A/N: For any returning readers, yes, this prologue is new! Long story short, I decided to combine books two and three of the Rilogy into one. It flowed better that way. I also cleaned up the following chapters. :D
On the day his world fell apart, Veloci discovered something curious.
It wasn't interesting, as it did nothing for his plans of returning the world to a prehistoric nature. It wasn't exactly odd because, well, it certainly made sense. It wasn't even particularly new to Veloci. It simply hadn't occurred to him. Nevertheless, he knew now.
He discovered dinosaurs could cry.
He'd rather have discovered this when he wasn't making a breakneck dash through the dense forest. He blinked and shook his head, distressed growls vibrating in his throat when his talons tripped over roots and rocks. He lashed his tail to keep his balance, not daring to fall. Not now.
Oh, please, he couldn't fall.
Veloci tripped on a rock and nearly ran smack into a tree. Avoiding the tree sent him staggering into a bush, though. His forepaws trembled as he fought his way free, struggling against the unfamiliar weight Veloci hugged to his leathery chest. He looked down, briefly, assuring himself of his load.
Riley laid in the curve of his forelegs, her pale face clenched in agony. Each breath was a small, stuttering wheeze, like her lungs were full of mud. Tears leaked from her half-open eyes as she gazed pleadingly into Veloci's eyes.
Veloci's tears fell onto Riley's cheeks, mingling with hers. Then he was on the move again, his paws thrumming with pain from stumbling and heart aching for his daughter.
Veloci roared his pain into the unfeeling forest. Wildlife fled from the sound, squeaking, chirping, and grunting in surprise.
Veloci pushed himself onward, ignoring the stabbing pain in his paws. He curled his neck over Riley's form, as if he could protect her from her own pain.
A roar answered Veloci's. Fury rose inside Veloci as he raised his head.
A bright green pteranodon broke through the treetops, scattering branches and a spray of mist. He dove toward Veloci's racing form, his massive beak yawning in a terrible shriek.