A/N: This is a fantasy/sci-fi story with dinosaurs. It's based on the stories my sister and I made up while playing with our dinosaur toys when I was little. Here's some information about the world before you start.
Names in Dinosaur Loka
The dinosaurs all have names based on the languages of the lands their respective fossils can be found. For example, a T. Rex, or any North American dinosaur, will have a Native American or French name. Dinosaurs found in several places of the world can have names from several origins. A dinosaur found all over Europe can have a Saxon, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, or any other European national language.
Loka - World in Sanskrit. Also called as just 'the World'. In Loka, small animals can be as large as sauropods and large dinosaurs can be as small as people. People, likewise, can be as tall as sauropods or as small as Compsognathus (a tiny predator about the size of a house cat). The world is dominated by dinosaurs, but dragons and other fantasy creatures roam Loka with them, most famously the Serpentes mutocallabus, a strange race of snake that can transform into horses.
Utukusii - Beautiful in Japanese. A badlands-esque land, but plentiful with hard plants, desert trees, and cacti. And because of this, plentiful with prey. The Utukusii Canyon leads to the mountains to the North of Utukusii.
Serpens Domus-Serpent House in Latin. Serpens Domus is set high in the mountains. This is the home of Marcelino, Kai Junda, Namacuix, Apophis, and others. Marcelino is their ruler with Kai Junda and Tyrannosaur Namacuix seconding him. Dragon Apophis and Dimetrodon Chatima second them in turn.
Grandis - Added to the name of a dinosaur that is of excessively large proportions antitypical of their species. Example: Velociraptor the size of a Corythosaur is called Velociraptor grandis. Note: Normal-sized dinosaurs, or dinosaurs near their normal size, are known by just their normal names.
Parvis - Added to the name of a dinosaur that is of excessively small proportions antitypical of their species. Example: Brachiosaur the size of a Compsognathus. Note: Normal-sized dinosaurs, or dinosaurs near their normal size, are known by just their normal names.
Fantasy Binomial Nomenclature
Serpentes mutocallabus - A species of snake which turns into a horse. The largest species of snake. They are very rare and very respected. They are identical to many normal snake species, except for being much larger than normal snakes and being shape-shifters. Likewise, their horse form is much larger than a normal horse. The majority of them are highly poisonous in their true form. The eyes of a mutocallabus in horse form are cool, lighter and wider than normal horses, and they have to remember to blink.
Pteradracus terroraptor - Commonly known as a dragon. These are even rarer than Serpentes mutocallabus. Little is known about them, except two things. No two dragons are alike, and no dragon is to be trifled with.
Vivamortus - twisted "living dead" creatures. Not much is known about them as they are fortunately rare.
And now for the story. This is the editted version of the first chapter.
Chapter One: Fear and Plans
Uira, a young Rhoetosaurus, watched the last of the golden sunset's glowing rays melt into the pillars of red sandstone. He inhaled the arid cool air of late summer as he leaned against the eroded rock. A juvenile Brachiosaurus rested behind him, the weight of his neck spanned along Uira's spine. Below their perch on the bluff, a herd of large duck-billed dinosaurs called Saurolophuses gorged themselves on fir leaves among the long grass. Four sentries stood tense on the edges of the herd, listening and watching for trouble. Uira wondered if he wasn't the only one who had a nagging feeling of wrongness these past days. Perhaps I am sick. He nibbled at the leaves of a nearby bush, but paused to peer down upon the valley. The grass barely rippled a few yards away from the herd, but it was clear something or someone was looking for a fresh meal.
"Ayo, wake up," he muttered, nudging the larger sauropod. His friend stirred. His red eyes blinked open. He straightened stiffly and turned his head about to look down at the herd. "Raptors? Oh!" Ayo's tall neck jerked back comically, as though stung.
A large gray back with webs of black lines stretched across it peeked from the long weeds. It was no raptor. Raptors were pack-hunters covered in down or feathers, usually of rich blacks and browns to blend in with their dry territories. Uira and Ayo craned their neck forward for a closer look. Whatever it was, it was new.
"Should we warn the herd?" Uira asked, hesitant to suggest it when he already knew the answer. He took a step back, prepared for a retreat.
The green Brachiosaurus glanced over to him. "We can't make a sound until we know what–"
There was a loud commotion below. The two Sauropod boys looked back down to face a horrific sight. The Saurolophus herd was galloping away, but one had been left behind. The Saurolophus was rearing and screaming in agony and horror. She honked noisily, struggling. A hideous creature had its thin gray arms and legs wrapped loosely around the large herbivore as though confident the larger dinosaur couldn't shake it off. It had no claws, but long mangled fingers and clubbed feet. Its head was round with large earholes. Its rounded snout was filled with small little teeth. It bit into the neck of its victim. The Saurolophus' voice faded to a gurgle and she collapsed, still twitching.
Ayo couldn't tear his eyes away from the sight in the falling darkness, but Uira turned his head away, lowing his long neck close to the ground. He closed his eyes, trying to drown out the hideous sound. Trying to forget that horrible sight of the large vegetarian rotting away to bones before their eyes. He heard Ayo whisper in stunned horror, "Vivamortus? But what creature?"
Living dead? He couldn't stop himself from looking. The Saurolophus stood, a mere skeleton moaning as though in agony. The gray monster staggered away and the skeleton marched after it, not ceasing its moaning and gurgling. Wails of terror filled the air from afar. He shuddered. At least the creature was heading away from their home.
Ayo said, "Let's get out of here."
Uira muttered in numb horror, "If we had warned them, it would've…"
The Brachiosaurus interrupted him. "Don't say it! The important thing is that it didn't and we know what it does and what it looks like. And that's just as good as knowing what it is."
"It is?" Uira asked, skeptical.
"Well, not exactly. But it's a start. Maybe we should investigate?"
The sienna brown dinosaur gaped up at Ayo. "What? No! We should get out of here. Try to forget. We've done that many times in the outer world, haven't we?"
"But this is our country. Something is amiss. Vivamorti haven't been in this land for millennia. How could that have come here, when it's so deformed? We need to find someone who knows about vivamorti tomorrow."
Uira looked toward the sounds of the shrieks. The only people who knew much about Vivamorti were those who took extreme risks and lived beyond the barrier. He protested, "Not yet! Let's go home. Perhaps Suha will have a less crazy idea. No offense."
Suha stood high above the branches of the tree the other young dinosaurs hid beneath. Her grayish yellow eyes snapped with alertness. The other juveniles under her care were asleep already. Ayo and Uira walked out of the shadows and greeted their guardian with a polite bow of their necks. Though Ayo and Uira were by no means small anymore, Ayo could barely reach past her shoulder. She was a gray young brachiosaur with a rather flat snout, a defect from birth. The tip of her tail had been bitten off in a fight.
She sounded vexed, "Where were you? A raptor passed that way, snarling something terrible and running like she was chased. What happened?"
"Suha, there'sa vivamortus loose out there. It attacked a Saurolophus." Ayo answered, in a rush. He asked, "But what sort of raptor? Which way did he go?"
"She. It was hard to tell what she was. A Velociraptor grandis,I thought, but it could've just as easily have been another race. Like Deinonychus grandis or a large Utahraptor. She was heading the direction you came from."
Uira looked back nervously. "Maybe we should go after her…?"
"No. That was some time ago, and we have our own to worry about," Suha said. "I doubt she'd have trouble. Raptors are fast, and it's unlike vivamorti to stay in one place for long. She'll be fine from the living dead, I think. Besides… she could be hungry, and she might thank you by eating you."
A juvenile Protoceratops grandis appeared from beneath the thick underbrush, beaked jaw gaping wide in a massive yawn. She was white, except for the top of her head and her back, which were sky blue. Her Ceratopsian frill was small and lay almost flat over her neck. She had no horns. She blinked yellow eyes sleepily. "What's going on? Were you attacked by berries again?"
Despite the horror he had just seen, Ayo turned an ugly shade of purple. He scowled at her. "Very funny, Masha. I'll try to remember that one."
Masha's mouth turned up at the corners in a beaky smile as she looked up at him. "You're not still sore about that time, are you?"
Ayo answered, sulkily, "No."
Masha smirked at him. She said, slowly, "So… what happened?"
Uira told her and Suha everything that happened. He told her about their plans to go through the barrier. Masha's carefree smirk had edged off a bit on the corner. She looked distressed. "No, stay here. It's safer. Perhaps we'll find answers here…"
Suha nodded. "For now, we'll move into the mountain. It's safer near Marcelino's Serpens Domus. He wouldn't stand for a vivamortus running around making an undead army with his pack."
Uira, Masha, and Ayo traded worried looks. Marcelino was the Emerald Boa with a prosthetic sickle for a tail tip who led the most notorious pack in the Utukusii mountains. They were a little too intelligent and sophisticated for comfort to be called a pack. What if Marcelino was responsible for the monster? "People say they'd been joined by a mutated dragon recently..." Masha's voice trailed off.
Suha's yellow eyes bore into each of them. "The dragon is mutilated, not mutated. I've seen him. Marcelino's not responsible for how it looks now." But she shuddered.
"What about his other gang members?" demanded Uira. "Like that insane Dimetrodon? Or that creepy giant horse? Or those snakes? Or–"
"Don't call them gang members, Uira," Suha reprimanded him sharply. "Dimetrodon Chatima may be partially insane, but he won't attack anyone unless Marcelino or Kai Junda gives the order. A horse won't eat you. Kai Junda can be a reliable and formidable ally. He is wise and old. Why do you think Marcelino puts up with a herbivore in his pack."
The three looked dubious, but didn't argue their case. Suha continued, "We leave tomorrow. Get some sleep. Go on now."
A/N: This story has gone through a few changes since the first draft. At least this part has...Thus the ridiculous errors the first time I posted. If anyone notices any more grammatically impossible phrases, be sure to tell me :)