She woke up in the dark, on the hard ground, smelling the stink of ammonia. Her mouth tasted of vomit or a cat's litter-box and she was nauseous and wanted to puke… and almost did but swallowed back the bile. Her hand, laying on her belly, felt skin and a further, careful, exploration revealed that she was naked. She remembered that frat-party that she had gone to, then nothing.
“Dammit!” she thought. “I've been drugged, date-raped and dumped in an alley.” That was always a nightmare for women. Not that it made any of them any more careful for they still went on blind dates and got too drunk at the wrong kind of parties.
A careful examination revealed no signs of forcible entry. Ok, so she hadn't been raped… probably. So why strip her naked and dump her in a dark alley or room that stank of a homeless person's bathroom? She idle wondered.
She carefully rolled over and got to her knees, seeing a glow ahead. A door or window? No, a cave! The stink was batshit!
She started to move then felt a bag, a duffle of sorts. As her eyes became more accustomed to the dark, She could see more and saw that she was in a shallow cave, alone save for the duffle, and the sounds that she heard were bats overhead.
So taking the duffle, she left the cave, bending over to exit for she was not a big girl, but neither was she a munchkin. Then she looked at the forest.
She was a city-girl! Like all girls she wanted a pony when I was a child but quickly outgrew that in favor of a bicycle, them later, a motorcycle. She was saving up for a Sportster, a Harley-Davidson, the world's most effective sex-toy and that's why she went to that party, her date had a Chopped-Hog and she'd do almost anything to bitch that bike! Almost anything. She wasn't a virgin but neither was she a slut to sleep with some hairy guy just to ride on the back of a motorcycle no matter how much he pressed.
Still, what in the world was she doing here and how did she get here? And why?
She'd done things when drunk that she regretted. Every woman does and they swear never again... until the next time. So who did she upset enough to strip her and dump her into a bat cave in the middle of the woods? And how far would she have to hike to find to a road or town?
There was a stream running down the cliff into a shallow pool, then on into the trees so she looked it over for leeches (she had been there, done that, screamed for hours to get them off ) then washed up in the warm water, rinsing her mouth and then air dried as she looked at the bag. her hair went to below her shoulders and got in the way at times like this but if you have short hair, you have one hairstyle which is like wearing the same clothes every day. So she dealt with the bother of the length so she could change her style at a whim.
Who was she? Her name was Judy. Judith Innes when she dressed up. She was a 5’7”, green-eyed firebush redhead which meant that her hair was flaming red. She had a decent body with just enough to show cleavage in the right dress but not enough to give her a backache like her older sister or the comic book heroines that her brothers loved to ‘read’. Plus, like all redheads, her skin, being translucent, burned walking to the store. God had given her hair and a complexion to die for but forgot to protect me from the sun! She look good in jeans or a dress and could turn heads given some time with the right make-up and dress. Her mother had told her the secret, blondes have to be beautiful, brunettes need to be built but a redhead only needs to be natural. And the redder their hair, the more men chase them. That's why she never bought more than the first drink and never went to a party alone but she also suffered the unwanted attention of every single and many married man seeking a trophy. Judy wondered if that is the reason for her situation? For as she knew, she was no innocent virgin but neither was she a slut. She'd had my share of lovers, some long-term, some for a night, but at 22, she can still have fingers left over when she counted her numbers and had said ‘no’ far more often than she said ’yes’, unusual for the times in which she lived.
And here, naked, under the noon-day sun, she'd burn quickly and fry shortly after so she moved to the shade of the cliff and opened the bag. First was her leather purse on top. Since she had been at a party, it was barely large enough for a lipstick, mascara, a very small compact, a folding brush and her ID & credit cards. she put the lipstick on to avoid chapping. Judy spent a lot of money on her make-up only because she was allergic to the store brands and that which they sold at the swap meets would make her skin swell like a balloon. Neither could she have any tats! The ink they used and the needles would ruin her fair skin and cause any of a hundred infections redheads are condemned to suffer. Even piercing her ears was a major medical event to keep the infection down until they healed. Fortunately, she wasn't a high-maintenance girl so rarely wore more than lipstick and mascara, and even then, mostly only lipstick. Then she brushed her hair to get rid of the tangles so it would dry easier and give her time to think. Someone once said that when a cat needs time to consider what to do, it washes itself. Judy brushed her hair to buy time.
When done, she looked further into the canvas bag. Nope, no clothes at all. She hadn't seen any when she had opened the bag but a more careful examination showed nothing she could wear. No shoes either. What she did find were a few fake-antiques.
Judy was a history major so owned a collection of dust-collectors that mimicked the ancient tools on medieval mankind. One round brass box was a compass, another round package was a brass telescope. There was a wood-covered mirror of polished brass, a spoon made of horn, an iron fork and wood noggin (that is a bowl with a handle), a plate and mug. Both noggin and mug hung from a netseke, a carved bead to hold them from her belt. Flint and steel and tender were in a box. Plus a fishing kit, string, a sewing kit (both ivory needles made for me by a friend in a bone case and steel needles), and a 15-minute hourglass (but no watch). Almost everything had been purchased at the local Renaissance Fair because her professor had told her that “if you want to study music, pick up a flute and learn to play. If you want to study dance, get on the floor and move and if you want to study history, live like they did.” So she bought all these things and learned to spin and weave and sew and navigate and even to fletch arrows. And she also moved to the head of her class and the Dean's List while her fellows spent their time in the library and only guessed how people lived in the past. She had even wrote a paper on the Longbow that earned her notice from the Dean.
Fishing kit, Hanwei Dha, brass mirtror, carriage (long) bow, canvas quiver of
homemade arrows, flint & steel, sewing kit, knife, dinner fit, hunting and blunt arrows.
So she could look good at a party and find my way home alone and at times she was so glad her father wanted another boy. He had told her once, “Jude, some women need a man to take care of them and as they got older, they find that the men they attract get worse and worse. So, child, learn to take care of yourself. Be as feminine as you want but you can't go hiking in heels and if that guy gets lost or tells you to ‘put-out-or-get-out’, you had better be able to get home on your own.” So she joined hiking and orienteering clubs, co-ed, of course, and learned to use all the gear that men take for granted. She could play the helpless girl easily and did so when she liked the boy or needed a flat tire changed, but if necessary, she could handle myself. She even killed my own roaches!
It was the stuff on the bottom that scared her. Her Longbow! It was not really ‘long’ as it was 5’ long when assembled and still made of Hickory and it had a 40 pound draw and was in its bag with a quiver of two dozen cedar arrows. Plus her fletching jig and a bag of feathers, nocks and points (both hunting and target and blunts). Her wood-handled hunting knife (6” blade) and a folding pocket-knife. Plus, two Paul Chen Banshee Dha short-swords (their wrappings replaced with leather as she had worn the rubber out). And a few other things.
Whomever had dumped her here had also gone though her house and grabbed a bunch of her stuff. Not everything, for her Astrolabe was missing as was her portable sextant and Queen Anne Sundial. Nor was there a flashlight or candles or GPS, nor her cell-phone and they gave her a folding telescope instead of her modern binoculars. Everything was medieval or a reproduction of something medieval. It was as if they didn't want her to have anything modern. But then, they also didn't know the difference between a Tasco folding brass telescope and a real medieval telescope. Or maybe they didn't care though although it looked like someone had filed off the brand names.
AND, they expected her to have to defend myself. The bow and knives were survival tools so she could hunt food but the Dha were combat weapons. They had been a gift from a boyfriend who had taught her Escrima or Kali or whatever that martial art was that used two short sticks or short swords. It got him excited to win and he got even more so when she won a bout. The sex was good so she didn't mind the pretend-rape after he had won a match. But as time went on, Judy made him earn the win because as the initial passion faded, I found I needed more excitement. Which is why he dumped her, Judy kept winning as often as did he and he didn't like being forced to submit like she was the man and he the girl. Sometimes Judith missed him though.
Judy strung the bow, hung the knives and swords from her narrow hips (they had provided a belt that tied, no buckle) and shoved everything else into the cloth back-pack another friend had brought back from Guatemala. Then she noted north via her compass (she had to wait for the needle to stop waving around because modern compass’ were filled with oil to slow that wiggle), looked over the scenery with the telescope and paused… She searched for a landmark and there were none! As she scanned the horizon, the horizon failed to materialize, the trees kept going on and on until they faded into the distance.
Judy tied an arrow to a branch and lay her telescope along it to steady the thing, then kept looking up until the trees vanished so far away that even her 6x scope failed to see them. Then she tied the arrow securely at that point and looked at it.
Judy had gone hiking enough to know that you see the closer trees and nothing behind them but the sky overhead. Or if you are on a cliff, you see the trees getting smaller and lower in the distance until the horizon appears. But you look DOWN! She calculated the angle and at 45 degrees UP, the trees were still going on. She had taken enough orienteering and survival classes to know that this wasn't right! Plus all of her hiking trips with men, women and both had given her enough experience to know that this was impossible.
So, she set another arrow into the ground, made certain it was upright by using her notebook (a gift from another admirer who brought it back from Indonesia, hand bound of some weird local paper) as a square and saw that the shadow was gone. Or rather the shadow was exactly under the arrow as if it were noon.
Then she flipped the hourglass and wrote down everything that she had experienced up to this point. She turned the glass four times until an hour had passed, she still naked, sitting on the empty duffle in the shade as she wrote, and after that hour, the shadow had not moved a single inch! The sun was frozen overhead. It was as if she were in a gigantic bowel with a spotlight overhead shining down.
Judith give up! She turned myself off for awhile and just stared without thinking. “Daddy? Help me.” Meanwhile, the dinosaurs walked by forever….
“Beautiful, aren't they?”
She screamed and jumped behind the tree trunk that she had been using as a sighting post. The little man looked exactly like a garden gnome down to the pointed hat. “What the hell are you!” She managed to whisper.
“I am your spirit guide,” he said with some pride. Then, “that tree isn't big enough to hide you.” The gnome was staring at her naked chest! Then lower. “Don't you shave?” She did, but only my legs and armpits.
“The hell you are!” she snapped. “I'm no new-age freak! And I'm a redhead! My skin down there is too sensitive for that. So stop staring!”
Sighing, the little man explained, “Jude, you are crazy! This incident has pushed you over the edge. So, you have gone insane. I'm just a figment of your imagination. Now you have to decide if you are going to remain insane or return to normality and survive before something eats you, and not in that good way either that you have those dreams about.”
“It was the gay-until-may thing at college. I'm over that.” Then hesitated and asked, “I'm crazy?”
He laughed. “You are talking to a garden gnome. Remember the one your father bought you when you were five? You stuck it in your flower garden and believed that it would always protect you and help you. You even gave it cookies until you grew up.”
“Togglebots! I haven't seen you since Carl ran you o..ver….. What the hell! I'm so scared, Togglebots! What happened? Did those frat boys put something in the punch?”
“How should I know. Jude, I'm not real. BUT, you can talk to me as if I were.”
“I don't understand.”
“You know the answers. You are just afraid to consider them. The Earth is Hollow and you are inside. Someone sent you here for a reason and gave you the gear you need to survive here.”
“Who and why?”
Togglebots shrugged and replied, “How should I know. I'm not real, I'm just your unconscious. But you are. You know this is real. And you know where you are. Remember your grandfather talking about his brother David?”
“Yeah, crazy Uncle David. Ran the family into poverty with all those get rich mining schemes. Grandpa said that he invested in some kind of mechanical mining machine and vanished for ten years looking for gold or silver. Then showed up in Morocco long enough to ask grandpa to wire him money for clothes and guns and such, then he vanished again. What Uncle David needed with a thousand miles of telegraph wire we never learned. Maybe he wanted to run a telegraph business from Morocco to Capetown. He came back twenty years later but didn't look a year older than when he left and told some strange story that grandpa laughed at.”
“Stories about,” he prompted.
“…dinosaurs…” she whispered, looking at the herd that happily munched on the trees in the distance. Uncle David said that the earth was hollow and he was living inside… Togglebots! It's true! Great Uncle David Innes DID discover the hollow earth! He… but wait! How did I get here?”
“Hell if I know. What do you remember?’
“That frat party. They gave me a beer bong to chug. I puked all over myself and went to the bathroom to wash up. Someone came in. I pushed him away. Told him I wasn't in the mood for sex and… nothing.”
“Maybe that person wasn't interested in sex but in you.”
“Why me? To send me here?”
“Because Uncle David never had any kids…”
“None that you know of.”
“Granddad had five sons. I have a dozen cousins who are older than me and most of them are boys and half were in the Army. It's not like I was the sole heir. Hell, I have sisters and a brother who are older than I am. I am so far down the list that even if Uncle David hadn't spent all the family money, I'd never inherit anything.”
“But,” Togglebots insisted, “You can survive here and none of your other relatives can.”
Judy laughed at that, “So just because I was taught how… to… DAD! You KNEW!” then she woke up.
The raptor stood on the edge of the cliff and hissed at her. It looked a lot like the one in the Jurassic Park movies, only a lot scarier because this one was real and not CGI. Judith was a history major, not a dinosaur freak so she knew t-rex and raptor and veggiesaurus but not much else. But this one had teeth and a claw on each foot that could easily rip her apart. Even though it was only the size of a turkey, it looked scary!
She moved away and it jumped.
Jude grabbed the Dha's and pulled but they stuck, damn safety locks. Then she jerked hard and the lock came free and she swing and rolled then came to her feet and cut again and the thing died, twitching. Judy didn't even care that she was covered in its blood, still naked, she was just happy to be alive. “Togglebots, you were right about everything but one thing. I am not crazy and you were just a dream. But thank you for helping me dig around my subconscious.”
Then her stomach tried to empty again and she puked over the edge of the rise.
Later, after another bath, she dragged the carcass away from the cave and butchered it, remembering how her father had taken his children hunting and taught them how to hunt and gut with a bow and knife. She cut dry grass and wood and used the flint and steel to start a fire, cutting her char-cloth in half to conserve her resources. Then she smoked most of the carcass as she cooked the rest, turning it often and cutting off the outer, cooked layer as they do a gyro in a Greek restaurant. Maybe it was the feathers but the Raptor tasted like chicken!
Finally, she cut the duffle into a bikini, both top and bottom. She wanted support, not bouncing as she ran away from danger. The duffle wasn't heavy canvas so she could sew it with little difficulty and as her mother had made certain that she had taken Home Economics in high school, she did a decent job. Clothed, even in a canvas bikini, she felt better about herself. She had always turned down the nude-beach invites, not because she was a prude, but because, well, clothes make the man as they say and naked, Judith would be just another animal. She had finally decided that the sun wouldn't burn her translucent skin so she decided to look the part. Besides, she wanted to save most of the canvas for other things.
The survival classes her father had insisted that she take teach that you need only something to cut with and some means to make fire. Everything else was gravy! Maybe for the Army or a survival freak but Jude would rather have an elephant gun and an air mattress or better yet, her idea of roughing it was a motel without room service. But she quickly realized that those survival classes taught you to stay in one place until someone rescued you. All the stuff they crammed down my brain was to keep her put. Make snares, a hut, and so on until the search party arrived. So she did, hoping that whomever had put her here would return and she wanted to be here, not a hundred miles away when they arrived!
Needs: man needs shelter, food, security. So she made a big bundle of grass, set it on fire and pushed it into the cave. It didn't take long for the smoke to drive out the bats and the bugs. She added more to burn out the stink and dry the guano so that she could clean it out enough to sleep in. Then she used the Dha to carve a branch into a flat shovel and cleaned the cave until she was satisfied. More grass and the rest of her duffle made a mattress and she moved in.
All this time, the shadow of the arrow never moved.
Judith woke up to more hissing and stabbed with her pointed stick until the raptors left, she screaming in terror and they dragging the one dead as they ran. She glanced out and saw two eating their dead while the rest of the pack tore apart the ones she had wounded. A part of her, the part that was not terrified, decided that it was time to build a fence for a door. Judith was NOT an adrenaline junkie! Unlike many of the boys she had dated, she don't live for the challenge and did all that wilderness stuff only because she knew that in a couple days, she'd have a hot shower and clean sheets in a soft bed. She had even dumped one bf because he wanted to hike the Great Divide from Mexico to Canada. A weekend camping is fun, a week is tolerable, anything more was for the masculine girls she used to date in college when Jude was in her hard-core feminist stage.
Over the days(?) she leveled the floor of the cave with rocks and dirt, weaving mats from grass for rugs. She also made baskets and searched for anything that she could eat such as grains, vegetables, fruits. The movies she watched had people eating meat that they roasted over an open fire but a strict meat diet causes gout and who knows what else and any cook knows that you cook over coals, not fire. But those who did things like that were guys who'd drink from a toilet if they didn't have a woman to insist the lid stay down, so Judy wanted more. She had the occasional thought of going exploring to find a way home but quashed that when a wolf the size of a horse treed her. Hunger drove him away but she was starving by then herself, eating whatever she could find in that tree and licking the leaves after it rained. So she remained in her cave and screamed to the forest, “You BASTARDS! You dumped me here so you had damn well better tell me why or take me back home!”
All that happened was that a veggiesaurus, the ones that looked like Dino on the old Flintstones cartoon, only bigger than a house, glanced at her then returned to eating.
Judith had no idea of time. The shadow under her arrow never moved. Then she started to cramp and panicked as she searched for clean moss. Judith was pretty regular though there was that one time she skipped a couple months and was terrified that she was pregnant, but even more terrified to pee on that stick for fear of seeing a ‘+’ appear. And when she did a lot of hard exercise, she tended to be late and light but mostly she was regular enough to count and now she realized that she had a calendar. 15 days then here so 28 – 15 = 13! She had been inside the Hollow Earth for two weeks! “Dammit!” The raptors remained outside her cave for the entire five days and nothing she did could make them leave. They just killed and ate the ones she wounded but never left. She even tried tying the used moss to an old arrow and shooting that through her door hoping they would follow it but that idea didn't work. Unless she could figure something out, she was going to go stir-crazy being trapped for five days every month.
Judith sang every song she remembered. She played tic-tac-toe with herself. She stretched her food and water to the limit. But mostly she cursed whomever had put her here.
Canteen made by Judy in Pellucidar
When they left, the first thing Judy did was wash up! Then she ate everything she could find, then she started to hollow bamboo into pipes to run from the waterfall to her cave so she'd always have clean water. The pipes leaked so she sealed them with boiled-down pine resin and ashes which mostly worked. With a second pipe running from the cave and the shell of something that looked like a giant armadillo with a spiked tail for a sink, Judy figured that she was now safe from thirst.
She wanted to make a big fence but didn't have a shovel and the ground was too hard for the one she had carved and using an antler for a pick didn't work either. The ancient Britons had dug through thirty feet of rock hard ‘chalk’ to make the ancient Stone Circles and did so with nothing more than antler picks and cow, shoulder shovels. But Judith was unable to duplicate the efforts of her stone-age ancestors, so she built a wall of rocks wishing that she had studied Roman history instead of Medieval and Renaissance. At least that would tell her how to make cement.
One good thing is that the feathers that she got from the raptors helped her to fletch more arrows though she was unable to make more arrowheads. As Judy had no idea of what wild flint looked like, much less how to chip it and the stone that she had with her flint-and-steel kit was already chipped to shape, so she worked hard to recover her spent arrows. She never did learn to forge steel though she had once talked to a couple blacksmiths for a term paper, she was locked into fear of losing her last arrowhead.
Take-down “Carriage bow” aka Longbow with canvas quiver of cedar arrows.
Judy purchased the bow but made her own arrows.
One day, while hunting with a blunt (she hunted rabbits and ground birds because she was terrified that an arrow would make the bigger game angry, and that deer she saw had antlers that were easily a dozen feet across) she heard a scream like a steam engine.
Instantly she was up the tree, having learned to be a very good climber over the weeks. Judy watched the trees and brush crashing in a zig-zag which told her something was fast approaching, then a man carrying a spear and wearing fur ran by. He was changing direction, seeking the most difficult terrain when he tripped over an exposed root and before he could get up, this giant raptor that hopped like a kangaroo pushed through the trees and grabbed his feet, lifting the cave-man off the ground. The caveman screamed and stabbed at the giant raptor all the while it was eating him from the feet up.
Well, it actually lifted the caveman, swung him into the air, then opened and gulped and in two bites, the caveman was inside and the giant-raptor hopped away.
Judy stayed in that tree for hours, terrified to even upchuck until hunger forced her down. In the movies people thrive on this kind of adventure but in the movies, you could yell ‘cut’ and take a break. In real life, she had seen nothing as terrifying as that giant raptor! Her brother would have done something stupid like face the monster, but then, Judy wasn't big enough or strong enough to get into a bar-fight so she felt that hiding and running to be the better path to survival.
The ground was covered with his blood and the flies that were feeding off the blood but she managed to search and collected his stone knife, spear and a bag filled with a bunch of junk, mostly stone arrowheads, bits of antler and leather, flint and some other rocks and stuff that she hadn't seen since that wilderness survival weekend she had attended, and hated.
She gathered everything that looked useful and went home, trying to keep her dinner inside. But there were people here! Cave people who were ugly as sin but still people and that gave her mixed feelings. She wanted company and staying alive would be easier surrounded by cavemen who knew how to survive here but their reaction to ‘hello’ would probably be to hit her on the head with a club and drag her away to breed monkey-kids until she died from RH-incompatability or, being a redhead, complications with childbirth or just some stupid infection because the guy did his boyfriend or a wild pig and didn't wash before he did her. So now she had to worry about that too.
Judith was sunning myself, now that she realized that she wouldn't burn under the inner sun, and found that she enjoyed the warmth on her bare skin when she felt something watching her. Looking up with a start, after grabbing her new-found spear, she saw a veggiesaurus staring at her. The things looked like a snake threaded through an elephant but it was exactly like the one in the Jurassic Park movie so she knew they were harmless. Then it saw her garden and moved towards it.
Judy was more angry than scared because she had spent dozens of trips hauling dirt and dino-shit up to fill any depression with enough soil to hold anything that looked eatable and she wasn't about to let those things eat her carefully transplanted garden.
So instead of screaming and running away like she usually did, she hit the thing on the head! Repeatedly! Eventually it realized that she was pounding it and turned back to look at her. It actually looked hurt and Judith could swear that it was crying as it turned away to rejoin the herd.
Over time, she realized that although there were a bunch of different dinosaurs around, they were like dogs, one dog with dozens of breeds. Like the veggiesaurs, for example, she saw three kinds.
There was the gas-station one which was maybe 80’ long and had longer back legs. Then there was another one that was bigger only because its front legs were bigger so it was taller. Then there was the skinny one which was longer but thinner and had a tail like a whip. But all were safe unless they stepped on her.
Now the raptors were as similar and as different. There was the normal raptor that was like in the movies but had feathers on its head and arms and tail and it was the size of a big turkey. Then there were the chicken-raptors that she thought were birds until she killed one with a blunt. Those were covered with feathers and didn't have wings, but feathered arms and teeth but no beak. And then there were the big roo-raptors that were maybe 30’ long and looked like the one in the movie but it was thinner and hopped like a kangaroo and had actual arms with claws. Those were dangerous but not as bad as the movie-raptors. And this is why…..
Judith was walking through the veggiesaur herd, which she could do if she went slow and walked carefully. They would look down at her and then ignore her unless she got too close to the babies. Then, without warning, they started to honk and mill around and then all the babies were pushed to the middle where she was. The adults made a circle facing out and stomped and shook and Judith knew something was going down.
Then she saw between their legs, a pack of roo-raptors circling the herd. Occasionally one would charge the herd but be driven back because the veggies had a big claw on their front feet and they'd rear up and claw at the roos. Finally one of the younger adults panicked and pushed through the ring of adults and took off running. Jude couldn't blame him as she wanted to do the same thing.
Instantly the roos ignored the herd and took off after the loner, one managing to take a chunk out of his thigh. But that bite cost the roo as it was dragged then went rolling to lay still as the rest of the pack chased the limping veggie. The stunned roo managed to stand up, shook himself and looking around, chased after his pack. Another roo managed to rip a chunk out of the other leg and the veggie went down. The roos just jumped for his neck and tore his throat out and there was a lot of throat on that monster. The front part finally died and the roos started to eat, but the hind part of the veggie kept trying to get up and when it shook its leg or tail, a roo would be attracted by the movement and attack it until the rear part was finally dead too.
Then the veggie herd settled down and moved off in another direction, ignoring the feeding roos and their dead prey.
So the big roo-raptors were pack animals that followed the veggiesaur herd! But what about that one that ate the caveman? Judy discovered that later when she was hunting and killed a chicken-roo with a blunt. A blunt is an arrow with no head, it has a big knob on the end and kills small game by impact so you don't get blood all over the place. And here, spilt blood attracted things that wanted to eat Judy.
She picked the chicken-roo up and found that she was next to that swampy area that she avoided because of the leeches which were three feet long and creeped her out so much she had nightmares about the things. One of the roos waded ashore after swimming across the swamp, those things were great swimmers when people always thought the veggies were aquatic and the roos were land-dwellers. The Veggies mostly avoided water unless they were thirsty but the roos would play in the water like dogs.
That roo came to shore and was covered with 3’ leeches and Jude thought was that disgusting. But he settled down and the baby roos swarmed all over him, eating the leeches off his hide. She was moving back, slowly, hoping they didn't see her when luck was on her side for once. One of the smaller males went up to a female (Jude hopes she was a girl but wasn't about to lift their tail to check) and grabbed her by the neck. The movies never covered dinosaur mating, preferring to do that act between the scenes. In reality the dinosaurs had what is politely referred to as a bifurcated penis, though Judy had no idea of what that meant. Basically, the male member of a dinosaur is shaped like the letter “Y” to enable the male to use whichever one was closest to the female. What Judy saw was the smaller male shove the tail of a female aside and, well, this story is “rated-B” which means Burroughs! Nudity and violence is accepted but no sex or profanity So we will gloss over the act taking place and mention only that the female suffering that ‘fate-worse-than-death’ began to scream.
Then the biggest roo Judy had ever seen burst out of the trees, screaming like a steam-engine. The raper-roo jumped off that female so fast he … let us say that the grass was no longer fit of picnicking! Then the smaller male crouched and hissed and made all these submissive ‘I’m sorry’ sounds but the big Alpha who Judy had named ‘Big Daddy’ wasn't having any of it and he charged the smaller male who turned and ran, Big Daddy was right behind until Big Daddy took a chunk of Rape-boy's tail. Then Big Daddy slowed and returned to the pack, rose up really high and screamed so loud it hurt Judy's ears.
Then he went to the female, grabbed her by the neck and did to her what the smaller male had attempted. She took it without a sound and when he was done shuddering, he let her go, moved to the shade of a tree, settled down and was snoring within a minute. Typical man! The female just lay there then began to groom the blood off her neck by licking her arms and wiping where she was bleeding. Anything that came near got snapped at. Judy couldn't blame her for being so testy after all that and she snuck away.
So, Judy thought, Big Daddy was the alpha male who ruled the pack which was his wives, daughters and sons. Rape-boy was his son who had finally reached puberty and decided to get a piece until Big Daddy drove him away just like a pack of wolves. So the Roo-Packs followed the Veggie-Herds in the plains but the maturing boys were driven out to hunt solo, usually in the forests until they could steal enough females to create his own pack. The girls stayed to join Big-Daddy's harem. Later, Judy found that sometimes the banished males would pack together into homosexual packs until they managed to form their own packs with stolen females or drive away the alpha male of an existing pack. Somehow knowing this made them seem less strange but far more dangerous to her.
Judy was taking notes of all this in her notebook, thinking that she could get a job as a consultant in Hollywood when she got back. History majors tend to work at jobs where you say ‘can I super-size that for you’ a lot so about the time she was kidnapped(?), she was seriously kicking herself for not listening to her father who told her to find a Degree that would make some money. A job like Like Computer Engineering. Judy's father was always working on that radio of his and wanted help. He had an old out-of-print book by some guy named Gridley and had read about some radio-wave that was separate from the rest of the band, one that crossed space and passed through solid rock. He hoped that if he could perfect that radio, he could make a fortune on the thing, maybe sell it to NASA or the cell-phone people who could talk through the Earth instead of renting satellite time and ….
“Daddy!” enlightenment arrived as a proverbial light bulb. “He knew! He never laughed at the stories about Great Uncle David Innes. But he never actually believed them either. So why did he insist on turning me into this person who could live here? And why me? I had cousins who would love this life. I really wanted a warm bed and right now would marry that geek who helped dad with that radio and followed me around because he'd have a job that made money. Hell, I'd even be faithful to him if I could never again go into a park or forest ever again.” She pondered.
“How did Daddy know? Uncle David died before Dad was born. No, that's not true. Uncle David VANISHED before dad was born. Did Uncle David return again? Uncle David returned after ten years the first time and looked exactly the same. He returned another twenty years later and looked only a couple years older. Gone Thirty years and aging maybe a year or two? Did people age slower down here or was time slower? Could he have come back again? Did dad meet him? And why me? Why the hell was I chosen to come here? HOW did I get here and more importantly, how do I get back?” She was thinking about this, dropping the occasional tear on the paper when she heard the scream!
Imagine a steam engine and a lion and a flock of angry geese and you'll have some idea of a hunting roo-raptor. Jude always felt sorry for whatever it was chasing but consoled herself with the ‘better them than me’ thought. Still, she strung her bow and hid behind some big rocks close to her cave. She didn't like the roo's that close to her home.
“Dammit! Another cave-man. This place was becoming troglodyte-central.” She muttered. Yes, she knew what troglodyte means. Judy was far from stupid, she was simply a city bred college student who wanted to go home. However this cave-man wasn't the usual cave-man. For one thing, he looked human, or modern and not like the ape-man she saw before. Yes, he wore animal skins but his were better made than the last and consisted of a vest and shorts and shoes. But he was carrying a rifle! It looked like a hunting rifle but he was too far away to be certain, and he was running for his life as the roo-raptor hopped after him. Had the roo not gotten stuck in the forest, the caveman probably would now be dinner. Then Judith did something stupid!
She jumped up and screamed, “Over here! Here!” waving her bow as he turned for the cave. Judy ran to the steps to show him the way then drew an arrow and waited.
Roo-raptors looked a lot like a long-armed version of the T-Rex like from the movies but here, they didn't run, they hopped like a kangaroo and that man wasn't able to outrun it so Judy did another stupid thing.
To be continued…...
Weapons Photos and Family Tree sketch by Rick Johnson
The racier, somewhat more colourful, alternate version in the first person is at: