Log:Shili-bound: Part 2 - Reunion
You're in some pocket of forest valley on backwoods Shili. Avian chatter and insectile hums create a steady soundtrack for life here. Every now and again a prolonged whoooop or screech of something else breaks the harmonious din. Also of note is the COLOR here! Most plants are variegated in pattern and there is very little which sports shades of green. Autumnal hues and smatterings of purple paint this pretty picture.
There are very few permanent structures assembled here. There's a long house built up from wood and roofed by tanned animal skins. Some ways away from that is a round, stone hut that looks as though it could house a fair number of people. A second stone hut is dug halfway into the earth, most far removed from the others. Any other living/sleeping arrangements here seems to be very much communal and temporary. Woven hammocks and leafy lean-tos are organically arranged amid the trees. There's not much symmetry to this village, if it can be called that, but at the dead center is a large fire pit, encircled by rows of rocks and uprooted stumps for sitting.
Well, it's been a hellacious hike away from the ship, but at long last, just as that sun is prematurely setting for life under the heavy canopy, the battered and bruised gang of travellers reaches camp. A solid hour or more after the hunting party. Word's had time to spread through the pack about the otherworldly arrivals and the one who was leading them here. One of their own, who is as it turns out, undead.
Their voices can be heard before they are ever seen through that final curtain of underbrush between the 'broken people' clan and those who call this patch of forest home. Low grunts, huffs, thrums and rumbling undertones utter syllables in a hushed manner while bodies move about their final tasks of the day. Rheisa pauses just before the threshold and looks back to her friends with an air of uncertainty. The excitement, the thrill, the rejoicing in her soul driving her here has just stalled out, replaced by trepidation. "You are okay?" she asks of the others. "Will be time now to rest, for you." Umak's since fallen asleep on her back, alongside the bow hanging there.
Having upzipped his leather jacket to fully reveal his 'I'm a Shill for Shili' novelty t-shirt that he bought near the planet's primary landing pad, Ryo is in indeed both huffing puffing when Rheisa finally comes to a stop. "Why couldn't I ride on your back?" he asks, leaning up and pressing his hands to his sore thighs.
It has been hellacious for Kasia, she's an absolute mess here, with slowly appearing bruises, scrapes that are still oozing blood here and there, a sizable knot on her head, and an ankle that is swelling to undetermined size, because she hasn't dared to remove her boot. All in all she's pretty miserable, spending all of the last part of the hike leaning on someone so that she can hobble slowly along. When they finally arrive she slumps and leans with a little more weight on whoever is supporting her in the moment. "I'll be fine." Even though she kind of looks like a nightmare that you don't want to have showing up unexpectedly at your village.
Hex might be a big fat dude who sends people into adventures these days more than he has said adventures himself, but nature, this is his JAM, weird tribal people, also his jam. It's good. It's all good, even if it's also... perhaps a little bit of heart ache, in ways that evade the constraints of language. He is carrying a long Twi'lek polearm as a weapon and occasional walking stick, baby on his back. Boon, like Umak, is passed out hard from all this adventuring. Rather than the usual floral duster, he's dressed as he might for drudging into the wilds of Ryloth, a more Twi'leki style that owes a lot to long swaths of fabric you maybe have to be Twi'lek to wrap and wear correctly. Kasia and Ryo are eyed with some concern. "Everybody intact?"
Zhu Yan was late. Why? He had to pee. Like, bad. Real bad. So he'd of course not come on the hike because business calls. Later, though, he'd had the clever idea to catch up with the oldest trick in the book (he had a lot of those), strapped his FormStar to his back with the extra bit of blast padding between him and the jacket because Yan only has one outfit worth mentioning and he was always cold without it, and blasted off in long hops.
Until he got to the woods.
See now there was falls and drops and all sorts of things that Yan was too busy to talk about but as Tarion once said, he used his jetpack to solve all his problems. PSHRRT PSHRRT PSHRRT later, hopping around like a Vortex MegaFrog in low gravity, with a deceptive grace that was not replicated whenever he tried to dance, Yan made it back to the group right as they stopped in front of what appeared to be a tribe. He did not do so quietly, because you can't have a stealth jetpack. "I made it!" he exclaimed triumphantly, with total disregard to the tension of the moment. "Soz! I had to pee." They knew. "Like, real bad." THEY KNEW.
WHAT IS. She doesn't really need to ask what it is, but RHeisa looks up anyway, even if only to fix Zhu with a disapproving glare for the entirety of his descent. Beyond the veil of foliage there are a few bewildered shouts, like they aren't sure what to make of the large, high speed flyer making a sudden halt and disappearance from their gruta'dar.
"KO!?" Is the question of the moment, fired off from tongue to tongue. And yet...no one emerges to investigate, to greet, or to attack. Life on Shili is about patience. They have been informed of the inbound encroachment and so they wait for it to appear. Wait for a visual to either confirm or dispell the claims of Uoda and her mildly hysterical shouts.
"Comrro," Defiance's pet Togruta says at last, quiet and resigned but not without a final /look/ to Yan. And to Ryo who is just a little too big to ride on her back, tyvm. "Help Kasia," she suggests, one of her hands full of spear shaft and the other reaching over shoulder to gently prod Umak awake. She steps on ahead, emerging into her long lost world like a fleshy phantom from the mist. "If Yan gets us killed," Ryo begins, looking up at the tubby, descending smuggler. "I'm going to haunt his ghost. I don't know how, but where there's a will..." he offers, hand moving to rest on the grip of his pistol. "I'm fine," is Ryo's answer to Hex.
"Intact enough," Kasia responds to Hex in a tone that is terse, not out of anger or annoyance, it's discomfort. She's in pain. They're at the village now, at it enough that she gives up trying to remain upright and lowers herself to the ground to just sit right there. It's another mark of how much she's hurting, because she is sitting on dirt. DIRT. There are bugs down there! She can't even look too surprised at Yan's entrance, because it's Yan, and if he doesn't try to jetpack at some point, they'd all be concerned about him.
Hex raises his brows at the arrival of Yan, accompanied by an inscrutable stir of mismatched lekku - the right is shorter now, hacked up as it was at the events on the Levant space station. "Yeah... one way or another, that's gonna be a thing," he sighs a prediction, then waits near Kasia, polearm braced against the ground as he lets Rheisa handle the welcoming committee. Or be the welcoming committee.
"Hey, we live in a galaxy of tech and spaceships, have done for millenia not sure why folk have gotta live in fear and backwards and sithspit," Yan riposted, then threw a non-withering-almost-guilty look at Rheisa before saying, "No offense." One day he'd learn to respect other cultures and peop- okay that's a lie and a big one let's just get that out there.
There was the faint pop of cooling from Yan's back, almost imperceptible, and he flinched. Yeah he may have been a little on edge, even if he wasn't beat up or banged up.
"Not sure why have to live in noise," Rheisa retorts as she disappears.
The smell of sizzling fat over the fire has at last drawn all bodies away from their tasks to gather 'round and await their portion. So when the merry band of strangers do arrive on that invisible doorstep, there are seventy-four pairs of montrals swiveling in uncanny unison to mark their arrival with stoic, unblinking stares.
At least, until ‘Taz’? appears. Then there is much blinking and whispering, women and men alike leaning into the next with disbelieving puffs of cheek and much muttering.
“Te’aan ghu!” Uoda shouts, gesturing fervently from lips outward. A slightly knobby finger points to the non-believers in the crowd as Rheisa appears and she throws back her head with a shrill cry of triumph. She is not crazy. Asusir is hanging back near the fire, surveying from afar with a look that says he’s not super okay with having the broken and useless woman return to his pack ...useful. It just doesn’t make any sense.
“Tunguma!” the Togruta woman previously encountered by defiance friends, the one who?d been all whiny and angsty, steps boldly up to motionless Rheisa now without anyone to stop the reunion. All eyes are transfixed on the interaction. Some afraid, some expectant, some barely able to contain their own excitement. But they do, out of respect for the one who birthed the dead girl.
“Meht,” Rheisa greets softly in turn and dips her brow forward so that the two may meet and rub against the other. Hands interlock on shoulders and the moment?s complete.
What was relative quiet now bursts into total commotion. Shrieks, yips, slapping of hand against thigh and somebody starts singing.
Did the party just start? Yes, it did.
"The language barrier is /very/ real, eh?" Ryo asks, looking over his shoulder at the rest of the group. Grabbing one of the flaps of his jacket, he begins to slowly whip it in and out in an attempt to fan himself. "Seriously, these guys don't get out at all, do they?" he asks.
Kasia tilts her head back to look up at Hex, and the snoozing Boon, looking weary, but relieved to be not moving. "I'm never leaving the city again." They both know it's not true, but for now she's swearing off nature, because once again nature has betrayed her. It ruined clothing, it injured her. It messed up her makeup! Just terrible. "I wonder how long we're going to be here before we head back to the ship?" Her gaze turns to the celebrating Togruta for a moment. "But at least they're not throwing spears at us, or... using that dart thing that Rheisa likes to use." At least they're not using it yet. "So it could be worse."
Hex looks ready to settle in for a long spell of not getting in the way, and discreetly fishes in a pocket to retrieve a handkerchief he offers to Kasia. For the remedying of her eye makeup situation. "I don't know." It serves as an answer for both Ryo and Kasia, then he grumbles, "This reminds me of visiting my father." Grumble.
Yan was confused, and maybe slightly taken aback. "...what's wrong with noise?" was his query, aimed at no one in particular. And then of course the noise started and Yan's fear that he was about to be cooked and eaten was replaced with the jubiliation of someone who was going to watch some cooking and then eat it. "The only words of the language I can recognize all involve food," he said, beaming. None of them involve food. He wasn't lying, he was just dumb. Then he stepped towards the group, arms open wide, and exclaimed, "Party time!" The jetpack on his back popped quietly again but he ignored it now that he was certain he wasn't gonna get stabbed. "We can get smashed off of..." faux pas incoming, "what's this species called again?"
The celebratory vibe gets louder as more and more voices join in the fray, food forgotten for the immediate time being. Whatever Rheisa's telling them about her shy companions over there isn't audible over the mounding noise, but if it were, it'd still be in her native tongue and cryptic all the same! Before long, the welcoming committee spills out to engulf the hairy-headed, jack-lekk'd ALIENS sitting around out there. Everyone knows Rheisa struggled a lot with the concept of personal space when she first started hanging with 'people'. So amplify that by a few dozen pairs of curious hands and babbling mouths that /seem/ friendly enough but are surrounding y'all in overwhelming numbers.
The age demographic seems to follow a distinct pattern. Several women having bulging bellies, lactating breasts signaling that either they are still nursing last year's young or that their new one is very much due to be born. A handful of other women have mixed figures - some flat-bellied with young infants appearing all the same age lashed against their bosoms with a sling, others possess a small baby bump and nurse older infants - 1-2 years of age who are capable of holding on with their own strength. Their wide, yellow eyes watch the world sleepily around their hold on mothers' lek, milk staining their sticky chins.
There are small numbers of older children, belonging to cohorts a couple years apart, and even fewer 'teenagers'. Evidently growing up in a traditional pack on Shili is a rough ride, and the weak are weeded out at an early age. There are almost no 'old' people. Very few faces posses the craggy lines that age weathered into them and all who do are still mobile under their own volition. It's survival of the fittest, out here.
"Togokus," Ryo says, nodding knowingly at Zhu Yan. "You know what's in those darts?" Ryo asks of Kasia. "Cause I ran out of my stuff halfway through this strip, and I could use a little somethin' somethin', y'know?"
"I bet Big Red over there could hook me up. He better. We're married and he got about one eighth of the way to first base earlier, so..." Ryo trails off as the welcoming committee engulfs and then proceeds to touch all over them. "I gotta say, this is almost as nice as the flesh wall on Zeltron."
Kasia glances up at Ryo and his question, shoulder shifting slightly in what's possibly a shrug. "I have no idea, you would have to ask Rheisa about what's in them, I just know she uses them when hunting sometimes. I think?" And with that her knowledge on the darts is utterly exhausted. "I'm not sure what kinds of things they'd have here, but again, you can probably ask Rheisa and she'll be able to tell you. I'm sure there must be... something?"
Touching. TOUCHING. Hex is not good with touching, but he knew this was coming, or at least - had a pretty good guess. Tattoos, cybernetics, little purple toddlers groggily waking up, it's all interesting for people who haven't seen it, who may never see its like again. "I don't gafoonu it. I don't like it," he warns Kasia in Ryl, and then answers the boys in Basic. 'Togruta! They're Togruta, how do you not know that? Ryma'at, boys. I'm glad they don't know enough basic to realize how dumb you all are.'
"Hang on, flesh wall?" asked Yan, definitely taking aback and suppressing the instinct to burst into a rage when dirty, primitive hands got all over his beautiful, iconic jacket. It's okay Yan, it's okay, don't freak out, they're just saying hello. Like, hello, but with touching. Lots of touching. At least the jetpack wasn't too hot to the touch anymore. "Is it literally a wall of flesh? Does it eat you?" Important questions. "Hey you!" he cried out, pointing randomly at a teenager who was clearly up to no good, and then shaped his hand as though it was holding a cup, and tipped it back and forth. Fetch Yan a drink, was the order, and he'd already found people who were his mental age with whom to possibly literally shoot the sithspit.
Ah, baka. Rheisa chases after the flood, pushing her way through toward the front just in time to help ward off a little bit of the touching of gear and inspection of clothes. Offers to trade start to flow like water, most uttered in gruta speak but a few break the language barrier with surprising ease, even if the accent makes it tough to comprehend. So maybe they do know how dumb you are!!!
"Nah! Nah yehsa ke det," Rheisa interferes on poor Hex's behalf. "Meh'a e' dahk," she points to Kasia next, but a few of the women have already taken notice of the injuries and are already backing up.
"E'dahk!" The alarm is raised and some waaaay too pregnant gal squats down alongside the injured human and motions for her to 'comrro' with some come hither motions and patting of her own forearms, followed by grabby miming of hands. She'll help you along, Kasia!
Somewhere in all the pushing and patting and head-bumping, a half-awake Umak's been dislodged from his slack grip on Rheisa's shoulder and is lost in the mob. He's too startled to cry, too overwhelmed by the biggest living sea of his own kin to even try to find the one whose face resembles his mom. Also...there are the other kids. BIGGER kids. Kids his size, too, but they have lived life here and are already at a bit of an advantage. For once in his life, he'll know Boon's pain.
Big red might not be joining in on the initial rush because he's already assessed these interlopers. There are others being fascinated by Ryo's suit zipper now though, so it might be that the man acquires himself an unaware harem in the next five minutes.
That teen catches sight of Yan's pointing and stops dead in his tracks to peer. Green eyes track Zhu's miming with predatory precision. Up, down, up...he cautiously lifts his own hand, cups it, and repeats the gesture. Are they....is this bonding? The orangey fellow doesn't look like he's totally sure, but decides it's an invitation to come on over and touch Yan's jetpack, too.
"Settle down, Twom'bek," Ryo offers to Hex. To Yan's question, Ryo looks over with a grin and says, "If you're lucky; it does."
"Oh, /hello/," the Festian remarks as one of the Togokus gets a little friendly. "Guys, just leave me here, I'll be fine. What's a little language lost between true loves?"
There is a wave of incoming Togruta and Kasia is ill equipped to fend them off, which is why it's good that Rheisa does so. Instead she looks over to Hex, holding a hand out to him. "Come here, ka're, hide behind me," she suggests, but then there's a very pregnant woman in front of her. The language barrier is real, she might be proficient in a few languages, but apparently the native Togruta language isn't one of them, and she just stares blankly at the word. The motions made break through, and she holds a hand out to the pregnant woman, but also to Hex, because Kasia is not small and that woman is very pregnant, and she doesn't want to be responsible for any early labor happening here. "Help me up?" she asks, provided her spouse hasn't fled into the wilderness to avoid being molested.
Kasia is going to have to get help up from the pregnant Togruta gal because Hex hasn't so much fled as he's been herded away from his wife by the press of the crowd. In effort to keep track of Boon, he's worriedly hoisted the toddler onto his shoulders, where the purple toddler review those below him without fear or worry, but like a tiny, friendly tyrant surveying his weirdly montral'd, too many lekku'd, but still cool kingdom. Having recently discovered greeting, he waves and greets them over and over again. "Hi! Hi! Hi!" wave, wave. "Hi! Hi!" Boon never grows tired of this. Hex probably does. "Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!"
"The difference between 'stop' and 'more', Odessa," was Yan's immediate retort to Ryo 'Mr. Primitive' Odessa with a wry grin. "So when a big guy is standing over you with a tree tr- No!" he cried out, expression morphing into one of frustration as the teen whom he attempted to use as a waiter ignored all his requests! Sorry Ryo, banter had to wait. "Drink! Beverage! Alcohol!" Some words in Huttese that meant the same thing, then some Jawajibberjabber. Why would anyone here know Jawa. Why did YAN know Jawa?! "You know, drink booze! You're a teenager! Obviously you're a rebel and an underage drinker because that's how teenagers work!" Yan had watched too many movies.
Boon is for sure an instant hit with the ladies. It's okay that his head is deformed and he's missing a headtail, but maybe he gets that from his .... his dad? Er... Well... There's a little bit of a whispered debate between two of the women that were trying to tickle the little boy's toes. Is this his mom or his dad? Hex's curvacious dad bod is confusing, in this initial meeting.
Pregnant woman just might pup out tonight, but there are several others who look like they're in danger of doing the same, without bending over, so PROBABLY it won't be Kasia's fault.
"Nesaa," she introduces herself, or just says another weird word, tapping her left temple and extending the two fingers back to Kasia, then repeating the gesture/name. "Am ppples...mmmm...see?" She's close. Nesaa takes Kasia's arm with a grip that ain't fooling around and a strength masked by her condition. She's not a tiny thing, belly aside, probably near Hex's height without them horns. In fact...a LOT of these stripey people are frickin tall. Rheisa's rather runtish, among her own kind.
"Ghe!" Someone shouts. "Mrrgo!" The cry is echoed around and just as suddenly as they'd mobbed, the crowd starts to recede, back to the safety of 'home'. If this were most anywhere else, now would be the time to check your pockets, but these folks haven't got pockets of their own to stash stolen goods IN. The degree of dress varies from individual to individual, some making do with the barest of bare minimums, others sporting an elaborately woven this or that. An article of two of clothing from the outside universe is floating around in their numbers. Definitely no shoes, though. No shoes.
Why the abrupt retreat? There's someone else stirring around in camp now, and she's wondering where the hell her supper is at. Rheisa reappears when the tide ebbs away and she breaks with an exhausted grin. Apologies all around, but this girl is /happy/ right now. "Come eat," she motions. "Wash, too, yes? I show."
"Don't threaten me with a good time!" Ryo calls out to Yan, enjoying the attention that he's found from these National Geographic-ass honeys. "Yeah, I'm a Shill for Shili; get it?" he asks one of them, who stares at him in abject confusion. "You guys got any drugs? You'd be a lot cooler if you did," Ryo says, waggling his brows at the crowd.
"Awww, there's leaving," the Festian laments, hands moving to his hips. "I gotta tell you, I need a cigarette after that. Or food. Food is good," he offers to Rheisa's invitation.
Hex watches with some concern as Kasia makes new friends and disappears with them. "I guess... she'll be easy to find later, right?" he worries aloud. "She's the only woman here with a fuzzy head." Like that's the number one most recognizable feature of Kasia Ashkuri. Has Hair. Rheisa reappears and Hex briefly reaches up to check on the kid he's lekku-seatbelted to his shoulders, then seems about to say something to her -- and thinks better of it. Hex just smiles. "Yeah. Yeah, let's eat and wash, ok ka."
Yan was checking his pockets. He'd been to Nar Shaddaa after all. Pat pat pat, "okay everything's in place. You didn't even get to second base Odessa, what do you need a deathstick for?" Cigarette, Yan. And then just as he was getting his bearings he heard non-primitive jibberjabber and it was music to his ears! "Hang on someone knows Basic! Hey!" he yelled at Rheisa, not realising that it was in fact Rheisa just yet, "do you have anything to drink around h- oh hi Rhe, if you're offering food I don't eat rat. Just sayin'!"
There is just a lot happening, but Kasia is able enough to grasp that there's an introduction being made. She makes a gesture to herself and says slowly, "Kasia" in that obnoxious way people do when speaking who speak another language. That's about all she manages though, because she's being hauled up to her feet with some unexpected strenth. Respect, girl. Respect. She's shuffled off, probably, so she can go clean up, because she's a damn mess.
"Saw no rrrat," Rheisa assures Yan's tastebuds. "See djeba, togh'na'ki, keetsi'i...taztu--ah, nah. Is thimiar." Whether or not any of those things resemble rodents is just going to have to be learned for himself, though. But there are no rats!
Meanwhile, back where the people (pronounced Toh-grut-ah) have reassembled, only one of them uses a walking stick to assist her arthritic gait. She is also the most ornamented with teeth and other trophies. And she's here now - the reason that everyone remembered what they were supposed to be doing before this monumental distraction threw the night's routine out of whack.
"She is Y'grriti," Rheisa whispers softly of the burly crone as an aside to her brothers and sister from other mothers'n'mister, flicking just a brief glance towards her. "Oldest one among us. She does not hunt anymore, but is the keeper of stories and knows how to speak to the spirits here. All of us feel the energies, the life of this place. Of all things within it. These feelings are just whispers to most, but she hears them like big thunder in the sky. Even Asusir is wise to listen to her, when she speaks. It is not something she does often." And that's cultural lesson number two of the evening.
Y'grriti does not appear to have many teeth left behind her wrinkly lips, nor do her eyes possess the clarity of sighted folk. One is clouded by cataract. The other is completely white, cauliflowered with adhesion. These ailments of old age do not seem to hinder her navigation of the fireside gathering, though, nor the greedy acceptance and sipping of a bowl of broth when it's offered to her. In fact, her awareness of her surroundings is quite spot-on, uncanny even.
She is served first, then the children and nursing mothers, then the rest of the able-bodied folk press in for their share. All adults appear to be given equal portions. All contribute hard work to daily life and deserve their due. Some of the older tots, about 3 years old, greedily chew hunks of meat between occasional sips of their mothers' (or aunts') milk, if they can get around the next generation clinging there. Or if they are not swatted away by the ma who just needs a break.
Umak's found his place in a heap of other pint-sized warriors, gnawing away on the gristly who-knows-what that he's been handed. And loving it. That boy's gonna have the meat sweats before he hits the sack, for sure. Mom? What mom. This is home now.
Baskets of water sit near to what's evidently designated as the food zone and some skins/cups of other liquid's being passed around from one desiring mouth to the next. Hopefully everyone's up to date on vaccines, but honestly who knows what sort of cooties even exist out here. One such cup is suddenly presented to Zhu, by that lanky lad he was earlier berating.
"Drrrrink." Challenge presented, cocky grin of youth glowing. A couple little gals seemingly his age linger nearby, watching the exchange closely around their finger foods - small lizards. Maybe it's a bit of bravado pushing this gesture of hospitality then, more so than kindness between strangers. Nako knows he's being watched, and he intends to keep their interest.
Kasia's led to one of the stumps near the lowly crackling fire, where Nesaa indicates she should sit before disappearing into the encroaching darkness. It isn't TOO long before she's on her way back, hauling a little skin of ...water? It looks like water but there's some fragrant aroma to it. Without asking, the mother-to-be will try to begin her ministrations, sloshing some of the herbal wet on her palms and dabbing/wiping at Kasia's scrapes. Between healthy slurps of something that probably isn't beets out of a bowl, but definitely stains her gray lips red.
"Whisper stories, huh? That's cool, yeah," Ryo rambles on idly, only half-listening as he takes stock of the talent. "This is...kinda home-y, I guess," the man offers as he watches the people digging into their meals. "Do we just like...grab a chunk or...?" he trails off, obviously very unsure of what he's supposed to be doing.
Kasia hobbles to that stump where she settles, watching as Nesaa vanishes. She eyes the darkness that's creeping in, and then more of the darkness, and then some of the darkness in the distance, trying hard not to imagine ominous moving shapes, or eyes peering back at her from the darkness. She gets far enough into those thoughts that she actually starts when the Togruta returns. There's an uncertain expression on her face as she watches this mystery liquid put on her injuries, but it's... better than nothing? Maybe. Probably? This is all very distressing and full of germs, but she keeps quiet as to not seem ungrateful, because that might lead to being ejected into the darkness, and that's definitely the worse option here.
"Boon! Boon, ai'jou no, what --!" Hex is struggling with a suddenly extremely flaily toddler, who has spotted UMAK with both FOOD and PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN GREETED. Boon cannot be contained, and after cleverly twisting out of his shirt, ultimately escapes to go run over toward the other children with a battle cry of "Hiiiiiiii!" Hex sighs, looks at Kasia, and gestures somewhat helplessly toward their escaped baby. "He's probably fine? He was fine in Visanyathu when I took him to meet Kapi. ...Anyway he's purple and doesn't have horns so he's easy to find later? You want me to bring you some food?"
"I have no idea what this is, but that is the smartest thing you have ever said," explained the short hairy man (fun fact, Yan might well be the shortest person here) as he looked into the cup, sniffed it, and then without care or will simply shotgunned the thing straight down his gullet. And now, the effects. WHAT WAS GONNA HAPPEN? Find out in the next pose!
There's chaos at the kids' table. And by table, we of course mean peaty forest floor. Boon's purple gets swallowed up by red, white, orange, the weirdly dilute yellow kid aaand an even weirder blue. Maybe blue. Might be a deep shade of purple, tough to tell now. It's sheer joy and fascination happening between shared bites of food, especially for Umak who is no longer the oddest man out. He pulls Boon down to sit with HIM and offers what's left of his own portion. The 'hiiiii's are interrupted by other chirps and squeals as the wee ones introduce themselves. Boon is now known as 'hii' among them and they'll probably forever address him as such for the remainder of Shilinanigans. Forget Umak's attempts at correction. They're gonna trust what came out of the toddler's mouth instead.
Nako's smile broadens to reveal his big boy fangs as Zhu Yan, worthy adversary, chugs himself a gullet full of honeyed, kinda thick, little sour fermented milk. Mmmmmmmm. It's a man's drink, that low grade alcohol content and after a brief dash back to the source, the young man returns with his own cup to slurp down. After one or two of these, Rheisa'd be a laughing heap of stupid, but this dude's holding his composure, seemingly unfazed.
Nesaa's making headway on getting the grime rinsed off Kasia's busted bits but has yet to touch her boot and expose whatever swelling exists under there. Rheisa's hung back near Ryo for a moment longer, watching the dinner routine unfold and nods her head absently. "Go and get, if you are hungry. You have been invited to share in the meals." Even if none of the locals have actually verbally indicated this directly to any of them. It's just assumed to be known. "This of course mean that, for as long as we stay, you will be expected to give something back in exchange. No monies. But ehm...helping. In some way. Contribution." But what a spread it is! That larger hoofstock that Asusir was toting earlier is looking a little toasty on the spit. Smaller game is presented in varying degrees of rare-medium rare, except for the insects which are very much alive. No fruit. No edible tubers or vegetation of any kind. Just. Meat.
"When the sun is awake, I will show you to the water," Rheisa offers Kasia a promise of a bath from over Nesaa's shoulder. "Is too dangerous to go now. But they can help foot now. Is good place to sleep, nearby. Easy for your leg, will give it good lift."
"Sa'mahr," Nesaa looks up and over to her sister, regarding her as though she'd not been left to die three years ago in the searing heat and exposure of the turu plains. Just like she saw her yesterday... "Dedaa e' yut," her lilac eyes flick a meaningful glance to another young woman loitering a few meters away. Said loiterer is watching them /most/ intently. Dedaa, as she is called, is not on the verge of bursting with new life, but there's a little bump happening and a past bump tugging on her leg in attempts to get her attention. It's the weirdly blueish-purple kid.
"I guess that's a fair trade," Ryo says, listening to Rheisa. "Hold this, eh?" he asks, sliding out of his jacket and draping it over Rheisa's shoulders, so he can cool off a bit and reveal the full glory of his novelty t-shirt. Running a hand through his hair, the Festian sidles his way through the crowd of aliens until he manages to secure himself a plate of something complete with roasted leg of something and mashed pile of something else. Then, he's wandering off to find a stump to sit on near Kasia so he can dig in. "You doin' alright?" he asks of her, showing that he's capable of at least feigned concern.
Kasia is still as the grime is washed away off her scrapes, there are several of them, but the irritation is soothed somewhat by the lack of grime in the wounds. Hex's words draw her attention for a moment, a flicker of concern crossing her features as she realizes that Boon is lost in a sea of children, but it's a sea of children, so... he's probably fine, right? Yeah. Food? That question draws her gaze back to Hex, looking real conflicted. Food conflicted. He's definitely seen this look before, because this is alien food, but also she's hungry and it's been a really long day. "...yes?" She doesn't sound certain, but hunger wins out over fear of alien food poisoning. Rheisa gets a quick smile. "I understand. Honestly I'm just glad to be off of my feet right now, so I'm fine with waiting to bathe." Ryo's feigned concern gets a surprised look, but if softens after a few moments. "I'm alive, so points to me, yeah? How are you holding up? Find your drugs yet?"
"It's roasted meat, it'll be okay," Hex promises Kasia, with a brief touch of hand to her head. He disappears briefly into the fray to retrieve for her a chunk of roasted hoofed-beast, fire-burned on the outside and tasty on the inside in a way their modern appliances just can't replicate. But.... none for himself, which is perhaps unusual. Hex tilts his head toward the outskirts of the camp, and warns his compatriots, "I need air. Space. Gonna go find someone to keep watch with, ok ka." He shifts his grip on the polearm weapon he's carried, and then walks off into the dark, away from the fire, maybe to be alone with his thoughts for a while.
"Weak!" exclaimed Yan. It was true, everyone had found themselves amongst their peers, kids with the kids, Yan with the teenagers, Ryo with no one. "There is a brown bottle of pure pain sitting on the Space Whale right now, and this, this is nectar of life in comparison!" Oh yeah, Yan, picking on someone his own size. Well, half his size, vertically. He was waving the cup around, not drunk, not even inebriated yet, which to be fair probably wasn't far off owing to having less meat on him these days. From the arm. He was still unfit and dadbod'd. To the stash he went, refilling his cup of milkmead (for that is the name it shall henceforth be known) and sitting down on the floor in the circle of teens. "Watch closely!" he said, holding his metal hand up, index finger raised in the sign of 'pay attention' then he shotgunned his second cup of the not-foul stuff.
Now Rheisa's got a jacket. Seeing as how she's yet to really put any of her other belongings down yet, it just adds to the destabilizing heap of things slung over that shoulder and begins to slide away. She's already a little distracted by Dedaa over there, so doesn't think much of it when she abducts Ryo's jacket by wandering off to find herself a hammock somewhere that's in near-ish proximity to those she's also staking out for her friends. Ryo's jacket gets sloughed off into one to 'claim' it while her bow, quiver, spear, etc get dumped into another. Probably come morning, there'll be second cousin Dirleel walking around in Ryo's jacket like it was given to him or her. What's yours is mine. What's mine is yours. This is a commune.
Zhu's amassing an audience over in his corner of primitive paradise. A few more of the younger faces have gathered to witness the stamina of this furry man. At least they're pretty sure it's a man. Nako isn't willing to be put to shame by some outsider, so he gulps down a second 'shotgun' of his own, complete with attention-commanding finger and "wash clothesly!" Feeling like he's won this, Nako hops nimbly up to his feet and would've stayed there, if his brain had only kept up with the movement. There's a half second lag in everything around him and the lad hop-stumbles a couple steps aside, feeling the ground lurch beneath him. Just for a sec. Liquid courage is coursing through his veins now and when he remembers that there are LADIES present, Zhu's promptly forgotten in favor of chasing after one of them into the trees.
It's not going to end well for him, but boys have got to learn sometime. When she punishes his lack of care or prowess, the bite marks'll punch through his lack of sobriety real quick.
As the last bits of meat are stripped off the bones and the night sky has finally turned black, leaving the forest camp an even inkier shade, the number of female bodies outside 'round the fire notably shrinks. In fact, all who are massively pregnant - on the verge of giving birth - have retreated inside the large, stone-walled hut. One may never know it from the quiet murmuring of voices that drift out occasionally, but a few of them are actually in labor. No wailing, no cursing to the stars, just quiet pants and soothing words of softness from those who assist.
Outside, the men have stilled their banter to a minimum and taken up arms. A menagerie of blasters - more old than new - spears, slings, and bows are held at the ready, all eyes turned into the surrounding dark. The tension is high, palpable even for those who have a sense of the life force around them.
And with good reason.
Knowing all too well the reasons, Rheisa has collected Umak, returned Boon to his mother, and watches the teens herd the little ones into the longhouse for safer sleeping. Just in case. As for her, she doesn't dare go near the hut as one of the other women. She draws a single arrow, lays her bow in lap, and swings gently in hammock, sitting up.
Except Yan. Like any fool, he still drinkin'.