Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #077: A Vision of Home

Monday, October 19, 2020 at 8:00 am Comments Off on Dinosaur Hunter Diaries #077: A Vision of Home

Turok: Son of Stone #42

A horror-horde of crawl-and-crush crawlies claw up the earth!

Our heroes find themselves in a part of Lost Valley that is dry and desolate, devoid of all life — what once was living has been reduced to picked-clean skeletons! Even the foliage has been devoured to stumps… yet whatever razed the land was only focused on what was ahead. Just to the side, the trees are full of life! They see an ominous black shadow weaving through the grass, reducing all it touches to mulch. Andar believes it a vast, predatory snake…

… but a cave of huddling hunters urge them to get the heck out of here, and failing that, tell them the true horror story of their previous lodgings: Killer ants! Not quite the titanic ‘them’ of Them!, but dangerous enough! The little buggers, each one already as big as a hand, savaged their hunting grounds and sought the human hunters for dessert, only turning back at the sight of big nasty rocks. They’ve been hiding out for two days now, unable to seek new hunting grounds for fear of the critters coming back for them.

Well, Turok and Andar have fire as their secret weapon, and they’re pretty certain even an unstoppable colony of ants don’t enjoy being roasted. The two follow their trail and try to set them ablaze, but the ants eat the grass so quickly the fire can’t even reach them!

The ants look at them and see a meal in waiting, forcing our heroes book it across the river… but the ants have an answer to that too, gripping onto each others’ butts to form a living bridge. The two take to the cliffs to further the distance…

… but even that is a fool’s errand; ants can climb up vertical surfaces! Ants have a years-long lifespan, Turok! Some ants even practise slavery! You’ve bore witness to one weird ant fact already, and you don’t wanna see the rest! With nowhere else to turn, the pair manage a daring escape by clinging to the talons of passing pteranodons, now safely too much hassle for the ants to bother pursuing.

But this is no time to rest on their laurels; if left to their own devices, those ants will eat Lost Valley out of house, home, and habitation! If all else fails, use fire differently this time: they fire arrows on the grass surrounding those leading the charge… and without the time to react, the entire colony goes up in smoke. Life slowly returns to the valley, but they know now they must cherish life and not hunt themselves to another extinction just like the ants were about to.

Turok and Andar’s next journey takes them to a vast desert, where far in the distance they see a vision of something close to home — a pueblo, a mountainous village! Although not part of their native custom, they must have seen them from their neighbours in the New Mexico reason. Alas, a sandstorm kicks up, forcing them to take cover and choke on sand until it passes.

The two appear to spy a tasty watering hole, but it turns out to be a cruel mirage… only for the real deal to be just over the next dune! Andar regards this as his first run-in with a real-life mirage, though a nasty, crust-induced “um, actually” will tell you he had dogged delusions of them during issue #17’s The Land of No Return

Turok: Son of Stone #17 (1959)
… though to be fair, he probably wasn’t compos mentis after his last sighting. (DON’T HIT ANDAR HE’S ONLY A LITTLE BLOKE)

The watering hole is home to a big nasty croc, which they’re forced to stab a lesson until they can finish their drink. They approach the village and call out a greeting, hoping to meet a fellow tribe from outside this accursed valley…

… but they’re only answered by rocks and spears,. It’s just a bunch of primeval squatters in caves that look like pueblos. Alas, the desert was playing tricks on them, and there’s nothing of worth for them out here — no comfort, no game, and certainly no way out from the Lost Valley.

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