This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
Baylene saw Anakin's lifeless body lying in a heap near the rock wall where the carnotaur hurled him. She also saw Plio wedged within a crevice of stones, obviously staying out of harm's way while watching her friends battle predators and Len Targ. There was Artmo Hox, with his badly injured leg, not completely helpless but definitely out of commission. Marbe and Kirel continued to deflect bolt after bolt emerging from Targ's blaster. The man simply would not let up; he is determined to kill everyone, and for what?
Then she saw another figure on the ground, the deep, ghastly wound all charred and bleeding. A life-threatening injury to be sure; death for this one is not far. Oh no, this is too much. This is not fair!
One man's evil has spread to the Herd's peaceful valley, and Baylene determined no darkness shall ever penetrate their lives again. Didn't they learn that during the post-Fireball death march to the Nesting Grounds, under Kron's ruthless tyranny?
Well, Palpatine is dead, and so is his precious Empire. Anakin Skywalker is redeemed in casting off the shackles of Darth Vader, and balance is restored to the Force. The Herd has found peace and balance as well.
No, it ends now. Never will I allow anyone or anything disturb our paradise or destroy our lives.
Although Baylene was, by far, the largest and tallest of the Herd, those busily fighting off carnotaurs and a bounty hunter didn't notice her right away. Even the predators and Targ paid her no attention. Baylene was like that, not calling too much attention to herself despite her gargantuan size. This time she used her tremendous bulk to end, once and for all, the terror that invaded the valley.
Raising up on her hind legs, Baylene let out a mighty bellow then soundly lowered her entire fifty-ton weight on the forefeet, causing a sudden tremor felt from all sides. She did it again, and again, and again...
The shock of the tremors sent everyone running for cover. At first, Aladar thought a sudden earthquake had struck. Oh no, the earth cleaved open somewhere, the rest of the Herd on the other side, trapped. This is bad.
No, it wasn't the earth, Aladar suddenly realized, but a series of impact tremors caused by Baylene. What is she doing here? Doesn't she know it's dangerous? Those carnotaurs will make quick work of her.
"Ow," muttered a stunned Xander, "that gal really packs a punch. Hey, don't worry about her; carnotaurs usually leave the big ones alone. It's guys like us they like to pick on. Come on, let Baylene finish this. I think she has it all in hand."
Baylene stomped again, causing the entire canyon to quake and rumble. Dozens of heavy rocks suddenly slid down the mountainside, tumbling into the path of Len Targ who, once again, was knocked off his feet. He dropped his blaster, again!
Drat! What is causing all these tremors? Len Targ tried to struggle to his feet, endeavoring to find his blaster. He glanced over at the hadrosaur Hadron and the styracosaur Mac, both still warding off the remaining two carnotaurs. It's a losing battle, and if I had my blaster I'd knock off every single one of them, just like I did...Whoa! What the...!
Len felt a shadow over him; he looked up and gasped. The tallest, most massive animal he had ever seen towered over him. In contrast to the brachiosaur's immenseness, Len was the size of a lowly ant. He scrambled to his feet, finally spotting his blaster which lay just a few feet away. Len Targ made a mad dash towards the blaster, but stopped as Baylene craned her head downwards, her blue eyes glowering.
Marbe and Kirel, both valiantly warding off one carnotaur with their lightsabers, leapt in tandem just as the beast lunged at them, jaws wide open. Upon a tall rock formation, they could see Baylene staring down Len Targ. Whatever does she plan to do? Stomp Targ to death?
"For her it's easy," said Kirel.
"But," countered his sister, "it's not her style. I think she has something else in mind."
Marbe wasn't far from the truth as she watched Len Targ grab his blaster only to be confronted by Baylene.
"Oh no you don't!," cried the elderly sauropod. "Take that! And that!"
She was on a roll, stomping her big feet, causing more tremors, and lashing her tail, making all those within range dash for cover.
Len aimed the blaster at the brach's head, but the thing wouldn't fire. What is this? A power failure? Jammed? Again and again, Len pulled the trigger. Nothing came out. No bolt of energy, not even a whiff of smoke.
In an instant, Baylene made one more mighty tail lash, this time catching Len Targ off-guard. She slammed him full in the body, sending him hurtling several feet into the air. He landed hard on his back, the blaster clearly knocked from his hand and now laying far from his reach.
Dazed from the impact, Len tried to get up, but he couldn't. He assessed his injuries which were grave; obviously there was much internal damage, and he could tell his legs were broken. He cursed his luck, wishing his blaster was within reach, then he'd take out that big one who knocked him for a loop. He glanced over to see one carnotaur charging towards him. Wasn't it plain? The beast picked up the scent of fresh blood that gushed from Len's badly gashed head; he didn't even know he was bleeding. The last thing he remembered before passing out was the shadow of the carnotaur hovering over him, the bared teeth near his head and the resounding roar in his ear. No blaster handy, no way to get up due to the grievous injuries. Len Targ didn't have time to react once the carnotaur grabbed him off the ground, shaking him violently before swallowing him whole.
"What an incredibly sticky end for Targ," said Mac in guarded triumph. Yes, the bounty hunter was no more, but there was still two carnotaurs against a handful of dinosaurs and two able-bodied Jedi. Perhaps, he voiced to Xander, with Len Targ a distant memory, the predators would be that more easier to take down.
"We could," suggested Hadron, "do the shout down like before."
Mac shook his head, saying, "No, there's too few of us. Even with Marbe and Kirel and their weapons, taking out two carnotaurs is out of the question. Oh, for some help, but...Maybe..."
"Say no more," said Baylene as she prepared to rear up again, making more impact tremors, enough to distract the carnotaurs so everyone could escape back inside the cave. However, that would only buy precious time, and the predators would simply follow the survivors inside. Besides, there are casualties – one dead, another near death, and two injured.
"We can't leave them here," concluded Baylene.
"Allow us," said Kirel as he readied his lightsaber. Shouting to Marbe, he said, "Come on! Let's take out these guys once and for all!"
In tandem, the Tasous leapt through the air, with Kirel landing on one carnotaur's back. Brandishing his lightsaber, he cut a swath, the blue shaft pulsating. Aiming for the jugular, Kirel cut into the carnotaur's tough hide, ripping down to the bone, straight to the aorta. It took some effort what with the beast stomping and thrashing about. Kirel cut down deep, severing clean the life-giving artery, nearly decapitating the animal. Taking a powerful Force leap, Kirel dismounted the dying carnotaur, well out of harm's way as the beast fell weltering to the ground. It would not take too long for the meat-eater to die.
Meanwhile, Marbe, trying to duplicate her brother's feat, lost her balance and tumbled to the ground. In a daze – she struck her head on the rocky soil – she took up the lightsaber again, activated it anew, then got on her feet. Mac and Xander assisted her by breaking more boulders, sending a flood of heavy rocks into the carnotaur's path. It didn't work this time, and the carnotaur, growling menacingly, merely side-stepped the rocks and charged full force at Marbe, its teeth bared.
Marbe steeled herself, raised her lightsaber to stab the beast head-on, but something happened. Did she hear the sound of a blaster? How can that be? Targ is dead, in the belly of the lone surviving carnotaur. Who could have fired that blaster?
Again and again, the blaster bolts shot into the beast, causing it to turn its attention to its attacker.
Charred and bleeding, the carnotaur stomped and roared furiously as two figures continued to blast away. That one, the big furry creature, howled a war cry, brought out a much bigger blaster, then proceeded to pummel the beast with many bolts of searing heat and light.
"Aim for the head, Chewie!," called out his friend.
The Wookie obliged and soundly and squarely shot a volley of bolts into the beast's head, causing it to explode, literally. The headless body wobbled about, the tiny arms frantically waving around as if to find its ruined head. The entire air smelt of burnt flesh as the headless body finally crashed lifelessly to the ground.
Two other figures rushed to the scene as Plio at last emerged from her hiding place. She had seen enough; but though the monsters and Len Targ had been vanquished, she drew her attention to Aladar. He, now that the battle was over, wept over a dying figure.
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.