Azonthus stood in the market of Treetown. She was a small, red and yellow velociraptor. The fresh scars across the left side of her face and across her body stood out a bright pink against deep crimson. She carried a quiver of arrows in a sling at her waist and a bow on her back. While diminutive in size, she had the air of a warrior and one who had seen war and death. She was used to the heat and humidity of a tropical forest.

She gazed around at all the commotion of an arboreal community. People were using ropes, ladders, and bridges to cross from one tree to another. In the trees, houses and market stalls had been built. The looming Sequoias and Cedars were quite a change from the tropical greenery of the Basin. The air was thinner and cooler. Many of the humans, and even some of the saurians who could stand the heights were wearing long sleeved clothing. Az saw one celophysis wearing a bright red vest and cap with streamers flowing from them.

Anyone who passed the raptor stared at her, most were just curious as to what the weapons she held were but others stared in shock that anyone had a weapon of any sort. It was well known to all that weapons are enemies, even to their owners. But then again, the scars on her face proved that she had met weapons at some other time in her life. Many of the people who saw her knew she was a Basin Refugee right off; civilized carnosaurs never shied away from a humans touch or stared at them with such intensity as this one did. It seemed that even her bright red markings told of the danger of being near her.

Azonthus was miserable. She would never fit in here. No one here could possibly know a thing about her pervious life. No one could understand what had driven her from her family, her clan, her home. How could they? They didn’t even know what weapons were! She merely sat in the lofty branches of an ancient cedar and watched the goings on of the rural town.

One saurian dared to come close to her. He was a blue and yellow deinonychus, a cousin of the velociraptors. He was twice as large as Azonthus and had a feathered crest whereas she had no feathers. “Hello,” he said. “What’s your name?”

Az stared at him. “Azonthus,” she replied quietly in the raptorian dialect. She knew that he would know her names meaning right off, Little Warrior.

If e did know what her name meant, he didn’t show it. “I’m C’xoila. What are you doing here? If I’m right, you’re from the Basin too.”

The smaller raptor cocked her head curiously. “Yes, I’m from the Basin. I left because…because…” she hung her head. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“That’s Ok. Allosaurs taking over our lands forced my clan out. One almost ate me!”

“Ate you? Ugh, Allosaurs. Never did like them.”

“Is ok though. Now I live in Waterfall City. Hey, I know some people that are going sky hopping later. Wanna come?”

“Sky hopping? What’s that?”

“You’ve never been sky hopping?! Well, it’s simple. You wear a harness and a sauropod will pick you up by it and throw you into Deep Lake. It’s a lot of fun.”

“Ok… I’ll come.”

“Great! Let me show you where to go.”

The two raptors headed off into Treetowns lower forest.