<--Artist Clara Leslie
A female mugger crocodile dug her nest of eggs up carefully, sensing
the time had come for them to hatch. Of the 33 eggs, 25 had cracks in them,
and moved slightly. Gently she nudged them, helping with the destruction of
their shells, and birth of their new lives. After a while, 23 of them
finally escaped their encasements, and followed their mother into the water.
The newborn reptiles fed on small life forms, hungrily. It was late spring;
the swamp they inhabited was muddy and warm. Half of them did not survive their first week of life, being taken by birds and other predators. Over the next year they grew bigger, and stronger, wiser in the ways of survival.
Then when they were strong enough, their mother disappeared, and they split up slowly. The largest of them departing first. He left the swamp and took to a river. Moving with the current he fed on fish and birds, skulking along just below the surface. He grew rapidly, becoming quite huge over the next few years, eating larger birds, deer, and various other creatures. On a hot, steamy day, late one summer, he was gliding along, hungry again, he spotted odd forms by the riverbank and swam closer, nostrils and eyes the only thing above the surface of the water. They were odd creatures, they stood upright like the birds, but did not have wings. He slipped closer, the hunger fueling his boldness, they seemed to be shedding their scales, then jumped into the river. Closer still he crept, one of the strange creatures swimming a bit distant of the rest, closer to him, he went under. Moving closer to the odd creature he felt it stir very close to him, jaws opened, tilting sideways his tail fired him forward, powerful jaws closing on the soft form, the sound of a muddled scream. It struggled hard as he drug it below the surface, down to the bottom of the river, jaws clamped down, but soon, it ceased moving and he swam off with it, to a safe place to feed. Managing to survive several attacks and fights with other Muggers, and other creatures, he went on, patrolling the rivers, finally settling down into a nice secluded swamp, or so he thought.
One day as he lay
basking in the sun, an odd feeling overtook him, he thought it was hunger
at first, but it was not. He could not move because the sun was
darkening. Then a bright flash, alien images flooded his mind. He
found himself on two feet, but he did not have control over his
actions, he was putting on odd scales...like he had seen
those birdlike creatures wearing. He...WAS one of those birdlike
They howled and
charged at him and the others. The two armies met with shrill bellows of
agony, and triumphant roars and howls. A bright flash and he felt an
excruciating pain, two, three of these creatures were on him, he fought
wildly, crushing one, claws rending another in half, but the third drove
an weapon deep into his stomach, roaring in triumph, the blade was twisted
and withdrawn, blood spraying from his form he felt himself falling,
blades flashed all around, then a bright flash. He saw an odd creature
that seemed to have three glowing golden eyes. Armored back and sides on
it's massive form, bigger than any creature he remembered seeing in the
river, long deadly looking claws glinted, jagged claws clenched and
unclenched, then suddenly it was gone, but he had an odd feeling and turns
his head, out of the corner of his vision he saw...the tip of a tail, he
craned his neck more
One day, as he basked on a bank at the end of a long day of fighting, he felt a sharp pain in his stomach and heard noises, he bolted towards the water but things began getting dark and blurry, he slid into the water, but could not swim, he could not move?! Rage and fear surged through him, he felt something loop around his jaws, he tried to struggle but he could barely move. As he was hauled onto some hard and cold everything went black.
He awoke slowly, feeling weak and sick, not opening his eyes. Slowly his strength returned and he opened his eyes, he saw walls, all around except for one, it seemed clear, he charged at it, and slammed into something, something was blocking the way. He slammed at the seemingly unblocked opening but again was stopped with a jarring smash.
seemed to blue and he grew, as if in the distance he heard sounds of
crashing, breaking things, screams of agony, felt blood in his mouth. He
was cold, he ran, slamming right through some sort of wall. He continued
running, smashing anything that got in his way, trampling monkeys. He
finally saw no more, relaxing he felt himself shifting again, he became