How lucky could he possibly be? First he leaves the tribe that would have him named the "Son of Stone", and now he hasn't encountered a single neosaur. It was almost as if the two were interlinked! He wasn't going to hunt them, and they would repay him with the same respect. What would be a great word to describe this wonderful event?
"Wicked" Eckhart grunted out, still sprinting full bore. He had been on the run for about four days now, and only stopped to take long rests for about half of that. Feeling the need to rest again, he slowly came to a stop, and began scanning the area. Even if he didn't care much about hunting, he was still grateful to have the skills needed to survive. If any of his senses picked up on anything out of place, he would keep running until he deemed an area safe to stop and recuperate. After deciding that the area was void of immediate danger, he took the map out of his side bag and skimmed over it once again. He was in desperate need of a long rest, not like the one he was on now. He needed to sleep for a long period of time, to rest and to plan out his next set of movements. Taking another swig of cold liquid from his water skin, he saw that there was once an old city close to his location. That would be where he would go. Folding up the map to put it away, Eckhart let out a big sigh. "Close" was probably another few hours or so of full out sprinting.
"When do I ever get to relax?" He asked himself, feeling tired. Running for more than one third of a person's life-span could make anybody tired. Shaking himself out, he began a slow jog that eased into a fast run, ultimately bringing himself up to speed. On a full sprint, Eckhart could probably cover anywhere between fifty-fife and sixty-five clicks in about a few hours. For anybody who was not raised in his tribe, or a tribe with similar doctrines, this would be near impossible to do. Although he had several obvious advantages over most people, he would give it away if he could just live an easy carefree life. A life that he set out only days ago to find.
Sweat beads trickled down his entire body, the sun an unforgiving king as he sat upon his throne in the sky. After running for what seemed like hours, Eckhart stopped. The ruins were in sight; they lay just beyond a cliff in a small clearing. It was almost over, just a few hundred meters and he could find a place to rest and recuperate. Deciding that he didn't need to run, he began to walk at an easy pace. Knowing it was close, he didn't feel the need to expend any extra energy getting there. Without thinking, he walked straight ahead into the clearing. Only when he came to the center of the clearing did he hear it. A rustling in the bushes behind him. A big rustling. Less than a second passed, and Eckhart dropped his hammer to the ground at his side, un-slung his rifle and shouldered it, ready to fire at whatever produced the sound. Just a few seconds of letting his guard down, and something was able to sneak up on him. Either it was a neosaur, or it was one of his ex-tribesmen. It was going to be a bad outcome no matter which it was, but he would definitely prefer a person.
Snarling, an alpha male ansenoraptor stepped slowly out of the tree line, staring Eckhart down. "Ahh crap..." If it were almost any other neosaur, he would have a chance at surviving. Where there was one ansenoraptor, there was four or five others somewhere close by. They probably had the small clearing surrounded, with the only way out being the cliff behind him. He could maybe kill two or three before he would be overwhelmed and eaten. Seconds later, screeches echoed out from all directions, and they all came into view. Four mighty raptors, fully equipped with razor sharp talons and hundreds of teeth to tear at his flesh. Of course these creatures were slightly more intelligent than other neosaurs; they knew the weapon Eckhart held pointed at their leader could kill them. But they also must have known that it could only kill a few of them, which would explain their slow, methodical approach towards him. "Oh this is bad..." He had to think quickly. What could he do in this situation? There was no geographical advantage, no advantage in numbers. He was screwed.
"Alrighty then, Let's do this." He said through clenched teeth, opening fire. The alpha male was caught in the shoulder, and kneeled down as it winced in pain. The other four raptors rushed in, mouths wide open and salivating in anticipation of a rare delicacy. As quickly as humanly possible, Eckhart turned to his left and trained his gun on the raptor closest to the alpha male. Bang! The round caught it in the back of the throat, instantly killing it. The other three ansenoraptors had closed in fast in the second that it took Eckhart to switch his target to the raptor on the left of the dead one. Bang! Bang! The first shot barely grazed it's side, and the second one punched a hole through its chest. It fell forwards, rolling to Eckhart's feet. Realizing that he had no more time to focus in on another raptor, he dropped his gun, crouching as he turned to face an ansenoraptor in a mid-air leap. Eckhart sprung forward, low to the ground and grabbed his hammer, rolling underneath the first raptor. He felt a light thud through the ground as it landed behind him. Now there was one behind him, maybe by a meter or so, and one still prancing straight at him. With the momentum of the roll, he came to his feet and swung the hammer with all the strength he could muster. The blunt end connected right under the beasts' left eye, crushing bone and tearing muscle. The raptor was shaken, and shrieked in pain as it stumbled to the ground, going into shock. As it fell, it glanced Eckhart with its side.
The simple force of the glance pushed him off balance, and he stumbled backwards. The raptor that had jumped over him was now turned around, and had dug itself in, legs bent and ready to uncoil. Eckhart fell backwards as it leaped forward, and it landed right over top of him. Putting his hands on either end of the hammer, he brought it up and held it out in front of his face; just in the nick of time as the raptor clamped its teeth around the shaft of the hammer. Now he could feel the raw power this beast had. There was no comparison between him and this neosaur. It was simply shaking its head like a dog, and it managed to lift Eckhart off the ground, giving him whiplash at the same time. There was no way in hell he was going to let go of that hammer, it was the only thing between him and this monster's tooth filled mouth. Oh how he was wrong. In frustration the raptor brought its head up into the air, jaw still holding onto the hammer. Of course, so was Eckhart, who was thrown over the back of beast.
He landed with such force, the breath was taken out of him. Stars filled his vision, which was black around the edges. "No." He thought. "I'm not going out like this. I have to live." He pushed himself off the ground, only to notice the Diesel rifle by his side. The raptor dropped the hammer, and the Alpha male stood back up.
"Shit shit shit"
He brought the rifle up in time to fire off a couple rounds at the alpha male, the first round connecting with its opposite shoulder this time, the second hitting a tree. The pack leader reared its head and let out a high pitched wail, falling to its knee once again. Eckhart was still dizzy from the impact, his shots were a testament to that. The other raptor closed the distance in no time, and wrapped it's jaws around his right shoulder. Were it not for the steel pauldron, his arm would have been torn clear off. Of course, this did not stop the teeth of the beast from puncturing his arm. Eckhart had no time to scream as the Raptor pushed him to the ground, it's mouth still clenched on his shoulder. The impact was hard, but now it was his turn. Eckhart whipped around and put the sharp edges of the gauntlet on his left hand straight into the right eye of the raptor. It wheezed in agony as it let go of his shoulder. Without skipping a beat, he brought the dirty heel of his foot straight into its exposed neck, making it keel over coughing.
He pushed himself off the ground, ran to the rifle and picked it up with his left hand, turned to fire at the one-eyed raptor only to be struck in the gut by its tail. Bang! Bang! Bang! Three wild rounds rang out as he was once again thrown through the air. Landing harder than before, the gun flew out of his hands into the trees. Luckily these giant lizards kept launching him to his weapons. Coughing warm blood, he grabbed the hammer he landed on, and stood up. His legs were shaky, and he was slow to stand, his head bobbing side to side. When he could see, Eckhart realized his random shots had actually caught the one-eyed raptor in the side twice; it now lay dead beside the one he struck with the hammer earlier. That one wasn't moving anymore either. All that was left now was the Alpha Male. And he was pissed.
"Just you and me now bucko. Wanna strike a truce?" The bloody warrior said in hopes the ansenoraptor would somehow oblige. It stared him straight in the eyes, and let out a bloodcurdling growl. "I guess that's a no..."
The Raptor jumped for him, and he rolled out of the way, cringing as the ground put pressure oh his shoulder. With the Raptor now in-between him and his gun, it looked like it was going to be an old-school showdown. May the bloody contestant with the better melee weapons win. Eckhart began to back away slowly, his eyes trained on the beast, weapon ready to swing. The Alpha Male matching his slow pace walked forward with a murderous intent. It got lower to the ground with every step, and the young warrior knew that meant it was going to pounce. He held his weapon with both hands in a white-knuckle grip, ready to swing as soon as the beast left the ground. Seconds turned into hours. The sun's rays were beating down so hard it was as if they had weight to them. There was a silence, not even the chirps of birds or the buzzing of insects could be heard. This tension was felt by both combatants, so thick it could be spread on toast.
The Alpha male finally made its move, leaping at Eckhart. He would have brought his hammer to its face, were it not for the raptor corpse he backed into. He tripped, and the clawed feet of the Alpha Male connected with his chest, cutting him open and sending him flying to the edge of the cliff. Getting thrown around like a ragdoll took its toll on him. He tried to stand, but his muscles wouldn't work for him any longer. The best he could manage was to lean on his good arm and his opposite knee. "No. NO! This can't be happening! This is not how it's supposed to end! Not like This!" His thoughts screamed at him. When he looked up, he saw the Alpha Male charging straight for him. He tried to move, but his muscles reached their capacity.
The collision sent both the man and the beast flying over the edge of the cliff, and they began their violent tumble down its side. At the base of the cliff they both made contact with the ground at the same time, but unlike the hard bone crushing solid ground Eckhart expected to end his life, it gave way. Soon, both he and the raptor were sliding down a smooth tunnel filled with darkness. Where it would lead, neither could anticipate. But one thing was for sure: They were both alive, and wherever the tunnel ended, one of them would have to die.