Welcome to the Big Empty, the world after the Flashback ... a world in which most the population has vanished and where dinosaurs roam freely. You can survive here, if you're lucky, and if you're not in the wrong place at the wrong time--which is everywhere and all the time. But what you'll never do is remain the same--for this is a world whose very purpose is to change you: for better or for worse. So take a deep dive into these loosely connected tales of the Dinosaur Apocalypse (each of which can be read individually or as a part of the greater saga): tales of wonder and terror, death and survival, blood ... and beauty. Do it today ... before the apocalypse comes.* * *I looked at the nearest mount, a triceratops head with a broken horn (and a frightful visage), wondering what the circumstances of its death had been. Had it been charging-with the Flashback in its eyes, perhaps-and thus aware that it had an opponent? Or had it been unaware, just mulling its soft grasses, until the bullet entered its brain? "No," I said, finally, turning my attention back to him. "Can't exactly say as I am. It-it's never seemed like a fair contest to me." I jerked my leg against the chain-twice-to make a point. "Does it to you?" "Pshaw," he protested. "You speak as if we're enemies. As though this were some contest between you and I, personally. On the contrary, Mr. Hayes. It's a collaboration." I'm afraid I just stared at him. At last I said: "Okay-why not. I'll bite. What are you talking about?" "I am talking, Mr. Hayes …" He stood and began pacing the length of the table. "-about legend. About myth and memory-and the securing of one's place in the natural order of things." He withdrew something from his housecoat as he walked-a pipe; but didn't light it. "Posterity is what I'm talking about. A place at the table of the gods. That, and endings. Inevitabilities." He paused and struck a match. "One last and penultimate hunt." He lit the pipe and waved out the match, then turned, slowly, regarding me through a cloud of smoke. "Atatilla, is what I'm talking about. Queen of the Mammoths. The, ah, Leviathan of the Steppes, as they say. I intend to kill her. And you, my lost and wayward friend, are going to help me. By acting as my driver."
Last stand is a loose military term used to describe a body of troops holding a defensive position in the face of overwhelming odds where the majority of soldiers are killed. The defensive force usually takes very heavy casualties or is completely destroyed, while also inflicting high casualties on the opponent as happened at the Battle of Little Big Horn, popularly known as "Custer's Last Stand". Sometimes the term is used to describe the last pitched battle of a war where the position of the defending force is hopeless but the defending force considers it their duty not to surrender until forced to do so, as happened to the last Royalist field army of the English Civil War at the Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold. A last stand is a last resort tactic, and is chosen because the defending force realizes the benefits of fighting outweigh the benefits of retreat or surrender. This usually arises from strategic or moral considerations, leading defenders to conclude that their sacrifice is essential to the greater success of their campaign or cause, as happened at the end of the Battle of Thermopylae.