A/N: Another chapter from my revised M&M story. This time we see Rex and Rust present during Giant and Finn's climatic battle, only the group has since been split up with the onset of bad luck and Giant's forces. Also, if you'll notice, there is a new antagonist allied with Giant, this one in the form of the ankylosaur Boulder, a ruthless brute in every sense of the word, even though he doesn't entirely trust Giant. This revised bit takes place around where my old draft ended, near the "Giant vs. Fin" Parts I & II take place. Hope you enjoy!
Rex and Rust felt their hearts race as they found themselves far outnumbered by a gang of herbivores and Blade. While Rust had his sights on Boulder, the akylosaurus who began to wander closer toward them, Rex had his eyes set on Blade and Rampage. The latter, in particular, had his direct attention. With the horn long gone over his right brow, only a stump remained. The triceratops yearned for revenge, and as he began to stomp on the ground and snort, plumes of air escaped from his nostrils. Likewise, Blade had his mind racing as he thought of ways to dispatch of the two larger carnivores. Though Crunch's defeat did little to quench his bloodthirsty ways, if he were to kill Rex in combat, the glory that would come for the baryonyx would be monumental.
Boulder began to turn as he crept up on the two dinosaurs, his clubbed tail hovering about in anticipation of a powerful strike. Inching forward, the ankylosaurus kept his eyes locked on Rex's toothy snout. Just one strike with his tail would bring down this monstrous titan, and the thick armored plates on his head, neck, and back only helped to assure himself to victory.
With the tyrannosaur focused on the two beasts behind him, Rust felt his heart race as Boulder inched in too close for comfort toward the young dinosaur. With a vicious snarl the acrocanthosaurus lunged forward, his head low when Boulder howled at him. His narrow snout falling just beneath his opponent's armpit, the massive dinosaur brought his head up and sent the akylosaur rolling onto his back like a helpless turtle.
The attack prompted Rampage to charge, grunting and snorting as he aimed his left horn to pierce Rex's heart. Likewise the tyrannosaurus stepped forward, his chest racing with anticipation when he brought a heavy three-toed foot up. With the triceratop's wicked horn set for his chest, Rex crashed his foot into his attacker's brow, bringing his powerful assault to an abrupt end. Grass and dirt kicked up into the end when Rampage was forced to the ground under the tyrannosaur's weight. There, Rex hoped that he might be able to crush his skull in, if not for another opponent darting forward.
With a wicked laugh Blade imagined his steel teeth clamping down on Rex's neck as he ran around and positioned his strike. Not again, Rex thought, when he took his foot off from the triceratop's brow. In a mighty show of movement, he swung his thick, muscular tail around. Instead of biting it, Blade found himself overwhelmed by the force in Rex's strike, and was sent reeling to the ground.
"Where's your leader?" Rex asked. "Has he not the strength to face me again?"
"You're looking at him." Blade sneered as he quickly got to his feet. "I killed the one you fought before. Crash!" The baryonyx turned to the forest, ready for the dome-headed dinosaur to hop out and ram into Rex's leg with her bony head. Instead, he was met with silence. "Crash? Rampage, where is she?"
"I dunno Boss." Rampage mumbled as he shook himself of his headache. Then, with his teeth bared in a snarl, Rex charged Blade in a mighty show of strength and power. Without his backup plan, Blade panicked as he gave a surprised whelp. The tyrannosaur rammed his thick skull into the baryonyx, bringing him back to the ground with another wail.
"What do you want from us?" Rex asked when he turned back to Rampage. The triceratops snorted once when he glanced over to Boulder, who rocked back and forth helplessly on his back. It was only Rust hovering over him that discouraged the other herbivores from coming to his aid. For one reason or another, the acrocanthosaurus couldn't find himself to tear into Boulder's exposed stomach, as he found his current place to be hell enough. With that, Rampage shook his frill.
"I dunno. Giant just wants you two gone."
"Giant?" Rust asked. "Why?"
"I'm just following orders."
"Shut up Rampage!" Blade snarled as he staggered to his feet. Where Giant had cracked his ribs in a show of discipline, the baryonyx found that Rex's strike had worked to break them. As such, he winced in intensive pain, stumbling backwards in a bid to separate himself from the battle that should have unfolded. Rex felt himself smirk. Perhaps he could use Blade to his advantage.
"Rust, let's go." The young tyrant started off, winking at his mentor before turning. "And, uh, Rampage? I commend you on your strength. Dare I say you're unappreciated?" And with that, Rex gave a curious cock of the head. Together he Rust rushed back onto the trail they entered the clearing with. It was only then that Boulder's men rushed up to their leader. Rampage blinked once, when he looked to Blade, making his way toward him when he hesitated. Meanwhile, with a combined force of numerous dinosaurs, several duck-billed dinosaurs used their heads to roll their leader back onto his feet. The akylosaur coughed up plumes of dust on his landing.
"What was that? You let them get away?" He growled to his followers, when Blade approached them. "And you. You did nothing either. Oh, Giant will be pleased with this."
"So I hesitated. You try going up against that brat as I did. He won't kill me, but damn do his hits hurt."
"I would have if it weren't for that dirty Rust. Say, where's Rampage?"
"Huh? Rampage?" The baryonyx scanned their surroundings, and sure enough, the loveable oaf he knew was nowhere to be found. Slowly but surely realization hit. "...Ah damn it!"
"What do you want Giant?" Finn asked.
"Power. Security. It's what we all want isn't it?" The gigantosaurus replied in his deep, suave tone. "Power over one's life, over one's domain, but of course, any self-respecting individual who wants it must work for it."
"You have plenty of power. You own over half the forests in these mountains!"
"Well with the number of followers I've gathered it's not nearly enough I'm afraid to say."
"Don't tell me you've run through your resources?" Finn couldn't bring himself to imagine the countless deaths brought on by Giant's hand.
"Not quite. Nowhere close thankfully."
"Well that's a relief for my spirits. Now please leave the good beasts in my haven alone. If they knew I let you do this…"
"They don't have to. Consider this a temporary arrangement. Before long we'll be gone and on our way. I promise." Giant replied with his cool grin. Finn narrowed his eyes.
"Funny. I recall hearing rumors of such an agreement between you and one of the neighboring domains near mine."
"Oh yes. What was her name again? The one with the long neck correct? She and I sorted everything out, and now all is well between us."
"Last I heard she was dead." Giant seemed genuinely surprised when he cocked his head to the side.
"I'm sorry to hear that." Finn began to feel his blood boil. He took a deep breath, composing himself as he found inner peace, when he looked back to the giganotosaurus.
"I'm going to ask you one more time old friend. Leave my land."
Everyone had become engrossed in the tense exchange. Eira in particular found it difficult to recognize Finn from his harsh tone. He seemed like an older sibling scolding the younger, but she sensed there was much more than a brotherly quarrel simmering beneath the surface. She looked up and watched as Giant narrowed his eyes, and his smirk darkened.
"We can accomplish great things Finn, and we shall." Then, without warning, Finn lowered his long head down and nudged Eira and Bernard back to their feet, where he continued to herd them until they were behind him with Thorn and Swipe.
"Get back to Rex." He said softly. Slowly the dinosaur turned back to Giant, who eyed the girl with a fiery passion, then back to the spinosaurus.
"So, you brought Rex with you? Where is that little scamp?" The two titanic carnivores locked eyes, and even though Finn was indeed larger than Giant, the latter beast had about him the commanding air to make up for his size.
"Go." Finn barked as he nearly kicked at the small band behind him. When he readjusted his weight, he still hadn't broke his gaze from Giant's. Likewise, the emerald-green dinosaur cocked his head back, turning his snout upward in a show of defiance.
"Make sure they don't get back to Rex. And do bring Eira back for me." And with that, his smirk widened when the dinosaurs at his side took off into the dense brush. Finn fought the urge to lash out at them, to swipe a clawed hand at Taurus or to bite Hopper, but as they took off, with the raptors in tow, he knew he was simply too outnumbered to take them on. That soon changed, as it was now just him and Giant, staring down their snouts at the other.
Finally Giant gave a warm snicker that worked to break the tense silence lingering in the air. He tore his gaze away from the tense standoff and began to walk around the clearing before them. Full though he was, he still eyed savory pieces of meat hanging on the duckbill carcasses. Turning, he found that Finn had yet to move or turn his eyes anywhere else but to him.
"What are we doing old friend? Staring contests? What would our parents think?"
"Mother for one wasn't fond of violence. You know this."
"Ah yes. She was as much my mother as she was yours. What did they use to say back then? She brought the light of wisdom to the woods and my father brought the power. Ah... simpler times."
"Simpler times indeed." Finn growled. "What would your father think if…"
"The old pile of bones gave me this idea! He always spoke of a unified plane of existence, with us, the meat-eaters, at our rightful place at the top."
"Aye. Only one who was as mad as your father would believe that to be a good idea."
"Come now Finn. Have some respect for the dead now won't you? After all, ever since Eira happened along his idea has only become more vivid to me."
"What are you saying?" The spinosaurus asked as he finally advanced toward Giant.
"If what she says is correct, and our worlds truly are separate, imagine what we could have. All we need is to crush those who harmed Eira's people, and if they're as powerful as she claims, well, we could very well ascend into godhood."
"You think they'll just hand it to you?"
"Well no of course not. But don't all great things come from sacrifice?"
"War is not sacrifice. Only genocide. Life is too precious a gift to simply throw it away at an idea. And a foolish one at that. Only to survive is killing acceptable in my mind."
"Oh Finn come off it! So self-righteous. Ideas are the basis for what we live for. For what you stand for now. Don't you want to be revered outside of your little realm?"
"No. This is my land, as it was my mother's, and her father's before her. It was the way of the world, one in equal balance. You would risk the destruction of it all for your own gain?" Silence fell over the two dinosaurs for some time, as Finn kept his gaze firm on Giant. Giant, however, only smiled.
"I will give you a choice then Finn, one that includes this oh-so sacred plot of land of yours. Let me have Eira, and I will swiftly call off my forces from your domain, but if you want her, I keep this."
"Who do you think you are Giant? A mere child making foolish demands. You are in no position to do so here." Finn felt his throat quake as he bellowed.
"Oh, but quite the contrary. You see, unlike you, my old friend, I can back up my words with actions."
"Well, you've been telling me to leave how many times now? And yet I see no risk save for a smack on the snout should I not oblige."
"I know what you're doing, and it won't work."
"So then choose!" Giant's cool grin twisted into a dark snarl as he gave a booming laugh. Finn narrowed his eyes as he felt himself become one with the world around him. For a few moments, the spinosaurus took a keen interest in his deep, controlled breaths, when he could feel the soft breeze pushing past the forest canopy and eagerly kiss at his leathery skin. Giant, a dark version of the portrait he so carefully constructed in his mind through the years, cackled heartily when Finn did the unthinkable.
Giant's booming laughter came to an abrupt halt when a heavy hand swung around and came crashing into the side of his head. With a surprise snarl, the giganotosaurus stumbled away as Finn tried to study the blood oozing from the wickedly-curved claws on his hand. His face torn and contorted, Giant seemed dumbfounded by Finn's strike, his eyes staring off into space in recollection. Having seen his actions for what they were, and his anger contained, Finn gave a defeated sigh.
"I am sorry old friend. I-I knew it was the only way to have you listen to me." Giant felt his insides twist and turn. Not from Finn's outburst, but from a gut-wrenching pit in his chest. He began to breath heavily. Whatever have I done? He glanced up to Finn. I shall not stand for pity, a voice in his head, quite unlike the previous one, commanded. Swallowing that heavy emotion, Giant turned back to Finn, believing it to be the voice of reason as his form held low to the ground and he gave a sly grin.
"I'm sorry. I don't believe I heard you there." A monstrous being, over forty-feet in length and packed with muscle, charged for the spinosaurus and together the two titans clashed. With his heart racing, Finn cried out and begged for Giant to stop while the green dinosaur continued his endless assault. With his thick skull acting as the ultimate weapon, the dinosaur charged again and again into his old friend while they struggled, often using it as a club shortly after to batter and deter Finn further.
Against Giant's assault Finn backed away time and again. Claws poised and ready to defend, he couldn't help but wonder what had become of his old friend. As the clearing they stood in became an arena, the two titans fixed eyes upon each other, and both knew of what was to come. Whatever to follow, only one would leave this place alive...