A lone Strank stallion gallops alone across the Amazon grasslands. As he passes by, several animals watch him go in awe, wondering where he is going and where his herd is. Luckily for the Strank, he knows where his herd is and is confident that he can go back to it easily. He continued on through the tall grass until he finally reached where he was going: a large blue object in a clearing. It was massive with two winglike structures with round things on the end of each of them, parts that are silver gray and green, and three eyelike things on the fronts. This is an odd object to the Strank. What is it? Where did it come from? Is it even an animal he never seen before? What he didn't know is that the object is called the Time Flyer and is home to creatures called Humans, which the Strank saw soon enough when he saw two Human teenagers, C.G. and Ethan, emerge from behind the craft and head out in a different direction, the holodat in C.G.'s hand. Now even more curious, the Strank decided to follow, walking slowly to make his presence is well hidden from the humans.
Inside the Time Flyer, there are two more human and one of them named Emily was showing Squibbon two balls, one that is blue while the other is red.
"Okay, Squibby, one more time: blue." Emily said, showing Squibbon the blue ball who warbled in response. "Okay, now red." Emily said, showing Squibbon the red ball on the other hand. Squibbon chortled.
"I don't know, Em. He says blue, he says red." Luis said, not amused by what is going between Emily and Squibbon. "All I hear is ooong."
"Squibbonese is a subtle language, Luis, but I think I've picked up the distinction. Watch." Emily said, as she gave Squibbon the two balls. "I'll get him to throw me the red ball. Ready Squibby?" Emily asked her pet before saying "Eee! Eee!" to encourage him to throw the red ball like she wanted. But, instead, after staring at Emily for a bit and glancing at the balls, Squibbon threw them both at Luis, much to his chagrin.
"Something must have gotten lost in translation." Luis said annoyed, gingerly rubbing the back of his head and giving Squibbon an angry look. The terrasquid wrapped his two front tentacles fearfully in response, uttering warbling sounds. Emily lowered her head a bit as she watched on. Meanwhile, the Strank had followed C.G. and Ethan to where they are going: another clearing, only a short distance from the Time Flyer, with another strange device in the centre.
"Solar sequencer engaged." C.G. said after pushing some buttons, activating the device. "We need to collect a significant amount of solar energy if we're going to bore for rock samples."
Ethan, however, is bored and isn't paying any attention to what C.G. is doing with the solar sequencer and is more interested in the compacted form of the chameliographic helmet in his hand.
"Oh, boring. Gotta love that." Ethan said sarcastically, giving C.G a brief glance while still looking away.
"Yes. Now I've modified the device for maximum solar absorption." C.G. said, before pushing the buttons on the device again. "To operate it, you'll need to enter code sequence so like."
"Right, codes. Got it!" Ethan said, his attention still focused on the helmet. It was too clear to C.G. that Ethan is not listening well to her demonstration.
"Ethan, I need your full attention." C.G. said, walking to the large boy. "If the storage capacity exceeds its maximum, the results could be disastrous!"
But Ethan has had enough of C.G. talking about the solar sequencer and wanted to talk about something, "No more geek speak, okay? We're in the Amazon grasslands, 5 million years in the future! We should be having some fun!" He said to the future girl as walked up to her and showed the helmet in his hand to her while pointing it out with his finger.
"Fun?" C.G. asked, "What could be more fun than storing energy?"
Ethan was silent for a moment before he starting looking for an answer to C.G.'s question, "Gee, I don't know. How about, uh,...". He then went up on a rock and spotted a Babookari on a tree. "...Those Babookaris? One of many monkeys found here! We could use this chameliographic helmet to disguise ourselves, sneak in, and then we get our monkey on!" Ethan said as he gets off the rock and gives the helmet to C.G., before proceeding to act and hoot like a monkey. C.G. was amused by it. The Strank stallion, on the other hand, is not and does not like the display Ethan is doing. In his eyes, acting like a monkey is dangerous and no creature, even the strange twolegs before him, should do anything like that as it could get them mistaken for Babookaris by Carakillers or any other predator.
C.G. laughed a bit sarcastically before saying "I see. Perhaps after you memorized the code-"
"Enough with the code! I got it!" Ethan said in an annoyed voice, getting up from the ground and pushed a few buttons on the solar sequencer, "See? You pressed here, here, and..."
'Energy discharge initiated.' The solar sequencer announced as it shook, the red side of the bar on it glowing, surprising Ethan. Soon, the orb in it began to turn orangish red.
"Watch out!" C.G. exclaimed before pushing Ethan out of the way before the orb shoots out an energy beam after rising up. Once the energy beam is gone, the orb went back where it is. While none of the two teens were hurt, the energy beam gave out a nasty surprise, as Ethan soon saw.
"Uh oh! Fire! Fire!" Ethan exclaimed, pointing to some smoke emitting from the spot where the energy beam directed at as C.G. turned to see it and gasped in shock. The Strank have saw what happened as well and began to worry about what will happen next. Will the fire the energy beam created get bigger? If it does, it means that he and the Two-legs had to get away from it as soon as possible and other animals, including his herd, will know it once they see the signs of a large fire coming as fire is feared by many.
Unbeknownst to C.G., Ethan, and the Strank, a pack of Carakillers is nearby and one of them has spotted the smoke. He turned to tell his fellow Carakillers what he has saw.
"Carakillers, we've got fire in grass and when there's fire, there's tasty food running for their lives. What are we gonna do?"
"Chase them down!" The other Carakillers said.
"Right!" the green-marked Carakiller said, before pointing to a purple-marked Carakiller who proudly showed himself off, "Now, you all know your hunter leader, Zodeff, fastest Carakiller on the plains. After we surround the slowest weakest one, he'll go in for the takedown. Any questions?"
He then sees a female orange-marked Carakiller. Her name was Psuebo. "Yeah, you with the beak?" the green-marked Carakiller asked Psuebo.
"Yeah, I was thinking, how about someone else leading the hunt for once?"
This caused the other Carakillers beside her to laugh.
"Here's the deal, Psuebo. I'm the best. Why use the rest? Am I right?" Zodeff said.
"Oh, come on-" Psuebo tried to protest, before being cut off by the green-marked Carakiller.
"I'm in charge here! Zodeff's leading the hunt. Get going!"
"Come on, Carakillers!" Zodeff said, leading the other Carakillers towards where C.G., Ethan and the Strank are.
Meanwhile, the small fire has thankfully shortened out, much of the relief of C.G., Ethan, and the still hiding Strank as there is now nothing to worry about.
"Sorry about that, Ceege. Dumb mistake." Ethan apologized, but C.G. is not impressed, so was the Strank who can see that Ethan is reckless and recklessness is not a welcomed trait to him as it more often than not gets anyone into trouble.
"Perhaps I should demonstrate the emergency shut off again," C.G. said, turning on the solar sequencer which she ended up having to turn off, before turning to Ethan with an raised eyebrow and an angry snarl on her face, "In case of any future dumb mistakes!"
Ethan was dumbfounded, before saying "I said I was sorry! Is everyone from your era so uptight?"
"For your information, back at the academy, I was known as the wild one." C.G. said. Ethan snickered at her statement.
"Are you choking?" C.G. asked.
"No! No! It's called a laugh, because you being wild is a joke!" Ethan said. "In fact, sometimes I think you're afraid to have fun."
"Incorrect!" C.G. said turning away and crossing her arms.
"Prove it!" Ethan said, holding out the chameliographic helmet to C.G. "Strap on the helmet and get funky with the monkeys."
Nearby, the Strank is still watching and doesn't like what is going on. Seeing Ethan pressuring C.G. to do what he wants her to do is making his blood so much that he decided he needs to put a stop to it.
"No!" C.G. exclaimed angrily. "We're already behind schedule!"
"Oh, staying on schedule! You are the wild one, girl!" Ethan teased, before he flipped the helmet a few times while saying "Fun, fun, fun!"
Furious and fed up with the boy's immaturity, C.G. was about to snatch the chameliographic helmet from Ethan when the Strank reared up, roared furiously, ran up to them and stopped between C.G. and Ethan who fall over on his back by the force of the horse's charge between him and his commander who merely back up a bit from the horse. The two teenagers could not believe the equine creature before them, C.G. even more. She was finally seeing one of the many creatures she has only saw on screens back at home in the flesh for the first time. The Strank turned and lowered his head towards Ethan, glaring at him. He then made some angry neighing and snorting sounds as if he was trying to scold Ethan while he was still staring at the horse for a moment. Of course, Ethan couldn't understand what the Strank is trying to say. He cannot speak horse.
It was then the Strank heard something and, much to C.G. and Ethan's surprise, he picked up them with his teeth, put them on his back and bolted off as fast as he can. As soon as C.G., Ethan and the Strank left, Zodeff and his pack arrived at the solar sequencer and began to immediately investigate it and the area it is in. Zodeff spotted the small patch of burned ground, scratched it with his claws, and then backs up a bit while scanning the ground before perking up after hearing the sound of galloping hooves from a distant. He knew right away what the noise belongs to and which direction it is at.
"It's been a while since I last strike down on a Strank." Zodeff said, before signaling to the others to follow him.
The Strank continued to galloped as fast as his four hooves can carry him with C.G. and Ethan still on his back, until they reached the top of a rocky ledge overlooking the plains. Once the Strank stopped galloping, the two human teens sighed in relief. For the whole time, C.G. was holding onto the Strank's mane so she doesn't fall off while Ethan hold onto her so he doesn't fall off either.
"Are you alright, Ethan?" C.G. said, turning to Ethan.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Ethan said, getting off the Strank's back. "Now, would you mind telling me what happened back there and what the long maned zebra is?"
"Oh, you mean the Strank? Well, I assumed it must heard or sense something nearby and made a quick getaway in an attempt to prevent discovery, taking us with it presumably because it doesn't want us to get hurt." C.G. said.
"Strank?" Ethan said, surprised that C.G. knew what the creature is as they just only meet it.
"Yes. It is one of many creatures from the future I know of before I left home for the mission, and it's my first time seeing this animal for real." C.G. said, touching and feeling the pelt of the Strank, who is surprised by her touch, yet feels a kind of warmth and tingling sensation from it. He was even more surprise to see that one of the twolegs knows he is a Strank as they have just met.
"So, you know what that zebra is? What other future animals do you already know of?" Ethan asked.
"Not exactly a zebra, Ethan. The Strank is actually descended from south american feral horses or wild as your civilization calls them." C.G. said, crouching down to examine the Strank further as he continued to watch the twoleg examining him.
"I knew it wasn't a zebra. I called it that because of the stripes it has which made it look like a zebra." Ethan said.
"That's because Stranks like this stallion evolved their stripes to confuse predators through moving together as one when a predator strikes, which will make picking out a single target difficult." C.G. said, the Strank observing her closely.
"Stallion? As in a boy horse? And how did you know that?" Ethan asked.
"Yes. Quite simple, Ethan. I took a close look at his genitalia and saw that our Strank friend here is a stallion." C.G. said.
"Genitalia?" Ethan said.
"External reproductive organs." C.G. said. The Strank is amused at Ethan's confusion. Silly twoleg.
"Oh, right! Emily taught me and Luis how to do this kind of thing and even showed us pictures of genitalia from different animals to show us which ones are a male's or female's, including horses." Ethan said as he crutched down and took at the Strank's genitalia. "Hey, you're right, Seige! Our horsy friend here is a stallion. But, enough of that. Where's his herd? I mean, horses are herd animals, right?"
The Strank neighed and pointed his hoof towards the edge of the rocky ledge and the two teens looked over the edge to see a whole herd of Stranks below, all of them of different ages and living happily together.
"Whoa! Check out it. Looks like horse behavior hasn't change at all in 5 million years." Ethan exclaimed. "I bet our stallion friend does a good job of being leader of his herd."
"Sorry to tell you this, but wild and feral horse herds are actually led by a dominant mare, making them matriarchal." C.G. said, "The stallion's job, on the other hand, is protect the herd from predators and rival stallions and are very aggressive about it."
"What?! But I thought-" Ethan said, before getting cut off by C.G.
"I know. Almost everyone else did." C.G. said. "Yet again, many people get some things about animals wrong."
"If so, then where she is? The dominant mare and leader of the herd, that is." Ethan said, looking over the ledge in the hopes of spotting her. C.G. rolled her eyes at this, so did the Strank. They could've just go down from up here and see her for themselves. It was then a whinny sound from behind them and they turned to see another Strank coming for them. The Strank stallion instantly recognized the other Strank and went to it and the two snuggled with each other, much to the amusement to the two humans. Cautiously, C.G. approached the two Stranks, more specifically the one that appeared, crouching down to see its genitalia, much to the bemusement of the second Strank who was confused by ensured by the stallion that it is alright and not hurtful in any way.
"Well, what is it, Seige?" Ethan asked.
"This Strank is a mare and a member of the stallion's herd based on his reaction to seeing her." C.G. said, getting up and touching the pelt of the Strank mare.
"A girl horse, huh?" Ethan said. "Maybe we can ask her which one of her herdmates is the leader." The Strank stallion neighed and did some gestures with his head and neck and pointing towards the mare in response.
"What are you trying to say, stripe boy?" Ethan said, not understanding.
"I think he's saying the mare is the herd's leader, even if she doesn't look like it." C.G. said.
"What?! But, how?!" Ethan exclaimed.
"I have watched how the stallion neighed and moved his head towards the mare in response to your statement as if he's saying 'there's no need for that. She's right here before us.'" C.G. said.
"You sure about that?" Ethan said.
"Yes. Watch." C.G. said, coming towards the Stranks, then asked the stallion, "You're saying that the mare is your herd's leader. Is it true?" The stallion neighed in response and the mare whinnied in agreement.
"See? That's what he said." C.G. said.
"So, you can understand horse, but can you speak horse too?" Ethan asked, crossing his arms.
"Speak horse?! No!" C.G. exclaimed. "I've studied how animal body language and communication back at home and so, I can understand what animals are saying, expressing and showing how they are feeling." She turned to the mare and stroke her face, "Besides, I find it easier to talk to animals than to others my age. That's one of the reasons why I was known as the wild one."
Ethan once again snickered at C.G.'s, only to stop when the Stranks came to him and angrily snorted and neighed at him, while C.G. gave him a glare. Right away, the blond-haired boy knew in the eyes of his friend and the Stranks, C.G. saying she was known as the wild one is not funny.
"Sorry, sorry. Won't do that again." Ethan said. This earned a smile from C.G. and it made the Stranks happy. It was then they all heard a distant whinnying sound from below. C.G., Ethan, and the Stranks looked over the ledge and saw two Strank yearlings seemingly fighting over something. Interested, the stallion and mare decided to head on down to the herd and deal with the problem. Ethan wanted to come with them, but the stallion told him through body language and snorting "No! Stay put.", much to the boy's frustration. Thankfully, C.G. understand what the stallion is going with and told them that she and Ethan will stay put and not go anywhere until the Stranks come back. With that, the two horses head off towards the herd to deal with the two yearlings. For a few moments, Ethan watched the Stranks while crossing his arms and frowning at the animals before something caught his eye. Immediately, Ethan pulled out C.G.'s binoculars from one on her belt pouches, causing her to ask what he is doing when she saw it, and right away he saw and knew what he had just glimpsed at: the Babookari troop from before. A smile formed on Ethan's face.
"Ethan?" C.G. asked, her hands on her hips.
"I have just got an idea, Ceegee. How about while our horse buddies are busy, let's head back to those babookaris and you strap on the helmet and get funky with the monkeys?" Ethan said, holding out the chameliographic helmet.
"What?! Are you insane? No way!" C.G. said. "The Strank stallion brought us here for a reason and it's because he heard or sensed something nearby where we all meet and whatever it is could still be out there. Beside, I told him and the mare that we'll stay put until they got back. What would they do when they see that we have gone to that Babookari troop and I did the dare you tried to made me do? We could both get into trouble with them for this."
Ethan was silent before he got angry. C.G. is beginning to become more resistant to his dare than she was before.
Back at the Time Flyer, Emily was showing Squibbon a bowl of food while saying "Eeeee. Eeee." Squibbon took the bowl and placed it on his head, flapping his vestigial paddle-like tentacles.
"Heh heh. Emily, I don't think your Squibbonese dictionary is working." Luis said, his elbow on the chair Squibbon in on.
"That's because they wouldn't take us to their herd to deal with those younger Stranks, Seige!" Ethan said from Luis' communicator. "We could've been some help to them."
"No, we wouldn't." C.G. said, "Because we could not do anything about it. We're humans. We wouldn't be of any help at all." C.G. said from the lanky boy's communicator. Luis and Emily looked at each other. Did C.G. and Ethan met a new future animal and they didn't tell them about this right away? And what exactly are Stranks?
"Then, let's go! To the monkeys!" Ethan said, grabbing C.G.'s arm, but she got it free quickly.
"Didn't you hear what I have said? I said no!" C.G. said angrily. "Any predator nearby will think I'm a babookari and I don't want that to happen!"
"Come on, Seige! I'll protect you and act as lookout." Ethan said.
"Oh, yeah! With what exactly?" C.G. said, crossing her arms.
"Well, um.." Ethan said, trying to think of a good answer, but seemingly could not. C.G. rolled her eyes at this.
Nearby, a Strank foal was trolling up to the ledge where he saw his parents. He was hoping he can ask his father what the strange blue thing he saw in the distance was. But, instead, he came across a scene that doesn't look good: two odd twolegs arguing with each other about whatever or not one would do a dare of pretending to be a Babookari with a thing on the other's hand. He bet if he can snatched that thing, they'll stop arguing and going through the potentially dangerous dare. And soon enough, he leaped out of the grass and snatched the helmet out of Ethan's hand with his teeth, much to the surprise to the teens.
"Huh?" Ethan said, not believing what he had saw. All three of them just stared at each for a few moments before the little foal gave out a whinny and ran off with the helmet still in his mouth.
"Hey, little foal! Come back!" C.G. said, following the foal who had stopped at a spot not far from the teens.
"I thought we're supposed to stay put up here." Ethan said, following the foal as well, although reluctantly.
"I know, Ethan, but that foal's got the helmet. We have to get it back!" C.G. said as the two get closer to the foal.
"Right, Said the girl that talks to horses." Ethan joked a bit, earning him a glare and growl from C.G., "Okay, okay. I'll stop joking around and help get the helmet back." C.G. smiled at this. Once she and Ethan got close to the foal, he simply ran off again.
"Hey." C.G. said, watching the foal go. She and Ethan started to follow the foal for a bit before being temporarily stopped and blocked by a long-necked, semi-flightless water bird called a Snakespear who shrieked and snap at them a couple of times before turning around and going to the direction the foal went. The two humans were stunned at first by the sudden appearance of the bird, but quickly shook it off.
"Sorry there, little Snakespear, but we were just following a Strank foal that has something of ours." C.G. said.
"Yeah." Ethan agreed. The Snakespear warbled twice at the two humans before diving into some water below from a ledge. Ethan, insulted by the bird's warbles, followed it and ended up falling it into a pond in a large marsh, causing him to become soak and wet. C.G. come shortly afterwards with a big splash, soaking Ethan even more.
"Hey!" Ethan exclaimed.
"Sorry, Ethan. I slipped." C.G. said.
"Yeah, right." Ethan said, "Next time, look before you leap!"
"I did look down, Ethan, and then decided to wait you're not in the way, but I ended slipping and falling down next to you!" C.G. said, squeezing out as much water as she can from her ponytail.
"Why you horse and bird loving-" Ethan said, just before suddenly getting splashed on by the foal, rearing up and using his front hooves to stop the arguing between him and C.G. This causes other Strank foals in the pond to laugh, along with Snakespears including the one from before and C.G., who is especially enjoying it. At this, Ethan glared at her and splashed her with his hands in the same manner the foal splashed him, causing her to stop laughing. Ethan laughed at her current state, before she splashed him herself. He then tried to splash her again before getting drenched by the Snakespear, who laughed with C.G. at Ethan's even more drenched up state. The tall boy tried to splash C.G. again, only she dodged it and threw some water at Ethan who ended up smiling.
"Hey, this is fun!" Ethan said as he, C.G., the Strank foal and Snakespears all started to splash at each other for fun. Meanwhile, the Strank stallion and herd leader, who were looking for C.G. and Ethan who seemingly disappeared, have finally found the twolegs playing in the marsh with the young foals and Snakespears. Relieved, they cannot help but enjoy the scene before them. They felt especially happy when their foal, the foal with the helmet in his mouth, played with the twolegs who were equally happy. Unfortunately, this didn't last very long as the stallion and mare soon spotted Zodeff and his pack a short distance away from the herd. For a moment, the stallion watched the tall predatory birds stalk through the long grass, until he has noticed that they are getting dangerously close to the marsh where the foals, twolegs and Snakespears are at. Worried, the two Stranks glanced at each other for a bit before deciding to warn the herd, foals, twolegs and Snakespears right away. With that, both let out warning neighs that are immediately heard by the herd which they recognized as coming from the stallion and their leader. All the foals, expect the Stallion and herd leader's foal, and the Snakespears also heard the warning neighs and after hearing some grass rustling and seeing parts of the approaching Carakiller pack, the foals ran back to the herd just as the herd leader came back to it while the Snakespears dive in the water for safety.
"Hey, where's everyone going?" Ethan asked, confused about why the other foals and Snakespears have suddenly stopped having fun along with C.G. and the stallion and herd leader's foal who are seeing the stallion above rearing up repeatedly and neighing, warning them, but why? However, it soon became clear to all three when they heard some familiar caws and the sources of them: Zodeff and his pack coming in towards them. Sensing there's no point in staying, the three of them immediately tried to ran back to the Strank herd, only to get blocked by two other Carakillers, causing the young foal to lead C.G. and Ethan to a thorn brush where the Carakillers struggled to get through thanks to the sharp thorns.
Zodeff, however, was not deterred. He simply scanned the thorn brush in search of the two odd Babookaris and Strank foal until he spotted them trying their best to hide from the giant birds while carefully navigating through the thorned branches and vines. In spite of this, Zodeff kept a close eye on them with his sharp eyesight, watching and waiting for the right moment to strike which came when C.G., Ethan, and the foal found a pathway in the brush big enough for them to run through safely, including one spot that is exposed to the open. Once he saw the three friends going through the exposed brush spot, Zodeff leaped up into it in the hopes of striking down at least one of them. But instead, he got himself and C.G. entangled in some thorned vines a few feet apart from each other. Zodeff struggled to get to C.G., snapping at her with his beak, while she struggled to break herself free while trying to keep herself away from the giant bird. Eventually, with enough force, she managed to free herself from the vines, causing one of them to swing towards Zodeff, hitting him in the eye. Writhing and screeching in pain, Zodeff freed himself from his entanglement and tried to intend to his wound. Thankfully, his eye wasn't damaged but has a bloody cut over it. Seeing that his potential prey is getting away, Zodeff goes after them with a newfound fury.
Once they're out of the thorn brush, C.G., Ethan, and the foal ran straight for the Strank herd as fast their feet carry them so they can be safe. Unfortunately, along the way, the foal tripped, causing C.G. to stop and go back for him. Ethan tried to follow her, only to be stopped by two Strank mares who push him into the herd, sensing that C.G. can handle herself. Once C.G. got to the foal, picked him up and ran towards the herd, Zodeff came right for them at lightning speed and almost strike them with his beak, only to get hit with a force so hard he almost fell over. He looked up to see what hit him: the Strank Stallion standing before him with an angry look on his face and scrapping his hoof across the ground. Angered by this, Zodeff prepares to fight back.
"Father?" the young foal asked.
"Go. Back to the herd. You and the twoleg will be safe while I hold the Carakiller off." the stallion said to his son, nudging him to go. Of course, C.G. couldn't understand what the Stranks are saying as all she can hear is neighing and whinnying, but she does understand their body language, what it does mean, and the urgent need to head to the herd. So, she put down the foal and they both ran straight for the herd where the foal snuggles with his mother, the herd's leader, in comfort and C.G. gets a hug from Ethan, happy to see that she's alright.
Meanwhile, Zodeff charged towards the stallion, trying to strike him, only to miss as the horse quickly dodged the bird's blow, reared up and striked down with a mighty force. Zodeff managed to dodged it as well. Then, the fight continued on with Zodeff trying strike and bite at the stallion while he tries to buck and kick at the bird. only for both to repeatedly dodge the other's attack with the stallion striking the occasionally blow to Zodeff with his head and neck. Eventually, Zodeff, feeling more furious than ever, leaped up onto the stallion, sinked his claws in the equine and bit him, causing him terrible pain. The stallion struggled to get Zodeff off of him as he bucked, kicked and bite the bird once again, before deciding to flip over, which got Zodeff off of him, breaking the bird's arm in the progress. After both got up, the stallion reared up again, preparing to strike at the bird. Zodeff tried to get out of the way, but despite this, he couldn't move his foot fast enough as the horse struck down with a powerful force, landing one of his hooves on the bird's middle toe, breaking it, causing the bird to let out a loud shriek in pain. With that, the stallion and the rest of the herd immediately drove Zodeff and the rest of the pack off and they ran like the wind, although Zodeff had a harder time thanks to his now broken toe, which made him limp a bit and his run very painful. The stallion snorted at Zodeff as he and his pack run away. Serves him right.
Once the Carakiller pack is out of sight, the other Stranks, C.G., and Ethan went up to the stallion, happy to see that the stallion is alright, despite his injuries.
"Man, that was awesome! You fight that killer chicken like it was nothing and kicked him right in the butt! Hi-yah!" Ethan said, performing his leg up in the air, only to fall back on his back, earning him laughs from the Stranks and C.G.
"Oh, Ethan. The stallion only fought that Carakiller because it was trying to attack me and his foal." C.G. said.
"You mean turn the two of you into its dinner?" Ethan said, getting up.
"Yes." C.G. said, rolling her eyes at her friend before turning to the stallion. "And sorry that me and Ethan didn't stay put like we're supposed to, but we ended getting into an argument when he suggested I do the dare he tried to made me to do and your little foal came by and snatched up the helmet from Ethan and led us to that marsh. I hope you and the herd leader aren't mad at us." Thankfully, the stallion and mare understand what C.G. meant and showed that they're not mad by snuggling up to her and even put their heads over her shoulders, which made her happy. Ethan tried to approach the stallion and touch his head, but backed off from him when he snorted angrily at him and lunged his head towards the blond-haired boy. It was clear to Ethan that the Strank is angry at him for trying to make his friend do his dare once again.
The young foal with the chameliographic helmet in his mouth came over to C.G. and gave her the helmet. "Oh, thank you. Next time, send out a warning before you snatch something from another creature to stop some fighting next time. Okay, little one?" C.G. said to the little foal who whinnied in response.
"Alright! We got the helmet!" Ethan exclaimed, snatching the helmet from C.G.'s hand. "Now, our little friend can think twice before he can snatch this like a little sneak." C.G. rolled her eyes at this and crouched down to see the foal's genitalia.
"Huh. So, you're a colt and a very cute one. I bet Emily will find you cute or adorable like she does with almost every other animal she meets." C.G. said. The colt was confused by what the twoleg did and turned to his parents.
"Mother, father? Why did the twoleg took a look on my underside?"
"Because it appears that she and her friend cannot tell the genders of other animals apart from each other without looking at their undersides. I was confused by this when she did that to me too, but your father ensured me that it is alright and not hurtful in any way.", his mother said.
"Yeah, Mvua. It was odd the twolegs have to do this kind of thing to other creatures, but not presumably to their own kind." the stallion said.
"But enough of that, Roho, do you think you'll be alright with the wounds you got from that Carakiller?" Mvua asked.
"Yeah, father. Do you think they would of any concern?" the foal asked as well.
"Don't worry, Ajattara. I doubt they will ever slow me down." Roho said, looking over his wounds which were bleeding, blood dripping from them. The other Stranks weren't so sure. Seeing this, C.G. approached Roho, puling the medi-scanner out of a pouch on her belt and used it to scan Roho's wounds.
"Good news, your wounds aren't very deep and will recover in no time as long as they don't get infected." C.G. said after looking over the readings she got from the medi-scanner. "However, we still have to stop them from bleeding. But with what?" C.G. looked around for a bit, but deciding to use some grass.
"Grass, really?" Ethan asked as C.G. puts a few patches of grass she found on Roho's wounds. "Horses eat that stuff."
"Pardon me, Ethan, but I have one of my father's friends do this kind of thing on his pet, Tailthrasher, too. So, I don't see why I cannot do it too." C.G. said, rolling her eyes at Ethan, so did the Stranks as they can see she is trying to help their herdmate. It was then Luis, Emily and Squibbon arrived on the dune skimmer.
"Hey C.G., Ethan!" Luis said to his two other crewmates. The Strank herd looked curiously at the two new twolegs and... an eightleg?
"Luis? Emily? Squibbon?" C.G. asked, coming over to the dune skimmer with Ethan. "What are you three doing here?"
"We heard you guys talking about another future animal you might have meet just now called a Strank on my communicator and saw that you two weren't at the solar sequencer." Luis said, getting off the dune skimmer. "So, we tracked your signals and came over here. What's going on?"
"Sorry, Luis. I was showing Ethan how to operate the device, but he pretty much didn't listen and then suggested we have some fun with some babookaris, and he even made a little fire with a dumb mistake of his when he messed up with code. Then, he tried to get me to use the chameliographic helmet to do some dare to prove I can be wild by spending time with the Babookaris before our Strank stallion friend suddenly appeared before me and Ethan. Then, he took us to a ledge overlooking his herd after he-" C.G. explained, before being cut off by Luis.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Did you say 'stallion', as in an adult male horse?" Luis asked, "Are the creatures called Stranks me and Emily hear you and Ethan speak of are horses?"
"Why, yes dude. What do you expect? A Rabbit pretending to be a horse or zebra?" Ethan said.
"Well, um..." Luis stammered a bit, struggling to find a good answer.
"Anyway, Emily, Luis and Squibby, meet our new horsy friends." Ethan said, motioning to the Strank herd, then to his three friends. "Strank herd, meet Emily, Luis and Squibby."
"Wow! You guys look a lot like Zebras mixed with Tigers." Emily exclaimed at the sight of the Stranks, touching the pelts and heads of a few Stranks that came up to her and Luis in curiosity, including Roho and Mvua, and just like with C.G., Emily's touch gave out the same kind of warmth and tingling sensation they felt previously. "And you guys are so adorable!" Emily said, hugging a couple of foals from a group of them that came up to her. Ajattara is one of them and both he and the other foal, who is a filly, love the new twoleg's touch as it is warm and friendly. Squibbon came up on them, much to their surprise as well as of that of the other foals.
"Yeah. Just look at that colouration. It's kinda like a Tiger's color, although it's an almost dark sandy tan instead of orange, and even some of the stripes do look very tigerlike if you ask me." Luis said before turning to C.G., "Anyway, how did you two exactly came across your equine friends?"
"As C.G. said, she was showing me how to operate the solar sequencer, but I kinda didn't listen as I find it and the codes for it boring. Then, I suggested we should be having some fun with some Babookaris and then made a little fire with a dumb mistake of mine when I messed up with code. Shortly afterwards dared C.G. to use the helmet to disguise herself just before Spirit here come as if from nowhere." Ethan explained.
"Spirit?" C.G., Emily and Luis asked.
"That's what I have named our stallion friend here since he reminds me of a mustang stallion from this movie me, and you guys, Emily and Luis, watched one time. But, that's not important. After meeting Spirit, he took C.G. and I up to a rocky ledge where I have learned that C.G. already knew many future animals before her mission and actually talks to horses." Ethan said.
"What?!" Emily and Luis exclaimed.
"You talk to horses, Seige?" Emily asked.
"Why, yes. I find it easier to talk with animals than with others my age." C.G. said, feeling quite embarrassed.
"Yeah, yeah, Seige. You said that before. Lets get back to how we met our horse friends. After getting acquainted with Spirit and learning he is a stallion, he saw his herd below the ledge where we are and meet the herd leader, Rain." Ethan said, pointing to Mvua.
"Rain?" C.G. asked.
"The name of a love interest of that Mustang stallion who is a painted mare from that movie I mentioned earlier." Ethan said, before turning back to Luis and Emily. "After meeting Rain, we become acquainted with her before she and Spirit went back to their herd to settle a problem with two yearlings. We tried to go with them, but Spirit insisted that we stay which I wasn't happy about, while C.G. does what he told us to do, telling me that we wouldn't be any help to the Stranks." C.G. rolled her eyes at this. Ethan continued on.
"I was frustrated with having to stay in the ledge until I saw spotted the Babookari I have saw earlier and tried to convince C.G. to do my dare again, but she was against and absolutely refused to do, resulting in us getting into an argument." Ethan said. Luis and Emily looked at each other for a bit before turning back to their friends.
"And it continued on until Spirit and Rain's young foal over here came along, snatched the helmet from Ethan's hand and lead us to a marsh where we meet another future creature I already know of called a Snakespear who briefly blocked us before going into the water." C.G. said.
"Snakespear?" Luis asked. It was then the young Snakespear from before came up to the crew and landed on C.G.'s shoulder.
"This is a Snakespear, a descendant of the Anhinga of the human era." C.G. said, introducing the bird to Luis and Emily. "There semi-flightless and prefer being in water than in the air."
"Wow!" Emily said, approaching the bird before petting it. "You sure are pretty." The bird ruffled his feathers and cooed a bit at the touch.
"Yeah, it is." C.G. said. "After our Snakespear dove into the water in the marsh me and Ethan came across to get the helmet back from our little thief, we dove in next and entered into a water splashing game with the young foal, his half-brothers and sisters and the Snakespear and his friends just before a pack of Carakillers came and chased me, Ethan and the foal into a thorn brush while the other foals went back to their mothers. After getting out of the thorn brush including hitting a Carakiller who is really vicious in the eye by accident, we tried to get back to the herd before the foal tripped and I went back to get him and we almost became food to that fierce Carakiller when Spirit came into the scene, hit the Carakiller with his head and neck and engaged him in a fight while me and his foal went back to the herd, which ended with Spirit rearing up and breaking the Carakiller's toe with his hoof. Once the fight is over, Spirit and the rest of his herd drove the Carakiller pack away and me and Ethan mingled with the herd before you three showed up."
"Ah!" Emily and Luis said.
"That's how you guys came across the Stranks. But one question, why is there grass on Spirit?" Luis said, pointing to the grass on Spirit's wounds. The stallion neighed in response.
"Spirit was wounded during his fight with the Carakiller that tried to kill me and his foal." C.G. said with a solemn look on her face. "Thankfully, there aren't very deep, but there is the risk of infection. So, I put some grass on the wounds to stop or at least reduce that risk. I have seen one of my father's friends do this to his pet, Tailthrasher. Even though, Ethan couldn't believe it what I have did that."
"Duh! That's because horses eat that stuff." Ethan said, earning him a glare from C.G. who lunged at him.
"Oh, grow up, Ethan. C.G.'s Just doing she had to do to help Spirit by using a technique from her father's friends." Emily scolded.
"Whatever. I just thought it was just weird since horses eat grass." Ethan said. Emily rolled her eyes at this before saying, "Anyway, do you came up with a name for Spirit and Rain's little foal?"
"Yes. Squirrel." Ethan said, proudly. "I named him that because he kind darts fast like a squirrel."
Ajattara looked at his parents in confusion in response in the name the large twoleg has given him. His parents told that the twoleg cannot speak and understand horse and thus, if they want to tell them something, they have to use body language. The young foal agreed and said he'll do his best, before turning to the twolegs and see C.G. watching the family interaction before her.
"Pardon me, C.G., but didn't your father tell something about leaving the solar sequencer unintended while activated?" Luis asked.
"He said I can only leave the device unintended while it is activated for short periods of time, although I may have left it for much longer than I would have intended." C.G. said. Hearing the conversation, Roho went up to the two teens and neighed questionably at them.
"Oh, hey Spirit." C.G. said. "Sorry if I neglected to tell you this, but there is a thing Ethan and I was using that collects solar energy and if it reached passed its maximum storage, it could set the grassland on fire like how Ethan set a bit of ground on fire for a bit when he messed up with the code. So, I'm afraid I have to go to back to it and turn it off before it would happen."
Thankfully, Roho understand what C.G. meant as he knew what the device is capable of and what it can do if misused and lets her know this by leaning his head against her back. With that, the auburn-haired girl told the stallion, Ethan and Emily she'll be back once she turned off the solar sequencer and bring it back to the time flyer and she and Luis, along with the Snakespear still perched on C.G.'s shoulder, went onto the dune skimmer and bolted off to the direction of the device. Robo watched the two twolegs leave, along with the other Stranks, Emily, Ethan and Squibbon. The stallion hoped that C.G. and Luis will be alright as the Carakiller pack from earlier is still out there somewhere, despite being chased off previously, alongside other predators of the grassland.
Meanwhile, the Carakiller pack has returned to their den where Zodeff is being treated for his wounds by a female blue-marked Carakiller, even though he find it very painful. Her name is Zua and she is the pack's healer. Not helping is this is that Zodeff being swarmed by small birds called Bloodwings who are trying to drink the blood dripping from the Carakiller's wounds, despite his best efforts to keep them away from him.
"You have two odd Babookaris and a Strank foal in your sights and you got into a fight with a stallion instead?!" the green-marked Carakiller scolded.
"I-I don't know what happened! I tried to attacked them with my beak, but they kept on outrunning and outwitting me. Then the next thing I knew, that stallion hit me and he bit me and broked my wing and toe while we were fighting." Zodeff said.
"Well, that's what many get for getting into a fight with a adult Strank, especially a stallion." Zua said as she applied leaves and grass on Zodeff's toe, which still hurts for him. "They're a different level from Babookaris for they can fight back when the situation calls for it and cause damage to any predator with their powerful hooves."
"If you say so, Zua." Psuebo said. "How long will Zodeff's injuries heal?"
"They'll heal in a short period of time as long as Zodeff doesn't move around too much because of his broken toe. He'll have to lay off hunting for a while." Zua said.
"What?! How am I supposed to be hunt leader if I can't move around with a broken toe?!" Zodeff cawed, clearly unhappy.
"Then, someone else will have to be hunt leader until your toe heals up." Zua said, "Besides, an injured Carakiller is no use in the hunt and will only slow the other pack members down."
"You're right, Zua. Zodeff won't be any use to us for now." the green-mark Carakiller said, before turning to Psuebo. "Psuebo. Congratulations, I am promoting you the hunt leader."
"Really?!" Psuebo said, "T-Thank you, Zobo! I won't let you down! Don't worry, Zodeff. We'll get back at that Strank stallion and the odd Babookaris somehow."
"Speaking of which, what are these odd Babookaris you speak of?" Zua asked.
"All we know is that they're tall, skinny, only have hair on the top of their heads and no tails, walk only on two legs and really smart." Zodeff said.
"You mean like that?" Zua said, pointing her wing at C.G., Luis and the young Snakespear perched on the auburn-haired girl's shoulder, riding on the dune skimmer. When Zodeff saw C.G., he was furious. He got up and tried to ran, only to stop and collapse upon feeling the pain of his toe again after running a few steps.
"Take it easy, Zodeff. Your toe needs to heal." Zua said.
"But, that Babookari is responsible for the state I'm in!" Zodeff said back.
"Babookari? I don't think it and others like it are Babookaris at all. More like odd featherless twolegs."
"Fine! That twoleg is responsible for the state I'm in!" Zua rolled her eyes at Zodeff's statement. She had a feeling it was actually partially Zodeff's fault for his injuries.
C.G., Luis and their Snakespear friend have finally made it back to the solar sequencer and once there, C.G. immediately went over to the device and saw that it's only a bit far from reaching its maximum storage capacity. While she was relieved, C.G. knew that she has a very important mission to do, so she pressed some of the buttons on it, turning it off. Shortly afterwards, C.G. and Luis took the device apart and begin to take it back into the time flyer. Along the way, the Snakespear repeatedly pressed the buttons on the solar sequencer in the same exact way C.G. did to turn off the device, having observe her doing so. This caused the girl to remark "Well, it seems you're much better at paying attention to what to do with the solar sequencer Ethan ever was."
"I heard that, Seige." Ethan said from the girl's communicator, "And you better prepare to get funky with the monkeys."
"No, Ethan. I'm not doing that stupid dare of yours!" C.G. said back.
"Why not?" Ethan asked.
"For two reasons. One is because of that Carakiller attack from earlier and two is because that dare of yours is really dumb and dangerous anyway with predators roaming around the grasslands. So, I have decided to study the Strank herd and get to know them better once me, Luis and the Snakespear come back."
"Oh, come on-" Ethan tried to protest but got but off by C.G.
"No, Ethan! No! I'm not doing your dare and that's final! If you ever asked me to try to do it ever again, I'm gonna hit you so hard, it'll make your ancestors dizzy!"
Ethan was silent, then he got angry and was about to say something back before he got cut off by Luis. "Sorry to tell you this, Ethan, but I have to go with C.G. with this one. Based on what she told on our way to the solar sequencer about your dare for her, I don't think it's worth doing it. Beside, have you ever considered the consequences that would came with it?"
Ethan didn't answer, he was dumbfounded by Luis' question for a bit before he struggled to came up with a good answer.
"I have to go with C.G. on this one too, Ethan." Emily said.
"What!? Why, Em?" Ethan exclaimed.
"Because," Emily said, her hands on her hips, "One, I think that dare of yours for C.G. is not worth doing and two, she uses the chameliographic helmet more responsibly and maturely than you ever have."
Ethan cast a look onto the Strank herd who showed their agreement with Emily going up to her and neighing in agreement. Frustrated, Ethan sighed "Ugh! Fine!" and then sat down the ground. "Alright, Em. What can we show to our equine friends? What were you and Squibs doing before you and Luis learned about the Stranks through Luis' communicator?"
"I was doing some Squibbonese lessons with Squibbon, although he did give Luis a bit of a hard time with some antics." Emily said, pointing to Squibbon who warbled, "Perhaps the Stranks would be interested in some Squibbonese with us and Squibbon?"
The Stranks neighed in agreement who all lied down on their down, eager to learn this language of the little eightleg. Squibbon, on the other hand, is more than happy to befriend the maneheads before him. Ethan, however, was very unhappy, but decided to go along with anyway since C.G. will never go with his dare anyway and any further asking of her to do it will only make her more resistant and angry at him than she already is. Not to mention, she'll hit him really hard if he ever dared to ask him to do his dare again.
Nearby, Roho, having been watching the scene before him, was happy to see that Ethan has finally given up trying to get his friend to do his dumb and dangerous dare before turning back towards the direction where C.G., Luis and the young Snakespear have gone off to, hoping they'll come back, as well as to look out for any predators nearby. As Roho kept watch, a thought cross his mind: it was when he first the time flyer and saw C.G. and Ethan for the first time when he came to investigate.
The Strank herd had just arrived at the marsh they are at now, which hosted several creatures of the grassland, including Scythe birds, Hippobaras, Otterducks, Bellow birds, Snakespears, and Bloodwings. For some time, things have been peaceful for the animals as they played and eat together.
Meanwhile, Roho kept a strict lookout for predators and rival stallions, standing proud and tall on a large rock. As he kept watch, he spotted something unusual in the distance: a large blue object that shined brightly in the sun. Curious about the object, he decided to investigate the object and see what it is. He was briefly stopped by Mvua for a moment who also asked him where's he going. He told her he's going to investigate the object, which caused Mvua to be concerned, asking him that is he sure about as the tall grass hides ever lurking predators. However, Roho ensured Mvua that he'll be fine and he won't be gone for long. Plus, he can handle a predator as long as it's alone. Mvua reluctantly agreed and sure enough, Roho went on his little journey towards the blue object while Mvua watches on.
Roho shook his head as he pulled himself out of his thoughts and looked over the grassland once again. It didn't last for long as he soon felt something poking on him. He turned to see some Bloodwings on him, some poking their sharp beaks into him while others are drinking the blood from his wounds, even removing some of the grass off of them to get to the red liquid. He decided to ignore them as they aren't too much of a nuisance and are quite harmless, turning towards the grassland once again to keep watch for predators once again. He also hoped that the Carakiller pack from before won't come back anytime soon, but he still cannot keep his guard down.
Then, another thought crossed his mind. The Carakiller pack was probably nearby when Ethan accidentally created that fire when he foolishly played around with the solar sequencer and it was the birds he heard after he stopped Ethan from making C.G. do his dare. And worst, the fierce flesh-eating bird must have heard him, retreating with the twolegs and followed them, in spite of his best efforts to ran as fast as he can. If so, then they all have to be more careful than ever, even though they did manage to drive them away when they attacked.
Back at the Carakillers' den, Zodeff's pack are now for their net hunt and are more ferocious and hungry than ever.
"Listen up." Zobo said to the other Carakillers, "We have a rough morning, but we're going to hunt again, and we'll kept hunting until we eat. Got it?"
"Yes, Zobo!" the other Carakillers said.
"Good. Now, do you have anything to say before you lead the hunt, Psuebo?" Zobo asked.
"Yes." Psuebo said, going up infront of the others. "Listen up! We're Carakillers! Seven feet tall with big beaks and sharp claws! We can outrun anything on the plains! So, are we afraid of two featherless twolegs and one Strank stallion?"
"No!" the others said.
"Me either!" Zodeff said, next to Zua.
"Then, let's go get them!" Psuebo said, charging forward towards the Strank herd's location, The others, expect for Zodeff, Zua and Zobo, followed their new hunt leader shortly afterwards while Zodeff watches on, unhappy that he has to stay behind.
"Oong, oong." Ethan said in a very uninterested tone.
"No, no, Ethan." Emily scolded. "Try saying it with more emotion. Heck, you even showed more emotion than this when you teached Squibby to be so rude when we were at the Shallow Seas!"
"Pardon me, Em!" Ethan retorted, "But, I don't see how doing some squibbonese is fun in anyway, especially since C.G won't do my dare." While Ethan was talking, many of the Stranks were bored, so was Squibbon. What's the point of this if one of the twolegs or, in Squibbon's case, hairy heads, isn't interested in it at?
It was then the sounds of the dune skimmer reached Emily, Ethan and the Stranks' ears. They, along with Squibbon, turned to see C.G., Luis and the Snakespear coming towards them. Roho and Mvua are happy to see that they are well and okay.
"Hey, guys. What are you all doing?" C.G. said after turning off the dune skimmer and getting up from it. "That looks like it could be fun."
"We were doing some Squibbonese lessons with our horse friends, but Ethan wasn't making them any fun." Emily said, glaring at the blond-haired boy. This caused C.G. to laugh.
"What's so funny, Siege?" Ethan asked as he got up onto his feet and put his hands on his hips, glaring at the auburn-haired girl.
"Sorry, Ethan. I just find ironic how you made your and Emily's Squibbonese considering you find me teaching you how to operate the solar sequencer boring." C.G. giggled. "So, who's the one teaching a 'boring' lesson now?"
"Oh, yeah? That's because you refused to do my fun little dare, you little blood-haired Wildcat!" Ethan said. He then tried to lunge at C.G. and wrap his arms around her neck, only to miss as she quickly dodged it and he ends up falling flat on his face on the ground and getting dirt and grass in his mouth. C.G., Luis, Squibbon and the other animals all let out a laugh while Emily tries and fails to surpress a giggle as Ethan gets up and spits out the dirt and grass out of his mouth before glaring at C.G. again. He tells her that it was a lucky shot that she managed to dodge him, then he lunged at her once again, only to miss and get another mouthful of dirt and grass after falling flat on his face. This earned him more laughter from the others. Ethan then tries to lunge at C.G. again after spitting the grass and dirt, only to fail again and tries to do it again and again, only to fail each time as she keeps on dodging him while he fall flats on his face every single time.
While this is happening, Squibbon has spotted the Strank foals playing in the water, neighing and whinnying while bucking, kicking, and rearing up on their hind legs. Deciding that it looks like a ton of fun, the Terrasquid hopped straight to the foals. This didn't go unnoticed by the others, especially C.G. who only narrowly dodged another of Ethan's attempts to lunge at her due to her being distracted for the moment when she saw squibbon going towards the foals.
"Hey! I could've got you if you haven't moved!" Ethan said, lying on his belly.
"Well, pardon me, Ethan! I just saw Squibbon heading towards the foals." C.G. said.
"Huh?" Ethan said, getting up to see Squibbon going up to the aforementioned foals and begins to mimic their movements and sounds while hopping from rock to rock and even jumping around in the water.
"Huh?" Ethan asked, perplexed.
"Squibby, are you trying to speak and act like a horse?" Emily asked. Squibbon warbled in response as if he's trying to say 'yes'.
"Well, it certainly looks like he is." C.G. said.
"And he's surely having a lot of fun doing it." Luis said, watching the foals play with the Terrasquid imitating them. "Even the foals seem to love what he's trying do."
"Yeah, unlike what Ethan did with our Squibbonese lessons together." Emily said, casting a look towards Ethan.
"That's because I was forced to do it because C.G. won't do my dare! Stubborn wildcat!" Ethan said, turning towards C.G. and sending a glare at her. She glared back at him. Ethan then turned back to squibbon.
"Come on, Squibby." Ethan said, coming towards Squibbon. "How about you stop trying to speak horse for a bit and do some more of our little Squibbonese lessons? What do you say, little buddy?" However, Squibbon is not interested and tells Ethan 'no' by turning away from him, crossing his arms with the front half him of up.
"Oh, come on, Squib." Ethan said. "I promise I won't make them boring this time." Squibbon still refused once again and made a rebellious raspberry sound at him, which made Ethan very made as he groan in frustration.
"Squibbon!" Ethan exclaimed angrily.
"Looks like Squibby's very upset that you made our lessons very boring and just wants to stick with speaking horse and trying to move like a horse." Emily said, amused.
"Oh, no! I'm not gonna let Squibby be unreasonably stubborn like C.G. is right now!" Ethan said, stomping towards Squibbon.
"Hey!" C.G. exclaimed.
"Squibby, come here." Ethan said, whistling. "I promise I will truthfully and honestly won't make our Squibbonese lessons boring this time- Whoa!" Ethan has wondered into a muddy bank and ended up slipping and falling flat in the mud. This caused the other crew members and animals to laugh. Ethan got up and pouted at this.
"So, you guys think this is funny, do you?" Ethan said, "I bet you all know the bank is muddy and didn't bother to mention that to me before I stepped into it!"
"Sorry, Ethan. We didn't know that." C.G. said, "But, it's still funny to see slip and fall as you try to convince Squibbon to do some more squibbonese when he wasn't interested in them at the moment." She then continued to laugh with the others who laughed very hard, especially the some of the foals and Squibbon.
"Serves my hairy head right!" Squibbon said.
"Hairy head?" Ajattara asked. "Is that what you call the twolegs?"
"Why, yes. Why did you ask, mane head?" Squibbon said.
"Just curious. Also, mane head?" Ajattara asked. "Is that what you call horses?"
"Yeah." Squibbon said.
"Well, if you say so." a Strank filly said. "But, enough about that. Yeah, it served that twoleg right for trying to make you do any sort of lessons that you have no interested." She then continued to laugh, along with the other twolegs, eightleg, the other Stranks and even the other animals in the marsh.
Furious and fed up with all the bad luck he's having, Ethan got up and stormed off, "Oh! I just had enough of this! I'll be back when I am well and better about the whole thing-Whoa!" Unfortunately, Ethan had stepped into a mud puddle as he stormed off and ended up slipping and falling flat again. This caused the others to laugh some more. But, Ethan just got up and marched off again, shaking off all of the mud he had on him before hopping onto the dune skimmer and bolting off, leaving the other crew members watching as he rode off into the distance.
"Where's Ethan going?" Emily asked.
"Probably someplace where he can't make a fool out of himself." C.G. said, "I just hope he learns his lesson soon."
"And out of trouble." Luis said, "You and him already have enough of it based on what you guys have told us about the Carakiller that chased you and your colt friend."
"Agreed. We don't need any more of it." C.G. said, before turning to Luis. 'Here's a question for you, Luis: when Ethan said "What do you expect? A Rabbit pretending to be a horse or zebra?' after you became surprised at how Stranks are horses, what does he mean by that?"
"That joke of his is a reference to a species of future striped zebralike rabbit also called a Strank from an old speculative book I have. It belongs to a family of evolved rabbits called Rabbucks. Nice book, but very inaccurate at times." Luis said after a few seconds of silence. "Why did you ask, Seige?"
"I was just curious about it." C.G. said, "And now you have mentioned it, one of my father's friends also have that old speculative book and even named the Stranks after that rabbuck species when he saw footages of the horses, saying 'Now this is a real Strank.', as he too is aware of the inaccuracies of that book."
"Fair enough." Luis said, blushing. "Now, how about you tell me more about your father's friends while we study the Stranks?"
"Sure. Let's go." C.G. said and she and Luis precede to study the Stranks. What little did the teens and the herd know is that Ajatarra, who have became concerned for Ethan as he went off, have sneaked out while no one is watching as they felt they need to keep an eye on the boy. Squibbon followed the young colt as he went off, although he's still upset with Ethan.
At the Carakiller's den, Zodeff, Zobo and Zua were all taking the perfect nap. That is, until Zodeff heard a noise from a distance not too far from the den. Curious, Zodeff carefully got up and went up a large rock. He then scanned the plains for the source of the sound he has heard which is actually Ethan on the dune skimmer, but Zodeff doesn't know that. Seeing that Zobo and Zua are still sleeping, Zodeff decided to investigate the sound and hopefully get back before the other Carakillers wake up and saw that he is gone. With that, he got off the rock and marched off towards the sound, while limping a bit due to his toe still being broken.
"Aw, man. This has been the worst day in my entire life." Ethan said after turning off and getting off the dune skimmer. "First, I got scolded by C.G. for my 'dumb mistake' with the solar sequencer, then that stubborn wildcat refused to my fun dare, saying it is dumb and dangerous, along with Emily and Luis, not helped by the fact that twice I tried to convince C.G., an animal has to show up and put an end in their own way, get splashed on by C.G. and some foals and birds, I got attitude from Squibbon and slipped and falled on mud twice and got laughed at for it! Oh! And I never been so humiliated in all my life!"
Ethan then sat down on a small rock and pouted for a bit. That is, until he has spotted the Babookari troop from before. He then gets an idea. "If C.G. won't do it, then I can do it myself. I'll strap on the helmet and get with the monkeys." Ethan said, pulling out the chameliographic helmet. Unknown to him, Ajattara and squibbon had successfully managed to catch up to Ethan while he was sitting on the rock and now saw that he is about to use the chameliographic helmet to hang with the Babookari troop. Sensing that he'll only get himself into trouble and reminded of the time he saw Ethan and C.G. arguing over whatever or not the female twoleg should do his dare, Ajattara decided to act quickly and grabbed by the shirt with his teeth as the boy was going toward the Babookaris.
"Hey!" Ethan said, turning to see Ajatarra tugging at his shirt like a dog. "Squirrel, what are you doing?" The young colt whinnied as he continued to tug at Ethan's shirt.
"Sorry, Squirrel. I have to do this since C.G. won't do it after asking her three times. So, I have no choice but to do this myself." Ethan said gently pulling his shirt out of the colt's mouth. However, Ajattara is not deterred and proceeds to try to snatch the helmet from Ethan's hand like he did before. Unfortunately, the colt kept on missing as Ethan tries his best to keep the helmet away from him.
"Whoa there, Squirrel. Don't make this like the first time we've meet." Ethan said to the jumping foal. "I really have to do this."
As Ethan continued to keep the helmet from Ajattara, Squibbon snatched it himself.
"Hey! Squibbon!" Ethan said angrily, while Squibbon let out an warbled laugh. "Why you little Octopus-monkey! Give it back!" Ethan lunged at the Terrasquid to get the helmet back from him, but Squibby dodged the lunge and jumped onto Ajattara's back. The two then ran as fast as they can as Ethan starts to chase after them. He repeatedly tells the two animals to come back, but they continued to run from him anyway. What they didn't knew is that Zodeff is nearby and is getting closer and closer.
Back with the Strank herd, C.G. and Luis were having the perfect time of studying the Stranks, until Emily, Roho and Mvua came over to them.
"Hey, guys. Have you seen Squibby and Squirrel anywhere? Spirit, Rain, and I went over to the foals playing in the pond, but they're not there."
"Huh? That's odd. Where they had go? Squibbon couldn't possibly follow Ethan as he went off. He was upset with him." C.G. said, seeing that Mvua and Roho are worried about their foal based on their body language and the sounds they were making.
"You might be right, Seige. But yet again, Squibbon has a habit of following any one of us around when we weren't looking." Luis said.
"Perhaps." C.G. said, puling her arm towards her. "Ethan, have you seen Squibbon and Squirrel?"
"Not now, Seige! I'm too busy trying to get the chameliographic helmet back from Squibby and Squirrel so I can my dare! You know, the dare you so kindly refused to do!" Ethan said through C.G.'s communicator. "Hey, you two! Get back here! You can't keep running forever!"
The others, along with Mvua and Roho, could not believe what they have just heard. Were Squibby and Ajattara with him?
"Ethan, could you repeat that?" C.G. asked.
"I said 'not now, Seige! I'm too busy trying to get the chameliographic helmet back from Squibby and Squirrel so I can my dare! You know, the dare you so kindly refused to do!' and then 'Hey, you two! Get back here! You can't keep running forever!'" Ethan said, irritated. "Now, let me concentrate on catching Squibby and Squirrel!"
C.G. was dumbfounded from what she had just heard from Ethan, so were Luis, Emily, the young Snakespear and the Stranks. Roho and Mvua are now especially worried now they now their foal is with the sun-colored haired twoleg. Did Ethan have really decided to do that dumb and dangerous dare of his? And have Ajattara and Squibby really followed Ethan while everyone wasn't looking? There's only one way to find out.
"We better go and find Ethan, Squibby and Squirrel before he gets himself into some trouble." C.G., Emily and Luis said at once. Thankfully, Roho and Mvua understand what the teenagers meant and, immediately, Roho picked up C.G. and Luis with his teeth and placed them onto his back, much to their surprise. Mvua did the same for Emily, much to her surprise too.
"Whoa! What's going on?" Emily exclaimed as Mvua moved forward.
"I think Rain is going to signal the herd to go towards the direction Ethan went off to, now that she and Spirit know that Squirrel is with him." C.G. said, she and Luis feeling Roho moving forward as well.
"You sure, C.G.?" Luis asked.
"Yes. After all, Ran is the herd leader. The herd does almost everything she does." C.G. said, and sure enough, she was right. Once Mvua and Roho reached a spot infront of the herd. Mvua gave out an neigh, signaling the herd to follow her and they galloped across the plains towards Ethan's direction. Along the way, Luis says he's not exactly the best horse rider while holding onto C.G. so he doesn't fall off, which C.G. says "Oh, boy", showing she had heard that before from others. Unknown to the herd however, Zodeff's pack is nearby and are now following Ethan as they have seen him pass by on the dune skimmer.
Speaking of Ethan, he is still chasing Ajattara and Squibbon, still unaware that Zodeff is coming closer. This continued on, until Ajattara and Squibbon stopped running when they heard something moving among the grass and stood still after seeing a similar shape. This gives Ethan enough time to catch up to the two animals and see that they are frozen stiff, but from what? Curious and confused, Ethan cautiously approached Ajattara and Squibbon. Then suddenly, a rustling sound came and spooked the two animals, causing them to run to the large boy and hid behind him. Ethan closely at the spot where the rustling came from, then he heard an eerie cawing sound which send a chill up his spine and watch as a three-toed bird foot with a broken middle toe emerged slowly from the grass. Slowly but surely, Ethan looked up to see a familiar face as it emerged from the tall grass: Zodeff, the Carakiller from before.
Knowing that Carakillers are bad news, Ethan, Squibbon and Ajattara ran as fast as they can from Zodeff who starting to chase, although his toe still causes him a lot of pain. The screams from the three friends were heard by both the Strank herd and Zodeff's pack and both groups saw that Ethan, Squibbon and Ajattara are being chased by Zodeff. This was especially surprising for Psuebo as Zodeff was supposed to resting at the den, letting his wounds heal. Anyway, she and the rest of the pack decided to try to help him before he gets himself into more then he already is.
As for the Strank herd and the other crew members, they could see that the three before them is being chased by a Carakiller and not just any Carakiller. Roho, Mvua nd C.G. had recognized him as the one the stallion had fought previously and broke his wing and toe. Now, seeing Ajattara and Ethan in danger of the bird again, along with Squibbon, Roho, told Mvua to stay put until it's necessary for the rest of the herd to interfere. Mvua agreed and said she will. He then let a roar as he reared on his hind legs and then charged towards Ethan's direction with C.G. and Luis still on his back and a fierce determination to save his son and his friends from becoming Carakiller food.
Ethan, Ajattara and Squibbon are still running as fast as they can away from Zodeff. Unfortunately, Ethan has became very tired and is struggling to keep running and he eventually stopped running, much to protest of Ajattara and Squibbon who tried to tell him to keep going, but it was no use. This, unfortunately, give Zodeff enough to catch up with Ethan and he hit with his head, knocking the boy onto his belly, much to the shock to Squibbon and Ajattar. Ethan tried to get up, but Zodeff pinned him down with one of his feet before the boy got the chance. Zodeff then raised up his beak and almost strike down on Ethan's head when he suddenly hit by something once. Both Ethan and Zodeff looked to see what hit Zodeff: it was Roho standing over Ethan protectively with C.G. and Luis on his back. Furious with Roho once again, Zodeff shook himself before charging towards the stallion.
"C.G.?! Luis!?" Ethan exclaimed as he got up.
"No time for questions, Ethan! We'll talk later.' C.G. said, before turning to Luis. "Luis, help Ethan up and led him, Squibbon and Squirrel back to the herd."
"Yes, C.G." Luis said, getting off of Roho and helping Ethan up. "Come on, Ethan. Let's back to the herd. Emily is waiting. You too, squibby and Squirrel." With that, the four went up to the herd.
Zodeff charged at Roho and C.G. and tried to strike them, only to missed them as Roho dodged the strike. He then stomped one of his hooves at the bird, but missed. When Zodeff tried to strike back, he too missed as Roho reared up on hind legs and struck down with a might blow, causing the bird to back down a bit. Strank stallions are as tall as Carakillers at the shoulder, but when they reared up, they stand an opposing 11 feet tall, making them intimidating even to the most fearless predator. Zodeff is well aware of this, and is now doing his best to avoid getting any further injuries. He already has a broken toe and wing and doesn't need another of the two, and so, he charged up to the horse and tried to strike both the Strank and C.G., eyeing the featherless twoleg on the horse's back. Unfortunately, he missed again as both of his targets quickly moved out of the way and C.G., in a fierce catlike fury, retaliated by stratching him across the eye. This make Zodeff more mad. First the twoleg hit one of his eyes with a thorned vine and now she had stratched his other one. Now more furious than ever, Zodeff charged once again, only missed and the fight continued on with Roho repeatedly bucking and kicking at the bird and Zodeff trying to bit and strike and bite at the horse and girl on his back, only getting a strike or two onto the horse, but not too deep. Eventually, the fight came to the end when Zodeff tried to bite at Roho and he hit him with an upward blow from his head, causing Zodeff to fall backwards and fall flat on his belly.
Tired and breathing heavily, Roho looked over Zodeff, seeing that he is well, okay and not too badly injured. However, before he can make Zodeff go away with an display of intimidation. Psuebo suddenly appeared and almost attacked Roho with a strike from her beak only to miss as the horse reared up and backed up a bit, much to the shock of the humans and the Strank herd.
"Well, well, well. The Strank and his featherless twoleg." Psuebo said. "Do you two think you can win a fight against Zodeff and get away with it? I don't think so because I'm afraid you two are going to be our dinner and your other twoleg too, wherever it is."
Roho and C.G. turned to see the rest of Zodeff and Psuebo's pack coming out of the grass and surrounding them in a circle. "You Carakillers may hunt in packs, but you're no match against a single Strank when you're alone. Your friend learned it the hard way twice." Roho said as Zodeff got up.
"You're right, strank. But, what about a pack of Carakillers surrounding you with your herd out of sight?" Psuebo said. Suddenly, one of the other Carakillers charged in after Roho and backed off when Roho tried to kick him with a hoof. Soon, the others started to strike at him from all directions and Roho tried his best to defend himself and C.G. by stomping his hooves at them and kicking, but is becoming more exhausted with each kick and stomp, while Zodeff watched, but he is no longer angry with him and C.G. who is seeing that her horse friend is quickly becoming exhausted and will soon be too tired to defend himself. Thinking quickly and remembering something from her past, she pulled out a blue ocarina out from a belt pouch. Once she got the ocarina out, she immediately blow out it, producing a high pitched sound that greatly affected the birds and they backed off as a result. Seeing their chance to get away, Roho immediately ran of the carakiller circle.
Seeing their potential prey getting away, Psuebo, in a fury, ran up to Roho, but he roared at her, causing her to stop right at her tracks while screeching at him. The other Carakillers, expect Zodeff, tried to join her, but they were too late. This is because the rest of the Strank herd, led by Mvua with Ethan and Emily on her back and inspired by C.G. and Roho, joined the stallion and roared at the female Carakiller who backed up along with the other Carakillers, along with C.G. continuing to blow at her ocarina while getting up onto Roho's back with Ethan's help and sure enough, Roho and Mvua kept on roaring while the rest of the herd head towards the direction they came from. Once all of the herd is at a safe distance away from the Carakiller pack, Roho and Mvua, while the humans still on their backs, joined them and they all head back where they have came from while the Carakillers watched on until Zodeff decided it was time to go back to the den.
"Zua, Zobo, I'm really sorry that I have wandered off and tried to get back at the twolegs and the Strank stallion after seeing them instead of staying here to let my wounds heal." Zodeff said as Zua tends to his and the other's wounds. "But hey, I didn't realize that the thin twoleg and the stallion have such courage and an willingness to put the lives of their friends and family above their own and I respect them for that."
"We all too, Zodeff." Psuebo and the other Carakillers said.
"Sounds like all of learned a very important lesson today." Zua and Zobo said.
"You got it." Zodeff said, "Be careful of any creature that is not a babookari or any kind of monkey."
"Very good. Now all of you get some rest." Zua said.
"Yes, Zua." Zodeff said, gong into a peaceful sleep with Psuebo and the others joining in.
"C.G., I really want to say that I'm sorry I stormed off like that and got myself into trouble with those killer chickens." Ethan said as he and the other crew members returned to the marsh with the Strank herd. "I really messed up."
"It's all good, Ethan, and what have you learned from this experience?" C.G. said, getting off of Roho's back with Luis.
"That some things are really not worth doing anything and that from now on, I'll be careful with my dares." Ethan said as he got off of Mvua's back with Emily.
"Good." C.G. said, "Now with our little Carakiller encounter over, let's play a game with the young animals. How about that Marco Polo game you have talked about before, Ethan."
"Really, Seige?" Ethan exclaimed. "Oh, yes. This is going to be fun! But, who's going to be it?"
"After what happened today, you should be it." C.G. said, putting a blind fold over his eyes.
"Heh. Fair enough." Ethan said and sure enough, they all started to play the game, starting with Ethan going towards C.G., Emily, Luis, Squibbon, Ajattara, the young snakespear and the other young animals after counting to 30, while they inch further away from him after finding the right spot away from Ethan, not wanting to be it, and everytime Ethan say 'Marco', the other says 'Polo' while going further away from him. Roho, Mvua and the other adult animals watched on with happiness as the young ones continued to play their little game.