Cutting Her Losses (Hollow Earth Expedition ep49a)

The Fortune Hunter

Maia wriggled through a window cut in the grand stone façade of the arena and dropped to the ground below. She was near the back wall of the ancient city, and she could hear the shouts and cries of conflict coming from every quarter around her. It sounded as if the natives had risen in force against their Nazi tormentors, attacking them with rocks and clubs and whatever else was at hand. The Nazi troopers, greatly outnumbered, were responding with machineguns, which meant the advantage was still theirs.

She knew that the natives had a score to settle, but so did she. “Thirty five dollars,” Maia muttered the price of her shotgun. The lazy-eyed lieutenant still had it, and she recognized this chaos as her chance to even the score. “And my pistol,” she remembered. “That brings his total to fifty bucks.”

Maia crept around the building to get a better view, clinging to the shadows beneath an overhang. Suddenly, a thunderous impact lifted her one full inch off her feet and pushed her against the wall. Her first thought was that she had strayed too close to an exploding hand grenade, but when she turned to look she saw that the boom had come from a pair of massive, reptilian feet impacting the earth only a little more than an arm’s-length away from where she stood.

With her eyes, she followed the line of the monstrous, tree-trunk thick legs towards the humongous, looming body of the tyrannosaur. Seen from beneath, it was no less majestic: muscle coursed beneath the brown, pebbly skin and along its lean belly. The beast blotted out the sun like a low-flying zeppelin, and yet its whole body seemed to vibrate with hunger and vitality as it strained its senses to find its prey.

As quickly as it had hurdled the city’s wall, it launched itself towards the thickest patch of human combatants. The Nazis and the natives froze in mid-battle and watched as this new terror sped towards them. Only the heavy machinegun crew, finally set up and ready, was able to react. Swinging their weapon around almost one hundred and eighty degrees, the gunner aimed up and let loose with a stream of fifty caliber bullets. The weapon could slice through a human being like a buzz saw, but against the mighty tyrannosaur it provided little more than an annoyance.



About Sechin Tower

Sechin Tower is a teacher, game developer, and author of MAD SCIENCE INSTITUTE, a novel of creatures, calamities, and college matriculation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.
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