New Worlds, Old Problems
July 14, 2014
Once again, Jack plunged into the unknown.
As he leapt into the portal, he couldn’t be sure where he might end up or even if it would be a world that could support human life. He only knew that as the doors to the multiple worlds slammed closed, a slim chance remained better than none.
For a moment, he tumbled through grey. He couldn’t be sure if he had already entered a world until the ground rushed up at him and he hit it hard. The air slammed from his lungs, but he didn’t think he was seriously hurt, although a lesser man might not have walked away from such a thing.
Upon standing, his first thought became whether he had landed on a normal world or perhaps some type of mystic realm. Grey stones, rounded like river rocks stretched in every direction. They were grey, the smaller pebbles were grey, and the sky looked cloudless, but grey. Turning in a circle he wondered if color existed anywhere on this world. In one direction he thought he spied a distant range of what could have been mountains or hills.
“Quite an exciting place you’ve ended up in, Primus,” he grumbled to himself. “No harems of women or even a damn bar in store for me.” He sighed. “Maybe just endless walking and dehydration, yay.” His fists clenched. “And while I’m trapped here talking to myself in the gloom, who the hell knows what Darken might be up to on my own world. Son of a bitch!”
He allowed himself five minutes of anger and cursing as he headed toward the mountains.
Not so much as a bird flew by. No insect buzzed or chirped. “Pretty damn lively place, Primus. Good fucking pick, ergg.”
He trudged on.
After another hour, the lack of water started to wear on him. Since no sun shone through the grey, he remained out of critical danger, but he knew he wouldn’t survive long without a drink.
The rattle of stones under his feet had become a constant for so long he didn’t notice the sound at first. He stopped short. Was that thunder? It sounded again, closer this time. A booming rhythm, coming closer.
“Son of a bitch… it figures.”
He could see something. Something big. Also something, even with his experience, he never thought he’d witness. If his eyes weren’t deceiving him, a creature similar to a T-Rex raced toward him at about thirty miles an hour.
The thing loomed large, perhaps forty feet in height, with a head he could have made into a cabin.
Besides a few knives and a single hand axe, he had lost most of his weapons. Running toward the mountains was certainly not an option. “Son of a… oh, I already said that.”
It drew closer. “Yep, that’s a T-Rex alright. The good news, this must mean there’s water around here somewhere. The bad news, my chance of finding a beer and a girl to drink it with is quickly diminishing. Oh yeah, and I’m about to be eaten.”
It let out a roar that shook the stones under his feet.
Jack considered using his powers of Yig to sink into the earth, but then had a better idea.
As the T-Rex drew near, be became a small constrictor and wiggled under the stones. A tense moment passed where he dreaded what a titanic footfall would do to his serpentine form, but a little luck was granted him and he avoided such a fate.
The dinosaur paused over him, obviously confused by its dinner’s sudden disappearance and that was what Jack had hoped for. Before it could leave, Jack exited the stones and slid toward one of its legs. While it stayed still searched for him, he wound his body around its ankle.
Again, he feared detection and a sudden, life ending, snap of its jaws, but the massive beast failed to detect such a small invasion and after a few more minutes of fruitless searching, it began walking again.
Jack wrapped himself around tight and held on. It appeared to be heading toward the mountains and he settled in and did his best to enjoy the free ride.
To be continued next Monday