News:

Author Topic: The Seven Hunters  (Read 18967 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« on: January 03, 2014, 06:47:03 pm »
I have finally decided to begin posting my first fanfiction.  This is my first attempt at serious writing outside of an academic setting.  My prior attempts at creative writing were nothing more than ficlets of less than 1000 words and brief character pieces, both of which I was less than impressed with after I wrote them in High School.  Since this is my first attempt at this, I would greatly appreciate any constructive criticism that any of you may have.  I view this as a learning experience and I hope that I turn out to be a better writer after all is said and done.

With regards to the story itself, it is based upon the general premise of the "sudden change of species" roleplay, although the plot similarities will end there.  Without giving too much of the plot away, basically what happens is that a series of events occur that lead to the transformation of the gang into sharpteeth.  Due to the nature of the change, the adults do not realize their children's true fate.  The gang must now adapt to a lifestyle which is alien to them and eventually fulfill their destiny in order to save the Great Valley.  In the process, we will learn details about Chomper's, Ruby's, and Red Claw's histories and how they tie in to one another.  It will be a dark tale of death, despair, revenge, redemption, and acceptance.

I hope to post a chapter roughly every week, although this schedule may vary depending on my work schedule.  I should post a revised chapter on fanfiction.net about a week after I have posted it on the GOF, in order to allow me to take your feedback into account.

I would like to give a special thanks to Ducky123, whose initiative in starting a roleplay on the basis of this idea finally motivated me to start this fanfic.

I hope that you enjoy and remember that feedback is welcome and appreciated :yes

Key:
Sounds
Thoughts
Dreams

Prologue

It is an indisputable fact that everyone changes throughout their lives.  An adult is not the same person that they were during their childhood years.  A veteran is not the same person that they were before they went off to war.  A butterfly is not the same as the larva it originated from.  It is only through our own continuity of experience that we can call ourselves the same person from day to day.  This begs the question: are there some events that can push the continuity of experience to its breaking point?  If such an event were to occur then who would we become?

With the nightly fall of the bright circle, darkness had descended upon the mysterious beyond.  Where vibrant green plants and translucent blue waters had greeted the sunlight only hours before, now only darkness and obscure shadows remained.  The sights of the land being obscured, and the calls of the inhabitants having gone silent, for the duration of the formidable night.  Only the calls of the buzzers and the light of the stars would greet the vigilant observer.

In this darkness, a pair of yellow eyes gazed at the beautifully desolate scene.  The eyes belonged to a male rainbowface, whose eyes hinted of unusual knowledge and careful observation.  He took in the sights and sounds that would have been lost to the inhabitants of the land in which he now found himself.  He observed that the winds have shifted to the north, ensuring that his scent would be safely directed to the bluffs directly behind him and not to the open lands to the south.  He observed that the stars are especially clear this night.  From this he could easily deduce that the wet season was about to end.  He even observed that the calls of the buzzers in the region are changing; indicating that the time of breeding for them was going to soon be at an end.

He was not observant enough, however, to notice the female rainbowface who was standing right behind him.

"Are you enjoying yourself, Chronos?"

Chronos gave a startled yelp and jumped in surprise.  "Why did you do that Logos?"  He asked indignantly, "I was making very careful observations, which you have interrupted!"

Logos walked out of the shadows and Chronos could see that she had a sarcastic smirk upon her face.  "Apparently not careful enough to see me standing right behind you."  She retorted, "Although I do suppose that your attention should be focused on the stars tonight."

Both of the rainbowfaces looked contemplatively at the night sky.

"Do you think that it will fall this time?"  Chronos asked, "The rock shower will occur soon and the legends say that the stone of fate would one day fall with the long travelling rocks."

"I don't suppose anyone knows." Logos replied, "But if it is to happen during this cycle then it should be occurring soon."

"...And we should be prepared." Chronos finished, "Because if the tales are true about the stone..."

"We will cross that juncture when we get to it.  If the tales of the stone are entirely true, then we have a much bigger problem than crackpot flyers and inquisitive children."  She affirmed, "If they are not true or if the stone does not fall, however, then this will be a concern of our replacements.  That is, unless you expect to be alive to see the next shower of these rocks in several hundred cycles."

"I definitely won't survive that long if you keep on surprising me like that." Chronos replied playfully, before frowning and taking on a more serious expression.  "I suppose that we can only hope that either we reach it first or that the ones who find it are wise beyond their years.  Otherwise the consequences will be dire."

Logos nodded and then stated: "It is my turn to take over watching the skies.  Go ahead and get some rest Chronos."  She then muttered to herself, "I have a feeling that we will both need it."

As the rainbowfaces switch roles in order to maintain the vigilant watch over the skies, the rest of the mysterious beyond rested peacefully in the all-encompassing blanket of darkness.

None of its inhabitants could imagine that the morrow would bring changes which would one day affect them all.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Ducky123

  • Ducky is not pleased, nope nope nope
  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 6958
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 09:32:50 am »
Ah, you're welcome, rhombus :yes

The prologue doesn't really tell anything about what will happen next yet which is good I think. The names for the two Rainbowfaces are alright and you kept them in-character :) The chapter lenght is okay I think. Having read your synopsis already, I assume the lenght of your chapters will increase as the story progresses :p
It's always nice to include some descriptive writing which you did here :)

So all in all, a good introduction of the story. :yes
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

jansenov

  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 2666
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2014, 09:40:29 am »
These rainbowfaces are likely not the aliens from 7, just astronomers (or rather, astrologists) observing with the naked eye, from a culture comparable to Eurasian Copper or Bronze Age (getting "replacements" indicates an organised star-observing institution), and they have rather short lifespans just like other animals on Earth.

However, the names Chronos and Logos are very ambitious names for astronomers to hold, so I may be wrong, and the "replacements" may mean a scientific mission after all, though the methods of observation and using Earth years as units of measurement are peculiar. Perhaps they've come to like Earth so much they've gone native?

Speculations  ;)

StrutEggStealer

  • Ducky
  • *
  • Posts: 1509
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2014, 11:02:41 am »
What I loved about this was how easily you're able to describe scenes and locations, and even the characters themselves seem plausible, and not just 2D-versions seen on screen :yes

I seem to find myself expecting nerve-wracking cliffhangers in the very near future :lol which I don't mind, it's just a prediction... keep up the excellent work!

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2014, 11:42:43 pm »
Thanks for the feedback everyone.  :)

@ Ducky

You are indeed correct that the chapter length is going to increase as the story progresses.  Thus far I have written preliminary drafts of the first three chapters and they each total around 3000-4000 words at this point.  Individual chapter lengths will vary depending on the needs of the story, or course, but I would imagine that the average length will remain somewhere around that value.

@ jansenov

Interesting speculation.  I don't want to give anything away, but suffice to say that we will be learning more about Chronos and Logos as the story progresses.   :yes

@ StrutEggStealer

I am glad that you enjoyed my use of descriptive language in the story.  At this point I am trying to find the right balance in order to allow the reader to easily visualize the scene and feel for the characters, but at the same time I do not want to overdo it and have the descriptive language actually detract from the pacing of the story.

As for the nerve-wracking cliffhangers... Well... Let's just say that there may be a few.  ;)

@  Everyone

I should post chapter 1 sometime tonight or tomorrow.  Please keep in mind the key that I used in the initial post, otherwise you may find that chapter a bit confusing.

Key:
Sounds
Thoughts
Dreams


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2014, 01:10:23 am »
Chapter 1:   A longneck's nightmare

“Then stop trying to throw logic at nightmares. Sometimes the monsters are real, Anita. Sometimes they're real and the only way to defeat them is to be the bigger monster. ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Bullet

Littlefoot was beginning to suspect that he was not very good at this game.

Every single hiding spot that he had selected had proven to be a failure.  He had originally chosen a log as his hiding place, only to find that his tail stuck out of the log.  After being ferreted out by Spike, he had then attempted to seek refuge in a cave.  This refuge was transitory, however, as Ruby soon picked up his trail and chased him into a corner.  Most recently he had sought shelter in tall grass, only to have his serenity interrupted by Chomper's playful roar.  He was running as fast as his bulky longneck legs could carry him.  He most certainly did not want to be "it" again.

Chomper appeared to be enjoying this chase far more than he was, Littlefoot dryly observed.

Littlefoot decided to charge into the forested area of the valley in order to lose his pursuer.  "I may not be able to outrun him" Littlefoot thought, "But perhaps I could outmaneuver him."  Littlefoot then began to zig and zag around the trees.  He quickly looked behind him and he saw Chomper begin to fall back.  "Heh... This is actually beginning to work" He thought triumphantly.  He then turned forward again to see that he has run right into a dead in.  A fallen tree, far too large for him to transverse, lay in front of him.  To his left lay the fast-flowing stream.  "Darn!" He thought, "I guess that I have to go left."  He then began to turn in order to access his only possible escape route.  

That was when he felt a slight pain in his tail.

"Ow!" Littlefoot yelled, "Okay, okay!  I am the chaser again.  You don't have to actually nibble at my tail you know."

Chomper laughed.  "Oh, come on Littlefoot!  I was just playing.  It isn't my fault that your tail is the easiest thing to grab."  He said while licking his lips.

Littlefoot rolled his eyes and responded "Alright, I guess it is my turn now."  He then closed his eyes and began counting to twenty, "One tree star, two tree stars, three tree stars..."  Littlefoot heard the scampering of feet and knew that Chomper was busy finding a new hiding space.  Littlefoot suppressed a groan at his predicament.  It was his turn to be the "sharptooth" again.

"Nineteen tree stars, twenty tree stars.  Alright, here I come!"  Littlefoot then opened his eyes and looked in confusion at the scene that confronted him.

He was surrounded by a desolate landscape.  The ground was without vegetation or moisture, being permeated by cracks everywhere that his eyes could see.  Not a single tree or bush dotted the landscape, nor would a single drop of water present itself in the landscape.  Even the sky was formless, without a sky puffy in sight.  It was an impermeable dome of azure blue.  This land was the embodiment of death and despair.  He was the only living thing that could be seen.

"W... Where am I?" Littlefoot mouthed out, "How did I get here?"

Littlefoot then began to panic.  "My friends!  My grandparents!  Where are they?  Are they here?"  He then began to call their names in the hope that he could find some of them.

"Chomper!  Ruby!  Cera!  Spike!  Ducky!"  Littlefoot began to bellow to the silent landscape, "Grandpa!  Grandma!  Anyone!"  The only sounds that reached his ears were the echoes of his own voice.  It was as if the land itself was trying to mock him.

Littlefoot looked down and began to tremble at his predicament.  This was impossible.  One simply doesn't close their eyes and magically go from one land to another.  It simply did not happen.  But yet... He was here.  He was glad that his friends and family were spared being sent to this barren hellscape, but at the same time he was sad that he was alone.  He and his friends had gotten through many seemingly impossible situations together and he would have felt much more confident if they were with him.  However, as they were not present, he supposed that he had to get out of this on his own.

He began to walk through the mysterious desert that surrounded him.  With each step, his feet cracked the parched ground.  The scorching hot ground threatened to burn his feet and the sensation was nearly unbearable.  Littlefoot observed that it reminded him of how the ground acted when they were fleeing the Great Valley after the swarming leaf gobblers had ate all of the tree stars.  He had hoped that he and his friends would be spared going through something like that again.  Apparently he was not so lucky.

He advanced through the landscape for an indeterminate amount of time.  Littlefoot noted that the bright circle doesn't appear to fall in this place and the night circle doesn't appear.  It almost seems like this place is in perpetual daytime.  A daytime without sky water or relief of any kind.  What sort of madness was this?

The landscape did not help his disorientation.  The land appeared utterly formless in its lack of valleys or ridges.  It was nothing but a flat expanse, with cracks in the ground giving the landscape its only discernible features.  Without those, the formless landscape and blue in blue sky would have left Littlefoot with no frame of reference in this hellish void.

Even his sensations did not spare him from this infernal monotony.  After many hours of traveling (or had it been days?), the only sensation that his feet could perceive is unbearable heat and aching pain.  His mouth and throat were so dry that even if he were to encounter another being in this place, he doubted that he would be able form words with his parched mouth.  His eyes were so dry that it felt as if his eyelids were locked into place.  His stomach grumbled at the lack of sustenance or moisture.  Thirst, hunger, and pain were the only companions that this place provided Littlefoot.

After some time, Littlefoot became exhausted by his travels and decided that he could not continue.  He fell to the ground in his exhaustion and immediately blacked out.  

He opened his eyes.  How long he had unconscious was an open question.  The landscape has not changed, nor had the bright circle fallen.  He cried out in anguish, only to hear someone clear their throat behind him.  

Littlefoot carefully placed his forelimbs firmly on the ground and struggled to find the strength to lift his hind limbs.  "Is this how it feels to die?" Littlefoot thought to himself, "Is this what my mother felt when she could no longer move?"  He would have cried if he had any tears left to do so.  With a herculean struggle Littlefoot was finally able to get himself back on all four feet.  Littlefoot allowed himself a groan of pain and then proceeded to turn around and see the being behind him.  He turned his neck and saw...

"A fast biter!"  Littlefoot screamed.

Littlefoot attempted to move out of the way, but his legs failed him and he goes tumbling to the ground.  Being unable to move and to the point of exhaustion, Littlefoot closed his eyes and awaited the end.  At this point he was resigned to his fate.  He was just glad that his friends and grandparents were safe in the Great Valley.  At least they would live on.

"Are you so eager to die?" The fast biter asked, "I seldom have a meal offer themselves up so freely."

Littlefoot is stunned to hear the fast biter speak to him in leaf-eater. "Y... You can speak?"

The fast biter laughs, "Of course I can speak.  If I couldn't speak then how could I be able to make you an offer?"

Littlefoot was perplexed and simply croaked out: "An offer?"  He failed to see what this fast biter could offer him as he was surely soon to perish in this depressing hellscape.  Littlefoot had not seen food or water in what felt like ages.  Even if he could be given those, his legs refused to serve him any longer.  How could a fast biter help him at this point?  And why would it want to do so?

"I can provide you with all of the food and water that you desire.  I can even remove you from this rather lovely scenery." He said with a flamboyant wave of his clawed forelimb, "But you will need to close your eyes and be willing to look upon the world from a new perspective."  The fast biter declared.  Littlefoot began to question him, but the fast biter stopped him with a sardonic smile and a wave of his paw, "Sorry little one, but no questions.  Either yes or no."

Littlefoot was thinking that he had little to lose.  Even if this fast biter was simply a lunatic, what was the worst that could happen?  He was as good as dead at this point anyway.  So he gave the only answer that made sense.

"Yes."  Littlefoot replied, and then he closed his eyes.

Littlefoot couldn't put the sensations that he then felt into words.  The best description that he could possibly give is that he simply felt wrong.  It was as if his mind was no longer his and his body was no longer under his control.  He heard muffled sounds and unique smells, but he couldn't make sense out of any of them.  He knew that his body was moving and active, but he could not determine what was happening.  His physical eyes may have very well been open, but his "mind's eye" was closed.

Then he tasted it...  Food.  Glorious food.   He thought that he would never taste its like again.  He couldn't tell what he was eating as it wasn't anything that he had ever tasted before.  But it filled his insatiable hunger all the same.  After several moments of gorging himself on the newfound food, he heard the fast biter's voice again.

"Now, open your eyes and see your fate."

Littlefoot opened his eyes and saw an incomprehensible sight.  He was looking into a watering hole and saw that the water was gleaming red.  That was not what immediately caught his attention, however.  In the red water he saw the reflection of Chomper!  He quickly looked around and did not see any sign of Chomper.  Where was he?

He looked in the watering hole again and moved his head.  The head of the reflection also moved.  He turned his body and likewise the body of the reflection moved.  He then moved his stubby forelimbs and they moved as well.  

Wait a moment.  His stubby forelimbs?

He then looked at his own body and saw that he not only had stubby arms, but that he was also standing on two large hind limbs.  And he was purple.  He was in Chomper's body!  How could this be?  

He was disturbed by this revelation and began back away from the reflection, only to fall over when he tripped over something wet.

Disoriented, he slowly got up on his... er... Chomper's hind limbs and looked at what he tripped over.  The site that greeted him horrified him beyond words.

He had tripped over the body of what must have once been a young longneck.  Large chunks of flesh were missing from its hindquarters and back.  Its viscera were now exposed and buzzers had begun to commune at the new food source.  Blood saturated the entire scene in a sickening shade of crimson.  Its neck was ripped from side to side, which nearly decapitated the unfortunate longneck's head.  He then looked up to the longneck's head and blanched when he saw what was left of its face.  

His face.  

He was staring at his own corpse!

"How?  Why?"  Littlefoot muttered.  He could not comprehend what he had just gone through.  What did all of this mean?

"I knew that we couldn't trust YOU!"  Boomed from a voice from some distance away, "How could you do this Chomper?  Betray your own friend!"

Littlefoot looked and saw the huge, hulking form of Mr. Threehorn charging in his direction.

"It wasn't me!  I would never..." Littlefoot pitifully spoke.

"No excuses sharptooth!  Now it is time to pay for your crime!"  The threehorn boomed.

The last sight that Littlefoot saw was the massive feet of Mr. Threehorn come crashing towards his face...


"Ah!" Littlefoot awoke with a startled cry.

He breathed heavily in gasps and looked around him.  There was grass, bushes, trees... All of them under the long-absent cloak of nightfall.  He also saw the two massive forms of his grandparents beginning to shift around.  He was alive?  It... It was just a dream!  

He took in a relieved breath.  "Sigh... It was all just a dream."

"Are you alright Littlefoot?"  Littlefoot heard to his side, "Your sleep stories seem to have troubled you."

"I'm... Okay Grandpa."  Littlefoot replied, "I am glad that it was just a sleep story."  Littlefoot then began to lie down, but he still looked somewhat troubled in his facial expression.  Although the visions that he saw were not real, he still was troubled by their uncertain implications.  What did these horrific visions mean?

Grandma longneck raised her neck and asked "Would you like to talk about it Littlefoot?  Obviously it still troubles you."

"Okay."  He replied and then took some time to collect his thoughts.  Where could he even begin?

"I was playing Run & Hide with friends when suddenly I was placed in a hot and dry place."  He swallowed a bit and continued, "I couldn't find any water or food and I nearly died but a sharptooth made a deal with me to see things from another view."  He then looked at his grandparents with frightened eyes, "I was in Chomper's body and he had killed..."  He nearly said him, but thought better of it. "Uh... a longneck and Mr. Threehorn went over to trample me."  He looked away and shook his head, "It was very scary and it made no sense."  He then looked inquisitively at his grandfather, "What could it mean Grandpa?"

"Oh, Littlefoot" Grandpa begins, "Sometimes our sleep stories mean nothing in particular.  But sometimes they tell us what our instincts want us to know."

"Instincts," Littlefoot asked inquisitively, "What are those?"

"Instincts tell us what we must do.  Instincts tell us when we must save the bright circle.  Instincts tell us who we love and how to love them.  Instincts tell us what is dangerous to us.  That is what instincts are."  Grandpa stated, "Do you understand Littlefoot?"

"I think so.  Instincts are those feelings that guide us."  Littlefoot concluded and he looked for confirmation at his grandfather.  

Grandpa nodded at Littlefoot's understanding.  "Even I have scary sleep stories from time to time.  They help to remind us of what we should be afraid of.  Sometimes even the eldest of us need a helpful reminder."  He then looked at Littlefoot with a wry smile, "I have had several sleep stories where I have been concerned for your safety.  Your adventures in the mysterious beyond have not helped."

Littlefoot looked somewhat guilty and glances down.  "What is my sleep story telling me to be afraid of?  Surely not Chomper!  He is a friendly sharptooth.  I was there when he hatched.  He would never hurt his friends!"

Grandma questioned "You saw part of the dream from his body, did you not?"  To which Littlefoot nods, "Then your instincts are warning you about something that you can't change.  Chomper is a sharptooth and he must eat meat in order to live.  That is his role in the circle of life and nothing can be done about it."

Littlefoot nodded.  "I feel sorry for Chomper in a way.  He must have to control his instincts all of the time when he is around us."  This caused Grandpa Longneck to shift uneasily and to give a worried look at Grandma.  

Littlefoot did not notice the display and he continued, "I am glad that he is a good sharptooth and can keep these instincts under control."  He then yawned and closed his eyes again, "Goodnight grandma and grandpa."

"Goodnight little one." The two said in unison.  Although neither of them would openly state their anxious thoughts on the matter to their grandson, both of them were thinking the same thing.  Chomper is a "good sharptooth" at the moment, but for how long would that last?  Littlefoot had finally begun to ask the same question that they had been asking for the last two seasons.  

They both hoped that the question would have a good answer.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

jansenov

  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 2666
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2014, 06:56:37 am »
This is great. Mistery, rich and fluid language, believable dialogue. I would throw out only a single sentence. "Without those, the formless landscape and blue in blue sky would have left Littlefoot with no frame of reference in this hellish void". This is stating the obvious, and therefore unnecessary.

Ducky123

  • Ducky is not pleased, nope nope nope
  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 6958
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2014, 09:41:14 am »
I agree with jansenov. You don't have to worry about your writing style since it's great; better than mine, I daresay :smile

Plotwise, I didn't find anything that bugs me :yes The dream was very believable. I like how you included that talk about what instict is and that they're worried about Chomper's instincts :)

Quote
"Chomper! Ruby! Cera! Spike! Ducky!" Littlefoot began to bellow to the silent landscape, "Grandpa! Grandma! Anyone!"
Not sure if you did it on purpose but you didn't mention Petrie here.

A great chapter, rhombus. Keep up the good work! :goodluck
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 02:51:05 pm »
Thanks for the feedback everyone.  :)  

Quote
This is great. Mistery, rich and fluid language, believable dialogue. I would throw out only a single sentence. "Without those, the formless landscape and blue in blue sky would have left Littlefoot with no frame of reference in this hellish void". This is stating the obvious, and therefore unnecessary.

I am glad that you enjoy my use of language in the story.  However, upon rereading the passage in question, I agree with you about the redundancy of that particular sentence and I will omit it when the story is posted to fanfiction.net.  That is one of the weaknesses in my writing, I think, that I have a tendency to overdo the descriptions.

Quote
Not sure if you did it on purpose but you didn't mention Petrie here.

Poor Petrie.  :(  Nope that was not intentional.  I will make sure to include him when it is posted to FF.net.  :yes


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 06:03:20 pm »
Okay, here is the next chapter.  The next few chapters elaborate upon the thoughts and temperaments of the characters before things really begin to get interesting.  I am a bit unsure of the pacing of this chapter, as I have tried to show part of it from the perspective of Spike, who is an often overlooked character in my opinion.  Please let me know what you think.


Chapter 2     The seven friends

“It's dreadful what little things lead people to misunderstand each other.”― L.M. Montgomery, Emily's Quest


Much to Littlefoot's relief, he was spared a repeat of the night's dream.  Instead he slept until the next morning after a mostly dreamless sleep.  The darkness of night matching the inner darkness from his lack of consciousness.  As the bright circle lifted in the sky, however, so did the haze of sleep.  The darkness of night had yielded to the illumination of the morning.  Neither Littlefoot nor the other residents of the valley could have known that a most important day had begun.

Littlefoot opened his eyes and immediately closed them as the bright sunlight assaulted them.

"Time to get up Littlefoot," His grandmother called to him, "The bright circle is rising."

Littlefoot gave a mighty yawn before laying his forelimbs firmly on the ground ahead of him.  Stretching, he slowly arose to his full quadruped stance and struggled to keep his eyes open.

"It is morning already?" Littlefoot inquired in a fatigued manner, "I had just fallen asleep."

"It probably seems like that young one, because of your sleep story last night." Grandma advised, "The bad sleep story didn't trouble you further did it Littlefoot?"

"No grandma." Littlefoot replied, "...thank goodness." he then muttered to himself.

"Well then," Grandpa Longneck began, "It is time for breakfast I do believe."  He then raised his long neck to a nearby tree and began to shake the highest branches.  A torrent of tree stars then began to fall from the sky.  His slumber soon forgotten, Littlefoot excitedly approached the downpour of leaves.  After the dreams of starvation and misery from the night before, he was more than ready for the first meal of the young day.

Littlefoot then began to devour the tree stars that had fallen.  His mouth still full of green food, Littlefoot gave a muffled, "Thanks grandpa!" before continuing his frantic meal.

Grandpa longneck laughed at the display.  "Slow down Littlefoot!  I don't think that the tree stars are going to run away!"  He half-heartedly chided, before continuing his own morning meal with his mate.

At this prompting, Littlefoot slowed down the pace of his meal ever so slightly.  Despite his heavy appetite on this morning, Grandpa Longneck had provided a more than sufficient meal for the young sauropod.  As a result he hunger was dissipating nearly as quickly as it had arrived.  

As his sleepiness lifted and his hunger was being satiated, Littlefoot's mind began to wander as the minds of youngster so often do.  Inevitably, his thoughts turned back to the previous night's sleep story.

How does Chomper actually feel around us? Was one of the most prominent thoughts rolling in the young longneck's mind, He obviously likes meat, but how strong is that hunger? This was something that each member of the gang had confronted in their own minds previously concerning Chomper, and this certainly was not the first time that the thought had entered Littlefoot's mind, but the sleep story had made this particular question stand out very clearly.  

This led to the appearance of other questions, most unpleasant questions, which not even Cera in one of her more spiteful moods would dare broach openly.  Did Chomper ever hunt before?  

Littlefoot knew that Chomper had eaten meat before.  Obviously, his parents had provided him with the necessities of his kind while he was under their care on the island.  But did Chomper ever kill before?  Littlefoot did not know if the answer to the question would make him think differently of Chomper or not, as it was a necessity that Chomper would have to begin hunting one day.  However, Littlefoot could not wrap his mind around the full implications of such a reality.  How difficult would it be to speak leaf-eater, be friends with leaf-eaters, and then to occasionally kill other leaf-eaters?  How could someone compartmentalize like that?  By accepting Chomper when he hatched and teaching him to be friends with leaf-eaters had they actually cursed him with future agony?

Littlefoot noticed the dark turn that his thoughts had taken and quickly shook his head.  He would get nowhere asking questions to himself when only Chomper could actually answer them.  He resolved that one day he would need to talk to Chomper about such matters.  However doing so would be no easy task.

What am I suppose to say to him? "Hey Chomper, I have a question.  Have you ever killed another longneck like me for food?  I am sure that would go over so well."  He thought sarcastically.  Or perhaps I should tell him: "How did you sleep Chomper?  Oh, that's great.  I just had a sleep story where you ate me."  He concluded with some annoyance at his own train of thought.

Littlefoot look at the sky and noticed that the bright circle had continued its assent.  He sighed and attempted to clear his mind.  He could think about such things later.  If he didn't hurry then surely his friends would wonder where he has gone to.

"Thanks for breakfast!  I am going to play with my friends."  He called to his grandparents.

"Okay, Littlefoot.  Have fun and be safe!"  Came the usual response.

Littlefoot was then faced with the dilemma of who to find first.  The nesting area of Petrie's family was on a high bluff, so Petrie was out of the question.  Likewise, the nesting area of the swimmers was the farthest away from where he and his grandparents usually rested, so Spike and Ducky were out.  The threehorns were relatively close, but if Mr. Threehorn was in a bad mood...

I will get Ruby and Chomper first.  Littlefoot resolved in his mind as he bounded into the grassland that would eventually take him to the Secret Caverns.  With Chomper's sniffer we should have no trouble tracking the others down.  

Unfortunately for Littlefoot, he did not see the red eyes staring at him from the bushes nearby.

......

Elsewhere in the valley, a family of hadrosaurs was sleeping peacefully in a small clearing beside a gently flowing stream.  This was not a normal family of hadrosaurs, however, as it included both a young stegosaurus whom the others considered family and the brave little one who had accepted him so long ago.  The gentle swaying of the trees and tranquil flow of the water testified to the serenity of the scene.  The abject darkness of the moonless night had subsided into the gradual brightening of dusk and soon the family would awake from their slumber to greet the new day.

However, one of the members awoke early on this day.  

Spike grunted and slowly opened his eyes.  Not even attempting to stifle an emerging yawn, he blinked a few times and took in the scene around him.  It was still dusk, he noted.  The earliest rays of the emerging sun were beginning to show themselves over the eastern skies.  If Spike were able to see color, he would have noted that the greenish hues of the valley's plants were beginning to become visible out of the colorless cloak of the night.  As it was, however, he was taking in the bountiful smells of the waking valley.  His well-honed sense of smell, second only to Chomper and Ruby, picked up the symphony of plant smells arising from the westerly winds.  

"Mmmm... Tree sweets and treestars" Spike noted out of the confusing tangle of smells.

"Perhaps I should have an early breakfast today?" Spike continued, "I usually take longer to eat than the others, maybe I can get an early start today?"

Spike took a long look back at his family.  Ducky appeared to still be sleeping peacefully.  Thinking it best not to disturb her, and carefully avoiding waking his brothers and sisters, Spike made his way out of the nest in search of an early morning meal.

......

Littlefoot continued to advance through the lush valley.  He was reflecting upon the huge size of the valley and how long it sometimes took for all of the gang to get together after their morning meals.  Perhaps we should set up a meeting point for all of us?  He thought to himself.  Although that would probably lead to an argument.  Everyone will want it to be close to their nests.  He continued glumly.  He and the gang had complained about all of the arguing that the adults did on many occasions, but they could be just as argumentative at times.  He immediately thought of Cera when he made that last thought.  And some of us are more argumentative than others!

Chuckling to himself at that last thought, he turned to follow the stream which would lead him toward the direction of the Secret Caverns.  He had seen no sign of Chomper, which was odd as he was usually out searching for breakfast at this time of morning.  Surely, he has gotten up by now.  Littlefoot thought, Otherwise he is going to have to search for buzzers while the rest of us are playing games!  

He began to move at a brisk pace as the Secret Caverns came into view.  However, that was when something caught his attention.

Crack!

Littlefoot looked around cautiously.  "Hello?  Is anyone there?"  Not seeing anyone, he shook his head and continued on his way.

However, he couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched.  That was when the words from the night before reentered his thoughts.  

Instincts.  Instincts are those feelings that guide us.

Right now my instincts are telling me that I am being followed.  Littlefoot thought, Perhaps I should listen to my instincts and see where they take me.

He looked at some of the bushes to his right and couldn't see anything of interest.  Likewise there were no interesting smells or sounds in his immediate vicinity.  He then began to turn around to examine the bushes on the other side of him.

Roar!

Littlefoot screamed and jumped in the air as he prepared to bolt from the area.  How could a sharptooth get into the valley unnoticed?  Was his nightmare from the previous night about to come true?

He took a tentative look behind him as he began to run and saw...

"Chomper!  That wasn't funny!"  Littlefoot exclaimed.

Chomper laughed.  "You should have seen the look on your face!"

Littlefoot looked at him disapprovingly.  He would have let such a prank slide before, but his recent dream had made him far more apprehensive about such behavior.  "I know you were just playing Chomper, but many of the adults would not."  Chomper began to look penitent at Littlefoot's reprimand, "Especially if they heard me screaming afterwards.  How would Mr. Threehorn have reacted if he saw this?"

Chomper looked frightened for a moment before looking down at the ground.

"I'm sorry Littlefoot.  I just wanted to play a prank on you." Chomper looked quite sad at this point.  Littlefoot began to regret being so harsh on the little biter.  "I didn't mean anything by it." Chomper concluded.

Littlefoot sighed.  "I know Chomper and I am not mad.  But you have to be careful.  I don't want you to be hurt over a misunderstanding."

Chomper looked to be in better spirits at this point and actually cracked a small smile "Thanks Littlefoot.  I guess I have to be more careful."

From a distance, a pair of blue eyes had watched the touching scene.  Ruby had left the cave that she and Chomper call home in order to check on the little sharptooth.  He was supposed to be under her watch, but he had a tendency to go venturing out before she had an opportunity to rise in the morning.  She had finally caught site of Littlefoot heading towards the caverns when she saw a flash of purple behind a bush.  She had rolled her eyes at the scene.  Chomper was up to his old tricks again.  However, Littlefoot's display lifted her spirits somewhat.  It was nice to see that someone else had a watchful eye over her charge even when she was not present in order to look over him.

The young oviraptor smiled at the display and began to leave the boulder upon which she had been sitting.  It was time to greet her friends.

"Hello, my friends!  My friends, hello!"  She called and then she looked at Chomper with an unreadable expression, "I have been looking for you everywhere Chomper.  What have you been doing?"

Chomper's face went through an amusing display of emotions before he answered, "Uh... I got some breakfast and then I found Littlefoot."  He finished with a toothy grin.

Ruby gave a knowing smile and said, "I heard a roar, so I knew you that found something."  Chomper's face fell at the realization that he had been caught red-handed by his caregiver. "Make sure that you keep Littlefoot's words in mind Chomper.  Remember what happened when we met Rhett?  That could have been bad, bad it could have been."

Chomper nodded and said, "Yes, Ruby."

Ruby looked up front the chastised youngling and asked "What are we doing today Littlefoot."

Littlefoot replied, "I am not sure.  You two are the first ones that I have talked to so far.  I guess that we should go find the others."

Chomper exclaimed, "I can track them down with my sniffer!"  He then spoke boastfully "Nothing escapes from my sniffer."

Littlefoot laughed at his friend's antics and said, "Sounds good Chomper.  Lead the way."

......

Spike had decided to follow the stream in search of the tree sweets that had caught his attention earlier.  Along the way he munched on the shrubs and branches that he came across.  By the time that he had crossed half of the distance to the roaring falls the sun had begun to peak across the horizon, giving rise to a magnificent sunrise that illuminated the entire valley.

Upon briefly admiring the sunrise, Spike noticed a slightly pungent scent to his left.  Looking in that direction he noticed the hulking form of Cera's father, who was talking to someone.  Spike was accustomed to finding plants using his sniffer, but locating valley residents was a rather new phenomenon for him.

"It seems that Chomper's lessons on how to use my sniffer are helping me more than I realized."  Spike thought, then observing the noticeably annoyed yellow threehorn to his side, "I see that Cera is awake already."

It was times like this that Spike wished that he could speak like the others.  It was true that Ducky generally understood his motivations, Spike could adequately communicate his emotions, and that he could understand the rest of the gang, but it was annoying to be unable to convey his thoughts in the same manner as the others.  Spike supposed that he could communicate his gratefulness to Chomper through some gesture.  If Chomper was a leaf-eater then perhaps Spike could offer him some tree sweets to show his appreciation, but of course that was not the sort of thing that Chomper would enjoy...

Spike shook his head.  There was no need to think about matters that could not be changed.  He decided to proceed onward to the tree sweets that were now clearly in view.  

There was a problem, however.  Even the lowest tree sweets were far too high for Spike to reach!  Perhaps Cera would be kind enough to ram the tree and knock some off for him?

Cera then stormed off from her nesting site without a word.  She was obviously upset over something.

On second thought, perhaps these tree sweets will have to wait for another day.

Spike sighed.  He then decided to follow Cera from a distance.  He knew that their usual fun and games would be starting soon.

......

Several moments later, with Chomper's assistance, the rest of the gang had been tracked down.  They had all congregated near the nesting area of the swimmers and were debating what game to play.

"Well now that we are all here what are we going to play?" Cera asked impatiently.

"I vote for Swimmer and Splasher.  Yep, yep, yep."  Ducky exclaimed.

Spike gave an affirmative grunt and nodded his approval for that game as well.

"Me don't know.  We play that yesterday."  Petrie affirmed, "Run and hide instead?"

Murmurs of agreement followed from the gang.  It seemed that a consensus had formed on what game to play.  Littlefoot groaned silently to himself.  Memories of what happened in his sleep story flooding his mind.

Chomper grew quite excited at this idea, "Yes!  Can I start as the chaser?"

"Sure, why not."  Cera affirmed without enthusiasm.  She then looked at Littlefoot who seemed to be off in his own world.  He was staring in her direction, but he appeared to be staring at nothing.  "What is your problem, Littlefoot?"

Littlefoot snapped out of his thoughts.  "Huh?  Oh, I just had trouble sleeping last night.  Sorry about that."

Littlefoot then joined the others in scattering and finding their own hiding spaces.

Ruby sought out a nearby bush to hide behind.  She figured that this would give her a chance to run away in the event that Chomper found her.  Cera decided to hide between two trees that were surrounded by high grass.  Petrie had the same idea, but instead hid within a hollow in one of the trees.  Spike hid in an area of high grass, whereas Ducky hid in a depression by the stream.  

Meanwhile, Littlefoot was having some difficulty finding a suitable hiding place.  He was being haunted by memories of the sleep story where he had no success finding an effective hiding place.  

Should I hide behind those boulders or find somewhere else?

"Alright, here I come!"  Chomper exclaimed.

Seeing how he was out of time, Littlefoot threw himself behind a fallen log that resided in a nearby forest.  He hoped that this hiding spot would have more success than what he experienced in his sleep story.

After shouting out his warning to the six hiders, Chomper opened his eyes.

Chomper absolutely loved this game.  In fact, he preferred it to all of the other games that the gang played.  If he were to have thought about it, however, he would have had to admit that he greatly preferred being the "chaser" to being the "hider" in the game.  The hiding portion was so utterly dull, in his opinion.  It was simply a period of time to wait until you could be the chaser again.  

Closing his eyes again for a moment, Chomper took in a deep breath.  In the process, he took in an impossibly complex symphony of smells.  If any of the gang had asked him to describe it at that moment, he would have been at a loss in how to put it into words.  The leaf-eater language simply did not have the vocabulary to describe the olfactory beauty that sharpteeth experienced every day.  

At the very moment he took in that breath, he smelled the individual scents of every single member of the gang.  Some scents were lighter, others stronger, but he could have came back to that very spot hours later and still have been able to identify that the gang had been present there earlier in the day.  He could smell the swimmer family some distance away.  He could identify each of Ducky's brothers and sisters by age, sex, and emotional state.  They were all currently happy, which was not a surprise.  He could also smell a multitude of other scents that he had no context for, such as that Mr. Thicknose had a stomach ailment, that the sweet bubbles from a nearby tree were about to become overripe, and the threehorns were about to enter mating season.  He could even smell his own scent and the hint of excitement and anticipation that it currently conveyed.  

But none of that was relevant right now, because he had a game to play.

He took in a second breath and narrowed his focus to the six odors that represented the gang.  

The scents of Littlefoot, Cera, and Ruby were quite strong, whereas the scents of the others were much weaker.  He took in another breath and was able to determine that both Littlefoot and Cera were upwind.  Looks like I am going for Cera and Littlefoot this time.  He thought to himself.  Chomper noticed that Ruby had gotten quite good about moving downwind of his sniffer.  I guess she had to be cautious in the mysterious beyond.  He concluded.  Fast runners can't exactly rely on the protection of a herd, after all.

He began to trot in the general direction that the scents were emanating from.  Ah it is great to be hunting again. He thought to himself, before immediately chiding himself for the thought.  This is only a game.  I am not hunting.  These are my friends.  He resolved to himself in his head.  It disturbed him sometimes how his instincts contradicted his intent.  He wondered how the others would feel if they knew how his mind worked.  He then pushed those thoughts out of his mind.  Nothing could be done about it and besides it was only his actions that mattered.  He could easily control his instincts just like he had done in the past.

As he got closer to the two hiders he began to pick up nuances of their scent that he had neglected to notice earlier.  Cera had a hint of irritation in her odor.  Perhaps she is upset over something?  A disagreement with her father, perhaps?  Littlefoot, on the other hand, had a rather unusual scent about him.  Confusion?  Apprehension?  Surely my prank didn't scare him that much! Chomper thought to himself.  Perhaps I should talk to him later?

He was getting quite close now and he accordingly began to rely more on visual cues.  Okay Chomper, do we see anything out of the ordinary?  He carefully looked over the scene that lay ahead of him.

To his back and to his left lay a multitude of trees, but since none of those had the tell-tale scent of his two targets, he put those out of his immediate focus.  In front of him lay several large trees and grass that rose to around half of his height.  To his right lay a stream with a few conspicuous boulders scattered around its edges.

He took a closer look at the grass.  It seemed to be flowing with the wind and did not exhibit anything out of the ordinary.

Wait a moment.

Chomper did a double-take and noticed that several of the blades of grass had moved suddenly against the direction of the wind.  Taking another breath, he was able to determine whose scent was stronger in that direction.  

Hello Cera!

Chomper made a toothy grin.  The chase was about to begin.

......

They are being so unfair!  Cera thought to herself as she lay in her hiding place.  I can't believe that I have to watch Tricia all day tomorrow.  Why couldn't they watch her for at least half of the day? She fumed.

Cera had long since made peace with the fact that Tria was her step-mother and that she had to watch her half-sister on occasion as she is the eldest sister.  But the recent behavior of Tria and her father really put her off.  They had never asked her to watch her for an entire day before.  That would leave her with no time for her friends!

Both of them are acting like they have just met, but they have been together for two Cold Times! She thought to herself.  What is up with those two?

She then reflected on the fact that she had not really been focused on the game or any of her friend's discussions today.  I guess that I shouldn't take it out on my friends, but it just makes me so mad!

Cera sighed.

How could this day get any worse?

Roar!

......

Cera ran out of the grass and straight into the forested area that was behind Chomper.  

Chomper was surprised by her unorthodox escape method and dove after Cera as she approached to his side.  However, he just missed touching her leg.

Darn.  Chomper thought.  This has not started well.

Cera did not gain much of a lead on Chomper, however, as he immediately got up on his two strong hind legs and began to chase after the yellow threehorn.  He was not too terribly discouraged by this turn of events.  Leaf-eaters were so predictable when they tried to run away.

Cera barreled through the forest, only changing her course when necessary to avoid colliding with a tree.  

This is what I get for not paying attention! She fumed to herself.

She looked behind her and found no sign of Chomper.  Good! I lost him.  However, while she did this she was not looking where she was going.  Consequently, she did not see the fallen log in front of her.

The sudden crash into his hiding spot sent Littlefoot into a panic.  What was that?

"Ah!" Cera screamed as she tumbled to the ground.

Cera slowly shook herself off and began to rise from her prone position, when she heard the sound of moving feet.

Darn it!  Cera thought.  She placed most of her weight on her back limbs and prepared to leap over the log and continue her escape.  However, Chomper had other ideas.

Oh no you don't! Chomper thought.  He then leaped in order to tag Cera and make her the chaser.  As the threehorn began to leap above the log and the little sharptooth began to fly through the air, each misjudged their jumps.  As a result, Chomper's forelimb made contact with Cera's tail right before he came crashing into the ground where her body used to be.

"Ow!"  Cera exclaimed.  "What do you think that you are doing sharptooth?!"

Chomper was slow to get up.  The crash into the ground had knocked the air out of him.  He slowly shook himself off and began to rise to his full height.

"Huh?"  Chomper asked.

"You scratched my tail with your claws!"  Cera raged, "Have you forgotten that you're playing a game and not getting dinner?!"

Chomper looked horrified at the small amount of blood on Cera's tail.  "It was an accident, I swear!"  The little biter affirmed, "I... uh... missed... That is all."

"A likely story."  Cera said dismissively.

Littlefoot, upon realizing what had happened, had left his hiding spot.

"Cera, you know Chomper did it by accident!"  Littlefoot began.

"Cera!  Lunchtime."  The booming voice of Mr. Threehorn echoed through the valley.  Cera took the opportunity to turn heel and walk away without saying another word.

But it was an accident...  Chomper thought to himself.  First, his attempt at playing a joke earlier had backfired.  Now, his attempt at playing a game had lead to accusations of misconduct.  At this point he was even beginning to question his own motivations.  Am I losing control over myself?

"Chomper, Cera is just mad about the scratch."  Littlefoot spoke reassuringly, "It was just an accident, don't feel too bad."

At this point in time, Ruby began to walk through the forest.  She was entirely unaware of what had just transpired.

"Chomper, it is time to eat!  The time to eat it is!  We can start playing again later." Ruby called.

Chomper began to leave the forest in order to search for food.  A glum, downtrodden expression rested upon his face.  

He passed Ruby without a word, leaving a very confused fast runner and a concerned longneck in his wake.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Ducky123

  • Ducky is not pleased, nope nope nope
  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 6958
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2014, 10:27:47 am »
This is great, rhombus! :lol

First of all, I think it is a very good idea to start each chapter with a quote that fits its content :yes The one you have chosen for this chapter fits very well.

The first part with Littlefoot and his Grandparents was written very well. The dialogue was plausible and both Littlefoot and the Grandparents are kept in-character very well. Littlefoot's worries about Chomper's instincts here is particularly reasonable :) It always works very well to combine outer and inner dialogue (---> talking with Grandparents and thinking about Chomper). Also, you ended that first part with a cliffhanger and, honestly, who doesn't love that? :p

Ah, I'm glad Spike is not forgotten in this fanfiction :) The rather descriptive style here doesn't hurt at all. I'm also happy to see that you gave a reference to the tv-episode "Through the Eyes of a Spiketail" :yes

So that is what Littlefoot is being followed by... Chomper :smile
Of course, Chomper would play a prank on Littlefoot and Littlefoot's (and Ruby's) reaction was very reasonable, considering the events of chapter 1 (I'm happy to see that you are referring to subjects of earlier chapters :yes That would be the subject of instincts here)  

Spike begins to smell residents? Interesting idea ;) So Spike would like to talk? Well, I suppose that is as long as the gang isn't arguing.

Ah, the game of Run and Hide you are describing here is great and exciting :) You expanded on Chomper's instincts and his sense of smell very well and Chomper's seeking ("hunting") behavior was very reasonable. It's logical that Ruby probably knew how to avoid getting tracked by Chomper's sniffer.
Cera is obviously pissed off about that scratch. With Chomper walking away and Littlefoot and Ruby being confused about it, you kind of left the chapter in an open end so readers are eagerly awaiting what will happen next (not to mention most readers would anyway) :)

All in all, this was a pretty enjoyable read :) I'm eagerly awaiting your next update!

One question, though, I do have. I have noticed that Littlefoot talks rather formal english (e.g. I am). I'm not sure if you are doing that on purpose (and it is no problem at all if you do it) but the Gang (with the exception of Ducky) talks rather informal english (not sure about Ruby though for her speeking pattern can be strange at times :p).  

Two small mistakes, I have found.
Quote
As a result he hunger was dissipating nearly as quickly as it had arrived.
I guess what you meant here is his hunger.
Quote
Littlefoot look at the sky and noticed that the bright circle had continued its assent.
I reckon you need the past here so looked
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2014, 12:30:52 pm »
Thank you for much for the feedback. :)  I have made the two corrections that you have noted.  :yes  

Quote
First of all, I think it is a very good idea to start each chapter with a quote that fits its content :yes  The one you have chosen for this chapter fits very well.


I am glad that you think so.  I was concerned that with chapter 1 that perhaps I picked a quote that was a bit too dramatic for the actual events of that chapter.  As we shall see, however, it does foreshadow the future quite well.

Quote
The first part with Littlefoot and his Grandparents was written very well. The dialogue was plausible and both Littlefoot and the Grandparents are kept in-character very well. Littlefoot's worries about Chomper's instincts here is particularly reasonable

I think that the dialogue between Littlefoot and his grandparents is among the easiest to write, because of how distinct yet interconnected those three are.  With the dialogue between some of the other characters (in particular chapter 3, which I will be posting after I finish my revisions to it) I have had to do a bit of improvising.  

Quote
One question, though, I do have. I have noticed that Littlefoot talks rather formal english (e.g. I am). I'm not sure if you are doing that on purpose (and it is no problem at all if you do it) but the Gang (with the exception of Ducky) talks rather informal english (not sure about Ruby though for her speeking pattern can be strange at times :p

Yes, indeed Ruby's speech patterns can be quite.. odd.  As you will see in Chapter 3 I have actually trimmed down her use of reverse-speaking (Hello my friends! My friends hello!) in order to spare the sanity of my readers.  It would be quite painful to read several paragraphs of dialogue like that in a story.  :p

As for the formal language that Littlefoot uses, I have noticed my tendency to write that way as well.  In fact, I revised this chapter several times before posting it in order to "loosen up" the dialogue a bit.  I think that my problem is that I am used to speaking in a very formal way even among close friends.  This follows me in my writing.  For some of the other characters there are vocal patterns that help to de-formalize the dialogue (Petrie's use of "me", Ducky's use of "Yep, yep, yep or -ed, Chomper's use of "sniffer" and exclamations, etc.) but Littlefoot lacks such noticeable speech patterns.  Consequently, I have a tendency to write his dialogue as if I were saying it.  This is something that I will try to remedy in future chapters.  :yes


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

jansenov

  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 2666
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2014, 01:33:29 pm »
Chomper's search is the best part, and the naturalistic passages of that part of the story were a bit unnerving to read, showing Chomper's abilities at their fullest. You can feel the budding sharptooth inside him, and it's not pleasant.

However, your text is a bit too formal in places. Here I would point out Littlefoot's thoughts about Chomper and the conversation between the two, because it doesn't feel as natural as Littlefoot's conversation with the fastbiter in the previous chapter and with his grandparents in this one. I would throw out this sentence: "How could someone compartmentalize like that?". The psychological jargon simply doesn't fit.







rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2014, 02:07:00 pm »
Quote
Chomper's search is the best part, and the naturalistic passages of that part of the story were a bit unnerving to read, showing Chomper's abilities at their fullest. You can feel the budding sharptooth inside him, and it's not pleasant.

I am glad that you enjoyed that.  A feeling is uneasiness was exactly what I wanted to convey in that passage.  I wanted to give an accurate portrayal of the inner dialogue within Chomper's head and to indicate to the audience that he is a potential future source of danger to a much greater extent than what the television series let on.  

Quote
However, your text is a bit too formal in places. Here I would point out Littlefoot's thoughts about Chomper and the conversation between the two, because it doesn't feel as natural as Littlefoot's conversation with the fastbiter in the previous chapter and with his grandparents in this one. I would throw out this sentence: "How could someone compartmentalize like that?". The psychological jargon simply doesn't fit.

Yeah, being overly formal is a weakness of mine.  I have removed the sentence that you have indicated and I have made a few other modifications as well to make Littlefoot's dialogue sound a bit more natural.  It is still a bit formal, though, so I might make a few additional changes later.

Thanks for the feedback.  :)


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2014, 10:04:25 pm »
Chapter 3   Fire from the sky

“You speak of destiny as if it was fixed.” ― Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass

Deep in the Great Valley, there resided several large trees that flowered in the spring.  Unlike the treesweet tree, however, these trees had flowers that were unpalatable to the residents, and as a consequence the trees were left largely undisturbed.  Nonetheless, these beautiful trees were a magnificent sight from a distance, bestowing the valley with several canopies of crimson petals.  It was a jarring transition from the sea of green that represented much of the valley.

A flying buzzer was hovering over one of these flowering trees.  The buzzer was a very simple living thing.  As a consequence, it did not possess an inner monologue like the dinosaurs, nor did it even have an intricate instinctual understanding of the world around it like the ground sliders (lizards) or fish.  It did, however, have certain drives that grounded its behavior.

Right now, its most prominent drive was hunger.

The red petals and yellow stamens of the flowering tree made neural connections fire within the insect's simplistic brain.  It needed food and a source of food was present.  Accordingly, the action that it was assigned to do was to gather that food.  

Its large compound eyes gathered copious amounts of information about the world around it, although only a small fraction of that information was actually processed by its simple brain.  It primarily used color and movement to find its way around the world.  Color could mean food, whereas movement most often indicated danger.  It could see several copies of the red flower it was feeding upon, for instance.  It could also see several images of the blue sky that resided above the feeding insect.

It did not see the blur of purple, however, until it was too late.

Chomp!

Chomper was preoccupied during his lunchtime "hunting" expedition for buzzers.  The events of the morning were haunting his thoughts and making him question his actions.

I didn't mean to scratch Cera!  Chomper thought, But you did enjoy the chase and the catch! Came another accusing voice from within his mind, I would never hurt my friends! Came his internal retort.  

But I did, didn't I? I scratched Cera and scared Littlefoot.  Now Cera is angry with me and Littlefoot seems scared around me.

"What have I done?"  Came the mournful question from the little biter.  He was now feeling quite guilty over what had happened.  He was beginning to question how much self-control he really had.

He then heard the sounds of soft footsteps in the grass.  The maker of those footsteps had a very particular gait, which lead to a very quiet walk.  Chomper knew from its sound that it must be Ruby.

"Chomper?"  Ruby questioned.

Chomper looked up reluctantly.  The young sharptooth had a very sad expression on his face and extra moisture in his eyes.  His forelimbs, normally held up high with anticipation, were angled down as if burdened by a heavy weight.  His posture and body language all told a tale of sadness.

My goodness he is really depressed!  Ruby thought, Surely my scolding earlier didn't do this?

"What is wrong Chomper?" Ruby asked with an extremely concerned look upon her face, "I have never seen you this sad."

Chomper looked down for a moment and swallowed deeply.  Previously restrained with effort, tears now began to flow freely from his eyes.

"I don't know if I should stay here anymore." Chomper replied

Ruby did not know what to make of this statement.  "Well, if you are not finding buzzers here, than there are other places in the valley.  In the valley there are other places." She replied with some confusion.

"No."  Chomper replied, "I don't know if I can stay in the valley anymore."

Uh oh.  Came the immediate response in Ruby's mind.  Her father had given her counsel on how to handle the young sharptooth before she went on her journey to the valley.  She remembered it well.  It occurred six seasons ago, just before she and Chomper went on their journey to the Great Valley...

......

Hanging Rock - Six seasons ago:

"Ruby, we need to talk about Chomper."

"Yes, daddy?" Came her reply.

Ruby's father, Detras, was sitting comfortable at the family nesting area.  He was an elderly fast runner with a distinctly purple hue and a kindly demeanor.  The fact that he did not currently display that kindness indicated that this was a rather serious matter.  This detail was not lost on the young pink fast runner who had just entered the nest.

"You have learned how to speak both leaf-eater and sharptooth," He began "and you have learned how to teach others as your efforts with Chomper have indicated..." He looked sternly at her.

"I know that you did not want me to stay around sharpteeth, but he needed a friend.  A friend he needed!"  Came her reply, "His only friends were the leaf-eaters that hatched him.  He was lonely."

Detras sighed.  "I know we have discussed many times, but I still cannot approve of what you did.  You put yourself in danger!  Even though Chomper would not eat you, his parents would have been a different story!"

"But now they are friendly with us." Ruby replied.

"Yes.  But only because he begged them not to eat you."  Detras looked indignant.  They have had this discussion many times before, but Ruby still defended her actions.  She had a loyalty to her that often times overrode her sense of self-preservation.  It was a trait that he shared in his youth, which is why he tried to counsel her against this line of thinking.  It had very nearly got him killed when he was her age...

"Anyway, that is not what I wanted to talk about today." Detras continued with a more sympathetic tone.  "You know how to teach others even when they may be very different from you.  This is why you are the one being sent to the valley with Chomper.  You are the one who Chomper's parents trust and the best choice to convince the residents of the valley."

Ruby remained silent, listening intensely.

"However, you are my daughter."  Detras's voice cracked a bit, "And here I am sending you in danger..."  He looked at her intensely with the gleam of moisture in his eyes, "But you are ready, I feel.  You have learned the lessons that we have taught you, but there is one more that you need to hear."

He stopped for a moment as if he were collecting his thoughts.

"I wanted to talk to you a bit more about sharpteeth.  If you are going to care for and watch Chomper in the valley, then you need to know more about them."

"Yes, daddy." Ruby replied.

"He is friendly now, but he is still young." he stated matter-of-factly with a wave of his forepaw, "And, assuming they don't tell you two to leave beforehand, he will eventually begin to take on the instincts of his kind."

"But, he is a friendly sharptooth!  He would not hurt his friends." Ruby replied.

"He would not do it intentionally, Ruby.  But as he grows up certain instincts will begin to take hold." Detras said as he looked at his daughter sympathetically, "Just like the egg incident, remember?"

Ruby looked down ashamed.

"I remember the day that you took that egg from those threehorns..." Detras began with a far-away look in his eye.

"I didn't mean to do it!" Ruby exclaimed, "I was trying to get fish, but no fish I could find, and it was there and... and..." She trailed off and shook her head, "I don't know."

"You did it because you were hungry and we hadn't eaten in days." Detras replied, "That little incident nearly got you killed and gave me this scar." Detras shifted to the right to expose the scar on his right flank.  "You were very lucky Ruby."

Ruby simply nodded with a defeated look on her face.

"There will be plenty of food in the valley.  Plants, fish, and many other things if the stories are true.  So you shouldn't go through that experience again." Detras continued, "We fast runners only go through the 'hunger madness' when food is scarce, but with sharpteeth it is different."

Ruby looked at her father with inquisitive eyes, "How so daddy?"

"They always have the hunting instinct in them.  Even the young ones like Chomper.  Eventually, catching buzzers and fish will not be enough to satisfy the need to chase and hunt." He looked at Ruby, "If that time comes then you will have to lead Chomper back here, so that we can find his parents."

Ruby looked disturbed at this revelation, but nodded nonetheless.

"You have to be careful Ruby.  If you can gain acceptance in the Great Valley, then perhaps we can use that goodwill to unite the mysterious beyond and the Great Valley against Red Claw." He spoke affirmatively, "But if you fail at this then we may lose our chance."

Ruby blinked but then quickly nodded, as the full implications of her journey became apparent to her.

......

Back to the present:

Ruby looked at Chomper with extreme concern.  I must be very careful here. She thought to herself.  She tried not to be conspicuous as she put more weight on her legs in preparation for running.

Chomper, being lost in his own thoughts, did not notice her change in demeanor.

"Why do you say that Chomper?"  She asked cautiously, "Have you been getting enough food?  Have enough food you been getting?"

Chomper sighed. "Yes, I have enough food."

Ruby eased her stance.  Well, it is not the 'hunger madness' then. "Then why do you say that you must leave?" She asked.

"I don't know if my friends trust me anymore." Chomper replied with a cry, "First I scared Littlefoot, then Cera blames me for hurting her tail..."

Ruby then took on a sympathetic look and placed her forelimb on Chomper's back, "Tell me all about it, Chomper.  I am sure that your friends still trust you, but I need to know what exactly is wrong first."

Chomper looked hopeful and said "Alright, this is what happened..."

Chomper then explained what had occurred with Cera.  Several moments later, at the conclusion of his tale, Ruby nodded as she now understood what had happened.  Not a loss of self-control either, looks like I overreacted earlier.

"Oh, Chomper.  It sounds like an accident."  Ruby said, "Cera is probably overreacting because something else made her mad."

Chomper looked surprised, "Really?"

Ruby nodded and replied, "Really.  But if you have any questions, Chomper, you should talk to me or your friends about them.  Do not leave them inside."

The two then embraced.  "Thanks Ruby" replied Chomper.

"No problem.  That is why I am here." Ruby replied, "Now come on, I think the others are about to start a new game."

......

"Where have you two been?" Cera asked indignantly.

"I had to get lunch, unless you wanted me to play on an empty stomach." Chomper quipped.

"Um... Okay then." Cera began.  "What are we going to play now?"

Ruby and Chomper both had a somewhat amused expression at seeing Cera flustered.  Littlefoot, meanwhile, was looking more closely at Chomper.  He seems to be in a better mood.  Perhaps Ruby had a good talk with him. Seeing Chomper in better spirits made Littlefoot more at ease.  He was quite concerned for Chomper earlier, but had no idea how to broach the questions on his mind to him.  In fact, he was afraid that he would have ended up making Chomper feel worse.

Ruby began "Perhaps we could play the pinecone game? We have not played it in a while."

Littlefoot, being eager to avoid Run and Hide for awhile, readily agreed with the proposal, "That sounds good to me."

Spike gave an affirmative grunt, while Ducky nodded her approval as well.

"Me think that sound good." Petrie affirmed from above the gang.

"Alright then, let's all search for a pinecone so that we can get started." Littlefoot declared.

The gang then scattered in search of a properly-sized pinecone.  A pinecone that was big enough for each of the gang to throw, but not so large that the smallest of the gang couldn't handle it.

Ducky was searching the ground beside some trees.  She then looked up at the tree beside her and found a cone that looked suitable for the game.  She stretched as far as her body would stretch, but could not reach the pinecone.  She then looked at Spike who was simply staring into the sky with a glazed expression on his face.  

What is Spike doing?  There is no pinecone in sky.  Nope, nope, nope!  Ducky thought.

Ducky looked at Spike for a moment before asking, "What are you doing, Spike?  There is no pinecone up there.  But there is one in this tree.  There is, there is."

But then she looked at spot in the sky where Spike was looking.

The sky had erupted into a cascade of vibrant colors.  A starburst of crimson filled a portion of the sky, whereas streaks of bright white were racing across the horizon.  It was unlike anything that Ducky had ever seen.

"Look!  There is a second bright circle!  There is!  There is!" Ducky exclaimed.

This caused the rest of the gang to stop their search and to look at the sky.

The sight that greeted the gang was unlike any that they had seen.  Sure, they had seen falling sky rocks before, and Littlefoot had seen the "Stone of Cold Fire", but this was much different.  

The sky was filled with falling rocks which made many hundreds of red streaks in the evening sky.  It gave the sky the ominous appearance of blood that unnerved everyone who saw it.  Within this aerial sea of crimson, however, there was an even more incomprehensible scene.  A massive orb of blue in blue light could be seen in the sky.  In its trail was an azure beam of dust, which seemed to divide the entire sky into two.  

The orb also seemed to be rapidly increasing in size...

"It's going to hit us!" Chomper yelled in terror.

The gang looked on in horror as the blue orb seemed to get closer and closer.  The leaf-eaters huddled to the ground and closed their eyes in fear of the inevitable, whereas Chomper looked on in shock.  That was when the massive rock made impact.

Light.  

An impossibly bright light was all that Chomper could see for several moments.  Its luminescent white hue permeated the entire valley in its unearthly glow.  It was as if the bright circle had decided to take residence in the valley.  He had to cover his eyes in order to avoid being blinded by the display.

Then the blast wave hit.

A gigantic blast of wind and fury hit the gang.  It was unlike anything that they had ever heard or experienced.  The ground roared with the ferocity of a thousand sharpteeth, which was immediately followed by an earthshake.  The gang was jostled about violently.  The echoes of the blast, falling trees, and shaking terrain filled the valley.  The screams of panic from the other residents could not be heard over the ongoing cataclysm.

Then, as suddenly as the crash had come, it ended.

"What... was that?"  Exclaimed Littlefoot.

He then shook himself off.  "Is everyone okay?"

He heard murmurs and grunts from the rest of the gang.  It seems that they were bewildered and frightened by what had just transpired, but otherwise they were fine.  That was when the shouts of their parents could be heard.

"Cera!" Came a booming voice, "Cera!"

"I am here daddy." Came Cera's reply.

"Littlefoot!"

"I am here Grandpa."

The other parents were congregating around their children as well.

"We were so worried." Grandpa exclaimed, "Never before has such a thing fallen in the valley."

"It fell in the valley?!" Chomper exclaimed.

"Yes, young one.  It looks like some have been hurt, but none seriously." Littlefoot's grandfather explained.

The gang all looked at one another with concerned looks.  It looked like all of their parents were here and safe, but the idea that some of the other residents of the valley had been hurt did not sit well with them.  Silence permeated the scene for a moment.

"Can we go see it?"  Littlefoot inquired.

"Not just yet, Littlefoot.  We adults need to find out what it is, and if it is dangerous." His grandfather responded.

"That is right!" Came the assured response of Mr. Threehorn, "We need to discuss this immediately."

Mr. Threehorn then made the long bellowing call that indicated an imminent meeting.  The children sighed.  Now they would have to listen to more arguing from the adults.  This did not dampen their excitement however.  A wondrous new event had occurred in the valley.  With their history of adventures, each of them knew that they would end up seeing the blue orb one way or another...

Meanwhile, the residents of the Great Valley were not the only ones to be surprised by the falling rock...

......

To say that Chronos was excited would be understatement.  He and his partner had insisted that the stories of the stone of destiny be investigated before they left the planet, but the consortium had disagreed.  Now who was the laughing stock?  He thought.  They will be in for a surprise when they come to retrieve us!

"Did you see that?!" exclaimed Chronos as he looked in the direction of the impact.

"How could I not?" Was the response of Logos, although her voice conveyed wonderment and not sarcasm, "So it begins.  We must get to that stone before some poor fool activates it."

She could hardly believe that they were the ones to see the great stone fall.  It was a legend in the worlds beyond and now it had proven to be true.  This means that it was up to them to ensure that it did not fall into the wrong hands.

"It looked just like how the old stories said." Chronos said in amazement, while looking at the sky in reverence.

She looked at him with a sympathetic look, although his gaze did not meet hers.  She was skeptical at his plan when he first proposed to the consortium that they go back to the planet in order to investigate anyway.  She was especially displeased when the consortium only agreed when they consented to leave all of their technology behind.  The words of the Commissar still rang in her head "You two have done more than enough interfering with other worlds.  We must make sure that you two are incapable of doing any more!"  The Commissar obviously only agreed because this allowed him to get the two troublemakers out of the way for the foreseeable future.

She had agreed to go, however.  For reasons utterly unknown to her she felt drawn to this hopeless idealist, who had the mind of a scientist but the heart of a poet.  We have been here for two cold times... um... cycles.  She thought.  And we have already begun to take on the language and views of the locals.  When it is our time to go, will we even want to go back?  She then thought morosely, Will our forms even go back?  No one has been form-shifted for as long as we have.

She shook her head.  Regardless of if they stayed or went, they had a duty to the universe to ensure that the stone of destiny was neutralized.  If it were misused then the damage could spread well beyond this planet.  They had to keep their wits about them and complete their mission.  It did not matter whether they considered it a mission for the home they left behind or for their new home.

Logos approached him and spoke softly, "Dear..."

"Huh?" Chronos responded, "Ah, sorry.  We need to hurry don't we?"

"Yes we do." She replied, "We know the general direction of where it fell, but we do not know its location.  Undoubtedly, everyone in visual range now knows of its existence."

"The valley that those kids were in was in that direction wasn't it?" Chronos stated.

"That is true, yes." She replied, "Regardless of where it landed, we will have to be quick in our travels.  Since the consortium has abandoned us here I suppose we have no choice but to travel by foot."

Chronos nodded at the logic of her words.

"Well then, let's begin with Hanging Rock." He replied, "And work ourselves west."

The two rainbowfaces thus began their journey to retrieve the stone of destiny, or the Stone of Cold Fire as the beings of this planet called it.  Both of them hoped that they would reach it before anyone else had a chance to use it.

But as they were soon to find out, fate had a far different idea...


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

Ducky123

  • Ducky is not pleased, nope nope nope
  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 6958
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2014, 12:13:24 pm »
Nice chapter again :yes

The introduction is well done, very describtive.

Chomper is obviously troubled. The flashback was a good idea and Chomper's and Ruby's thoughts and dialogue are very reasonable again :)

Quote
"Where have you two been?" Cera asked indignantly.

"I had to get lunch, unless you wanted me to play on an empty stomach." Chomper quipped.

"Um... Okay then." Cera began. "What are we going to play now?"
Those are funny lines :p

I reckon this stone is up to no good?  :unsure:

Ah, and we learn more about Chronos and Logos :)

This is really good rhombus, keep up the good work! :smile
Inactive until further notice. Don't feel at home here anymore.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2014, 02:11:02 pm »
Thanks for the feedback  :)

I am glad that you approve of the flashback.  I was trying to flesh out a bit more detail on Ruby's history and mission.  It always bothered me that her parents only showed moderate concern in the television series when she was depicted as leaving for the valley.  Sending a young oviraptor alone into a hostile environment (the Mysterious Beyond) with a describable enemy (Red Claw) and with uncertain allies (the Great Valley) would be tantamount to sending your child into war, which is one of the reasons I wanted to elaborate upon her father's feelings on the matter.  Likewise, life in the Mysterious Beyond is very hard, which is why I wanted to show that Ruby has had to resort to extreme measures (egg-stealing) in order to survive.  This might explain why Ruby has moment of melancholy from time to time, and has to go to her thinking place.  She has seen and done much more that what her friends suspect.

Quote
I reckon this stone is up to no good?

Not to give anything away, Let's just say that our favorite seven dinosaurs are going to figure out the full capabilities of the stone firsthand in a couple of chapters. :smile

I have to teach for the next three days, so I probably will not post chapter 4 until Thursday at the earliest.  However, some time this week you can expect Chapter 4: An Auspicious Wish to be posted to the GOF and fanfiction.net.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

jansenov

  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 2666
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2014, 07:22:13 pm »
I have no complaints with this chapter.

So Chronos and Logos are scientists on a mission, and Earth has rubbed off somewhat on them. My last speculation was correct. Interesting bit about the two's lack of discipline and the rather severe, if a bit illogical, punishment for that (wouldn't it be more practical for the consortium to simply hold them in custody, instead of wasting energy on their trip back to Earth, and if they have so many resources to throw around to send people on such trips without requiring strong justification, why not just send a proper expedition? But nevermind. This isn't all that important). I suspect it's also not just about the stone, but Chronos has become attached to Earth to a greater extent than Logos currently realizes.

rhombus

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5438
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2014, 07:45:51 pm »
Good speculations.   :yes

With regards to Chronos and Logos, yes it would be more practical for the consortium to simply hold them in custody if that is what the consortium deemed to be justified.  However, if the consortium was more evenly split over the issue, then it would be a wise political move for the opponents of their "interventionist" style to simply reassign them elsewhere where they will not be a problem, especially if those two want to go there anyway.  Basically what has happened here is the equivalent of a military officer being reassigned to Siberia or Alaska, they have not done anything "wrong" enough to justify dismissal, but they have angered the higher ranks enough that they are to be "removed" from the big picture by other means.  This may very well be elaborated upon later on in the story, although these two will not be the major focal point of the story.


Go ahead and check out my fanfictions, The Seven Hunters, Songs of the Hunters, and Mender's Tale.

jansenov

  • Member+
  • *
  • Posts: 2666
    • View Profile
The Seven Hunters
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2014, 07:56:38 pm »
^That makes perfect sense.