Log:Defiance Guild: Chandrila
The short story: Defiance goes to Chandrila and finds themselves in a dispute between pirates, but stumbling around the galaxy turns up some nice loot. Call me.
The long story:
Chandrila! Lovely, picturesque Chandrila! It's a Core World, but not so populous as most of them. Chandrila is an agricultural planet, much of its surface still wild with grasslands, forest, dense forest, more grasslands, light forest, more forest, swamp, and also grasslands and forest. Ask me how I know. Anyway. The largest city, Hanna City, is as quaint a modern city as one could ever hope to find in the galaxy. Quiet, peaceful. Hex (and Ila!) are off somewhere meeting with a reclusive abolitionist benefactor who may have supplies and aid for Defiance, but this meeting was some distance away and it'll be a long time before he's back. Everyone else is here for a change of scenery, a change of pace, getting drunk somewhere new, making bad decisions in a rural instead of urban locale... something like that. Like any proper DnD mission, you're starting IN AN INN, a tavern, a cantina, whatever you want to call it. Enjoying each others' company in a nice place with decent beer where absolutely nothing bad will happen. You're not dead in the graveyard yet. That comes later.
Since Kasia isn't dead yet, and is in fact in an Inn, or bar, or cantina, whatever, she's seated at a table with some brightly colored, fruity mixed drink in front of her. She's not had much of it to drink, but has instead been picking pieces of fruit from the top of the glass, eating it, slowly getting intoxicated on the liquor soaked bits of fruit. Yum. She's dressed much like she always is while on Nar, a breezy dress and comfortable shoes, and she's got a shawl wrapped around her shoulders, because apparently she's chilly, too.
Zhu Yan is sitting at the table, chair slid back, feet up, hands behind head, in complete defiance of any sort of politeness. Was there a drink in front of him? NO! Oh dear! Who was this? Where was the drunken rascally Zhu Yan we all knew and loved? Well, when he'd heard Hex had needed him for something, he'd made a big fuss about not drinking because every time Hex needed him for something it always went wrong and he had to start shooting or flying or fighting or whatever and that was not easy to do whilst drunk! So there! Blasted schutta could shove his 'It'll be fiiiiiine' reassurance right up his cloaca!
Siya totes has a drink. She can drink all she wants and still be sober. It's both a boon and bane of her existence. She happens to be sitting at the table with Yan, indulging in some glass of wine. She sips it, eyeballing it, sipping it again as if analyzing it intensely. "This is so refreshing! I am so glad to be off Nar. And.. this time.. the plants aren't trying to eat me!" She chuckles. Last time she was off Nar, it was kind of scary.
There's a Rheisa in the booze den. Yup. There she is, sitting stonily in a chair where she could find room, in the company of mostly other patrons she doesn't know. She's without a glass, probably because her thoughts are elsewhere. Like what's OUTSIDE the booze den. Fields. You know what live in fields? She thinks she does, based upon sounds and smells sensed on the way in. And, while she doesn't know what they're called, she's hazarding a safe bet that they are delicious. Her stomach seconds this opinion with a low grumble, which earns her a look from the man overtaking her left elbow. She looks back, equally unimpressed with the stench of his breath. Booze Dens.
Because every party needs a pooper, Jehn is there! Jehn, who never got on the drinking train, is just looooads of fun at get togethers, right guys? She's high as a kite, if that helps anything, and has the anooba with her. Like Kasia, she is dressed in what she would typically be wearing on Nar Shaddaa. Unlike Kasia, this attire is best described as 'mechanic chic' without the chic: jumpsuit, boots, jacket, and those stupid goggles dangling around her neck. She is nestled quietly at the corner of the table, doing what she does best: which is looking like an awkward, uncomfortable nerd. To the casual observer, it would appear that she is lazily following their conversation(?), but to those who know her best: she's doing math in her head. For fun. She is momentarily distracted by Siya's words, losing track of the fission reaction she was mapping, and has to stifle a sigh of mourning for her own lost, man-eating plants. They now wreak havoc in a lab on Coruscant, but rumor has it that finger loss has been pretty minimal.
"Drink drink drink drink," Nyla sings as she weaves through the tavern with an ale like mug in her hand. It's outreached over her, making sure it can't be jostled by an elbow or shoulder. The song continues as she aims herself towards... who else? The doofy google wearing Jehn. "Suuuup," she hums and tosses a look over to the table of other Defiance-ers. Nyla plops herself down and leans into the mug, sniffing at it happily.
Everyone really knows that the real party pooper anywhere that Defiance is concerned is a Chiss by name of Raim Shah. He isn't drinking, he isn't smoking, he is simply standing. He is near enough and leaning against the table that Zhu Yan is perched upon to speak of a familiarity that may be there between the two men. He has a hand resting upon Rheisa's shoulder as his scarlet eyes peer at his compadres that have succumbed to the drink or are taking weed to get themselves high in thinly veiled disapproval. His jetpack is strapped to his back, as ever, and his magnification goggles are rested atop his head.
There is, of course, an interruption, because isn't there always? "Excuse me," a voice greets. It's an attractive female Zabrak, her arm in a sling. "You look like a capable group of people." She obviously has not met any of them ever. "Are you looking for cash? My name is Vashka, and I have a job I can pay you for, if you're interested." She goes on without actually waiting to hear how interested the DBAGs may or may not be. "Pirates shot me and some of my friends down over the forest south of here," she explains. "I need someone to go rescue them, since we," she tilts her head at a nearby table where a couple other banged up, injured looking spacers are hanging out. "Aren't in any shape for it. I'm willing to split their ship's cargo with you. It's a shipment of Ryll spice," which maybe explains why she's not calling what passes for law enforcement here, "But some of the pirates might still be hanging around that wreckage. I'm sure it's nothing you can't handle."
Kasia seems wholly unconcerned with any looks of disapproval she might be getting, because she has boozy fruit, and that makes the world a better place. She doesn't appear to be intoxicated by any stretch of the imagination, however, which is probably for the best. The voice of the unfamiliar woman snags her attention from the group of dbags, dark eyes sweeping over her in a cursory study as she listens to the request. "Ah. That sounds," like a terrible idea, of course, because everything they do sounds like a terrible idea. Rather than finish that sentence, she lets it fall off there. "How far away are your people?"
"Stick around. I go on adventures like this all the time. Usually without man-eating plants," Yan said to Siya as his eyes locked on to the Zabrak coming up to say hello. The fact that she didn't try to proposition Yan was met with disappointment. The fact that she was trying to CLEARLY lure them into a trap due to poor wording (because to Yan it sounded like the pirates needed rescuing) was met with even more disappointment. "This sounds like a terrible idea," Yan said, finishing Kasia's abandoned sentence. Because he lacked tact. "Like, 'we're going to get killed by pirates' terrible."
Siya glances up at the woman as a glass of wine is lifted to her lips. She listens to the tale being told by the woman, actually growing in interest when the term spice is used. However, Siya has nothing to add as she does not determine whether the group stays or leaves. Yan's words draw her attention as well as a bright smile. "You know, the entire reason I originally left Zeltros was to see the galaxy. I am excited. So, don't worry, I will stick close." She turns her attention back to the Zabrak woman, speaking softly. "Well. Hun, why don't you tell us what the catch is.." She leans forward, ice blues on the Zabrak, "You are hiding something."
Jehn is leaned toward Nyla and is muttering something about dry mouth and the deep, insatiable, endless hunger that is currently wracking every fiber of her being when they are interrupted - and she blinks blearily at the approaching woman. "Kay!" She immediately agrees, not sharing anyone else's apparent doubts. This total stranger says pirates have her illegal shipment? Then pirates have their illegal shipment! This is a /damsel in distress/, guys - Jehn lives for that shit. Crona, the anooba snoozing beneath her chair, growls at the stranger instead, not sharing Mommy 1's trusting nature. "Okay, you don't need to take it that far." She chides the nightmarish hellhound, peeking down to bop her on the tusk. "Chiiiiiill, my young Padawan." And then she's pushing her chair back and zipping up her jacket.
Rheisa lifts her eyes off the local leerer to take a gander at the Sesti (not really) look-alike. Hm. Forest? Forest = buffet. What other reason do they need? Before she hops up out of the chair though, she a) looks to Raim and b) waits for someone who actually has vested authority in this group to voice an opinion. She's just here. Expert at stalking, eating, surviving in places like where their craft went down. Different flora and fauna of course, but...*rumble*rumble*...odds are in the favor of edibility. Also, because Kee'tch'ka is wonderful and entertained her with a thirty-nine minute lecture on some of the herbivorous and avian species to be found on Chandrila, she brought her bow. The sling and dartgun are fine, in a pinch, but high tensile sinew makes every shot better. Rheisa blinks focus back to present, and the mixed feelings her companions are apparently having here.
Nyla Forr is way, WAY too busy with her ale to bother even looking up at the newcomer. She just wiggles in her seat and takes a long sip, assuming the others will deal with this. Her eyes turn to the growling anooba and she huffs. "You need to train it better," she insists while smacking her lips with the taste of ale. Finally, curiously, Nyla glances over her shoulder for a peek at the stranger.
Vashka looks to Kasia and answers, "A few klicks south of here. We can give you coordinates. You can get there on foot, and you'll have to, because there's nowhere to land a ship and the forest is too thick for speeders." As for Yan, the Zabrak woman lets her ruby lips curl in a smile. "Do you go on adventures like this all the time by sitting down? Fortune favors the brave." As for Siya's assertion that there's a catch, Vashka raises a perfectly arched brow. "I've already told you several catches, Pinkie-pie. Catch one - You will have to go on a hike, but the forests are not particularly dangerous here. Catch two - there are pirates, some of whom may have survived the crash. Catch three - there is spice, and I'm sure a smart little cookie like you knows that means you need to avoid the authorities. How many more catches do you want? Shall I make up stories of dangerous animals? Oh, you'll pass through a graveyard. There might be ghosts!" Jehn, Vashka seems to like Jehn, she holds her hand briefly to her face in a comlink type gesture and mouths 'call me.' Then it's back to looking at the group as a whole. An easy shrug follows, one-shouldered on the uninjured side. "It makes no difference to me. If you don't want to go, I can find someone else who likes easy money and isn't afraid of a couple of injured pirates."
"Yan, if you're worried, go get in your ship and try to take a look at the crash site," Kasia remarks, turning to look at the scoundrel. "I did notice debris when we were flying in earlier," she remarks, glancing around at the others. "So there was a crashed ship, that much I know. I can't say exactly how far from here, but it wasn't long at all before we were landing, so it could be genuine."
"Life favours the cautious," Yan fired back, giving forth a smile that was uncharacteristically void of mirth, and instead full of teeth. See look, he could be a condescending trash fire too! Yan being Yan, he was already thinking. He knew greed when he saw it. Hell, he saw the look on her face all the time in the mirror. "Sure. Why not. Let's go kill some pirates." And perhaps walk away with a whole shipload of spice too.
Siya studies the woman for a bit, but she leans back, "Well, I think it could be interesting at least." Her scrutiny is taken off the Zabrak woman. She doesn't seem upset or offended by her demeaning sort of words. In fact, she just brushes them off like nothing happened. The glass of wine is set down on the table with a chink.
Wait-what? Ghosts? Graves? It's suddenly not hunger that's making Rheisa's stomach lurch, and she stands up. "If we are to pass through the place of spirits, it is best to bring an offering. Respect, for the dead ones." The way she says it, she sounds like she's issuing a command. Just look at that finger pointing down on the table! While she's not known most crew members all that long, the Togruta's seen enough, heard enough, to suspect the vast majority capable of irreverent behavior. And Rheisa Dirleel, daughter of Shili, will not have her soul OR corporeal form staked on that!
The anooba needs training, yeah, but there are more pressing matter here. Jehn, having made up her mind several desperate, lonely moments ago, is already zipped up and ready to hit the grass. Again (heyooo). She is also fading to an incredibly telling shade of magenta and nodding obediently... Crona still seems pretty unsure about all of this, and is sticking closer to Mommy 2. "We can deal with pirates, we deal with pirates all the time - right guys?" She casts a look about the table, nodding gratefully at the standing Rheisa as she continues to argue this case. "Okay, we can bring an offering!" A nervous glance goes to Crona. "Not the anooba." She clarifies quickly before looking back to the Zabrak woman and the table at large. "She says it's easy. I know that normally means it won't be, but that's because Hex is saying it and I think he's trying to kill us all." Come to think of it... Who was it that suggested they come here? She shakes the thought from her mind and looks pleadingly at Nyla as if willing her to rise from that seat with the pure force of her will. But because Kasia seems willing, it's basically an ace in the hole, right??? Space Moms got her back - yes yes. Yan relents - yes, yes. Siya is in? YES YES. "Let's go fuck up some pirates." Says the woman whose fired a blaster... Three times?
Nyla Forr whips her head at Rheisa. "And they can't have my beer!" she gasps, curling her arms around it and dragging it in towards her. Grrrr. Nyla's eyes cut over to Jehn and she stares. "Wait. Did you say fuck /up/, or..." But she is distracted! The others arguing and weighing in, Nyla realizes where this is headed and starts to chug her drink. See? The dead can't have it! Greedy dead. "Okaaay," Nyla groans mid-burp and pushes herself to her feet, the mug in front of her empty. "Why do people danger danger in front of us like a carrot?"
Vashka nods along with Kasia saying she saw a freighter crash, and smiles her ruby smile at Yan again. She doesn't really have a mirthful smile either. "I'm glad we've all agreed." She reaches into a pocket and withdraws a datacard which she sets on the table. "Coordinates, and a manifest of how much spice was on board. Come back here with my shipment, and my friends if any of them are alive." how good of friends are they, if they rate after the shipment? Wait, you'd all prioritize this the same, never mind. Except Rheisa who might sacrifice her friends to appease the gods. The Zabrak continues, "If you fly away from Chandrila with all of my shipment... I am not presently in a position to stop you. But you will make an enemy, and we would both rather you didn't. Bringing the shipment back here is the /cautious/ option." She blows a kiss to Yan, and then wanders to the back of the inn, up the stairs. The group of beat up spacers at the table nearby get up and follow her, some of them casting suspicious looks at the DBAGs.
The trip out of town is uneventful, and Vashka's coordinates lead them over the grasslands where civilization fades away with surprising abruptness. Just there, at the edge of where the grasses meet the trees, a graveyard looms, peaceful, surrounded by a small fence. The grasses rustle as though small creatures might be moving through them, but don't worry, it's probably just the souls of the restless dead.
Kasia listens to all the instructions, but seems wholly unconcerned with the shipment aspect of it. Maybe because she doesn't plan on stealing the spice, maybe some other reason, whatever it is, she isn't worried. The pirates, they're more of a concern, but for now she isn't expressing those worries too much either. She holds out a hand to accept the datacard from Vashka, and tucks it away in her bag for now. With that done, she gets up and collects a few supplies for the trip, water, snacks, first aid supplies, that sort of thing, and then she's ready to go out on this hike. Ugh, hiking. At least it's not running.
Zhu Yan had been chatting amicably but quietly to Siya on the wander over, clearly filling her in on the stuff she'd need to do and/or learn if she were to crew aboard Yan's ships. Minds out of the gutter please. In other news, his mind was clearly sold on the idea of stealing the spice. Because that's just the kind of guy Zhu Yan is. With them staring at the graveyard, and long since out of earshot of the crazy probably-a-pirate lady, Yan finally ventured something audible. "So. Graveyard. Appease the spirits. We need a virgin sacrifice. Anyone here a virgin?"
Siya took time to change clothes. No, she was not going to tromp through the forest in one of her favorite dresses. She actually dresses for the occasion! She has on a pair of black pants and a blue top. Not fancy, but practical for a trip out into the woods and possible combat. Siya doesn't do well in combat, but she has other things she can do to help. As they travel, she does manage to say aloud, "Anyone here find it odd that a woman walked up to us, complete strangers, and offered half of a spice shipment she claims pirates have? I am willing to bet some credits that this woman is actually one of the pirates herself." Yan's virgin comment makes her do a double-take. She laughs! "Don't look at me!"
It probably IS the restless souls of the dead. And also a couple squalls, which Rheisa's waffling over whether or not to kill. Maybe they're best left alone here, in this place. After a few long, hesitant minutes of observing what lays ahead from the rear of the group, the spiritual storyteller slides her toes through the grass, one long stride after another. Shoulders squared. Ahead of the gang. Past Zhu Yan and his silly inquiry.
The soles of her feet tingle, skin of her nape prickles, and she feels her chest growing just a little bit tighter the deeper they advance into the realm of the spirit world. Finally, when she feels the place is right, she stops, planting her feet, and belts out a bellow of "Balahesk! Prrrishk'ti." Face turned to the sky, she sinks to her knees. "Och...Chandri'neh aht. Prrej dahg tohg," she intones a little less loudly, arms held passively at her sides and palms turned forward. Her eyes focus on no single thing, staring vacantly ahead while she tunes her senses to what remains unseen in their surroundings. One hand uplifts to finger a strand of beads'n'teeth dangling from her montrals. It's firmly yanked apart from the rest of the headdress and laid to rest on the earth.
"Because we're trash, Nyla." Jehn assures her roommate with a wide grin before adding: "Nice one." She can appreciate a good burp when she hears one, or else living with the droid mechanic would be a lot more unbearable.
And then, by the magic of time passing, they are at the graveyard. With a nervous glance towards Rheisa, the pilot bends to scoop the anooba into her arms - she's starting to reach a point in puppy growth where that won't be feasible before long - and jogs to make up for the paces she lost. She very pointedly ignores Yan's inquiry, which is easy because Rheisa is... Yep. "Do you think there are actually ghosts?" Jehn whispers to Nyla, walking backwards and watching the display with wide, uneasy eyes. She is completely oblivious to the grass moving, because it's Jehn and she's oblivious to everything.
Nyla Forr hadn't changed! She wears the same thing. Dusty green jacket, dark, baggy pants with too many pockets, and boots that have seen much better days. She does, however, have a backpack and a flask that looks comically large in her hand. She's staring thoughtfully at the graveyard when Yan speaks. Nyla Forr flushes absolutely /red/ at the question from Yan. She chokes just a /little/ on the mystery flask container and tries not to look Jehn in the face. "N-no. No such thing," Nyla wheeze out.
Raim looks as unpleased as ever as the first strategy out of the gate revolves around sacrificing virgins. His scarlet eyes flick around his group and through a quick mental count and elimination. There is a questioning glance toward Jehn'iva, before he shrugs and files her away as incalculable and then says, "Perhaps a plan other than sacrificing virgins would suffice. We will likely get there and find no malevolent spirits upset and angered at us-" he trails away abruptly as Rheisa begins wailing and being all shamanistic. Rigid Science meets Wild Native. He can only stare, though it is evident from his features that he tries very hard to NOT look disproving of his mate.
The forests are a confusing maze, an endless sea of light forest, dense forest, more forest, that all looks the same. It's all full of vague descriptions that look the same, and even if you were carefully marking where you were going, you're suddenly all turned around and in a place that doesn't make any sense according to your map and -- wait, I'm talking about myself earlier today, now. Ahem. The DBAGs have the benefit of coordinates, but the thick trees and underbrush are not simple. All of a sudden, Rheisa and Yan look around and.... they're alone. They're lost! Actually, everyone else is lost.
Kasia has no illusions on whether or not she's good in the wild. She's not, she doesn't like it, there are bugs, and creatures, and predators, and cliffs for Hex to fall off of. It's basically the worst. She has the coodinates, which she shared with the others, but she's not paying as much attention to them as she should be because she's trying not to die by trying to trip over a root. What a terrible way to go. Outside, in nature. Ugh. She doesn't notice that she's lost, she's trusting that the others know where they're going, because she's briefly having a moment of dumb. This is what happens when you go out into nature.
Zhu Yan was not a survivalist. He was at his best when he was surrounded by the horrible greys of skyscrapers and people trying to kill him. As opposed to oppressing green and animals trying to kill him. So, it was with some surprise that he managed to find himself alone with the tracker of the group, and she couldn't possibly be lost, could she? Before Rheisa could say anything, he raised his hands in the air and said, "Hey don't look at me, I was just following you!"
Siya thought this was going to just be a simple hike, maybe a few fights, then go home. She did not realize it was going to take this long to get way out here. Siya was walking along, following the group when she go her pants leg caught in a thorny bush. She pauses to unhook the thorns. "Ouch.. ow.. owowow.." It takes her a couple minutes. She pauses, glancing up and round. "They took off without me!" She grumbles and gets free of the bush, heading in the direction she thought they were going. She stops as she gets over the small hill, glancing around. "Huh.. not this way.. maybe they went over here.." They couldn't have gotten far could they?
There's a lot to keep track of, trekking through the woods. Birds. Rodents. Bigger rodents. Hoofed things. Clawed things. The whispering spirit of the land as it filters through the trees...and oh yeah. The rest of the pack. Rheisa stops, suddenly aware that there are fewer bipedal things passing between trees as there were just ...okay a LOT fewer. She stares at Yan, perplexed. How long has she been focused on that blackback (ITS A BIRD) rustling through the underbrush? Her head swivels this way and that, montrals forever-at-the-ready for tell-tale vibrations of bodies-in-motion. Meanwhile, her left hand draws an arrow from her hip and nocks it into position while her right hand brings the bow to bear. Multitasking. Momma's got to eat. "Someone is that way," she directs Zhu with her big toe of all things, leg cocked at a weird angle to point southeast of their present position. "If we wait, maybe the others will catch up." Or...they're really lost. Her head snaps forward again, breath held as she aims left...right...left...more left.....FIRE.
"You don't seem so sure!" Jehn hisses at her choking roommate, whom she just assumes is choking because she's so horrendously afraid of the ghosts - and while the pilot has never actually thought much about their existence, now she is too. "You okay?" She adds, blinking at the flask and reaching a hand out. Miss 'hydration is so important omg' forgot to actually bring water, probably because her survival skill is so low. "Can I have a sip of that?" She should know better, by now, then to think it's water. Then again, it's Jehn. She doesn't even have the sense to realize that they have become rather lost, because she's just been following Kasia this whole time and struggling to light a cigarette (that doesn't smell like a cigarette) in the wind. The anooba, who hasn't helped their tracking skills, zooms happily through the grass, probably tormenting small mammals. "Wait... How many people did we start with...?"
Nyla Forr shoves the flask into Jehn's hand and scrubs her face with her palms as they enter the forest. The few seconds of face-rubbing is enough to cause her to stray a little. She looks up, no one in front of her, and starts to jog thinking they've sped up. "Hold on," she grumbles and weaves around a tree to nearly smack into Jehn. "Uh... not... just us...." she mumbles and narrows her eyes, focusing on a half fallen tree. "I'll see if I can spot anyone from up there." Nyla leaps for it, scrambles on top, and them immediately sinks into the rotten, moist wood. "OH GODS," she shouts in horror. "There are so. many. worms."
Raim glances up from the thick tangle of brush and suddenly finds himself lost in the woods and separated from his group? This is most likely the only time that such an occurrence has ever happened in the entire lifespan of the Chiss droid technician. Braving being enslaved to a Hutt to rise through the ranks as an Underboss in the Hutt Cartel? Certainly. Breaking away from said Cartel and risking the ire of Hutt Retribution? Absolutely. Being lost somewhere in the thick woods with no idea where in the hell his group has gotten? No way. As such, Raim Shah really has no protocol of acceptable behavior to get oneself found in the wilderness other than to glance around wildly, his glowing red eyes narrowed in intense aggravation and yell loudly over and over, "HEY.... HEY.... HEY.... HEY.... HEY!!!!" The sounds of his stomping feet through the underbrush can likely be heard in between yells to any friend or predator of hot blue ass nearby.
Raim's yelling causes avians to scatter in a flutter of panic - sorry Rheisa, no more dinners. You have your loud blue mate to thank for that. But the good news about the yelling is that it probably alerts everyone to the fact that lost is a thing, and that some people are in different places than other people. Oops. But the coordinates were shared to all, and with some effort, with probably some more yelling, everyone gets back on course, and back together in a group. The only one who has any trouble on the path to reunion is.... Nyla. Who is so smart about worm logs that she steps OVER instead of onto the next log, and thus falls into a hole on the other side, which is also filled with grubs. Kasia, sorry, looks like you're in bad shape too, as a twig both smacks her in the face and then ensnarles itself in her hair. Trapped forever, outdoors. ALSO the good news is that the forest is ending. Bad news, you are now at a swamp. Good news, you can see a little piece of wreckage in the swamp. Getting closer.
There were more people right? Yeah. There were. Kasia didn't notice that they'd had some people wander off (because it totally wasn't her, right? Yeah!) It's not until the stoned Jehn makes mention of the fact that they've lost people that she looks around, but makes the poor decision to continue forward as she does. This is how she gets slapped in the face by a branch, which makes her halt and flail a bit, which only makes it worse by getting it caught in her hair. This is Hex's fault! Maybe not, but he isn't here, which means she gets to blame him. "Jehn. Help--" Then there's yelling. Raim yelling. It doesn't sound panicked, really, but it does make her turn her head which only makes the twigs tangle in her hair, and all the pins in her hair, and the braids in her hair. She and nature, not a good mix.
THWIP! In the relative silence of the jungle, the arrow launching was like the sound of a hammerblow to Zhu Yan's ears. He heard a thunk, then an ARK of something dying. "Sithspit, we gotta find the rest of them, not find dinner. You could have had dinner back at the inn!" he hissed out. Zhu Yan, City Slicker. His arm was crossed over himself now, right hand sitting on the DL-54 on his left hip. At close range, this bastard would be enough to evaporate a rancor let alone a pirate. Of course, they soon emerged from the forest at a swamp, and now that there was visibility, his hand moved from DL-54 to Bryar. "Aw goddamnit, these boots are clean. Next time I'm doing a flyover first!"
Siya perks up a bit as she hears shouting. She glances left, she glances right. Then she narrows her eyes on the sounds. "Ok.." She turns and trudges over the terrain to meet up with the others, finding herself at the edge of a stinky swamp. Her nose curls up at the smell. "Ugh.." She still does not see them, but turns to follow the sounds. "WHERE IS EVERYONE!" Siya calls out, trying desperately to find them.
Good thing Rheisa got one good shot in before some panicking Chiss starts hollering at the top of his lungs. The sound ricochets around the forest, pinging off tree trunks and drawing a wince from his dear 'mate'. Who, if the look on her face in this moment is any indicator, may be reconsidering some things. "I do not eat 'chips'." She shrugs the bow back over her shoulder and retrieves the skewered forest hen by the still-kicking feet. A quick nip to the neck finishes it off and she loops its talons through her belt. When the others start reappearing within visual range (hers, anyway), she can gift to Raim that 'look' in person. The look that says she's not keen on sharing this plump poultry with him. Ever. And it's off to the swamp.
...Which is as far as Rheisa's going, probably. Her toes squish into the softer, squishy floor and sulfuric smells waft up from the rotting leaves. Delish. Nervousness manifests in physical form - paling color, snugged up headtails - as she regards the increasingly watery way laid out before them. Hidden dangers lie beneath the surface. She just knows it. Trembling fingers reach down to pick up a piece of tree bark, then toss it some meters ahead, into the puddly muck. Knock knock?
"We should bring a few back for Hex." Jehn advises the worm-ridden Nyla, pinching the ""cigarette"" from between her lips, offering it out, and taking a deep, hearty chug of - "ACK OH G-" She just... Yep. It's all in there. There is a harsh moment of gagging before the pilot can contain herself and stumble to her roommate?s assistance, shoving the flask back at her once she?s out of the worm log. The struggle, as they say, is real. "C'mon, I think it's - uh - this way?" Things seem to go well, for a bit. A small bit - and then Jehn is rushing to Space Mom's aid, doggedly working at the branch and hair issue. "Nyla, you any good at - Nyla?" Where is Nyla? The pilot experiences a moment of overwhelming, heart crushing panic that almost leaves Kasia stranded in the tree, but at least she has the decency to finish helping one damsel in distress before moving to the next. She is too overwhelmed to realize that, in some weird, bizarre twist of reality she is the one watching out for Kasia and Nyla - They really /are/ in the Upsidedown! YOU ALL SAW THIS. IT HAPPENED. Of course, she finds her poor roommate in a hole, and while most DBAGs would probably keep going and let the mechanic struggle out of her bug hole on their own, Jehn is more of a puppy dog than the actual, hellish puppy dog they have, and drops to her hands and knees to try and haul her up, even though everything is kind of twisty and wobbly and warm now - which she's pretty sure isn?t from the space weed. Crona goes nuts chasing the birds that Raim scattered, but Jehn ropes her back onto the lead as they come across the swamp - she isn't losing anything else to hidden muck and bug holes tonight. "You kay?" She murmurs back at Nyla... She isn't too keen on diving right in there either.
"I got this," Nyla grunts and wrenches one leg out of the leg, balances on the edge, then plucks out the other. Worms cling to her pants and she yelps, hopping to... another worm-filled log. "Dammit!" she grouses and flails her arms to attempt to pull herself out of this one. "I just... one sec..." Nyla tips over and flumps her top half out of the log, ass in the air, as she struggles to grab onto some plants to pull her legs out. When Jehn helps her, she just mumbles and pushes up, slapping as many of the worms off of her as she can and trekking onwards. "M'fine," Nyla insists, pride obviously hurt. Who knew it was possible?
Raim finally locates all of his comrades, and then spots Rheisa giving him that look. "What?" he says quietly to her, gesturing around at all of the others. "It worked. I'm basically a hero out here." He is grumpy. Trekking around out in the woods isn't his most fun activity. He walks to the edge of the swamp and peers out with an even more unhappy expression at the freighter way out there. "Damn," he curses.
There's no choice but to go through the swamp, as the forest has ended and now there's nothing but swamp, swamp, swamp in sight. Or, well -- maybe that freighter... multiple freighters?... crashed on something firmer, but it's still a long way away. As they pick their way through the swamp, the squishy, leech-infested swamp, Kasia, Siya, Jehn, and Raim fall into the muck at some point. Into the water. And when they pick themselves back up, they have a few new leech passengers. Ew. Squishy, blobby, surprisingly clingy leeches. Kasia gets extra leeches.
The bits of wreckage become more and more frequent as they travel, and by the time the ground is starting to firm up again, there's scorched ship bits everywhere. As the DBAGs draw closer, they can see one wrecked freighter, a wrecked Headhunter... and a real familiar swoop. What the hell. Isn't that Tarion's swoop? It looks so familiar, what the hell is it doing here? Closer still, and peeking through the trees and brush, the DBAGs can see people moving around. There is a tall, pretty Squamatan woman, moving with a limp, and a couple of semi-injured looking people that look equivalent to the Zabrak's gang at the inn. There are some crates hither and yon. And there is Tarion Tavers, chilling out tied to a tree with all his weaponry and equipment in a tidy pile some ways away. The Squamatan is glaring at him.
"So, I figure if you're gonna eat me you should probably get the fire started soon," Tarion is saying, his hands tied behind his back and his whole body tied to the tree, stripped down to just his pants and a tank-top because apparently armor is not needed where he is going. "It's gonna take time to get a nice bed of coals, and believe me, you don't get the kind of searing you want without that."
The Squamatan continues to glare, and Tarion continues to rant. "What /do/ you people eat anyway? It can't all be frogs. I know a girl who lives on rats, though, can you believe that? Rats. Makes 'em into trinkets after she sucks their guts out." It might not be that graphic, but the bounty hunter doesn't have anything better to do than yap, so yap he does. "She'd probably suck /your/ guts t-"
He's cut off by the Squamatan fist that smacks him in the jaw, knocking his head sideways and shutting him up for a moment until he spits and laughs. "I've had lovers hit harder than that," he continues, and is rewarded with a second punch to the face. "...now you're getting there."
First the twigs attack, and now there is swamp. Kasia hates everything about this place, and wonders what made her crazy enough to agree to this. She clearly needs to have her head examined once she returns to the 'civilization' of Nar Shaddaa. Though the word civilization is used here lightly. She doesn't openly complain, she doesn't want to be THAT person (to anyone but Hex, anyway) but she does groan as she wades into swamp, and then curses as she falls into it. She hasn't noticed leeches yet, but she will. OH SHE WILL. They're probably mostly on her legs, and possibly on the back of her arms where she can't see yet, but maybe someone else can, so they can be properly horrified. Or use it to horrify her. "It can't be much further, can it?" she asks. She's given up looking at the coordinates again, but she IS keeping a much closer eye the others in the group, or at least Rheisa, who is all feral and nature-y, and therefore must know where she's going. Then there's a familiar voice, which makes her stop and look around in search of it's source. "Tarion?"
"Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Should have stayed in the ship. Ew. Ew." That was Zhu Yan's mantra for getting through all this icky sithspit. At least until he got to dry land. Of course, first thing he saw was Tarion's swoop. Second thing he saw was Tarion. Third thing was the blue chick. Good looking, but she tied up Tarion. Clearly she was evil. Fourth and fifth things were the punches to the face. Damnit. He was going to have to intervene. And he would do so using his worst, most dangerous weapon. His voice.
"Shhh!" he hissed at Kasia, then he straight up waltzed into view of the assembled pirate party. Big target! "Yo Ringo!" he called out to Tarion, clearly being an idiot by drawing all the attention to himself. "You two-timing the ladies again? That pretty Zabrak is waiting for you back at the inn!" Yan did indeed tactically mention his employer, yes. Maybe that would get the pirates thinking they were about to be sold out. "I think you bit off more than you can chew this time." He paused, looking over the ropes with a discerning eye. "Unless you're into being tied up and slapped around. I ain't judging!"
Siya spies the group reassembling in the middle of the swamp and she tries to hurry to catch up. There is no way that she wants to remain here! Slosh slosh.. In her hurry, she gets her boot caught on a sludgy log hidden under the murky surface. SPLOOSH! She falls under the water with arms flailing. Blub. It takes another moment before she rises up with a leech on her cheek and on her arms, one on her neck even! Her legs and abdomen were covered in form-fitting fabric, thus were spared the surprise of leeches. She doesn't quite notice the leeches until she makes it to the group. A gasp comes from her and she starts to do the 'GET IT OFF ME' dance. Leeches are frantically plucked off and tossed back into the sludgy cesspool, leaving bloody circular rings on the spots they were suckling upon. Finally, getting the last leech off, she just turns around and tries to stand, looking a bit toughened, but looking little more than a drowned cat.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Rheisa uses her lithe creeping to NOT cross the swamp in entirety, but instead parks it atop a piece of wreckage to act as 'look out'. Yup. The main wreckage is still visible through some trees with some squinty effort, and she's got a clearer line of sight of the forested patch they just left and will likely be returning to. She hopes.
A lone Togruta is a paranoid Togruta. But a paranoid Togruta is better than a lame and/or unconscious one, and that is precisely what she's trying to avoid. The trip thus far has been taxing and she finds her breath slow to return while reclined on this shard of fuselage. Also, that nasty mud messed with her leg. Pretty sure that kneecap shouldn't be pointing quite in that direction. A completely uneducated shove of her knuckles pushes the migrating thing back into place, more or less, to the tune of some crunching scar tissue and jacked ligaments. Then it's back to being paranoid. Her bow is brought back into position and she scans the treeline. The waterline. The skyline. Repeat.
Jehni'va is quick to notice Tarion's vehicle - is that the one Tess convinced her to take apart? Either way, she knows mech - and that mech belongs to an asshole. "Is that - FWUMPF." Jehn disappears into the muck, and Crona is happy to slurp the mud from her face when she does finally free herself, probably knowing that she isn't going to make any real effort to clean /herself/ off. Grooooooan - oh leeches! Jehn scrambles to yank them from her limbs with surprising calm, and only pockets one.
As much as she would rather avoid any real danger on Tarion's account, she can't help that horrible, nagging feeling of shitty /loyalty/ for all these poor sods, and she falls in behind Yan, drawing her vibrodagger... So intimidating.
Nyla Forr actually manages to be... nimble. And really by that it means Nyla doesn't appear to /care/ about how gross the swamp is. She just trudges along, somehow managing to not fall into a hole. Light and small has it's advantages. She can't help but snort a laugh as Jehn falls in, slapping a hand over her mouth until she realizes said hand is covered in worm goo. "Blegh," Nyla complains, yanks her hand away, and steps forward to pop one off on her neck. "Oh, c'mon..." she begins to mutter at Jehn's pocket leech before the others drag her attention away towards... Tarion. "Oh, come /on/," Nyla repeats again in a more frustrated whisper. "The hell is Jehn's boyfriend doing here?" She's all ready to just... stand there and not help. "Jehn!" she snaps quietly as the woman follows after Yan.
Raim falls into something wet again. And this time it is muddy. And has leeches. He picks himself up and slogs along, though he almost draws back to stand sentry with Rheisa. After a brief moment he whispers to her that he will be back soon and slogs on with the rest. When they find Tarion held captive, Raim curses again and says quietly. "Leave him, he is a good distraction. Let's get the ship and get the hell out of here." There is a leech stuck to his chin and wiggling around.
The captive Tarion's Squamatan friend looks towards the trees in alarm as she hears one name... and... then a totally different name. "Stay back!" she snaps in accented Basic, raising her pistol to point at the DBAGs. Her crew nearby have rifles and pistols at the ready as well, and at least one is toting bombs. They've had a bad day, and they clearly don't want any swamp randos making it worse - they are protecting their cargo. The Squamatan's brow is furrowed in confusion as she listens to Yan prattle on, then he hits 'Zabrak' and she looks like her hair's going to light on fire from the force of her fury. "Vashka!" she exclaims, hissing that Zabrak woman's name like it's the worst curse the galaxy has to offer. "That thief! That harpy! What lies did she get you to swallow? Did she say this is her shipment? This is MY shipment." A pause, then her eyes cut over to Tarion, and back to team swamp. "Does this belong to you?"
"Yes," Tarion answers immediately. "Meet my crew! The crew of the Rusty Nail." The problem with bluffs is that you have to play along, and it's almost guaranteed that none of them will. By 'them' I mean his 'friends' of course. "Now, release me, and let's have a captain-to-captain discussion about how we want to play this out." Is he- yes, he's affecting an accent, vaguely Imperial. The fact that he's still spitting globs of blood probably make his little speech less impactful, though.
"I'll keep it in a tank, relaaaax!" Jehn croons back to her roommate when scolded about leeches, and is soon standing - sorely outarmed, outmatched, and absolutely heartbroken. Her knife slowly lowers as she handles, yet another, crushing blow to her self esteem. "She lied?" Maybe it's all that booze she accidentally swallowed, but there seems to be a little lip quiver! At least she got a new pet out of it.
"No." Jehn answers darkly, about the time Tarion starts rattling. Maybe it's the alcohol, maybe it's her continued failure to judge character, or maybe she's just actually given up on Tarion - but Jehni'va Cihn sheathes her useless weapon. "Keep him." Pout, pout, pout.
Kasia looks daggers at Yan, but further chiding will wait until they're not in the gross swamp to have words. The startled, armed Squamatan says stay back, and she makes no effort to push forward, letting others approach if they so wish. "If you're going to have a discussion with anyone, it will be me," she says, mustering as much authority as she can. "Forgive my idiots, but they're idiots, and it's what they do." She says idiots with as much affection as one /can/ put in the word, while also sounding like she's trying to take control of a situation that is all wibbly and potentially about to end with shooting. She doesn't want to get shot today, she's already been assaulted by nature.
Zhu Yan opened his mouth and was about to offer a cheeky deal, because he could bluff like a champion, but nope, he was interrupted! He didn't look daggers at Kasia but he sure felt it, but alas, he was forced to leave the chiding for when they were out of the gross swamp. Instead, he stepped back. Towards cover. With hands near blasters.
Siya moves forward, red-hued hands lifting up in a gesture of peace. "Noone needs to get hurt.. Let's talk this out." She says this in calm, soothing words. Of course, being Zeltron, she wants to send waves of calm towards the closest of the people from the opposing people. She falls quiet though as Kasia talks and that ice blue gaze shifts to look towards Kasia.
"For fuckin' fucks sake," Nyla Forr mutters darkly and doesn't approach. "/Thank you/," she says to Raim. "That's exactly what we should do. You're my new best friend." She then proceeds to glare at the back of Jehn's head with worry marked very obviously all over it. With a huff she tugs her blaster from her belt and waits in the back, mostly out of view from the others.
Gang leader Blue seems to calm down a little bit as Kasia suggests settling things with Words, and Siya does too. She lowers her weapon, though still has it at the ready, watching the group warily. "My name is Rhan," she eventually introduces herself. "If you were told there was spice here, you are correct. But it never belonged to that Zabrak, /she/ is the pirate who attacked /me/. This is what I will propose to you -- If you let us leave in peace with our cargo, we will allow you to salvage whatever you wish from these ships. There are pieces of weapons, droids, money. And we will leave you to untie..." she gestures at Tarion, "That."
The time has come to negotiate Tarion's release, it seems, or to leave him to die. Shockingly, it seems at least half of the DBAGs, maybe all of them but Kasia, maybe all of them but 39% of Kasia, are prepared to abandon him in the swamp with the blue-green venomous folks who are the only people he's met that spit poison better than he does. The odds of him getting out of here are- Oh, wait. Apparently the Squamatans are letting him go, after all. This is awkward because at this precise moment, with a profound wrenching sound, Tarion has pulled himself from the ropes just as everyone turns to look at him. His shoulder doesn't look like it's in the right place and his wrists are bloody, and he's not looking too chipper with his 'friends', either. "You can skip the last part." Blood spat on the ground, and now he's the one who's glaring.
"It's nice to meet you, Rhan," Kasia takes a few slow steps forward, both hands held out and empty to show she's not armed. She's basically never armed, or at least never obviously armed. "You can keep the spice, we have no need for it. That is a matter for you and the woman back in town to settle, we will be happy to take our man--" she looks at Tarion, who has done something to his shoulder, and is bloody, but free. "And whatever we can find here, but the spice is yours," she assures. "Right?" She looks around at the others, though it's both Yan, and Tarion who get the hardest of looks.
"Called it," Yan said in Siya's direction. Perhaps they'd come to the conclusion that the Zabrak was the pirate all along a little while ago. Then he's being addressed by Kasia and she's giving him a Look. "I don't mind them keeping the spice," he said, and even though it was a lie he wasn't gonna push the issue, "but honestly I'd like to go after the Zabrak. She did make some pretty pointed threats in our direction and I'd rather not have that loose end hanging around."
Siya suddenly laughs. "I did call it! Man.." She folds her arms over her chest and beams a smile. "Though, there is something more to this whole story. Neither of these lovely women are telling the full truth. I think we may have gotten ourselves into some inner crew quarrel of sorts. I mean, I could be wrong here.." She shrugs her shoulders. "We got our man back and we get stuff.. "
"I'm fine with that." Jehn grumbles, apparently you don't mess with her heart! She is looking at Tarion with something akin to pity ? or is that disgust? It's hard to tell. She slumps back towards Nyla ? why is everything fucking /spinning/ still? Very, very belatedly she shoots the droid mechanic an accusatory look. "Wasn't /water/ in the flask." POUT, POUT, POUT.
Nyla Forr perks up, turning into sight of the group and lowering her weapon. "Wait, droids?" she says with obvious interest. She blinks and holsters her weapon. She scrambles through the little group of DBAGS and makes her way to the nearest pile. "No waaaay," she chirps happily, finding a (mostly) intact supervisor droid. She stands, wobbly on the uneven surface of the rubble, and holds aloft a large, elongated, bronze droid head proudly. So, so proudly. "And all it's bits are here!" Jehn, help me load this guy onto Tay Tay's speeder." And then the droid mechanic starts to happily haul her find out of the rubble. "Nope! You're drunk, love," Nyla babbles as she waddles past with the droid head in her arms.
Rhan spits on the ground, disgusted! Much like Tarion did, really. "I hope you kill her," she gives her blessing to Yan's Zabrak hunt. "Good hunting to you." She eyes Siya when the Zeltron makes a guess about there being more to this story, but she doesn't confirm or deny. Instead, she looks to Tarion... escape artist, newly freed Tarion. "You disgust me," she snaps, then... holds a hand to her face like a comlink and mouths, 'call me.' That's it, the deal is sealed. "We're done!" she snaps to her crew. "Leave the wreck!" There's something that sounds a bit like arguing in another language, but she puts the kibosh that in the same language, sounding harsh. The crates are loaded onto repulsor carts and hauled away, and soon they all vanish into the trees... going to have a fun time with those crates in the forest. But that's their problem.
With the Squamatan's group gone, the DBAGs are free to explore the rubble - Yan and Kasia find some cold hard cash, as does Jehni'va. Siya finds a very interesting looking rifle sight, and Tarion finds a mod that will add rounds upon rounds of extra ammo to his rifle for that extra murder capacity. Nyla finds a new best friend, or maybe a new boss, hard to say. All in all, not a bad return for a hike in the woods.
When they return, Republic soldiers passing through Chandrila are parked in the Inn, and there's no sign of the Zabrak, who might have beat feet at the sight of them. But Yan knows her, Vashka knows him, and they might both have an interest in tracking each other down later.