Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #029: The Cunning Foe

Monday, May 4, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments (0)

Turok: Son of Stone #18


Turok makes things worse for everyone.



As they camp for the evening, Andar finds no safety in their campfire, believing they’re being watched by a figure in the shadows. While they sleep, the caveman Gan approaches their fire, eager to learn its secrets and be hailed as a man of magic, but he burns his fingers and scuttles away before the pair can see the commotion.



Gan reappears the next day, saving Turok and Andar from a pit of quicksand and asking for a favour in return: the secret of fire! They’ve been over this before; Turok and Andar’s knowledge of fire is their secret weapon against the denizens of the Lost Valley, and there could be untold chaos if the bloodthirsty lugs learnt it for themselves. They can’t say no to a man who saved their life, though, so Turok shows Gan the art of kindling, and makes him promise not to share it with anyone else. “Why should Gan tell others? This secret make people fear Gan’s great medicine!”


The two are invited back to his camp as honoured guests, but Turok’s attempts at making a fire are quashed by Gan — only he can make fire! If everyone could do it, he wouldn’t be able to impress his clan by lighting up a dark cave…


…and waking up a surly honker! Gan legs it, leaving Turok and Andar to clean up his mess and get hailed as heroes. He won’t stand for it.


Gan goes on to show the other purpose of fire: to cook good food! The fire dies down, and he claims this is because of “bad medicine” within their ranks — if they kill Turok and Andar, their fire will thrive again! And their death has to be by the most ironic method possible: death by fire!


As luck would have it, at that very moment the sun and the moon align in the sky, the prelude to a solar eclipse. Turok turns the tide by claiming his magic is strongest of all, using the darkening of the sky as proof he’s a superior sorcerer than Gan’s parlour tricks.



This works a little too well, as everyone runs like the dickens and he has to remind them he’s still about to burn to death. Gan deserves to have this chops busted for this little stunt, but he’s gone and done a runner with their bows and arrows! They find themselves caught between his arrows and an incoming honker — wherever they turn, they’re in the line of fire! T & A split up, distracting his fire so Turok can reclaim his bow and target the honker.


Gan happens to be standing beneath the beast as it topples over… and though it might not have ended the way they wanted, the secret is theirs once more. Did poor Gan deserve such a fate…?


No time to ask, because the two quickly move on to a new watering hole; there’s no other humans to be seen, but the traces of footprints are enough to make them uneasy. Andar vanishes during the night, and Turok can find no trace of him — not even a trail!


While fishing the next day, he discovers an underwater passage into another valley, boasting a village on stilts. Avoiding the men on the coast, he sneaks in to see if this is where Andar has disappeared to.



Indeed he has — he’s living the high life! Andar urges Turok to flee — not because he’s hogging the good stuff for himself, but because this isn’t what it seems. He’s their prisoner, and this is his last meal! The guards rush him, forcing Turok to dive back into the water; he’s only saved by the arrival of a tylosaurus sending his pursuers rushing home with a brown streak.


He stays within the village’s border, overhearing their plans to sacrifice Andar to the same beast the next morning in a bid to quell its anger — it’s apparently been tormenting their waters for some time now. There’s no way in or out of the holding pen without alerting the guards, leaving Turok no choice but to intercept his friend before the tylosaurus gets to him first!


Andar is sent out to sea tied to a log, and Turok swims like a sturgeon to reach him at just the right time — out of reach of the villagers, but before the tylosaurus knows what’s on the menu. He frees Andar from his bonds, but the only thing standing between them and the monster’s maw is a a lucky shot…


The poison arrow strikes, and the village is totalled in the creature’s death spasms. Turok muses if they had only asked for their help, they could have slain the beast without this debacle ever occurring… or if they’d chosen a safer camping spot, they wouldn’t have gotten into this mess in the first place. Oh well!

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