The Last of Her Kind

Chapter 8

In the cave, another figure from Baylene's past visits...What is this about her final destiny? Read on...

"So, now you know everything, my love. Your brother perished in the Fireball whilst trying so desperately to return to you."

Quivier, Baylene's lifelong mate, stood close to his beloved as he recounted more fallout of that fateful night.
"My dear, it was Glennis who informed him of the pestilence of long ago and how it nearly decimated our kind. She was to deliver the message to you that Kenric was coming home, yet she..."

Now it was Baylene's turn to speak. It all finally fell into place as she stood at the cave's exit and watched the scene down at the lake. They -- the dinosaurs and lemurs -- gathered arouund a horribly disfigured Glennis, offering their thanks for her role in a mystery finally solved.
"It was her mother, Quivier, who brought that egg, across the sea, to that island. Glennis was a mere hatchling then. She remembered the fight over the egg between her mother and those birds, and how the egg was dropped into the depths of the forest --- My goodness! Quivier! That egg...!"

Quivier nodded, then caressed his beloved and replied, "Yes, dear Baylene, that egg found its way into the lemurs' clan...It hatched in Plio's arms...The hatchling was none other than Aladar." 
A bewildered Baylene said, "So, Adah's visions came true, about the stranger who would be our salvation..."

She paused, then added, "She said he would be the key to my the entire Herd's survival. But Quivier..."

The gentleman brachiosaur understood; he comforted his mate with these words: "My darling, the bitter words did not go unnoticed. Why, I often wondered whether you'd ever let go of that tight reserve you've built up over the years. You needed to do that, Baylene, to expel those demons which have tormented you so..."
Then, smiling, Quivier escorted his beloved through the cave, down another pathway, away from the exit. Baylene became curious, and concerned. "Quivier, what are you doing? Where are we going? Oh, that must mean..."
"No, Baylene, this is not your time, but I need to show you something. It is your ultimate legacy, my dear, and I can assure you that what you'll see will...Well, what is the expression those future creatures use...Ah yes. 'Blow your mind'."


Meanwhile, down by the lake...
"Amazing how fate steps in and changes lives forever," said Aladar upon hearing both Sarama and Glennis' recollection of a charmed life so bitterly altered.  Every animal gathered there at the lake bore the scars of the Fireball disaster. For Aladar and the lemurs there were the bittersweet memories of Paradise Lost. For Baylene and Sarama, it meant the loss of family -- Sarama lost both her mother and eldest child; Baylene lost both brother and sister. Although Baylene never witnessed her brother's final moments, she could sense the agony he suffered in the Fireball's white-hot blast.
Then there was Glennis', whose mother's battle over food became a boon for every creature assembled. Poor Glennis!, thought Neera as she surveyed the pteranodon's hideously disfigured form. What tragedies! To lose her children and endure all that pain; to be literally carried to the Nesting Grounds on her mate's back, only to remain in the shadows for all these years.
Glennis sensed Neera's eyes upon her and said in a comforting voice, "Neera, love, don't fret over me so, for I've gotten used to the way I look." She ambled her way to the water's edge, then stopped to watch her reflection. She sighed, "Well, I never was known for me beauty..."
The great flying reptile laughed long and hard, sending forth gales of infectious humor throughout the Herd. "Even Donovan said, when we first met, that I was the ugliest female of the flock."
Still laughing, she added, much to the amusement of the others,  "Know what he told me after we came here? That the fire made an improvement!"  She took a deep breath, sighed, and said finally, "I knew he was only joking, and trying to make me feel better. Rest his soul. I still miss him, as I much as I miss the babes."

"Just as I still miss Doli, and Mother."

That was Sarama who summed the entire recollection as a step into the past. She addressed the gathering as she glanced towards the cave. Baylene was still in there; the old girl had to come out soon but perhaps it was all for the best. Baylene simply craved the quiet time. The prophetic parasaurolophus said, "Now we all know what transpired those many years ago, before trials by disease and fire greatly changed our way of life."

Sarama then looked at Plio and said, "You once commented that, in some small way, our time here will be remembered. I can tell you this much, Plio. Our kind and those most like us will be long gone, long after your kind makes its true mark upon this world. The legacy we all leave behind..."

She stopped herself as a wave of clairvoyant energy surged through her entire system. Plio, now concerned for her friend, asked, "Sarama? What is it?"

Sarama closed her eyes. "She's about to learn her final legacy -- Baylene that is..."


Meanwhile  Baylene's mate accompanies the elderly brachiosaur on an unforgettable journey.
"Where are going, Quivier?," she asked as she followed her mate through the cave. They ducked to avoid overhanging formations and loose rocks. Baylene still had no idea what her long departed mate was about to show her, and what happened next truly astounded her.
As if by divine nature, the cave grew lighter and larger. The rocky interior gave way to something Baylene had never before seen. The very cavern floor suddenly transformed into gleaming marble. Overhead, instead of stalactites, enormous sparkling chandeliers illuminated polished oak-panelled walls. Baylene, so much in awe at this site, glanced to her side and noticed the huge glass windows that stretched from floor to almost the ceiling. At her feet tiny creatures walked here and there; the old girl gasped as she feared she might step on one.

Those creatures....

Unable to comprehend this strange locale, Baylene demanded of her mate, "Quivier, what is this place? Why did you bring me here?"
The gentleman brachiosaur explained that, "You have a rare opportunity to glance into your far-off future. Plio was right: Our time on this earth will be remembered, and with such awe and wonderment. Sarama was right: In this future world these creatures will have exhumed our remains, but for good reason."

He went on to tell Baylene that as the future creatures exhumed dinosaur remains they acquired an almost insatiable curiosity, even reverence. "The humans are still so fascinated by us, Baylene. Why, they've built these structures just to house our remains. Baylene, look ahead and tell me what you see."

They strode down a long corridor that led to an expansive room. All along the way Baylene wondered why no one detected either her or Quivier. The floor never cracked under the weight of their one-ton feet; the walls and windows did not rattle from impact tremors.
Quivier noticed the utter look of bewilderment in his mate's eyes and said, "My dear, no one can see nor hear us. Our presence here is not in flesh but in spirit."

He added with a chuckle, "And no, Baylene, you are NOT dead!"

They entered the room, a room which held many remains of animals long extinct. Some skeletal remains were almost recognizable, at least to Baylene. She gazed upon the wall to her right, then gasped when she beheld a mounted parasaurolophus skeleton.
She peered at this for a moment, asking her mate, "Quivier, is this...?"
"Yes, my dear. Those are Sarama's remains."
"So...Her visions rang true."
"Baylene, if you will...Look ahead..."

He drew her attention to the commanding form that dominated the room. Nearly as tall as the room itself, the head almost touching the skylight, the fully mounted brachiosaur skeleton stood in silent dignity. Those strange little creatures that gathered around the skeletal brachiosaur and gazed upon it with sheer awe. Their comments were not lost upon Baylene as she listened intently.

"Look at how big she is!"
"How do you know it's a girl?"
"Sez here in the brochure that they knew it was female 'cuz of the shape of the pelvis...See? Wide enough for carrying eggs..."
"She's beautiful. I wonder what she was like when she was alive."
"Ooh, Daddy, look! They got her head looking up so she can always see the sky."

Baylene drew closer to her remains, carefully examining the shape of the head, the neck, the massive limbs. She gasped upon realizing that this was the lasting legacy Quivier spoke of. This was her final destiny, for her remains to become enshrined in memory to her, and to all of her kind -- to all dinosaurs if truth be known.

"I understand Baylene, that yours is only one of three complete the entire world! Did I tell you that they found all your remains -- yours, Aladar and Neera, Eema, Url -- within close proximity? Aladar's remains are here, as are Neera's and the rest of Sarama's family..."

The elderly brachiosaur stood alongside her own remains. How perfectly these future inhabitants had pieced her bones together!
At last she said, "It's only the bones, Quivier, and those bones tell a story only known to us. These creatures, for all their learned ways, will never know our complete history – the personal stories that is."

"And now, Baylene, the Herd knows of YOUR history – OUR personal history..."


"Yes, Quivier, our legacy will live on throughout the ages, until the end of time itself..."

She murmured to herself as she aroused herself from a deep slumber. How long did she sleep? All day?! Baylene awoke and found herself back in the cave. Was it all – the visitations from long-dead loved ones – a mere dream? That's what Baylene thought as she drew her massive form upright then made her way toward the cave's exit. The afternoon sunlight streamed through and Baylene had to squint against its brilliance. No, she thought, it couldn't have been a dream, for there they are.

All the Herd, gathered at the lake, listening to Sarama's recount of my personal history.

And there's the flyer, the one they call Glennis, who befriended Baylene's brother during his flight from himself and family. Baylene later learned that Glennis served as mentor and advisor to Kenric. The poor boy did blame himself for his sister's personal tragedies. After all, his parents indulged him so that he never knew true independence. He believed that he'd never fit in with his fellow brachiosaurs, and never find a mate who'd put up with his spoiled nature. That's why he left home, to find peace of mind and mature. He had every intention of returning to the very sister who scorned him, but fate stepped in and prevented an overdue reconciliation.

Oh Kenric, I never hated you...I only wanted you to be happy and well, in the event that I could no longer take care of you...

"That's all right, Baylene, I understand now...and everything worked out for the best. You now know your true legacy, and I can rest in peace knowing that we are now reconciled."

Baylene looked back into the cave to see her long dead brother's spirit gradually fading in the mist. She wanted to run to him, to embrace him. And she did just that. "Oh, my dear brother! All is forgiven!"
He returned the gentle caress, saying, "Go back to the living, Baylene. Enjoy your best years yet. When the time comes, we shall be waiting for you..."

With that, Kenric's spirit vanished before her eyes. Now the elderly brachiosaur, near tears, focused her attention on the crowd gathered around the lake. As soon as she emerged from the cave, she could hear Suri's voice above the others. "Look! Here comes Baylene!"

Yes, here she still belonged, with those who loved her. Although her family was gone, as the rest of her kind, Baylene looked upon the Herd as surrogate family. Many dino and lemur children called her "Aunt Baylene" out of respect and reverence.
The old sauropod, days later, would tell Sarama of those visitations from long dead family and friends. And she would share that odd trip across the debris of time, where she beheld her remains on display along with those of her friends.

"Yes, Sarama, our time here will be remembered, and with such wonderment. Those creatures will look upon us with a strange blend awe, reverence, and curiosity. But they won't know the entire story, about us, and how we survived the worst calamity ever to befall this planet."

Baylene, then joined by the other ladies of the Herd, pronounced, "But for now we're just old ladies holding on to a world long gone. I've learned so many things that day I encountered my past. But I've also learned to let go, to live for the now and what's to come."

For Baylene, the best years of her life were still to come. She still had a purpose, a mission, and a legacy that would endure for millions of years.


Copyright©2001 by PRP AKA The FanFiction Diva

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