The Rugged Explorer
In its pursuit of the scattering natives, it had charged past the arena and had hardly needed to slow its pace to snap its mighty jaws at von Wartenburg. The commandant stumbled backwards, successfully escaping the slamming of the terrible jaws, but in that instant the spell of the skull and of his mystical words was broken, and Jack and the Amazon were free to act.
The Amazon dove forward, seizing von Wartenburg’s wrist and knocked the pistol free of his grasp. But the commandant brought the onyx skull around like a club with his other hand, knocking her between the shoulder blades and driving her forward towards the edge.
She tottered on the brink for a moment as Jack rushed forward, but he could not reach her before she tumbled off the roof. With a wordless shout of frustration, Jack seized the machinegun off the ground and fired at von Wartenburg, who ducked down the stairs an instant before the bullets collided against the open doorway behind him.
Deciding that he could catch up with von Wartenburg later, Jack rushed to the edge of the roof to see the Amazon sprawled out below. She was not moving.
Using the ornamental carvings in the wall, Jack scampered down from the roof and dropped the last eight feet to come to the Amazon’s side. When he shook her, her eyes fluttered and she groaned, but when she tried to sit up she gasped in pain. The swelling at her shin told him that she had broken her leg in the fall.
“Stay here,” Jack said to her, hoping that he would get the gist of his intention even though she didn’t understand his words. “Stay—”
The ground around him shook once more with the tyrannosaur’s approach. With great trepidation he turned to see what he dreaded: the tyrannosaur, pausing only momentarily to snatch the trampled body of a native warrior from the ground and bolt it down in a single swallow. Then it locked its eyes on them and rushed forward.
Jack had only a moment to think. He might be able to get away, but that would leave her helpless at the dinosaur’s feet. If he tried to carry her, he wouldn’t make it a dozen steps before they both became the tyrannosaur’s next snack. He knew what he had to do.
Jack sprang away from her and fired his last few rounds behind him as he ran, more to get its attention than with any real hope of harming the creature.
“Over here!” Jack yelled. “Remember me? I’m the one that got away!”
The tyrannosaur veered away from the wounded Amazon and towards him with the ferocity of an avalanche.