Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: this is a latest story in the series. Previous stories should be read for a better understanding.
As the buildings and streets of Sunnydale faded behind, Oz, the werewolf outlaw of the Wild West, fell uneasy.
Well, admittedly, he felt uneasy ever since he and his posse appeared in Sunnydale when they rode through some strange disturbance in the air and ended up going through time and space or some other strange place like that. Oz did not care about it: he was usually the guy who shot people to get their money (or blew up trains, etc – you get the idea), not the guy who worried about keeping the space-time continuum in order.
The blue-skinned thug, who was too stupid to cower even when threatened with being shot, had been slightly more worrying, but since he did go down when he had been shot, Oz did not worry about him too much.
The same could be said about the asphalted highway that Oz and his posse used to ride out of Sunnydale as well. A road, even if paved with some strange material, was not too scary or too strange either, even by the Wild West standards.
The discarded cars that lay littered alongside that highway were more bizarre, but again, the werewolf outlaw had lived through the Civil War between the North and the South, and as such, discarded and oversized tin cans (often overgrown with some strange vines or mold or something else) wasn’t something that he couldn’t happen either.
In short, you could say that it was only the looming nightfall that caused the outlaws to stop and to break camp off the highway; nightfall and habit: they rode off the highway into the brush to break camp – and that is when their troubles began.
The first sign of it was the fire: somebody else already noticed this out of the way cranny and made a fire – a woman. Armed with a bow and arrows and with snakes for her hair.
“Hey you!” yelled one of Oz’s underlings, a Métis named Johnny Big Dog, aiming his Winchester rifle at the woman. “Is this your campfire?”
The woman did not make any indication that she understood. Rather, she began to slowly get up, heavily leaning upon her bow, and Oz could see the reason why: a makeshift bandage was wrapped around her torso, and other around her neck: not very long ago in the past the snake-haired woman had been almost decapitated.
Very slowly (her snakes moved faster than her), the woman began to turn around, tiredness and irritation evident even in her backside. And then-
There came the dinosaurs. If Dawn, Buffy, Willow or any other member of the Scooby gang had been present on the scene at the time, they would have identified the first smaller dinosaur as the same carnivore that tried to intrude into the Magic Box, but had been dissuaded by the smell of the djinn blossoms. They also would have admitted that it really was dwarfed by the second dinosaur, which had been pursuing the smaller reptile in order to make it into supper.
The gorgon (for that is whom the snake-haired woman was) hissed, and tried to petrify at least one of the dinosaurs. No luck. To petrify, a gorgon needs to establish eye contact: something that is much harder to do with a giganotosaurus (the second, bigger dinosaur) than with a human. The fact that when it comes to smaller creatures the dinosaurs’ eyesight is not that great was not helping either.
As the gorgon stared in vain and the outlaws were just frozen in something that was equal part fear and awe, the smaller dinosaur (called an aucasaurus) abruptly stopped. The much bigger giganotosaurus, unable to halt its momentum, rushed right above it, before managing to stop.
And then it whirled around, but the smaller dinosaur was ready, now darting around its bigger adversary, keeping close contact and preventing giganotosaurus from inflicting any serious damage upon the smaller reptile.
As the two dinosaurs continued to battle, Oz turned to one of his men. “Rifle,” he said curtly, and promptly received the Winchester in question.
Oz never liked rifles, he was more of a pistol man in a firefight, but was not a usual firefight. Therefore, he took the rifle and began to wait for an opportunity – and it came when the smaller meat-eater decided to go for the broke, and clumped its jaws shut around its bigger rival’s leg.
Size for size, aucasaurus and its relatives were the bulldogs of the meat-eating dinosaurs, and being bitten by one of them could easily turn into a bone-breaking experience, as the giganotosaurus was currently experiencing first hand. It roared in pain, and a lesser man would have been toppled over by the fury of that sound alone – but Oz was not a lesser man, but one of the most dangerous highwaymen created by the destruction of the Confederate army, and his aim did not falter.
Size for size, a giganotosaurus’ brain is no bigger than an average banana, encased in a strong skull, and as such, it is a very hard to reach target, even with a Winchester rifle. Oz – appeared to have reached it, and the giganotosaurus began to fall, though the fact that another dinosaur was ripping through its leg with a mouthful of muscles and teeth may have something to do with it as well.
But in either case, the big dinosaur did fall – right next to the gorgon, who could now establish eye contact with it, but that was no longer necessary: the giganotosaurus was dead. The gorgon looked at it, did some mental math of her own, and fainted.
“That tears it,” Oz told his men, seeing how the remaining dinosaur promptly ignored them and began to eat its fallen enemy instead. “We’re breaking camp here. No arguments.”
And there were none.