Hello everyone! In this chapter of Going After Junior, we'll be meeting a lot of new faces, hence the name of the chapter. Will they be friends or foes? You'll all have to read in order to find out. So enjoy chapter five!
Disclaimer: I don't own Speckles the Tarbosaurus aka The Dino King, nor any of its characters. I only own the OCs. Special shoutout to Reconzilla117 for suggested their OCs.
The sun shined brightly in the sky, its heat cooking and broiling those who were under its intense glow. Junior was lying on the ground, breathing lightly until he blinked his eyes open when he regained consciousness. Picking himself off the ground and onto his feet, the little Tarbosaurus shook his head to rid the lingering tiredness before taking the moment to look at his surroundings; from where he stood, Junior was in a crater-like area, with numerous holes dotting the sides of the interior and pathways leading to the top.
"What is this place?" he asked himself quietly. "Where am I?"
From within the darkness of the holes, curious eyes gazed at the newcomer intently. To them, it had been a while since a Tarbosaurus hatchling was brought here, as they were quite rare to find and collect due to how vigilant and protective their parents were. Junior felt he was being watched and turned around to look at the glowing eyes of the occupants of the holes.
Emerging from the holes, thousands of dinosaur hatchlings of different species and sizes sauntered towards him inquisitively, gathering around and surrounding him. From what Junior could see, there were theropods, ceratopsians, ornithopods, sauropods, hadrosaurs, even ankylosaurs of all kinds; some he had seen before at his home, but others he only heard about from his parents. They all kept a reasonable distance as he heard them whisper and murmur amongst themselves.
"Dude, is that a Tarbosaurus?"
"He looks so… green."
"How old do you think it is?"
"I've never seen another Tarbosaur before."
"Wonder where he came from?"
Junior felt a little embarrassed to be the center of attention. Truth and honest, when he first arrived at his new home, he was always too busy training with his parents to be around other dinosaurs his age let alone make new friends.
"Well, well, what do we have here?"
From the crowd of dinosaurs, two figures approached the Tarbosaurus. Junior turned to look at the source of the voice and saw a light-purple Therizinosaurus with feathers on his head, arms, and the tip of his tail strutting towards him. Next to him was a reddish-orange Carnotaurus. A Tsintaosaurus hatchling and a Velociraptor hatchling backed away in mild fright to let the two pass. The Therizinosaurus pushed a Saurolophus hatchling away before squawking threateningly at the other hatchlings. Judging by his behavior, Junior could guess that this Therizinosaurus was the top alpha to them. He stood his ground as the Therizinosaurus approached him, spreading his arms and claws in a threatening manner.
"Been a while since we got a Tarbo in these parts," the Therizinosaurus said as he placed an arm around Junior. "Name's Slashclaw. I rule the roost around here, so don't try anything funny and you won't have any problems with me." Slashclaw leaned his face uncomfortably closer to Junior's.
Junior kept his composure and fearlessly looked at Slashclaw in the eyes. "I'm not afraid," he said sternly.
"Not afraid, huh?" Slashclaw muttered, removing his arm from Junior. "Then I guess you still won't be afraid when I do… THIS!"
Slashclaw harshly pushed Junior to the dirt and stepped on him to prevent him from escaping. The other dinosaur hatchlings gasped in shock at the Therizinosaurus' actions, but were too afraid to make a move to help Junior. Junior struggled to escape from underneath the Therizinosaurus' foot, but Slashclaw firmly held him down. He cackled almost hysterically as he inched his long sharp claws towards Junior's face. The young Tarbosaurus still kept a straight face, not even the least bit afraid of his tormentor.
All of a sudden, Slashclaw was pushed off of Junior by another hatchling. To Junior's surprise, the hatchling was a female Tarbosaurus with bright-orange skin and light-blue stripes on her body. She stood between Junior and Slashclaw, baring her teeth at the Therizinosaurus.
"Cut it out, Slashclaw!" she said. "Leave the newbie alone, ya big putz!"
"Back off, girly," Slashclaw snarled. "This doesn't concern you, so get outta my way and let me do what I want!"
"I think it does concern me," the Tarbosaurus retorted. "You always do this to the other hatchlings! You push them around, talking like you own this place. But when it comes to the raptors, you're just a sniveling coward who would do ANYTHING to stay alive! Even sacrifice those who didn't deserve it!"
Slashclaw overheard the other dinosaur hatchlings agreeing with the female Tarbosaurus hatchling, and it infuriated him.
"Big words from such a tiny hatchling. You want to back those words up with action?"
"As a matter of fact, I DO."
Just before the fight could escalate, Slashclaw's Carnotaurus companion stepped forward to intervene. "Stop it, Slashclaw."
Both Therizinosaurus and Tarbosaurus turned to look at him. From his current position, Junior saw that the Carnotaurus' light-brown eyes displayed no malice or cruelty. In fact, he looked more disappointed about his companion acting the way he did.
"They aren't worth it," he said.
"B-but… but she… Bladehorn, man, come on..."
"You should listen to your friend, Slashclaw," a fair, but firm voice interjected.
All the dinosaur hatchlings turned their attention to a female Oviraptor with a cream-yellow coat of feathers, pink spots on her back, and a turquoise crest on her head coming over. She wore a displeased expression on her face as she stood in front of the younger Therizinosaurus, towering over him.
"How many times must I tell you this, we don't harm other hatchlings for the sake of it. That's one thing that I don't tolerate around here," she said as she stared down at Slashclaw. "As long as we're all here, we should be taking this chance to make friends, not enemies." She then looked at the other dinosaur hatchlings. "And I hope that all of you remember that."
"Yes, Ms. Gusty," they all said.
"Yes, Ms. Gusty," the Carnotaurus now known as Bladehorn repeated, nodding his head.
Slashclaw deflated when his friend complied to Gusty and walked away. He turned to brandish his claws at Junior with a glare.
"Better watch your back, kid," he threatened, "or I'll be skewering it." He then turned to follow Bladehorn. "Yo Bladehorn! Wait up! I think that guy is really scared of me. He wasn't even squealing. Heh, I'm not even sure if he is a real Tarbosaurus."
Gusty heavily sighed. "What am I gonna do with that kid?"
The female Tarbosaurus scowled at Slashclaw before turning around to help Junior up. The green Tarbosaurus hatchling shakily got back on his feet as he looked at his savior. She was taller than he was, almost coming up to the Oviraptor's chest and neck, and looked a little older than him.
"Hey, you okay there?" she asked.
Junior nodded. "Yeah, I am. Thank you… for what you did back there."
"Why didn't you fight back?" the other Tarbosaurus questioned. "Are you sure you're a Tarbosaurus?"
"Of course I am," Junior frowned. "I just… never learned how to fight a Therizinosaurus yet, that's all."
"Okay, if you say so," the female Tarbosaurus chuckled. "I'm Blue-Stripe, by the way. What's your name?"
"My name is Speckles Junior, but most just call me Junior," Junior introduced himself.
"Nice to meet you, Junior."
"Nice to meet you too, Blue-Stripe."
A loud screech interrupted them as Blue-Stripe's eyes widened in fear.
"Oh no, they're back!" she said. "Run!"
Gusty had also heard the screech and immediately started rounding up the other dinosaur hatchlings, who were beginning to panic as well.
"STAY TOGETHER, KIDS!" she said. "REMEMBER: SAFETY IN NUMBERS!"
Junior was confused. "What? Who's back? Run away from who?"
Blue-Stripe began pushing him into the growing crowd of dinosaur hatchlings, while replying, "The raptors! Quick, get with the others!"
Above them, the Deinonychuses that kidnapped Junior appeared on a ledge, toe claws tapping with anticipation. Ditto and Vincent leered over and hissed at the dinosaur hatchlings below. Stalker soon made his way in between his two cohorts, also looking down at the occupants in the area. He smiled sinisterly, watching as Gusty feebly attempted to gather all of the hatchlings up.
"Round them all up!" he ordered. "Take both sides and don't let any escape!"
Ditto and Vincent nodded, and they both leapt into the compound, scaring any hatchlings that did not hear their arrival and forcing them to join the big group of dinosaur young. They soon ran on opposite sides of the fleeing dinosaurs, corralling them into a tight formation, with Gusty in the middle. Junior and Blue-Stripe were soon bunched up with the other hatchlings, leaving no space for them to move. Vincent and Ditto soon began to circle the conglomerated group of dinosaurs.
"Hahahaha! Alright y'all, gather 'round here now!" Vincent ordered them.
"Awck! Alright y'all, gather 'round here now!" Ditto repeated.
Vincent facepalmed in exasperation. "I told ya to stop copyin' me, Ditto!"
"Awck! I told ya to stop copyin' me, Ditto!"
"Oh, why I oughta…!" Vincent soon began trying to slap Ditto, whom returned those slaps and turned it into another slap fight.
While the others were watching the two raptors squabble, Junior noticed Slashclaw and Bladehorn hiding behind one of the compound walls, undetected by the Deinonychuses. The two slunk back behind just as Stalker interrupted Vincent and Ditto's argument.
"Get it together, you nincompoops!" he said. "We got a schedule to follow, now move it along!"
The two Deinonychuses complied and returned to circling the group, hissing and snarling at them.
"Come on now, just do what we say and nobody gets hurt," Vincent chuckled.
"Awck! Come on now, just do what we say and nobody gets hurt."
Junior had a feeling that the two were planning on doing the opposite, and it made him queazy in his stomach.
"Now, what should we pick today?" Vincent questioned mockingly, before he grabbed a Tsintaosaurus hatchling with his jaws. The hadrosaur started protesting and struggled to free itself from his jaws. Meanwhile, Ditto dragged a Nanshiungosaurus by the tail while it desperately tried clawing itself away from him, only for Ditto to place his foot on its back to keep it in place.
"This one's pretty to look at," he commented. "I wanna keep this one."
Vincent returned to the group and glanced at the hatchlings gathered together. He intently darted his eyes at each one while they hung their heads down in an attempt to not get chosen.
"Let's see now. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe," he taunted as he pointed his claws at each individual dinosaur hatchlings. "Catch a hatchling by its toe..."
Vincent soon stopped in front of a few young dinosaurs — right where Junior and Blue-Stripe were at. When he turned to look at them, they instinctively tried to hide their heads in the crowd.
"You," he snarled, "come out here."
They refused to move, too scared to look up at their captor.
"I said to come out here, now!" Vincent repeated impatiently.
"Leave them alone, please! They're just children!" Gusty yelled out. "Can't you make do with two today!?"
Ignoring the Oviraptor's protests, Vincent snarled before lunging out and grabbing a Charonosaurus hatchling that was right next to Junior. He and Blue-Stripe looked on in horror as the Charonosaurus begged for help, kicking and screaming while Vincent dragged it across the ground by the neck.
"Hey!" Stalker shouted from above impatiently. "Wrap it up and get moving!"
Ditto and Vincent looked up at their leader.
"Awck! Wrap it up and get moving!" Ditto squawked to the three chosen dinosaur hatchlings before he and Vincent started leading them up a pathway to the top of the compound.
"Seriously, Ditto?" Vincent complained under his breath. "It's like I'm wastin' air here!"
The other dinosaur hatchlings watched as the Deinonychus forced the three hatchlings up the path. Junior turned to Blue-Stripe.
"Blue-Stripe, what's going to happen to them?" Junior asked.
"I don't know," she replied. "None of them had ever returned once they left the compound. So whatever you do, make sure you don't get chosen."
Gusty shakily sighed before turning to the hatchlings.
"Okay kids," she said, "the worst is over. Please return to your dens until lunchtime."
The dinosaur hatchlings nodded before they dispersed while Gusty counted each of them to make sure no one else was taken. Junior looked on with concern as the dinosaur hatchlings were led out of the compound. He could not place his foot on it, but he felt that there was something bigger going on. He just did not know what or why.
Meanwhile at the top of the compound, Stalker was approached by three slightly-larger female Deinonychuses. The one in the lead had scarlet-red skin and feathers, with dark-red freckles on her face and shiny red eyes that held warmth and sympathy unlike some of her pack members, which is how she got her name: Scarlet. The other two females next to her each had purple feathers, lime-green skin, and heterochromatic eyes. You could have mistaken them for twins were it not for the small difference they possessed; one of the them had an orange eye on her left side and a teal eye on the right while the other one had them switched around. All three of them wore expressions of pain and regret.
"How long must we continue doing this, Stalker?" Scarlet sighed uneasily. "How much more lives must we sacrifice when they hadn't gotten a chance to begin their futures?"
Stalker chuckled. "Worry not, Scarlet. Those kids don't have to suffer; it's just a small price for them to pay to our cause. The Great One will give us what we desire and soon, we'll finally be the ones in charge. For now, we continue supplying him with these hatchlings so that he — or rather his offspring — doesn't get bored." He then turned to her. "Send your scouts topside to search for any food. We need to keep the pack well-fed for us to continue our mission. A dead raptor is a worthless raptor."
Scarlet opened her mouth to protest, but clammed up and reluctantly nodded. "As you wish, Stalker." She then turned to her friends. "Emma, Anya, continue scouting the outer regions and see if there's any prey items around."
The identical Deinonychuses (now known as Emma and Anya) simply nodded and headed up to the top of the compound to find food.
Elsewhere, Speckles and Blue-Eyes were still trying to find Junior, having wandered across the entire desert for days. But without the scent of the Deinonychuses and their son, they were unsure if they were even on the right trail. Both Tarbosauruses panted heavily, the lack of hydration affecting their perception and functions.
"We've been walking for miles, Speckles," Blue-Eyes huffed. "And I don't think we're any closer to finding our son."
Speckles looked up at the sun that was still shining bright on them. He had to agree with his mate, it seemed like they were walking aimlessly without direction. As much as he wanted to find his son, he cared more about Blue-Eyes' wellbeing at this moment.
"We should rest, Blue-Eyes," he suggested. "Conserve our strength for later."
"Hmm, that doesn't sound like a bad idea," she admitted, collapsing on the ground to rest. "Wake me up when it's time to go."
Speckles simply shook his head with a chuckle before lying down next to his mate. On a nearby hill, a light-brown Saichania peered over to look at them. He sniffed the air and grimaced.
"Day number 17: I had been following the trail those nasty varmints left behind, only to suddenly come across this pair of large carnivores in my path. Judging by their scent, they've had an encounter with my enemies. But I have reasons to believe they may be in cahoots," the Saichania monologued to himself. "Can the armored hero be able to take on not one, but two Tarbosauruses in order to continue his quest? Time to find out."
The ankylosaur narrowed his eyes and popped his neck. He waved his tail club anxiously in the air, pawed the ground to psyche himself up, and took a deep breath before letting it out.
"DON'T MESS WITH THE CLUB!"
He charged down the hill, but trips on a rock and loses his balance, causing him to roll down the hill instead. At that moment, Speckles and Blue-Eyes woke up from their brief rest, having stirred from a loud noise. The mated pair of Tarbosauruses turned to look for the source. Their eyes widened when they saw the rolling Saichania heading straight for them. They quickly got up and moved out of the way to avoid getting crushed, while the rolling ankylosaur landed on his back. Speckles and Blue-Eyes looked surprised and confused as the Saichania tried to right himself up unsuccessfully. "HELP! Somebody help me!" the Saichania yelled. "I'm on my back and I can't get up!" He stopped struggling when he felt his underside start to heat up and sniffed. "Say, is it just me or does it suddenly feel hotter when I'm upside down?"
The Tarbosaurus couple blinked at the new arrival, unable to make of who he was or what to do with him. They turned to each other and shrugged, then they look back at the ankylosaur still belly up.
"Um, do you need some help, sir?" Speckles finally asked.
"Take your claws off me, you darn, dirty theropods!" the Saichania snapped. "You took my best friend away from me, and for that, you're my enemies!" He continued trying to turn himself over but without avail.
"No offense, but why would we waste our time trying to kill someone with hide as hard as yours?" Blue-Eyes questioned with an eyebrow raised. "We'd lose a lot of teeth if we bit you. And not only that, but your tails will break a lot of bones, something which we definitely want to avoid. Honestly, you guys aren't really worth the effort."
"LIARS! Daisy is worth it! She was my best friend until you and your cohorts took her away from me!"
This caught them off guard. This ankylosaur lost a friend? But how?
"What are you talking about?" Speckles asked again. "Who is Daisy?"
The Saichania stopped struggling. Sighing sadly, he allowed the suppressed memories of him and his best friend to return to him.
"Daisy was one of the sweetest and most kind-hearted dinosaurs I knew," he started. "And to think it all happened when I found her stuck in those vines..."
"Hello? Is anyone out there? I need help! Please! I need to get out!"
A pink Pachycephalosaurus cried out for help as she struggled to break free from the thick vines that were tangled around her. She prayed that somebody, ANYBODY would hear her calls. However, it seemed like nobody would come, and that she was to die alone in the entanglement.
"Fear not, miss! I'll set you free!"
All of a sudden, a massive club tail whacked away the vines that ensnared her, freeing her from their clutches. She blinked as she gazed at her savior. In front of her was a light-brown Saichania who had been responsible for clearing away the vines; some of them were still stuck to his tail.
"Th-thank you, so much," she said gratefully. "I'm... I'm Daisy. Who are you?"
The Saichania humbly bowed. "You can call me Cy, the Armored Avenger."
"'The Armored Avenger?'" Daisy giggled. "With a title like that, you must be some kind of hero."
"Yeah, I guess you could say that," Cy chuckled.
Both dinosaurs looked at each other and turned away blushing with embarrassed smiles.
From that day forth, Daisy and Cy became inseparable. They spent every day together from eating meals and finding the perfect resting spot to traveling all over the lands. Life was amazing for them.
They had no idea of the tragedy that would follow.
Daisy stopped by a nearby river to grab a drink. However, she was unaware of the Deinonychus pack hiding in the foliage, grinning sinisterly. When she finished her drink, Daisy's eyes widened with fear as a Deinonychus grabbed her tail and started to run away with her.
Cy heard her cries and immediately followed after them.
He fervently ran through the forest in attempts to rescue his friend but was unable to locate where she was nor where he kidnappers had taken her.
"DAISY! DAISY, WHERE ARE YOU!?"
"CY! SAVE ME, CY!"
He looked around the forest, trying to find where they had gone, where Daisy had been taken. He frantically kept yelling for her in hopes that she would respond, but no such luck. He could only wail as he realized his best friend was gone... and she may not come back.
"And from that day forth, I vowed that I wouldn't rest until I made those carnivorous cowards pay for what they had done to her. For what they had done to me."
Speckles and Blue-Eyes felt their hearts soften after they listened to the Saichania's story. What they heard eerily reminded them a bit of their own plights — both past and present. It was enough to make them shed a single tear remembering all the pain and hardships they were forced to endure. They could sympathize with Cy, in a way. Imagine having lost your close ones to somebody and spent years searching for them to exact revenge. The difference was that Speckles and Blue-Eyes tried to move on from their pain and start over; One-Eye just happened to have been too ruthless to stop them from having a peaceful, happy life. Cy, on the other hand, had not let go and was so focused on getting revenge that he seemed lost. Tired, even. Maybe a little depressed.
Cy, still lying on his back, felt himself tilt to his side. He sees Speckles and Blue-Eyes pushing the other side of his body with slight effort due to their tired state. Cy on the other hand was amazed by how willing the two Tarbosauruses were to help him, even though he tried to attack them moments ago.
"Uh... thank you," he started, "for, um, for that."
"It was nothing," Blue-Eyes smiled. "Didn't want your belly to get a sunburn."
Speckles let out a quiet laugh. "Now that's something I would've liked to see."
Cy frowned slightly at his remark. "Oh, so you guys are willing to help me up, yet you don't mind if I was imminent danger, huh? Let me tell you something: a burnt Saichania underside is nothing to make fun of." However, he waddled over to the opposite side of where the two theropods were standing at and stared at the empty space in front of him.
Speckles and Blue-Eyes looked puzzled by him facing the other direction and exchanged looks of confusion.
"Uh, excuse us?"
"Are you blind or something? We're over here."
"Over where?" Cy looked around. "Sorry, it's just that sometimes I've got a slight... difficulty with seeing certain things from afar."
"Take four steps to the right," Speckles instructed. Cy did just as he said. "Now turn around slowly and stop when you see two figures in front of you." Cy slowly rotated his body counter clockwise halfway until he was standing in front of the two Tarbosauruses again.
"Can you see us now?" Blue-Eyes asked.
Through his eyes, the formerly fuzzy vision of Speckles and Blue-Eyes started to clear up a bit for him, but not that much.
"Well, not really," Cy sniffed, "but I do smell something on you two." He sniffed again. "The same scent as Daisy's kidnappers and killers."
"Sir, I don't mean to be rude, but..." Speckles paused for a brief moment. "How many raptors did you think there were when your friend was taken?"
"I think... I think maybe four? No, ten. Sixteen? It's hard to say," Cy confessed. "I've been tracking them for who knows how long, that I've forgotten what they've looked like." Cy raised an eyebrow when he sniffed the air. "Wait a minute, that's odd."
Blue-Eyes and Speckles curiously leaned in.
"There's another scent, but this one smells... different than the others. It's small, but it's still there. I can tell that this one was still young, healthy, and almost smelled exactly the same as... as you guys."
That caught their attention. There was only one creature who would fit that description, and if Cy was telling the truth, then that meant they were on the right path. But just to be sure...
"Are you sure?"
Cy nodded. "Positive. My sight may be in need of adjustment, but my smelling is said to be the best of all the Saichania, if not all the herbivorous dinosaurs. Not once has my nose failed me."
"Then it's him! That must be our little boy!" Blue-Eyes declared excitedly.
"Your son?" Cy asked.
"Yes! Our son smells just like us. He was taken from us by the raptors just a couple of days ago!"
"Oh my," the ankylosaur gasped. "That poor kid."
Speckles soon got an idea. "Hey, do you think you can still track them?"
"I don't know," Cy shrugged, "but I can try."
He then lifted his head up to the air to smell for the scent until he gasped in elation.
"I got it! The smell heads this way! There's a faint odor going in this direction!"
Speckles and Blue-Eyes smiled with joy upon hearing that. They were going the right way! They can go save their son!
"What are we waiting for?" Blue-Eyes said. "Let's go!"
"Who?" Cy swiveled his head around to see if there was anyone else they were referring to. "Me?
"Yes, you," Blue-Eyes nodded in confirmation.
"Come with us," Speckles offered. "Help us find our son, and maybe we might be able to help you get your revenge."
Cy was unsure. "I still don't know about this. Are you certain he's still alive?"
Blue-Eyes sharply turned at him with a growl, making him flinch a little. "He has to be alive! Why else would they have taken him away?"
Cy was about to respond, but then saw the knowledge in her words. "Okay, fair point," he confessed. "But how could I possibly go with you guys? You're both Tarbosauruses, the top predators around this whole land! What will happen if you starve? In case you forgot, I might be a heavily-armored dino, but I still have a weak spot."
"Just because we're carnivores, doesn't mean we'll turn on the innocent," Speckles assuredly said. "Like we said before, you're too tough to attack."
Cy was still unsure about all of this.
"Please," Speckles pleaded. "Don't you want to find the killers and avenge Daisy? So you can finally have peace?"
Hearing him mention Daisy was enough to ignite a flame burning within Cy. "You're right," he said, narrowing his eyes, "those dishonorable scum have haunted my dreams for too long. They are my enemies, and I will make them pay for taking Daisy away from me!" He slammed his tail club on the ground. "I WILL MAKE THEM PAY!"
"Excellent! Spoken like a true warrior!" Blue-Eyes exclaimed with a giddy grin. "Well then, let's get moving! Lead the way!"
"Say no more! I'll track your son and the felons that dared to kidnap him, then we'll ensure that their wrongs have been righted!" Cy confidently marched ahead while Speckles and Blue-Eyes trailed behind, roaring in jubilation at how they will be able to find their son now.
"By the way, I don't think we've introduced ourselves yet," Speckles said. "I'm Speckles. This is my mate, Blue-Eyes."
"My name is Cy, the Armored Avenger."
"A pleasure to meet you, Cy," Blue-Eyes said.
"The honor is all mine, Ms. Blue-Eyes," Cy replied.
They did not get too far when they suddenly heard tiny feet scampering on the sand. Speckles raised his head up to find the source of the sound, only to see nothing.
"Did you hear that?"
"I did," Blue-Eyes nodded. "Something else is here."
A small shadow zipped through two rocks. The trio barely saw it speed pass them. Another one zoomed behind a dry bush, rustling it briefly enough for them to miss the figure. Each time the shadow fled to a different spot, they could not get a good view of it because it would already be gone.
'How can something move that fast?' they simultaneously thought.
It was not long until the creature that was hiding from them decided to properly meet the group of three and showed itself to them in plain sight. In front of them stood a small Shuvuuia. His head, arms, and feet were covered in white feathers while brown feathers around his upper and lower torsos formed a vest and pants, with the 'pants' stopping at his knees. The tail alternated from white stripes to brown stripes all the way to the end. Oddly enough, this Shuvuuia did not seem to be the least bit afraid or frightened at the sight of the Tarbosauruses or the Saichania standing in front of him. Rather, he seemed more thrilled and excited to see them. With speed they did not know existed, he zoomed right to them before instantly stopping; he wore a smile on his beak that seemed almost permanent.
"Well HELLO, STRANGERS!" the Shuvuuia shouted cheerfully as he bounced around them. "I am Hagen! That's Hagen spelt with an 'a' after the 'h' and an 'e' before the 'n'! I just happen to be a dinosaur of many trades! I can juggle, I can do impressions, I can perform yoga, I can defy the laws of physics with a single thought or two, I can do whatever! Just ask what you desire and I'll deliver it to you!" The newly-introduced Hagen stopped to allow his spectators to wrap their heads around what just happened right now. "BUUUUT, enough about me! Let's talk about YOU! So who are you? Huh, what's your name?"
"Um, it's Speckles," the green Tarbosaurus said slowly.
"Ooohh, 'Speckles', huh? Great name!" Hagen replied before taking notice of Blue-Eyes and Cy. "And who would THOSE two be?"
"Th-that would be my mate Blue-Eyes and our new companion Cy."
"WOW, two species traveling together?! UNBELIEVABLE! Yet also inspiring! I kinda guessed that you would need a special lady friend to keep you company so you won't get lonely~" Hagen suddenly appeared on Speckles' neck and started nudging his elbow and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. "Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Say no more, say no more."
"Okay, first of all, too much information," Blue-Eyes cuts in, while Cy shuddered about the smaller theropod's implications with a gag. "And second of all, why are you here? Have you been following us?"
Hagen gasped dramatically. "You mean to tell me that you guys haven't heard about the life-changing experience spending time with yours truly? Well we're gonna have to remedy that now, won't we?"
"What?" That was all the three dinosaurs could say before Hagen leapt into the air, twirled a somersault, and landed back on the ground feet first, smile never leaving his face.
"From this moment forth, you three are the lucky volunteers to experience a Week with Hagen! Guaranteed fun, excitement, the whole shebang!"
That was when Blue-Eyes got an idea. It was a bit of a long shot, and she was not even sure she still had it, but it was worth a try.
"Say, Hagen was it?" she began when she approached the small Shuvuuia. "You said that you were able to do a lot of things, correct?"
"That is true, madam," Hagen confirmed.
"I don't suppose you could, I don't know," she smiled sweetly, "help us find our lost son by showing us where you've probably last saw a pack of raptors?"
Speckles inwardly suppressed a chuckle to himself. When he and Blue-Eyes were still young adolescents, she usually put on an innocent face and a pretty smile to ask for favors from him or any other dinosaur. She stopped doing it after they settled down to have a family. Apparently she still had that charm to sweet-talk her way to any male's heart.
Hagen tapped a single-digit claw under his chin. "Hmmm, that's a lot to ask for, ma'am." He instantly regained his cheerful smile. "But HEY! Anything to help some new friends is reward enough for me!"
"So, do you know where the raptors have taken our son?" Speckles cautiously asked.
"Nope," the Shuvuuia replied, which made their faces fall a bit. "But I do happen to know a shortcut somewhere around here that leads to a raptor territory. Maybe that will help you get to where you need to go!"
"Can you show us this 'shortcut' you speak of?" Speckles asked again.
"Of course I can! What kinda friend would I be if I didn't take it upon myself to help those in need?" Hagen skipped ahead of the trio. "Follow me!"
Speckles tuned him out and glanced at Blue-Eyes, who glanced back. They had no idea if Hagen was telling the truth about the shortcut, but they were willing to take anything if it meant saving Junior.
"Should we trust him?" Blue-Eyes asked.
"We might not have a choice," he said. "We need all the help we can get if we're ever going to find our son, even if that means trusting a stranger."
"Besides, my awesome nose can help us out," Cy piped up. "It will help us sniff out anything that smells funny; no pun intended."
"Oh man, this is so exciting! I can tell we're ALL gonna be GREAT FRIENDS ALREADY!" Hagen continued rambling as he led them all to the supposed shortcut that he mentioned.
'I guess we've got another addition to the team,' Speckles thought.
Both Speckles and Blue-Eyes had to agree, today was turning out to be very… peculiar.
Chapter five has been finished. So, we have met some of the new cast of characters in this story, and the Tarbosaurus family have made some new friends. The next chapter will introduce the rest of the other characters soon, so stay patient and let me know what you think of this story in the comments and reviews. I'll see you later!