No this picture is not mine nor made for this story. It is meant only to set the tone. Let me know if it's yours and you want it taken down.
Renegade former starfighter pilot CHASE DANNER fleed the military forces of the evil Monarch. Along with PLEX, an artificial humanoid (an "Art"), he crash landed on the planet Brata 326...a prehistoric world from which no one has ever returned. As Chase and Plex now face a massive reptilian creature that just stormed through the jungle, they begin to find out why...
Its claws hit first.
The sharp blades raked across Chase and Plex's midsection in one swipe. The sting of a thousand needles burrowed into Chase's nerve endings. No time for that. He drew his blaster pistol from his hip with the hope of making short work of the dinosaur-like creature. The lizard beast held other ideas.
It came back with a hit from its front left limb, knocking Chase to the ground and the gun from his hand. Chase knew if he couldn't get back on his feet, he'd be a meal for the thing in no time. Only seconds to make this work.
Chase launched himself forward with his muscular thighs. The move seemed to take thing by surprise. It was even more surprised when Chase landed on the back of its neck.
"Good show, Chase!" Plex encouraged from the sidelines.
In truth, Chase wasn't exactly certain what he should do next. He knew only that he needed to stay behind its head, away from the mouth and its rows of razor sharp teeth. Needing to make a move, Chase tried to get his flexed arms around the thing's neck. The scaly beast responded by tearing up and shaking, attempting to throw off its unwanted rider.
"Look out, Chase!" Plex said,
"Gun!" Chase grunted as he held on to the massive reptile. "Get my gun!"
"What's that you say?" Plex asked.
Again the dinosaur thrashed. Chase slipped and then struggled to climb back.
"My blaster!" Chase cried.
"Oh yes, kick its ass, Chase! You got him now!" Plex responded.
Grunting and cursing, Chase looked around in desperation. He saw another toothy mouth in the foliage, but unlike his beastly opponent, it remained stationary. Flower petals and viny strings seemed to dangle from it.
Could it be a plant? Chase wondered. I've read of such flesh-eating plant life in other star systems.
Acting on a whim, Chase thumped his fist several times into the side of his would-be steed. This caused the creature to thrash violently in the direction of the hits. The movement also brought it nearer to the foliage...and the plant-mouth.
At the edge of the trees, the vines stretched out like tentacles and wrapped about the attacking carnivorous creature. The thing fought back, struggling. But like the proverbial fly caught in the spider's web, the struggles were ultimately death throes. Chase let go and fell back-first into the thick grass, just in time to watch the viscous flower eat the former opponent whole. Relieved and catching his breath, Chase crawled about, looking for his gun.
"We need to work on our communication, Plex," Chase said.
"Um? Sir?" Plex said.
"That's kinda what I mean," Chase said, eyes still on the ground and finding nothing. "Just be clear in what you're saying."
He stood up.
He also found that both he and Plex now had a dozen spears and swords pointed at them. The sharp-edged weapons all sat in the hands of saurian bipeds with metal armor wrapped around their loins.
"Your blood," the lizard men in front said through a hiss as he gestured to Chase with his sword.
Chase looked down at the thin, horizontal streaks of red dripping onto his already red tunic. The lizard man then poked his sword in Plex's direction.
"Not like his," the lizard man said.
A clear, mucus-like fluid dripped from Plex's own wounds caused by the beast,
"Because I am an artificial lifeform," Plex answered simply. "An 'Art'?"
The lizard men growled and hissed, studying their two finds.
"You are not of Zaslone," the leader said.
"What is that?" Chase asked.
"That?" said the leader. "That is here. This planet."
Something moved behind the leader. That's when Chase noticed the other lizard men, mounted on two-legged reptiles as a sort of cavalry.
"No. We crashed here. Our ship is ruined," Chase said.
He waved over at his wrecked and beloved Stormfalcon.
"Awwww ship is ruined," the leader said in a singsong voice.
All the other lizard men responded with strident hisses in short and abrupt catches. Were they laughing?
"Bind them and bring them with us," the leader ordered his men. "They will make interesting additions to our other captive."
TO BE CONTINUED...
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