240 Sleepless Nigh
This T-Rex was undoubtedly a T-Rex, but after further observation some differences could still be observed. In addition to being much smaller than an adult tyranosaurus that could be up to 13 meters long and weigh 8 tons, its scales were covered with a plumage reminiscent of a parrot. A small red crystal was inserted in the middle of its forehead, giving it a more than bizarre look.
'I thought this dinosaur would look different...' Jake lampooned inwardly.
Whatever!He didn't pretend to be an expert on dinosaurs, and even the most eminent paleontologists on Earth had never seen one except for modern birds. There were all sorts of theories on the subject and it was highly likely that this T-Rex had little to do with those who had trodden the Earth millions of years ago.
Nevertheless, this multi-colored feathered T-Rex shared a common point with the version of the tyranosaurus with which he had been cradled since childhood. Both were carnivorous.
Upon seeing Jake, who only reached up to half of his hind legs, the bipedal dinosaur straightened up slightly and began to sniff the air with curiosity. A new but enticing scent came to him and the prehistoric monster immediately began to salivate, its lips curling up to reveal a row of sharp, yellowish teeth.
As if the creature wanted to communicate its excitement to the rest of the island or to intimidate it, a cloud of foul-smelling sputum showered Jake's body which stood less than ten meters away. Smelling the viscous slime, probably carrying all sorts of bacteria from another time, the vein in his temple began to throb and his body quivered.
" … "
"If you want to die, you've come to the right pers- "
As Jake was about to respond with a yell full of foul insults of his own, a mind-boggling scene occurred.
The giant trees further into the jungle began to sway and wobble again, and another cry rang out. It was a high-pitched, almost cute scream. The kind of call that a kitten crossed with a canary could make if it wanted hugs or kibble. Except that this meow was about 100 times more loud.
Upon hearing this sound, the famished dinosaur suddenly changed its attitude, as if it had just remembered why it was on the beach in the first place. Indeed, it was common knowledge that the dominant predators tended to stay in the heart of the land, where prey was more abundant.
There was still the possibility that this T-Rex was an excellent fisherman, but this was unlikely given its anatomy. Its extremely short and disproportionately short crooked forearms and plump body ensured that this dinosaur must have been a poor swimmer.
Jake believed that this dinosaur could certainly swim by undulating like a snake, but next to megalodons or mosaraurs, it was a sitting duck. Crossing a river was still manageable, but hunting in the open sea was out of question.
So the only logical explanation left was that it was running away from something. Jake had thought that the Sanctuary Bubble wanted to put them to the test right away, to the point where he was confronted to a T-Rex a few seconds only after the start of the second trial, but that didn't seem to be the case anymore.
Confirming his doubts, the feathered tyrannosaurus gave Jake one last tearful look of regret and then turned his huge, awkward body in another direction, choosing to run along the beach without paying attention to him. A few minutes later, its silhouette had almost disappeared in the distance and the high-pitched cry had not resounded again.
Jake was finally getting ready to chill out by plucking and cooking that pterodactyl vulture he was carrying with him when a heart-rending cry of misery broke the silence. In the direction from which the T-Rex had fled, a flock of panicked birds were chirping and circling in all directions.
Where the T-Rex had been moments earlier, a puddle of blood gorged the white sand. Despite the distance, Jake's eyesight was sharp enough to see the scratch marks in the sand, as if the T-Rex had tried to grab something when its attacker dragged it into the jungle.
There was no trace of the T-Rex or its attacker. The action had lasted only a second or two at the most and the proud Tyrannosaurus had been totally unable to defend itself, as vulnerable as a mouse to a cat.
At this thought, the memory of his encounter with his first Digestor came back to him and a shiver ran down his spine. He thought he had overcome this visceral fear all along, but it was not a memory so easy to forget. At least he had killed that rat back then.
At first Jake thought he was safe on the beach after the carnage he had just perpetrated in the ocean, but after that incident he was not so confident. The scariest thing for Jake was not a monster that was impossible to fight, but the unknown. As long as he didn't know what was the thing that defeated the T-Rex, he couldn't move forward.
Nevertheless, Jake was a pragmatic person. With a deep breath he pulled himself together and regained his usual phlegm. At worst, he would die and the trial would start all over again.
He therefore decided to stick to his original plan.
In spite of what had just happened, Jake had a clear view of the beach while he was unaware of the monstrosities and dangers of the jungle that lay before him. Further away, slightly higher up, he could see some plains and even further away a mountain range, but it was not something he could explore in such a short time.
He just had to survive one night and that was exactly what he intended to do. Maybe a normal person who had badly failed his First Ordeal would have been forced to build himself a shelter or look for a natural refuge to spend the night safely, but Jake didn't have those concerns.
With his Constitution and Vitality, he could easily go several days without sleep, and to be quite frank, he had spent the entire week hunting in the water without much rest. From time to time he would take very short naps, dozing off for a few minutes, and that was usually enough to invigorate him for half a day.
His strategy for his first night on the island was clear: Jake would spend a sleepless night on the beach without closing his eyes so that he could react to any surprise that the event had in store for him.
On the contrary, he was quite enthusiastic about the idea of a new fight and was determined to take up these new challenges with fervor. If he had to die in combat, so be it. After a few attempts, he was confident in his ability to find a solution.
Since he didn't have the leisure to procrastinate anymore, Jake had become a man of action and he carried out his plan at once. His first thought was to gather wood for a campfire, but he changed his mind. The smoke from such a fire would herald for kilometers around that a human was camping here, and this would force him to enter the jungle to collect the wood.
He was not afraid to face a dinosaur like this T-Rex or the predator that dragged it into the jungle, but if all the predators in the area attacked him at the same time he would have no chance of getting out alive, or even escape.
The mental suppression had all but disappeared since his Spirit Body had reached Level 3, but the same could not be said for his body. The gravity was four times that of the Earth, and after spending so much time in the water, his body was not prepared for such a change.
His steps were heavy and clumsy, even though he was recovering quickly. Because of this gravity, his advantage had been significantly reduced and he realized that this T-Rex was more robust than it seemed to maintain such a speed.
The pterodactyl vulture resting like a mountain of feathers behind him was also a potential source of trouble. The metallic smell of blood was beginning to permeate now that the corpse was on land, and it was most likely this smell that had attracted the feathered T-Rex.
Thus, Jake used his claws to cut out the piece of meat he needed, then with the help of his telekinesis he carried the carcass a few kilometers away by running along the beach and threw it into the ocean before returning to its original point.
He then thermally agitated the piece of meat in his hands like a microwave and started to feast. The meat tasted like rotten poached chicken, but it was more than enough to fill his stomach.
Full, Jake waited patiently for nightfall, sitting cross-legged at the shore. The regular metronome of the waves had something relaxing about it and no predators showed up.
The fake blue sky gradually gave way to dusk and then to night. In contrast to the dark sky enveloping the asteroid, a few stars gave off a semblance of light, but there was no moon to bring true brightness.
As night fell, Jake continued to wait for an enemy to appear before him, but nothing happened. As the night progressed, Jake became more and more nervous and vigilant, but the island was still as calm as ever.
Then, without knowing exactly when and why, Jake closed his eyes for a brief moment to rest his dry eyes. But when he opened them again, he was startled.
The sun was high in the sky again and he stood soaking wet on the beach, the intact corpse of the pterodactyl vulture silently levitating behind him. A few seconds later, a ROAR sounded and the palm trees began to tip over, finally giving way to a T-Rex with multicolored feathers.
Jake was flabbergasted and tried to remember the exact sequence of events from last night, but he quickly gave up. It was a waste of time. He hadn't slept a wink all night except when he closed his eye for a few seconds to rest his sight. It was impossible to attack him in such a short time without him being able to react and yet he had to face the facts.
Last night he died.