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Found 10 results

  1. Making Multiplayer a 'Progression' and more fun So I got this idea while reading and responding to this reddit post from a new player looking for where to start and someone suggested I submit it. This relates to Offical PVP only, and on xbox in my case although that's less relevant. I love playing on official servers, as toxic and broken as they may be. I like to 'win' on the legitimate game. This game is infinitely better in multiplayer than single-player. The sandbox model is too nebulous and undirected for single-player. So then it comes to the official server network: The problem with the open-transfer model is that 1) there's no incentive to play the 'story' of ARK and 2) it's basically mega-alliance or die. Even without duping and meshing, large established tribes can easily wipe away the beginners. There's simple too many advantages that knowledge of all the maps, all the resources etc gives. You might even say that because of the advantages of the different DLCs, there is even an element of pay-to-win. So here's the suggestion: -Tier the official servers by map based on the storyline. A. Island -> B. Scorched/Rag/(Center?) -> C. Abb/(Valg?) -> D. Extinction. -Restrict item/tame transfers to 'up' tiers only. (example, you can bring items from island to rag, or abb, but not back. From rag to abb, but not extinction to rag, etc.) -Character transfer is 2-way always. Why? -Right off the bat, if you want people to play through the game to be immersed in the story, you need them to follow the maps in order. -Late-game DLC gives huge resource and creature advantages (ex, Abb=metal, Ext = element) (scorch = wyverns, abb = drakes/reapers, ext = manas, etc) that just break the balance when you include what's only available on other maps. -Island becomes your 'beginner' map, rag/scorched is 'mid',etc, and large tribes can't come troll with end-game equipment, which legitimately causes early-game people to stop playing. -In any competitive scenario, even sports, the most enjoyment is had by challenging opponents at or slightly above your own level. Too hard? Discouraging. Too easy? No fun. This mega on mega meta we have now is boring and a time-suck. With this suggested model, If I go to an island server to pvp, it's my raw experience vs their resources and tames that they've had time to build, rather than just a managarmr slaughtering a pteranadon. If I'm on abb/valg and I want to punch 'up' to a tribe on extinction, I'll not have had access to the same amount of element, ods drops, titans, etc so it will be a challenge on that side as well but I'll have the metal, reapers, drakes, from the previous map to ride up with. -Lastly, with the tiered approach, no base is still truly 'safe.' As a large tribe I would still never "main" Island in this case because the resources just aren't there relative to the other maps. So, just a thought for the official or alternative network that might be worth trying.
  2. Genesis Theories I am new here, but make no mistake, I am not new to ark. I have been reading lots of theories about Ark, I have also been delving into the lore of the game, I also am doing a second ascension run with some of my friends. I am going to attempt to make theories to ark. First off, we are almost certain that Genesis will take place before Extinction, evident from the Chronicle notes being placed on everywhere except Extinction. As I originally thought, HLNA is in fact, not homeodues transferred into a bot, as mentioned in the genesis chronicles, she was created by Helena, therefore the name HLNA. anyway, she mentions that the so called genesis simulation will be like scorched earth, in that it creates creatures that never really existed, which judging by what Scorch was like, we may have more "natural" weather forms. One of my thoughts for where Genesis will take place is it could be on either a specialised ark, or it was created by Helena for an unknown reason. It can't be on earth, because since it takes place before extinction, then the Titans and corruption would have found its location. which reminds me of a possibility, what if it isn't an actual place, what if Helena is calling a simulation because it is a literal simulation, could it be an entirely unreal experience, possibly to find something in arks history, since its going back in time? or to try and fix a bug that's preventing the arks from their purpose? My second thought is that we are going to be going to the first ark that was created, but that is unlikely since we are going into the genesis simulation, which could mean the first simulation? anyway, that's my first theory post - Norman
  3. looking for group of people to beat the game with. I have been playing ark since 2015/ mostly pvp servers. I am becoming more interested in the story and want to beat all the caves/bosses. don't want to solo. looking for some people to play with and beat the game starting with the Island. (I haven't bought any of the expansions yet)
  4. Blackmage2015

    Ark 2

    Ark 2 Thinking of the future of ark. Shoot some ideas. What would you like to see in Ark 2? what kind of story/lore possibilities would you like to see? Do you want tek or primitive or both? what kind of creatures do you expect to see? what kind of items do you want in ark2? give your thoughts and ideas?
  5. Comment with your game modes/game style ideas here. I have been playing ARK for a few years but, after a few days of playing, it gets very boring and I end up not playing for months at a time. I'd like to start a discussion with ideas for new game play styles and game modes. Creating a DLC or even a completely separate game following the core of ARK (Dino taming and base building) but adding an adventure/story mode to make a more in-depth and story-rich immersive experience would be INCREDIBLE, think Pokémon/Dragon Age/The Witcher/etc.. The game would have objectives/missions and force/encourage on-ground exploration incorporating strategy rather than flying everywhere or using an overpowered mount (not fully eliminating fliers/strong mounts though), incorporate characters and villages, maybe some dynamic player choices similar to Dragon Age/The Witcher. Missions could be events such as taming certain types of dinosaurs, protecting villages from wandering, aggressive dinos/characters, selling tamed dinos to farms, fighting AI characters, following clues to hidden elements/events such as a hidden cave entrance containing an objective item/artifact, missions that require using in-game items/skills or even certain types of dinos (for example: climbing mountains using ice picks rather than mounts to retrieve dino eggs from a nest, gliders rather than mounts to get to specific goals, small/medium ground mounts rather than pteras or overpowered mounts while traveling through the forest, etc.), giving the options to recruit AI with specific skill sets and allow them to work in farm fields, rock fields, breeding pens, caves, help build structures/houses, hunt with or without you, tame with or without you, build a village ecosystem. These options would be best-suited for PVE and Single Player, while still preserving the PVP experience. As far as enhancing PVP game-play, a new game mode that would create a Tribe v Tribe war experience such as creating a natural war arena with mountains/trees/bushes/water that encourage a PVP hunting play style that focuses more on fighting instead of gathering materials and crafting items. This would be similar to a Call of Duty or Battlefield experience and can even have different modes that allow the crafting of items vs just having a loadout, incorporating mounts with options for designating mount types/specific creatures or disallowing mounts. Even having a game mode that would apply creative mode for building for, say 10 minutes, but would include a height/depth/perimeter restriction for base building and be a capture the flag type of game style. This mode would have the option to select the building materials of the base and would give a certain amount of time to build the base and then disable building when the war starts. Different options such as allowing the game host, whether it's public server ran or privately ran, to dictate the length of build mode and the length/life count of war mode would be a great enhancement. Adding this to the game would breathe new life into it and create a very large and effective new stream of revenue if executed correctly, as well as attracting a much larger player base therefore increasing the exposure/popularity of the developers for future game releases. ARK has so much potential to be at the forefront of the gaming industry if only executed properly.
  6. Hello Survivors! Most of you probably don't know me and that could very well be a good thing. Anyway, you can call me Raptor and I have created a story (NOT FINISHED) that I think is pretty dang good. Now I am 12 so most people won't think I wrote this and I don't know if I can prove them wrong. You can judge for yourself whether you think I am legit or not. I have created this for the sole intention of the pleasure of reading. I use many big words in my writing and most of them I learned from books or tried to find cooler sounding words by going through a Thesaurus. I'm gonna stop talking and take the writing from my doc. Also please don't be mean after all I am still a young child so yeah. No bullying. And sorry about the color I can still read it so I hope you can too. PART ONE: THE OBSIDIAN SUN Chapter 1 The Beach George sat up groggily, his bones seemed to feel almost rusted in place. He scans himself with sleepy eyes. His arms are brawny, and on his left wrist is a diamond shaped piece of technology implanted in his skin. As he endeavours himself in scratching it out, he realizes that it is impossible. While he looked around, he noticed he was in only his undergarments, which was strange. His mind was foggy, and the sun was relentless. He crawled to and, almost puking from the effort, sat under a palm tree until he regained a decent sense of thought. It doesn’t come, and here he is, on a beach. Alone. Afraid. George tries to and thinks of the basics. As he ponders on it, he hears a soft cooing sound from behind him. He turns warily to peer behind the trunk of the tree. The sand muffles his footsteps as he stood up. The creature comes into view. It’s round, plump body is covered with plumage, but not long enough feathers to fly. The bird stares at him beak clacking, and after a moment, it starts walking towards some underbrush, plucking berries off of the bushes along the way. And that’s when it came. From behind the bird, it had been sitting. Stalking. It had one scaled foot on the bird before it could react. It let the bird cry out in pain before the creature clamped its jaws around the bird’s neck, silencing it once and for all. The creature feasted on the bird, blood staining the sand around the two. George envisages running but was frozen with fear as the monster dug into its prey. As it finished eating, it took notice of George’s presence. A blood covered muzzle worked slowly on a chunk of meat from the birds flank. In his mind, he could only think of one thing. Run. Instinct had taken over, strained muscles pumping like iron bellow. Once his feet started moving, there was no turning back. He looked over his shoulder and saw a frill flap up around the creature’s neck, with beautiful colors. And then it gave chase. The forest flashed by quickly, his legs felt as if they were on fire. He couldn’t make them stop. He had no control. As his stamina slowly drained, green spots danced in his vision. After his legs could run no more, he slowly fell to the soft earth underfoot. He could hear the waves wash up on the beach and could hear footsteps. They were small at first, like he was imagining it, but soon he could hear them steadily growing louder. Louder and louder. And then they stopped. They sounded so close, but where? As seconds ticked by, he wondered if this thing would kill him. Maybe it was just a nightmare, but it felt so real. The grass that tickled his face, the cold soil that he lay upon, the salty air of the ocean. It felt real, and for all he knew, it could be. He heard a thud, like something had fallen. Footsteps tapped on the earth as they approached him. Boots crunched on the dirt. He was hefted up onto something but couldn’t tell what. He bounced around on cold leather, and could feel heavy breathing of something, but what? He could slowly open his droopy eyelids, and saw a beach, and a brown leg that was scaled, almost three feet tall. Adrenaline rushed out of his brain forcing his muscles to move. He fell down off the animal, and ran. It wasn’t long before a shrill came from the direction of the animal, and something hit George in the shoulder. An electric shock along with a strange liquid shot through his body, clouding his brain, rendering him unconscious. He woke up in a room with a bed, a door, and a closet. He stands groggily but feels a jolt of pain in his left shoulder. He limps over and opens the closet to find clothes and a note. As he dons the clothes, he read the note with crude handwriting. It read, We need you to come out of your room and in the first door on your right for screening. Thanks, Headmaster. George donned the rest of his clothes, and when he finished, he did as the note asked and went to the first door on the right. George had a million questions and he wondered would get answered. He opened the door slowly and saw three figures sitting on benches around a fire. They were talking in hushed voices.“Hello?” George said, wondering what was happening. One of the strange figures stood up and said “Come here and sit down. We have a lot to ask you.” George went over and sat next to the figure that beckoned him. One of the men said, “I’ll introduce you to the squad, I’m Damon, That’s Jackson and that’s Kadmon.” George thinks Jackson looks like a bodybuilder with his veins sticking out of all visible parts of his body, Kadmon looked like a man of great war, with a face like hardened steel and a rifle on his back. Damon asked, “So, George how long have you been here?” “A day, I think.” George says in a shaky voice. “What have you seen?” George replies with “Monster like things.” Damon finally says “ Ok, George. None of what you just said is true.” “What?” Asked George. “Well” replied Jackson “You’ve been here a good three days unconscious because Damon here shot you with a very, very potent tranquilizer dart. Second, those monsters you saw were Dinosaurs. How many did you see and what did they look like?” “I saw two, one looked like an overgrown pigeon, but it got eaten by another who was fairly small but was still bigger, and it had a frill thing that flaps up around its neck.” “Okay, the bird you saw was a Dodo bird, and the second was a Dilophosaurus. You’re lucky to be alive.” Jackson said. “Technically, the Dodo is a bird, not a dinosaur.” “Nobody cares, Damon.” “Yeah, but why am I here?” George asked. “We don’t know,” Damon replied “Oh.” “Hey, you want a bunch of theories about why we’re here, talk to Zane, not us,” Kadmon said. “Who’s Zane?” “Later.” He said. He looked confused. “What year is it?” George replied with, “2067.” “Oh my god,” Kadmon replied. “What’s the matter?” George inquired. “Well, I thought it was 2006. I fought in the Iraq War when my squad fell down, dead, blood staining their uniforms. One of my men was still sucking in shallow breaths as the bullet from the machine gun nests had only pierced his left forearm. I dragged his limp body into a narrow alley as I unstrapped my mobile med-pack and wrapped a cloth around his wound when I knew what I had to do. Their nests had our whole assault team pinned down, so I had to find a way to get out of there. In order for both of us to live, we had to get across the street to another alley we had cleared that led back to base. I dragged my squad’s limp bodies into my alley, seeing their blank faces made me feel an anger I had not felt in my entire existence. I took off their dog tags and promised to return the tags to their families. I picked up the wounded and had him lay across my shoulders, a practice we learned in boot camp and ran across the street with all my strength and all my speed, and barely made it, as a bullet cut through my boot, piercing my heel. I was blinded by the pain as another squad rounded the alley and dragged me out of there. I couldn’t see anything. And I guess I fell asleep because I remember waking up and seeing these weird diamond shaped things floating around and one of them saw me and put me out again. Now here I am.” We sat in silence, taking in the story. George couldn’t believe how old this guy was. He was at least 60, but he looks to be about 34. This is really weird, George thought. I mean, I would really love it if I just had one answer. Just one, then I could help figure everything out, George said in his head. George wanted to help these people, but he wasn’t sure how. “How do I join you guys? Like, to help you.” He asked. “Well you have to take an oath,” Jackson said. “Okay, I’m ready,” George replied. “Raise your right hand and repeat after me,” Jackson said as George raised his hand. “Okay, I solemnly swear I will perform all tasks Obsidian Sun has for me.” “I solemnly swear that I will perform all tasks that Obsidian Sun has for me.” “That I will protect all my tribe members even if it means death.” George slowed at this one. Was he really willing to die to help a bunch of strangers? Oh well, he thought. “ That I will protect all my tribe members even if it means death” “I will live and breath for Obsidian Sun.” “I will live and breath for Obsidian Sun.” “I will always protect the tribe.” “I will always protect the tribe.” “Okay, your good.” Jackson said as he takes the thing on my arm and taps it twice and says, “Join Tribe.” I can feel his hot breath on my forearm as a projection appears on my arm. It showed a blue screen with a small box and a blinking line on the left end. Jackson said the code, 5113247. After he said it, a woman's voice came from my wrist saying, “Welcome to Obsidian Sun.” Chapter 2 Damon As the light from Georges implant dims, I see his face in awe with a hint of curiosity. He stares at each of us as if he had just found out how to get us out of here. Which, by the way, is nearly impossible. The only way anyone could get out of here, which has happened once, is to beat the Overseer. In other words, beat the glowy diamond thing, we fly away and we’re free. But, it’s not that simple. There are 3 Guardians to this ARK. The Broodmother Lysrix. She’s the first one, but if you think that makes her easy? You're WRONG. The Broodmother is a giant spider, so it shoots webs and summons smaller spiders. Next, there’s the Megapithecus, which our enemies, Phantoms Rising, are trying to summon, so they can tranq it and tame it so they can use it as, well, King Kong. Then we have the final boss. The Dragon. This one doesn’t have a cool name because it doesn’t need one to be scary. Breathes fire, can fly, about twice the size of the Broodmother. Yeah. pretty scary. Well, I guess it’s time to go to bed. Or so I think. If our prediction is wrong, all of us could die. And who wants that? Chapter 3 George “So, who was Zane?” I asked “He’s a history nut, who collects things that will help him find out who put us here.” Jackson replied. “Hey, George, you should get some rest. We have a busy day tomorrow.” Damon said. So I said thank you and walked out of the room. As I headed out of the hallway, I passed some rooms with labels. One of them read Ammo and another read Armory. I saw my room at the end of the hallway, but not before a room labeled Emily. What is ‘Emily’? I’m super curious, but these people seem to trust me. I see a label on my room labeled George, so I guessed that must be someone's room. I plop down on my bed. It's a little stiff but is comfy all the same. Sleep does not come easily but eventually blankets my mind. I didn’t know I was a light sleeper, but I found out it’s true when someone opened the door and startled me so much I fell off my bed. I can feel the cold floor on my face. As soon as I tried to stand, I fell back down. I think I might have twisted my wrist. I can hear the person get up and walk to pick something up. Then I guess they saw my mangled position on the floor. They screamed and dropped something. “Oh my god!” She said. At least I think it was a she. I couldn’t see much, most of my vision was blurred. She helped me up onto my bed and laid me down. I couldn’t see much, mostly silhouettes of shapes, but still not much. I could see out into the hallway since my door was left ajar. She spoon-fed me some medicine or something like that, but it tasted like uncooked fish. I could feel the warm liquid rush down my throat. I slowly drifted in and out of consciousness, and in the small moments I was awake, I could feel a slight breeze, and in one of them, a gentle hand stroked my forehead, and pulled back, spooning more liquid in my mouth. Chapter 4 Emily I was feeding George the medicine every hour, because he seemed to be immune to it’s healing properties. It made him very drowsy though, but his brain just wanted to fight the drug. He drifted in and out of consciousness, sometimes mumbling phrases, but I couldn’t decipher what he was saying. It was strange, nursing someone to health. I mean, the medicine was obviously doing more than me, but still. It felt like it gave me some responsibility. I had dozed off in a chair, and when I woke up, he was laying there, fast asleep. I went out of the room to grab a quick breakfast since I hadn’t eaten since last afternoon. My stomach grumbled as I saw the meal laid out before us. And by us, I mean the line of hungry survivors grabbing food and putting it on their trays. I hopped in line and waited. Finally, I could set some of the fresh salad on my tray. I also grabbed some carrots and decided to go for a sandwich. I walked with my laden tray over to the berry bar, where I picked up Azulberries and Tintoberries. I plopped down at a chair by a circular table and I ate my food. I ate my food, but when I finished, I looked up from my bowl and saw George walking confusedly into the cafeteria. I got up, didn’t throw away my food, in fact, I left it on the table. I sped-walked over as not to draw attention to myself, and grabbed him by the forearm and walked him out into the hall. “What are you doing?” “Who are you?” “I’m Emily, and you need to Chapter 6 George “Where are we going?” I asked as Emily took my arm and literally dragged me across the warm sand of the beach. “You and I are going to find our jobs. Well, you are.” “Oh doesn’t that sound wonderful,” I muttered as she dragged me around the building and into a small shed behind. I stand up as she hands me a paper with a schedule on it. As I read, I can see a bunch of random job tryouts. “Farming, Trading, Tamer, Espionage, Military, these are the different jobs?” “Yeah.” “Which one do I do first?” “Well, you can pick which one to go to first.” “Oh, okay. Then I will pick, farmer.” “Good, training starts in about 15 minutes. The boat is in the bay.” “Where are you going?” “I have to meet with the headmasters.” She said and pointed to a boat docked in the harbor. “That’s where you go to train.” And walked off. I headed towards the boat Emily motioned to. I stepped up onto the barge, taking a seat on one of the benches. A lady stepped out of the captains quarters and yelled, “Alright everyone, today I’m taking you all to the farming tribe named Cherokee, to try out. Everyone will stay seated or else! You will all load off in about 5 minutes. Alright, let’s get this pile of metal moving.” She said as she walked back into the Quarters. Seconds later the boat slowly shifted away from the Island. We reared toward a small cove on the main landmass. We loaded off onto a dock and the Yelling Lady pulled out a lawn chair and plopped it down on the deck of the boat, sipping some blue liquid. We were herded into different groups. I was in a group by myself, since there was like, 12 other people on the boat. The man I was with told me to follow him into the vast, rolling farmlands. He escorted me to a building and said, “Today, you’re going to learn to be a crop transporter. You are gonna get to learn how to drive crops to different places ’round The Island.” He said with a southern accent. I saw a Jeep with large headlights and a trailer. The guy told me to hop in, so I clambered into the car and took the wheel. He asked me, “You know how to drive?” I replied with no because I’m only 15 in the real world. “Well,” He said. “It’s quite simple, really. All you gotta do is press the gas, and spin the wheel, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT forget to brake. Okay, you wanna try?” “Uh, sure?” “Okay, then turn the key that way,” He motioned in a clockwise manner, “And slowly ease your foot onto that their gas pedal.” He said. I turn the key and the engine turned on. I slowly put my foot down, but I guess I did it too fast because the car jerked out of the shed. I took my foot off. And slowly applied pressure to the pedal. The car went into a slow roll and sped up to about 10 mph. The guide said, “Ok, there’s a job I have to do today, and you’re gonna help me. I have to pick up a bunch of carrots and potatoes and drop ‘em off by the Rock Towers.” “Where’s that?” I asked. He pointed back behind us toward a couple rocks jutting from the ground. I estimated about 3 miles away. The guide said, “ Okay, so you see that shed over there?” He pointed to a warehouse-like building. “That’s where we load the veggies into the trailer.” I slowly drove into the shed and another guy comes up with a long tube and sprays/dumps carrots and potatoes into the bed of the truck. Once he was finished, he gave us a thumbs up, so we drove slowly out. Once out of the shed, we drove down a dirt road toward the beach. He said, “Drive up that bridge there.” So I drove over the bridge to the other side of the bay. I was surprised I didn’t hit the small grove of trees. “We are gonna get on that barge right there.” He pointed towards a boat that, unfortunately, was leaving. “Gosh darn it. Oh well, we gotta take the scenic way.” He pointed toward a suspension bridge. As we drove, I slowly went faster. When we got to the edge of the bridge, a path was carved on the beach. I drove across the sand, but the jeep would start sagging if I didn’t gas it enough. The beach was pretty straightforward, but later there was a burning ditch in the middle of the road. I slammed the brakes so the guide could radio in a roadblock. He grabbed the radio and said, “Farm 3, this is F-14 calling in a roadblock. Farm 3, do you copy?” We waited, and moments later the CRACK of a rifle burst my ears. I looked over at him, blood gushing from the wound on his shoulder. I was so scared that I didn't know what to do. I saw the radio clutched in his hand and heard someone say, “Hello F-14, this is Farm 3, you reported a roadblock? Come in F-14.” I changed into reverse and slammed the gas pedal. The truck spun around, but the trailer was slowing us down. I asked the instructor, “Hey, wake up. Come on man, wake up!” He slowly opened his eyes and said, “What do ya need kid.” and hacked violently into his right shoulder. “I need you to uncouple the trailer.” “Can I just take a little nap, just close my eyes,” Cough, “And rest a little.” “No, I can't reach it while I’m driving.” “Then I’ll drive.” “Okay, just don’t use your left arm,” I said as he took the wheel. I hopped in the bed of the car and reached down to the couple and tried to uncouple it, but the coupling was rusted. I looked around the bed for something to break it. I hear another rifle CRACK. One of the tires on the trailer blows out and we spin out of control. I hear the guide yell in pain as he tries to get the jeep back on track. A toolbox spins around the bed of the jeep, hopping up and down as the dunes of the beach fly under us. I jump on it and pop open the lid. I reach for a hammer that was piled on top of some nails and pound it on the coupling. It shakes, but doesn’t come off. I get a wrench and try to uncouple it. Were losing speed now. The sniper could’ve killed us both by now, but he didn’t. I’m not sure why. Sweat was dripping down my face as I unscrewed the bolt in the hot afternoon sun. As soon as it pops loose, our jeep wrenches forward violently. We jump up onto the bridge. I look behind us and see a small group of people run from the treeline toward the unhooked trailer. They hop on top of the trailer, and they cheer. I’m guessing it’s because they were going to steal the food. The radio goes live again as someone says, “This is Farm 3, F-14 please respond.” I pick up the radio and say, “Uh, hello, we uh, just got like, robbed and stuff, and we got an injury, so if you would like, get a medic ready, that would be great.” “Okay F-14. Farm 3 out.” “Well, my first day could’ve gone better,” I said to my instructor. “Yeah, well, you were the one who got us out of that pickle.” “What about the food delivery?” “Naw, don’t worry about it. The crate was full of rocks so that you could train and not actually deliver food.” “Oh, well then I bet those robbers are happy.” We both laughed until his arm started bleeding again. He had tried to staunch the bleeding with a rag, but it didn’t work. We got to the farm where a medic had been waiting for us. We got off and checked out the guide's arm. It was pretty bad, the medic said he would have to be transferred to the hospital. They shipped him off, and I couldn't believe it, on a Pteranodon. I got to the boat and was told by the captain to get on before we leave, which was now. They said they were waiting for me to get back. A few seconds later we were off. Chapter 7 Emily I watched as George ran off down to the beach. I went on my way and walked into the boardroom. I sat down across from the headmasters. They asked me, “So, I believe you know why you’re here.” “Yes, sir.” “So, we have a special mission for you and your team. We need you to go and scout out possible targets for Phantoms Rising. If we know where they are, before they’re there, we have better chances.” “Yes, sir.” “Okay, then. Go tell the others. You are dismissed.” I got up and left to go tell the rest of my team. I told my team but got a call on the radio. “Hello?” I asked. “Hello, this is Damon. We need only one to go. We got an emergency call from the farm saying one of the jeeps is missing. You only need to send one person to map out the area. We need the rest of you on standby in case an emergency comes.” “Okay, sir.” “So, who are we gonna send?” Jeremiah asks. He’s one of the people in my squad. “I think I should go,” Greyson says. “ You know since I’m trained in cartography and karate.” HE says, making a chopping motion on a nearby tree. “I’m fine with that,” I reply. “Okay, take a Pteranodon and your suppressed pistol, only use your assault rifle in emergencies.” “Got it.” “Radio in any disturbances.” “Geez Em, you’re starting to sound like my mom.” “Whatever, Grey,” I say as Greyson mounts his Pteranodon. He flies off into the forest. Not knowing if he’d come back or not. Chapter 8 Greyson Feeling the wind rush against your face is really amazing. I’m flying over the green obelisk now. Being a tactical strategist is very interesting. You gotta know where the enemy will go. You have to for possible battles so you can take them by surprise. Phantoms Rising likes to start with snipers to lower the enemies ranks. Then, bombard them with artillery and cannon fire. After about 30 minutes, then they come in and charge in with foot soldiers and air forces. Every time. I land on the ground to look for possible places to build encampments to house soldiers. Behind me, I hear the low hum of the Obelisks energy. My bones shake with the sheer power of the Obelisk. I pull out a map of the Green Obelisk and mark spots that we should put up forts. I started walking off a little way, looking for more spots. I mean, I know the Swamp is dangerous, but so is the Arctic. And I’ve been their plenty of times. The only thing I heard now was the droning of insects. I was looking at my map, when all of the sudden, I started rolling down a hill. I kept rolling faster and faster. The last thing I saw was a tree before……… Owwww, my head. I took my hand off my skull and saw small splotches of red mixed in with sweat. I sat back on the warm earth and looked up. Most of what I could see was trees because I guessed I went too far into the forest. It was dark, so I pulled a glow stick from my backpack. I snapped it, and the fluorescent green glow from the stick illuminated the grove. Only moments later, a Dimorphodon swooped down and grabbed it out of my hand. In the fading light, to my horror, I saw a nest. But this was no ordinary nest. It had eggs in it. That means it wasn’t abandoned. Since there were no dinosaurs around, that means it’s either out hunting or dead. And judging by the size of the eggs, I’d say bigger than a Raptor, but smaller than a Bronto. That could place it anywhere between a Carno and a Giga, even though Gigas are rare in this region. So, a Rex maybe? Well, shoot. I don’t have anything except a little pistol and about 3 rounds of ammo for my AR, so, If a rex came here, it be like me squishing an ant, except the ant squishes me. I turn to leave, but I hear a crunching sound behind me like something big was running at me. Fast. I start sprinting up the hill, pulling on roots and trunks to boost myself up, and make it about half way up before I hear it stop. I turn once more and see a two full grown Rexes staring at me from just behind the treeline. I pull my suppressed pistol out of its holster, aim, and, Pshh, Pshh, Pshh. I fire three shots into both before they charge me. I run up the hill, pulling on roots and trees to boost myself up. I almost make it before I feel a tearing sensation on my foot. I hold onto a root as my body gets lifted further and further from the hill. I drop my pistol while trying to reload and finally can’t take the strain anymore. I let go of the root. I think to myself, time seeming to slow down, “Was that root my lifeline? If I had let go later, would I have survived? I guess I’ll never find out.” Time sped up again as I flailed limply in the beasts strong jaws. I reached for my Assault Rifle and hold it in my arms. I almost pulled the trigger when I thought, “Where did the other one go?” RRRROOOOAAAARRRR I turn my head and see the other one had moved behind me. Well, this situation is really jacked up. The other Rex was moving forward and grabbed my arm. The other one with the Assault Rifle in it was still dangling limply. I didn’t have the strength to lift it. My grip loosened as the Rex with my arm started pulling. I screamed for what felt like an eternity. Then to my surprise, it felt like I was falling. Falling, falling, falling……… Chapter 9 Greyson I couldn’t feel my arm and could feel warm cloth wrapped around my head. I open my eyes and feel air whisking its way through a flap door. A figure walks in the door and bends over a small table. They walk towards me with a nasty looking vile and say one word. “Drink.” I take the vile, unsure of what to do. “Drink. Get better.” The person said again. I figured he meant the vile would help me get better and heal. I took a sip and spat it back out. It tasted like a pile of dodo crap. Don’t ask me how I know what that tastes like. They stared at me like they wanted me to drink again and swallow it. I swallowed it, and almost bit my tongue off fighting the urge to hurl right then and there. “Good.” The person said again. The flap opened again and revealed the one and only Damon. He approached me and said something to the other person. He nodded and got up. Damon sat down where the man had been and asked. “How are you doing?” I replied with, “Well, it feels like I got thrown off the Statue of Liberty, onto a railroad with a freight train going at full speed.” “So, good?” I chuckled but started coughing. Damon stood up and said, “Well, I’m going to go get you a ride back to base. See you around.” “‘Kay chief.” PART TWO: THE BROODMOTHER Chapter 10 Damon I pulled the radio up to my mouth and said, “Repeat that Alpha Bravo.” “Sir, we were patrolling the Green OB when a loud boom came from the Obelisk. It shot a blinding green light and now there is a freaking spider attacking Phantoms Rising.” “Oh crap, they did it early! Tell all squads to get to the Green OB stat!” “Yes, sir.” The patrol said as he sent out the distress call. Damon and his crew had figured that the attack wouldn’t come for a while. Now they were sending troops to capture the Broodmother. We found that they didn’t actually have the Megapithecus tamed, just stuck in a trap. We figured if we could gain its trust, we could set it free. But, Phantoms Rising is guarding it 24/7. I have to get over there ASAP if we are going to stop them. “Uh, sir?” “Yes, patrol?” “You know how they summoned the boss?” “Yes.” “Well, there’s a bigger problem.” “What?” “There’s a portal thing opening under the Obelisk.” “Um, what?” “Now the Broodmother is going into the portal, and literally just disappeared.” “Follow it!” “Okay, sir.” What was going on? This didn’t happen with the Megapithecus. I need to get there. I go over to my Pteranodon and mount it. As we fly off, the Green Obelisk seems to glow more than usual. Chapter 11 Emily I’m being transported with my squad to the Green OB because Phantoms Rising summoned the Broodmother early. I’m in the mobile armory with my squad on our boat heading down a river. I grab an Assault Rifle and two Pistols. I take a flak jacket and strap some grenades to the back. The rest of the weight I can carry is for Ammo. I look over my shoulder at this quiet guy who joined recently. His name is Roger and can carry a lot of weight, which is probably why he’s strapping two Rocket Launchers to his back. I need another person to carry the bigger launchers with me. We’re pulling up to the shore in 3, 2, 1. “Go, go, go!” I shout as we run out of the boat straight up the hill to the Green Obelisk. When we reach the top, a loud humming sound comes from the Obelisk. As we get higher up the hill, we see a small portal-like thing under the Obelisk. “All soldiers, we need to get to that portal.” Someone on the radio said. We ran up the path and to the portal. “Should we?” Jeremiah asks. “Why not?” I say. “Let’s go then,” Roger says. We do as he says and run into the portal. I don’t know what happened. One minute I’m at the Green Obelisk and the next I’m in a cave/arena thing where the Broodmother Lysrix is going to town on some Phantom Rising soldiers across a deep ravine.. Roger is pulling one of the launchers from his back and loading a rocket in it. We take cover behind some rocks as some more of our troopers emerge from the portal. “Ready, aim, FIRE!” I yell and our soldiers unleash everything they got upon the Broodmother. At least five rockets made direct hits to her or her spiders. Bullets rained down on her from our position. There were at least 30 of us shooting at her. I almost forgot about my grenades, but got one, pulled the pin, and chucked it at a small group of spiders. There was an explosion and the roof of the cave started crumbling. It held after a while but still made me nervous. A couple minutes later, I pull out my spyglass and look at the Broodmother. I see one of the wounds on her abdomen is, wait, what? There is what appears to be a liquid element coming from her. If you don’t know what Element is, it’s basically a refined version of elementium which is extremely powerful. It has the danger capability of an Atomic Bomb. Personally, I thought it was a myth. But, here I am. Watching it gush from a freaking spider. We needed to make a plan. The Broodmother was slowly gaining ground on us and shooting it wasn’t doing anything, so I asked anyone for ideas. Nobody had any, until a group of Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rush out of the portal. They rush towards the spider, making their way from the bridge towards the other side. Arachnids were thrown from the natural bridge and into the flowing stream below. They Trikes are in front, heads angled downwards, spearlike, meter long horns, impaling spiders, and brushing others aside. The dinosaurs moved in tight formation, their riders hefting spears and keeping the spiders at bay. The line slowly advanced, making its way towards the colossal spider. The line advanced a few more meters before the bridge widened out enough for the Rexes to get through. Once they did, the riders pat their necks and gave a command, and the dinosaurs charged, snapping at the legs of the arachnid. The Rexes managed to rip a leg off and throw it to an onslaught of spiders, knocking them down. One of the carnosaurs got overtaken by the spiders, and it’s form faltered, roared, and slammed down to earth. The Broodmother made it’s way over to more of the Tyrannosaurs. Some Ankylosaurs were joining the great battle, lumbering across the bridge. They were clumsy, and bumped into the great stone pillars that held the cave roof. One of them slammed a spider against one, and cracks appeared to grow larger as the battle raged on. The battle raged on for many hours. Unending waves of spiders slaughtered reinforcements. The only thing keeping them back was an ever-thinning line of soldiers, who were running low on bullets. Once the broodmother “That’s good because it looks like we have a bigger problem. You guys have to get up here now.” “Yes, sir.” After that, we all ran out into the portal and emerged at the Green Obelisk. It was brighter even though the battle lasted quite a while. I looked for the source of the light and found it was a lowering light in the sky, coming right for us. Was it a loot crate? No, this wasn’t one, because none dropped in this part of the Island. Eventually, I had to cover my eyes because it was so bright. A minute later, the light landed and sent out a bright flash. My eyes adjusted to the light and saw a diamond shape with a red glow. The expressions on the rest of the group were of pure awe, and scared. Damon stepped forward, pulling out a pistol and says, “Why are you here?” He said in a demanding voice. The machine replies with, “I am here to congratulate you on defeating the Broodmother Lysrix.” It said with a gravelly voice. “My superiors are impressed at your performance.” “Gee, I’m flattered,” Damon says with sarcasm in his voice. “You and your associates will now gain a hint on how to beat the ARK. The only way to survive is to use the Element. It’s energy when harnessed, can create weapons that will destroy your foes, and defeat the other Guardians.” “Oh, thanks,” Damon said sarcastically, as the Overseer floats back up to, well, wherever he goes. We start to go around and see if any of us are missing. Fortunately, there were only minor wounds from the creatures around the swamp and the spiders the Broodmother summoned. “Okay, guys,” Damon yells over the chatter of the soldiers. “We need to get some tankers over here to get the element. The rest of you, stay here in case Phantoms Rising comes again.” We all do as told. The tanker should get here sometime in the morning. It takes that long because apparently there was an attack on our main port, so repairs are just now underway. It’ll be one long night. Chapter 12 George I got back in a hurry. I was then ushered off the tanker as We made way for heavily armed soldiers. I made my way through a mob of soldiers toward the main facility. I looked around and saw a jet black speed boat at the corner of the island, where a group of soldiers were walking towards it. I could see Emily amongst them and I tried to get over there, but the boat sped off towards the mainland. I made a quick decision without thinking about the consequences, I stowed away on one of the boats, assuming they were all going the same way. I hid amongst crates in a crouched position. I hid there until the sun became blocked out by dense foliage. I overheard one of the soldiers saying, “We are going to head north through the Southern Islets channel, and up to the Writhing Swamp. We land in a small cove, and the Green OB is up to the hill. Got it?” All the soldiers murmured in agreement. “Ok, be careful about the indigenous tribes here, because some of them may take you the wrong way and quite possibly kill you, knowing that nearly anything that moves will try to kill you. Good luck.” He said, and with a lurch, the boat jolted to a stop, and a roar erupted from the hull of the ship. “What is it this time?” The guy questioned. George was scared, thinking it would mean trouble. He heard the sound of men wading in the water, and then one said something, but it wasn’t audible. He quietly and discreetly peered over the edge, just in time to see a quick dark crocodile snap from the water and grab one of the guys by the waist and dragged him off. The second one started to run after, but the crocodile was gone with the screaming man. George slumped down, feeling a shiver run up his spine. Up to the moment, he heard one bullet then two. And the second wader, who was climbing up the side of the boat, jumped off and ran towards the gunshots. He saw him go off onto dry land. George was too afraid to be cautious, so, one of the people saw him looking over the edge and yelled at him, “Soldier, what are you doing?” George stammered, “I uh, um, I uh..” “Spit it out.” The soldier said. “I was uh, inspecting the crates.” “Now, why were you doing that?” He asked. “Because, uh.” “Save it for the Sarcos. Get a uniform on, and get a rifle from the storage.” “Uh, uh, yes sir.” He said and walked out from his hiding spot and walked down the small stairs that were rusted from the spraying sea water. There was a small light at the bottom and he opened the door residing underneath. He opened the door a crack and saw rows of gun boxes marked AMMO and rows of uniforms. He donned one of the uniforms, putting his clothes in one of the rucksacks they had. He picked up a rifle, but could then see it was a shotgun. It was heavy, but there was a sleeve for it on the back of the rucksack. He strapped it in tightly and figured that since there was a holster for a pistol on his belt he might as well put a pistol in it. So that’s what he did. He also found where the rifles were stored, and found a medium one that he could carry, and could switch between full auto and semi-auto. He took it, but now he needed bullets. He pried open one of the crates and pulled out a bunch of shells and magazines. There were places where you could strap mags in on his vest, but the shells had to go in an almost fanny pack-like pouch that was on the left side of his belt. He picked up a helmet from another crate and marched back up the stairs. When he got up, all the soldiers were looking anticipatedly towards a small harbor where boats were moored. They stopped along one of the banks, and the side of the boat ramped downwards toward the mud. He figured the boots the soldiers gave him would protect his feet from getting diseases, like trench foot and others. He ran alongside the others, huffing and puffing from the exhaustion. He reached the peak and saw a big portal opening in the bottom of one of the towers. He followed the soldiers running up to the portal, but as they reached one of them said, “Hey you.” “Me?” “Yeah, stay here to guard the portal till the builders get here, so nobody bad gets in.” “How do I know if they’re bad or not.” “They’ll have a patch on the right shoulder that has a black sun on it.” “Okay,” I said, and with that, he disappeared into the portal. I stood, waiting. I heard an unearthly screech behind me, and a spider emerged from the portal. It looked at me with eight, glowing green eyes, and pounced on me. It could jump surprisingly far, considering how small it was. When it jumped, I pulled the rifle out and got it caught under its throat. Its mandibles worked and tried to bite me several times. My arms grew weary as the spider was putting more and more pressure on me. I figured it was a do or die decision, so I forced all my strength to my arms and pushed the spider over on its back. The portal was on a spire of the earth with a moat 18 feet down. I slammed the butt of my rifle on the head of the spider, and it rolled over to its legs and tried to leap at me once more, but I was ready. I shot the spider and its form went limp, and the legs twitched. I kicked it over the edge of the spire into the moat and sat down to regain strength. I sat up, my joints weary, apparently I had fallen asleep, as it was dark out. I was in a canvas tent on a small mattress that served as a bed. I clambered out, seeing my rucksack laying at the foot of my bed. I picked it up and slung it over my shoulder. I donned the belt that I had worn and put the helmet on as well. I opened the cover and saw a bustling worksite. All around the spire were tents and guards, protecting the portal, which had not stopped humming, or perhaps it was the tower? He wasn’t sure. He walked over to a big tent reached for the flap but stopped as he heard voices. He couldn’t tell what they were talking about but listened anyway. “...he went missing yesterday afternoon.” “Why did you wait to tell me today?!” “Because we didn’t know until today.” One sighed, and footsteps approached the flap. George backed up. Emily opened the tent and barely held back a scream. She sighed in relief and asked, “What happened to you?” Well, I, uh, stowed away on a boat that was coming towards the mainland with the boats. I was curious about what was going on.” “Yeah but, wait, ah man! What’s that smell?” George looked at himself and saw small green splotches on his uniform. “Oh, that’s spider blood.” “What the hell?” “Yeah, I killed one of the spider things that came out of the portal.” “Come on, let’s walk, and tell me more about how you got here.” PART THREE: LOST Everything is finite. If your vision is long enough, planets, species, even this universe we occupy. It has a limit. An end. You are approaching one right now. Don’t think of it as sand falling to the bottom of an hourglass, but the hourglass fading away completely. It can’t be flipped around or reconstructed. It’s irreversible. Permanent. If you want to stop it, you have to hurry. Not to belittle you. You’ve been doing great, really! All of you. Most of you. The ones getting eaten alive right now could be better, objectively speaking. The rest though? Great! You’ve advanced so far. Some through kindness, others, cruelty, but both are aspects of humanity. Both are needed here, on the brink of extinction. More than that, you’ll need each other. You’ll need help. -She who Waits Chapter 13 The Writhing Swamp The two walked down the path, and around the camp whilst George told how he had stowed away and pretended to be a soldier, and how the one got attacked, and how he had fought the spider at the portal. They started to walk off the trail but didn’t seem to notice, until they could no longer see the way they came or the obelisk. The two could see smoke, however, and walked over to it. When they reached the camp, they saw the clothesline and a small campfire with the dull glow of the embers. The makeshift shack was an overhanging cliff and a small stone fence around the perimeter. They heard a loud groan from the shady corner. They edged slowly over and saw a man laid out over a blanket. He had a large gash cutting from his left side to his right, straight across his right abdomen to his left. There were two rows of bites running parallel from each other. He groaned again, his flesh swollen and pulpy. They had no clue what to do. The night growing darker, they deemed it unsafe to travel. They slept in the opposite corner of the man and found a warm patch of leaves where they resided for the night. They only slept for a few hours before the crackling of the fire and the intense heat awoke them. There was a second man crouched over the injured, and he applied some herb to his wounds, he stood up straight, grabbed a wooden pitchfork, and walked out of the safety. He didn’t take notice to the others and quickly receded to the outside world. After stretching, Emily looked in the light of a pale blue dawn and saw George had still been sleeping, and that the other man was sound asleep as well. The injured one was laying on a blanket, soaked in blood. George awoke soon after and yawned as he pulled himself up on a root that was hanging down from the overhang. Emily clambered over the wall and beckoned George to follow her, careful not to wake the injured man. “We can’t just leave him here,” George whispered. “There’s somebody else there.” “There is?” “Yeah, he’ll be fine.” She finished, and with that, they left the camp. They waded through the waist-deep muck, heading for a hill they spotted, figuring they could find the obelisk that way. Once they could after see the hill, they stopped. One thing they didn’t see, was that there was a lake that had two rivers going out. One was coming out of the ocean, strangely going inland, which is not found in surface rivers on Earth, but this was not Earth. George rested on the beach that surrounded the lake. He got up and started to wade into the lake, but not before Emily grabbed his backpack and pulled him back to shore. She opened his backpack and started rummaging through it. “Hey, what are you doing?” George asked, trying to look over his shoulder into the backpack. “You’ll see.” She said shortly. She pulled out a baggie with beef jerky in it, opened the resealable top, and threw a small strip of it into the water. A few seconds later, the beef jerky exploded into a fury of bubbles, and when the lake stilled, the jerky was gone. “Piranhas,” Emily said. Georges' mouth was hanging open as she walked out towards the ocean. He got up and followed, shocked at the tenacity of these creatures. She found what she was looking for, a partly submerged natural bridge. It was kind of the opposite of a delta, where the ocean ran into the lake. Emily jumped from one small rock to the next, and with the agility of a gymnast, reached the island. Emily turned and said, “Toss me the backpack.” George did as told and passed the backpack to Emily. George almost made it across, but on the last rock, he slipped into the murky water. There was a fury of bubbles, screams, pain before Emily lifted George out of the water. He fell to the ground, screaming in agony as Emily tended to his wounds. She ripped the cuff of his pants and saw his leg had been almost completely shredded. Not to the bone, but cuts and bites lined from his ankle to his knee. Lucky for George, Piranhas let their prey bleed out. Blood stained the white beach as Emily dropped a few dabs of Polysporin, a chemical used to prevent minor skin infections. Then she rolled a cloth bandage around his calf. After she was finished, she stood up, and he took her hand and pulled himself up. He winced in pain when he put pressure on his right leg. He hobbled over to a rock and sat down, the pain on his leg was shooting up his thigh and into his side. He limped and winced the whole walk up. When they reached the crest, he sat down to rest. The sun descending into the Western horizon, it shone brightly on the Green Obelisk which resided in the East. Emily dropped the backpack on the soft dirt, and sat down and rested alongside George. She had many thoughts on her mind, as she lay down on the earth. When Emily awoke, the sound of waves was the only thing her ears could hear, it was as if the whole jungle had gone to bed. Emily shook George, who had been sleeping not far from her. The trek down the hill was much easier than the opposite. The grass that grew along the hill was wet with dew, as the two made their way down to the beach. They were walking along, senses dulled from the groggy morning weather when Emily tripped over something when walking through a fern. She stood up and saw George was looking at a strange metal box. He opened the top and pulled a yellowing paper from the interior. George read it aloud, “The most interesting thing that I've observed about Mei-Ying's animals has been what they don't do - they never fight. Among creatures that have been domesticated for generations like cats or dogs, that's normal, but there's a reason zoos keep their animals in separate enclosures. Certain instincts are hard to curb, and there should definitely be more disputes among such a diverse group. Mei-Ying has even integrated a herd of herbivores into her army, as their thick hides have proven resistant to fire and explosives. Yet despite being surrounded by carnivores, they remain untouched. It doesn't make sense. That's not to take anything away from Mei-Yin. She works hard to treat and train her animals well. She's not bad company either, at least when she's not mute and I don't go full biologist. Sometimes it's felt like speaking a new language, but it's been kind of refreshing. Signed, Helena Walker?” “Yeah, she’s one of the previous survivors of this ARK.” “Oh, who’s Mei-Ying?” “Same.” “Huh.” “You better keep that, in case Zane wants it.” George was confused until he remembered the terse conversation he had with him a few days ago. He carefully folded the paper back to its original state and gently placed it in his backpack. They continued their trek along the sandy beaches of the south, unaware of any dangers lurking behind the next rock. Chapter 14 Emily I walked in silence, my boots digging into the soft sand. I had not eaten, and my stomach grumbled in dismay. I walked along, eventually, we reached a river, and George said, “Hey, this is the river my boat took!” So, we followed it, crossing to the other side the same as we had done before. George said he didn’t feel much pain in his leg anymore, but we would still have to get him to a doctor. We eventually reached the swamps again, and we walked along the murky shores, and George was careful not to slip into the water. We walked along, but George stopped moving. “Stop he whispered urgently.” We waited a few seconds, and the sound came again clearer this time. It was a low hiss, coming from a bush, right next to us. I unholstered my shotgun and aimed it straight at the bush. A quick Komodo Dragon-like creature emerged and grabbed me by the ankle and twisted his jaws before I shot his tail and he ran off into the forest. The whole swamp had been alerted by my cries and the shotgun shell. And not long after, a menacing roar came from the south. I lay limp on the Earth, my breaths short and shallow. A slimy foam was on my ankle, and I couldn’t feel my leg. I looked and saw it twitching spasmodically, and stopped abruptly. George wiped away the slime and mucus and disinfected my wound, and wrapped a cloth around it. Blood gushed from the tooth punctures, leaving a hot puddle of blood underneath my ankle. George pulled out a tooth from my flesh and tossed it into the river. I looked back at the bush and saw to beady yellow eyes and a bloody maw. It slowly turned away and walked off. I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot, and George had to support me for the rest of the trek. If we had known that we were going North instead of East, we would’ve made it and sound. Instead, we were 2 miles upriver from where we were supposed to be. We had finally made it out of the swamp, but only to be greeted by a dark, forbidding Redwood forest. By that time I could barely feel my right leg, and my breathing was getting raspier by the minute. I couldn’t remember what they told us about Megalania, which was the creature that bit me. I forgot what happens to those unfortunate souls that get bit and don’t have help. I do remember something about venom, but not much more than that. George pointed out that there was smoke rising from the East, and I knew that there were small villages and towns scattered throughout the central zone. We slowly made our way around the edge of the Redwoods, and along the river, heading towards the smoke. My whole thigh was burning. The midday was hot and humid, and I could barely breathe. I’m not sure if it was from the venom or the humidity. We finally reached the camp, and it consisted of a few small tents, one big tent in the middle, and Parasaurs milled about freely. Men were working the small garden, women were tending to the animals, and children ran around playing tag, dodging and weaving through the legs of the Parasaurs. We approached the camp, as a group of children ran in front of us. They all stopped, taking in the strangers before one of them ran towards the big tent in the middle. Just a moment later, an elderly man walks from the tent, and the child pointed at us. He walks over and greets us with a handshake. “Welcome, stranger.” He said, sounding like English was not his first language. “I see you hurt.” He motioned to my right leg. “Yeah, I got bit by a Megalania, and I,” “Megalanya?” “Yeah,” “Megalanya bad, venom not good.” “Yeah, I can’t feel my right leg.” “This bad.” He murmured. “You cough a lot recently?” “No, it’s just hard to breathe.” “Good, yet still bad.” He finished and led us towards one of the tents. There was a chair, and he beckoned me to sit. He walked outside and was talking to a man in a language I had not heard before. “Waxaa Jira gabar, waxayna leedahay qaniinyo Megalania” “Haa” Another man said. A different man walked in and said, “Hello, my name is Robert. Nice to meet you. I’m a doctor.” Robert said. “Good,” I said. “I hear you've gotten bit by a Megalania?” “Yeah.” “Okay, I can’t treat you here, but there is a tribe West of here, they have herbs that will help you heal. It’s a three-day trek on foot, but I may be able to get you a Parasaur for your journey.” “Yes, thank you. But, what would it cost?” “Well, these Somalians, they are from the time when the Pyramids were built, so they like modern niceties, such as beef jerky,” “Done.” “Okay, I will see what I can do.” “Thanks,” George said. He walked out of the tent and started talking to, what I assumed, was the leader. George helped me up, and we walked outside the tent and sat on a bench. We were quickly surrounded by youngsters, who apparently hadn’t been in much contact with people who are not in their village. They played around the village, hopping and skipping. Eventually, Robert came back and said, “Okay guys, so I have arranged the transfer of a Parasaur, three days worth of food and water, and a map of the area. The other tribe lives in the Grand hills.” “Thanks,” I said. “No problem, just remember to say once you reached the camp, that Robert sent you, then you will be taken care of.” “Thank you for everything,” George said. “Again, no problem.” He said. And with that, we all slept in the fading light. Chapter 15 The Sleepy Rex Tavern and Inn Emily sat up in the saddle, relieved to not have to put any weight on her foot. I tossed one of the guide ropes to George, as we both looked back to wave to all of our new friends. It was relatively late in the morning, being around eight o’clock to nine, when we made it across the river, on our journey West. The sun was climbing high in the sky, and so did the heat. Sweat ran in hot streams down my face. George had wrapped his military shirt, with it’s long sleeves, and tied it around his waist. I had also taken off the top layer of my uniform, which consisted of a tactical vest. I tied it on a rope that was hanging down from the saddle. As we trudged along the soft mud along the rapids of the river, we finally reached the Redwoods. The trees were massive and the heat clung in layers, the lower you get, the hotter it gets. We stayed on the edge of Redwood and sand, careful not to wander too deep into the forest. Eventually, we reached the foot of a massive mountain, which I believe to be known as the Red Peak. It jutted out in the sky, but then I looked to my left and saw the Volcano and realized just how small we really were. The sound of laughter drifted lightly in the breeze, and as our group drifted down the river, the sounds grew louder and more sonorous. We reached a wide path that winded deep into the forest, and a sign hanging on an evergreen read, ‘The Sleepy Rex Tavern and Inn.’ George had stopped walking to read the sign and look down the trail. The sun steadily lowering in the sky, “Should we, go in?” George said, looking up at me. “I mean, we could use a safe place to rest.” So ending our terse conversation, we headed up the snaking trail up a hill. Perspiration beading in trails down my face. We turned a corner, the thick underbrush shooting up on the sides of the dirt road. We turned a bend, and right at the center of a grove was a massive Sequoia tree, shooting high into the blue abyss. Approaching the tree, there was a big Sauropod carrying eight human sized barrels on it’s back, as a man tied the reins to a fence. As we neared a smaller barn off to the left, a man walked out of the barn and waved a welcoming hand towards us. We pulled alongside him as he questioned, “Hello! And what might a lovely couple like you be doing out here?” “Oh, uh couple? No, no, no, that’s not, uh, no. Um, we were uh, just stopping by.” I replied to him. “Oh, I see.” He said. “So, would you like to get some food and drink for your friend?” He gestured towards the Parasaur. “That would be gladly appreciated.” George said, handing him the reins. I swung my foot over the saddle and clambered down the side. The man showed us the stable, lined with Hadrosaurs, Ceratopsians, Theropods, and all the usual mounts. George whispered to me, “I see what that Helena person was talking about.” As he pointed to the Raptors and various Herbivores. It was just as we were exiting the stables, that a thunderous crashing came from the far side of the grove. A full grown Allosaurus burst from the leaves and dashed across the clearing, to a shady spot under a tree. It was only as it got closer, that I could see the saddle laden with supplies. The carnosaur sat down, legs resting under its massive bulk. A man hopped down from the saddle and walked over to the spiral staircase leading up to the actual building, a massive tree platform with smaller platforms jutting out, supported mainly by a branch that connected to the main tree. We had to take a wooden lift that didn’t seem very supportive of multiple people. It slowly rose on a chain that pulled the little box up the side of the tree. We reached the top, and walked around the platform. Many people crowded the bar, and a few were drinking heavily at a table in the corner. Laughter was common in this place, as everything seemed so elated, as if the wars problems seemed to dissipate as soon as you stepped in the clearing. George stepped in pace with me as we made our way to the bar. A bartender asked, “Hey, you want somethin’?” “Yes, uh, can I get white bread with Dodo meat?” I queried. “Sure thing mam. And you sir?” “Same thing.” George replied. “Okay.” He said and receded to the back of the tree. Just moments later, the bartender emerged and handed us two plates with a Dodo burger on each. We gratefully ate the burgers and after we were finished, we headed over to the lift to take us down so we could leave. Once we reached the bottom of the tree, I limped over to the stables, thanking the stable boy for feeding and watering our Parasaur. George lifted me up, and I resumed my spot on the saddle. George led us down the path, and the beach was in sight, but just before we reached the riverbank, a piercing shriek resounded in the sky above, and two dozen Pterosaurs and a Quetzalcoatlus swooped high in the sky. They dove on where the inn was, and the Quetz slowly descended in a spiral fashion. Only seconds after, gunshots erupted from the direction we had come. George asked, “Should we help them?” “Heck yeah.” I replied as I unholstered my shotgun. We quickened our pace on the return journey, and what we saw was horrifying. Pteranodons circled the tree pecking and scratching at bystanders. A line of, wait, those soldiers had Phantom Rising insignia on their shoulders, they were doing a raid! A pteranodon got too close to me, and I pumped it in the wing, it fell to the ground as it shrieked in agony. It ran away, and I let it be. I climbed down the saddle and landed on the ground. The beasts venom that had been injected the day before was climbing up the side of my leg and was heading straight to my heart. My breathing was thin and ragged, and every step pained me. George was shooting down Pterosaurs, and I had focused my attention on the soldiers. Their police line advanced into the chaos. Almost 30 of them crowded in on the stables and tree. A few had made it up and were stealing anything valuable. Not to say that the civilians weren’t fighting back. Flashes burst out in the night sky, booms resonating off the Chapter 16 Taken The two had hidden the Parasaur in the underbrush, and with hand signals, it sat down and watched the two recede to the fighting. The manager, a 46 year old man in the real world, held a shotgun firmly, as he shot one of the soldiers advancing up the stairs. He and a few others had managed to fend off the attackers from getting very far up the tree. They had ordered everyone to crowd inside the kitchen. There were at least 14 resisting the raid. That was until he looked down and saw a pair of people making their way to the staircase. “All right lads, looks like we got ourselves a little help on the floor.” He said, and the others peered over the edge seeing Emily and George fight on the ground, making their way towards the stairs. Once the two had made it up, more and more troops were arriving at the tavern, and bullets were running low. Soon, people started grabbing whatever they could, chairs, wine glasses, and even food trays, to start fighting off the attackers. People came out of the kitchen to help the resistors. Once, it seemed like the army had been pushed back further away from the tree. That was, until a second wave of troops, twice as many as before, came down from the heavens, only these weren’t angels, these were demons. The flagship dropped down, and out from the back emerged the devil himself, Rouge Crane. He marched in a phalanx up to the stairs. Pteranodons and their riders had disarmed every resistor, and handcuffed them. Every person was handcuffed and on their knees when the tyrant got to the top. He paced around the group, head down. He said, “Do you all think that you, could possibly resist a raid such as this?” Everyone was quiet as he said so. “Answer me!” Quiet sat in the waning sunlight. He reached the front again and saw the Obsidian Sun patch on Emily’s uniform. Her head was tilted down, staring at the hardwood floor beneath her. He grabbed her by the arm and forced her to stand. She held her right foot above the ground for it hurt to walk. “What Damon wouldn't do to get you back.” He muttered. He started to depart with Emily limping loosely behind. George leapt up and pleaded, “ Take me instead!” At this, the leader faltered. “What did you say boy?” “Take me instead of her.” He replied again. “What do you have to offer me?” He sat in silence. But that’s when he saw the patch on the uniform he’d been given. “I’m with the Obsidian Sun too, so take me with you and let her be.” “How about I take you both?” He said with a sneer, and the guards took me with them to the flagship. Once we reached the bottom, one of the soldiers queried, “What about the others?” “Hmm, kill them.” He said with a smile and walked to the cabin of the mighty Quetzalcoatlus. They entered the cabin, and Emily immediately looked out one of the side windows. There she saw the soldiers cock their guns, aim, and bangs erupted from the tree, but Emily couldn’t bear to look. Emily sat next to George, and rested her head on his shoulder. Sleep did not come easy. When she awoke, she was leaning on George and when she peered out the window, she saw the distant shoreline, and out the opposite window, Dead Island. The pain in her foot was anywhere but subsided. Once the Quetz landed, the two hobbled off, sporting handcuffs. They were escorted to their cell, a small, cinder block filled room with two blankets and two wooden slabs for sleep. The guard was a Pegomastax, a small animal, designed for thievery. A more solemn looking Pachycephalosaurus stood alert in the hall outside their cell. George got up and said to the Pachy, “She needs medical help, can you get a doctor?” The Pachy replied with a snort and a bang with it’s bony head on the bars. The ringing lasted for a while, and was deafeningly loud. Once the sound subsided, the dinosaur sat back down in the same position as before. Emily lay on the blanket, staring blankly at the ceiling. George sat down next to her. After a solid forty five seconds, George queried, “What do we do now?” “We escape” She said and gave him a smile. Chapter 17 The Footpaw The radio crackled and the voice of the head of search and rescue said, “We found something that we think should be important.” “I’ll be there shortly.” Damon said. “Okay.” Damon ruffled his hair, reckless and drained, he shuffled melancholy down the stairs to the control room. The room was bustling with activity and smelled like cigars and coffee. He was waved down by the head, a friend of Damons for quite some time. He approached the 90’s style computer, where a computer generated image of The Island with several red dots. “What’s this, Joshua?” Damon queried. Joshua clicked a couple buttons and replied, eyes glued to the screen, “Well, we use this program mainly for tracking Phantom Rising, but we reprogramed it to track Emily and George’s implants. “So, you can track them?” Damon questioned. “Not necessarily. We get lots of data about sightings of them, and we run the data through a computer system, and then we have a generalized set of where they went,” “So you can predict where they’re going.” “Precisely.” “So these red dots are where sightings are?” “Yes, and if we run them through the program,” He said as he clicked a few buttons, “We should get a generalized line of where they went.” After a moment, the screen changed to one similar to the first, except with multiple differently colored lines. “Green means the most likely route they followed, and red is the least likely.” Joshua said, pointing at the lines. “But your not sure?” “It’s not definite, but very plausible.” “So, it looks like they started at the green OB,” He pointed at the green dot. “Then they went down into the swamp towards the southern ocean, but then back over West, and seemed to have camped there, before setting of towards the obelisk again. But they stopped, and went North.” “Yes, all the way to the Red River.” “Yeah, but when they get there, they seem to follow it northward, but, then just disappear.” “Where were they last?” “It looks to be about where the Sleepy Rex is.” “Oh god.” “What?” “There was an attack there, not two days ago.” Damon said with a sick face. “Aw, poop. Well, I could try and track them, but if they did get,” “Don’t say it.” “Okay.” Joshua finished, staring fixedly at the monitor. Damon walks out, and heads down the flight of stairs towards the beach. He gave a brief nod to the guards who opened the front gates, heavy steel grinding against the rusted hinges. He sauntered gauntly along the beach kicking up sand as the gale picked up. Once he reached the end of the beach, he stared out at the water. The creatures of the deep were as unforgiving as Phantoms Rising, and if they had gotten captured, then who knows what would happen. He pushed flashing images out of his mind, and grimaced as he walked back to the base. As he walks back to the gates, a soldier shouts from a watch tower, “Sir! A boat is approaching our western border. It looks like it’s from the Footpaw region!” The Footpaw was the outskirts of Weathertop. It’s located in the southern part of the Island, and is the most often spot where you get washed up. The natives are friendly when they have to be, but are fierce and can have the tenacity of a charging bull. He jogged over to their boat, the tribals went up to greet him and said, “Good day, friend. We have come with good news.” “Is that so?” Damon replied. “Yes and very good at that. You see my people have had council, and we agree to join you in search of your two friends.” “Thank you, but we don’t know where they went.” “Ah, but we do.” “Wait, wha,” “Tut, tut, it’s too cold here to be talking. Shall we go indoors where we shall not be troubled by cold fog?” He said, since he was only wearing a thin woven cloth that served as a shirt, and hide woven pants. The two conversed as they walked along the beach. Damon said they would help them, if they helped him get George and Emily back. Once they reached the control room, there was a terse introduction between tribe and Joshua, and then he pulled up the map. “We have fishers that sometimes travel far to get rare delicacies for our people. We were fishing when loud noises came from the tree where people stay. We stayed back and watched as two people were loaded on to a great bird, and were flown off. We followed them as far as the northern shores, but were no longer able to follow them” “Why?” Damon questioned. “Because they go out to sea. They stopped here.” He pointed to Dead Island. “Why would they go there?” “Because, they have many things there. Including forts, and guns.” “Oh my lord, that must be where their home base is!” Damon perked up at this. “Well what the hell are you waiting for?” Joshua asked. He smirked, and went back to typing. The two bid farewell down at the beach, and the Footpaw leader sailed away to tell his people to arm themselves, but Damon asked him a favor before he left. He asked that he spread the word to more places that if they help them in the fight, then they will get a share of the Phantoms wealth. And not days later, Roman and Greek triremes, viking langskips, and more all sailed to the island. And they all agreed to help. Obsidian Sun soon found themselves busy with fashioning armor, and weapons for the new armies. Cargo ships sent out the mass produced stock of weapons and armor to the distant empires. The armies were soon getting restless at the waiting. They planned to launch an attack on Whitesky peak. There, they could open a portal to the Megapithecus arena, similar to how the Phantoms summoned the portal to the Broodmother. But how? Part 4 The Megapithecus Chapter 18 Caverns of Lost Faith George stared blankly at the stone wall that bordered his cell. Emily leaned her head on his shoulder, sleeping. He saw the Pachycephalosaurus guard watching them lazily. Emily woke up and stretched, the tight knot in her stomach where food was supposed to be, was empty. She walked over to the bars groggily, “Hey, bonehead.” She said tapping on the bars. “Where’s my food.” He grunted and snorted, sending Emily hungrily back to George. They weren’t allowed to change clothes, so they were stuck in the grimy, dirty clothes they had worn in battle at the Green Obelisk, through the swamps, in the Redwoods, and now here, in perpetual Hell. “You said we’d escape, but how?” George said. “I was thinking if we pretended like I was hurt, and we called for help, and when they took me away, I beat them up, and get the key, unlock the door, and we swim away.” “Oh.” George said. “Maybe we should think about it a bit more.” Damon sailed on his ship pulled by a mosasaur, with other volunteers to go and look for the “Artifact of the Brute” which Zane says is one of the three artifacts needed to summon The Megapithecus. According to a note by Helena Walker, an Australian Zoologist, it resides in a cave called the “Caverns of Lost Faith.” It’s underwater, and is on the West side near the Arctic. The trip there should not be very eventful. He was right, and soon they reached the spot mentioned by Helena. He pulled out his GPS just to make sure, and sure enough, 50.5, 11.2 showed up on the screen. He donned his diving suit, with a fresh oxygen tank, put on his goggles, and dived down. The other divers followed, and soon enough, they found the entrance. Damon motioned to move forward slowly, and they cautiously swam into the cave. Bioluminescent kelp floated around the entrance. Damon flipped his flashlight on, and peered around. The first corner was fairly navigable, with the many flashlight beams, they could still only see a couple meters ahead. The dive team swam ahead, unaware of the dangers lurking just behind the next bend. “A shadow! I saw a shadow!” One of them said. Everyone turned to where he was pointing. “I don’t see anything.” Damon said. “It was right there! It looked like a shark!” “I think your seeing things.” Another said. But, he was unfortunately right, and a shark darted in through the shadows, and grabbed the kid in it’s massive jaws. He screamed, and some of the people shot their harpoons, but they missed, and the shark got away, dragging the screaming diver away. On the floor of the cave, someone picked up his goggles that had fallen off in the skirmish. We sat in silence, before we headed off deeper into the cave. They turned a bend left, and swam up, in a small pocket of air, they took their masks off, and breathed the air, which probably had never been out of this cave. They looked around, when one of them jerked suddenly downward. Damon grabbed his harpoon gun and fired in the fading light of the divers torch. He followed the diver who was wrestling with something on the floor. He pulled his combat knife from a sheath on his belt and jabbed at the creature. It’s serpentine body floated limply, as Damon’s knife had sliced open the stomach of the beast. When they got a good look at it, they realized what had happened. The 12 foot electrophorus eel, had wrapped it’s lengthy body around his the divers foot and dragged him down where the eel would have an advantage. They told the others who were waiting anxiously above on the surface the whole story. They finished with how Damon killed it, and they readjusted their tanks and swam back down. The dark cave snaked into two separate tunnels, left and right. Damon motioned to the right, where they swam down. Not two minutes later, They find a rocky ledge, in which they take off their masks and rest upon. They huddled closely, since the cave was chillingly cold. They dived back down when they had finished the small snack they were given to eat if they got the chance. A channel cut through the rocky wall, and led to a smaller right channel, but they decided to stay on the main channel. The team found themselves in a grand chamber, with a small ledge visible on the far side, but their was unfortunately a large group of fluorescent Jellyfish and Stingrays blocking the way. They stuck close to the wall, and eventually inched their way around the group. They stopped for a breather, before diving back down. They came across a chamber located underwater, and saw a red glow emanating from the other side of the channel. They reached the Artifact, and strapped the glowing object on to Damons back. It was surprisingly lightweight, Damon thought, as it hardly slowed his motion underwater at all. They made it back to the mouth of the cave, and just in time too. Their oxygen tanks were running dangerously low when they reached the boat. They all changed back into their clothes and soon they were headed off in triumph, and remorse for the loss of the young diver. They reached the anxious groups of survivors waiting along the beach to catch a glimpse of the Artifact when they returned. The boat chugged through the open gates and into the shallow bay. The crew moored the boat to the dock and walked with Damon towards the control room. The roughly circular object floated on a small pedestal of wood in the control room. “Whats next?” Someone in the room asked Damon. “I’ll see.” He said. “Can you go and get Zane?” He asked one of the guards. He nodded and walked hastily down the steps. Damon started on his way to go get Jackson and Kadmon. He found Jackson down in the training area with a fabricated sniper shooting a dummy 30 meters away. He asked, “Hey Jackson.” He looked up. “I need you to help me find Kadmon. “I think he’s in the lab testing out the new Element armor and weapons.” Jackson said. They walked down the hall and to a room labeled lab. They walked in, and donned the lab coats. They found Kadmon in a simple room, with a test dummy on one end, and him on the other. He picked up a rifle-like item and aimed it down towards the dummy. He pulled a trigger, and it fired a blue laser that lit up the room. But after a second, the blinding light disappeared, and smoke started to fill the room from the dummy, who was charred black, embers glowing red hot. He waved to Jackson and Damon, who were standing outside, impressed, and in awe. Chapter 19 The Artifact of the Pack Kadmon set the rifle on the rack it was on before, and stepped out, covered in ash. Damon and Jackson rushed to meet Kadmon, who had a massive grin on his face. He took of the safety goggles, but before he could say anything, he was bombarded by scientist, who acted like buzzards, swarming around him, and asking for all the information. He didn’t have time to even comprehend some of the questions before the head scientist ushered him to go over to a tarp, and said in a slightly high pitched voice. “And now, for the final test.” He pulled down the tarp, and underneath was a shiny, polished set of armor, that had a slight blue glow to it. Damon, Jackson, and Kadmon observed the new accomplishment of the scientists. They had been working restlessly to accomplish in making a suit of armor and weapons to suit the soldiers in combat once they had been given access to the rare Element. The scientists unveiled three more of similar design. The only difference was the color. One had been painted forest green with mud brown to blend in with the forested areas. Another was matte white to blend in with the arctic. The final one was black, and the normal blue glow was red. This one seemed bulkier, and slightly stronger. “I see you have taken interest in our destroyer model?” The head scientist said. “It is very strong, and even if stepped on by a brontosaurus, will still retain its shape.” He said proudly. “Would you like to try one on?” He asked Kadmon.” “Is that even a question?” He said excitedly. He took the original off the stand it resided on, and set the boots on. They adjusted automatically to fit his foot size precisely. He donned the rest of the armor, and finally, the scientist handed him a helmet that he situated on top of his head. “So, you will find an HUD, and each one has a different HUD depending on its environment. But, the Destroyer and the one you are wearing are suited for all environments. You can interact using voice commands. Say, enable forest HUD.” “Enable forest HUD.” The suit changed colors similar to the forest one, and the HUD changed to a green background with blue buttons, which Kadmon assumed was voice activated. Kadmon was always kind of short, but he seemed to tower over everyone. The scientist said, “Now, say activate jetpack, low.” “Activate jetpack, low.” The twin boosters on the back of the suit ignited, and Kadmon hovered three feet in the air. “Now say, jetpack off.” The scientist said. “Jetpack off.” And it turned off. “Now, you can go higher, but it isn’t recommended until you have gained mastery of the simple controls. It might feel like you have a sense of, unlimited power. It might take awhile for you to realize that it is not perfect. Your test seems to be almost up, but, before we go, one last command. Well, it’s not verbal, but, just ball your hand into a fist.” Kadmon did as told, and the element seemed to rush to the glove. “Now, punch that wall.” The scientist said, motioning towards a far wall. Kadmons hand was shaking, he aimed thrusting his fist towards the wall he got pulled towards it, and when his fist made contact with the wall, a blueish explosion rocked the building. A crater was the aftermath of that experiment, and that wasn’t even the suits true potential. “Great! Absolutely wonderful!” The scientist exclaimed. “Wonderful job Kadmon, absolutely wonderful! Alas, your test session is up, and we have the statistics for everything we need to know, and we will contact you when we make our other, eh, suits.” “Your making more?” Damon questioned, confusedly. “Well, um, the project really took off with the results of Kadmons tests, so we uh decided to get some dinosaurs suits.” “Oh.” Jackson and Damon said in unison. The scientist gave them a nod and proceeded to help Kadmon take off the suit. The three were talking about it all the way around the Island. Damon told them about the Artifact and the one they still have to get. They walked back to the control room, to an awaiting Zane sitting relaxedly on a chair, sipping Azulberry juice. “So, heard you need another Artifact?” “Yeah.” Damon replied. “Well I believe the one you are looking for is in the Upper South cave, according to my notes.” “Okay, any other information you could possibly give us, I want to be prepared.” “Okey dokey. We have, the recommended equipment, let’s start with that. So it is underwater for a portion, so scuba is fairly reasonable, but the flippers will slow you down on land. Fur is good because it gets cold, and flak because it will get dangerous. Your gonna want a shotgun, and plenty of bullets because there are lots of creatures. Lazarus chowder, so you can increase your lung size to compensate for the scuba tanks. Fria curry so you can heat up your body in the cold, and climbing picks, because the artifact is on a ledge.” “Okay, so you said something about dangers?” Damon asked. “There are, hmm.” He said, consulting his notes. He found a sheet of paper and read off the list. “Spiders, giant centipedes, Dilophosaurus, Dung beetles, giant lizards, Megalosaurus,” “What’s that?” Kadmon asked. “Oh, Megalosaurus?” “Yeah. That.” “Well, it’s a nocturnal theropod from the mid-jurassic, and when it attacks, it will lock it’s prey in an iron-like grip in it’s jaws, and only larger animals should even think of escaping.” “Well that’s interesting. So we need to be quiet in the cave.” “Yeah, and then there is giant bats, Piranhas in the water, giant scorpions, crocodiles, and giant snakes.” “It’s my lucky day.” Damon muttered sarcastically. “Anyway, that’s all I have.” Zane finished. He stood up, gave them a brief nod, and walked out the door to his cabin. “What now?” Kadmon asked. That's all I have and for some reason I can't type in the normal color no more so oof me. I think the broodmother part could use some work but the rest seems to be good. Hope you enjoyed and LEAVE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM ONLY. NO HATERZ
  7. I remember back in my early Ark days on legacy, must have been our tribes first week playing Ark that we spotted an alpha raptor for the first time. This was way back when we didn't care about guides or information about the game so everything was learnt through experience. So naturally upon seeing this glowing raptor we ventured over to it, clubs and all, to knock it out. We lasted quite a while before being killed as the attention must have been drawn on another dino close by. Needless to say we failed of course. Ever since, whenever I've seen some one post in chat that they were attempting to tame one themselves, I've made sure to grab their co-ords so that I can sit back and watch the horror show.
  8. Hello, So I've tried for a while to play Ark and get into this game's story and progression, but I always seem to get a bit lost and without direction after a while. I've been trying to stick with it for a while now and my latest playthrough is my longest yet. But I'm curious what the direction the game is supposed to take after the initial survival period wears off. I've been following along a playthrough on YouTube, to help guide me along a bit, but how is the game supposed to lead me to these caves and survivor notes? If I didn't consult the wiki or community, how would I learn about the progression? It's something that I've always found curious about this game, almost like you need a guide to finish it, because the game lacks the tools that lead you to discover these things on your own, without relying on sheer luck of stumbling upon the sites on your own.
  9. So a few day's ago my wife and I went to the Mall to look for Christmas gifts for our families. We went into Gamestop so i could pick up my brother a gift card for his PS4. While we were there my wife asked the store clerk to pull down something from the shelf, which i didn't see until I looked at her at the counter to check out. Low and behold, there was an ARK Collector's Edition for the PS4 still on the shelf! It had dust on it and looked like it had been there forever. Here a customer ordered it but never came and picked it up so it went back on the shelf to be resold. The employee said it had been moved about twenty times out of the way so the manager put it up on the top shelf under all the new merchandise. My wife had decided to get it for me as an early Christmas present...but it doesn't end there. Here it had been at the store for so long that the price was only $89! So not only did I get the Collector's edition, with all the goodies inside, (yes the season pass was still valid) but at half the retail price as well. Somehow I got extremely lucky....lucky I married such a great woman! PS - However that said, when I was playing ARK during Early Access, my wife threatened me with divorce because, "I paid too much attention on taming a stupid Brontosaurus, than her" as she put it lol.
  10. OK, this is a disclaimer! This is Helena's notes put in a first person journal point of view. As if she would of told her story in a journal format rather than in a million random notes across the ark. Enjoy! Hopefully if you guys enjoy it and it helps you understand the story slightly better i will do the other random notes too. Helena’s journal: I am an Australian biologist. I am studying the island’s dinosaurs. So far, I have explored the Snow biome and noticed that the ice isn’t melting because the “planet” has no axial tilt. Which means that in every regions climate always stays the same. I have allied with a tribe called “The Howling Wolves” to make things easier for my traveling and dinosaur studies. Though I don’t like being on a tribe I am happy for Athena (my friend) for finding a group of people who welcome her as one of her own. I have met a man named Rockwell who has helped me a lot in my travels. Even when I wanted to give up he pushed me to continue in my darkest time to keep moving forward. I am now helping him collect some flowers and herbs for him to study as a form of thanks. I have been making Dino Dossiers of any dino I have encountered. Today made a Mammoth dossier. I was surprised to see that A Rex is living in the Snow Biome. I believe that there is something off because according to scientific evidence the Rex shouldn’t be able to survive in the harsh cold weather. I also noticed how rexes living in the Snow biome have changed the entire ecosystem. I have been studying dino poop for a while and noticed that all carnivores diets are practically the same. However, I struggle to understand how are these dinos able to find that amount of food without other animals depleting as a source of food. Dino populations should be shifting and changing but somehow there is no evidence of such thing happening. The Snow biome is the only biome on the whole island that is off. All other regions share similarities in their ecosystem but not with the snow biome. I keep studying my notes and noticed that there are more predators than pray. After seen the rex in the snow biome I have realized that this type of ecosystem should not be possible. I will speak with Rockwell to see what he thinks of my findings. Realizing that the Island wasn’t normal and for the first time noticing the Obelisks floating in the sky I started making the connections. Caves had artifacts which had some type of connections with the obelisks. Finally, I have arrived to talk to Rockwell. He tells me, “just because this place doesn’t follow the scientific laws we’re used to, doesn’t mean it follows no scientific laws at all. After all, science is about discovery, and new discoveries can invalidate old principles.” In short, Rockwell explains me that this might be new undiscovered science which we do not understand at this time. After meeting with Rockwell I headed south (Rockwell recommended me to explore the south). To start an in-depth study on the island’s marine life with help of a tribe called the Painted Sharks. I thought because the ocean is a separate ecosystem that could lead me to understand the abnormalities of the Island. I hated the cold weather of the snow biome, so I was happy to move to a warmer climate. I have been treated like a queen by the Painted Sharks after Rockwell recommended me to the tribe on a written note. I have been fed well, treated kindly, and simply happy doing my research in the south. Research in the south has proven that both the land and ocean ecosystems have the same predator-prey balance. There are more predators than are pray! Megalodons are more aggressive than most predators. Perhaps is because they are starving due to the limited amount of food for all of them. After spending weeks in the ocean of the south I have witnesses the mating behavior of the Megalodons. Their gestation period is 44 times faster than that of a Great White Shark. After studying the mating on the wild of the megalodons I have decided to tame a few and mate them in captivity. I have realized that after they are domesticated they are more obedient than a family dog. I have a hard time believing how unusual this place is but I try to keep an open mind as Rockwell suggested. After re visiting the Painted Sharks tribe in the south I spotted a Roo. I realize that according to the studies of all the previews creatures the Roo wasn’t meant to exist along the side of the Rex, megalodon, or the Mammoth. Finally, understood that this ecosystem wasn’t natural but more like a Zoo. Random animals being kept alive for some odd reason in a special synthetic ecosystem! Years have passed and I realized that this is not a Utopia. There is nothing natural about this Island. Human interference doesn’t change the ecosystem which has led to tribes abusing resources and conquering smaller tribes without worrying about damaging the ecosystem. Still, “The sunrises are still beautiful, though. At least nothing can change that.” After mating, taming, and observing other domesticated creatures such as the Megalodon these animals might have been genetically modified to respond to human obedience. There is a woman who has tamed a lot of dinos who they called “The Beast Queen of the Jungle” maybe she can give me some answers. I have meet “The Beast Queen” and her presence is of that of a Rex. The Beast Queen allows me to sift the poop of her dinosaurs (go through animal poop with a devise that separates materials or in this case poop from what might be inside of it). After spending a few days with The Beast Queen she finally reveals her name, “Li Mai Yin”. After studying Li Mai Yin’s Dinos poop I didn’t find any differences between wild Dinos diet and domesticated. The only thing I notice is how remarkably fast the growth rate of this dinos is. I have spent some time now with Mei Ying (I am guessing this is an Wildcard typo. Previews note is Li Mei Yin). Trained Herbivores and trained carnivores can live in peace. I have also started to enjoy Li Mei Yin company. I appreciate her expertise in Dino Taming and training. She gives me a more in-depth understanding of animal behavior in this ecosystem we live. After going through my notes and analyzing my previews experiences with Mai Yin’s camp, taming/domesticating has been going on for many years. Otherwise these odd relationships of these tamed dinos would be impossible and that there might be some higher power controlling all of these ecosystems. I will head to Rockwell to exchange notes and talk about probable hypothesis in regards of how this Island operates. As I Continued my exploration of The Island I have found a small island full of only carnivores on the north east. This is an unnatural possibility. The fact that this is even possible proves that there is something controlling the population of this habitat. These findings leave me speechless. I need to talk to Rockwell to compare notes! After spending an afternoon with Rockwell discussing our findings we both come to an agreement that the island is an unnatural place. While I was exploring in the south and investigating the animals on the island Rockwell was spelunking and investigating the connection between caves and the towering monuments in each corner of the map [obelisks]. The fact that he is as old as he is and covers such a great amount of ground exploring is remarkable. A man worthy of admiration! Few months have passed, and I have joined another tribe by the named “The Iron Brotherhood”. They were not as welcoming as the previews tribes I have encountered. The moment I mentioned Rockwell the tribe was obviously displeased. The tribe is a bit deserted and seems very gloomy. It is impossible not to feel a bit apprehensive. On my expedition with them they managed to collect all the artifacts in the caves and activate the obelisk. I was exited about that but the tribe wasn’t feeling my joy. After activating the obelisk and fighting the giant spider the Iron Brotherhood was torn emotionally. They lost many people killing it and the use of what they got was unknown. Perhaps, even worthless. After finding out that these artifacts could activate the obelisk platform’s pedestal we went on an expedition to collect the artifact to activate all the obelisks. We knew this was going to be a monumental effort and we need help. Here with the Howling Wolves we are collecting all the artifacts as we speak. News about the Iron Brotherhood’s tragic spider incident reached, and it was understandable why they stopped looking for the artifacts. They were torn emotionally. We are ready to activate the obelisk and though Athena is by my side we will need back up. Whatever happens on the other side might be more than we can chew. We were now ready to activate the obelisk and I was glad to have by the side of the “Beast Queen”. She got more intestinal fortitude than anyone I have met so far in the island and we needed that. The moment I saw that giant ape I knew I needed Mai Yin. This would have been impossible without her. Her command of her beasts was what gave us the win. She was ruthless in battle. This fight made everyone stronger and once again “The Beast Queen” proved why she is the real beast. She smiled as she had the head of the ape in her hand screaming, “Beast! “as she pounded her chest with the other hand. After the fight with the giant ape I went back to Mei Yin’s camp. There we had an unpleasant encountered with the alpha tribe of the island. The tribe that was conquering all other tribes. Though they captured Mei and me, they let me keep my personal effects. He was civil in one way. The leader of the alpha tribe introduced himself as Gaius Marcellus Nerva. His tribe was called, “The New Legion”. This Nerva thought he was Jupiter’s gift to the island. However, the only reason I was alive was because I knew my way inside the caves. I was obliged to help him, or I might die if I didn’t prove my self useful. Sadly, I also needed his help. I needed him to unlock the third obelisk to continue my research. Nevertheless, that would not stop me from wishing him to fall hard head first after I get what I want! My job here is done. I have helped him collect all the artifacts to unlock the third obelisk. They will decide my fate soon, so this might be my final chance to reflect. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I would rather die seeking the truth than living in a n illusion. As Rockwell would say “is the path of the true scientist.” Well, I guess I am not dead as it turns out. Neither was Mei Yin. In fact, it was her who freed me, and insisted that we follow Nerva through the portal in the cave. A horrifying scene awaited us. All Nerva’s men laid dead amongst the shards of a mysterious metal, but Nerva’s body was missing. Forgetting my present company, I suggested a peaceful approach if we encountered him. That earned me one hell of a knockout punch by the “Queen Beast”. When I came to, I searched the whole station, but the only signs of Mei Yin and Nerva were a few ounces of dried blood. No bodies and no Victor. There, floating outside the window and surrounded by machinery was the very island that I had been living on, and it was too orbiting high above the earth along with countless other stations just like it. The ecosystem on the island wasn’t just curated, it was completely artificial from the ground up! What in the hell is all this, why would anyone construct it, and how could they have possibly kept it hidden from the world? I don’t have the answers to any of these questions or the dozens of others that keep popping into my head, but somehow, I mean to find out. Somehow, I will find the truth.
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