Log:Resistance: Exaltation 3: Rapture
Ylesia - Upper Atmosphere, Synchronous Orbit over Continent One
Long range observation on holo presents a luminous sapphire with occlusions of emerald and white, one pearl orbits it. Placid and inviting. A trap. The best pilots know that its face hides treachery. The combination of the planet's tropical forests and large oceans sets up extreme slip streams that make entering the atmosphere a challenge that has left holes in the forest, the wreckage of unlucky pilots, that the jungle swiftly covers in the oblivion of its verdant life.
The approach will bring the group in over the ocean, satellite surveillance is sparser. The ships are running under a false transponders using old slaver ship designations that any cursory enquiries in the planet's security system will clear.
Scan has found a clearing that is wide enough for the ship to settle into. It is hot. A fine mist trails under the trees which drip from the high humidity. It is first growth, the trees large and evenly spaced. The under growth has had centuries to adapt to the space left to them by the giant trees; it is dense and harbors tremendous bio-diversity. Every kind of stinging insect, venomous and non-venomous, hopping amphibians, crawling cold blooded animals, fanged, toothed and clawed waits for the tender thin skin of the unsuspecting. Welcome to Ylesia.
The light freighter Ghost is notoriously difficult to track on sensors; silent, sleek, and nigh invisible. Inside, however, as the vessel is buffeted by ferocious windstorms and the Tionese behind the controls alternates between epithets, imprecations, and sharp laughter, it's a ROUGH descent. Poe will no doubt have words for Ektor once the ship is returned. Eventually settling unevenly on the unpaved ground of the jungle, Ektor powers the craft down, exhales, and voices over the ship's intercom, "Any landing you can walk away from, yeah? Mind the stinging insects, sunburns, and slavers, outside.."
WHOEVER has chosen to fly with Siha in the Sy'dartha, a beautiful dark grey Broadstar-600 ulta-Light Freightership with red trip, will have chosen well, at least for entry onto the tumultuous weathered planet, "So like I said, keep yourselves buckled in, no moving around because you /will/ get injured." So says the Mandalorian who today is enrobed within a black flightsuit with gold accents, the sigil of Clan Tal on a bicep, and her head within a many faceted helmet, her voice coming out crisply over the helmet comms, "Here we go, this will not be pleasant." Breaking into the atmosphere the view around the ships cockpit window is vast, wind, water, steam, all breaking off around the ship and battering it around, Siha focusing intently as she pilots like a champ.
The ship rocks and seems to skip in large jumps due to jet streams and dead pockets of air, dropping one moment before careening as if on a rollercoaster down. All the while the smuggler and pilot by original trade is smiling like an idiot, laughing softly in her throat with pure joy at the excitement and challenge this particular flight gives, "Coming in for a landing, if you puked just kick it under the seats."
Swwwooooossssssh. Into the landing the ship goes, Siha bringing it down despite the kicking winds, the ride, while rough, not as bad as it could have been under a different pilot, "Welcome to hell, folks." The engines begin to cycle down as Siha begins shutting down the systems to prepare to let folks off.
Well, that was one hell of a ride in. Miri chomps down on an anti-nausea capsule and some stims to keep her sharp. Berry flavor! She looks at the readings outside. "A hundred percent humidity? Rek me," she complains, adjusting the straps on her armor.
Sapphira is here for a stealth mission. She almost wasn't, instead turning up on the tarmac in her trooper gear. There was some arguments with a communications droid about the wording of the email, and in the end Sapphira double-timed it back to her bunk in order to change. So she sits aboard the Ghost in her shadowsuit, balaklava yet undonned, with her choicest stealth weapons upon her person. She spends almost the entire flight strapped into her seat, her usually pale features looking slightly queasy. "Where'd you learn how to fly, you cretin!" she grumbles back at the PA system through clenched teeth. It's only once they land that she relaxes her jaw.
Once they touch down, she pulls the balaklava on her head but doesn't yet cover her face, instead opting to head down the landing bay into what fresh hell the Resistance finds themselves in. It's pretty hellish. "Ugh!" Sapphira declares in disgust at the sights and humidity. A hand comes up to slap at her neck and kill a bug buzzing there. "This is worse than Rori!" She pauses with her hands on her hips, squinting against the bright sun. "How the hell are we gonna get through this mess?"
Lofty is riding in the back of the Ghost to Ylesia! Having been a slave, the white-furred Talz is familiar with the world through word of mouth. When his feet hit the jungle soil there is a SHUNK sound. His bowcaster is brought to the ready with a hum, the balancing globes out to the sides of the quarrel beginning to draw power as their magnetic fields influence the cocked bolt.
Lofty tugs back the cocking cord as he brings the bowcaster up to bear. The weapon hums with electrically charged anger.
Merek has put on his armor, adjusting it about him. The black tones look to cover him well, while he places the helmet upon him also. He holds onto the rail while the Ghost is landing, then he stands up also as he checks his weapons, making his way to the loading deck, "You know, you can work on the landing a bit," he says then to Ektor, with his husky drawl, "I don't think you hit enough winds to make sure we landed in the worst place to be," it's obvious he is joking, while he takes a moment to pull some wine from the belt of his to take a drink from. "Mmm, tastes like solvent," he says, setting that upon his belt.
There was the sound of a TINK, here and there, from Greeson Rais. He was so tall his head was booping against the ceiling every time a bump was hit. And the tink? He was trying to assemble a very long rifle. "It's a rough journey, Ms Yavok, the best we can ask for is to be patient," he said reassuringly (probably condescendingly but not that he noticed) as he tried to attach the scope to the Not-So-EZ-Snap rifle that was going to provide some very long range spotting and fire support.
Upon landing, and upon disembark, the lightly-armored and heavily-armed Greeson drew in a deep breath with a smile on his face, a smile immediately interrupted by hacking and coughing as a bug bumped his air-pipe. After forcing the thing back out, his face morphed into an expression of extreme disgust as he said, "GROSS," then he wiped his tongue on his hand something like six times. It tasted like lavender-infused hand soap.
The lone Jedi who agreed to accompany this task force finds herself seated aboard the Sy'dartha, a Broadstar freighter being piloted by a skilled operator. The frequent shaking and bouncing movements brought on by the invisible sea of choppy winds and humid pockets of air leave Aryn Cole bouncing within her seat, testing the integrity of the very straps that held her in place. The moment they landed, Aryn's head tips back, thankful for the skill of the pilot that saw them to the surface, and to the fact all the shaking had ceased.. for now. After a few moments of gathering her senses, the young Dr. taps the quick release that separates her restraints, and rises up. She waits for Siha before exiting, not wishing to cause a security situation by opening the hatch before the occupants are ready!
The jungle awaits them, dripping from a recent rain; drops fall on the group as they gather outside the ship to slide through the deep undergrowth in stealth towards the city. At first there is no comment from the wildlife. They have frozen still at the heat and stink of the starcraft that have landed among them. Metal pops and pings as it adjusts to the temperatures.
In a distant tree red eyes pop open and stare. A low questioning chirp is answered by a higher one. A trilling noise swoops over head. The jungle has decided to watch these newcomers and decide.
Ektor looks lazily back over his shoulder at Sapphira. "Self taught, yeah? You can't *learn* skills like these," he claims with a crooked smile. Merek's quip draws a sharp chuckle. "Don't worry, I'll hit the rest of the trees on our way back out, yeah?" Calling as they disembark, "You need the sky cavalry to come screaming in, just holler over the comlinks- and make sure to lemme know what not to blow up in advance, yeah?"
"I mean, it's Lieutentant. We're technically a military outfit, so they can be pretty ... militant about it," Sapphira explains to Greeson, turning her head to look back at those still behind her in the ship. "But just Yavok is fine. Or Sap, whatever. Just ... not miss." Merek catches her eye, and those bright greens narrow. "Are you boozing on a mission?" she asks, her tone rich in disbelief. "Leave the kriffin' flask, and if you end up friendly firing any of us, there's gonna be hell to pay." She spares the man one further glance before turning and hopping down off the landing bay, giving Ektor a wave without looking back. "Don't blow /me/ up," she says helpfully, as she begins to press her way through a fairly overgrown portion of jungle.
"Spread out, find the best paths you can, report back on any recon, and check your scanners often to make sure you're heading toward the targe-ow." Her orders, such as they are, are cut off when she manages to smack herself with a particularly flexible tree branch.
"Spooky, once you can fly a mission without getting rekked, then you can sass the pilots about our landings," Miri says to Merek. "And I /know/ I didn't just see you drinking literally on the mission. Knock it off, goober. We need you sharp." Sapphira's comment gets a snap and a point. What she said. With that, she disembarks. As the hot jungle air permeates her entire existence, she remarks softly. "Well, now I know what the inside of a Hutt's asshole is like."
A moment was taken just before the ramp was extended and the airlock opened to heap praise upon Siha's ship, "You are /such/ a good boy, yes you are Sy'd, //so good//." Lovingly the console is given a caress, Siha unbuckling and hopping out of her seat to head into the cargo area and airlock, "Please, after you." Said with a wide unseen smile behind that black helmet, a hand extending out gracefully, Siha having somehow found manners between their last destination and this planet.
Once the good doctor is out, Siha is following, securing her ship and locking it down before the ramp is traversed.
"Goddess damnit, you are a gorgeous ship, Sy'd, dang." Thunk thunk thunk. Gloved hand firmly raps against the hull of her ship under one wing, a happy sigh exhaling from the Mandalorian before she begins walking off to follow down a path, << Helmet comms on, just testing to ensure it's all working. >> Siha says on the internal helmet comms, boots sinking into soft ground, katana bouncing on one hip, her pistol on the other, Siha taking in everything and yet nothing all at once, way too focused on the fact her ship did so well. She is protected from buggies and the like in her fully sealed flightsuit, the condensation beginning to bead on various parts of her helmet, "This is nice." Crouch, walk, crouch, push that branch that way, weave under this.
Lofty wiggles his snoot as a Ylesian horsefly buzzes around it, sensing that delicious fizzy sugary drink he was drinking in the ship. His upper set of eyes - the ones for normal light - scan the tree tops for danger. At the moment he sees only birds. He proceeds through the dense jungle, maneuvering his awkward bowcaster with its throwing arms and polarizing globes away from errant branches.
"Make sure that you do, it will make us difficult to hit if we're doing it to ourselves," Merek tells Ektor with amusement. He takes up his rifle and begins to check the sights on it, "I'm not good with sneaking, I'll stand back and provide cover, til' I'm needed," he says. He has learned a lesson after Azzameen. He lifts up the rifle and looks to Sapphira, "It's a special blend, actually. It betters the senses, but fair enough," he says. He then looks to Miri, "I did fine at Jezzar, although, I wasn't piloting," he adds. He looks through his macrobinoculars, "We look a bit clear, although... I'm not trusting the wildlife."
"Sounds like a narcotic, Mister Black," Greeson cautioned his fellow ground pounder, as though he was a doting and somewhat concerned parent who was too fussy for his own good. "I once... partook, whilst out on a deep raid into the Null Zone back home. My aim was off just enough that I wasn't able to terminate a LeechBot bearing down some other scavengers. Three people died that might have lived. I'd rather not join them because your aim is slightly askew," he added, cheerfuless in his tone countering (maybe underscoring) the morbidity of the statement. He followed along with the main group for a short while before branching off towards what he believed to be higher ground. A vantage point was critical for a soldier such as Greeson Rais.
Dr. Cole takes a moment to peel back her hooded robe. First the hood, then her sleeves slide off her arms, and the garment is left neatly draped over the back of the seat aboard the craft. Aryn is not good at hiding her expressions, and it shows the moment she is within the Mandalorian's presence. Intimidated at first, Aryn clears her mind and moves at Siha's insistance she lead them off the vessel.
Stepping outside was like stepping between two climates. Intense humidity makes it difficult, initially, to breath and sweat begins to form almost immediately. Leaving her hooded robe back on the ship was perhaps the wisest decision she'd made up to this point. Her cheeks turn a bit red as Siha starts speaking to her ship, but something draws Aryn's attention.
She can feel the force around them, its influence over the planet and their surroundings was almost overwhelming, but Aryn physically stopped moving and closed her eyes to focus a moment. Expanding her own conscience to the flow of nature around them, her surroundings became an extension of herself. She no longer needed to see something to determine if something was there, she could /feel it/. The transmission over comms rattles in her ear and draws her back from this brief interface. Clearing her throat, Aryn's comm is activated and she speaks low. <<"We're being watched. From the trees..">>
The City of the One and Only is the only source of light in the jungle. It is a distant disruption in the total dark of the night. If one were to climb a high tree the glow of its lights create a dome in the dark night of the jungle. Power lines from the solar dish break the continuity of the dense vegetation running to feed that distant source of light. Communications, a relay station, optical fiber linking the mines with the city snake along the same path. A point of entry for the those capable of slicing into the network.
Guards walk the city perimeters. Gun emplacements pointed towards the path leading to the mines, the larger bunkers consecrated to the laser turrets are always manned. And a path is worn in a circle from the base of the hills that loom in the distance to the mine path around the city. Two by two guards walk its length.
From the trees more red eyes open to join the first pair. They blink and steady sensing a possible source of food then freeze. One of their apex predators has joined them and a shuddering call is passed from tree to tree.
<<The trees, yeah?>> Ektor mutters to Aryn's report, flipping a few switches in the Ghost's cockpit to angle the sensor array in the direction of the ground team. "Wow, that's a lotta bugs.. let's refine that just a bit... Cut the scan off shy of the city.. Annnnd, got it. ...Huh," the pilot grunts, curiously. <<So... good news and bad news. Mostly just a buncha lizard monkeys. Got something a bit bigger than Lofty a little ways off. I ain't sure if it knows you're there, yet. You might still be good.>>
Oh, to frolic in the forest while looking for your love. Lester is thrumming with anticipation. A dark night of rain is best for singing, the counterpoint of the raindrops to the low croon of his voice as he searches for her outside the city, is just right. The low rattle reverberates to all that fear him, but he is not hunting meat tonight. Or not their type of meat. Such excitement. He stops, listens and hears the sound of something or is it several somethings moving through the brush.
Siha Archer listens to the internal comms, eyebrows raising as she lets out a soft grunt, turning partially mid-crouch to look around the trees, not seeing anything beside leaves, mist, moss, vines, other things, but no lizard monkeys, moving to follow in behind Sap, << Lizard monkeys on their own are pains in the arse, something bigger though? That's dinner. >> Sounding oh so confident Siha will move in to a full crouch once reaching the relay station, grimacing as she has trouble slicing in, << It's been a good year since I've done anything other than fly and kill, I'm a bit rusty, Jawa Lords toes knows, I can't seem to break past this one protocol." Multi-faceted helmet turns to look to Sapphira, << After you. >>
At Aryn's words, Miri looks around, taking in the surroundings. << I hate lizard monkeys>> she informs everyone, wanting to make sure her opinion on the matter was on the record. Her head is on a swivel and she draws her blaster, just to be safe.
Sapphira lets out a series of swears at the branch that clocked her, and her voice comes on over the comms to respond to Merek's last comment. <<So you're boozing //and// drugging on my mission? Yeah, hang back with the ships, Black, and when all this is over we're going to have a talk with whoever is handling your evals.>> The LT does not sound happy, and she sounds very, very serious.
At the talk of monkies, Sapphira's bright greens turn upward, glancing at the canopy for a few long moments. But there's other things to worry about, like a break in the treeline overlooking the city. It's go time. The balaklava comes down, with a few mutterings about how hot and stuffy this world is. She finds a position beside Siha, also crouched. When Siha offers for Sapphira to try, the redhead's grin can be seen in her eyes. "What do I look like, an engineer to you?" But Sapphira does just barely better than Siha, but it's enough. Words flash up on the tiny screen. "It's an ... auction house?" the redhead questions, then switches over to comms. <<Stay down and scope out the entrance to the city guys. Just need a few more minutes here.>> She starts to type again. "Let's see if we can get what we need from here. If you see me do something wrong though, don't keep that to yourself," she says to Siha.
Lofty lowers himself to one knee in the dense ground foliage. He is about ten feet from Sapphira and Siha, protecting the pair as they presumably tickle some wireless network with their datapads. The Talz opens his lower set of eyes, looking back at Sapphira, and then out into the jungle.
<<Not a narcotic, I wasn't thinking when I took a drink, but I'm not an idiot, you can check it yourself,>> Merek offers, with a sigh,, "Won't do it again though," he says. He then shifts his macrobinoculars about the Tatoo scarf which he wears, while he shifts the rifle and shifts up his pistol. "Ya, I said I don't trust the wildlife," he says when the comms mention the being watched also. He speaks to the comms, <<You know what it is, Cole?>> he asks.
"Yes well I'm not going to get ANY sort of sight line here unless I get up one of these trees, angry lizard monkeys or no angry lizard monkeys," Greeson protested, the fussiness ever present in his strange Niorde continential accent that almost but wasn't quite Mandalorian. He slung the rifle over his shoulder and withdrew from his pack his small kit of grappling tools. The hook found purchase in a taller branch easily, and he pulled himself up to the first branch.
Where a sharp spike burrowed into his hand. "YEOWCH!" Welp he was up, time to throw good credits in after bad! "Ouch!" he grunted as he pulled himself to a higher elevation. "Ack!" he exclaimed as his hand grazed something sharp. CRACK went a branch below him as it gave way to his weight and tumbled to the ground below. Greeson reached the elevation he wanted, but now that he had all these little spikes sinking into his armor and hands as he held on for dear life, was it really worth it?
T'landia til, cousins of the Hutt, belong on this world. They have hunted on their fat stump like legs that move surprisingly fast for millennia. Their tiny hands have sharp claws; yet long before the first glimmers of civilization dawned they used their voice to sing their prey into a trance.
Voices come to him. Out without a comm puts him in danger but he wanted to hunt his female in the old ways so he will hunt this prey, too. The low thrum of enticement becomes louder. It numbs the will, freezes the voluntary movement, robs thought and replaces it with a dreamy desire to obey no matter what the order.
Meanwhile, in the city - specifically the slave quarters of the house of the depraved Dashade, Callax is...pondering. He has checked the locks on their 'new home' several times, squinting at the controls of the mechanism, listening to the sealed door, going back to sit and think, squinting again. He's spent the last hour or two doing this, after they've had a night to sleep and get their minds clear of that ridiculous Lester creature's sonic poison.
"So," he says, frowning at the shadows drenching he walls in their low-lit room, looking to where Kare is with lips pursed. "I think that I can get the door open. First duty of any captive being to escape, after all." Looking back to the door's access panel, he frowns. "What say you, Lieutenant?"
Ektor gets an itch on the back of his neck on the ship, but doesn't scratch it. There's important things going on.
It should not be a secret that the Jedi with this task force is not a warrior. Most of them have seen her in the medical wing tending the wounded, not training with a lightsaber or calling upon the force to render practice targets wreckage. Aryn's influence over the force came from an understanding with nature, it was how she interfaced.
The confirmation of something large lumbering their way left Aryn staying toward the rear of the group so that she could assess the situation and try to aid the task force in moving past it. She can feel the creature's presence, and it lingers waiting. <<"farhiva..">> She says softly, not obnoxiously over the comms. Aryn closes her eyes when she feels the oppressive-mind altering song of this creature as something tried to step upon her conscience, yet she could hear the words it said, and not just the humming. Pressing her own influence through the force into her words, she speaks directly to the creature. Anyone near her will not understand what she's speaking. "lae ovi oodimoo tupaetave fethijad rhithoh adorh ywerhaadif. sas toogeatheaghaa tupaetave ghataezar, if daevoogiw tireselaa iekoove."("Do not enforce your will upon my friends. Draw back your song, and leave us be.")
Kare has withstood the T'landia til but the heat of the side of the building they are on is still devastating despite the time of the day. Dressed in that near non-existent outfit there is at least one small benefit to the slave attire - less likely to feel stifling. Dusting the shimmering green and blue fabric off her leg that is more there for show than actual cover, Kare glances up at Callax and hesitates a moment, looking to the door.
Pushing up from laying on her back, she gets her bare feet beneath her and rises slowly to stand. Wiping sweat from her brow and dragging dark fingers through her blonde hair she nods. "Best time is now while most are resting or ...drinking." She is of course assuming. "Let's give it a shot," she remarks faintly, glancing at the other slaves. "Let us hope they do not feel any loyalty."
"Woman, you look like you could be /anything/ you put your mind to." Siha murmurs to Sapphira with an unseen grin in return, speaking off the comms to the woman working with her, "A bloody auction house, look at you work." Siha says, renewed vigor compelling her to stretch out those fingers of hers and work even harder on her own little connected datapad to the network thingie-doo, "All right, just so you don't think I'm not pulling my weight, lemme work my slightly mystical skills with these things." As the dulcet tones of the singing alien tries to sway their way into Siha's brain and compel her to stop doing what she's doing, she works against that with minimal discomfort, though will comment, "That singing is /amazing/, and I want to appreciate it, but I got work to do -- okay, I got their exact location, can you broadcast it?" Siha says as she plants a knee into the soil beneath their position, leaning in towards Sap to show her the datapad and the info she gleaned, "Damn, it's catch though, isn't it? Making my real leg tingle."
<<We are not having this conversation in the middle of an Op, Black.>> Sapphira's unhappy voice chimes over the comms again. Her eyes go back to the panel in front of her, but instead of typing Sapphira scoots on her knees aside to let Siha have a chance. "You flew in here like a feather while Ektor came in like a lead boot. You've already pulled your weight more than enough," Sapphira quips through the balaklava, watching Siha work. Somewhere, as the music starts to pick up, Sapphira's watching becomes staring. Then it becomes blank-staring. Her eyes glass over and she seems to look through the terminal rather than at it. Maybe she just needed time to zen? Maybe, because when Siha asks Sap about broadcasting, she gets no answer. In fact, the redhead doesn't even blink. It's like she's light years away, and her body was left here by accident....
Miri squints, looking around. <<What is that sound?>> she asks over the comms, blinking hard and forcing herself to focus. that is slowing me up.'
<<Copy.>> Merek then accepts Yavok's words, no point in making it more of an issue, he instead frowns a bit at the song that is coming to them, then he sees as people begin to draw upon Lester, he takes two gunslinging shots that have little right to be as skilled as they are. He also moves to dodge a shot that comes at him, "WHOA!"
The music. It was nice. Kinda lovely, in fact. It dulled Greeson's sense of OHGODPAIN in his hands and skin (and face, he'd hugged a spine a little closely) until suddenly he snapped back to awareness with a "This is the vocal melody of Freem's Ninth, part two, and CLEARLY the most deviant of all of his work! How uncouth!" The Snobbery of Greeson Rais, a man so uneducated in the classics he thought a four dollar bottle of Naboo vintage was elegant finery, and had no idea what Freem's Ninth actually sounded like and was just making a massive assumption. He clutched on to the tree, navigating to a wider branch ("Ow!") and settling down ("My rear!") so his hands were free. And with those hands, he drew the mighty EZ-Snap Sniper Rifle, specialized in popping heads and going 'fwip' because somehow this thing had a quiet report. Odd, for a blaster, but that's how it was. <<"So, where's the singer? My sensibilities and eardrums are /very/ offended!">> Prissiness, thy name is Greeson Rais. "THERE you are!" Struggling on his tree-branch, he levelled the rifle and sent two FWIP bolts (how does one suppress a blaster anyway?!) into distant trees, leaving behind sizeable craters. "Oh bully!"
In using the force, and exerting a great deal of energy to absorb the mind-altering presence, Aryn's strength wains and she falls to a knee. Sweat beads down her face, locking blonde strands of hair into thicker, darker clumps made wet from her perspiration and the humidity. It is everything she can do to stay focused on the group, and this leaves her vulnerable to attack. Aryn isn't carelessly positioned though, she uses the natural barrier that a large, thick tree trunk can provide.
Lester is not used to being resisted. Ever. He has that insouciance and cocksure assurance of the top of the line predator surrounded by his prey. Hundred have succumbed to his charm. He ROARS his song and is met by a wall. Rocking in place, he searches with his low grade empathy for who fights back. A voice tells him to STOP SINGING. A fury so complete takes him over and he rushes toward the source of the sounds only to met with blaster fire. Stupid with anger he might be but not so stupid to run into blaster fire. He turns and will regret it for the rest of his life if he survives this. His back right leg is shot out from under him. Dragging himself he tries for the city perimeter, calling for help.
Moving to join Callax at the panel, Kare leans over and braces her hand against the wall while she watches the others that are housed with them. Letting out a breath as Callax is not successful she straightens up and lets her hand fall back to her side. "Well what are you going to need? I can help you look." Kare's bare feet brush the floor as she moves to join him, the sway of filmy transparent fabric brushing the floor in panels does nothing to improve her mood as she kicks and shoves it out of the way.