Chapter 1 Part 5 The Platypus approaches.
Dinosaur Puncher September 13th, 2020
The Platypus slept in a fitful dream state. His venomous foot extended periodically and laid waste to the air above his sleeping form. It was pouring rain outside and the gale whistled through the cracks in his window. The sounds must have penetrated his dreams, sending him back to another rainy night during the war. He was standing on a beach covered in mangroves. It was night and he was blacker than it. The dinos where all around him but the shadows were everywhere and he was one of them. He had successfully snuck into their camp deposited the bomb and gotten out. The bomb had taken out half the contingent. The other half had somehow tracked him all the way to the beach blocking his safe water exit. So he waited. The dinos had torches of fire and handheld beam lights combing the front lines of the mangrove trees. A beam moved closer and the Platypus slipped up to a mangrove tree trunk, and became the trunk. He was indistinguishable from the tree, even the twirl ball weapon he preferred was camouflaged.
Rain ran down the trunk of the mangrove and bounced off his bill. It pummeled the dinos who were having a time keeping their torches lit. A glowing white blob was jumping in and out of the water dodging dino bolts and arrows and energy weapons. It was his comrade Chauncey out there hopping about trying to distract the dinos so The Platypus could make it to the water.
A ball of fire streaked down from the sky taking a dino in the chest. Twirling in its tail came the Dinosaur Puncher. His ridiculous cape flapped in the wind despite the torrential rain. The Platypus frowned. He had told Dinosaur Puncher that the cape was unnecessary flair. He punched and jabbed and dino heads went flying off their bodies. Dino spleens and hearts and spines were punched out of their bodies. He was causing a good distraction and normally the Platypus would charge in and help, but he only had one hand to fight with. The other was holding his guts inside his body.
Chauncey had changed to a part of the light spectrum only the Platypus could see. The Octopus was waving him into the water. Flair or not, The Dinosaur Puncher was providing just the distraction he needed. The Platypus pushed off the tree and started hobbling toward the water. cobalt blue drops of blood left a trail in his wake on the beach. Keeping himself invisible was difficult while moving. The Rain slicked off his body causing a dangerously detectable distortion. He was about half way down the beach when he heard more than saw the boomerang come at him. He dodged and flipped in the air. His injury hampered him, and instead of landing gracefully on webbed feet, He fell face first in the sand. The sand got into the wound on his belly. He heard a trio of dinos running toward him. He was the color of rain soaked sand at night but it didn’t matter. The Dino’s were following the river of blood he was leaving behind him. He pushed himself up and started running toward the water once more. The effort of running was zapping his strength and his cloak of camouflage failed. The Dino’s roared and increased their speed, now that the prey was in sight. The Platypus was pushing hard. He just needed to make that water. A dino claw swiped at him and he fell to the ground rolling onto his back. The dino came in with snapping jaw this time, planning to rip him in two. The dino face came in and impaled itself on a sharp venomous foot. It turned gray, and crumbled into ash. The Platypus lurched through the cloud of ash on his way to the water but was starting to loose consciousness. Soon he’d fall to the beach and they would have him. He got knocked down and as he rolled he fought to keep from blacking out. He felt their guttural laughs as he began to blackout. He extended his venom foot and began swinging it around. A dino Claw wrapped around his leg.
The Platypus woke with hackles up. His venom foot was stabbing forcefully at the monstrous blob hovering above him. His foot was locked in a strong tentacled grasp. His hackles began to relax and the patches of fur that had become smooth midnight returned to the more natural dull blue gray brown.
“You were having another nightmare.” Chauncey continued to hold the weaponized foot firmly. He had been stabbed with it many times before.
“I said, Let go.”
Beady eyes met the rectangular void of Chauncey eyes. The venom foot attempted to extend further, even just a scratch could loosen the grasp. Although his foot vibrated fiercely, it did not budge. As if he hadn’t attempted to just casually murder his roommate, he retracted his poker, and began twisting off his side to sit up. The Octopus released the foot and stepped out of range. The Platypus rubbed his eyes, shaking off the last haze of the nightmare. He always woke a bit grumpy, but after the dreams he always needed more time to step back into reality.
The Platypus had been grown in a lab, His mother magically injected after pregnancy. He was developed for espionage. Most of the magically induced animals The Guard had attempted to breed sentience into failed, with catastrophic results. The Baboon just sat around and fucked himself all day. The Ostrich ran off a cliff figuring its inability to fly was simply part of some belief system.
It was not.
The Octopus, or Chauncey as he was want to be called was technically not really a success, but rather a happy accident. The Octopus was already possessed of sentience before The Guard captured him and began doing experiments. Chauncey just thought it was a bunch of intriguing games that always resulted in delicious starfish. What was the downside? Swim through a hole, climb a ladder, solve for pi. This shit was a breeze. Humans just gave you starfish for completing the strangest task. When the magic he was injected with helped grow a tiny set of lungs and vocal cords for talking on the surface The Guard scientist were amazed to find out that not only was The Octopus always sentient but so were many other sea creatures.
The Guard had made shark toothed dolphins which now swam around the oceans killing with wild psychotic abandon. dolphins were dicks. whales rebuffed the magic. Giant squid hid deep in their lairs, refusing to take part in the war for ethical and moral reasons.
Thousands of hours of effort had produced The Guards only two successes. The Platypus, and The Octopus. They had accomplished many amphibious attacks together. The Octopus had taught The Platypus how to camouflage by changing color, and the Platypus had taught Chauncey 4th Dimensional Math. He fully grasped the concepts and was, thus far The Platypus’s only success.
They had served together and run many daring missions across enemy lines. Those missions had helped take strategic points for the border to be established. From New Atlantis down to Old Australia they had secured post after post.
When the war ended The Guard had briefly talked about eliminating The Platypus and The Octopus. That plan was abandoned. They were given a brief speech from the head of the world council, a medallion slung around their necks and summarily discharged from service. Broke and penniless they joined the circus touring war torn cities as 8th wonders of the world. They performed for amazed crowds and dazzled the audience with midair mock battles.
They now split a flat. Rent was steep even just outside London, even for a famous Professor of 4th dimensional math. The Platypus was still mostly broke, Chauncey however was doing very well.
The Octopus had tapped the trade feeds and now just sat around the house making money on his investments. It Irked The Platypus.
The rain outside his window wavered and clapped against the panes in angry smacks. The pounding mirrored his thoughts. He hopped out of bed and stuck his hands into the pocketsneverending he had installed in his skin. He rummaged around for some pounds sterling. He had just enough that he could buy a pint and have coins next to it as if to say he was planning on buying another pint. When Mum saw him she would see the coin laid out, and leave him be. He had been kicked out of the tavern before for finishing the drinks left by other patrons. Apparently this was “frowned” upon. Humans.
“And just where are you off to?”
Chauncey had returned to the table. He was eating the worlds most decadent surf and turf dinner. One suckered tentacle grasped a grass fed elephant chop. Yep. Like a lamb chop, but from a fucking elephant. Two of the other legs were crushing a couple of steaming red lobsters as he shelled them with a sucker popping sound. The Octopus munched a lobster and glared at The Platypus.
“Gonna Head down to the Tavern catch a pint.”
“With what money? Rent is due.”
“Yes yes you’ll get your money, I’m just on my way to the tavern to talk to my tenant.”
The Octopus Waved a giant greasy elephant chop at him.
“See that you do.”
The Platypus shuffled out the door. They had saved each others lives countless times and were brothers in arms. But sometimes, one of his oldest pals really drove him up the wall. It was the money. Chauncey had changed just a little with the money. But he could deal with Chauncey later. He shook his head as he made his way out of the door and into the cold wind and rain. The Platypus murmured a spell and walked out into the cold wet rain. The rain hit his pink skin and matted his patchy fur down. He splashed on not bothered by any of it. He hopped a bar of magic that was going in the general direction of Savera Street Tavern and thought about how he was gonna get that money from Dinosaur Puncher.