Heya there! So I am going to repost this story; condensing the chapters and all that.
ALSO I just got back on the site after so long and I saw the new reviews and I just wanted to say thank you so much! It really made my day a whole lot better than it had been going when I saw them! Honestly I pretty much thought that nobody was really reading this; not to mention I forgot about it! Haha, but anyway I really do appreciate it and just thank you so much for those reviews! They really motivated me to get back into this and continue.
So hopefully me condensing everything and all will get this in a more orderly sense before I post up some more chapters. I hope to get into some kind of schedule with this; but who are we kidding I suck at schedule. Also college courses start in three days (Ugh) so who knows..
* I own the characters and story. *
The air was warmed by the intense sun that had risen above the mountains and rocks a few hours earlier. A light breeze drifted through the cactus and shrubs scattered around the dry earth picking up the loose dust and moving it along. A tan lizard was warming itself up on low sitting rock next to a saguaro cactus while a small bird fluttered around the flowers at the top. There were small wisps of clouds in the sky but nothing more, and the waves of heat rising off the ground made the landscape move if you looked far enough. It hadn't rained in a few months now so the land was reaching its driest point but still the world around it moved on and lived on. It was a harsh, dry place that you had to be accustom to if you planned to stay longer than a few weeks but if you had grown up and been raised there then you became just like the rest of the creatures. It was early day now and the sun hadn't quite reached its hottest point yet. A roadrunner darted between some dried shrubs just before a large, three clawed foot stepped behind it.
The claws led up to a large bright red carnotaurus that had long darker red strips on his back and riding spots around them. There were mid-grown black horns on top of his head as well as quarter of the way down his neck. His long tail swayed side to side as he walked leisurely through the dry desert plains. He was not fully grown yet, still young at only the age of 17 years, but was still larger than most anything else. A bright green cloth, resembling a large dino-sized version of a bandana, was tied loosely around his neck and on his back where his spines didnt grown was a red leather saddle; on it, was a lanky transporter named Colt Winchester. There was an old black cowboy hat hanging from around his neck allowing his messy red hair to move along with the breezes that came by. His skin was well-tanned from all his time spent out in the sun and his features were thin but strong. His clothes were worn and looked like he hadnt bought new ones in a while. A thick leather gun belt was hanging on his left side with an old worn colt .45 LC placed snugly inside the holster. He was sitting back against boxes and barrels that were tied to the carnotaurus' back with his feet out of the stirrups while he played on his harmonica.
The dinosaur walked along slowly, in no hurry at all, as the sun slowly moved higher into the sky. It huffed through its nose before shaking itself to get Colt's attention. He was in the middle of a note when he was shaken so it was disrupted and sounded funny.
"What was that f'er Dynamite?" Colt asked sitting up and leaning forward to get closer to the dinosaur's head, "I was right in the middle of it."
Dynamite snorted at him like he didnt agree with the harmonica before he slowly pulled his head back toward the front again. Colt looked up and saw that a small town was coming up. He sat back in the saddle as a grin broke out exposing the gap in his teeth.
"Finally... thought we were never gonna to get here." Colt said as he put the harmonica back in the pocket in his pants; Dynamite gave a small growl in response.
The duo continued on, passing a sign that read "Welcome to Faith County", before they passed into the middle of a busy dirt road. Towns people walked back and forth between the saloon and shops while some stood by on the sides talking. There were triceratops and parasaurolophus mostly in this town but Colt saw a velociraptor here and there.
"Must be a workin' town." Colt said to himself, "Not many meat eaters."
He looked around the town as Dynamite continued on slowly.
"We're lookin' for somebody named Marcus..." He muttered.
Colt stopped Dynamite as a young girl dressed in working clothes on a blue parasaurolophus crossed his path.
"Hey! You know a Marcus from around here?" He asked her.
The girl looked at him for a moment having not recognized him but she took notice to the supplies on the back of his dinosaur, "Marcus? He's my father's partner. They run a ranch out that way a little, I can take you up there actually I've just finished getting' what I needed."
"Great! I think Dynamite needs a place to drink somethin' if you wouldnt mind neither. We havent been in a town in days." Colt said as they followed the girl toward the other end of the town.
She smiled as he came up alongside her, "Dont worry, father always lets transporters use what they need. He was one for a while so he knows what you guys go through. Cant's say I've seen many on meat eaters though... let alone seen a lot of larger ones either. All we got 'round here are a couple of raptors."
"Well it might be a rough job, but it pays pretty well and we dont gotta be stuck in one place all our lives. If ya overlook the bandit run-ins then it's a pretty nice job..." Colt shrugged, "But really? Where I came from there's nothin but meat-eaters. They had all the way from raptors to spinosaurus' out there... now that is a damn huge meat-eater."
The girl laughed, "Well, I think I like Runner here. He's a good friend." She patted the parasaurolophus' neck and it lifted its head toward her in response, "I'm Scarlet by the way."
"Colt." He smiled.
"Well, welcome to Faith County Colt." Scarlet returned his smile warmly.
The ranch had been fairly decent, holding both horses and smaller dinosaurs. There was a small group of compys running around when they arrived but they darted into some shrubs as the two had approached. There were two triceratops in a wooden fenced area along with a youngling and the horses were sectioned off more toward the east side of the ranch. A large ranch house sat to the north where a tree grew close to it and a swing hung off a lower branch. Laundry was hung out toward the back and waved slightly in the light winds. It was greener around the ranch house but it dwindled as you moved -toward the large barn off to the side. A mutt sat on the white wooden porch of the house next to a rocking chair which a woman occupied. She looked up toward the pair approaching before she lifted a hand in a friendly manor.
Scarlet returned the gesture as they neared, "That's mother. She tends to the horses but isnt to fond of the dinosaurs, so I wouldnt bring Dynamite to close to the house."
Colt nodded in understanding, "Dont worry, Ive been to a few towns where people dont like or have dinosaurs all together. It was a little odd I wont lie; Dynamite and I left soon as we could."
The two dismounted the dinosaurs near the barn and Scarlet led Colt toward the ranch house where her mother greeted them.
"Welcome back dear." She said hugging her daughter, "Who's this?"
Scarlet stepped back, "This is Colt, he's a transporter and has something for Marcus. He just came into town today."
The woman smiled at him, "Well, welcome Colt. Feel free to allow your dinosaur to rest and drink what he needs in the barn, I'll go get Marcus for you."
"Thank ya ma'am." Colt nodded.
"Oh Lucy is fine." She said cheerfully as she disappeared into the house.
Colt and Scarlet headed back to where the dinosaurs were waiting.
"So, have you never been to Faith before?" Scarlet asked as she sat on the fences of the triceratops pen watching Colt unsaddle Dynamite and work at removing the boxes and barrels.
Colt put down another barrel, "No, to be honest, never come up this far. Normally my transports only take me far as Turnwheel before I end up gettin' sent back the way I came."
Scarlet pet Dynamite's tail as it slowly swayed in front of her, "Well, there's not much up here really. Faith County's prob'ly the only town up this way that would have transporters come. If you continue further on it turns into bandit country and there's only a few small mining towns up that way, and they use the railroads. How long have you been a transporter?"H
H sat down on one of the wooden boxes facing her, "I started when I was 18. I think it's been 3 or 4 years now? Dont remember really... I ain't to good with numbers. Never did school, dont know how to read either."
Scarlet nodded slowly, "Well, that's understandable not a lot of people out here know how to read. It's the people who come from the cities out east that know how to... I do though, Marcus taught me how when he moved up here to work with dad."
"Well, long as I dont gotta read nothin I do pretty well. I got a good memory so knowin where Im transportin' to isnt really ever a problem." Colt said as he rubbed Dynamite's neck from the box.
Dynamite wondered around toward the water trough closer to the barn but not before he knocked Colt in the head with his tail. Scarlet laughed when he was knocked forward and off the box into the dirt.
Colt rubbed his head as he stood up, "Damn dinosaur... he thinks just cause I gotta use him to do my job that he's king or somethin'. Always knocks my head 'round with his tail."
"Well least he listens when you need him to." Scarlet giggled.
Colt rolled his eyes as a man came up to them from the ranch house.
"Howdy." He said as he walked up to Colt, "I'm Marcus, Lucy says you came up here for me?"
Marcus was a large man. It was obvious that he did manual labor because his body was built like he did a lot of lifting and moving. His hand was calloused when Colt shook it and his hair was short but dusty.
"I did, got some kinda crate for ya from Lorewell." Colt said as he picked up a small box from the pile, "Man named Luck told me to get it up to ya soon as I could. Seemed kind of in a hurry and didnt say much else."
Marcus gave Colt a funny look as he took the box, "Didnt say nothin about what was in it?"
"Nope. Man was a little squirrely, like he was waitin for somebody to pop him in the head." Colt said rubbing the top of his head, "Paid for your share though, so you dont owe nothin."
Marcus nodded slowly but Colt was curious about the way he looked at the box, like there was some kind of monstrous item inside, "Well alright then. Appreciate it kid... Oh, but Thomas says you should stay the night. Let you're dino rest up some and you could get somethin to eat while you're here."
Scarlet jumped off the fence as Marcus walked away holding the box close, "What did I say? Dad's friendly to transporters."
Colt smiled, "Apparently... but I dont know if I could stay. I got a rushed package for Reds Field."
"Its only one night. Dynamite could rest, and you can tell me about places youve been!" Scarlet grabbed his wrist and dragged him toward the house, "Not a lot of transporters come up here, and I ain't been out of this town before."
He stumbled forward when she first pulled on him but then followed after her, "Alright I could stay a night. But I gotta leave early then, can't be late to Reds Field."
"Yeah yeah, take a break once in a while Colt!" She laughed as they walked into the house, "You could use a regular rest I bet."
Colt sighed but smiled. It would be nice to sleep somewhere other than on his bedroll.
"They were nice werent they Dynamite?" Colt said as the two sauntered through a particularly thick patch of shrubbery, "Nice of 'em to let us stay like that, let you eat yourself silly."
Dynamite shook his head as Colt patted his neck. They had left just as the first lights of the sun had appeared over the tall mountains to the south and were on to Reds Field by the time the sun came up. Thomas had given him a good warning about bandits somewhere on the way to the town so Colt had his gun ready just in case. The sun seemed to be unusually hot today because even the lizards were hiding in the shade of a bush or cactus. Colt wiped his face with the bandana around his neck, which matched Dynamite's in color, as he pushed his hat off his head. The winds had died down by the time the sun was up so there wasnt even a breeze at the moment. The desert in front of them moved with the heat waves rising off the ground and if they hadnt been accustom to it they might have passed out by now.
"We have to take the road though the canyon up ahead." Colt said to Dynamite, "Maybe when we get in there we can stop and get out of the sun for a while..."
Dynamite shook his body jostling Colt a bit before he snorted at the idea.
"Dont wanna? Well sorry but Im not an over grown lizard with cold blood. I happen to be vulnerable to overheatin'." Colt said poking the young carnotaurus on the back of the neck, "We're pulling over in there."
Dynamite shook himself again causing Colt to have to grab onto his spines to keep from falling off, "Alright, alright! We can keep on goin'..."
The carnotaurus growled a little as if he was giving off a triumphant "HA" to Colt who was grumbling something to himself as they passed the walls of the canyon.
The canyon had been called Drop Creek Canyon because there was a small creek that ran though the side of it that eventually dropped off into a deep cave. Not many people traveled it because there were a lot of caves and unknown turns that people could easily get lost on and many were afraid of bandits hiding out in the caves. It was mainly a transporter road due to the fact that it was the quickest way to get to the supply towns on the other side. Transporters were rarely ever attacked because the canyon walls were so high and smooth that it would be difficult to get horses or dinosaurs up to a good position. It was quite green though, due to the water from the creek so it was a good place for transporters to rest their mounts.
Another group of compys ran in front of them as they walked, bouncing and making the small noises they did as they passed. A few pterodactyls and birds were nested up in the higher caves of the rock face but other than that it was quiet and there was nothing but vegetation. Colt slipped his boots out of the stirrups for a moment before he turned sideways in the saddle to mess with saddle bags near the cargo behind him.
"Ya know Dynamite, sometimes I feel like bein' transporters was an odd choice..." He said as he dug around in the right bag for something, "I mean, ya would probably be better suited for a more labor required job or somethin'... Do ya think Im wasting your abilities makin' ya be a transporter mount? Should I get a triceratops as a transporter and have you just do what you want?"
Dynamite roared at him without turning his head, it was a deep roar that sounded slightly angry.
"Alright, jeez... no need to get angry. I was just askin'." Colt said as he pulled out an old map, "I just dont want ya getting seriously hurt on one of those steep roads or getting sho-"
Colt's sentence was cut short abruptly when a gunshot went off and nailed him in the shoulder knocking him off Dynamite's saddle. He fell to the ground and quickly gripped his shoulder as blood started to run from the wound and stain the tan fabric. Dynamite automatically and instinctively turned himself around and got right on top of Colt's position as 5 figures came from around the corner of a turn on dilophosaurus. They came closer and Colt could see that they weren't bandits, they were to ordered and clean. Dynamite stomped the ground under him with one of his legs before he let out a heavy, loud warning roar. The dilophosaurus, despite their riders not seeming to be too deterred by it, faulted and the men had to get them going again.
Colt was on his feet by the time they reached and circled them with his revolver out while he still held his bleeding shoulder. There were five of them, but their dinosaurs were all mature and fully grown with long slender muscles and claws too. One of the dilophosaurus was larger than the rest and the man riding it was obviously their leader. He wasn't a terribly large man, but he was bigger than the average. He was older than Colt, maybe his mid 30's; his hair was hidden under a worn cowboy hat and clothes were a dark brown and only slightly worn. A lever action Winchester rifle was in his hand and he held it up on his hip as he looked at Colt.
"Where's the box boy?" He asked stiffly. His voice was gruff and low.
"What box?" Colt asked irritated; they shot him for a box?
The man moved his dinosaur closer but Dynamite growled at it and tried to get its head so it jumped back despite his order, "The box you got from a man named Luck. Small, not to heavy. Where is it."
Colt stared at him crossly, "I an't got no idea what you're talkin' about."
"Dont play games with me boy..." He dropped the riffle so the barrel was in line with Colt's eye and placed his finger on the trigger, "Now tell me where the box is."
"I delivered it." He said coldly, "I dont remember to who though. It was a while ago."
The man glanced at Dynamite for a moment before he suddenly moved the rifle and a bullet went through Colt's side dropping him to the ground. Dynamite roared at the man and then instantly lunged at the dilophosaurus. He pulled it back so the carnotaurus just missed and the other dinosaurs jumped at it. Dynamite swung his tail hard and nailed one of the riders knocking him from his mount before he caught an others' leg in his massive jaw. The dilophosaurus screeched at him before he threw it aside and roared at the other men. The leader's dilophosaurus suddenly jumped up and landed on the back of Dynamite's neck. He shook himself violently but it wasnt letting go that easy as it dug its claws into his skin.
The man had dismounted his dinosaur and had gone up to Colt while his dinosaur kept the carnotaurus busy. He knelt down next to him with the rifle slung on his back but a revolver in his hand now. He grabbed Colt's shirt and pulled him up so he was staring at him. Colt's face was in a twist of defiant pain as he glared back at the man; blood dripping from the corner of his mouth as it pooled out of his side.
"Where. Is. That. Box." The man asked through clenched teeth, "Do not make my job harder or I will wipe you and your young dinosaur off this planet."
Colt was going to say something but before he could there was a horrible screech and the man looked over to see Dynamite rip his dilophosaurus off his neck by his tail and throw it to the ground before digging his right foot's claws into it. The dilophosaurus kicked and screeched at the carnotaurus and tried to bit at it but it was in too awkward of a position.
Colt laughed, painfully, through blood stained teeth as the man turned back to him, "Guess Dynamite... isnt taking it... well."
The man growled at him before he dropped him back to the ground and stood up before he lifted his revolver at Colt's head. He pulled back the hammer and his finger wrapped around the trigger as he glared down at the young transporter in front of him.
"Hope that run was worth it boy." He hissed at him.
Colt's eyes flew shut as the gun shot went off but when he didnt feel anything he opened them slowly to see Dynamite's tail swing back over him and the man get thrown backwards into a pile of smaller cactus. Dynamite roared angrily as he took a place over Colt again and dared any of the others to try something. The men pulled their dinosaurs back and some of them pulled their leader out of the cactus and took off. Dynamite watched them until they were no longer in sight before he lowered his head toward Colt. Colt rubbed Dynamite's nose slowly before he forced himself to turn over so he could attempt to force himself up. Dynamite stayed next to him so he could use him as support but just as he managed to stand up for himself his knees buckled out from under him and he fell back into the dust. Dynamite let out a soft growl as he nudged Colt with his nose gently.
"M'kay..." Colt said slurred, "Just... little winded..."
Colt's only good arm was the only thing holding him off the ground while blood ran down from his shoulder and dripped off his elbow as his wounded arm covered the hole in his abdomen which dripped blood onto the dirt making a muddy brown color underneath him. He stared at the blood like it was something foreign to him as his arm started to shake. "
"What the hell.. did I get myself into..." He groaned through his teeth.
Colt's arm suddenly gave out and he fell back into the dirt just as his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Dynamite pushed his partner's body gently but could smell the blood on him.
The carnotaurus raised his head and looked down either side of the canyon as if looking for anyone else who might help before he looked back down at his partner...