• Published 26th Apr 2017
  • 2,692 Views, 87 Comments

Equestria Girls: DinoSapien - Tarbtano



A retelling of the Discovery Kids' show "Dinosapien" set in the Equestria Girls universe at a summer camp, where the possibility of living dinosaurs ties into one girl's quest to discovery how one of them is connected to her missing father

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Chapter 4: Camp Visitors

Mrs. Heart stood at the campground entrance with her daughter, Sunflower, and Sandalwood in tow as the two park rangers tapped at their PDAs before one of them handed it to the campground owner.

“We’ll be doing a sweep to check for that aggressive bear your counselors reported in across these sectors,” the ranger noted as he ran his finger over the PDA screen to indicate a sizable chunk of the island’s immediate area around the campground.

“Better safe than sorry, wouldn’t want to frighten the mother bear again-” she cast a glance towards her counselors, “-even if I do question why the witnesses were where they were when the incident happened.”

Maia looked off to the side and Sandalwood scratched the back of his head while trying to give a nonchalant shrug, spurring a sigh and roll of the eyes by Sunflower. Mrs. Gentle Heart sighed and looked back to the PDA.

“We have a scavenger hunt plan for today for the children, I can move it to another day if need be so we don’t get in your way?”

The ranger smiled and waved her off, “Oh not a problem at’tall ma’am. We’ve already gone through sectors 1 through 3 in the immediate area around the campsite just to be safe. No signs of any bears so long as you set the hunt there, kiddos should be perfectly safe and we’ll already be off checking another zone. Sweep the whole area for few square kilometers to be sure.”

Maia Heart-Search’s eyes widened and she mutely choked on her own breath, freezing up stiff at the ranger’s words.

Mrs. Heart beamed and nodded her head, “Oh thank you! If you gentlemen and ladies would like some coffee and lunch later, just drop on in!”

“Be much obliged!” the ranger quipped as he tipped his hat and nodded to his coworker for her to come with him as they set off.

Mrs. Heart nodded to her counselors, “Are you three acquainted with where sectors 1, 2, and 3 are?”

“Like the back of our hands Missus H,” Sandalwood chirped, speaking for himself and Maia though not necessarily Sunflower. He had to given Sunflower’s lack of knowledge and the fact Maia seemed oddly pale in the face, not able to talk.

“Alright then! Looks like we don’t need to pack away the scavenger hunt toys today, so go off and set the hunt up! I’ll worry with breakfast for the children, Sandalwood already made pancakes to spare.”

Sunflower Orange awkwardly glanced between her best friend, who was still stiff as a board, and her employer. She forced a perky smile and jumped up in front of Maia while waving eagerly, “Your wish is our command, Missus Heart! Better get on the flapjacks, these rapscallions are ravenous in the morning!”

Gentle Heart beamed and waved as she departed. Soon as she was out of visible sight, Sunflower and Sandalwood whirled around to face Maia when the latter grabbed them both by the shoulder.

“Guys, problem!”

“Um, little clarity MaiMai?”

“Yeah, you look like a spook with all the color drained out.”

“They’re checking the woods for a bear.”

Sandalwood and Sunflower glanced towards each other before looking back at Maia, “And?”

Maia, still wide-eyed, frowned, "And who else lives in those woods?”

Sunflower thought about it for a moment before parroting out the first name she could think of, “... Feather Head?....”

Her eyes widened and jaw went slack, “Ah crap, your freaky bird is out there.”

“And those rangers are inevitably going to check around the ghost town because that’s where we saw a bear!” Maia yelped while she grimaced, “They’ll find him!”

Sandalwood bit his lip and try to think things over. He awkwardly smiled all trying not to flinch or shrugged his shoulders, “Um.. well. These are park rangers, not movie government agents. I don't think we can stop them either... Might not be that bad like we feared, two rangers out there are my parents and I can vouch for them. Not like they’d hurt him or anything no matter who it was. Nature lovers so I don’t think their first instinct is to dissect every animal they see.”

“Y-Yeah and uuum,” Sunflower sighed while she tried to sound encouraging, “They’ll be bound to call an expert in right? Bird expert? Birdologist? You wanted to know more about him right? That might be a way to do it. He’s a really weird bird, I’m sure some expert would love to look in on him.”

Maia frowned, drawing out her backpack and pulling out something she never parted with now. Her father’s old notebook. She turned to the page showing a sketch of Eno, the image of broad feathers and clawed wings shining in the early morning’s first sunrise light.


“That’s what I’m afraid of,” She muttered glumly as she turned the book around and looked at Eno’s sketch, her father’s own handiwork. Given the level of detail, it must have been made during some extended period of time seeing Eno and not just some glimpse.

“Eno was the last thing my father was researching before he disappeared… Wherever Eno comes from, that’s probably the last place my father was. I-If someone finds out about Eno and catches him,” she frowned and sighed, “There goes my chance.”

Sandalwood was infected by Maia’s expression as he patted her shoulder, “You… dunno that. They may, like, wanna study him in the wild. Right?”

Maia shrugged, “There’s a chance of that… and…”

Sunflower finished her sentence for her, "Also a chance they’ll take him away to study him in, like, some zoo. Or at least swarm over this place.”

“And if I tried to work with them, someone would want my dad’s notes,” Maia whispered as she clutched the notebook closer to her chest, “Call it sentimental, but I’ve already lost some of his stuff. I don’t want to lose the last… Look, I know we can't keep it a secret forever. I'm being petty about this but, I just... want to have some time to try and figure things out on my own. Call it closure after what's happened and happening.”

Sandalwood and Sunflower looked to their friend sympathetically, knowing about what happened to Paleo Search’s study. Maia was still grieving, and the current situation was not helping. They glance to one another and paused for a moment before their frowns shifted into flattened resolve and they exchanged a nod.

“Well MaiMai,” Sunflower chirped as she perked back up and crossed her arms, “What’s say we get a plan so Ranger Rick and Big Bird don’t have a crossover?”

“Assuming we’re not already in a crossover and they found him,” Maia muttered, still downtrodden and pondering for solutions.

But if she thought she was going into depression again, her best friends were stubbornly going to yank her back up. Literally in this case, as Sandalwood hoisted her up around her middle and Sunflower grabbed her wrists to hold her arms up. The two cackled with a laughter as they spun Maia around until her woozy yelps turned into chuckles. When Sandalwood tossed her up briefly, eliciting a yelp from Maia, the two caught her and eased her down to the ground. Maia chuckled, letting the stress and worry ebb away as she hooked her arms around her friends’ shoulders and yanked both of them into a bear hug.

“Guess I’m stuck with you two,” Maia quipped.

“Yep,” Sunflower chirped before smirking, “So, what’s the plan?”

Sandalwood nodded his head, “Well, first we gotta lure Eno away from the Ghost Town. Probably where he is given both times we spotted him.”

Maia glanced over at him, “Well you got any of your meat mixes? He seemed to like it.”

Sandalwood rolled his head, “Yes, but you know we can’t keep giving him food, then he might keep following up all the way to camp. And where would we put him without any people? The camp?!”

Maia looked at him blankly before she tilted her head back to look at the camp and rubbed it her chin when she was thinking of something. Sunflower Orange raised her eyebrow before she followed her best friend’s line of sight to their cabin.

“Actually-”, Maia started but Sunflower cut her off.

“MaiMai, no!”

Maia grimaced and raised her shoulders, “Soon the closest sectors will be swarming with campers and the rangers will go through all the other zones. And given we saw the bear at the ghost town and that’s where he lives, they’ll be sure to find him. Where else could he go where no one will be looking?”

Sunflower and Sandalwood grimaced, keeping quiet for a moment and contemplation to try to think of an alternative.

Sunflower Orange sighed and motioned to the forest, “A-Are you sure we would even be doing anything? I mean, he’s not nasty or anything but what about the ghost town? What if the rangers find his nest?”

“Well, they’re looking for a bear and bears don’t really go in human spots,” Sandalwood noted, “At worst they’d check lightly and keep going to survey more likely spots. Besides, didn’t you say Eno uses the door?”

Sunflower Orange rolled her eyes, “Yet another freaky weird thing about Feather Head but okay, fine… What about tracks? We did have that heart attack recently.”

Maia shook her head, “It did rain last night and ghost town is mostly gravel paths. So Eno wouldn’t have left too many to be found… as long as we get him somewhere they won’t look quick.”

Sunflower Orange took in a deep, big breath of insanity and released, “Okay… Oookay, and where pray tell are we going to stash a bird as big as a pony, and no one will notice him until it’s safe to come out…? And we’d be letting him out wheeen exactly?”

Maia pursed her lips and mentally ran through the layout of the campgrounds before her eyes widened and she snapped her fingers. With a smirk, she pointed at the dock house.

“Big, out of the way, easy to get in and out of without notice. No one would be in there today as the storm made the water too choppy for the canoes,” she chirped, “And we’d probably only need to hold him for an hour or two at most. Just long enough to get the scavenger hunt over and then we can release him back into the forest whilst all the campers are in the mess hall.”

Sandalwood let his mind drift but nodded, “Rangers move quick. They’d be way out of range by then and it be a needle in a haystack for them to find him over spots they might backtrack through.”

“S-So you’ll help?” Maia muttered hopefully.

Sandalwood kept nodding before flashing a cheeky grin and giving a thumbs up. Sunflower Orange waved a hand in front of her face.

“Hold up… I just want to say,” Sunflower shrugged, “This is the type of insanity my cousin Applejack usually gets into. I’ve been trying hard for years to avoid it but at this point, I’ve resigned to the fact this craziness is probably genetic. So!”

She interlocked and cracked her knuckles and fingers, “Besides the fact you owe me a foot massage and nail painting at the end of this, what’s the plan to draw in tall, green, and fluffy?”

====================

Two other park rangers walked past, one holding up a walkie-talkie between the both of them.

“Team A to B, Mrs. Heart just gave the go-ahead to do a full sweep of both private and public land. Report on any bear sightings or traces. Coffee and food offered for lunch break when you finish up your sweep, over.”

“This is Team B to A,” the tallest ranger noted as he surveyed the landscape of the denser forest covered in pine trees and low ferns, “We’re scouting sector 4, southeast of the abandoned mining town. We have definite signs of large animal activity, but whatever it is was going by the creeks and rocks around them so no tracks as of yet. We’ll let you know if we find anything.”

The walkie-talkie chirped with static, “A to B, copy and keep an eye out. We’ll focus search in that area more intensely. Over and out.”

The ranger stashed away the walkie-talkie and tested the tranquilizer rifle’s sling around their shoulder before setting off with her partner. It was fortunate neither of them looked up, but when a piece of bark fell from the pine looming over them, making a loud snap as it hit the ground behind them they both spun on their heels and whirled around to behold. Nothing. They hadn’t seen the shape that had been stalking them from the largest tree branches the whole way, having picked the vantage point to avoid detection when it saw and recognized the long sticks across their back. It was silent when it leaped from its perch and glided to another, moving quietly with outspread feathers and wings to slow its fall enough that when powerful legs bent down to absorb the impact of landing on another distant tree trunk; they didn’t hear a thing over the crackle of the nearby river. What they did see and soon called in was the claw marks going up the high tree trunk, assuming they had found the first sign of the bear.

From the cover of a dense shroud of pine needles that blended in with his feathers, Eno watched the humans curiously before turning and climbing up higher from his perch. Careful to avoid the spots with loose bark now, he turned about and ran down a wide branch. Bounding off the edge, he spread out his arms and tail fan to increase his airfoil. He couldn’t glide anymore, he’d been too big for that since he was a child, but the instinct remained and it did help both prolong the jump as well as dampen the noise. Through the very high treetops over twenty meters off the ground now, he started to make his way through the forest intent on checking in upon someone.

The monsters were in the forest, but he didn’t know where. He was alone, but he knew how much they hated humans. Eno paused when he landed on another tree, an almost costly mistake as he stumbled briefly and had to dig his right arm’s claws into the trunk to hold on. A cold feeling slipped through his chest and his breath quickened. The avian saurian puffed his feathers out and flexed them up and down. He was out in broad daylight with thick cover under him, and yet he felt so chilled.

He could see almost the whole island from up here. The vast forests, a lake, the badlands and quarry, even a cleared space to indicate the human hatchling nursery; or at least that’s what he could presume it was given the large numbers of young ones. So much space, so much room.

And he was alone.

Eno tucked his arms in a bit more and his tail drooped. He silently clicked to himself, futilely hoping he’d get a return utterance.

Two enemies. Either one alone bigger and stronger than he was. Lots of humans in harm’s way if he wasn’t careful, but actions prior made their intentions abundantly clear. They chased him through the shimmering lights despite unfamiliarity. They tried to draw out Human-That-Smelled-Familiar knowing he was around… They nearly got him that night had he not come up with that idea with the river and tree. And the kill site after confirmed they survived.

They weren’t hunting the humans, not yet, they were hunting him. Because they knew he was alone. No pack. No allies like whom Smelled-Familiar smelled like to him. Just him against two predators stalking about each night trying to find him… And eventually, if they didn’t, they’d go after the other bipeds walking about. All those little human hatchlings were so close by and the monsters might lose their aversion to human structures eventually…

Eno lowered his head and curled his tail around himself. If one looked closer when they saw him look off over the forest, they’d swear he was frowning morosely. Some time passed as he remained perched before he clicked several times and ruffled his feathers. With a firm stomp, he shook the whole branch, visibly shaking the worries off back to the subconscious.

No hunting of any hatchlings today or other days! Eno snorted and growled to himself, almost human bravado emerging through the fear. He was going to try and find something to lift himself up, and then he was going to make some help. He bounded off again, hoping to find Smells-Like-Fruit or Smells-Like-Meat. Latter had such tasty food and the female’s hair smelled so pretty!

====================

Maia and Sandal quickly cycled up to the ghost town with a wary eye out for the rangers, more to confirm whether or not they had reached this area yet than fear of being caught. Kicking down the brakes as quietly as they could, Maia quickly made her way to the general goods store’s front door as Sandal motioned with an open hand waving towards the forest to indicate he was going to keep a lookout for either Eno or the rangers.

Steeling herself, Maia pulled out the ziplock bearing the half pound of pemmican from her backpack. Cautiously gripping the doorknob, she slowly worked the door open and cringed with gritting teeth at the sound of creaking old timbers. She opened up the bag and waved it carefully to waft the scent about as she poked her head inside.

“Eno?” she whispered, knowing he’d recognize her voice.

There was no movement inside to indicate a response.

Maia chewed her lip and stepped inside to look around, “Eno?”

Again, no sounds or sights to indicate the presence of a man-sized avian. Maia glanced over and saw Sandalwood looking in through a window. He mouthed the words, ‘See him?’.

Maia shook her head and cued Sandalwood to move and keep checking around. She crept inside the general store with one hand on an open bag of pemmican and the other on a can of bear spray. She was thoroughly convinced at this point Eno was docile and not at all a threat, but with large animals, it never paid to be unprepared. Besides, this was the same town she’d encountered that angry mother grizzly so there was more than just Eno about.

The store was much in the same state she had seen it in when she and Sunflower accidentally intruded on Eno’s nest. However, there were several marked differences. The floors were less cluttered with loose items and several of the bust windows were covered up by cupboards she distinctly remembered being previously fallen over. There is also a curious lack of dust in many places, so much so she didn’t even see any of what presumably had been Eno’s footprints anymore. The general store looked, in simple terms, cleaner. But her biggest piece of befuddlement came when she found several things sitting on a table below a still-intact window. Two coffee cans, an old boot, and a milk jug with the top torn off. All filled with dirt.

Maia puzzled and tilted her head as she looked at the odd sight.

-This, this wasn’t there last time!...-

A single, solitary leaf, glistening with condensation moisture, stood in the mound of dirt placed in the old boot. Tiny leaves and stalks were beginning to emerge from the soil. Her eyes widened and she frowned as a trickling fear began to settle over her, born of uncertainty.

-Animals don’t plant. Someone put it there. Someone had been here recently. I-It could have been Eno, not first time he's acted... odd.. Bu-but if it's not that-that means.-

She turned to look at the torn-open mattress that still bore several shed feather. Eno’s bed, directly behind them and the window display.

-Someone might know about Eno!-

Maia quickly gathered up all the feathers she could and covered up the nest with a tarp, just in case the rangers actually did check inside. She sprinted out the door after looking up to confirm Eno wasn’t just hiding up in the rafters like before. He was gone, and someone had been here. Someone who had enough time to get bored and spruce up the goods store. Like someone waiting in a trap for something unique to this area. With Eno missing, Maia’s mind was fearing the absolute worst.

====================

Several kilometers away, Sunflower Orange huffed as she lugged three bags of dinosaur toys about on her back.

“We gotta set up the scavenger hunt, she says,” Sunflower grumbled in a facsimile of her female best friend.

In a mocking imitation of Sandalwood’s voice, she muttered under her breath while checking over her hunt sheet, “We’ll be back in a few minutes, he says!”

Growling she dropped the backs behind her back and huffed, “Leave me with all the toys like I’m Kris-Flippin’-Kringle why don’t you! Arg!”

Hot, tired, and sporting way more frayed hairs than she cared to have, Sunflower Orange glanced about to confirm she was alone before frowning and patting her head. The sweat was doing damage to something and she would rather be caught dead than be seen adjusting it in public. The musky scent of adhesives seeped out and she was quick to cover up with several spritzes of her family’s famous citrus perfume.

-Didn’t expect to sweat out here up north. Gotta be mindful.-

She frowned solemnly and patted her head to ease the tension. Looking back to the scavenger hunt guide she looked down her checklist. The idea was to plant a small dinosaur toy in each of the key locations in whichever camper team at the end who found the most toys was the winner and got to pick the movie for late night theater. In addition, they made sure they packed enough durable, plastic figurines to ensure everyone could get at least one and maybe even have a Q/A with the Doctor where she could tell them about the species they got.

Sunflower sighed as she thought of the young paleontologist. She certainly cut a nice figure for a young woman, especially a brainy one. The Orange could easily imagine her in a Daring Doo film. Smart, kind, mature, pretty, quite admirable even if Maia didn’t like her one bit; though Sunflower almost wondered if that was less because Dr. Petunia was in her dad’s study or if it was because Petunia seemed like an older version of Maia to Sunflower. If they say opposites attract, then maybe sometimes likes repel?

She shrugged and looked back at the list, glancing about to make sure she had indeed hidden a toy in each of the locations.

“Oookaaay, something from the Cretaceous that used to be all around instead of grass… Uuum,” she had to flip back to the answer key for that one, Maia was the prehistoric nut, not her.

Sunflower perked up, “Ferns, right!”

She looked over to her west, knowing she could see the fern back from her position where she had hidden a cute little “Raptor” toy behind the first cluster of ferns. Even with its leafy green coloring, the location was only 15 yards away and she should’ve been able to see it clearly. But she didn’t. In fact, the very spot she distinctly remembered stashing the toy was empty. Sunflower puzzled and paced over, double checking her lists to ensure this really was a spot. But when she reached it and pulled back the ferns just to be sure, it only confirmed what she had already seen. No toy present.

From this spot, she could also see one other place she had recalled from memory. A set of rocks that were the answer to the question, “Something dinosaurs swallow just like birds and crocodiles”. She had put a “Torodont” toy there. And it wasn’t there. Sunflower sprung up and looked about. Several more of the spots for the scavenger hunt she could see were around her and each one of them didn’t have a toy in it. The bushes rustled ahead of her and she thought she heard giggling.

Immediately, Sunflower scowled.

-Friggin’ kids! Must have followed me out after noticing me stopping to talk to MaiMai and Sandal and came to swipe the toys! Hyperactive munchkin kleptomaniacs couldn’t wait?!-

“Arrrg, Apple Crumble I know that’s you in there! You always wake up early to go to the bathroom!”

Sunflower growled and stomped over, stomping on a twig and producing an audible crack in her step. She paused just as the giggling stopped. Sunflower felt an odd feeling come over her and she glanced down at where her foot was. Transposed over her old footprints from minutes earlier, made when she had been walking around to plant the toys, was a big, vague, but visibly two-toed footprint. The giggling started up again but this time she could tell it was clicking. Very familiar clicking.

Eno poked his head out from the shrubs, a blue Triceratops toy in his mouth.

“Raawk?” he clicked with a tilted head not less than a foot from Sunflowers.

Sunflower Orange’s eyes instantly became as wide as dinner plates and she took in a deep breath that quickly found its way out.

================
Ten Minutes Earlier
================

Eno was moving about through the treetops as silently as he could when a passing scent in the wind perked his attention. Perching himself on a sturdy branch, he looked down to see the zipping forms of Smells-Familiar and Smells-Like-Food pass under him on those weird sitting speeders. But no sooner than they left did he hear another human voice. He caught a whiff of something smelling... odd before it was quickly overtaken by a luscious, delicious, desirable musk: Fruit! He smelled yummy bright fruit, the tree sweets he had as a hatchling. And a human nearby. More good!

He hopped over towards the source and soon found himself clicking in mild disappointment when he discovered it was Smells-Like-Fruit babbling to herself. Odd thing to do, making so much noise alone. Didn’t she know there were predators about? Besides Them, there were those giant mammals about like the one he had to force away a day ago. Maybe she wasn’t afraid of them and was vocalizing to declare her territory? Eno tilted his head.

Odd, he could have sworn Smells-Familiar was the group leader, or perhaps the adult female he smelled and glimpsed at the Human Hatchling Grounds was. She didn’t seem to be the mother of all the human hatchlings and nestlings, so he presumed their parents were subordinate to her. But maybe Smells-Like-Fruit was the leader, or maybe at least the alpha subadult flock? Or maybe she was just left on flock territory patrol and vocalizing to do so?

Eno chirped quietly and shook his head. Humans were weird.

Still, he was a curious one and snuck closer, not wanting to make any noise and disturb the possible territory declaration. After all, They knew the threat of humans and maybe if They were nearby They’d see Smells-Like-Fruit’s confidence and be warier? He could hope so and thus respectfully kept extremely quiet, following Smells-Like-Fruit around both to show support and because her mane smelled very pretty.

Then she put something down behind some rocks, Eno tilting his head at the shape. Looking over as Smells-Like-Fruit paced away, he picked it up to inspect it. It had a pointy snout with bared sharp teeth, raised inner toes, stiff, but visible feathers on the arms, and a long tail. Eno tapped the toy’s face, feet, and tail to confirm it, rubbing the side of a claw against it.

He tapped his own pointy snout and ran his tongue against a fang, glanced down to click his raised, inner toe claws he used for pinning down food or climbing against the dirt, and looked back at his long tail. Yes, there were differences, he wasn’t sure why the rest of the toy looked like the poor thing had been plucked as it only had a sort of feathery crest and some lone feathers on the forearm and tail, but the similarity was visible.

Had, had the humans made a toy of him? And why were they setting it down? Eno swung his head about to survey the surroundings and glimpsed Smells-Like-Fruit, who had her back to him, putting down another toy behind some ferns.

The figurines were all off to the sides of the walkway the humans liked to use. Eno silently let his mind wander to make sense of it.

If Smells-Like-Fruit was declaring her territory, maybe putting the figurines down was a way of warning rivals? Like scratching up a tree to give a warning? Was this another odd human tradition? Eno shrugged. Made sense to him at least.

But he didn’t put the toy down. Eno almost sheepishly swung his head about to look around before creeping up behind Smells-Like-Fruit with the first toy clutched to his chest under his wing. He approached the one behind the ferns, suppressing a slight cringe when he saw recognizable, sickle-shaped claws on that one’s feet. The Humans must know about Them after all!... He still picked that one up too, liking the color. Smells-Like-Fruit had a bunch of these figurines with her, surely she wouldn’t mind if he… borrowed… a few… for a while.

To place around the ghost town to declare his territory of course…! Later, though.

Sunflower Orange was completely oblivious to the feathery Theropod walking around right behind her the whole time.

===============

Maia and Sandalwood both snapped up and looked at each other whilst riding their bikes through one of the game trails when they heard the distant echo from the screams. The color left their faces as they recognized the shriek as Sunflower’s and within a moment’s span, they were both pedaling as fast as they could towards it after hooking a turn. Conscious they were heading back to the camp, Maia glanced to her peripherals and glimpsed human shapes charging through the forest in the same direction.

-Hang on Sunny, calvary is on the way!-

They rushed into the sectors of wood closest to the camp, where the scavenger hunt was being set up.

“Where is she?!” Maia yelped as she frantically looked about for her best friend.

Sandalwood stole a glance at two of the three toy bags being strewn across the ground with their contents spilled out. He could also just barely make out a set of distinct sneaker marks in the looser dirt heading back towards the camp, at a quick pace judging from the depth indicating that the feet responsible were pounding.

“There there there! Those gotta be hers!”, he barked as he pointed, able to do so because the winding trail was forcing them to slow down, “And those…”

Maia followed his line of sight and glimpsed a very familiar track with two large toes and the tips of claws visible. Maia Heart Search swore under her breath with an intensity that would make Grandma Heart want to wash her mouth out with soap, startling Sandalwood and making the author not want to transcribe her in this tale.

“Eno! Eno was here!”, she barked and looked ahead to see Eno and Sunflower’s tracks were going the same direction. Right back to camp. Fear for two friends made her go even faster with even the muscular Sandalwood having to work to keep up.

She had to get there. She had to ensure Sunflower was okay. She had to keep Eno safe, she had to keep him hidden. If Sunflower got hurt or Eno got exposed everything she’d been hoping for, however distant the chances were, would be spoiled and she’d never forgive herself. She knew Eno was docile, but big animals can get scared and react dangerously like he had with the watch especially if he thought someone was in danger. And Sunflower could possibly end up hurting herself from blind panic even if Eno wasn’t being a threat. Big animals and scared humans just don’t mix.

She was so frantic about her best friend getting hurt, Maia almost crashed into a broom-wielding Sunflower and would’ve ended up hurting her.

“WHHAAAAAAAAA!” the two could only incoherently spit out as Sunflower dove to the side and Maia jerked the bike in the opposite direction, causing her to careen off course and hit the dirt with a slide. Unbeknownst to her, whens he hit the dirt Eno's shed tooth she'd been keeping in her vest pocket ever since she and Sunflower found it at the nest went flying out in a random direction. Sandalwood thankfully got a happier landing, his distance behind Maia meaning he was able to safely hop off his bike and run over to help pick the other two up.

“Oh thank McCarthy, you scared us half to death Sunny! Sure glad to see you’re okay,” Sandalwood shrugged in release while helping the Orange to her feet before assisting Maia up.

“Well other than having to redo my hair thanks to Danger-Prone MaiMai nearly bowling me over,” Sunflower huffed while picking several leaves and twigs out of her hair while being careful to check something else.

Maia’s first reaction was not to see to the skids or bruises she got from her crash landing, but instead to lurch forward and hug her best friend around the middle.

“Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! W-We heard the scream and saw the footprints and I’m just so glad to see you’re okay and-!!” Maia panted before her eyes widened.

She shifted her grip and grasped Sunflower Orange by the shoulders with a panic attack brewing behind her eyes, “Sunny, where’s Eno?!”

Sunflower grumbled momentarily before letting out a gigantic shrug and grinned in a way that clearly indicated she was holding back an enormous amount of stress. Her eyes were dilated even before Maia nearly crashed into her and they still were now. Following her line of sight, Sandalwood observed something. Sunflower and Eno’s footprints, which led directly towards the camp, were cut off by dozens of small scratch lines in the dirt like what one would expect from someone brushing it to obscure the tracks. Like with a broom, such as the one Sunflower had been holding.

And said broom marks lead directly back to the same spot a deadpanning and yet grinning Sunflower was pointing to with her back turned thumb. The counselor’s cabin.

“I’m ah...uh… I’m gonna,” Sandalwood muttered with a slack jaw and raised brow as he bent over and picked up the broom without ever taking his eyes off the cabin, "Just uh- gonna… finish sweeping the tracks before the rangers see them…”

“Please. Do… And just say I met that Skunk. Again… Thank. You,” Sunflower’s stilted speech managed.

Maia looked between Sunflower and the cabin right in time for her to hear a chirp from within and see a clawed finger pull down a window shutter enough for a pair of familiar eyes to look out at her. Eno tilted his head curiously as Maia’s jaw dropped.

“You didn’t,” she huffed breathlessly in shock.

Sunflower Orange took in a deep breath as the camp bell rang and the campers began to pile out of their cabins, oblivious to the fact there was a large animal hiding in the outermost lodging. The Orange’s expression was a clear as day indicator that she was screaming on the inside.

“Couldn’t make it to the boathouse.”

==================
Several Minutes Earlier
==================

“Okay! Okay, don’t panic,” Sunflower Orange muttered to herself as she rapidly backpedaled towards the camp with a curious Eno ‘chasing’ her.

Sunflower flinched when he stepped forward again and drew up a branch, jabbing it at the air between them, “Back! Back Birdie! Heel!”

Eno chirped at the flailing stick and followed its motions with his head, Sunflower noticing how he seemed incapable of moving his eyes in their sockets and thus had to turn his head to and fro to follow the movement. Maia and Sandal were the animal experts but she could vaguely recall heading something about how owls or most other birds couldn’t move their eyes much and that’s why their necks were so flexible. But she was far too panicked to give that much notice, however, it did give her an idea. She glanced back and eyed the trail back to camp, judging if she could make a break for it if she distracted this giant freaky bird. Nothing against Eno, if he were, you know, the size of a proper bird she’d probably find him cute, but he was a few meters too tall for her.

Wiggling the stick she muttered fearfully, “Yeah yeah want the stick, want the stick?”

Eno clicked a few times, eyes cast firmly on the flailing branch.

Sunflower grinned in a stressed panic, “Stick stupid, go fetch the stick!”

The plan was for her to lob the stick off to the side and hope he chased it like a dog would at a moving object, at at least look in the direction she threw it. She turned and ran, but didn’t make more than two steps when she heard a familiar chirp and not the pitter patter of feet. Something bounced off her shoulder and Sunflower looked down to see the same stick she’d just thrown. The Orange paused, heaving breath as she picked up the stick and slowly turned with wide eyes. Eno hadn’t moved his feet, just tilting his head back and forth at her with one arm down and the other clutched up against his chest. Stupefied, Sunflower just attempted a do-over and threw the stick again, this time intending it to sail off to Eno’s right in hopes of something flying close to him get his attention more. Unfortunately, Eno did something she didn’t expect. He reached out and caught the stick in his hand mid-air, gripping it with a finger Sunflower just now noticed opposed the others like a thumb.

Eno hopped up on his feet in an almost happy motion, chirping before throwing the stick back at Sunflower. Dumbstruck as she was, she caught it and repeated the motion. Eno managed to catch it again and returned the gesture. Sunflower caught the stick and just now realized her jaw had dropped somewhat. She looked at Eno and the branch in her hands.

-Did...Did I just play catch with a bird?-

Eno chirped and cooed, shifting his grip on something in his other arm and allowing Sunflower to finally see it. Bright colored dinosaur toys were visible between the feathers.

-The missing toys?! Why was it picking those up?!-

Another crash through the quiet woods caught Sunflowers attention, several hundred meters out. In the vague distance, she thought she heard adult shouting.

-The rangers?... Oh, shiiiiiza I screamed when featherhead startled me!-

Sunflower grimaced, the memory of Maia and the promise flashing through her mind. The plan was to lure Eno back with the food, but Maia and Sandalwood were nowhere to be seen and time was short before the rangers closed in. She had to either drive Eno off and hope he didn’t run into the wrong person… or stick to the plan solo.

Sunflower eyed the toy back and carefully bent down to grasp it without risking taking her eyes off Eno. She drew up a red Allosaurus toy and waved it in front of herself, feeling thoroughly ridiculous as she did.

“W-want this? Hm?” she muttered as Eno’s eyes locked onto and widened at the sight of the toy.

Sunflower warily backpedaled towards the camp, step by step while watching out for any sign the freaky-monster-bird was tensing up to spring at her or the lunge at the toy. Much to relief, but not enough to drop her guard, Eno just chirped and followed her step by step without any rush. Due to his wider pace, however, he did start to close the distance. Sunflower flinched when he leaned forward to sniff at the toy and dropped it, squealing and scrambling back. Eno hopped back at the sudden jolt of noise, but after pausing for a moment and whipping his head between Sunflower and the toy, he approached the latter and picked it up. Eno’s tail wagged back and forth slightly and he stamped his feet in an energetic manner whilst he admiring his new prize.

“A-Ahem!”

Eno looked up at the noise and spotted Sunflower warily holding out a magenta Brontosaurus figurine while rapidly backpedaling. She whistled while rocking the figure back and forth in her hand. Eno squawked and happily followed after her all the way into the campgrounds. She had just let him have the Sauropod and brought out a pastel green Stegosaurus when the worst possible noise sounded off: The campground bell to wake the campers and tell them breakfast was coming soon. In a few minutes, campers would be piling out of their cabins and who knows how far back the rangers were. She consciously looked at Eno’s very obvious footprints in the sand and gravel, as well as the dirt further back. Sunflower Orange sucked on her breath between her teeth.

“Great, there are some things they’re bound to notice!”, she huffed.

She looked about for a broom and spied one leaning against the porch of counselor cabin. Impulsive thinking, she ran over to grab it and tried to turn around so she could lure Eno to the boathouse. A huff of hot air on her neck caused her to launch into the air with a yelp.

Eno, who had been sniffing at her perfume scented hair, cooed sadly at being deprived of the pretty smelling mane and tried to lean forward to smell it again.

"Ee-no Ee-no!" he chirped happily right behind the Orange's ear.

Sunflower yelped and put a hand on his snout to push him back, too close to whack him with the broom or try to shoo him back.

“Ag! Grk! Get back you dumb bird!”

Eno chirped in protest, but over his vocalizations, Sunflower heard a few of the camper’s voices through the cabin walls. They were waking up and soon to exit the scene of one of their counselors quarreling with a bear-sized bird. There was no time to run to the boathouse, barely any to sweep up Eno’s tracks, and she had to get him out of sight pronto…. So Sunflower Orange did the only thing she could think of, wave the toy in Eno’s face to get his attention, kick the door to her own cabin open, threw the toy inside, and all but shoved Eno in as he walked past her to retrieve it, threw the rest of the bag in their with him for extra assurance, before slamming and locking the door behind him. Hair fraying from sweat and stress, Sunflower Orange incoherently started swearing to herself as she frantically started sweeping away the size 13 bird footprints.

-MAIA.OWES ME.SO MUCH!-

She had just gotten to sweeping up the dirt prints when the sound of an oncoming bicycle got her attention and Sunflower was greeted by the sight of her own panicking best friend about to run her down.

“WHAAA!”

====================

“Couldn’t make it to the boathouse.”

Maia was about to pull her hair out, wide eyed and agape, "HE'S IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAMP!"

And just when she thought it couldn't risk getting worse, even with Eno peering at her through the window for any sharp eyed passerby to see, fate was tempted in the worst way.

"Maia? Are you alright?", Gentle Heart cooed as she jogged up after having seen Maia's bicycle crash.

Maia almost had a heart attack as her mother approached with Eno directly behind her in such a way if Gentle Heart turned slightly to her right, he'd be right in her line of sight while she passed by the cabin. A half dozen yards away and obscured by the swarm of campers rushing the mess hall, Rumble paused when he saw something pale in the dirt and gravel.

"What's that?" Apple Crumble quipped, tilting her head as Rumble picked up the pointy white thing.

"Dunno," Rumble muttered as he passed it too her, "Saaay, doesn't it kinda look like that fossil tooth Doc showed us?"

"Oh yeaaah!" Crumble nodded, recalling from memory how that fossil was shaped just like this one.

Same slightly recurved, pointy form with wide serrations in the front and upturned, big serrations in the back.

"Weird, doesn't look like a fossil though. It's all smooth and not dusty," she noted with a tilted head.

Rumble took it back as she passed it to him, only mildly biting his tongue in disgust as he knew for a fact girls had cooties and having just realized Apple Crumble just got them all over what he was touching, "Well, Ms. Petunia did say bring her anything that looked weird, come'on!"

Author's Note:

Proofed by Lance Omikron and EvoWizard!

There is a link I mentioned here hidden in the story. Can you find it?

Comments ( 9 )

Link has been already found by me. However, I shall not spoil where it is so the Scavenger hunt can continue.

I found the link, Everypony! It's in the line *******************

Though it was a little inconvenient to submit the movie I requested.

It's pretty funny yet nerve wracking how the trio is trying to cover up Eno's existence. I suppose there will be a final battle with the two hostile dinos, or will it be open ended?

I've already seen all the Jurassic Park movies and I'm busy, so I respectfully decline.

But..but...Nedry was eaten!

She she wears a wig? Well, there are multiple different reasons for that, so we'll have to wait and see why.

This was lots of fun! Granted, it's probably going to get more serious later, but i really got a lot of amusement out of Sunflower and Eno in this chapter. :rainbowlaugh:

“Well MaiMai,” Sunflower chirped as she perked back up and crossed her arms, “What’s say we get a plan so Ranger Rick and Big Bird don’t have a crossover?”
“Assuming we’re not already in a crossover and they found him,” Maia muttered, still downtrodden and pondering for solutions.

I see what you did there... :raritywink:

I keep looking for the NEXT button, but I can't seem to find it... :raritydespair:

9682993
I intend to finish the story. Rest assured. I just had to delay sadly :(

9683259
So how much longer is this delay?

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