el-reino-oculto Sergio Gómez

This will be an anthology that will relate the coexistense between dinosaurs and humans in the universe from the future novel "The Hidden Kingdom".

Science Fiction Not for children under 13. © All Rights Reserved

#fiction #suspense #dinosaurs #anthology
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Hunting in the swamp

After the events of 2042, the paleoanimals that were taken from their homes with economical purposes expanded rapidly throughout the world without any limits. Many of them did it in the natural way, for example, the flying or the marine animals, which had nothing or no one that stopped them. Nevertheless, the terrestrial ones, even though they had more difficulties to spread out over the globe, the made it thanks to the humans. Most of them were captured —sometimes they hunt them directly —to sell them in the black markets. This paleoanimals had important values in this kind of business. Not only they move them to sell them as pets or sell parts of them likes eyes or fangs, if not also for entertainment purposes. They used to take the big predators to a kind of coliseum in which they put them to fight till death while the public were magnified to watch them fight each other.

In Argentina, concretely in the Parana’s River, not too far from the city of Rosario, the Argentinian government warned about a presence of a big spinosaurid, specifically a Sinachdracho chaseii[1], a large piscivore that they discover in 2022 en the Isle of Wight, England. Not much was head from it until 2029, when more of these remains were found, being able to describe officially a new genus.

[1] Genus and species completely fictional based on a reals spinosaurid remain, being their fossils from the Isle of Wight.

It was night, the entire hemisphere was surrounded of a black as dark as obsidian, if it weren’t for the Moon’s light —which barely could traverse the gloomy, greyish clouds —not even the resplendent star would be seen. The sky was excessively cloudy, every minute that passed, the brightest glare that came from the satellite was fading slowly depriving the sight to the day beings who still wandered in the woods. The clouds grew thicker and darker. Multiples sounds manifested from the surroundings of the river from unknows animals, some of them were so creepy that they were capable to frightening even the most ferocious predator in the area.

That night the river was very quiet, there was not a single noise except of the nocturnal animals wandering through the shallow waters of the river and the engine of a boat moving slowly. The engine’s buzzy was the most striking noise that could be heard miles away, frightening the animals that were roaming nearby. The boat wasn’t fancy at all, it was very poor, the wood was worn, and the red colour of the sides was already fading starting to get its original colour. The boat’s owner lent it to Joaquín, one of the mercenaries who were sailing it, which was observing how the clouds were darkening increasingly.

“Do you see something?” He asked while he was observing the dark panorama from his bored, white chair of plastic.

“Nothing, just crocodiles resting.” Say Matías, who was pointing at the water with his flashlight hoping to see something minimally interesting.

“Same here.” Replied Diego, he was revising on the other boat’s side.

“We check a few more kilometres and we return, it looks like it’s going to rain.” He said turning to Benjamín, who was driving the boat, to make sure he got his message.

They weren’t any experts; they had only been in this dirty business almost a year. Their most common preys were small paleoanimals they’d been warned of in villages far from the big cities. The largest paleoanimal they hunt was an adult Austroraptor that caught them by surprise while they were looking for an Edaphosaurus that had destroyed a small orchard from a friend of Matías. They agreed to search for the Sinachdracho thanks to himself, which, when he found out that the Argentinian government warned about his presence, he was informed about the value of this animal in the black market. Apparently, it was one of the hundred most expensive products because few of them came out of his paleocave Urhöhle, they asked for him more than twenty thousand per tooth and almost three hundred for his tails, which was special because it was adapted for aquatic environments.

After a few hours of unsuccessful searching, they decided to end the hunt. Benjamin increased the speed abruptly. The wind touched fiercely the mercenary’s faces. Joaquín seemed to hear something, he got up from his chair while he shouted at Benjamín to stop the ship.

“What’s up?” Asked Benjamín.

“I’ve heard something.”

“What are you talkin’ about? I didn’t hear anything.”

“Silence!” When he yelled, every noise that came from the woods stopped instantly.

They were silent for a few long minutes; they listened how the first drops crashed into the water of the extensive river. Diego, with his flashlight, illuminated the woods, some bushes moved, it seemed to be from small animals that they were frightened when they contacted the light. He still looking between the trees, it seams that the managed to see something, but he doesn’t know exactly what it was. He asked Benjamín to bring the boat a little closer to the edge. When they were close enough, from the shrubberies, a man whit his hands up showed up. He seems to be a mercenary, too, the clothes he had were dirty and full of mud stains and branches. They let him to get on the boat. While they offered him a blanket to protect himself from the cold, he started to talk, but he didn’t talk Spanish, but English. Matías, who was the only of the bounty hunter able to speak English, walked to him.

“What’s he saying?” Benjamín asked.

“His name’s Connor, he had purposely come here from England to hunt the Sinachdracho. He’s telling me that his ship was trapped, he went out for a moment to relieve himself and got lost.

“Seriously?” we should find his boat.” Diego suggested.

Joaquín watched how the rain fall unceasingly, every second that passed the drops hit harder the river’s water. They weren’t sure if they should search his boat.

“I don’t think it will take too long, anyway, this boat withstood heavier rains, right? Benjamín asked to Joaquín.

“Indeed, lets start lookin’ for it.”

After almost one hour of unsuccessful search, Diego managed to see something in the distance, he ordered Benjamin to get closer. He illuminated lighted the water; they were woods remains floating. He illuminated a little further and he observed that there weren’t only wooden boards, but human bodies, too, some of them without limbs or with an open stomach. Suddenly de understood that they were the English’s friends. Fear invaded completely him completely in a matter of seconds. It wasn’t a small group of mercenaries; it was much larger than his.

“We must go back.” Said Diego with concern.

“What’s up, are you scared?” Matías asked from the other side of the boat without any worry.

“Idiota, this is Connor’s boat.”

Diego, with his flashlight, lit up the boat’s remains and the bodies to his mates. At that very moment, the crew got scared. They were terrified, they never seen human’s bodies before, and less so torn apart as some of them were. Before they could react to return, Connor began to panic making sudden movements and releasing unknows words to them from his mouth, he was nervous and scared, you could see it on his face. Matías tried to calm him down. Connor, seeing that he didn’t understand him, pointed with his arm across the boat. He saw something big moving in the darkness and that terrified him.

Matías peeked around the side and, alongside Diego, turned on his flashlight and illuminated the water, there were small waves from something moving, it was from something large. Matías looked up and he beheld a huge bipedal animal with an elongated snout ang a huge dewlap vaguely reminiscent of a crocodile. The intense and dark rain overshadowed the colours of the largo beast, but it was clear that on his back it had some recent wounds, apparently, they were caused by the turbines of Connor’s boat. His disturbing and frivolous eyes pointed directly to the crew. His sharps and blooded fangs were showing little by little. It was the Sinachdracho they were looking for before they meet Connor. They were surprised by the large size of the creature. Everyone was surrounded by an impressive tension that made them doubt whether they should move and fend themselves or see if that trick with dinosaurs really works. Before even the crew could react, the dinosaur pounced to them opening its huge jaws and making a shrill roar.

April 28, 2023, 4:19 p.m. 0 Report Embed Follow story
Read next chapter An unforgettable experience

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