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Serris

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« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2015, 12:23:35 PM »
I like the plotline. It seems like a classic coming of age story but it turns into a conspiracy thriller-esque story.

My biggest problem is that you're not putting spaces between paragraphs where a new speaker starts speaking.

High Elder Sculra is an interesting villain; I get the impression that she wants the herd to be strong -- even if it means killing the weaker herd members...one wonders if there are any elderly Swimmers alive in her herd.

I'm also getting the impression that the Swimmer Wisdoms could have negative repercussions for Ducky as they're designed for a fully-grown Swimmer, not one who is still growing.

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Ducky123

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« Reply #41 on: February 19, 2015, 01:44:13 AM »
Review of Chapter 4:

Geez! The elder swimmer is scary... She reminds me of the Old One, or rather how she was depicted in a certain fanfic... I must say that Sculra and Sura have a typical age vs. youth conflict: Traditions vs. common sense. What Ducky's Trial is supposed to be, sounds awful. Why would you do such a thing to an innocent child like Ducky :confused
So your story has now a serious conflict, just what a good story needs ;)

Review of Chapter 5:

Well, Ducky is in for a terrible bunch of news... I must say that I'm not only worried about Ducky but also about her parents and aunt. What they are planning for Ducky sounds like a conspiracy against the traditions to me and if the elder ever finds out... :boohoo
I also wonder what the Gang will do once they find out... knowing Littlefoot, he won't leave out any chance he sees to "save" Ducky. :yes
Note to self: finally create that signature lazy bum! :P

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #42 on: February 19, 2015, 05:05:06 PM »
It's been years since I've last seen it, but didn't one of the herd leaders in the movie "Dinosaur" also suggest leaving behind the weak or whatnot or be very cruel to those he felt challenged tradition or something?  

(All I know or can recall is that that herd leader perished in a Sharptooth attack, though the Sharpteeth died too.  I think the main character may have become the new leader.)


The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #43 on: February 19, 2015, 08:55:23 PM »
Chapter 10: A Heavy Burden

Ducky walked through the dark cave, that she found herself in. It was pitch black and silent, all that she could hear was her fearful breathing and her heartbeat. She did not know where she was going, it felt like an invisible hand was pulling her through the cave. She was very scared now. "Is this what the Trial will be like?" she thought is dismay. She walked on aimlessly through the darkness and that is when she saw it: Light. There was light coming from a cavern just up. Ducky immediately felt much better seeing the light, she ran over to the light. She entered the cavern and slipped on a slope that she had not seen.
"WHOA, OH NO!" cried Ducky as she fell, she was falling down a slippery, stony slope and heading towards the ground at an uncontrollable speed. Ducky screamed, there was nothing she could do to slow her descent towards the hard ground, she was only a few feet away.
SPLASH!
Ducky plunged into icy water that she had not know was there, the sheer coldness of the water knocked all the air out of her, but once she regained her bearings she swam up to the surface. Ducky gasped for air as she broke the surface, Ducky looked around she was in a large circular cavern that was largely filled with water that was usually as still as rock but was no longer due to all the ripples Ducky sent out when she fell into the water, the was a small bank on the shore and a hole in the roof where the light came from, the whole cave glittered as the light that penetrated the cave was reflected off hundreds of shiny stones along the cave wall. Ducky quickly swam to the shore but she had trouble getting out due to her uncontrolled shivering.
"Grab my hand" said a voice.
Ducky looked up to see a dark green Swimmer about her age standing on the bank, he held his hand out to her. Ducky grabbed his hand and was pulled from the water by the dark green Swimmer, who she suddenly recognised.
"Swayer?" she asked in astonishment.
"Who else?" replied Swayer as he pulled Ducky onto the shore. Ducky lay there shivering for a while, Swayer held her close too his warm body, in an attempt to keep her warm and finally after a time Ducky stopped shivering and looked up at Swayer, she had a confused expression on her face.
"Where are we?" she asked in a frightened voice.
"I haven't got a clue Ducky, but at least your all right" replied Swayer
Ducky stared at the shiny stones, they were beautiful. Then Ducky's eyes caught sight of one shiny stone that drew her attention, A round Sapphire that had a was the colour of light blue on the outside but when she stared into it she could almost see a darker shade of blue in it's depths. The light that hit the sapphire was utterly mesmerising and it made the surface of the gem look like it was moving, it was like looking into water.
"Wow, this is beautiful it is it is" said Ducky.
"I agree" said Swayer. but his voice changed to a more serious and grim tone" so how have you been Ducky" he asked  
Ducky looked at Swayer with a blank expression
"I am fine yep yep yep".
But Swayer was not fooled, he looked into her eyes with a sad expression and put a hand on her shoulder.
Ducky almost broke down when he did this, she took her breath and despite the promise she had made to her mother she began telling Swayer all that had happened from when she learned about the Trial of Destiny.
When she finished, she was breathing heavily. Swayer held her hand
"I am sorry Ducky, truly I am, but there is hope, remember that your mother is teaching you Wisdoms that will allow you to survive" Swayer closed his eyes and a small tear fell down his cheek. "I wish I had a mother like yours, I never knew my mom."
Ducky looked shocked now it was her turn to comfort Swayer.
"I am sorry I am I am" she said putting her hand on Swayer's shoulder.
"I lost my mother to Sharpteeth before I hatched" said Swayer "I know that your mother will do all she can to protect you, don't waste her knowledge, for you are going to need to listen to her in order to master the Wisdom's.
Ducky nodded.
"I will Swayer I promise" she said.
Swayer smiled then said "Ducky if ever you fell like you are failing then I suggest that you look for a elderly Swimmer called Cyrest, he will help you".
Ducky nodded but suddenly everything went black.


Ducky practically jumped with a cry of surprise as she was woken up by her mother. Ducky looked around to find herself back in the Hidden Clearing instead of a crystal cave and with her mother instead of Swayer.
"You alright dear?" asked her mother, she was wearing a concerned expression on her face.
Ducky yawned tiredly and nodded.
Sura smiled, at her and raised herself up, Ducky got up feeling awfully weary, as she went to eat her breakfast. That's when she noticed her mother eating from several large piles of green food but there was a whole range of different plants in each pile. Ducky knew that her mother, being an grown-up needed a lot of food to sustain herself but this was way more then what she would usually have.
"Are you okay mama?". she asked sounding a little worried.
"I'm fine dear" replied her mother
Ducky was not satisfied with this answer but before she could bring it up her mother got up from her meals and walked to the stream.
"Come Ducky" she called.
Ducky followed her mother to the water's edge, there her mother dipped her head in the water as if she was taking a drink, but she also put her arms in as well. Ducky looked at her mother in a confused manner, she had no idea what her mother was doing or what she wanted her to do, Ducky watched but her mother did not raise herself out of the water for a while. Finally Sura pulled her head and hands from the water and in her hands was a strange blue, green water plant. Sura laid it on the ground in front of Ducky.
"This plant Ducky is called Night Light" she said "It is called that because when you crush it". Sura took a the plant and crushed it in her hand, then she lowered her hand into the water and mentioned Ducky to watch. "It glows" finished Sura and she opened her hand to reveal the same plant but it was now glowing with an eerie blue light.
Ducky opened her mouth in amazement.
"This plant grows near underwater caves and sometimes inside them, where there is light" said Sura. "Ducky when you do the Trial the cave that you will swim through will be pitch black but with these-".
"I will be able to see I will I will" said Ducky in excitement.
Sura nodded "But you should know dear that the glow doesn't last forever, but the larger the plant the brighter the glow and the longer it will last. Do you understand?".
"Uh ha uh ha" said Ducky nodding her head.
"Come dear it is time we moved on to the big stuff" said Sura. Though in her mind she was worried if Ducky would be able to master this and that this would not just be another set back before the Trials.


*

It was evening and Ducky was in her mother's embrace, she was holding on to her mother tightly and crying all the while, it had been a long, hard day for Ducky, she had finally begun to learn the actual Swimmer Wisdoms but they were way more harder then she thought. She listened carefully when her mother explained that how underwater her sniffer could be just as effective as Chomper's on land, what the different types of currents were and how to navigate each one to her advantage, how her hearing will become vital when she does the Trial and about different types of manoeuvres.
The theoretical sessions had not gone that bad for Ducky it was when the practical sessions began that things started to get harder. She began with basic manoeuvres but they were all ones that she knew or mastered but when they moved onto the more complex manoeuvres she kept on leaving with massive bruises all over her body as she messed up each one. When she tried to use her sniffer, she found it no different from what it was like on land which was really frustrating for her.
 Finally when she tried to navigate the currents it all became too much. She was swept away three times and on each occasion her mother had caught her by the tail and pulled her to safety. Finally when she was doing a hearing exercise she lost control even though she was doing well, but her mind was to clouded with fear. She had got out of the water and ran to the nest where she broke down into tears.
Now Ducky was within her mothers embrace and faring no better then she had the day she learned about the Trials.

Sura held her daughter in her embrace, she looked very worried for Ducky, the day had started well enough but at the moment it appeared that Ruphus was right about Ducky not being ready to learn the Wisdoms. Sura needed to come up with a new approach or Ducky would not be ready to face the Trial and if she wasn't ready...
Sura shuddered at the thought.
She gently caressed her daughter.
"I can...not...do it......no...no...no" sobbed Ducky in despair.
"You will do it dear" said her mother in an encouraging voice. "I know you can"
Sura nuzzled her little one.
"I am...so......scared" said Ducky, trembling.
"I know dear, but your safe now" said Sura in a soft voice "don't let fear rule you dear".
Ducky nodded, though she was still in tears, she held on tightly to her mother like a frightened hatchling. "But she has a good reason to be scared" thought Sura. Then an idea hit her.
"I'll tell you what dear, when the Bright Circle rises we will go home and you can play with your friends, okay".
Ducky looked up at her mother, she looked much more brighter.
"I would like that they much mommy yep yep yep".
Sura nodded "Just remember your promise dear" she said calmly.
"But come along my little one, it is time for sleep".
Ducky nodded and lay down beside her mother and almost instantly fell asleep, due to how tired she was.
Sura looked at the night sky for a while after Ducky had fallen asleep, she pondered the options she had ahead of her, she had allowed Ducky this welcome respite and in that time she would also lay her eggs. But she was close to despair, the Wisdoms did appear to be way too challenging for Ducky at her young age and yet they were her only chance. Sura knew that she was in a very tough predicament and her daughter was bearing a burden that was way beyond her young and happy innocent self to bear. If only Sculra had not chosen her. Sura felt her blood boil in anger when she thought of Sculra, if she wasn't around then Ducky would be safe. "Then perhaps it is time to get rid of her for good" thought Sura. This was highly unusual thinking of Sura as she never considered killing, it just wasn't in her nature but in this case she would do anything to protect her little Ducky.
"I know what I'll do" thought Sura in resolve before turning in for the night.




There is the next chapter for you. Well it seems that the Wisdoms are to challenging for Ducky to master at the moment and Sura plotting against Sculra as well. Stay tuned for the next few chapters.
What's the point in being mad if you don't do mad things now and again?


Serris

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« Reply #44 on: February 19, 2015, 10:19:26 PM »
Honestly, I'm getting the impression that far too much is being asked of Ducky from both Sura and Sculra. She's a preteen at best and she's being asked to go through the equivalent of Navy SEAL training.

Cancerian Tiger

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« Reply #45 on: February 20, 2015, 12:22:48 AM »
Her training already sounds pretty brutal, but hey, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger ;).

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2015, 12:58:11 AM »
Yes. The training is very hard, to hard for Ducky. That is why Sura has been considering other approaches to the problem at hand.

Ducky123

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« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2015, 08:43:13 PM »
Review of chapter 6:

Wow, that dream sure was scary but it was great! :D Sculra is a very nasty swimmer, I almost hate her as much as Sura...
The Hidden Clearing sounds like a magical and wonderful place (plus it's well hidden) :yes I hope Sura and Ducky won't be discovered there...

Good chapter again :yes

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Review of Chapter 7:

Sculra is just one of these characters you really want to throw into a tar pit or better into a fiery volcano. Ducky's family is trapped; either way out of it is likely to get all of them killed. Or some of them at least... killing Sura's unhatched young  is just plain nasty, I wonder what Sculra is going to do in the end...
Grandpa and Grandma Longneck are wise in not telling Littlefoot about it just yet... though the Gang is going to discover the truth soon anyway :p

Very interesting and exciting developments :yes

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #48 on: February 22, 2015, 01:37:23 AM »
Chapter 11: Question's Unanswered

The seven friends Littlefoot, Cera, Petrie, Spike, Chomper, Ruby and Ali were all walking together towards the Swimmer nest, they had hoped that Ducky would return but so far they had not seen her, so just as Littlefoot had said the other day: they would ask Ducky's father about Ducky's whereabouts. When they arrived they were greeted enthusiastically by Ducky's younger siblings.

"Hi guy's" said Littlefoot.

"Hi Littlefoot" replied a light brown Swimmer called Echo. "What's going on?".
 
"We were wondering when Ducky will come back" said Ali in her friendly voice.

Echo looked a little downcast when he next spoke "We don't know, she has not yet returned nor has mom".

They all exchanged worried glances, having Ducky gone for this long, along with her mother made them all a little uneasy.
"Well do you know where they've gone?" asked Cera.
Echo shook his head.

"Only Dad knows.......I think" said Opal.

"Well then we'll ask him" said Littlefoot "feel free to join us guys".

"But Dad left earlier on" said Echo in a bitter voice.

"That won't be a problem" said Chomper, pointing to his nose. "I'll find him with my sniffer" said Chomper proudly and with a few sniffs he had found the trail that he was looking for. "Follow me" he said. Without further delay the seven friends accompanied by Ducky's younger siblings left the nest and followed Chomper.

It did not take long to find Ruphus with the help of Chomper and his sniffer. They were about to come out into a clearing when they heard voices, that Littlefoot recognised as his Grandparents. They all hid in the foliage and looked out into the clearing to find Mr Swimmer greeting Grandma and Grandpa Longneck. They all watched and listened to this important meeting.

*

"Hello Ruphus" said the two longnecks in union.  

Ruphus kindly greeted them then said "I was hoping to talk to you"  

"We thought so too" said Grandpa in a grim voice. "We thought you might want some assistance".

"You were right" said Ruphus, he looked up at the two longnecks "I suppose you've heard the news?" he asked bitterly.

"Yes, we know that Ducky is going to take The Trial of Destiny. You have our deepest regrets Ruphus" said Grandma quietly. "Ducky deserved much better then this". Ruphus nodded solemnly. "We have come to offer assistance to you" added Grandma.

Ruphus smiled. "It feels much better when you know you've got allies" he thought. "I thank you, because I am in need of assistance". Ruphus hesitated "please don't tell anyone this but Sura is training Ducky in the Wisdoms of our race in a secret place".

The two longnecks looked shocked at this "but aren't those wisdoms forbidden to all but the elders?" asked Grandpa.

"Yes they are, which is why I need your help, if Sculra were to find out what Sura is going......well its better left unsaid. So I need you to help me cover up for her absence".

"Of course Ruphus" said Grandma.

"And another thing, Sura is pregnant".

Grandma and Grandpa both had expressions of joy on their faces. "Congratulation's" they both said. But Ruphus did not join in there little celebration as a matter of fact he looked very grim.

"Sculra has threatened to destroy the eggs after they have been laid".

The two longnecks gasped in shock, never had they expected this. "She did WHAT!?" said Grandpa in outrage, he did not want to believe it.

"Yes she threatened to smash her eggs" said Ruphus in a tired voice. "I tried to negotiate with her, tried to make her stop the Trial of Destiny a few days ago and she said that she would only consider stopping the Trial if I became her mate and Sura along with our children left the Valley forever".

Grandpa shook his head, he looked very angry and Grandma longneck looked very mournful.

Ruphus continued "With Sura training Ducky and me trying to train the rest of the children and Merri looking after our youngest children it will become to difficult to protect the eggs when they are laid so I ask if you could look after my second clutch younglings".

Grandma and Grandpa exchanged glances while Ruphus waited impatiently. Finally the two longnecks addressed him again. "We would gladly help you in this endeavour Ruphus" said Grandpa. "It is the least we can do for Ducky" said
Grandma.

Rupphus smiled "Thank you, I will not forget this. I just hope that......"

"We know Ruphus, give our best hopes to both Ducky and Sura, your secrets safe with us" said Grandma. The two longnecks then turned and left. Ruphus stood there in the clearing for a while, before he left.

*

The seven friends and Ducky's siblings had all heard the entire talk that Ruphus had with Grandpa and Grandma and it. It made each one curious but it also made them nervous, there was obviously something going on that the grown up's were not telling them. Littlefoot reflected on what he had just heard. Ducky is learning forbidden wisdoms at a secret place, her mother is going to lay eggs, her father tried to stop a thing called The Trial of Destiny from taking place, someone called Sculra was threatening to smash the eggs after they were laid and my Grandparents are going to help Ducky's family. What was going on here? What's with all the secrecy? Littlefoot also didn't like what he had heard about this Sculra, she did not sound like a nice person to cross and it made him extra worried of Ducky.

"What on earth was that all about?" asked Cera.

"Me no know" said Petrie.

"Mommy is going to lay eggs" said Opal in joy. but her brother looked worried.

"Didn't dad say that someone called Sculra threatened to smash our moms eggs?" asked Echo in a worried voice.

"I think so" said Chomper

At that moment everyone suddenly started asking questions, it was a chaotic sound as everyone voiced there concerns.

"QUIET!" yelled Littlefoot over the confusing halo of noise. Everyone stopped and looked at him. "One thing at a time" said Littlefoot "So what is this Trial of Destiny that Ducky is going to take do any of you know it?" he asked the Swimmers. But they all shook there heads.

"We've never heard of it" said Opal "and I don't like how the grown up's faces were scared, I have a very bad feeling about this Trial". The others nodded they all had the same bad feeling about this particular Trial.

"And why did they all act like it was supposed to be a secret?" asked Ruby.

"Perhaps it's because they don't want anyone to know DA" said Cera sarcastically.

"I don't know about you" said Echo "but I think it is about time we got some answers". Their were murmurs of agreement from the other children. "Okay we'll head back home and ask dad what he knows"

"Okay" said Ruby " If Ducky needs help then we should know so that we can help her".  

And without further ado the young dinosaurs headed back to the Swimmer nest.

*

The young dinosaur's arrived back at the Swimmer nest to find Ruphus drinking at the stream. He hadn't noticed them yet. The friends all stood behind him, waiting patiently for him. Finally when Ruphus finished his drink, he turned around and jumped in surprise.
The children laughed when he jumped.
Ruphus felt a little embarrassed, but he quickly regained his composure.
"Hello children" he chuckled.
A chorus of "Hello's" broke out from the children.
"What's going on?" asked Ruphus.
The children all exchanged glances.

"We were wondering w-".    

"Hello Children" came a sudden voice.
Everyone turned around to see Sura walking towards them with Ducky walking along beside her.

"Ducky!, Mom!" shouted the children enthusiastically.

Spike ran over to Ducky and pressed his muzzle to her, before proceeding to lick every inch of her with his tongue. Ducky laughed happily, all her weariness had vanished upon seeing her friends. "Spike stop it" she laughed. Spike stopped but only to be replaced by Petrie who practically collided with Ducky from the air. The two fell down in each others embrace. "Petrie" said Ducky in delight, but all of a sudden she was smothered by the rest of her friends and siblings. When they all gave her some room she was nuzzled on both sides by her father and aunt. That was when she noticed...

"Ali?" said Ducky in joyous voice.

Ali smiled "Hi Ducky, long time, no see".

Ducky ran up to Ali and they both embraced each other.

"I missed you" said Ducky before disengaging.

Sura smiled, she felt a lot better now that Ducky was home, in the company of her family and friends, she walked over to Ruphus and nuzzled him. "We'll talk later" she whispered in an undertone. She did not want to disturb this precious moment.
Sura would come back to her present soon but for now she resigned herself to this moment. Meanwhile Ducky was being questioned by everyone about where she had been. Sura quickly stepped in. "Now children leave Ducky alone, she's had a tiring few days and does not need to be pestered as soon as she gets home". The children did as they were told as they had completely forgotten what they had overheard when they saw Ducky come home.

"Wanna play?" asked Littlefoot.

"Yep yep yep" said Ducky and with that the children  ran into the river and started splashing in it's waves.
Sura wiped a tear from her eye "This is how it's meant to be, if only it could be like this again" thought Sura as she watched the children play. This only hardened her determination, she would do anything to save Ducky and what she had in mind to do was anything but pleasant, it was a desperate measure but if it would save Ducky she would be prepared to sacrifice herself to a Sharptooth, so that her daughter would live.

"Ruphus?" she called.

"Yes dear?".

"I need to talk to you" said Sura. It was time to put her plan into action.



And there is the next chapter. Thanks for the feedback so far it is greatly appreciated.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #49 on: February 22, 2015, 01:40:57 AM »
I hope Sura doesn't die.  I don't want poor Ducky to lose her mother.

Ducky123

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« Reply #50 on: February 25, 2015, 02:29:00 AM »
Review of chapter 8:

So now it's out. Ducky is now aware of her horrible fate and her reaction was really to be expected. Poor little Ducky. Her innocence and her childhood are over now...

Review of Chapter 9:

Well, what a surprise: Ali :DD I wonder if her visit is going to be more than just a short visit :yes
I'm glad that Ducky's training is going well so far :yes

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2015, 03:10:46 AM »
Chapter 12: Flight From Destiny

It was night time in the Great Valley and Sura and Ruphus were deep in conversation, nearby the sleeping spot lay Merri sleeping beside a small nest, it was made of dried mud and inside were at least seven of Sura's newly laid eggs in a bed of leaves that covered the bottom, this provided warmth for the eggs and would also provide a soft bedding for the babies when they hatched and it would also be very useful when the babies relieved themselves, because all the parent would have to do is replace the leaves, which was better then a bear nest which would revert back into mud when any liquid was poured on it, Sura had been through this problem with her first clutch when she was younger and inexperienced at parenting and was in no mood to repeat that mistake. The youngest children in the Swimmer family were all absent, they were sleeping with littlefoot and his Grandparents. But the quiet peace of the nest was suddenly disturbed.  

"WHAT!?" cried Ruphus so loudly that the older children shifted in their sleep.

"Quiet! dear, you'll wake the children" said Sura in a hushed voice. Ruphus closed his mouth and stared at his mate in numb shock, what she had just proposed was so out of character for her, Ruphus never expected to hear his mate even consider killing and yet here was Sura giving him details of her plan to assassinate Sculra.

"It's possibly the only option we have left dear" said Sura "If Sculra was not around then there would be no Trial of Destiny and our daughter would be safe and so will everyone else from that horrible fiend".

Ruphus was hesitant in his answer, Sura's logic was perfectly sound, if Sculra was dead then there would be no need to run the Trial of Destiny as she was the only one who supported it, but the other Swimmers only backed her up because of fear of what Sculra would do to them if they refused.
"Sura this is not a good idea" said Ruphus slowly. "You are staking everything on this and it is not a good bet. We don't even know if Chomper has killed before".

"I'm sure he has and I know that he would help a friend, as soon as he is told of the danger that Ducky is in, I'm sure that he will do it" said Sura grimly.

"Sura" said Ruphus in an agitated voice "persuading him to do this would only mean telling him about The Trial and you know what he'll do, we will have all his friends and our children to answer too".

"and if Chomper succeeds then we won't need to worry about the Trial, Ruphus" replied Sura.

"That's if he succeeds" said Ruphus in an unconvinced voice. "Sura if you do this then what makes you so different to Sculra?" he asked.

"At least I'm not doing it for selfish reasons, but to save my daughter, do you want the river to run red with Ducky's blood Ruphus? Do you want to see our lovely daughter dead?" asked Sura rhetorically.

Ruphus sighed and looked down, he remained in this posture for a while until he said "I don't want to lose Ducky, but I also do not want to have blood on our hands. What would happen if we failed and Sculra found out about our plans Sura?"

"It's the only way dear" said Sura in a tearful voice "I would sacrifice myself to a Sharptooth if I know it will save Ducky".

"But you don't know whether this risk will pay off" said Ruphus

But before Sura could respond another voice entered the debate. "I do not want you to risk it, oh no no no".

Sura and Ruphus turned to see Ducky standing beside them, she was wide awake and had a worried look on her face. Sura and Ruphus looked awfully shocked at this unexpected development. "What are you doing up dear?" said Sura in a more calm voice then she had used before.

"Couldn't sleep" said Ducky simply, her face took on a more pleading look. "Please don't put Chomper up to this please please pleaaase" she begged.
It was obvious to both parents that Ducky had heard the whole conversation so far. Neither Sura or Ruphus was sure about how to respond to this delicate situation.  

"This is a last resort dear" said Sura in an attempt to explain to her daughter. "We did not reach this decision lightly but if Sculra was gone then you would not have to do the Trial". But her daughter was not convinced.

"I do not care if it is the only choice left, I do not care if I will have to take the Trial, just do not ask this of Chomper it is not right oh no no no" said Ducky firmly.
Her parents stared at her, looks of disbelieve on both there faces, but both hardly knew how to respond to her. If they asked Chomper then their daughter will probably take the Trial and if they did not then the result would be the same, either way they lost.

"Pleeeeaaaaaasse" said Ducky, pleaded the young Swimmer, her eyes were open wide and filled with tears while her hands and beak were both trembling. It was almost impossible to resist her when she was pleading like this.  

Sura exchanged a worried looked with Ruphus and gave a long sigh "Okay dear, we will not even try this, satisfied now?"

"Yes yes yes" said Ducky in a way more cheerful voice, she begun to turn when her mother addressed her again.

"Ducky, we will return to the Hidden clearing tomorrow to complete your training" she said. Ducky looked awfully sick now, she appeared to go a little greener.

"I do not want to do that training nope nope nope" she said in the same pleading voice she used before.

Ruphus slapped his hand over his eyes and shook his head but Sura put a comforting hand on Ducky's back and said in the softest voice she could muster "I know you don't, but if you don't then how will you survive the Trial? I was willing to make an exception when it came to Chomper, but not here dear, this is a task that you must do and I will do all I can to help you accomplish it".

Ducky looked down sadly and nodded once. "Come on dear it's time you got back to sleep" said her mother quietly. Ducky did not protest, she walked over to Spike and curled up beside him and fell asleep.

"Well looks like we can forget this ridiculous plan after all" said Ruphus, sounding relieved.

Sura looked at her daughter, "Sometimes Ducky is to selfless for her own good" she thought. "Okay dear, we'll forget this plan" said Sura to Ruphus who nodded. "Goodnight" they both said before turning in to sleep.


*


Ducky trembled violently in her sleep, bad dreams were plaguing her.

Ducky was swimming as fast as she could through the darkened passages of the Crescent Caves, her heart was working overtime. Fear had completely overpowered Ducky as she swam, the caves scared her but it was not the darkness that made her scared it was the feeling that she was being watched when something large and dark as the water she swam through moved out of an opening nearby and disappeared again in a flash just like a ghost. Ducky swam at full speed in an attempt to escape the claustrophobic caves, she longed for the company of her friends and family, but down here not a soul could be seen.
The water was also way more colder then what she used to, Ducky shivered as she swam, the currents were also unpredictable and sudden, Ducky would often be slammed into the wall of the cave by a sudden rush of water.
Ducky was easily scared and she would get scared very often but she was never as scared as she was now, she was terrified. Everything was dark and she was totally alone and separated from all those who she cared about her and the feeling that she was being watched added greatly to her fear. The cold was also slowing her movements and she was finding that it was way more difficult to swim due to all her shivering which was becoming more and more uncontrollable every second and to add to that her whole body was hurting due to all the times she had collided with unseen rocks that the current had forced her into, Ducky thought she was bleeding, that would explain how weak she felt.
"I do not like this nope nope nope" she thought. " I want to get out of here I do I do".

But no matter where she went or how fast she swam, Ducky felt like she was getting nowhere at all, everything looked the same, just the same senseless blackness. Ducky felt her way along the cave wall then a dim light came from a chamber ahead, Ducky's heart raced maybe it was a way out!
Ducky swam toward it, she entered a small cavern that was dimly lit by a tiny hole in the roof of the cave, where the light came through but Ducky could not fit through the tiny hole.
Ducky looked down and stared at the cave floor and saw a small plant growing in the light.

"Wait, that's the plant mom showed me" thought Ducky. "Night Light".
   
Ducky swam down to the plant and pulled it out of the ground and just like her mother had taught, she crushed the plant in her hands, when she opened them up, the cave she was suddenly illuminated by the eerie blue light. But Ducky immediately wished that she hadn't illuminated the cavern as when the light produced by the plant flooded the cave, she saw that she was almost beak to beak with the skeleton of a young Swimmer, she quickly turned around only to find more bones.
With a pang of horror Ducky realised that she was in a boneyard, which was littered with the bones of all the other Swimmers that had taken the Trial before her. Ducky suppressed the strong urge to scream, she swam as fast as she could through a second opening in the cave wall, the Night Light illuminated in her hand provided the light that Ducky needed to see where she was going.

Ducky heard a cracking sound behind her, like the sound of a tail hitting a rock. Ducky turned her head and she suddenly saw a large dark shape behind her, illuminated by the light, Ducky gasped in horror to see a Swimming Sharptooth coming up behind her, it's teeth gleamed coldly in the blue light. Ducky screamed in fright and whole lot of bubbles emerged from her mouth and the Sharptooth suddenly swam at breakneck speed towards her. Ducky swam as fast as she could, away from the predator but she was too slow.

CRUNCH!

Ducky gasped as pain racked her body, she looked back to find her tail bleeding badly, the Sharptooth could not be seen behind the thick wall of blood but she knew it was there. Ducky held her breath as she swam, the pain was unbelievable and the cold did not help, it made the wound sting like mad, but she swam on until through another passage and found that she was suddenly facing a dead end.
Ducky turned around but she was already trapped by the massive bulk of the Sharptooth.
"I'm so sorry mama. I failed. I will not make it". she thought in despair, there was no doubt in the distraught Swimmers mind that these were her final moments.
That was when she noticed it, out of the corner of her eye, a small crevice at the back of the cave that was large enough for her but not the Sharptooth. "If only I could make it in there" she thought.
Ducky turned tail on the Sharptooth and swam as fast as she could toward the crevice. The Sharptooth saw what Ducky was trying to do and as she turned it raced forward and bit down on her tail.

CRUNCH!

Ducky grimaced in pain, without looking back she kicked her legs hard in an attempt to free herself. The Sharptooth suddenly jolted it's head backwards and opened it's mouth then jolted forwards. Ducky was thrown into the back of the Sharptooth's mouth but the jaws was still open, Ducky swam with all the speed she could muster in a desperate attempt to escape the creatures giant maw she was halfway across the teeth when...

SHLUCK!

The jaws of the Sharptooth came down upon the middle of her body, Ducky screamed in pain, blood exploded into the water, almost blinding her.
Ducky groaned, she could not move without experiencing intense pain, she realised now that the Sharptooth had deliberately opened it's mouth so that she would swim right into it's trap. As Ducky became overwhelmed by pain she was able to make out one last thought "At least it will all be over soon yep...yep......yep". The Night Light plant that Ducky had been holding onto suddenly went dark as Ducky's last hope was extinguished and the predator munched on it's hapless victim. Ducky's eyes closed for the last time as she was sucked down the gullet and into the belly of the Swimming Sharptooth and everything went black.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
Ducky awoke with a terrified scream.


*


Ducky jumped up in fright, breathing fast and heavily she had just had the most scariest dream that she ever had. Ducky looked around to find herself at home in the nest, with her mother, father, siblings and Spike, all still sleeping because it was still several hours away from daylight. Ducky looked to her left to find Spike, that's when she felt a strange and pleasant relieving sensation from her rear end, it felt like hot water was being tipped on her tail but when she looked back, she was startled and very embarrassed to find the lower part of her body was wet as was the small area around her, an unpleasant smell arose and Ducky put a hand one her nose.
Ducky's mind deducted "It must have been such a scary dream that I..." Ducky's face flushed red with embarrassment "It is a good thing nobody is up yet" she thought or she would be a laughing stock for her other siblings.  

Ducky's breathing started to return to it's normal rhythm but she was still scared half to death. She knew that she would soon have to resume her training, that unpleasant training for that terrible Trial. Ducky could not bear it, she quickly got to her feet, her breathing becoming hard and fast again. Something snapped in Ducky, she already had too greater burden placed on her, Ducky could not take it. It was inevitable that something would give in.
Ducky had completely forgotten to dry herself, she suddenly turned tail and ran. She ran as fast as she could away from the pressures that had been thrust upon her, she cried her tears as she ran to places unknown but all she knew was that she had to get away from this Trial which was responsible for so much misery. Ducky looked back to the nest and said in a pained and mournful voice "Goodbye mom, goodbye Spike" she sobbed before she turned around and ran away from the horrible fate that she was suddenly confronted with.


*


Sura awoke in the early morning feeling very refreshed. She looked up to the sky to see the bright circle peeking over the mountains, now it was time for her to resume Ducky's training in the Hidden Clearing. She wished that it did not have to be this way but she knew wishing would not necessarily save Ducky.
Sura got up and yawned then turned her head to look at her children that was when she saw that Ducky was missing. Though this wasn't really a cause for too much worry, but under the current circumstances Sura's mind immediately assumed the worst.

"DUCKY!" she screamed.

Sura jumped up and bent to examine Ducky's sleeping spot. Ruphus had woken up with a start when he heard Sura's cry. Thankfully none of the children woke, although there were a few tired groans.

"What's going on?" he asked Sura in alarm.

But Sura was bending down over a bit of damp grass next to Spike. Ruphus joined her and looked at the patch of grass and sniffed it curiously. He immediately lifted his head in disgust as did Sura, they both smelt it.

"Urine?" said Ruphus, he looked at his mate.

"Ducky's gone" she said "I think she's run away". Sura burst into tears. Ruphus held her in his arms.

"We have put to much pressure on Ducky dear, she is scared out of her mind, if she was in her right mind then I'm sure that she wouldn't do this" he said bitterly.

"What if she's hurt?" sobbed Sura.

"We'll find her dear" said Ruphus firmly. I swear we will find her and we will keep her safe".

Sura nodded and stopped sobbing, she had to find Ducky and bring her home, Sura knew that she would not rest until Ducky was back safe and sound. Sura got up and begun her search. "I'm coming Ducky" she called in a determined voice and she set off to find her beloved daughter.



Cliff hanger, this is when it gets interesting with Ducky gone, how will Sura and Ruphus find her? Stay tuned for the next chapter (s).

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #52 on: February 25, 2015, 03:46:26 AM »
So, they did consider the Chomper idea.   Kinda figured they'd think of it if they were willing to kill Surula themselves.

Cancerian Tiger

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« Reply #53 on: February 25, 2015, 11:44:14 AM »
Run, Ducky, run!  She knows what's best for her at this time.

Serris

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« Reply #54 on: February 25, 2015, 12:05:21 PM »
I hope Ducky gets away.

Kind of interesting how Ruphus and Sura  felt they had to resort to violence to save Ducky. I like how they considered using Chomper as the assassination weapon; it adds a shade of grey to the fic.

And honestly, that was a pretty interesting twist; I'd expected the duo to poison Sculra, catch her under a rockslide, lure her into the Mysterious Beyond or simply corner her and beat her to death.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #55 on: February 25, 2015, 12:48:45 PM »
I wonder if Red Claw is still around.  Maybe they could lure Scula to him.

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2015, 03:30:21 AM »
Chapter 13: Searching For Ducky

For three whole days Sura had frantically searched the Great Valley for her missing daughter, she tried all her favourite spots and checked every river and water hole, she had asked almost every Valley resident that she had happened across, except Sculra of course. Sura stayed clear from her path and she had not asked any of the children as she did not want to risk them finding out about Ducky's desperate plight. Grandpa and Grandma as well as Arial, who was mother to Petrie were also helping with the search. Sura hardly slept at night, knowing that she had pushed her daughter too hard.

"DUCKY!" Sura's fearful calls echoed about the Valley "DUCKY, Where Are You Dear!" she called. But despite all the searching and calling Sura had been unsuccessful in locating Ducky. "Where is my little Ducky?" thought Sura. She had searched everywhere in the Great Valley and could not find a trace of her beloved daughter. "I have searched everywhere in the Valley and I still can't find Ducky" thought Sura "unless...no......she wouldn't go into the Mysterious Beyond would she?". The thought alarmed Sura greatly, could Ducky have been that desperate, that scared that she'd run away into the Mysterious Beyond? Sura reflected "Well there was a whole patch of urine at Ducky's sleeping spot, she must have had a scary sleep story and wet herself, then she ran away. Oh my poor little Ducky, she's terrified of the Trial and probably the training I'm giving her as well". Sura felt bad that she had contributed to Ducky's reaction and now she was now paying for it. Sura quickly ran back to the nest to tell Ruphus of her theory.

When Sura arrived she found Ruphus sitting next to the eggs. But upon her arrival he got up and ran to meet her.

"Anything?" he asked. Sura could hear the worry and concern in his voice. But all she could give was a shake of her head. Ruphus looked fearful.

"Do you think Sculra might have had a hand in this?" he asked.

Sura shook her head "I don't think so, it was not blood that damped the grass Ruphus, I think that Ducky wet herself after waking from a night terror, then she ran away into......" Sura trembled "The Mysterious Beyond".

Ruphus face became very pale at Sura's words. "The Mysterious Beyond?, do you think Ducky was that scared?" he asked.

Sura nodded again "She is terrified of that Trial dear"

"We have got to find her, there are Sharpteeth out there and if she get's caught..." Ruphus could not finish his sentence but he looked extremely fearful. Sura fell to her knees and began to cry. Ruphus bent down and held her tightly in his arms, though he was just as scared as her.

"It's all my fault" said Sura over and over again "It's all my fault, I pushed her to hard and now she's......" Sura let out a loud wail and sobbed harder.

Ruphus held his mate's hand in support. "You did what you thought was right" he said "I don't blame you, but how are we going to find her now if she is in the Mysterious Beyond?".

Sura suddenly pricked up and stopped sobbing as the idea came to her. "Chomper" she said quietly.

"Of course" said Ruphus "Chomper could track Ducky's scent and-"

"Find her" finished Sura, getting up on her feet "I will return soon......with Ducky dear" she said and before Ruphus could say another word Sura dashed off in search of Chomper.


*


Sura and Chomper came to the pass of the Mysterious Beyond. Chomper had tracked Ducky's scent all the way here from the nest. It was not that difficult to get Chomper's help reflected Sura because as soon as she told Chomper that Ducky was missing and asked for his help he came quickly to her aid. Sura remembered what happened then:

Sura had taken Chomper back home, to the nest, upon arrival Chomper took a deep sniff of the air around Ducky's sleeping spot and coughed in disgust "Yuck" he cried, putting his hands on his nose. "Did someone wet the nest?" he asked.

"I think that was Ducky" replied Sura "She must have been really scared".

"You can say that again" said Chomper, he took another sniff of the air and said "I don't think she dried herself off, because I can still smell that stuff along with Ducky's scent, it will be easy to find her now". Sura felt a sense of relief wash over her, but she still had to find Ducky before anything happened to her.

"Let's get going" she said and Chomper quickly led her along the trial. To Chomper it was extremely easy to sniff out Ducky's scent because of the tell tail sign of urine that was intermingled with her scent, he led Sura along at a jog until they reached the north pass.

Now Chomper did look worried "What had scared Ducky so badly that she'd come out here?" he thought. The duo resumed the jog. After a time of running through the plain grasslands of the Mysterious Beyond they came to a large cliff face and beside it was a small narrow path leading up the cliff, that was where the scent went "and it's also way more stronger" thought Chomper "We must be getting close".

Chomper climbed up the Trial followed by Sura but their progress which had been good so far slowed as the path they were on was narrow and Sura was a full grown Saurolophus, which made it awfully difficult for her to safely transverse the narrow path. Finally they arrived on flat ground a long way up the cliff. Both Sura and Chomper were panting with exhaustion.
"Come on" said Chomper in a tired but determined voice and he led on.

The duo walked along the cliff for sometime until they both heard a faint thundering sound which became louder as the progressed until they rounded a corner and in front of their path was a large waterfall and intermixed with the thundering sounds of the waterfall came the faint sound of sobbing.

"The scent goes into that waterfall, but I won't be able to smell anything beyond it" said Chomper. Though there was hardly any need to confirm that Ducky was nearby, her sobbing already did that. Chomper paced in agitation, he was now very worried.

"Thank you Chomper, I'll take it from here, you'll be swept away by the water if you come, just watch my back while I get Ducky" said Sura. Chomper nodded reluctantly, he did not want to sit on the sideline but Sura was right about him being swept off the ledge if he came so he stayed where he was while Sura went to fetch Ducky.


*


Sura held on tightly to the cliff face and braced herself for the impact to come. As she entered the water, she was almost washed off the edge herself, such was the sheer force of the water but she just managed to pull herself through, but as she approached the centre of the waterfall the water became so fierce that she fell forward into a cave that lay hidden behind the waterfall, the sobbing which had barely been audible before was now a lot more louder. Sura looked ahead and found Ducky.

The young Swimmer was laying curled up at the back of the cave with her back to the waterfall, her face was in her hands, she was crying loudly and had not noticed her mother arrive, she looked tired and way more thinner then before "She must not have eaten for the past few day's" Sura thought in alarm, but apart from that she looked fine.

Sura got up and walked to her daughter, she had a look of pity on her face as she stopped behind her. "Ducky" she said quietly but Ducky didn't give any sign that she knew her mother was there. Sura laid herself on the rocky floor of the cave and put a hand on her little one and nuzzled her with her beak, Ducky accepted the gesture. She turned to look at her mother, tears drenched her face.

"Mommy?" she cried and grabbed hold of her mother and sobbed hard into her chest. Sura felt tears slide down her cheeks as she embraced her little one. The two lay there for sometime weeping and holding onto each other for comfort.

They were both facing overwhelming odds, Ducky was facing her training and the Trials as well as the high probability of her imminent death while Sura was attempting to do all she could to keep her family safe from Sculra as well as trying to keep her daughter alive, but the thought of losing her was just too much for her at the moment.

Finally Sura spoke: "I'm here Ducky, your safe now" she said softly.

Ducky sobbed "I was so......scared, when I got to the cave the water trapped me in and.......oh mommy, I am so sorry for running away, I just didn't know what else to do".

Sura held her muzzle to her daughter.

"I'm the one who should be sorry dear, I pushed you to hard, then you went missing and I was so worried. I'm sorry dear, I should never have asked you to try that training" she said bitterly.

Ducky held on to her mother's beak tightly. "What am I going to do? No one has survived the Trial of Destiny before and I can't do the wisdoms no no no and I had the most horrible sleep story, it scared-ed me it did...it did".

Ducky then told her mother of the dream she had last night and when it was over she was trembling from fear in her mother's arms. Sura held Ducky close and said "don't give up hope dear you'll get through this, I know you will". she then began to sing in a soft tone.

"Ducky I will always be here for you
Your have friends who will be there too
Never give up hope dear
It's the only thing stronger then fear".

"When you feel that your all alone
Hold on to my love and remember...
Your never alone
As long as you have hope".

"When comes the dark
That reaches it's mark
It drains your life
And leaves you dry".

"I will stay by your side
And be there for you
Just as your friends will be there too
Our love will give you life".

"Imagine a star, shining bright
And darkness runs, from the light
That is your hope, the shining star.
That gives light, to the surrounding night".

"I will always be there for you
As your family will stand there too
Never give up hope dear
It is the only thing stronger then fear".

Sura stopped singing and held her daughter in her arms and gently nuzzled her little one, Ducky looked much more better now, she had stoped crying and was cuddling up to her mother. "Thank you mama" she whispered.

Sura smiled. "Come along dear" she said "Chomper is waiting outside for us".

"Mama?"

"Yes Ducky?"

"I had another sleep story......". Ducky launched into the story of her other dream that she had about Swayer and the crystal cave. Her mother listened, she seemed intrigued by the story and when Ducky finished she said one word "Interesting".

She did not tell Ducky what she knew about Swayer, but the bit about the older Swimmer greatly interested her and she would tell Ruphus about this development. Sura bent down and gently lifted Ducky up into her hands and then rose to her feet. "Come on Ducky, it's time we went home" and with those words she went back through waterfall and onto the ledge where Chomper was waiting.  

*

Chomper had watched Ducky's mom as she disappeared behind the waterfall and then he heard voices, he strained his ears because it was difficult to hear with the sound of the waterfall next to him but he did manage to hear a few things including what Ducky had said about how no one had ever survived the Trial of Destiny and that she was soon going to take it. Chomper then heard singing but he could not make out what was being said though he had already heard enough.

He had been worried about Ducky when she had gone missing and now he understood why. "But why didn't she tell me or her other friends and siblings? We could have helped her" he thought. There was no doubt in Chomper's mind that Ducky would need the support of her friends and family before the Trial.

The there was a loud splash as Ducky's mother emerged from the waterfall with Ducky held safely in her arms.

"Ducky" said Chomper in delight.

Ducky grinned "hello Chomper" she said.

"We were so worried about you" said Chomper.

"I am sorry for causing all this trouble I am I am. Thanks Chomper you find-ed me" said Ducky in a grateful voice.  

Chomper then started to laugh "It was easy to find you" he laughed "you didn't exactly dry yourself after you wet the nest did you" Chomper laughed long and hard, he held on to the cliff face in support while Ducky's face flushed red with embarrassment. As Chomper continued to laugh at her expense.

"You won't tell anyone will you?" she asked, sounding utterly mortified.

Chomper laughed until he was out of breath and could laugh no longer then he said breathlessly "of course I won't tell anyone".

Ducky looked relieved, but she smiled happily. "Alright you two" said Sura "let's go home". The three dinosaurs then set off for home in the Great Valley.




Well there is the next Chapter. Hope you like the song. I'm not very good at song writing so don't be to surprised at how it turned out. So Sura and Chomper have found Ducky and Chomper now knows what Ducky is up against. Looks like the secret will soon be out. Stay tuned for the next instalment of The Swimmer Trials.

Cancerian Tiger

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« Reply #57 on: February 26, 2015, 12:03:33 PM »
Ducky should not ignore her dreams.  Dreams are messages, but recurring dreams are truly dreams which should never be ignored.  I really hate how society has led people to downplay the importance of dreams.  I have found mine to be full of guidance.

LittlefootAndAliTogether

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« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2015, 03:01:21 PM »
What is Ducky going to do now?

The Lone Dragon

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« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2015, 11:28:32 PM »
The Dreams that Ducky has are and will be very important for her during the story and before the Trial, and it is the dream that she had about Swayer  that will prompt the next plan from her mother.