Prologue: Where the Dinosaur Sleeps.
This Isn’t what Dinosaur Puncher Had planned when he woke up this morning. But honestly who expects plasma guards melting into their shins? Especially at a supposedly friendly game? Still, Stealth Raptors were not on the agenda.
Coffee. Paper. Shit.
Didn’t say it was an extravagant plan. Just, A plan.
‘Rat a tat tat.’
The fuck is that?
‘Rat a tat tat.’
With a sluggish impulse to his sleepy brain, Dinosaur knew exactly what that was. It was the sound of a ring on glass with a thin layer of paint that reads ‘Dinosaur Puncher Private Investigations’.
The Rapping had been on the painted glass. He would bet anything it was on the painted glass. Whole fucking door to knock on why must they always ‘rat a tat’ on the painted glass?
‘Rat a tat tat.’
“Oh right oh right! I’m coming don’t crack the glass! damn brutes.”
As Dinosaur Puncher shuffled to the door beer bottles clinked and clattered together in an array, spreading from his toe like dominoes set to fall. They must have been carefully placed by mischievous gods, taking delightful glee in their gentle chiding by placing them just so. Seemingly not content to sit in silent judgement, more bottles fell from every conceivable support at his passing. Shelves, chairs, dressers all dislodged their existential hopelessness at him. A cacophony of terrible sound that was loud, and clattered and clanged for far far too long. As he reached the door he mused without mirth that someone, should clean this place up.
“Alright have at you! It’s 830 in the morning!”
The quick pull of the door sent another half dozen bottles scrambling and spinning, making a ruckus.
“Its half past 10, I thank you.”
A hairless and featherless, naked and ultra nippled platypus-duck-thing waddled into the office. It avoided the occasional rolling bottle with the ease of a dancer. One webbed foot carefully feeling for good honest wood to balance, the other expertly shifting bottles and errant runaway cigarette butt ashtrays aside. The featherless-hairless-whatever it was, hopped atop the desk and began casually toeing a scrap of crusty sandwich perhaps four days old.
“Oye!, gonna eat that?!”
The duck was now emphatically pointing with it’s toe at the crusty sandwich on the desk.
Despite his 3 piece splitting headache, Dinosaur Puncher smiled to himself as he shut the door.
“I was saving it…”
The platypus looked distraught for all of two seconds, and it was gone. He assumed a nonchalant posture, naked chest out, one gross curly hair poking out of goose pebbled flesh, breast heaving with every other breath.
Sigh. “Go on then have-“
but the sandwich was gone before the words had left Puncher’s mouth. A pair of beady black eyes and a voraciously vibrating bill eviscerated crusty bread to smithereens, and it was over. The Platypus plopped itself down prone on the desk in what one can assume it thought was a very sensuous, and flattering position.
It was not.
“So, Late nite or what? You left the pub pretty early. Lots of hot chicks! epic mate! first-“
Staring was inappropriate to be sure, but as usual when Platypus rambled on about this or that, Dinosaur Puncher’s thoughts wondered. It was most likely, he mused to himself, a duck. Perhaps in the platypus family but also a little bit duck. Look at the breast. Those could be duck breast or chicken breast, fowl? But the nipples. So real. That one claw hand though. Five fingered. that’s how he swipes and text! So what are we saying? ChickenDuckPlatypus-Human?! But But I mean-
” -blam! and that Dino went straight to the floor. lights out!”
-So like some kind of inter-species orgy. can the RNA and the DNA combine? No absurd. It’s Different species. Get a grip. Could be dinosaur DNA. Rubbish. he’s all of 2 feet tall. So many nipples.
“-some big gang or whatever so I says Oye! You Thar!-“
“Wait. Dino? in the city? You better start from the beginning”.
Dinosaur Puncher reached in his desk for a spiral pad. He absently flipped through pages of scribbled notes, diagrams of traps left by devious murderers and thieves and tricksters. His other hand went searching for a cl-icky top that might have just a little ink. The platypus made a maneuver from prone on the desk to what could only be described as ‘plopping up’. He then began making serious gestures with claw and vestigial wing.
“Riought! Oye! Beginning aight? Kay. So Here’s the deal. Holler up Ramsy say ‘hey Ramsy want to get in a twist? going about. come along’… are you following?”…
“You and Ramsy went for a pint at the pub. Then what.”
“Well, I mean I wouldn’t put it like that.. there were other things, other enterprises as such, ballers. First we went round the club to get at the ladies!’
“You didn’t get in. Then what.”
‘Oye! Who’s telling are you telling or am I telling!”
“Right. Sorry. What happened after you and Ramsy went in the club?”
“We didn’t get in, so instead we waited at the Breakfastcakes. Ramsy see, he’s keeping his eye out for this slash named Kaliopie. BOOM! Like thunder yeah! Club doors go crashing off and one of them triceratops boys comes raging out the club! And these other Dinos, they are chasing him!”
“Dino chasing Dino eh?”
Dinosaur Puncher casually discarded another cl-icky top and rummaged for another.
“That’s what I said! I know some been allowed cross the barrier sense the war-“
“what were the other Dinos?” more triceratops?”
“nah eh.. a pack of raptors.”
Dinosaur was standing up absently grabbing his hat and umbrella. He tucked the umbrella in the umbrella sheath of his coat. Looked like rain. It always rained when he had to go out. What were raptors chasing a triceratops for? Why would a triceratops need to run from raptors? The tinkling of glass on glass bottle as he shuffled toward the door woke him from his reverie, that and the last cl-icky top running out of ink. He through it on the floor. He stared down at the impressions of invisibly scrawled thoughts that bled no ink and vowed to buy more cl-icky tops while he was out.
“Oye! A minute where you think you’re going?”
The Platypus crossed and uncrossed its legs with a sickly skin on skin smacking sound as a pair of beady black eyes attempted to arrest Dinosaur Punchers exit.
“I am the Dinosaur Puncher. If there’s Dinosaurs to be punched-“
“I am the Dinosaur Puncher. If there’s Dinosaurs to be punched then only I can do it yeah yeah there I finished it for you, how bout you ‘punch up some rent please mate’, past due.”
“You ate my sandwich.”
Wah!? I thought that was a gift that was!
“Take it out of what I owe you.”
With that, Dinosaur Puncher whisked himself briskly, and with far more agility than any hangover could account for, out the door. The sound of webbed feet hitting the wood floor and moving swiftly cross the office was only a beat behind, but the Dinosaur Puncher was long gone.
“One week Dinosaur Puncher! you hear me?! One week or you are outta here!”.