As the copious amounts of smoke clears, I revert to flesh and extinguish my flames.
I fall to my knees, panting in exhaustion.
I see the results of my energy blast.
An entire chunk of the city, at least a mile long, is gone.
Fortunately, the city is in a bigass volcanic crater. So hopefully no wildlife got caught in the blast.
Honestly, I’m just hoping no humans or fluffies were in the way.
Marley lands, reverting to his ordinary rasta fluffy form.
He’s got a bit of a nosebleed from holding Zhala still. But he’s also got regeneration.
I manage to go from kneeling to sitting.
After I retrieve a box of Victor’s protein bars from my bag, I unwrap the first one and hand it to Marley.
He wolfs it down in seconds.
“Need another one, Mar?”
“Mawwey am gud.”
“Good, because I need at least ten of these right now.”
As I’m gobbling down protein bars, Eira, Lou, Tony, Dave and Scarface re-enter the ruined arena and walk over to me and Marley.
Dave and Slayer have reverted to their normal forms.
“Damn! I’ve never seen you go that far, Cal!”
“Dewe am nuffin weft of Zhawa! Dam shame.”
“Swayew an Zhawa cudda had sumfin speciaw tugeva.”
Dave looks down at Slayer.
“You aren’t being serious right now, are you Slayer?”
Slayer bursts into laughter, falling to the ground and pounding it with a marshmallow hoof.
“Of caws nut, daddeh! Swayew was jus twyin tu saik Zhawa owt!”
“Oh thank fucking God.”
Eira’s jaw drops when she sees the destruction I just wreaked.
“Cal am do that?!? Wow! Cal am very very strong! Now Eira really want make baby with Cal!”
I point at her.
“How many times do I have to tell you? No horny!”
“If there no horny, there no Iokans.”
Okay, I can’t argue with that.
Lou and Tony, still holding their warhammers, gape at the destruction as well.
“Holy shit, Tony…”
“I gotta say, I’m impressed.”
I turn to them.
“You gonna keep those hammers?”
“Why not? They just feel so right in our hands.”
“It’ll be a nice souvenir, Cal. It’s not like this place has a gift shop.”
I can’t argue with that, either.
I see the rest of my squad enter the arena and walk up to us. Along with Keeno and Yoshi.
I call to them.
“Yo! Keeno! Yoshi! Where’s Teach?”
The looks on their faces tells me everything.
“Oh. Damn. Poor guy.”
Keeno manages a weak smile.
“Teach die fighting. Teach am true Iokan. Ioka Village never forget everything Teach tell us.”
“Will pass it down, too. Teach live on, as part of whole village.”
I turn to my squad next.
“How’s the situation out there, guys?”
Victor laughs. Loana’s with him, and they’re holding hands.
“Any of the dinotites we didn’t kill fled the city when they saw the blast. The rest of our forces chased after them.”
“Did you not see all of the pterodactyls flying towards the city, Cal?”
I gesture to the spot Zhala was standing when I vaporised him.
“I was kinda busy, Vic!”
Everyone laughs at that.
I get back up, putting the remaining protein bars back in my bag, along with the wrappers of the empty ones.
Give a hoot. Don’t pollute.
“So in other words, it’s over?”
“NOT YET, MONKEY!!!”
“THE EMPEROR WILL BE AVENGED!!!”
I turn around, seeing Nhiz and Bhel charging at me.
Where’d they come from?
I look at the black marks on the floor formerly known as Nhiz and Bhel.
I spit at the one that used to be Nhiz.
“Say hi to your boss in Dinosaur Hell.”
ZHALA KHUPAH? NHIZ? BHEL?
“What are you two chucklefucks doing here? Don’t tell me you two got killed as well!”
“We never did get that reward.”
“Well, at least Khamik is still alive.”
ABOUT THAT… KHAMIK?
“Oh, come on! What happened, Khamik?”
“The machine blew up, Sire. One of the other scientists crossed the wrong wires while repairing the panel.”
YES, I’LL BE COMING BACK FOR THE REST OF THOSE CLOWNS.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”
I HONESTLY CANNOT BELIEVE THAT I HAVE TO REAP A SPECIES AS STUPID AS YOU MORONS. I DON’T KNOW WHY THE DEATH OF FLUFFIES COMPLAINS SO MUCH, FLUFFIES ARE GENIUSES COMPARED TO YOU LOT.
“So that’s it? Are we the only ones left in the city?”
Judy casts a few spells.
“Good. Because there’s one more thing left to do. I’m gonna need some more protein bars after this, I think.”
Not long after, the squad is flying high above the city, either on pterodactyls or under their own power.
As everyone else flies back to Ioka Village, I turn back to the city.
I point my hand down at it, in blasting position.
“That volcano’s extinct. This shouldn’t cause an eruption.”
And I start charging an energy blast, almost as big as the one I killed Zhala with.
I can solve this problem with brute force, too.
After this, it’s back to using my head. Don’t wanna make a bad habit out of this.
“You fuckers destroyed so many villages…”
And I wipe the rest of Tyranno City off the face of Primal Earth.
“…it’s only fair that we destroy yours. The Larubans have nothing to go back to.”
I fly off, following my friends.
“Neither do you.”
Later, at Ioka Village, Eira and I stand on the big flat rock, the Iokans, Larubans and my squad surrounding us.
Eira is holding my fist up in the air by my wrist, like I just won a boxing match.
“We win big today! Dinotite village gone! Dinotites run, dinotites hide! Am all thanks to Cal and friends!”
The cavepeople all cheer as one.
Eira lets go of my wrist and turns to me.
“Eira very happy that Eira meet Cal. Lot have changed for Eira world. Maybe things get better now that dinotites no take everything.”
“I’m happy to have met you too, Eira. Maybe I shouldn’t have blown up Tyranno City, you guys could have used it.”
Victor chimes in, standing near the rock, still holding hands with Loana.
“I’m willing to bet that there’s more metal on Primal Earth than what the dinotites took. One city couldn’t use up all of it.”
I look down at Victor.
“There’s that. Thanks, Vic.”
Then I turn back to Eira.
“So I guess we’ll be leaving soon.”
“Not yet! We celebrate first! Big feast, big fun, Cal and friends all welcome!”
Her grin fades.
“Then, probably no see Cal and friends again.”
“Well hey, Eira, I’ve been thinking.”
I reach into my bag of holding.
And I withdraw one of the asteroid fragments.
“I think we can trust you guys to keep this safe. While I was in Zhala’s lab, I snapped a pic of one of the screens, too.”
I hold up my phone, showing a map of all the portals on Primal Earth.
“There’s another portal near the village. It’s a five minute walk from here. I don’t know where it comes out on our side.”
Eira grins again.
“Let’s go see.”
So Eira and I walk out of the village, making our way to a cliff face.
Judy trusts Eira enough to let her be alone with me by now.
As we get close, the rocky wall starts rippling, responding to the glowing fragment.
We walk through.
“What are the fucking odds?”
We’re in the alleyway next to my apartment building. The same one I used to blip to work in.
I look at the rippling brick wall.
“I don’t understand why some of them are in manmade structures.”
“Am still stone. Maybe there am portal where there need to be portal.”
“Maybe you’re right. This will make it a lot easier to stay in touch, so I can’t complain.”
We walk through again.
Back in the village, the preparations for the feast have already begun, and the smell of various prehistoric beasts being roasted on fires hangs in the air.
I hear the sounds of rough lovemaking coming from Loana’s tent, and I can’t see Victor or Loana herself.
I hear the same sounds coming from another tent, and I can’t see Andre or his cavewoman fuckbuddy either.
Some of the Larubans are roasting dinotites with looks of gleeful, malicious catharsis on their faces.
Eira smiles at them.
“Eira think Larubans will fit in just fine. Iokans have brawn, Larubans have brains. Iokans will protect Larubans.”
Then she smiles at me.
“Eira also think this am start of beautiful friendship. Tonight, we celebrate new friendship! With Cal friends, and with Laruba tribe!”
I smile back.
“I’m not gonna miss that, Eira.”
PROFESSOR RONALD CERVELAS?
MOST IMPRESSIVE. YOU’VE EARNED YOUR PLACE UP THERE.
“You can call me Teach, if you want to.”
VERY WELL. SHALL WE BE OFF, TEACH?