Log:Mandalore: Uncovered

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Mandalore: Uncovered

OOC Date: September 23, 2021
Location: Mandalore: The Ragelands
Participants: Valeska Jaivon, Hahtavi Kora, Zelo Parrai , Avery Ihala Kora, Sumi Kora and Hadrix Kora as GM Clan Kora

The briefing on the last legs of their journey and into the next was brief - Hadrix being tighter lipped than usual and spending most of his time buried in his datapad, working with Gripper, GoFor and Clankah - often in heated private communication. But now as thick, broken tooth, shapes, begin to form from the haze of particulate drenched sky, it's apparently time to relay what information he can. <<"Geo-positioning has been faulty at it's best since the war that turned Mandalore to a irradiated sand-ball.">>

The journey to this place as been a labor to arrive. Sawali sail-skiffs can only go so far before they're beyond a reasonable maintenance distance. The skiff riding clan is able to move the expedition and equipment for the furthest distance they're willing to risk. To leave the Butte with fewer defenders, provisioned, and exposing themselves to more of the wastes than they'd like. In the end they're forced to turn back at the rotted stumps of some foundation marking from decades past, now long gone. https://imgur.com/a/5yrAyjv

<<"Reckoning and Journeymen craft confirmed that there is something there, it's sand blasted, crusted, broken down and some of the pits and divots I saw when the winds turned suggest decades old turbolaser and ordinance craters that keep filling and emptying with sand when things shift.">> They had been using landmarks that hadn't changed, much, since the discovery. Information that orbiting craft could, partially, send down through the atmospheric interference. The second leg of the journey had been made via wheeled buggies with repulsors to support in difficult terrain and solar array panels to supplement engine power. https://imgur.com/a/mTje4TF

<<"It was a city, at least Mandalore's version. Not very large by other standards, but pretty large for this world.">> rough wireframe topographical displays and rendered images based on extrapolating what has been picked up by sensors. The urban borders, the shallow dip that suggested water running through the southern side of the city - a dry river disappearing into the sand. The buggies were tucked away in the skeleton of a craft that died long ago, likely in the purges. The last few kilometers taken on foot to take advantage of the silence and the smallness of foot traffic against the landscape surrounding. https://imgur.com/a/RmbtDtU

<<"If this is what I think it is, and I'm not jinxing it yet... We may find a few gemstones in the rubble, for the Butte, ourselves, the Journeymen and Mr. Bullet. We're going to be looking for something that identifies where Mandalmotors Tower stood. We can do that if we can find high concentrations of durasteel - it was one of the most modern constructions of its time. If we can find a place that looked like a bar that'd been maintained for several centuries; we'll have a marker to search from. But if we can find the tower, what we can dig out there will be worth my weight in beskar.">> the tumbled remains of squat and once sturdy structures beginning to show through. <<"Mandalore didn't have many tall buildings, made it easy for the desert to cover this for as long as it did. Be ready.">> a gorge between the ruins identifying an old street of varying width moving deeper. <<"If you find a path where we can move in cover, mark and note. Watch your sensors, watch your backs.">>

The wind cast back Sumi's cape leaving her arsenal for full display. She is thankful for the helmet because the pricking noises of sand hitting her armor at the velocity the wind could stir up would've made hell for her eyes, and anything else exposed to it. At the insistence they search about, Sumi pans out and walks along the old foundation, kicking a rock from her path and looking for indications of what they were searching for. She's not very imaginative, and from her perspective, it was just one big desert ruin.

that was, once. Now, a sandy graveyard for civilization, with looming monuments and the faintest suggestion of everyday sights no longer seen on this world. The Nautolan's gleaming beskar has long since begun to fleck with sand, but the black pools behind his H-visor are peeled and wary. Since the first step onto Mandalore, wary has been his default. For a moment, his mind thinks on Hadrix's weight in Beskar. As rare as the stuff is... That's a LOT of Beskar. Without thinking, a hand brushes his chestplate, where all his Beskar is carried. It has been some time since he last walked with his Clan, occasion and circumstance making such instances rare. But he will always be there when they go out into the Ragelands in numbers.

<<"I copy that. I'm not a fan of being out in the open, so I'll let you know if I spot such a route.">> The tenor voice on the comms is softer than the vocoded counterpart, but still carries an edge of readiness. Behind his boot, the quiet hum of a BB unit's ambulation follows. The little droid had insisted it get some time in the field and... Zelo couldn't fault it. He wouldn't want to wait in the ship every time either. But the droid makes one more to look out for. As he turns to check, the visor pulls details from the surroundings. A mummified body perhaps halfway out of a window, but age means little in this climate. The body could be only a month or so old from this distance and with his knowledge. Zelo moves closer to one of the buildings, boot nudging an Imperial Stormtrooper helmet the rest of the way out of the sand.

<<"There's been traffic here, not that long... In the greater span of things. This helm's Imperial.">> He looks across the group, the facades of buildings largely buried but slowly revealing as the wind moves the sand on or mostly off. <<"How do we find a bar in this, Al'verde?">>

Hahtavi is particularly quiet as he listens to the briefing and they move out on foot, looking around. The river, mention of a MandalMotors tower, an old bar that used to be famous long ago that lasted for centuries. He stops and turns about, marking how the river that once flowed here curved around, <<"There was little of cities on Mandalore and the one you describe has been long been lost to us.">> He turns and looks to Hadrix, <<"But what you describe sounds like Keldabe.">>

His Galaar rifle is pulled from his back and already clipped to his tactical rig. Hahtavi won't even know the layout of the city even if it is ... or was once Keldabe but maybe Hadrix researched that detail. His boots slip and sink into the windblown sand as he walks, watchful and on alert. He too uses his helmet's optics to help search for signs as they begin moving into the ruins. Unfortunately, Keldabe was long, long before his time and much of their history is long lost to the people who yet survive upon Mandalore so Hahtavi may well only be making a guess based on old stories, likely.

<<"Seeing fragments of different building styles.">> He pauses to see what Zelo's found.

It's always hard going when on Mandalore, never a day at the beach which is interesting considering how much sand actually covers the planet's surface. There are times he's very thankful for the seals on the armor, this being one of them, Mandalore having decided to whip sand and debris all around as a welcoming celebration for Kora's arrival. While they advance on their destination, Avery scans the area with magnification, aided by the HUD in his helmet, trying to pick out what different structures were to give them an idea of where to start. Unsurprisingly, barely anything had more personality than 'structure ravaged by the wastes and time'. <<"This... could prove difficult.">> Avery mentions over the comm units as the group makes their way through the hunks of buildings in the street. His HUD is having a hard time picking out anything in the ruins that would register as familiar, though a few buildings to the right suggest they might have been outlying residential structures.

The Slicer swivels his head to the clan around him, eyeing the crew as they move through the desolate and destroyed city. He wonders if any of them will have any better luck locating something of note hidden among the layers of invasive soil. Turning his head back to the 'street', his HUD alters him to something of note... recent tracks moving from the desert into the ruins. These were fresh and judging by the in-fill of sand into the tracks, about an hour old or so... a party of at least six. <<"Heads up everyone, we might have company. I count perhaps six or more tracks in the sand.">> Thus said, he too pulls his carbine to the ready, the trusty E-11 warming up in his hands.

Valeska is doing her pre-mission routine. This usually involved lounging in whatever seat she managed to occupy and checking over her weaponry. The newest Mando of the bunch, she listens to what Hadrix says but doesn't really follow most of it. A tower on Mandalore? Though 'worth my weight in beskar' is definitely something that gets her interest. Whatever it is they're looking for, seems of great importance. Though it makes her wonder how something so important has gone undiscovered so far.

Then she remembers: right. Mandalore. This place swallows everything that touches it and spits out the bones. At the moment, she seems rather content to let the menfolk do the heavy-lifting, as it were, and expecting her HUD to light up like a clear, starry sky should they see anything. In the meantime, she lingers near Sumi because Sumi is the designated Cool Kid. Every time.

<<"Luck I expect, for a fair portion of it. But the bar was practically the center of the city.">> Hadrix's voice is distant from a mixture of distraction from his focus on surveying the area around them. Walking with slow, controlled movements, alert to the surroundings while keeping tabs on sensor reads and commentary.

<<"If things are right, this is Keldabe, Hahtavi.">> having adopted Sumi's custom of 'chicken winging' the massive wookiee canon he carries like a rifle while he walks. GoFor speeding off on his green and sunset sky cclored body, warbling gently before he is away and Gripper shoots skyward. Both going about their normal business while Clankah keeps close to the group.

Moving into the ruins results in a hump of sand that is avoided when the subtle ground tremor from marching feet causes something to creak and break with a sound like sodden wood before the small sand-bank is sucked downwards and a scent of dry, cinnamon-sweet, rolls up to the sky.

<<"Empire had a field base, just outside of Keldabe. South side if we spot any...">> like one of the fangs of broken architecture thrust up from the sands, further from the city edge; easy to miss if one didn't know what they were looking for. But it is another marker point to be used for orienteering.

<"Watch your step, Val.."> Sumi warns, knowing the young lady was close to her. Stooping down, Sumi reaches at a protruding object from the ground and touches it with her fingers. Only then does it look like a hand, reaching out of the sand, mummified. Others became more noticeable, and all around Sumi were the lumps of half buried, mummified corpses.

It was not noticeable because of her Helm, but Sumi's gaze took her to a different time and place. In her mind, she could hear the bombs, and see the chemical strikes as it dropped this populace where they stood. <"They never had a chance,"> She confirms without context. <"Over here.. a basement.. or cellar or some drek. Mind the dead.."> This time her voice calls out, the tone not so distant or melancholy. She drops down into the ditch with a grunt and clicks on the light near her shoulder to peer inside.

Zelo nods. <<"Luck. Sure thing, copy that.">> The sniper steps away from the disturbed helm and continues on, leaving it un-undisturbed on the ground roughly where it had lain for some time. There's a quiet binary chirp behind him, and Zelo looks down to Befour, who is still bumping against the helm and shifting its sensor array to him. <"That's not what we're looking for. I don't know what you're asking but... Whoever it belonged to doesn't need it... And neither do we. Stay close."> The Nautolan turns back and continues, H-visor falling on a building of mixed media - stone, wood, and daub all mixed. A slight glint in the hazy evening light catches his attention: durasteel. Nearly polished smooth by the weather. Zelo approaches to inspect it more closely. The plate is brushed clean with one glove, revealing a sigil, only seen with the enhancements of his visor's HUD. Analysis suggests...

<<"Shysa? Not quite able to pull up the info, the sigil's barely here... Anyone recognize it better?">> He moves beyond the sigil to look at the wall and sees a likely series of handholds. Zelo lowers his E-11, putting one hand into the hold and then reaching with a jump to grab the next. Climbing to the top of the small wall, he looks on a longer line of vision and trends stand out, confirmed by the HUD's scanning. Black pool eyes watch the theoretical city progress to the distance.<<"That way,">> he marks on his HUD for all to note when possible. <<"The slope suggests a city center of some sort. May even be the heart of things. I can pick out a path from here. I'm marking waypoints.">> And mark he did, between buildings, sometimes over the stumps entirely, in progress to the midddle.

Hahtavi has seen a lot of dead bodies in his life. This is his homeworld and the dryness of the wasteland can preserve the bodies for centuries and more, if the bodies were burried or otherwise protected from the wind and sun. So any remenants of his own dead ancestors he mostly ignores, except to glance to see if there is any sign of anything useful about them such as beskar.

As Sumi goes to investigate the hole that just opened up from collapsing ancient timbers, something else catches his eye. Hahtavi cautiously moves a little distance from the group, rifle in his hands, as he treads carefully over the sand. He heads for a tall pole sticking up out of a dune between the ruins of two buildings to get a better look at it. A gauntleted hand rubs sand off of the surface that seems to have writing etched into it.

<<"This pole ... records the names of those who are marching far away. Names, dates, comments of rememberance. 50 years of names starting from the purges, and various clan sigils. Some nearer the top look to be recently added.">> Hahtavi's helmet optics record what he's seeing for later study as he always does on ops.

After examining the memorial, a thing Mandalorians rarely erect in that fashion, his boots begin to take him back down the dune. Zelo's optics he shares and the waypoints he marks are duly noted. <<"What do you see down there, Sumi?">>

Avery nods to Hadrix's mention of the bar's importance to the area. <<"A lot of bars are, I've found.">> This is stated as the Slicer moves off to the side, closer to the structures to look for some measure of power. What he finds is an old junction box that has the tiniest hint of power, the cells on their last gasp of life. The silver and blue Mandalorian pulls up his datapad display to get a theoretical map of the power grid from the faint electricity that runs through the city's old lines, the diversion of power denoting what could be the city center.

Stepping back from the structure, taking care to avoid any shaky ground, much like the cinnamon hole that just opened up, Avery steps in to the midst of the group, pointing in the direction he's assuming their search should be. At the same time, his HUD flares to life with Zelo's marks, confirming his thoughts on the center of the city. <<"Yeah, was about to say the same thing. Power traces are heading in that direction.">> a clump of buildings lay at the end of his extended pointer, directly in the middle of the highlighted mark.

It seems their Alor has different plans and descends with Valeska into a basement buried under the sand. Avery follows along with a shrug, standing at the edge of the ditch, peering down into the basement with a curious air.

Avery nods to Hadrix's mention of the bar's importance to the area. <<"A lot of bars are, I've found.">> This is stated as the Slicer moves off to the side, closer to the structures to look for some measure of power. What he finds is an old junction box that has the tiniest hint of power, the cells on their last gasp of life. The silver and blue Mandalorian pulls up his datapad display to get a theoretical map of the power grid from the faint electricity that runs through the city's old lines, the diversion of power denoting what could be the city center.

Stepping back from the structure, taking care to avoid any shaky ground, much like the cinnamon hole that just opened up, Avery steps in to the midst of the group, pointing in the direction he's assuming their search should be. At the same time, his HUD flares to life with Zelo's marks, confirming his thoughts on the center of the city. <<"Yeah, was about to say the same thing. Power traces are heading in that direction.">> a clump of buildings lay at the end of his extended pointer, directly in the middle of the highlighted mark.

It seems their Alor has different plans and descends with Valeska into a basement buried under the sand. Avery follows along with a shrug, standing at the edge of the ditch, peering down into the basement with a curious air.

Shifting the weight of her rifle in both hands, barrel pointed down towards the ground and safety off, Valeska's helmet swivels around until it comes to stop on something towards the south. She takes one step and Sumi's voice cuts in. <"Hmm?"> That's when she looks down and...

Corpses. Or at least parts of which she can see. Hands. A gaping jaw. All that fun stuff. You'd think she'd be used to it but... still. Cautiously she steps around the dead that she can see and makes her way south. <"How long would you say the sand moves on Mandalore?"> It is a rhetorical question. The sand never stops moving on Mandalore.

Which makes the scorch marks she's now walking up towards all the more perplexing. There dimpling the sand in streaks of black are several blaster marks that couldn't quite turn the land into glass. Only a glistening char in the early evening. <"I would say the company was here about half a day ago,"> she offers to the others. <"They were met with some other company and there was quite the disagreement. Difficult to say who won the argument, though.">

Inside the cellar where Sumi goes, the story unfolds - in addition to the strengthening of the scent from decades of the scent of mummified corpse having been contained. The Alor's inspection finds where chemical burns stand out on metal and armor-cloth on the suits. Time rotted weapons on the wall - some on the floor near hands that had been drawing them to arm.

It's a tomb uncovered by time. Several symbols indicate clans, but lost to time.

A figure of robes and mandalorian armor, styled in pre-purge plating with thin desert robes wrapping around the plates beneath and held by the desert wind briefly drifts where he can be spotted, to let others have their moment to judge them. Tending towards shadow and stony outcrop to give them a chance to try to find cover if attacked.

Nothing said yet.

The paths extrapolated by Avery's sensor data and Zelo's observation match up - paths between, and or over, the stumps in the ruins becoming something that Gripper latches onto from altitude. A little black speck in the sky, creating a path in the overhead topographical she is building for use.

<<"It's a crypt.. so to speak. The preserved remains of the dead killed by the chemical weapons. Old stories, old clans, all gone, buried, and long forgotten. This is where you go to die.">> Sumi adds, in her usual cryptic manner, but there was something on her mind. She wades into the shadows of shifting dust and dead to find a single pack of preserved smokes. She takes them and places them in the pouch of her bandolier before doubling back to find Avery and Val close by. <"Mark it.. we'll visit it later."> Sumi activates her jetpack and lands back up top with all the corpses, upnodding toward the dark figure and asking, <"What the rekk is that?">

Zelo freezes as he finishes the marking, turning back towards his fellow explorers when he freezes. The figure Sumi pointed out is make themselves very known. <<"Crazy, or peaceful... If they were going to attack, I think they'd want the surprise, wouldn't they?">> The Nautolan climbs quickly down from the wall and looks up to the figure, slowly raising a hand in a Mandalorian greeting Mhunir had taught him, though he had never actually used it. <"Su cuy'gar. We do not come for battle. Only seeking what was lost."> The voice is raised lightly - enough to cover the distance with Mando'a diplomacy, but not to deafen. <"Our weapons are for defense. Out here, you must understand.">

Then, the pilot waits. His hand is ready to pick the E-11 up if it comes to that, but... perhaps it isn't needed this day.

Descending the sand dune with the pole in it, Hahtavi changes course when he sees the lone figure emerge. He comes a little closer and then stops, studying the stranger. His rifle is in his gloved hands but he's not aiming it at the new arrival, just sort of pointed in that vague direction without being lifted to aim it. He takes a careful moment to look around using his helmet's optics to see if there are any others in hiding that he might detect, but Hahtavi only sees the single figure.

<"Vi ja'hailir gar. Tion'ad gar?"> - We observe you - who are you? Being a native himself, he is aware that his clan sigil may mean nothing to others here who haven't met them, he adds low, <"Vi aliit Kora.">

<"I wonder if they were involved, or are, part of the six tracks found earlier?"> Avery wonders, his helm tilted toward the pock-marked sand indicated among the buried hands. With a press of a button on his wrist, the location is marked for future exploration at the Alors request, stored in their collective databanks to be pulled by whomever, whenever. <"Marked."> Is all Avery replies, nodding to Valeska who most assuredly didn't drop into the basement with Sumi... must have been a trick of the fading light.

What isn't an illusion, or at least he doesn't think it is, is the figure in loose cloth and old Mandalorian plate who appeared in the shadows of the buildings. <"Your guess is as good as mine."> He replies, shifting his attention from the darkened stranger to Zelo when he greets the mysterious one. <"But I have a feeling we'll be finding out shortly, one way or another."> The carbine in his hands is pointed at the ground in a non-threatening manner. However, he's tense and ready to act should the need arise.

Sounds like Sumi's found something interesting and Valeska turns on her heel to catch up. Can't let the Alor have all the smokes... even though Valeska doesn't smoke. It's the principle of the thing! The about-face brings the lingering figure into view and while Zelo opts for the parade queen, cupped-hannd and Hahtavi tries to talk to him, Valeska has different plans.

Her rifle rises up to point at the figure, helmet tilted to look down the sight and finger on the trigger. <"This weapon ain't for defense. No sudden movements. Talk slow. Talk clear. Talk /now/ or I get impatient and resolve our mutual perdicament.">

<"Zelo Parrai, branded by Kora. You walk on Mandalore, weapons - to some of our culture, are religion."> the figure's voice is crackling through their vocalizer, age and regular repair with less and less to do so having taken its toll. <"Nothing is lost on Mandalore. It remains. Mandalore Remembers."> one arm stretches out, motioning in the direction the nautolan had been looking, but addressing Sumi, <"Alor'Kora. I would march with yours as you walk through these memories."> the figure continues, stilling and staring through old t-visor. <"You can call me Mir."> the blank helmeted gaze turning to Hahtavi.

The city, such as it is and was, remains quiet save for the whisper of wind and the rustle of sand pushed by it. A trickle of it drawn down from the building it covered. A crackle of ancient structure shifting where it has settled.

No sounds of weapons being drawn or blades sliding free, just the figure with the voice of a middle-aged man, fading with his last words.

<"Fall in, Mir."> Sumi calls back, granting him permission to join their formation. <"We have found not but ghosts-- Who was here recently? Yours? Others?"> Sumi is speaking loudly as she slowly walks toward Hahtavi and Mir. With the sharp winds, her cape goes to one side again, clapping loudly. Thankfully, it's not in Avery's path or view. Sumi had not answered Avery's question before, but it's likely her silence meant she did not have an answer. Sumi was never one to speculate about anything.

Zelo lowers his hand, greeting left in the wind with his words, for what they may have done. He is not of this place, even if his creed shares a name with it. Stepping away from the wall entirely, the Nautolan grabs to the sling over his shoulder and swivels the weapon back to a readied position as he waits for the procession to pass so he can take up the rear guard. Now is just a time to watch, and be ready - eyes and ears open. Perhaps they've found a guide. For the moment, black-pool eyes lower to the tracks of those in front of him.

Valeska gets a pointed look. <<"Udessi, vod.>> 'Relax' he said. In Mando'a, Hahtavi adds to address their guest, <"What is your aliit? Are you a Remembrancer?">

Sumi has spoken to allow the stranger called Mir to fall in with them. So be it. Hahtavi knows others will keep a close eye on 'Mir' so he begins to move to start heading for the city center. He could ask their new arrival if he would act as guide but Hahtavi decides not to mention what they are looking for as they seek the city center. Watchful, not trusting that there aren't others here somewhere.

With a shrug, Avery falls into the semblance of a marching order, giving 'Mir' another once over before his eyes take his regard to other shadowy and recessed parts of the environment around them. He doesn't interject nor seem to mind Sumi's lack of answering his question, the man tends to talk a lot as it is, a lot of his inane ramblings don't get a response. With carbine at the ready, his feet carry him over the rubble and the corpses, the latter taken more care to be passed over planting each foot solidly on the sand.

Nope. Valeska isn't buying it. The last time someone showed up with a lot of flowery words and waxing poetic, they ended up stealing children and she was thrown off a damn tank. No, Mandalore isn't the only thing that remembers. Thus the rifle remains trained on 'Mir' with a very real promise of wanting to shoot him in the face: Hahtavi's suggestion meriting a grunt at best. <"You can relax if you want to, Tavi."> Yet another hearty 'no' from the Val-corner, ya'll. She is full of nope today.

The figure moves to fall in, nodding to Zelo specifically before he addresses all <"I am alone. I saw the sandstorm and the glitter beneath as the dust was blown from sandy ruins and came to walk in history... and to perhaps find something to take back."> a shift in the filmy robes motions towards Hahtavi, <"I and some small number before me who trace time back to before the Purges come here, singular, to tend the record. Of those lost now, then, eternally in the memory. So that they may live forever.">

The Al'verde Kora appears in the back ranks of the lot, periodically turning as he walks in a slow measured sort of pirouette - keeping checks on surroundings while the others tend their work. Hadrix's rifle at low ready. GoFor returns to roll slowly at the big man's ankle, starting to twirtle and hreep before,

<"Transmit to HUD, I still don't speak droid."> to which the little spherical BB unit issues a soft, grouchy, buzzing that is likely foul language. Probably learned from Clankah.

The path wends between the ruins and in one point moves right over one; hard packed sand and fallen stone having created a path over. Bodies can be sighted, stripped nude and with several days of desert heat and dryness affecting them. Another, similarly stripped, has been bolted to a wall to hang and dry.

But the ruins grow thicker, and the incline towards the raised center of the city can be felt in the passage. Growing closer.

<"Why does Clan Kora slip into the graveyard of Keldabe?"> Mir's aged voice again.

Sumi is quiet as they progress, taking the lead of the column not by choice, but because she walked the old path by memory. On occasion, she stopped and looked at the ground, around, then pointed out the old signs and sigils still present: Vizsla, Eldar, Bralor, even Ryder and Rys. <"We walk through the Outsider Redoubt, a defense intended to stump invaders on foot, make their numbers meaningless, and a place to string up the horrors of failure.."> She pointed at the bolted body to the wall, chuckling as she walked by with gravel crunching beneath her boots.

<"We near Keldabe's center.. the beating heart of the warrior city. I recall the thousand screams, and the long silence. The wound here still bleeds even if we do not see it."> Sumi used the lines Zelo and Avery had made to straighten their path. The city she had walked many years ago, began to reform in her mind. Mir's voice cuts through these thoughts. <"The Protectors want a jewel. We come to scout the most sacred of all jewels."> Sumi answers. <"Are you Mir Shysa?">

Zelo, and Befour with him, mark their passage in silence, perhaps out of respect or perhaps out of a feeling that it's right in this place. Or there is just nothing to say. He looks back to the BB unit from time to time on the steeper inclines, making sure the droid is keeping up and navigating alright. H-visor continues to compile information, even as the quiet stir of wind and sand slowly buries and unburies the city as the pass through. The architecture grows old-and-new as they move. Ancient-new hybrids and intermixing old-old and new-for-then. The view from the back gives Zelo ample time to study Mir.

Quietly, the Mandalorian traces a shape on his HUD, transmitting it to Hadrix. A hump on the figure's back. A pack, a deformation, or... Something to be concerned about. There's a glance to the Al'verde, but no words spoken.

Having the appearance of being relaxed but quite alert and wary, Hahtavi doesn't bother to give Valeska a reply. He stays focused on where they are going and the environment around them, keeping tabs on this 'Mir' person as well. While his gaze is keeping sharp watch, his ears are listening to what Sumi says as she walks. He says nothing more himself.

Avery listens to the man's story, quietly taking it in while keeping his reservations whole. He had seen tracks in the sand indicating that there were people here not too long ago, within an hour or two, is this man telling the truth or are the six indicated still not found. He decides to broadcast this to the group as a whole and switches comms to just Kora frequency. <<"He says he is alone, and that may be... but I saw tracks in the sand of at least six before we encountered him.">> The Slicer's head remains on a swivel, E-11 never dropping to anything resembling an unready state, watching and searching, looking for signs of more unknowns.

They're on the right path at least, the underground trail of the power lines illuminated in his HUD and verified every few buildings or so. More confirmation that others have been through the area recently too, signs on the walls where they have been, path-marks being made to keep track. Like Valeska, he doesn't trust their new guest and a nod given in her direction attempt to communicate this fact. Mir may be alone but Avery has the sneaking suspicion that they're not the only ones in town.

This is not Val's forte to say the least. Knowledge of Mandalore or efforts in diplomacy? She's only gotten around to properly whacking the training dummy with the butt of her rifle: a surprise for the next fool that brings a blade to a gun fight. Hopefully. Watch it not connect when she needs it to the most. The summarization being that all of this flies over Valeska's head no matter her efforts to follow. It's all still very foreign to her, so she allows those who are far more knowledgable do the talking and the asking. Keeping to the back of the group, she's got her eyes on the one stranger amongst them.

<"No. Shysa is no clan of mine, but I have carried the memories of them as I have the songs of others who have walked. Born twenty years after. Learning the sagas. Speaking them to others. Carrying the memories to where they may rest." one hand lifting from the traveler's robes, showing a gauntlet repaired and remade numerous times, <"It is how I know your elder name, as the stories of late have learned me the new."> helmeted head shifting slightly, <"Llearil, Parrai... quite the collection.">

A fraction of a nod from the big man to Zelo's motions. Hadrix reaches up to adjust his helmet while tapping a finger near the small bulge of sensor equipment. 'Reading you' being said. The Commander keeping his pace loose for the moment, but the old animal is there for people who know the body language. Spoiling for a fight.

The combination of Sumi, Zelo and Avery's knowledge, sight, and technical skill all working in concert bringing them to what might have been the edge of a large, sloppy, market square - set with low buildings battered to half their modest height or perhaps more. But one dominates this corner of the city, nowhere near what it once was. Sand blasted, beaten, holed in places by time or weapons. Slope roof having been able to deflect much of the sand and even after more than half a century - a scent of old stew and wood smoke permeates the wood, duracrete and metal uncovered by the wind.

<"I am just Mir. I remember and I sing the stories when the time is come. But I commend you and yours for bringing us to the Oyu'baat."> the hand lifting again to point to the old edifice.

And here is where their troubles truly began.