the trappings of so-called “civilization.” Before time itself. Before the meteors came and changed everything.

Ahead of them: the Brooklyn Bridge. Beyond it, the rising spires of Manhattan.

In the sky above, the setting sun highlit the circling pterodactyls and the first wave of airships: just a fraction of Gorilla Khan’s invasion fleet.

“Status report,” he barked.

One of his lackeys, a simpering white-furred lowland gorilla, bounded up to the beast and clambered up the side. He hung to Khan’s left, offering a placating smile of primate fangs.

“Most excellent, Mighty Khan, most excellent.”

“I abhor your generalities. I demand specifics, Attaché Gonga. Not your mewling glad-handed bulletins.” To confirm his disgust, Gorilla Khan threatened Gonga with the back of his hand—a hand that did not fall but stayed poised to strike.

“Yes! Yes. Of course.” Gonga had this nervous laugh, a kind of wheezing, growling heh, heh, heh. It held little mirth, and whenever he made the sound, a sudden stink of fear rose. A smell that intoxicated the Conqueror Ape. “The invasion is going… ahh, swimmingly. The humans have begun to dispatch, ahhh, soldiers and police, but they are no match for our own warriors and agents, nor can they, ahhh, hold their own against our technology.”

Technology. Yes. Khan longed to test their weapons on unwilling subjects. Hanging to the side of his Giganotosaurus was what looked to be a long wooden spear with a tip made from a gleaming multi-faceted ruby, a ruby as big as a human child’s fist. But of course it was so much more than just a spear…

Well. Playtime would come.

Gonga continued: “The Centurions have been subdued. All the chapter houses have been taken; many burned to the ground. Those eager do-gooding spirits of the Century Club have been… ahh, sidelined and taken away by our, ahhh, new allies. The minds of the heroes are no longer with their, ahh, umm, bodies.”

Their new allies, indeed. The saurian agents. Willing and able to serve with no interest in leading. A powerful force.

“Anything else?” Khan asked his inferior.

“There is, ahhh, one more thing,” Gonga said, his voice lowering and once more offering that nervous huffing laugh. “We have hit a… a snag.”

Khan roared. Bared fangs first to Gonga, then to the sky.

Explain, Attaché Gonga.”

“Some of the Centurions, a rare few—”

“Some of them what.”

“A rare few remain, ahhh, unaccounted for, though we are sure that—”

Gorilla Khan backhanded the albino ape hard enough to knock the attaché off the side of his mount. The fool hit the ground and scrambled to once more gain his footing.

“Who?” Khan asked.

“I’m sorry?”

“I said, who! Who has escaped our grasp?”

“Ahhh.” Gonga stood, dusting himself off. “Amelia Stone. Mack Silver. Benjamin Hu. Jet Black. Sally Slick. Ahhh. Reports are coming in of others. Just a few! Just a few.”

Khan let go of the reins, and leapt off his mount.

He landed atop Gonga, once more knocking the pink-eyed simian to the ground. He grabbed tufts of white fur and pulled the weakling’s face close to his own.

“What of my son?” Khan said, voice low.

“Ah. Ahhh. Yes. We have agents inbound as we speak.”

“He’s still there? Still at Oxford?”

Gonga nodded, obsequious smile firmly in place.

“Good.” Gorilla Khan snorted. “I hate this place, Gonga. I hate the people. Their pink-cheeked optimism, their ugly utilitarian architecture, their disgust and misunderstanding of the natural world. But most of all I hate what they did to my boy. They… civilized him. Made him weak. I will change that. I will change him back. Awaken in him what has been awakened in me. For he is Son-of-Khan, and I am Khan.”

The Conqueror Ape let his attaché fall back to the ground.

“Now, Gonga. We march.” Gorilla Khan clambered back up into the custom-made saddle riding the ridges of the monster’s back. He grabbed the reins and pulled them tight.

The beast reared back.

Once more the Giganotosaurus and the Conqueror Ape roared in unison.