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The Land Before Time XV: The Friendly Sharptooth Flyer

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    <h1> Characters </h1>

    Ptero (OC ) Male Pterodactylus/Pteranodon Hybrid (Flyer + Sharp Beak /Sharptooth + Flattooth) Alignment: Undecided
    Agatha (OC) Female Pterodactylus (Sharp Beak/Sharptooth) Alignment: Bad
    Sydo (OC) Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Don (OC/Petrie’s father) Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Pip (One of Petrie’s brothers) Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Littlefoot Male Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Cera Female Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Ducky Female Saurolophus (Swimmer/ Big Mouth / Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Petrie Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Spike Male Stegosaurus (Spiketail/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Mama Flyer/Phyra Female Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Leslie (Ducky’s Aunt) Female Saurolophus (Swimmer/ Big Mouth / Flattooth) Alignment: Good but a big yacker
    Grandpa Longneck Male Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Grandma Longneck Female Apatosaurus (Longneck/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Topps Male Triceratops (Threehorn/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Pterano Male Pteranodon (Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Good
    Large Flyer Bullies (OCs) Mixed Quetzalcoatlus (Large Flyer/Flattooth) Alignment: Bad
    Agatha’s Sharp Beak Pack (OCs) Mixed Ichthyornis and Pterodactylus (Sharp Beak/Sharptooth) Alignment: Bad
    Albert (OC) Male Albertosaurus (Sharptooth) Alignment: Bad
    Fast Biter Couple (OCs) Male and Female Utahraptor (Fast Biter/Sharptooth) Alignment: Bad
    Swimming Sharptooth (OC) Female Hydrotherosaurus (Swimming Sharptooth/Sharptooth) Alignment: Bad

    <h1> Opening </h1>
    Sydo was a Pteranodon with light grey colored wings and olive colored eyes. He had an orange body. He flew through the forest with his friends. They had many interests in common. However, he had one interest that was vastly different than the others.
    Sydo loved the appearance of her. She was gorgeous, he admitted that. He loved her black wings and brown body. He even thought her red eyes were cute, albeit a tiny bit creepy. She flew well. She could even make sharper turns than him with little effort and change course rapidly. She was a better flyer by far than any in his herd.
    However, it took a long time for him to work up the nerve to approach her. This wasn’t just because he was shy to approach a female that he liked, but because she was a Pterodactylus. She wasn’t in a herd. She was a Sharptooth, the dreaded type of dinosaur that hunted their fellow dinosaurs.
    They were both Flyers. He ate Tree Stars. She, on the other hand, was a Sharp Beak. He dreaded to think what she might eat. His friends had told him that it was risky and that he was nuts for even thinking about it. However, he decided to risk it one day.
    He decided to go at night. If worst came to worst, he could still get away. It was raining, which, he hoped, would hide his scent in case anyone tried to sniff him out. He landed on a rocky hill, with many ledges jutting out. It was at least 100 feet in the air, out of reach of the ground. He was sure they did this to keep out of reach of larger predators, like Two Claws or Fast Biters. Indeed, even the Sailbacks, the biggest of the Sharpteeth, couldn’t reach up that far.
    The place had bones lying around in some places. What they might have been when they were alive, he didn’t want to think. The whole atmosphere was unnerving. He knew what could happen to him by coming here. Unfriendly Sharp Beaks could be hiding behind rocks, spying on him. But he was so eager to see her that he was willing to risk it. He waited, watching her, his heart pounding. Finally, he decided that now was as good a time as any.
    Who is there? she said in the Sharptooth language . He was nervous as she turned her gaze his way and turned to hide, moving behind vegetation.
    I can see you. I have great eyesight. I don’t like to be spied upon. she said again in Sharptooth. He didn’t reply, still feeling nervous. If you don’t come out of there, I am going back there. I do not like peeping Toms. she said in Sharptooth.
    He didn’t understand a word she said, but as he saw her approaching, figured he’d better come out as she’d get him anyway if he tried to take off.
    He had no choice now. He came forward, trembling. She stared at him, baffled. What are you doing here? she asked in Sharptooth, her eyebrows raised. He took it as a good sign that she hadn’t swooped down upon him and sank her fangs into him already. He decided to be honest. He came out, still trembling. “I wanted to talk to you. I…..er…” he said nervously.
    Her red eyes turned to stare into his olive colored ones. She couldn’t understand him. She, however, had agreed to let him be, for she realized that he was a Flattooth, and a brave one. She thought him handsome. He tried to talk to her, and she tried to get it. After a long while, she finally understood enough Leaf Eater to say “Hello, my name is Agatha.”
    “Hello, I am Sydo.” he replied. He was glad that she was starting to understand Leaf Eater. Little did he realize the course of events this would affect in dinosaur history.

    • Topics Started: 258
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    CHAPTER ONE: SYDO AND AGATHA
    ________________________________________
    The two continued to meet. Sydo hadn’t told his friends about their meeting yet, as he wasn’t sure what to make of her. She had finally learned enough Leaf Eater to talk to him properly. “Hello, back from leading your pack of Sharp Beaks? It must be tough being a Queen.” he said.
    “It is. I have no heir and everyone expects me to have one.” she replied.
    “What took you so long? You’ve been gone a while and I’ve waited and waited for you.” he asked.
    “Hunting. That little Swimmer didn’t know what hit her.” replied Agatha.
    Sydo wanted to take off upon hearing this. “The poor dear!” said Sydo automatically. “You don’t think I should eat?” inquired Agatha, her eyebrows raised. “I….er….” said Sydo. He thought it over. While he’d never had to take a life, he admitted that Agatha wouldn’t have had that luxury as a Sharp Beak. “I’d prefer that you not eat children. Give them a chance at life.” said Sydo. “It’s much harder to get an adult Swimmer by yourself than a kid. I’d need the whole pack to get an adult.” said Agatha.
    As sad as it sounded, he admitted that she might have a point. Adult Swimmers were quite big. He decided to change the subject. “Well, I think you are pretty and fly really well.” said Sydo. “Thank you dear.” said Agatha. He talked with her for a long while and finally went home.
    “Sydo, where were you?” his friends asked him. “With her.” said Sydo. “You actually went to see her?” asked a friend of his. “And she didn’t eat you?” asked another. “Nope. She seems to like me.” said Sydo.
    “I’m sure she would. Sydo sish-ka-bob is probably what she has in mind.” said one of his Flyer friends. “You’re wrong. I’ve been with her many times.” said Sydo.
    “And you never told us?” asked another friend of his.
    “I was under the impression that I’d come through the Time of Great Growing and am now able to make my own decisions.” Sydo replied wryly.
    Sydo returned to Agatha the next night. He decided to go at night again as usual. He hoped that most of her Sharp Beak friends would be asleep then, as they might not be as nice as she. He came with a present for her. She smiled at him. He was more used to those pointy teeth this time.
    “Oh Sydo, thank you.” she said. It was a fish. She hungrily ate it. He turned away, for this carnivorous behavior unnerved him still. He heard flapping. He realized with horror that her pack was there. He almost turned to take off, but soon realized that they weren’t coming after him. “Yes, they follow my orders. You are safe here my friend.” said Agatha.
    As time went on, Sydo and Agatha continued to meet more and more. She made good on her promise that he would be safe with her too. One night, two Sharp Beaks had come after him and he had tried to flee. They would have gotten him and he expected to die, but then they yelped in pain. Agatha had grabbed them both and pulled them away from him.
    Do not touch Sydo! Do you hear me? If you harm him, you will have to answer to me! said Agatha. They backed off, frightened. A grateful Sydo had thanked her for saving his life.
    He felt in love with her and she seemed to be awfully fond of him. His friends were wary of being around him anymore as he spent so much time with a Sharp Beak. “Sydo, this isn’t right! You know what she is!” said a friend of his. “I know that she fancies me.” said Sydo. “As the main course!” said his friend loudly in exasperation. “No, she’d never do that!” countered Sydo. “You must have hit your head really hard that time when you fell when first learning to fly. Women are dangerous enough without having sharp fangs!” said his friend in annoyance.
    Eventually, he decided that he was going to hedge all bets and propose to her. He got many fish for her. He ate Tree Stars himself, but he knew that Agatha couldn’t stand them, for he had offered them to her once before.
    As he approached her nest, doubts began to nag him. He was going to marry a Sharptooth. He was a Leaf Eater. He could only eat plants and she only meat. Was there a Flyer of his own kind out there for him that he hadn’t bothered to look for?
    Agatha was with her pack on a hunting mission. She had spotted a Tickly Fuzzy below. Sydo saw the creature too.
    Agatha smirked, a look of triumph on her face. She swooped downward, gathering speed. He admired her abilities of flying, which, he thought, rivaled, if not surpassed, his own. He turned away as he saw her talons sink at the creature. The creature let out a death yell. Sydo trembled, but, resolved, continued forward toward Agatha.
    “Agatha, it is me.” said Sydo. Agatha stood over the dead creature. She was sharpening her talons on a rock next to her. “Hello my dear.” she said. “I brought you these.” he said, giving her the fish. “Oh dessert, thank you Sydo.” she said, smiling at him kindly.
    Sydo proposed to her. She accepted. He had watched as she ate the poor creature. It was alarming, yet, this was his mate now. He’d have to get used to it.
    Sydo returned to his friends and told them that he had proposed to Agatha. What came next broke his heart. “Get lost Sydo! We’re kicking you out of the herd for marrying a Sharptooth!” cried one of them in anger.
    “Wh—what? ” sobbed Sydo.
    “You’ve chosen our enemies! Go be with them!” snapped another. And Sydo was shown the door, so to speak, and could never go back.
    He returned to his mate, very sad. “Sydo, they are jerks. If you like, I can deal with them.” she said.
    The idea was tempting, upset as he was. “No, let them be. I have you and that is enough.” he replied. She smiled and nodded, putting her wings around him to comfort him. She at least cared for him. If this was how Leaf Eaters would treat him for being in love with someone different, then he’d take Sharpteeth.
    The two had a union ceremony the next morning. The Sharp Beaks of her pack were all there. They looked at him with the utmost respect. “To long life together.” said Agatha, kissing her new mate.
    “Yes, I love you dear.” he said. The two got along well. He even went with her hunting pack, but, of course, he didn’t partake in the hunt. He always felt guilty when the Leaf Eaters looked at him, expecting him to help them, but he only just stayed there, for he knew that Sharp Beaks needed to eat too.
    After some time, Agatha became pregnant. “Sydo, you’re going to be a father.” she said, beaming. Sydo felt elated. He wondered what the children would be like. Would they be like her or him? He would accept them either way, as he had accepted Agatha.
    Agatha had a single egg, a speckled silver one. Sydo and Agatha thought that the egg was beautiful. They both took turns warming it. Eventually, the egg hatched.
    The shell broke around the lower half first, and talons came out. Sydo saw that they were sharper than his. Next, the middle broke. The creature tried to flap its wing and fell over. The top half of the egg shattered. The child was a boy. He looked kind of like Sydo, but he had red eyes like that of his wife. He had an orange body and black wings. He had long talons though not quite as long as Agatha’s. He had Sharp Beak abilities but would pass for a Pteranodon to anyone who didn’t know him. He smiled at the two innocently. He had both sharp and flat teeth. His fangs were further back in his mouth.
    “What shall we call him?” his mate asked him. “Ptero.” said Sydo. They both admired Ptero. Ptero was their pride and joy.
    Meanwhile, further out in the Mysterious Beyond, a young Flyer couple watched their eggs hatch. They had a couple of kids. One by one the group hatched. The last to break out of his green egg was a black eyed, brown crested, gold necked, orange bodied one. “What shall we call him?” Phyra asked her mate Don. “Petrie.” replied Don.
    “Looks just like you Don.” said Don’s brother-in-law Pterano. They were so proud of Petrie. The two very different Flyer families never guessed that their children would someday meet.

    • Topics Started: 258
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    CHAPTER TWO: THE DIFFERENT FLYERS
    ________________________________________
    Sometime later, young Ptero was with his family. “Father, when can I learn to fly?” Ptero asked Sydo. “Soon enough dear.” said Agatha. “You don’t seem quite ready yet. You nearly fell last time.” said Sydo. “Yes, but I caught you.” said Agatha.
    Don’t worry kid, you’ll do it someday. said an Ichthyornis. “I can’t wait.” said Ptero. Sydo brought him some Tree Stars, which he ate happily. He really liked those. Agatha gave her son a mammal to eat, which he also ate. Sydo was so used to this behavior by now that it didn’t bother him one bit.
    Ptero liked the Tree Stars better, in part because there wasn’t blood, and, because, having asked his mother why the mammal looked different from the Tree Stars, had finally been told that it had once been a live creature.
    Ptero had freaked out at first upon hearing this. “Ptero, dear, you need to eat too. There are plenty of other Tickly Fuzzies out there.” Agatha had said. Ptero still felt sad. He made sure to eat every bite, knowing what it had cost the creature to be his meal.
    Agatha had thought of feeding her son a Leaf Eater, but Sydo put his foot down. “No, I will not have you doing that. He’s part Leaf Eater himself.” Sydo had told her one night after Ptero was asleep. “But he’s a hunter too.” countered Agatha. They moved out of the nest, so as not to wake their son, and continued arguing outside.
    “He may be a hunter if he so chooses. But it’s up to him. Let the boy decide.” said Sydo. Agatha had agreed to this.
    Ptero kept trying to fly. He loved the breeze on his wings. However, flying wasn’t as easy as it looked. He had learned to climb things in the meantime. He saw a pretty butterfly. He went toward it, examining it. However, he was saddened when a Pterodactylus came and grabbed it and ate it. Delicious, isn’t it? the creature remarked to Ptero. Ptero was saddened by what Sharpteeth had to do to get food.
    Ptero climbed and jumped from tree to tree. He was doing quite well, though both Sydo and Agatha, and sometimes the other Sharp Beaks, had to save his life when he missed. Ptero enjoyed it, though hated when he fell.
    Ptero had no idea what he was yet. He knew that he could eat Tree Stars and meat. He also noticed that he lived with Sharp Beaks, and so was disposed to think of himself more as the latter. However, he was glad that he could eat Tree Stars, as it meant he wouldn’t always have to take a life whenever he wanted a meal when he got older.
    Ptero saw that his life was happy enough and that he had both his mother and his father. He assumed that things would always go on the way they’d always been.
    Petrie, meanwhile, was with Don and Pterano. He was trying to fly. “Me got this. Me going to do it today!” yelled the Flyer proudly. SPLAT! Petrie fell, again, and landed in mud.
    “Oh dear, another wipeout!” moaned Pterano.
    “Not to worry Petrie boy, you will get it.” said Don.
    “Me hope so.” replied Petrie, not so sure.
    Both Petrie and Ptero were happy with their fathers. However, the good times were not to last.

    • Topics Started: 258
    • Total Posts: 605

    CHAPTER THREE: AGATHA’S BETRAYAL
    ________________________________________
    Ptero began spending more time with Sydo than Agatha. Agatha was quick to notice this. She didn’t say anything, but Sydo noticed a change in her.
    She also seemed to take criticism very poorly and was very cross when anyone dared challenge her. She thought very highly of herself. Sydo soon realized with shock that she was an extreme narcissist. She started trying to get Ptero to hunt more too and he realized that she was trying to force the boy to be like her.
    “Agatha, stop it! We agreed to let the boy choose!” said Sydo. “I need a pack leader after me! Ptero will have to take that role!” said Agatha. “If he doesn’t want it, then somebody else will have to take that role!” said Sydo. “No, I want somebody in my family!” snapped Agatha.
    Sydo wondered where the woman he’d married had gone to. Agatha was showing a whole new side to her, a side he didn’t like. And Sydo no longer had his friends to go to anymore, for they no longer would speak to him, believing him to have committed treachery against his kind for having married a Sharptooth.
    He felt most foolish now. He’d judged her by her appearance and her flying abilities. He should have known better about her. There were so many warning signs he should have heeded, including her lack of pity for her prey and her obvious desire for control. Indeed, he now knew why he hadn’t been eaten by her pack before their marriage. It wasn’t because they had respected her that they hadn’t tried to eat him after she’d told off the two who had tried to eat him, it was that they feared her.
    Agatha’s pack liked him, but, since she was the leader, Agatha’s pack backed her up, so he wasn’t likely to get them to make her see reason either. Ptero seemed to be all that he had left that he could feel happy around. Ptero loved his father and soon it was obvious that he favored Sydo over Agatha. Agatha said nothing about this, but sulked, eyeing them both threateningly.
    As time went by, tensions got worse and worse. The boy didn’t know how bad they were getting, for Agatha still had the decency not to bring the boy around when they were arguing. Sydo considered leaving. Agatha said that she wanted her son as she had laid his egg.
    “Ptero dear, there is something I am going to tell you. I will tell you something in the morning.” said Sydo to his son.
    “Why Dad?” asked Ptero in concern, for he didn’t understand what was going on.
    “I will tell you tomorrow, not now. Come with me at dawn.” said Sydo. Ptero had never seen his father this nervous. Sydo had seen Ptero’s flying skills and knew he was close enough to go, certainly with assistance, on his own the next day. The two would take off at dawn.
    “What is wrong with Daddy? He seems worried about something. He wants to meet with me at dawn. Why didn’t he mention you?” Ptero asked his mother sometime later that day.
    “I am not sure.” Agatha lied. She now guessed that Sydo was going to betray her, though she didn’t let it on to Ptero. “Good boy for telling me. I will try and make sure that daddy is better.”
    “Thank you Mommy.” said Ptero, who went off trying to fly. He almost was ready. He went off hopping from branch to branch really fast.
    Agatha grinned. “No, thank you Ptero. Thank you very much.” she said.
    Agatha didn’t say anything about her feelings about Sydo’s plot to leave her, which, though she hadn’t acted as if she knew, she did know. She settled on a plan. She got Sydo to come with her that night after Ptero was settled down to rest. She took him away from the nest, for it wouldn’t do at all for the boy to be around. Indeed, she didn’t want her pack to know either.
    “Agatha, you wanted to see me?” asked Sydo. “Any reason why we’re meeting here?”
    “Yes, I want this meeting private.” replied Agatha.
    “What is this about?” asked Sydo, who didn’t realize he had walked into a trap. The two went into a cave.
    “Ptero. He is spending a lot of time with you. More than with me.” answered Agatha.
    “Well, you certainly devote a lot of attention to yourself! I doubt you need worry about him!” said Sydo coldly. Agatha, meanwhile, sharpened her talons on a rock. Sydo knew she only did this before she went hunting. Some poor critter was going to get it. He sighed. Agatha seemed to have less pity on her prey than even the regular Sharpteeth. When he left with Ptero in a few hours, he’d never have to put up with that again, watching the helpless Leaf Eaters die.
    “Ah, but I do dear. I do.” said Agatha, and she grinned nastily. For the first time in a long time, Sydo felt afraid around her. The red in her eyes seemed to glint. “You were planning on leaving me, weren’t you Sydo? Leaving tomorrow?” asked Agatha, mock sweetness in her voice, though Sydo knew that her tone was dangerous.
    “Yes, you seem to love yourself the most. It’s clear that you’re not who I thought you were. I can see why you had a hard time finding a mate. I’m going to take the boy and go away for good as soon as he’s ready to fly, which should be likely by tomorrow, he’s gotten on so well.” said Sydo.
    “Sydo, I don’t believe in divorce, I believe in murder!” she said, grinning at him with malice.
    “Pardon?” said Sydo, not sure if he’d heard her right.
    Agatha moved her talons away from the rock. She glared at him, a look of evil in her eyes. “Yes, you will be going away for good. However, the boy is mine! I have my heir now!” said Agatha. He tried to move, but she was too quick for him. She struck him to the ground. She grabbed him with her left leg and raised her right talon over him.
    He knew what Agatha was going to do. “Traitor!” he shouted. As Agatha swung her claw downward , his last thoughts were of his son, who would now be trapped with Agatha, and he yelled “Ptero! Ptero! My boy! I love you! Ptero!”. Agatha hit him in the chest and he died. She quickly ate the body, for it wouldn’t do to have him around anymore. Ptero was now hers.
    Ptero had heard his father cry. Someone was attacking his father! He had almost fallen asleep. Though very uneasy, he took off from the nest, flapping his wings and overcoming his fear, so desperate was he to get to his father, whom he loved so dearly. He did it! He could fly! He moved through the air quickly, the breeze moving around his wings. He found that he was good at it. He would have been thrilled at this normally, having finally gotten it down, and well too, but he was so eager to get to his father, that he didn’t stop to think about it at the moment. Ptero got there soon after Agatha had finished off his father.
    Agatha had heard him coming. She needed a story or this would be really bad for her. She formed a nasty plan. She recalled how Sydo’s friends had left him when he had married her. She knew that Leaf Eaters mistrusted Sharpteeth. She quickly came up with a lie that would sound very believable, both to her pack and to her gullible young son. This would bend the boy to her will. He would never be like Sydo. Indeed, he would hate Sydo’s kind forever.
    “Ptero, how did you get here?” she asked in shock. She hadn’t expected him to show up.
    “Where is Daddy? He’s in danger! Someone was after him. Is he all right?” he asked. He was right outside the cave.
    She started to cry. Ptero came into the cave. “They killed him. I couldn’t save him.” said Agatha, crying.
    Ptero felt as though he’d received a talon right to the heart. His father was dead. It couldn’t be true! “What happened? Who killed him?” Ptero asked, tears streaming from his eyes.
    “He was with Flatteeth. They didn’t like that he was a Sharptooth, so they killed him. They took the body. Daddy guessed they were after him. He knew they were going to hurt you next, so he wanted to protect you and warned you this morning. He died so bravely. I came along before they could sneak after you. I thought they might try this. I was able to save you, for they would have killed you too.” lied Agatha, still crying.
    Ptero cried for many hours. Finally, he calmed down. “I guess it’s just you and me now.” he said. His mind immediately turned to thoughts of avenging Sydo.
    “Did you get the Flatteeth? I want them punished!” asked Ptero, anger mounting inside of him. “No, they got away. I tried son, but I couldn’t save him.” said Agatha.
    “I’m hungry. I haven’t eaten since this morning. And I know just what I want to eat.” said Ptero, feeling an urge to get vengeance. “I want to eat a Flattooth. I hate them for what they did to my Father!” said Ptero passionately.
    “I’ll be sure to get one.” said Agatha, grinning.
    “Get me two Mother, I have a big appetite.” said Ptero, feeling a huge urge for revenge. Ptero hated the death of other creatures, but he felt that Flatteeth weren’t dinosaurs but monsters.
    “Certainly boy.” said Agatha smugly.
    Ptero was young enough that he didn’t know that Sydo had been a Leaf Eater, and Agatha had never bothered to inform him of this and Sydo had always thought that their kinds didn’t matter and so hadn’t bothered to highlight their differences either. Thus, Ptero fell for his mother’s lie that Sydo had been a Sharptooth and that he’d been murdered by Leaf Eaters.
    As Agatha went off, alone, once out of sight and earshot of her pack, she began to laugh. “The boy will be the Sharp Beak King now! He won’t be a Flattooth!”
    Agatha brought Ptero two Leaf Eaters that she’d killed. The boy ate them hungrily. “Two less Flatteeth in the world. I can’t wait to go hunting with the pack when I’m older. Then Flatteeth will rue the day they messed with me!” said Ptero after he’d finished his dinner. Agatha smirked.
    Agatha went the next day and attacked all of Sydo’s kind. Agatha had told her pack that they were responsible for Sydo’s death, which seemed believable to them, after how they had treated Sydo and all. The pack gleefully killed Sydo’s former friends.
    “Ironic isn’t it, that Sydo, in death, gets his revenge on you?” laughed Agatha to one of Sydo’s former friends before killing him a few seconds later. Sydo’s old herd was decimated. They got some for their meals and the rest fled in fright. Agatha couldn’t let them hang around. If Ptero came across them and found out the truth, she would be toast. “Glad you chased off the wicked Flatteeth Mommy.” said young Ptero, very smug.
    Agatha grinned. The boy was going to be a Sharptooth. He’d make a great pack leader someday. She would ensure that he never left the nest though without her being there , at least for a long time. If Ptero got around live Leaf Eaters for too long, he might realize that he was one. That would wreck all! So she always made sure never to let him out of her sight as the cold times went by. Not until she was sure he’d stay a hunter for good and thus would never find out the truth. Then her secret would be safe forever.
    Meanwhile, in the Mysterious Beyond, a few hours later, Petrie was with his father. “Dad, me want to try flying today. Me think me could do it soon.” said Petrie.
    Don got up and stretched, yawning. “It’s not even dawn yet. Eager boy, aren’t you?” Don remarked, patting his son on the head. “You seem to like climbing better than flying.”
    “Yeah, me no fall as much when me climb.” Petrie replied.
    “Don’t be afraid of failure son. Falling is just a part of life.” Don reassured him, patting him on the head.
    The two went out to go fly. They moved out toward the edge. Petrie was on the edge. “Come on boy! I’ll be there to get you if you don’t make it.” Don reassured him. Petrie moved to go and fly, spreading his wings, a look of bravery on his face. That’s when the unthinkable happened. The earth shook hard. Big cracks began appearing in the earth. The branch Petrie was on snapped.
    “NO, PETRIE!” yelled Don in horror.
    Don moved to get Petrie, but another branch came loose, whacking him. He was able to regain balance, but Petrie had disappeared. Dust had come up everywhere. And the earth kept moving. Don knew his son may well have perished, but, as much as it pained him, he had to save his wife and kids first before going to look for him.
    “Phyra, Pterano! Get up! Help with the kids!” he yelled. They were able to get the kids out. The nest collapsed right after they left. Eventually, the earth stopped shaking. Many dinosaurs had perished.
    Don saw with horror that the spot where Petrie had fallen now had a deep chasm. He clutched the stick that his son had held, believing it to be all that was left of his son.
    “Don, where is Petrie? Why are you holding that branch?” Phyra asked.
    “He’s gone. He fell. There is no way he could have survived. The branch broke. This is all we have left of him.” sobbed Don.
    Sometime later, they were with the others. Several had lost their kids for certain. Some still held out hope. As it was, some had gone off with Pterano, who had promised an easier way.
    “Pterano, I don’t know about this.” said Phyra.
    “Phyra, I’ll go with him. He’ll come to no harm with me there. Don’t worry.” replied Don. When he left with Pterano for a bit, as he thought, he gave the stick he’d kept, his, as he thought, last remnant of Petrie to remember Petrie by.
    But Don was wrong. Petrie had landed in water, weak, but alive. He had come out of the Dark Underground and met Littlefoot, Ducky, and Cera. However, Don was the one who ended up being a casualty of the trip to the Great Valley.
    When Petrie got to the Great Valley, he had heard that his father had perished soon afterward with a group that had been onset by Sharpteeth, which wasn’t Pterano’s fault, as Sharpteeth had even attacked Phyra’s herd. Petrie would never see his father alive again. As the years went by, both Petrie and Ptero didn’t like to talk about the deaths of their fathers.

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    CHAPTER FOUR: SHARP BEAKS NEAR THE GREAT VALLEY
    ________________________________________
    While Ptero and Petrie had had tragedy in their childhood, they weren’t the only ones. Littlefoot the Apatosaurus had lost his mother at a young age, lost her to a Sharptooth on the day of the Great Earthshake. Yet he’d befriended a Sharptooth by the name of Chomper not long afterward. Yes, Littlefoot was very kind and merciful. Many years had gone by since the tragedy of that day for Petrie, Ptero, and Littlefoot.
    Littlefoot went to go see his friends Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike. They were his best friends. His grandma and grandpa said to him “What are you going to do today Littlefoot?” Littlefoot lived with his Grandma and Grandpa. His father Bron was still alive and they’d gone after Bron when he’d gotten into some trouble. His friends Cera, Ducky, Petrie, Spike, Etta, and Wild Arms helped him rescue Bron. They’d rescued him from the Fire Mountain. Littlefoot was glad that his father was still alive. However, Littlefoot had agreed to stay with his Grandparents so that he could be with his friends in the Great Valley. Bron often came and visited.
    Littlefoot turned and saw a Sharp Beak fly near the Great Wall. “Sharp Beak!” he cried. “It’s ok, they won’t come in here.” said Grandpa Longneck. Littlefoot went to go see his friends. He saw the Sharp Beak fly away. Littlefoot remembered his last encounter with one. It had been only a while ago. The Sharp Beak Ichy, whom he’d had the misfortune of meeting in the Land of Mists, had come back with his Bigmouthed Belly Dragger friend Dil and also had come with Pterano’s former henchmen, Rinkus and Sierra. Luckily, their plot had been foiled.
    He came to Ducky first. “That thing was creepy. It was. It was.” she said. “On the Island where we met Chomper, one got me. It tried to feed me to its babies.” said Ducky.
    Ducky had never told them this before. “We’d wondered where you went.” said Littlefoot. “I fell and it caughted me. I thought it was coming to save me, but it was not. Oh, no, no, no.” she said.
    “How did you ever get away?” asked Littlefoot.
    “I moved and the babies bited her instead. I fell and landed next to you.” replied Ducky.
    They went to go see the others. They played Stop the Seed. Littlefoot’s team won. They were still missing having Chomper and Ruby around.
    The Great Valley was a happy place without evil. The kids lived here without pain or sorrow.
    They continued to play for the rest of the day. They were all tired by nightfall.
    “I still miss them. It’s been only 14 rising and settings of the Bright Circle since they left.” said Littlefoot. The defeat of Red Claw and his minions had prompted Chomper and Ruby to return back to their families. However, that meant two less playmates.
    As night fell, they heard another Sharp Beak cry. It was just one lone Sharp Beak. However, Petrie hid behind a rock, cowering. “Oh, me can’t look!” he whimpered.
    “Grow up, it’s just one and it’s not in here!” scolded Cera, trying to sound braver than she actually was.
    “We have had Sharp Beaks near the Great Valley before. We have. We have. There is nothing to worry about. Oh no, no, no, there is not.” Ducky tried to reassure them, though she too was afraid. They were all on edge after Ichy had come to the Great Valley not too long ago. Finally, the Sharp Beak left. They were all relieved.
    Littlefoot went to bed. He thought that the Sharp Beaks could never come here to the Great Valley. He was wrong.

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    CHAPTER FIVE: PETRIE AND LITTLEFOOT
    ________________________________________
    Petrie was with Littlefoot the next morning. Both were again thinking about Chomper. “You don’t think he’ll become like the ones we normally come across in the Mysterious Beyond, do you?” Littlefoot asked.
    “Me no sure. Me warn you that that possible. Me fear odds not in his favor.” replied Petrie.
    “We’ve done a lot of things where the odds weren’t in our favor Petrie. You have to be a chain breaker sometimes.” commented Littlefoot.
    “I know him. I spent a lot of time with him. More than the rest of you have with him. I trust him.” Littlefoot said.
    “Me no have Sharptooth close friend.” replied Petrie.
    “If you had a Sharptooth Flyer friend, then perhaps you’d see Sharpteeth in a better light.” replied Littlefoot.
    “Me not sure about that. Sharptooth Flyers really nasty.” replied Petrie skeptically.
    “Maybe you could find a nice one.” said Littlefoot hopefully.
    “Me doubt that.” said Petrie skeptically.
    “Never say never Petrie.” said Littlefoot.
    “Me lose me Father to Sharpteeth. You still have you dad. We rescue him.” said Petrie.
    “You still have your mom yet I lost my Mother! Yet I gave Chomper a chance and it looks like he’s done well.” said Littlefoot.
    “Nice Sharptooth Flyer? Me believe it when me see it.” scoffed Petrie.
    They saw two Sharp Beaks fly near the Great Wall. They went and hid until they were gone. “See, they no play nice.” Petrie said.
    “Hey guys, are we going to go to the Sheltering Grass or not?” asked Cera, who had been waiting on the two to finish talking.
    “Coming Cera.” replied Littlefoot. The two went off after her.

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    CHAPTER SIX: PTERO AND AGATHA
    ________________________________________
    Meanwhile, at the home of the Sharp Beaks, Ptero wasn’t having anywhere near as much fun. “Mother, can I please leave the nest and go exploring?” Ptero asked. It had been many cold times since his father’s murder. “No dear. You know that I don’t want anything to happen to you.” answered Agatha. “But Mom, nothing at all will happen to me if I always stay….” protested Ptero. “Be quiet!” she said, interrupting him.
    “Mom, I just want to explore and make some friends.” he said. “You are staying here. You have all of the friends you need.” said his mother. “I am not allowed to even play with the other children!” Ptero protested. It was true. “Yes, you are the future leader. You can’t be with commoners or they will bring you down.” said Agatha. This was a lie on her part. The real reason was that she didn’t want one of the Sharp Beak children letting slip that Sydo was a Flattooth. She didn’t even the story she’d told her pack, that Sydo’s Flattooth friends had done it, for she wanted nothing to come Ptero’s way that would even cause him to suspect that he was part Flattooth. If he found that out, he might refuse to be the Sharp Beak King. She couldn’t have that.
    “I need other friends besides you. I just want…..” said Ptero.
    “I don’t want to hear it!” said Agatha.
    “Oh, it’s times like these that make me wish that I had died instead of Dad!” whined Ptero.
    “Knock it off!” snapped Agatha back. The pack shook their heads. Ptero and Agatha seemed to be arguing a lot lately. They wondered how this would play out, for few dared challenge her and all that did regretted it.
    The two flew next to each other and their red eyes glared at each other. Ptero stared her down. He’s definitely got courage to stare her down like that. I think he’d make a great leader. whispered a Sharp Beak to another.
    Poor boy. He has to deal with her the most. I’d hate to be in his shoes. whispered the second Sharp Beak to the first.
    “So, what are we going to do today?” Ptero grumbled, frowning at her with a “I hate my life” look.
    “Hunting.” said Agatha.
    “I’m not very fond of….” complained Ptero, for he didn’t like hunting.
    “Cut it out! I won’t have you questioning my will! Your father wanted you to be the best and that’s what I’m going to make you!” snapped the Sharp Beak Queen at him. Agatha wanted him hunting so much that she could push the Flattooth out of him and make him into a full Sharptooth. She wanted to get rid of every last bit of Sydo in him and make him like her.
    “Ptero, someday you will be leader of the pack. I cannot lose you.” his mother said. “Some leader I’m going to be if I never get to go out.” said Ptero dryly. “I find this very annoying Mother. I…” “I don’t care! You’ll understand what I’m doing someday.” said Agatha the Sharp Beak Queen.
    “Mother please!” begged Ptero. “Hush!” said Agatha. Ptero wanted to cry. Agatha saw this. She came to Ptero.
    “Ptero my boy, there are things you don’t understand yet. You’re so young.” said Agatha. “I grew up really fast the day Dad died.” replied Ptero. “You want to be the best hunter out there? You want to make the Flatteeth sorry about Daddy?” Agatha asked. Ptero nodded fiercely. “Then do as I say. Your father would have hated to have you become soft. He wanted me to raise you to be great. I can’t take that from him.” said Agatha, patting him on the back.
    Ptero really didn’t like hunting. There was something in him that made him dislike taking lives. He carried some Tree Stars that he’d found and set them down.
    He went out of sight, or so he thought. “What has he got there?” Agatha asked herself quietly, noticing the green that Ptero had. Ptero, meanwhile, started to eat them. Suddenly, the leaves were snatched away from him, causing him to bite thin air.
    “What?” said Ptero in shock. He turned around. Agatha glared at him.
    “What were you doing with those things?” she demanded. “Eating lunch.” he said innocently. “A Sharptooth eats meat, not this yucky green stuff!” said Agatha contemptuously. “I remember having them when I was younger. I always liked them. They don’t have a pulse.” said Ptero.
    “You have always had that weak habit. You need to overcome it. Meat is what you’re meant to have.” said Agatha. “I do eat meat! But can’t I eat plants too?” begged Ptero. “Absolutely not! I forbid it! You will be a greater hunter if you only get meat!” said Agatha. “I already can hunt pretty well!” said Ptero. “Can you hunt so well that you can get a meal before your dinner sees you and tries to run? The less effort you need to get your meal, the more strength you will have to do other things.” said Agatha.
    “Can I hunt a Flattooth? I’d love to hunt one of those?” asked Ptero, a hungry look in his eyes. Agatha wanted Ptero to get to this stage, but he wasn’t ready yet. If Ptero realized what he was, it would be over for her. Hence, he had to be ready to get the Flatteeth by surprise. Once he was adapt enough at getting them, he’d never befriend them and hence would never be like Sydo.
    “You are not ready yet son.” replied Agatha gently.
    “I can’t wait!” said Ptero enthusiastically.
    “You will need a lot of training before then. You know how dangerous Flatteeth can be. You have no time for playing with others.” said Agatha.
    “I wish I could just be me. It’s what Dad would have wanted!” said Ptero. “Well young man, what would Daddy say if he saw how you are acting? He knew that if anything ever happened to him, that I could take care of you. He’d have wanted me in charge. Now listen to your mother!” said Agatha. Ptero frowned at her.
    Ptero my boy! You whine about everything! You forget that I am raising you to be the Sharp Beak King. You have no father, sister, or brother. All you have is me so listen to your mother! ♪ sang Agatha. ♪Mother, goodness, can’t I have a life? The way you control me, I’ll never have time to even find a wife! ♪ sang Ptero. ♪Ptero dear yes I’ll let you when it comes the time! I want you to be such a pack leader that they’ll think of you as divine! ♪ sang Agatha.
    ♪Oh mother, why can’t you see? I’ll be the best leader if I get to be me! ♪ sang Ptero. ♪One complaint after another! Stop questioning me boy and listen to your mother! ♪ sang Agatha. ♪You will be the one issuing orders when you rise as our leader someday. But right now I’m in charge so do what I say! ♪ she continued to sing.
    ♪Oh mother, I’d give that all away if I could get the chance to have some fun and play! ♪ sang Ptero. ♪No boy, I don’t want the leadership going to another. You must do as Daddy wanted and listen to your mother! ♪ sang Agatha.
    ♪Mother, I don’t think it would cause you woe. Please just give me a chance to go. ♪ sang Ptero. ♪My answer is: no, no, no! You must listen to me because I say so! ♪ she sang. ♪I wish you’d stop being a smother! I don’t know how much longer I can keep listening to Mother! ♪ sang Ptero under his breath, finishing the song.
    Ptero went back to their nest. He sighed. It looked like he was going to be trapped here forever. His mother loved him, no doubt, but she kept projecting her will onto him. He really missed his father.
    He looked through the branches that the nest was made out of. He could see a river below from the nest, which was high up in a tree on a mountainside. The Sharp Beaks liked living up here as they could spot the poor creatures that they hunted below well before the creatures could spot them. Several Sharp Beaks had gone after something below. He saw them zoom past. Ptero sighed. Though used to this, something about it still made him sad. He heard a voice calling him.
    “Get back here Ptero!” snapped Agatha. “It’s time to go hunting!” she said.
    “Please Mother. Can’t I have a break from hunting?” he implored, hoping to get out of it this time.
    “NOW!” she yelled.
    “Please, can’t I rest? I’ve already gone hunting last night.” he inquired.
    “No, it’s time to go!” she replied.
    “Yes, Your Highness.” he said snarkily.
    “You need to learn some manners Ptero. Your father would be most unhappy with you if he saw you now.” She grabbed him. Though quite good at catching prey, Ptero hated hunting. But Agatha wouldn’t be turned down. She moved him out of the nest by force. He tried to pull away, but her grip was too strong. He thought longingly of his father, wondering why he had to die and wishing that he too were dead.

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    CHAPTER SEVEN: BORED LITTLEFOOT
    ________________________________________
    “That Earthshake has damaged a lot of Flyer homes.” Cera remarked, looking at the damage.
    “Me going to help. Petrie’s home no damaged but many others are.” said Petrie, flying off to go join his family, who were helping the others.
    “I bet I can smash those rocks.” said Cera, looking at several huge boulders.
    “I wouldn’t try it Cera. Those look too big even for you.” Littlefoot cautioned her.
    “Nonsense! I’m a Threehorn! I can handle anything!” Cera bragged. She charged at a huge silver boulder. WHAM! She had loosened several other boulders in addition to putting a crack in the one that she had hit. Some conked her on the head. Others knocked over several other boulders, making the mess worse than before Cera had tried to help. “OW! I have a headache!” Cera moaned.
    Sometime later, Topps and Tria came to look at Cera. “She’ll be ok. She just had a slight head injury. I don’t recommend that you kids try and mess with this. Tria and I will handle it.” Topps said to Littlefoot.
    Littlefoot went to see Ducky and Spike. “I’m sorry, they both have a cold.” said Ducky’s father, Rolphus. The two were sneezing a lot and Littlefoot didn’t want to get sick too.
    Littlefoot was very bored. He recalled how, last time he had been like this, he had met Mo and made a new friend. But Mo was in the Big Water right now and couldn’t play with him.
    Littlefoot was bored all of that day. He wandered the Great Valley alone. He didn’t have Chomper and Ruby either, as they had left. The next day, Ducky and Spike were still sick, Cera was still too sore to play, and Petrie was still busy helping with the Flyers.
    “I’m bored. All my friends are busy.” said Littlefoot to his grandparents. He couldn’t help with the Flyers as most of the problem areas were too high up. The ones that weren’t were now inaccessible to all but Flyers due to Cera having knocked over many rocks, blocking the path to the area. Topps and Tria were helping, as they could handle the rocks.
    “There is a whole wide world out there Littlefoot. You can find more friends.” said Grandma Longneck.
    “I can’t find any at the moment.” said Littlefoot.
    “Don’t get too down.” said Grandpa Longneck.
    “Oh, I’ve got to be the most bored dinosaur in the world!” Littlefoot moaned. However, he was not. Ptero was fast losing his patience at never being able to leave home without his mother.

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    CHAPTER EIGHT: PTERO’S GETAWAY
    ________________________________________
    At night, as usual, Ptero was bored. He’d come back from hunting. He was getting better at it. Ptero had a great sense of humor. He snuck undetected behind an elderly silver Pterodactylus. “PHHHHHHHHHHHHHHBTTTTT!” Ptero went. He then quickly flew off before the poor Sharptooth could spot him.
    Goodness, that Longneck hatchling must really have upset my stomach. the elderly Sharp Beak commented, shaking his head. Ptero had a hard time not laughing.
    Ptero next grabbed some ferns. He tickled a female Sharp Beak, then moved away in time. The female turned to glare at a nearby male. What did you do that for? she snapped.
    I didn’t. replied the male.
    SMACK! The female hit him. Can’t keep your hands to yourself, can you? she grumbled.
    Ptero was giggling now some distance away. He suddenly felt talons grab his shoulders.
    Enough Ptero! You will not make a good Sharp Beak King acting like this! snapped Agatha. Ptero was annoyed. His mother wouldn’t even let him play practical jokes.
    Please Mother, it was just some jokes! You don’t seem like you can take a joke! Ptero replied.
    Agatha wasn’t amused by Ptero’s smart-aleck remark. Stop your snotty mouthing Ptero! You can go to bed now for being so rude! Let that be a lesson to you! Agatha snapped.
    This was the last straw. He made up his mind to take off early the next morning. He wanted to be free for a while from his mother’s heavy hand.
    He woke up as the Bright Circle broke the horizon. He crept swiftly and silently, using all of his hunting training, not to sneak up on prey, but to escape the pack’s territory without being detected. Father, forgive me. I just need a break. I hope you can understand. he thought as he snuck off. He wanted to go exploring. It couldn’t hurt after all. Agatha soon woke and saw that her son was gone. Dread filled her. She had the same look on her face as Petrie’s mother had had some years ago when Petrie had ran off with Littlefoot to avoid the herds breaking up.
    Where is Ptero? Where is he? she asked. Her pack couldn’t find him either. He must have left. I want him found! Anybody caught goofing off will wish they had met a hungry Sharptooth instead when I’m done with them! she said warningly. They took off after her.
    Ptero heard the pack coming. He sighed. His mother wouldn’t give him a single break. He turned and hid in a tree. It was a tree that had many ferns. These tickled him but he kept still, as annoying as it was, as he wanted a chance to explore the world.
    Agatha was frightened. If she lost her son then she would have no heir to take over the pack after her. Also, if Ptero found out he was a leaf eater, she would be in big trouble. He might even find out the truth of what had happened to Sydo. I want that boy found! said Agatha.
    Ptero waited till they had passed and then went the opposite way. He might have gotten away unnoticed had not an Ichthyornis spotted him. There he is! she yelled, pointing toward him. Ptero took off.
    After him! I want my boy back! shouted Agatha the Sharp Beak Queen to her pack.
    Littlefoot, and his friends, meanwhile, kept hearing the cries of Sharp Beaks throughout the day. “There are so many of them.” cried Littlefoot in alarm.
    “Not to worry, they aren’t in here.” Grandma Longneck reassured him.
    “I have never hearded so many before.” remarked Ducky.
    “It like they looking for something.” Petrie said.
    “Whatever it is, it’s really unlucky.” Cera said.
    Spike was sticking his head into water to eat green food. He came out with a mouthful of green food, which he chewed on and then swallowed. “What do you think about the Sharp Beaks, Spike? Are you afraid?” asked Ducky.
    ERRRRP! Spike belched, and, unfortunately, as Ducky was right next to his mouth, she got hit with the brunt of it.
    “Ew! Spike! That was gross! It was! It was!” Ducky complained, waving her hands in the air.
    “Oops!” said Spike, embarrassed.
    “Perhaps you kids should go play further away from the Great Wall if the Sharp Beaks are scaring you.” suggested Grandpa Longneck.
    “Good idea.” said Littlefoot. He took off. The others followed him. Cera was at the back of the group.
    “Hey! Wait for me!” she yelled, running after them.
    Ptero, meanwhile, spent a lot of that day dodging his pack. Eventually, around nightfall, he’d finally given them the slip in the dark. He rested, for he thought that Agatha and her pack couldn’t find him. He knew what good eyesight Sharp Beaks had, being part one himself. Thus, he hid among leaves. He saw the pack go overhead. They went right past him. He stayed quiet till they were gone.
    Agatha ordered her pack to keep going. Some whined, but she said that any that didn’t like it could leave and never come back. Thus, they continued searching, elsewhere, for the rest of the night.
    Ptero, meanwhile, snuggled in the leaves. He found that it sure was cold out there away from the nest. “It sure is cold out here. This wasn’t what I had in mind when I wanted to go explore the world.” he said, shivering. He was about asleep when he heard a noise. His eyes flew open and he looked up!
    A huge shadow appeared, moving nearer and nearer. Ptero stepped back from it, nervous. A huge dinosaur came into sight. It was a Two Footer and was green and blue and had red eyes. It was an Albertosaurus.
    He quickly realized that it was a Sharptooth from the claws and fangs it had. He falsely assumed that one Sharptooth wouldn’t hurt another.
    Ptero knew the Sharptooth language. Hello there, my name is Ptero. he said. Hello Ptero, my name is Albert. said the Albertosaurus. So, what brings you here? Ptero asked in Sharptooth. Looking for a meal. Albert replied.
    A meal. That didn’t sound like a bad idea. Yeah, I’m hungry too. Perhaps we can catch something. It’s nice to have a new friend. I’ve been with Mother all this time. I never got to get out much. said Ptero. Well, I already found a meal. replied the Albertosaurus.
    Ptero, who didn’t realize the danger he was in, said Great. What is it? I love Stinging Buzzers. Also, I love hoppers. I like Tickly Fuzzies. And, he said, licking his lips I’d love Flatteeth. I’d love to hunt one of those.
    You look filling enough for a snack. I don’t need to go hunt any of those other things. said Albert.
    Ptero was panicky now. No, you misunderstood me. I’m a Sharptooth like you! I’m just a kid! You wouldn’t eat me! he cried. The Sharptooth licked his lips. Yes I would! he replied. He moved forward and snapped at Ptero, who only just moved away in time.
    I taste like crap. You don’t want to eat me. replied Ptero, sweating nervously. The Sharptooth snapped at him again, and again he barely got away.
    Ptero was terrified. “Noooo! Mother! Mother! Help me! ” he cried. The Sharptooth went to strike him with his claws. Ptero moved aside and, feeling that he had no choice, sank his teeth into one of the claws. Albert cried out in pain. Ptero used the opportunity to fly away. The Albertosaurus sulked off, having lost his meal. Ptero breathed a sigh of relief. That had been really close!

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    CHAPTER NINE: PTERO’S HUNT
    ________________________________________
    The Bright Circle had gone down in the Great Valley. It got dark and Littlefoot was watching the Night Circle rise. He was about to head off to go to bed when he heard Sharp Beaks. He had been on the Great Wall, looking out into the Mysterious Beyond at the sunset.
    He saw them coming and started to run. Two came near him. He was afraid. He hid behind some dark grey rocks, moving in between a crevice. They sniffed for him. They were getting near him and Littlefoot wondered if he was about to die. They started pulling at the rocks with their talons.
    “NO!” yelled Littlefoot.
    Hey look, dinner! grinned one.
    Young Longneck. Haven’t had that in a while. Should be enough to fill the both of us. commented the other.
    “NO, PLEASE!” begged Littlefoot, fear in his voice. They knocked the rocks loose. Littlefoot shut his eyes. He found it ironic that though his mother had led him here to the Great Valley, he was going to die here, being eaten by Sharpteeth, anyway. He whimpered and shook like the time he had been cornered by Chomper years earlier.
    Hey you, we’re supposed to be looking for Ptero! came Agatha’s voice.
    But we found dinner! the two protested.
    No dinner until we find Ptero! Agatha shouted firmly. The two left, annoyed, and went after Agatha. Littlefoot hadn’t understood a word they had said as it had all been in Sharptooth. He stayed hidden for a while, wondering why they were delaying. Eventually, he opened his eyes and moved out of his hiding spot, figuring that, if they were still there, they’d eventually get him anyway, and decided to risk it to check. He was glad when he realized that they were gone.
    He went to his grandparents. “Sharp Beaks nearly got me.” he said. The two gasped. “They were near the Great Wall.”
    “Yes, that is the downside to the Great Wall. It doesn’t work on Sharptooth Flyers.” said Grandma Longneck.
    “At least you are safe. Go to bed Littlefoot.” said Grandpa Longneck. Littlefoot and his grandparents went to sleep. Littlefoot moved near his grandparents, fearful of Sharpteeth.
    Ptero, meanwhile, was still awake. He landed, having made sure to put as much distance as he could between himself and that predator, and, much like Littlefoot, was glad to still be alive. “PHEW! That was close!” said Ptero. He was glad to be away from the Sharptooth. He realized that not all Sharpteeth were good. His mother had neglected to tell him that interesting tidbit. He was glad not to be a meal.
    And speaking of meals, he realized that he hadn’t eaten all day. There were no Tree Stars around. His stomach rumbled. This could be resolved only one way. Ptero sighed. A poor creature was going to be his guest of honor for dinner tonight.
    Below him, he saw a cute Megazostrodon move. An idea occurred to him. It was an idea though, that would not bode well for the furry critter below. Oh what did this creature do to me that I would do that to him? Ptero thought.
    Still, what else would he be able to do to fill his stomach at this time of night? But, he had just been hunted himself and knew how it felt now to be the one hunted. He was quite jaded with it too. His mother pushed him so hard to be the Sharp Beak King. Also, to be quite frank, he found this whole hunting thing, especially what came at the end, to be quite messy, not to mention sad, indeed. Yet, he reasoned, the world was sad and awful like that. It wasn’t fair, as he well knew, and as the Tickly Fuzzy below him was soon to find out. He would go hunting.
    He took to the air, stalking his dinner. He began to sing. The tone of his song was rather gloomy and fatalistic and sounded a tiny bit like “Rhythm of Life”, except that it was darker.
    ♪It’s a hard and cruel world out there!
    In this world there is many a scare!
    Having just been hunted myself it seems so strange
    That the position would now rearrange. ♪
    The animal moved, trying to shake the hunter. However, Ptero had been trained well by Agatha. The animal moved left and he followed it. It moved right, but it could not lose him.
    Ptero continued to sing. ♪ But then again, this world is sad.
    Just think of what happened to my dad.” He moved lower, his claws outstretched, ready to strike. “They killed him when I was but a small lad.
    I’m doing this because I’m hungry, not because I’m bad!
    I assure you that this in no way makes me glad. ♪ sang Ptero, hoping that the creature would forgive him. He swooped down and missed. He moved after the critter, for if it got away, he would go to bed hungry.
    ♪ I certainly don’t like to kill.
    It definitely gives me no thrill.
    I know that this business isn’t neat
    But hey I’ve got to eat!
    When I’m not hunting, you’ll find I’m really sweet.
    It’s a hard and cruel world out there.
    And I have no close friends with which to share.
    Hunting and following her is all my Mother will let me know.
    And it has caused me great woe. ♪ sang Ptero. He once more went toward his prey.
    ♪ It’s a hard and cruel world out there.
    One can win only if one dares to dare.
    It seems as if nobody could care.
    You’ve got to try as hard as you can try
    Or else you will certainly die.
    And that’s the truth, I’m not going to lie. ♪ Ptero continued to sing. He moved lower, his talons outstretched.
    He sang to his prey, for he felt sorry for the poor critter. ♪ I’ve got nothing against you.
    This is something that I just must do.
    It’s a hard and cruel world out there.
    As you are no doubt surely aware.
    It’s not that I see you as only meat.
    But I trust you know what we Sharp Beaks eat! ♪ He swooped and missed again. However, he didn’t give up. He was determined to get a meal before he went to sleep.
    ♪ I hope you can forgive
    A guy who is forced to hunt to live.
    Some may consider this to be rude
    But I’ve got no Tree Stars for food!
    I’d really like to be friends instead.
    But the sad part of hunting is that something ends up dead.
    Understand that it’s the only way that I’m going to be fed.
    Believe me I really do have a heart.
    Hunting is an activity I wish that I didn’t have to take part. ♪ he sang.
    They both turned a corner. There was a canyon wall in front of the creature below. The animal had reached a dead end. Ptero soared downward, elated. He would soon be having his dinner. The animal turned and began to run the other way. It moved underneath Ptero. Ptero rapidly changed course and zoomed in its way, his talons reaching out to grab it. In order to avoid being grabbed, it had to jump back toward the wall, which was what Ptero wanted. He now had it trapped.
    The animal turned to look at him. Ptero could see his reflection in the creature’s frightened eyes. He wanted to look away, as the look made him have such pity that he didn’t think he could go through with what he needed to do if he kept staring.
    If I don’t get a grip on myself, I’m never going to be able to lead the pack. Mother will be so disappointed and I’ll have let Dad down. Ptero thought. The Tickly Fuzzy tried to move through a small crevice. It might have gotten away, had Ptero not been so young. As it was, he had smaller hands and could reach in and grab. He paused for a second, thinking of just letting the creature go, but, then again, that wasn’t what a future Sharp Beak King ought to do, especially one who hadn’t eaten since the night before and was worn out. With great regret, he reached into the crevice and yanked the creature out, flinging it away from the crevice.
    The animal tried to turn back the other way. However, Ptero realized this and pushed down some rocks, blocking the path. He then landed in the way of the crevice, ensuring that the creature couldn’t go that route.
    The creature now had nowhere to go. In vain it tried to jump and climb over the rocks.
    Ptero recalled how he himself had felt when chased by the Albertosaurus earlier that night and knew the same thoughts had to be going through the poor critter’s mind. Ptero continued to sing, his tone getting darker, yet with a hint of remorse.
    ♪ I don’t like the way things tend
    But this is how it’s going to end.
    What nature makes me do is awful, I know.
    But that’s the way things go.
    It’s a hard and cruel world out there.
    And despite all you’ve seen, continuing to live without hope is something for which one cannot prepare. ♪ sang Ptero.
    He moved nearer to the trapped animal, making sure to keep a slight distance from it. His mother had said not to go too near your prey unless you are strong enough to take it without getting hurt. She had shown him the scars Sharp Beaks had gotten from prey that fought back. She had told him of how Sharp Beaks had even been killed by prey that fought too hard. Hence, he had to act with intimidation. That was the clever move. Get your prey to feel so hopeless that it would willingly surrender, accepting your victory as inevitable.
    He could sense the dread in the poor creature and hated that he was the one causing it. Agatha might love the feeling of terror that her prey had in their final moments, but Ptero certainly didn’t. He sighed. It would come to this again. What he hated most about being a Sharptooth. Something had to die so he could have a meal.
    The animal stared right into his red eyes. It expressed shock, no doubt, as it was expecting to see hunger and violence in them, but it saw pity and remorse instead. However, it did see one thing that it dreaded: death. Why? Why this? Ptero thought miserably.
    His stomach growled again. The efforts of the day had really made him hungry. Ptero licked his lips. The instinct he’d gotten from his mother made him want to act now. However, the kind nature of his father held him back, making sure he did this properly and with as much kindness as possible. He began to sharpen his talons on a rock. The creature just stared at him. Ptero knew that if it could talk, it would be pleading.
    The poor Tickly Fuzzy eyed him. He didn’t see hatred in the creature’s eyes, and for that he was glad. The animal moved and tried to run for its very life. Ptero swung his wings at the animal and knocked it back into rocks. It was getting weaker from its efforts. He used the opportunity to move even nearer to the creature, again, keeping out of range of any possible move to defend itself. Indeed, it did try and hit him, but he snapped his fangs at the creature, not meaning to really bite, but it did the trick as the creature moved away from him.
    Ptero sighed. He was only a kid yet he already knew the sad truth about being a Sharptooth. If you showed any pity when you got a meal, then you wouldn’t get a meal. While the only place the animal would be going would be the inside of his stomach, he’d at least show the creature the pity he felt that it deserved.
    ♪ Trust me, I don’t find this fun.
    I’ll concede you had a good run.
    And if I weren’t so hungry, I’d have hoped that you’d won.
    It’s a hard and cruel world out there.
    And there is nobody that it will spare.
    One has trouble not falling into despair. ♪ sang Ptero.
    He had his talons ready now to do the messy, yet necessary, task. He moved toward the doomed animal. It tried to flee but he blocked it again with his wings. His shadow spread on the canyon wall, making him appear to be a huge Sharp Beak. He could tell that the poor Tickly Fuzzy was fast losing hope.
    ♪ It’s a hard and cruel world out there. Trust me, doing this is very hard for me to bear. I’d love to just let you go. But I’m afraid it can’t be so. ♪ sang Ptero. Ptero did a quick scan of his surroundings. The canyon had no edible plants, he was getting tired, and his stomach was growling very hungrily. He truly had no choice if he wanted a meal tonight. He sighed. Ptero eyed the mammal. You’re out of luck buddy. I need something to eat before I go to sleep and unfortunately that something is going to be you. he thought.
    ♪ It’s a hard and cruel world out there. It seems like one big nightmare! I know, it’s just not fair. ♪ sang Ptero, finishing his song. The animal moved against the rock wall, shuddering as if it was having a seizure. A tear fell from Ptero’s eye. He couldn’t bear to see the poor critter suffer in dread a moment longer. Ok Ptero. Time to do what you came here for. he thought grimly.
    He let out a Pterodactylus hunting cry. KAW-TAW-RAHHH-RANNNH-RARRRR! The doomed animal shut its eyes, knowing what was about to happen. He flew at the animal, his talons outstretched, aiming for the vital organs to get it over with quickly. He moved so fast that it couldn’t react in time. He struck the creature and it fell over, dead. He landed on top of it, holding the body with his talons. Ptero sighed. Another poor beautiful critter had left the world so that he could remain on it. He shook his head at the brutality of it all.
    He looked down, feeling bad about what he’d done. True, he needed to eat, but he really wished he hadn’t done this. He’d done it before with his mother, who always prompted him to do it. However, he felt guilty, having done it all of his own volition this time. “I’m sorry this had to happen. You are gone, just like Father. But, I promise that I’ll always be kind and not cruel like wicked Flatteeth.” Ptero vowed.
    He grabbed the corpse and took flight with it. He landed on a rock. He should be safe from both predators and food stealers here. He licked his lips, staring at what, a moment before, had been a live animal, and now was going to be his dinner. Right before he took the first bite, he thought of his father. Having seen death again, his father came to his mind. “Dad, wherever you are, I hope I’m making you proud.” he said.
    In the Great Valley, meanwhile, Petrie the Flyer had woken up, hearing Ptero’s victory cry. “What that?” asked Petrie, frightened.
    “That, my dear nephew, is a Sharptooth Flyer.” replied his uncle Pterano, grimacing. “Sounds like he’s gotten something. That was a hunting cry. I’ve heard it before. Uggggh!”
    Pterano had been separated from Petrie for years, due to getting banished for a careless act that had cost him his herd and not owning up to it. After a reduced banishment that Pterano had gotten for saving Ducky, though arguably, she wouldn’t have needed saving had not Pterano kidnapped her, he’d come back after the five year banishment had been up, just in time to save Littlefoot and his friends from Dil, Ichy, Rinkus, and Sierra.
    Petrie shook his head. “Poor thing.” he said. “Will it get Petrie?” he asked nervously.
    “I don’t think so. Sharptooth Flyers can be pretty dangerous, but they don’t come to the Great Valley.” replied Pterano.
    “One did. You remember him?” Petrie asked.
    “Yes I most certainly do. However, your mother and I are here and they aren’t getting here without getting through us. Go back to bed Petrie.” said Pterano.
    Petrie went back to bed, clutching his snuggling stick. “Oh, the memories of the Mysterious Beyond! Glad I’m back here now and the banishment is over.” said Pterano, shuddering. He went back to sleep too.
    Petrie and Pterano didn’t know what it was like to have to do what Ptero did. Petrie had lived a relatively sheltered life. Pterano had seen his whole herd die before him and so knew pain and loss better than Petrie.
    Meanwhile, in the Mysterious Beyond, Ptero had finished his dinner, having made sure to eat every last bite out of respect to the poor critter that had had the bad luck to cross paths with him when he was hungry and had paid for it with its life. He was feeling sleepy after having a full meal. He took a drink, for he hated the taste of blood. Though most Sharpteeth wouldn’t care, Ptero didn’t like the blood stains on his talons and went to wash them off. He found a stick and used it to pick his teeth clean. He now needed a place to rest. One where he wouldn’t become dinner for someone else.
    “That was pretty good. Still, I prefer Tree Stars. You don’t feel sorry for those.” said Ptero. This was his first hunt all by himself. His mother would be so pleased, though she was no doubt furious at his disappearing act. He planned to come back, eventually.
    A Baryonyx came by and nearly stepped on him by accident. Hey, watch it! Ptero yelled angrily at the Sharptooth. The creature snarled at him. He knew that she probably didn’t have good intentions for him and took off in flight.
    He landed some distance away. He saw two Fast Biters approaching. They appeared to be a couple and seemed to be about to go to bed. They noticed Ptero.
    Hey look dear, some dessert. That will go nicely with the Fast Runner that we got for dinner. You never get me much. Can I please have this weird-looking thing? asked the female in a whining wife voice.
    All right. I’ll get this weird-looking Flyer and then we can go to bed and you can shut up. groaned her mate.
    My name is Ptero and I am not weird-looking! shouted Ptero angrily.
    Get him! shouted the female Fast Biter.
    Don’t eat me, I taste like tar! pleaded Ptero.
    We’ll see about that. muttered the male Utahraptor.
    What’s this we stuff? asked Ptero, moving away in a panic.
    The male jumped at him. He moved aside. He tried to fly away. The female snapped at him. Ptero moved the other way. The male swung his claws at him. Ptero turned the other way and barely dodged the female’s claws. They were getting closer. The male came at him. He had his claws raised. He swung them at Ptero. Ptero bit him in the hand, causing him to cry out in pain.
    Man, that bites, doesn’t it! Ptero smarted off.
    Get off your tush and help me! shouted the male to his wife. She moved toward Ptero, swinging her claws. He dodged her and she barely missed him.
    Hey, I’ve had enough close shaves already tonight! Ptero shouted at her.
    The male went at him now. Ptero just barely got away, flying straight up. The male cut the female with his claws, missing Ptero. She slapped him. Idiot. You cannot do anything right! I don’t know why I chose you! You never get me anything I want! she whined.
    But dear, I tried! I don’t know why I chose such a whiner as you! protested the male.
    Ptero, meanwhile, was in flight. “Those two need counseling.” he commented. He rested a while later. He was near some water.
    “That was close!” said Ptero. A Swimming Sharptooth came out of the water and nearly got him. He took off into the sky, his eyes widening in fright. Even if he was a Sharptooth, if he stayed out here in the middle of the night, it could well be his last night on earth.
    He took off over a rocky wall. He landed in some trees. This place seemed peaceful. He had come to the Great Valley, though he didn’t know it yet. “I’ll stay here. I hope it’s safe.” said Ptero. He grabbed some branches and bent them into a nest. Deciding that it would be best to stay hidden, in case his mother, or worse, came along, he threw leaves over himself. He’d had enough dicey situations for the night already and didn’t want to risk having any more.
    He was so tired that he didn’t even bother to check for hostiles. He closed his eyes and soon fell asleep from exhaustion. He slept peacefully.

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    • Total Posts: 605

    CHAPTER TEN: DUCKY’S BAD SLEEP STORY
    ________________________________________
    Ducky, meanwhile, tossed and turned in her sleep. She had heard the Sharp Beak cry of Ptero in her sleep. She had been dreaming about going through The Meadow of Jumping Waters with Spike. Suddenly, she heard the cry.
    “Spike! We must run! We must! We must!” she cried in alarm. The cry went out again in her nightmare. Ichy went at her, his talons outstretched. “You’re mine my little diet delight!” he laughed.
    “Do not hurt me!” Ducky cried. She dove aside as he flew past, narrowly missing her.
    “Think you can get away Flattooth? I’ve got great eyes! I can see much better than you can!” laughed the Ichthyornis. He dove again. Ducky jumped. She avoided him but went off a cliff. He dove after her. Luckily, she landed in a small cavern that he couldn’t fit through.
    “Nah nah. You cannot get through!” she laughed. But then, she heard more cries. Sharp Beaks! They were looking for something. She realized with horror that they were looking for her.
    “Spike? Are you there?”” she cried. But Spike was nowhere to be found. Had Ichy gotten him?
    She suddenly saw the Sharp Beak she’d seen from the Island. The mother went after her and grabbed her. “Help me!” Ducky cried.
    Ducky was carried to the Sharp Beak nest. She had tried to struggle and break free, but the Mama Sharp Beak’s grip was too strong. Much to her horror, she saw Ichy again. “Save me a bit, won’t you?” he said to the Sharp Beak mother. The mother nodded.
    “Please do not do this! I am too young to die! I am! I am!” Ducky pleaded frantically.
    She dropped Ducky down to her hungry babies. She fell helplessly. She was going to die! Their fangs snapped at her!
    She jumped out of her sleep and screamed! “Ducky, what is it?” came her mother’s voice.
    “Bad Sleep Story Mama.” answered Ducky.
    “It’s ok dear.” her mother reassured her.
    Ducky went back to sleep. However, she still thought she could hear Sharp Beaks. It was Agatha’s pack, looking for Ptero, though she didn’t know it yet. Her mother had gone back to sleep and so hadn’t heard the cries. Ducky moved close to her mother, hoping her nightmare wouldn’t come true. She soon fell asleep again.

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    • Total Posts: 605

    CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE BLABBING SWIMMER
    ________________________________________
    Littlefoot awoke a bit before dawn. He heard them again. The Sharp Beaks were flying past. He went and hid. They went past. He came out. He went and drank water. He then went and prodded Ducky awake for he needed to ask his friends’s input. There were too many Sharp Beaks around to just be coincidence. “What is it Littlefoot?” Ducky asked sleepily, yawning and stretching.
    “Sharp Beaks.” he replied.
    “Here? In the Great Valley? That is not good! Oh no, no, no!” she said in alarm.
    “Nope, they flew past. I’ve seen them sometimes, but never so many.” he whispered, for everyone else in the Great Valley was still asleep. They went and got the others awake.
    “Sharp Beaks again?” asked Cera, looking irritated at being woken up before the crack of dawn.
    “I hearded some last night.” replied Ducky. Spike nodded. “Spike too.” Ducky added.
    “Two nearly got me on the Great Wall last night before I went to bed.” he said. The others gasped.
    “Me and Pterano hear one last night.” said Petrie.
    “Well, they didn’t bother me. Nothing to worry about.” said Cera arrogantly, though it was clear, though she tried not to show it, that she didn’t really believe what she was saying.
    “Should we get a grown-up? I mean, what if they do come in here?” asked Littlefoot.
    “They’d never come in here.” laughed Cera, again trying to sound unafraid.
    “One came last time. You remember him. He was from the Land of Mists.” Littlefoot reminded them. Spike nodded.
    “Well, what are the grown-ups gonna do, lecture them away?” asked Cera skeptically.
    “At least they will see that they keep coming around. Then we can be sure that nobody will get hurt.” replied Littlefoot.
    “Sound like plan to me.” said Petrie.
    “How about my Aunt Leslie? She can help us. She can. She can.” suggested Ducky.
    “The one that sleep swim?” asked Petrie.
    “Yep, yep, yep.” answered Ducky.
    They went and woke up Ducky’s aunt. “What is it kids?” she asked.
    They explained about the Sharp Beaks. Ducky’s aunt smiled. “Oh yes, I remember when I first saw a Sharp Beak.” she said. She began a long tale about her encounter with a Sharp Beak. The kids listened interestedly. After a few sentences, however, Littlefoot interrupted.
    “Uh, Leslie, that sounds interesting and all, but what about the ones going around now?” he asked.
    “Now Littlefoot, let me finish my story first.” Leslie chided, waving her hands in impatience.
    “Sorry.” Littlefoot apologized. He decided to wait for her to finish. However, as time wore on, she began to talk about other things, things less interesting.
    “And my Mother used to say, don’t go near water that moves too fast. You’ll get swept away by the current. Mother has funny sayings like that. Why I can recall that she…” rambled Ducky’s aunt.
    The kids were starting to get bored by her long-winded vapid rant. “When we asked to talk to your aunt, we didn’t realize that she wouldn’t stop talking.” grumbled Littlefoot quietly to Ducky.
    “I forgetted to mention that. I did. I did.” whispered Ducky back. They all groaned.
    “Oh great, a Big Mouth that really lives up to the name!” Cera whined.
    “What was that?” asked Leslie, who luckily hadn’t heard Cera properly.
    “I, er, said, ‘That sounds like a very fun game.’” Cera lied quickly, sounding nervous.
    “Yes, it was. However, my cousin cheated, rascal that he was. I tried to expose him, but…..” Leslie continued to ramble, continuing to go down memory lane. The kids groaned, louder this time.
    “…the plan backfired and Father got covered in mud. I was grounded for two whole days.” Leslie continued a few seconds before and after they groaned.
    Ducky’s aunt, who didn’t realize they were getting fed up with her, and instead thought they were replying to what she had said, remarked “Yes, I know, it did seem too harsh, but Father was very stern on issues like that. Why I can recall when my brother and I…”
    “Me can’t take it. Too much yack.” whispered Petrie in irritation, wringing his hands in frustration. They tried walking away. However, much to their annoyance, Ducky’s aunt followed them.
    “And so we were grounded for a whole week and could only stay with the grownups. Most unjust if you ask me.” Leslie continued rambling.
    “How are we getting to get away? I’d rather be eaten by a Sharp Beak than keep listening to her.” Cera grumbled softly.
    “Of course my mate Phoebus is also strict, why I can recall that…” Leslie kept yapping.
    “Me have plan. We have some talk to her while rest of us slip away. Then last one slip away. Knowing her, she keep talking and not know we gone.” whispered Petrie.
    “Great plan!” Cera replied softly. The others nodded.
    “Oh that is wonderful. It is. It is.” said Ducky to her aunt. Her aunt focused on her and Petrie was able to slip away.
    “Really Ducky. I found it rather boring. However, if you really like it then I’ll continue talking about all the effort it took to build my first nest.” said her aunt.
    “She finds it boring?!” Cera grumbled angrily softly.
    “Yes, please do.” said Littlefoot. She focused on him. While she did so, Cera was able to slip away.
    “Well Littlefoot, I had to get all kinds of water plants. And they were hard to find ones too. And, as if that weren’t enough, Sky Water was falling really hard at the time too. But my mate wanted me to do it anyway, he’s a real pain at times I tell.. Anyway, I got the plants and headed back. I slipped in the mud and fell. All of my plants went blowing away. I had to go after them.” continued Ducky’s aunt.
    “But you got that back, didn’t you?” asked Littlefoot. While she talked to Littlefoot, Spike was able to slip away.
    She continued to yack. Soon, she was talking about the first time she went swimming in dark water. Littlefoot was so bored that he was worried he’d die of boredom and be reunited prematurely with his mother. Luckily, Ducky noticed this and distracted her aunt. “And, how did it go with your second cousins?” Ducky asked her aunt. Her aunt focused on her and Littlefoot was able to slip away.
    Ducky continued to talk to her aunt. Her aunt kept yacking. “Yes, I agree. I do. I do.” said Ducky, having no idea what her aunt had just said.
    “I’m glad you do. I had thought it was a pretty hard decision and I’m glad that you agree with it.” said her aunt, not noticing that Ducky was moving further and further away.
    “You know best.” said Ducky, moving out of sight.
    “Thank you dear. Anyway, after that, we went to the Big Water and we…” continued her aunt, talking still and not realizing that she was now talking to herself.
    Ducky caught up with the others. “Me have headache.” said Petrie, holding his head.
    “Well, she was a waste of time. The only good she’d do would be to talk them to death.” said Cera in annoyance. The group laughed.
    “Yeah, me rather encounter Sharp Beak than encounter her again today.” said Petrie. They kept moving, in case Ducky’s aunt was trying to follow them. Petrie would get his wish.

    • Topics Started: 258
    • Total Posts: 605

    CHAPTER TWELVE: PTERO MEETS LITTLEFOOT
    ________________________________________
    Ptero woke up. It had been quite a night. Still, he had slept well here. It was more peaceful here than in the Mysterious Beyond. That was for sure! The leaves fell off of him as he moved. He wondered where he was for a few seconds before realizing that he’d ran away from home. The events of the previous night still troubled him. Those Sharptooth encounters had been really close.
    He stretched and yawned. He felt thirsty. After making sure that there were no hostiles in the vicinity, he spread his wings and flew to a nearby stream. The stream went down a waterfall into the Great Valley, making mist rise up at the bottom. He landed on a rock, part of the way up and drank from the waterfall. He was blocked from view from below due to the mist. After getting a drink, he heard voices below.
    He looked down and saw five young Leaf Eaters. It was Littlefoot and the others. Ptero was livid. Leaf Eaters had killed his father. Though he had pity on mammals and fish, he would have no pity on a Leaf Eater. He really disliked when his mother had given him hatchlings of other kinds, as he felt that the kids should be left alone. However, he felt no pity for the hatchlings of Leaf Eaters. They had shown no mercy on his father and he would treat them the same way.
    “Flatteeth! Evil creatures!” he whispered. He focused on Ducky. His stomach growled. “Time to make Mother proud!” Ptero went to a nearby rock and started sharpening his talons on it, ready to use them to slay Ducky. Littlefoot and his friends didn’t see Ptero.
    Below him, Petrie said to Ducky “We sure glad to get away from your aunt!” Ducky replied to him “She sure does talk a lot. Yep, yep, yep she does.” Ptero surmised that they were alone, unguarded, perfect prey for him.
    He moved his talons away from the rock. He didn’t have them as sharp as he did last night. He didn’t want his prey to die right away this time. His visceral hatred of Flatteeth kept him from having any qualms that Littlefoot and his friends could be anything other than malicious dinosaurs.
    “Say bye bye Flattooth! Time for some breakfast!” whispered Ptero savagely. He licked his lips. He liked the taste of Swimmer. His mother often gave him Swimmer hatchlings to eat. Agatha had inculcated in his mind that the only good Flatteeth were to him was as a food source.
    Littlefoot and his friends spotted the same stream that Ptero was beside, heading further downhill. They decided to use it to go downhill like a water slide rather than walking back. “Let’s go!” he said. They dove into it.
    “Oh, think you can get away Flatteeth? I am quite a good flyer.” snarled Ptero quietly, ready to attack.
    He flew out at Ducky, his talons outstretched, aiming to kill. His red eyes glared at her with hatred. The others didn’t notice him, as they were ahead of Ducky. Ducky was moved under by the current, luckily for her, and Ptero missed her. Clever Flattooth. Ptero thought. She soon came back up. You should have stayed under there. Ptero thought, moving to turn around and attack her. However, as Ptero turned to correct his course, he flew into a rock. “Ooooof!” said Ptero as he hit the rock. Littlefoot and the others, meanwhile, had gotten out of the stream at the bottom of the hill. Ptero sprawled through the air, dazed, and hit the ground, landing in mud, splattering it all over himself.
    Though the others hadn’t spotted Ptero before, they heard him hit the rock. They ran closer and saw him sprawled on the ground.
    “Are you ok?” Littlefoot asked.
    Ptero was still dazed. “What?” he asked.
    “I said, are you ok?” Littlefoot said again. Ptero looked up to see Littlefoot and realized that he was talking to him.
    Littlefoot thought Ptero was a strange-looking Flyer. However, Littlefoot was not one to judge by appearance. He was concerned about Ptero. Ptero was all covered in mud and was stirring feebly. Littlefoot prodded him. Ptero jumped up, still slightly dazed.
    Ptero began to shake with fright. Surely this would be the end for him. He would die without mercy. His mother would never even be able to find his body. He trembled, pleading, hoping against hope to be able to appeal to their better natures. “Please don’t hurt me! I’m just a kid!” he pleaded.
    “Talk about paranoid!” said Cera, shaking her head. “We are not going to hurt you. Oh no, no, no we are not.” said Ducky. I just tried to kill you and you aren’t going to hurt me?! Ptero thought in shock.
    “So, who are you?” Cera asked. “Ptero.” responded Ptero. “I don’t recall seeing you around here before Ptero.” said Littlefoot. “I’m from out there.” said Pero timidly, pointing into the Mysterious Beyond. He figured that the longer he talked, the longer they might let him live.
    “You live in the Mysterious Beyond?” asked Ducky.
    “What is the Mysterious Beyond?” asked the half Sharp Beak.
    “It the land outside of the Great Valley.” said Petrie.
    “The Great Valley?” Ptero asked.
    “It is where we are silly!” answered Ducky.
    “So, who lives in this Great Valley?” Ptero asked.
    “Just Leaf Eaters like us.” replied Cera.
    Ptero was confused as to why they thought that he was a Leaf Eater. But he wasn’t going to bother to enlighten them. That seemed as dumb to him as poking a sleeping Sail-backed Sharptooth in the eye. Ptero found that they weren’t trying to kill him. Maybe they were too young to know better as to what he was. Maybe he had a hope of living through today.
    “Can I ask who you are?” said Ptero. He wanted to know more about these five Flatteeth.
    “I am Littlefoot.” said Littlefoot.
    “I am Cera. I’m really strong and you shouldn’t mess with me!” said Cera.
    We’ll see about that, Cera! Ptero thought.
    “Me Petrie.” said Petrie. Ptero noticed that Petrie was a Flyer like himself. Ptero saw that Petrie, for some odd reason, referred to himself in third person.
    “I am Ducky.” said Ducky. Ptero thought that she seemed really sweet and felt a tinge of guilt for wanting to kill her. “And this is Spike. He doesn’t talk much.” said Ducky, indicating Spike. Spike smiled at Ptero.
    “Hello guys, glad to meet you.” lied Ptero.
    RURRRRG! Ptero’s stomach growled.
    “Your tummy is making rumbly sounds.” said Ducky.
    “Yes, well, I lost my breakfast. It got away!” said Ptero. He groaned. That was a dumb thing to say! What if they guessed what he had tried to do? They might not know yet. But if they did, he’d probably be ripped to shreds by them. “Yes, my Tree Stars blew away in the wind.” he lied quickly.
    “We have many Tree Stars in the Great Valley.” said Littlefoot.
    “You do?” said Ptero in shock.
    “Yes. All over the place.” said Cera.
    “And can I please have some? I promise I won’t take too many.” said Ptero. He hoped to get them. He really hated having to hunt. Tree Stars didn’t have a pulse after all. They didn’t look you in the eyes with a “Don’t kill me!” look that made you feel like an evil monster.
    “Well, maybe a few. You can’t have too many or else there won’t be enough for me.” said Cera.
    “Cera!” Littlefoot rebuked her. “You can have as much as you like.” said Littlefoot to Ptero.
    “I don’t know where they are.” said Ptero.
    “Follow me.” said Littlefoot.
    Ptero followed the Longneck. He had a desire to try and throttle one of these Leaf Eaters when they weren’t looking. After all, Leaf Eaters had stolen his beloved father from him, and that seemed unforgivable. Yet, these ones didn’t seem very wicked. Maybe it was because they were young. An idea came to him. Maybe he could teach them to not be savages and so could save other Sharpteeth like his father from dying. He agreed to spare these Flatteeth…for now.
    The others were talking, but Ptero was silent. He didn’t know what to say to Flatteeth. As far as he was concerned, they were his enemies. The others noticed his silence.
    “You sure are quiet Ptero.” Littlefoot commented. Ptero didn’t reply.
    “Maybe he shy.” suggested Petrie.
    Ptero, meanwhile, was starved. He saw the Tree Stars. There were more than he’d ever seen in his life!
    “Oh boy, look at them all!” he said excitedly. He quickly flew up to them, grabbed them, and hungrily started to eat them. “You sure are hungry!” remarked Littlefoot.
    “Yeah, I could eat a whole duckbill!” he replied without thinking. Oops. Ptero thought. “That was a joke.” Ptero lied quickly. The others laughed.
    ERRRRRRRP! Ptero let out a loud belch.
    “Ecccch! You are nasty! Didn’t your parents teach you table manners?” asked Cera in disgust.
    “Well, I was raised by Sharpteeth.” Ptero retorted. Ptero instantly felt dumb for saying this. What if they guessed what he was?
    The others started laughing hard. “That’s pretty funny Ptero.” laughed Littlefoot.
    “You have great sense of humor.” laughed Petrie. Ptero sighed in relief that they hadn’t realized what he was after his faux pas.
    “Yes, I actually do have a great sense of humor. Glad somebody appreciates it.” said Ptero quickly.
    Ducky’s aunt came across them. “There you are. You had me worried sick. Why I searched by the Thundering Falls and you were not there. I feared that you might have fallen into the Sinking Sands, but luckily you hadn’t. I checked near the Smoking Mountains and you weren’t there. I checked…” she chided, rambling.
    “Well, you finded us now. You did. You did. We are safe now.” said Ducky, trying to act innocent so that she and the others wouldn’t get punished for sneaking off to avoid her rambling.
    “Don’t wander off again.” chided Ducky’s aunt.
    “Sorry.” said the kids.
    “Who’s that?” she asked, eyeing Ptero, whom she had just noticed at that moment.
    Ptero felt nervous. A full-grown Flattooth. He was safe in the trees. Could he get away in time if they came after him?
    “His name is Ptero. He appears to be some sort of Flyer. He’s from the Mysterious Beyond.” said Littlefoot.
    “Hello Ptero. How do you like the Great Valley? I tend to find that it is the best place for a gal to live. Why, when I first came here, I found it much better than the Mysterious Beyond.” said Ducky’s aunt.
    “How long have you been here?” asked Ptero. He was curious to know more about these Flatteeth and about this mysterious Great Valley.
    “Oh, about six cold times. Not quite six yet. We came after a horrible Earthshake. We thought we’d lost poor Ducky. But she made it. Goodness, she went across the Mysterious Beyond, chased by a hungry Sharptooth.” said Ducky’s aunt.
    “Yes, Sharpteeth are dangerous. Learned that last night.” said Ptero.
    Ducky’s aunt gasped. “Goodness boy! You only learned that now?! We have known that since we were very small.” she said.
    “So, how are Sharpteeth kept out of here?” asked Ptero.
    “The Great Wall. Works like a charm. Only been breached a few times. But we chased the brutes out. They didn’t stand a chance. Why I can recall the first time it happened. It was about…” began Ducky’s aunt.
    “Aunt Leslie, I do not know if Ptero wants to know all of that.” interrupted Ducky, who didn’t want her blabbering aunt to irk her new friend Ptero.
    “No, er, actually, I’d like to know more.” said Ptero. However, before Leslie could talk again, Mama Flyer arrived.
    “Glad you found them Leslie!” Mama Flyer said to Ducky’s aunt.
    “Don’t worry Phyra, I searched high and low and I found them. I was in the middle of a very remarkable tale when they left. I don’t know what got into them. I was talking about how I nearly fell into Flowing Fire when I realized that they weren’t there. I thought that they….” rambled Leslie.
    “Petrie! Petrie! You had us worried.” scolded Mama Flyer. She approached her son. She noticed Ptero. She stared at the young half-Sharp Beak. “Who is your Flyer friend?” she asked Petrie. She came up to Ptero in the trees. Ptero shuddered. “His name Ptero. He friendly and shy.” said Petrie.
    I’m not friendly. I’m a Sharptooth for goodness sake! thought Ptero. But he had to play along with Petrie. If he told them what he was, he’d be killed faster than Yellow Bellies going through a berry bush.
    “And so I had to go looking for them. They gave me quite a scare. I’m so glad that I found them. They mentioned something about Sharp Beaks. I forgot what.” Leslie continued on, unaware that nobody was paying attention to her.
    “I’m Ptero. I’m a Flyer. I’m like you.” Ptero lied to Phyra.
    “Hello Ptero. We’d all like to meet you. We don’t get visitors every day.” said Mama Flyer. Ptero made a face like Chomper had had when his parents had told him that they viewed any friends of his as dessert. Now what? Ptero thought.

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    CHAPTER THIRTEEN: AGATHA’S ANGER
    ________________________________________
    Agatha returned to their home, angered and empty-handed. She glared at her pack, as though all of this were somehow their fault. An Ichthyornis said to her This must be tough Agatha, losing your mate to Flatteeth and then your boy’s disappearance. We are truly sorry and will do what we can to help.
    I wish to be alone for a while. replied Agatha. The others assumed that she was grieving and so didn’t dare to challenge her. Anyway, she was the pack leader and those who questioned her always regretted it.
    She flew off away from the others. She went, ironically enough, to the place where she had killed Sydo. She went in. She scowled. “I suppose this is your doing Sydo. Even death couldn’t stop you from trying to mess with my plans.” she said. She recalled what Sydo had said a few days before his death: “That boy has a mind of his own. I’ve gotten to know him enough to realize that. If he doesn’t want to be a pack leader, you can’t make him.”
    Yes, Ptero was strong-willed. She had gotten him to change from what Sydo would have wanted, yet she was alarmed at how much pity he took on those he hunted. While not all Sharpteeth were as indifferent to the suffering of those they hunted as her, indeed many felt it was a sad but necessary part of the Circle of Life, Ptero was too soft. She’d actually observed him talking to a non-saurian bird that he’d cornered about how sorry he was that he was going to have to kill him. The talk had lasted several minutes. Agatha, finally having had enough, went in and killed the creature herself.
    To try and make the boy see reason, she had not let him eat the creature. Ptero had angrily protested that he had chased the creature and spent all of that energy for nothing. Agatha had said that Sharpteeth that showed too much pity to their meals didn’t get meals. As expected, her hungry son had gone and killed another creature, this time barely taking a minute to apologize to the creature. “Good boy dear. See, only by doing what must be done are you able to feed yourself.” Agatha had said.
    As for Sydo, she had truly loved him and indeed thought him handsome. She had been so fond of him in fact that she was willing to break the rules and marry a Flattooth, something practically unheard. Had she not been a pack leader, she might have been banished over it. But, as it was, she was the Sharp Beak Queen and could do whatever she wanted. However, she admitted, murder, no, it wasn’t murder, at least in her eyes, it was a justified act to ensure that the pack could flourish best by having the leadership it needed most, someone in her family, that her pack might not be so thrilled if they found out. After all, they had kind of liked Sydo. He was good with Ptero and had been as good a mate as any. However, his habit of giving him Tree Stars had made the boy soft. If Sydo had let her turn Ptero into a hunter and shape him the way she wanted, he’d still be alive and would be very dear to her.
    She resumed her conversation with Sydo. “I can make the boy go to my will. I can apply pressure. I haven’t yet, but I will not let him become a disappointment to me.” she said. She flew out of the cave and took a nap for a few hours. Around noon, she came to her pack. Ok, break’s over. Let’s start looking for him again! she commanded. The hunt for Ptero had resumed.

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    CHAPTER FOURTEEN: LIVING WITH THE FLYERS
    ________________________________________
    Littlefoot walked next to Ptero, who was flying. Littlefoot thought that the kid seemed to have something troubling him. “Anything bothering you?” Littlefoot asked him.
    Yeah, you’re still breathing. Ptero thought coldly. He hated Leaf Eaters. However, he had to admit that these ones didn’t appear to be too wicked. “Have you ever killed anyone?” Ptero asked. Littlefoot raised his eyebrows.
    “Er, thrice.” said Littlefoot, thinking this a very odd question. “A Sharptooth was after us. He’d killed my Mom. We wanted him to stop following us and he was really set on getting us. We ended up knocking him into water and he drowned. I didn’t get any pleasure from his death.”
    Ptero gasped. Littlefoot had lost his mother yet hadn’t wanted revenge. “But he took your mother. Surely you wanted revenge, didn’t you?” asked Ptero in befuddlement.
    “I hated him, yes. I was really angry. Yes, he was a monster. However, I wasn’t going to let my hatred of him turn me into a monster too.” answered Littlefoot.
    Ptero said nothing. If Littlefoot was telling the truth, than he was a better dinosaur than himself. Ptero wasn’t so sure anymore if Flatteeth were evil. After all, a Sharptooth had taken a family member from Littlefoot. Yet he seemed to have had no joy in his enemy’s death. Ptero knew that if he ever caught his father’s killers, not only would he kill them, he’d eat them alive and make them feel it.
    “In addition, there was this pack of Sharpteeth after us and some Yellow Belly friends. We danced and caused the Sharpteeth to fall off a cliff. They would have eaten us if we hadn’t. Also, another Sharptooth named Red Claw was trying to kill us and we tripped him he and fell to his death.” continued Littlefoot. “Have you ever killed anyone?” asked Littlefoot, deciding to ask Ptero his own odd question.
    No duh, I’m a Sharptooth! Ptero thought. “No, I haven’t.” Ptero lied.
    Ptero came across Topps. “Who’s the new kid here?” Topps asked. Ptero was nervous at Topps’s gruff appearance.
    “Dad, this is Ptero.” said Cera.
    “That’s your dad?” said Ptero nervously. Cera nodded. Ptero gulped.
    “Hello, I’m new here, don’t mind me.” said Ptero, trying to sound innocent. Topps eyed Ptero suspiciously.
    “Weird looking Flyer.” commented Topps.
    “Yeah, well, not everyone is pretty.” retorted Ptero quickly. Topps seemed to believe him to be a regular, albeit weird-looking, Flyer and said nothing more.
    Ptero came across Grandpa and Grandma Longneck. “Who is your friend Littlefoot?” asked Grandma Longneck.
    “His name is Ptero.” replied Littlefoot.
    “I’m new here. Don’t mind me.” said Ptero to them, trying not to look suspicious.
    “Where is your family Ptero?” inquired Grandpa Longneck.
    “Lost them while flying.” Ptero lied.
    “You poor dear! You can stay here as long as you’d like.” said Grandma Longneck gently.
    “As long as I like? But I’m a stranger here!” gasped Ptero in shock.
    “Everyone is welcome here.” said Littlefoot.
    “Except Sharpteeth it seems.” said Ptero, who recalled what Leslie had said. The Leaf Eaters around all laughed at this.
    “Of course Sharpteeth aren’t welcome around here. We’d get eaten.” Cera said.
    Ptero wandered around the Great Valley for the rest of the day. There sure were many good items of green food to eat. And they all didn’t have a pulse. And Agatha wasn’t here to take them all away from him. Eventually, night fell. Ptero took off. “Where is he going, Petrie?” asked Mama Flyer.
    “Me no sure, Mom.” replied Petrie. Phyra took off after Pero. She wondered where he was going. He returned to the tree he had rested in the night before.
    “Oh, don’t go back into the Mysterious Beyond at night, dear. It’s dangerous out there for one as young as yourself.” Phyra called to him.
    I know that. thought Ptero. “No, I am staying in this tree. It’s where I was last night.” Ptero replied to her.
    “You can come with us for the night. Don’t stay out there all by yourself.” said Mama Flyer.
    “But you don’t even know me. Why are you doing this?” Ptero asked incredulously.
    “I always help a Flyer in need.” she replied.
    Ptero came to Phyra’s nest. It seemed more welcoming than his own nest, perhaps because of the lack of discarded bones from his meals.
    “You can stay with me, Ptero.” said Petrie.
    Ptero knew that Petrie was a flyer creature like himself and so he felt the most understanding with Petrie. Like himself, Petrie didn’t appear to have a father either. Petrie did have an uncle though.
    “He appears to be a pleasant fellow.” said Pterano, looking at Ptero.
    “I promise I won’t be any trouble.” said Ptero.
    “Oh, we’re glad to have you here.” said Mama Flyer.
    Huh? I’m a Sharp Beak and you like me here? thought Ptero.
    He went to bed, nestling in a corner away from the others, for he didn’t trust them. He was closest to Petrie, as he trusted him the most. He found it odd that he was staying in the nest of the enemy. And he was having doubts about the evilness of Leaf Eaters. Ptero had a moment of nostalgia where he thought of his father, when life had been good, before his mother’s heavy-handedness. The Flyer family sure was being kind to him, much like his father had been.
    His father. If the Flatteeth knew what he had for family, they wouldn’t let him live through the night, he was certain. He needed to keep his guard up and not let anything slip. As Ptero fell asleep, it never occurred to him that he was, for the first time in a long while, living the life that his father had truly hoped he’d take.
    He awoke the next morning. He opened his eyes and saw Petrie and his family. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” he yelled, afraid that Flatteeth had attacked him in his sleep. He soon realized where he was and felt foolish for looking like such an idiot.
    “It’s ok dear. It’s ok.” Mama Flyer reassured him, patting him on the head. He pulled away. She stared at him. But it wasn’t with anger, it was with pity.
    “Is something troubling you?” she asked him.
    You touched me. Your evil Flattoothness touched me. thought Ptero. Finally, Ptero decided to mention some of the truth to them.
    “I miss my Father. He died some cold times ago. I never really got over it.” he said.
    “Oh, poor dear. Petrie lost his father too.” said Mama Flyer.
    Ptero stared at Petrie. Though he hated Flatteeth with an everlasting vengeance, Petrie seemed to be a sweet kid and didn’t deserve to lose his dad at so young an age. For the first time in his life, he felt sorry for a Flattooth.
    “Did you know your father well?” asked Mama Flyer.
    “I kind of remember him. He had olive colored eyes and was nice. Nicer than my Mother.” said Ptero.
    “Do you not get along with your mother?” asked Mama Flyer.
    “We butt heads a lot. Petrie is lucky to have a mother like you.” said Ptero. And, strangely, he meant it. This Flyer family didn’t seem evil.
    Mama Flyer said nothing. It seemed so sad that Ptero didn’t have a father and that he didn’t get along with his mother. She actually shed a tear, feeling sorry for the poor boy. Finally, she said “As much as you may argue with your mother, I’m sure she’s missing you by now. I can try and get you back to her.” she offered.
    That’s not a good idea. Then again, what do I care if she gets you? You’re a Flattooth. Ptero thought.
    “I went to go explore the world. She always kept me cooped up.” said Ptero.
    “The Mysterious Beyond is a dangerous place. One as young as yourself shouldn’t wander it alone.” said Mama Flyer.
    “I know that much. Five Sharpteeth in one night. Goodness!” said Ptero.
    “Oh, you poor dear!” said Mama Flyer, feeling very sorry for him. “My brother and I can bring you back to your mother.” she said.
    “I haven’t been allowed to go around since I was really small. Ever since Dad died.” said Ptero.
    Oh, the poor dear. His mother has been overprotective of him after that. I can see why she’d do that, but I let Petrie wander around with Littlefoot, not that I always like what they get up to. thought Mama Flyer.
    “I can see that your mother is overprotective.” mused Phyra.
    You have no idea! thought Ptero.
    “Thus, I can see that perhaps a few days here while you try and calm down over whatever upset you couldn’t hurt. I’ll just explain to your mother later what happened. I’m sure she’ll just be glad you’re all right.” said Mama Flyer.
    “Er, can I go explore the Great Valley some more?” Ptero asked.
    “Certainly.” replied Mama Flyer.
    Ptero was free to go where he wanted. It sure was better than what his mother would let him do. He thought of his mother and how irked she’d be at him leaving. An idea crossed his mind, though he’d have to be careful to pull it off. This would help him prove he was worthy to lead the pack and hopefully get his mother to give him some slack. He planned to do what he’d waited many cold times to do: kill a Leaf Eater.

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