Prologue, Part I

- Earth, 65 million years ago, Mesozoic Period.

The air was moist and hot, titanic green plants rustling in the breeze. Primordial cries and calls filled the valley, as tall, lumbering behemoths nestled near the lake shore. At the water's edge, large clusters of crested reptiles knelt down to sample the lush cool grasses growing out of the water. Further away, upon the sloping crags and knolls, stood the flesh-eaters.

But one particular carnivore was not occupied with eating. Not for the moment, anyway. This particular creature, whom scientists eons later would label Tyrannosaurus Rex, was eyeing a small patch of earth very intently. Buried under the dirt rustled her hatchlings, cracking open their egg-casings and clawing for the open sky. There were about six in the litter, and as the last one struggled free of its shell, the mother dinosaur nodded intently, satisfied at their emergence. She instinctively lowered her head and sniffed each infant. The smell was fresh and healthy for all of them, but she hesitated.

The first five baby tyrannosaurs were lanky, scaly creatures with bright yellow eyes and mottled grey and green skin. The sixth was . . . different. The mother leaned closer, examining the last infant dinosaur with a suspicious gaze.

The tiny baby tyrannosaur stared back at her. She felt an instinctual loathing, but wasn't sure why. This particular newborn had definitely been hatched from her litter, but it had very little in common with the rest of its siblings.

It was purple.

The mother tyrannosaur reeled back, confused and afraid. The purple baby gurgled and smiled. She hesitantly approached it again. She then noticed that besides being purple, it was smooth, chubby, and had dead, empty eyes. And when it smiled, which was often, it had a sinister, threatening chuckle that startled her and the other newborn tyrannosaurs. The mother was struck with a sudden urge to crush the little beast under one of her heavy, taloned feet, but her mothering instinct kept her from doing so. At least for the moment.

Under a sweltering sky filled with the fading rays of the sun and swarming pteryodactyls, the two giants roared and lunged at each other upon the marshy field. The tyrannosaurus rex kept herself away from the thick, knobby tail of the ankylosaurus, who squatted below her, wary of her massive jaws filled with jagged sharp teeth. Around the edges of the field, a lone triceratops and a pack of lambeosauruses watched.

The battle had lasted for several hours, and both opponents were exhausted. The tyrannosaur realized that if she couldn't feed her children soon, they may starve or wind up devouring each other. With a final effort, she lunged towards the ankylosaur and snapped at its head.

The armored dinosaur turned away and slapped its hard, bony tail into the firm thigh of the flesh-eater. She growled in rage and whipped around toward the front of her opponent, her flesh sore and broken where it had been struck. She flung her powerful leg over the shell of the ankylosaur and clasped it over the edge, just above its hindquarters. She yanked it towards her, flipping the foe onto its back and knocking it breathless. It desperately flailed its thick stumpy legs in the air, trying to right itself upon the ground, but it was a futile effort. The next moment, the tyrannosaurus bore down upon the exposed underbelly of the ankylosaur and ripped out its entrails. In a spray of blood and bone, the tyrant lizard claimed her prey and roared in triumph. The sound echoed throughout the valley and hills, resounding her victory.

It was not much longer when she returned to her nest, dragging a large chunk of the ankylosaur's flesh towards her hatchlings. The baby tyrannosaurs chittered busily and scampered upon the bloodied morsel, and the sounds of their eating pleased the mother. Then she looked upon the purple one. It was not eating. Rather, it was staring blankly at her and smiling. She growled back as a retort, but it did not appear to phase the fat, stocky creature. She turned away and helped herself to the rest of the meat.

At a neighboring nest, a styracosaur was facing a similar dilemma. Though she too had given birth to a fine litter of hatchlings, there was something odd and unsettling about one of them. It was a female creature, with starry blue eyes and a high, squeaky call. Unlike its siblings, it had smooth green skin and bright pink dots. It also walked about on its two hind legs, not on all fours like the rest of the family. It preened and giggled constantly, and all of the other babies in the litter ignored it, as if afraid. And while the styracosaur-mother had sharp, spiky horns, it noticed this one did not. In fact, she wasn't even sure it was of her kin.

She went about her way, the newborns following after her, munching on ferns and flowers. Other styracosaurs in the herd raised their gaze at the family, then stared at the green, bubbly one at the end. They too, were sensing a great deal of discomfort and insecurity.

Dawn rose and the mother-tyrannosaur rose from her slumber. Her gaze rested upon the litter. She noticed that many of the hatchlings were now able to run quite steadily through the dense brush and many snapped at the flies and gnats that filled the dense air. She shifted her gaze uneasily upon the fat purple dinosaur, who sat on a rock, rocking back and forth, smiling serenely at the yellowish sky. She had noticed it had not even eaten once, but was still plump and growing rather rapidly. She began thinking more and more of plodding over and wrapping her jaws tightly around its firm belly, she found it easier to fight the maternal instinct given the loathsome nature of this purple miscreant. Had she not been staring so intently at the purple baby, she would have noticed a green, bubbly creature faintly resembling a styracosaur approaching the knoll.

The purple infant began giggling and smiling even more when the green dinosaur appeared alongside it. The mother tyrannosaur reared back in alarm. The mother styracosaur, who had been searching for the baby green freak, came upon the scene and reacted likewise. As the two behemoths watched in rapt fascination, the purple and green dinosaur faced each other and began an odd call. It was a series of sounds, repeated over and over in a continuous rhythm, and as they continued, the two newborn creatures clasped their hands together and began swaying back and forth. A song and dance.

Moments later, the sky turned a turbulent red, and volcanoes began erupting with unbridled ferocity. Lava and smoke spewed into the sky. The ground shook, causing great cracks to emerge and forests were shattered into splinters. Cries of confused and frightened dinosaurs filled the air, and a tremendous heat began to build in harsh intensity.

The mother tyrannosaurus fought to approach the purple and green lizards. She was filled with an immediate desire to kill them and rip their flesh off of their skeletons. But as she struggled, she became aware of a more immediate menace and looked towards the sky . . . .

Steadily approaching the earth blazed a gigantic, fiery orb. The light was blinding and the heat incredible as it broke the atmosphere, igniting it and causing a tremendous upheaval in the soft surface and rolling oceans. The next instant it exploded against the earth's fragile crust.

The tyrannosaurus was thrown off of her feet and she roared in fear and confusion. The entire valley was filled with the cries and howls of terrified and wounded dinosaurs, many who stampeded blindly into the center of the explosion, which had sent a billowing, rumbling column of smoke and fire into the violent sky. Great clouds of dust and debris began darkening the horizon, and as the tyrannosaurus struggled back to her feet, she noticed with great dismay her newborn children, dead on the ground. They had either been trampled to death by panicking herds or suffocated by the intense heat and debris. She bellowed in rage and despair, then fixed her gaze upon the purple and green dinosaurs below her. She lurched after them, but suddenly found herself gasping for air. Her lungs began to burn and swell from inhaling the hot dust and smoke, and within seconds the mighty giant fell to the ground and died.

By the end of the day an eerie silence had fallen upon the land. The sky was a mosaic of blacks and blues, clouds rolling in fantastic patterns over the landscape. Dust and ash gently floated in filmy clouds upon the surface, lightly coating the dead and dying bodies of dinosaurs. The temperature had fallen rapidly and some of the marshes had begun to freeze over. A faint breeze whistled mournfully through the racked forests, and off in the distance an unusual sound was heard. At the edge of the valley two stocky figures waddled off into the distance, hand in hand, singing the very song that preceded the comet's impact . . . .

I love you, you love me, we're a happy family, With a great big hug and kiss from me to you, won't you say you love me too?

@ Copyright 1996, Brian Bull

Click here for Prologue, Part 2, of Day of the Barney III: SPECTRE