chapter 1 Part 6 Surfs Up.
Dinosaur Puncher September 19th 2021
The rain pummelded the empty streets and flowed around the cracks in the coblestones. The wind whipped water in a fitful dance that coalesced into a flood that flowed like an avalanche around the cobbles consuming all in their path. The Platypus floated on a log of magic about the height of your typical street lamp. He was still trying to shake the dream. He was in a flotilla of Magic Logs all floating in the same direction down the street. To his eyes they glowed faintly in pastels of green purple blue pink yellow and orange. Humans may not be able to see the Logs, but they have built avenues atuned to magic. Like blind moles they carved and erected thought from earth and stone and hewn wood and the magic rushed like a river down streets that seemed paved for it.
In the classroom The Platypus moved from one slow moving log to the next. In the street they moved at all different speeds. Some slow, others like they had just rolled down a hill or launched from a cannon full of hurry.
The Platypus hopped up to a yellow, then left to a pink. He ran the length with wet flat webbed feet slapping the log and leaped through the air. He folded himself into a well practiced summersault and landed smoothly, three appendages down on a fast moving orange log Like a fucking ninja. He resisted the urge to twerk. It was part of an old routine he and Chauncey had perfected. Instead he ran to the end of the log and catapulted like a flying squirrel limbs spread toward a fast moving green. It was moving in the opposite direction of the tavern so there was no time to wave to the crowd. He slap footed back the other way sliding on his back under a violet flying diag over him. The rain still poured and interacted with the logs. Water shedded sheets as he slid toward the end of the log. His calm demeanor belied the furious scrambling of his limbs. They scrambled and splashed in what was to the untrained eye, a panicked flailing about. His limbs continued in a mad scramble that had become a practiced stroke over many years. He slid with one paw hand grasping as he pivoted his body up to leap onto the orange log just crossing in the direction he wanted to go.
He came to the end of the log and grasped it with his weird human like hands.
He dangled from the wet orange log swaying back and forth as he examined his options. He was in no particular hurry tonight despite the rain, but he definitely wanted to make it in before last ding. blues yellows and greens zipped by. Some were going at odd angles and chewing through the walls of flats and apartment buildings. Others seemed to tear themselves away from tracks and start to weaval into shiny disk with magical incantations displayed on them. The disk glowed brighter as the magical batteries filled up. The energy would be used later for common task. The stream he was in had wound its way through some of the more jaw droppingly beautiful parts of Londanta. Pristine ponds spewed fountaines below the leaves of hard oak trees that had hung citizens only a few short milennia ago. They were now adorned in the current holiday season unaware the treasons of seasons past.
As the platypus dangled he fretted wether or not he’d have the strength to catch the fast coasting lilac headed his direction. He summoned his might and tossed himself backward off the bar. The lilac was traveling at incredible speed compared to the platypus, who seemed suspended in motion. The flashing lightning captured and then released drops of water in an ever changing freeze frame that the Platypus thought was quite beautiful.
He landed on the lilac and braced himself against the wind. He was easily doing 100 miles per hour now. He should make it to Sevier Street Tavern in no time. The cacophany of water rushing off the log swallowed his wet flat webbed feet as he stood against the torrential rain.
The logs followed the road but generally liked to stay at the elevation they were at. The platypus watched as the street below him fell away as the town began to sink into the river valley below. up ahead someones laundry was being whipped around on the roof by wind and rain. He was at eye level with the roofs now and admired the eclectic architectural influences. there were ancient roman style buildings with their stern geometric shapes and stoic pillars. To the right was a grand mansion with towers and peruets that looked like some giant had dolloped a swirling scoop of soft serve on top. Condos and houses both small and tiny mixed in a chaotic fashion that was accented by the many varied colors of the houses.
Houses gave way to rich farm land run by small kings that exercised their influence far and wide. Millions of people lived in Londanta but the surrounding farmlands ruled it. Londantians were a liberal lot that would see the goverment ever expand to incredible excess. Luckily, a very very small number, 12 people, rulled the farmlands surrounding Londanta. It made sense that these people which controlled all the food production should have an equal say to the millions they fed. They defended the food from hordes of dinosaur invaders and for that they had earnerned the city states undying loyalty. Garrisons of the fighting defenders lived out there protecting the people from the hordes of destruction. After the border went up, the garrisons got a welcome reprieve and the stalwart warriors of the wars gave way to lazy incompetent fukwits, not suitable for any other work but to hold a spear, and yell at travelers. All 12 were regularly elected to the council of 13 during free and fair democratic election. Every year. [SEE HISTORY/ The Council of 13.]
The Platypus mused on these politcal thoughts and his mouth watered for an icey cold pint of cider. He loved talking about politics. He had opinions, but none strong enough that he couldn’t be entertained by the many varied thoughts of his compatriots. He’d rather do it over a pint of delicous cider. He kicked the log with his back foot which equated to a bunch of nothing but made him feel like he was doing something to get there faster.
The Logs crested a hill and made their way over a huge patch of bramble. deerabbits jumped and dissapeared at his approach. Gofermoles and ratbats fled in the wind. He sometimes wondered if it was him. These combo animals, rejects from early experiments before they had success at The Platypus and Chauncey during the war. He crossed the mile wide bramble and entered the city forest. Thorns and poison shrubs gave way to a forest of thick red oaks, grand red woods, and the finest cactus that could only be crafted by the city arborer. it incircled the city and was so well manicured it seemed to be natural. The Forest was 30 miles wide and it was said to have been grown upon an ancient thouroghfare. Magical sunshine gave aid to plants that had no business growing at the foot of some of these trees. Armidillos snarfed sunflowers and insects and brappleberries from the cattail tree. Wild racoonbears with all the curiosity of a bear and the williness of the raccon stole bags and scarfed snacks from unweary travelers. It was somehow more terrifing that they hissed.
The Lilac log the Platypus stood upon slowed as it funneled into a forest passage that led into the city. A deep rich green blue canopy filtered the rain that now fell in a bunch of flat wet drops. He should really get a place in the city, but places are expensive. He thought back to his argument with Chauncey and winced a little bit. He was furious with Chauncey and at the same time could never stay mad at him for long. They had grown up together, and were brothers. There was a lot to unravel with 2 brothers that had lived and worked together for over 100 years, but The Platypus had pondered it for just as long and come to one simple conclusion:
Chauncey was a fucking dick.
That is to say he wasn’t always a dick it’s just that, well, to be quite frank, Chauncey had no sense of whimsy. Even in the circus it was more an act for profit than for any artestry. The Platypus had known that in many ways Chauncey was right. They were monsters. Spectecles for the masses to feast upon. They were anomalies. They belonged in a circus tent with the other freaks. But even the other freaks looked down on them. 3 armed man. Half beard dog. They all held themselves apart.
The platypus was shaken from his reverie. As he drew closer to the neighborhood where Sevier Street Tavern was. He could feel the currents of Magical power being drawn in enormous proportions. His Hackles went up and his Venom foot flexed.
There was a Brawl going on. A magical one.
From the corner of his eye he saw a forest green log about 20 feet below him skimming the tree tops No doubt headed for a collection disk at the tavern. Its magic would likely be used to power the wash dishing device.
With no more than a two step he launched himself out into the air throwing his body end over end. He used his own weight to propel himself toward the log, his head remained motionless as his body ratcheted around and around.
He landed smoothly and stood on the log facing the outskirts of the town where Seveir Tavern was located. The Log crested a hill and the wedge shapped builiding that had become His and Dinosaur Punchers second home came into view and with it, the carnage.
The platypus knelt on the log in warriors pose and surveyed the scene.
The Front of the building where the door had stood was in tatters and shambles, a bent and crooked hinge still clinging to part of a frame, now swung back and forth naked, and without purpose. The Platypus would have liked to grieve with what must be the worlds saddest and most forlorn hinge, but there were much more pressing matters to attend to.
A delicious smelling Monster looked to be cooking itself to death as it sucked in the life forces of three beings on the ruined floor of the tavern. Their collective spice adding a savory refrain to their rather unique demise. Streams of life flowed out of their bodies and into a crysilas stuck in its succulent and roasting chest. He hadn’t seen a chrysalis like that since the war. The Monster looked vaguely like a dragon of all things, but of course that was quite impossible. No this must be a breach from the dinosaur side. A broken bus boy lay toothless in the street, no doubt a helpless by standard. The Platypus did not like that, and his brow drew even further down his face. Mum was trying to gather herself from behind the bar, but she would be a few more moments yet. He had to act now before his friends were gone forever, the strand of lifeforce to the chrysalis was already razor thin.
Reaching through the log with his weird human like hands He began tearing out chunks of forest green log. The jelly like consistency of the magic in the logs was always a tactile surprise. As soon as he pulled the goo out it began attempting to manuver in and around The Platypus forming soft sikysweet sharp but furry and needling shapes as it attempted to express its frightful new found freedom from the log. The Platypus bent his will on it, and it did his bidding. He turned it into a pencil sharpener, and started grinding the front of the log into oblivion. And with that he aimed the weapon at the foul beast and prepared to slay it. The sun shone and it sparkled on the tip of the newly forged weapon. It sparkled on the ever so slightly flawed tip of the newly forged weapon. The sun shone on the barely noticable, inadaquacy in the razor sharp tip of the weapon. The sun shone on the shitty job The Platypus had done sharpening the log. The sun shone on a flaw in The Platypus, his purpose, and his methods. The Platypus furrowed his brow even further and fought the magic back into compliance. The log sharpened itself into a more perfect version of itself if that was even possible.
The sun shone on a sharpened log.
The Platypus was urging the whole log into a giant weapon with his weird slimy human hands. He tore a few pieces off the left flank and tossed them aside. The Log began to change course. He was now aimed at the monsters back. He set about sharpening the end like a spear. He then cupped the cone in his hands like he was focusing concentric lenses and they began to rotate with jagged undulating teeth. He had fashioned a log of magic into a fierce cutting tool. No other creature on earth could do that.
The Platypus squeaked. It was a squeak of defiance. A squeak of Liberty and it was awesome and powerful. The squeak shook the cobblestone street and it shook the entire village and it shook the great timber beams of the now guted pub. The monster turned to face this new threat and took a great giant green log to the chrysalis.
The Monster that looked just like a dragon but way way smaller, tried to catch the log. Dinosaurs can’t catch logs of magic. what the fuck was this? The chrysalis grew cracks and its three victims suddenly took enormous gulps of air as the flow of life reversed from monster to victim. The Platypus summarsaulted over its head landing 73 tiny punches across its jowl with the precision of a surgeon.
He liked to call it Platajitsu. He first learned Kungfu from a traveling master with the circus. Chauncey thought it was dumb because why wouldn’t you just strangle it to death with tenticle 6?
But again, Chauncey can suck it.
The log exploded and the chrysalis shattered into 958 pieces. It had required the blood of 958 half-unicorns to make, or 479 full blooded unicorns. a rare object indeed.
THe monster roared in anguish and with it the last of the ‘flesh suit’ fell off and filled the air with the delicious and savory aroma of smoked brisket and some savory potatoes yes please mum.
The monster back slapped the bitch out of this motherfucker mid summersault and as The Platypus tumbled out of the air he saw the hole left by the now shattered chrysalis. It was a Dragon Heart. It pulsated with frightening and terrible immortal life. That was impossible of course, because the dragons had left the world many long years ago. There was much to discuss. He should call the council and-
-the rest of the thought was obliterated by a slap that completely slapped the bitch out of him. It also hurt very much and if he hadn’t casually activated his war shields, he would be dead. He might still be as he felt the dragon heart tug on his soul. THe friends he had come to rescue were now a weapon weiled against him. The Dragon had cleverly attached their mortality to his immortal heart when the crysilis exploded. The Dragon was now immune from magical attack.
The Platypus watched as The Colnel and Toad Jr and the Dinosaur Puncher started to deflate again as their lifes were sucked into the Dragon Heart. The Platypus reached out a tendril and said a word he had been taught a hundred years ago, but had never used:
The dragon pulled focus from stalking towards mum behind the counter and turned its gaze on The Platypus. Their eyes locked. The Platypus squenchend his eyes furthur. The Platypus aimed his tiny wierd human hands at the creature and blasted life at it. He had just locked the dragon and himself and his 3 friends in a desperate puzzle. If the dragon released them, it would die, its immortality in the balance. If any-one-of-the 4 of them expired, all of them would perish. The Platypus was immortal, but so was the dragon. The Platypus had closed the loop by giving life to everyone, but the price was they all live or they all die.
The dragon had some kind of alien inteligence and also understood the dilema. It decided to double down. It began to suck the immortal life out of The Platypus. It had been an extra hard week on The Platypus what with tenents not paying rent and all and now this…
The Platypus mind was flooded with all his compatriates thoughts. He snarked at their morbid statue joke. He understood it on an intelectual level, but being immortal he didnt really understand it. Its not something an immortal bothers to think of. He would perish now though. The thought was curious to him. If the Dragon decided to kill all of them it would have to kill itself. checkmate. The Dragon starred at The Platypus as if to say
“what the hell are you?”
The Platypus preened under the gaze. He was nonplused by the dragons intimidation tactics. The Platypus was a seasoned soldier who had been through many battles. His Defiance seemed to agitate the dragon and The Platypus continued to study the nails on his weird human like hands. His compatriots once again fully inflated stood poised ready to strike, but they could not. everyone looked at everyone and everyone knew they were in a stalemate.
The platypus shared a thought with the group and it was echoed back to him.
“So, a Dragon Huh?”
Another thought occured to them almost in unison. They would still die today. The Dragons magic was too powerful, and would eventually suck the life out of the four of them. They began tossing around ideas on how to move the dragon away from the innocent people all around. Even if Mum was at full strength and even if OmJerry wasnt knockedout on the street It wouldnt be enough to overcome. The Platypus looked at Dinosaur Puncher and noticced for the first time he didt have his weapon. It lay shattered at his feet. THe Platypus sent a thought to the dinosaur puncher not fully understanding
The dinosaur Puncher sent back a thought that basically, said, if we survive this, I’ll tell you later.
Their thoughts were interrupted by sudden and severe jolts of pain. They had vastly under estimated the power of the dragon. Red lightning snaked down the tendrils connecting them to the dragon and began to shock and flay them alive. It was agony incarnate.
They buckled to their knees. It wouldn’t be long now. The Platypus squinted in pain. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a streak tear across the sky. It looked like a comet coming straight for them.
Maybe the explosion will take out the dragon too.
The comet began whistling. It was a battle whistle, one The Platypus was very familiar with. His heart lifted from the depths it had sank to. His comrades also felt hope return to their cause as they looked up and watched the comet fly ever closer. The Dragon felt this shift from hoplessness to hopefulness in his victims and it gave him pause. He looked at The Platypus. The Platypus looked at the dragon. He then used one of his weird tiny hands to wave at the Dragon as if to say, goodbye.
The Dragon looked up just in time to see concentric circles of teeth descend on its head. With a sickining crunch and slimy sounding squeeze, Chauncey wrapped tenticles around the dragons neck and bit its head off and spit it out on the ground. The head rolled to a stop at The Dinosaur Punchers Feet. The expression forever locked on its face seemed to say;
“Did a flying fucking octopus just bite my head off? It knows im a fucking dragon right? Right!?”
Apparently, flying octopus don’t give a fuck. Chauncey had ended the magical stalemate by attacking with brute force.
Chauncy dropped the rest of the Dragon as if it had been a piece of garbage in his path that he would just step around. His Top hat hadn’t even moved during the whole thing. One tenticle firmly wrapped around his rather posh and just a little bit arrogant “walking stick”, he used the others to glide effortlessly toward the bar. He grabbed maybe the last glass in the universe as 3 or 4 tenticles rummaged around under the bar until they found a bottle of port.
He poured it in the glass as another tenticle dropped several pounds on the bar. The heavy coins made a dull clang as they piled up on the bar. He grabbed the glass and turned around. He leaned casually against the bar as if The entire Pub wasn’t missing a roof and he wasn’t surrounded by rubble. ANd he hadnt just bit the fucking head off a dragon!
“Ah! Dinosaur Puncher! Glad to run into you. Are you aware that your rent is past due?”
It started to rain again.