Title: Treetop Villages
Jax Malone - August 3, 2009 03:26 AM (GMT)
Some journeys are never smooth. The very nature of a journey, particularly one that is not planned, is unpredictability. The next step for the desperate crew of The Atillian will take them to the trees, further out of their element. Far above the loamy ground of Ziyou, they will receive everything the settlers of this jungle planet can offer. Their journey has not ended yet. This is just one more step down an unseen road.
The Atillian - September 14, 2009 12:50 AM (GMT)
Admin Plot Progress
Led slowly upward by Wing and Patim, the crew discovers the complex jungle villages of Ziyou. On the brief journey, no questions are answered by either party, Rahl and Wing both remaining stubbornly tight-lipped. Very few faces appear through the dense foliage until the group reaches the largest tree house. There, they are greeted by a larger contingency of the planet's inhabitants. One by one, each crew member and passenger is offered a simple pallet to sleep on, more water, and fresh fruit. Rahl's eyes are glassy, gaze detached as he denies help and slides to the rough floor, motioning Wing's people toward the others first. The scent of cooking meat drifts from somewhere nearby, an unseen promise of more nourishment to come.
General posting is now open.
Patim - September 18, 2009 07:19 PM (GMT)
Patim stood back, the bamboo floor shifting beneath her feet as the others moved to help the newcomers, arms crossed over her stomach as she watched and weighed them.
Silent, she caught Wing's eye and nodded. They could help these people, maybe even repair their ship. They had the opportunity to make allies out of them, and Ziyou needed allies in the outside world.
Sliding down a pole to the lowest level, she crossed the pathways through the tree-tops and climbed back up to the high hidden flet where the children were hidden. It was time to let the newcomers know that they were just people, just families, just human beings- her fingers reached unbidden to the veil over her face- just simple folk surviving as best they could.
"Fetch Robbin and Cal. Then fetch the water up from the well for supper. Stay together!" Patim warned as her students scrambled down the ladders, glad to be out, "No one go near the strangers, dong ma?!"
Robbin, the metal-smith, and Cal, who knew a bit about technical things, were the best bets to help mend the ship and get the strangers on their way. No. Not strangers. She knew their names now, foreign on her tongue, like spiced curry or sweetened corncake, things she had forgotten since learning how to live. Bayttee, Mike, Rex, Breeze, Alekz, Nichole, Drew, Rahl. Adam.
Somewhere far in the dank green of the jungle a wildcat screamed as it began it's evening prowl for food, and Patim couldn't help the shiver that ran up her spine as it's warning echoed. Returning to the main house, her gaze slipped to the huge form of Adam, but quickly enough she glanced away, stifling her her need to know if what she guessed was correct.
She leaned down beside Bayttee and Alekz instead and gestured Breeze, "What do you need to help her? Our medical supplies are simple, but we get by. Our metalsmith is on his way. It's too late today to travel back to your ship, but first light we'll help assess the damage."
Wooden trays, some elaborately carved, appeared, holding fruit and more drink: Rehydrating nourishment derived from the jungle itself.
"We see few outsiders here," Patim gestured away a curious villager who lingered too long with a tray. It was time to look for answers. Her keen mind imaged the map she had once seen, overlaying it on the back of her mind. Where they had come from, where they were going: If they lied, assuming that such primitive villages wouldn't know their cartography, she would know. She addressed the group at large, "Please, satisfy a land-bound's wondering mind. Where have you come from and how did you come to be on Ziyou? Where were you going, so far from the regular shipping lanes?"
Rahl - September 23, 2009 02:29 AM (GMT)
Rahl was numb, only dimly aware of the activity around him. Now, with Drew on his right and Adam on his left, Nichole curled close to his left side, her head on his shoulder. Wing moved slowly through the large hut, in and out different doors, speaking in a tongue that the Captain almost recognized. Or did he? It was getting so hard to hold on to much of anything, his mind and body both trying to shut down to protect him. That wasn't an option for as long as he could avoid it.
Waving away the tray of fruit in Wing's hand, motioning for the food to be offered to the rest first, he rested his head against Nichole's, focusing on the simple act of keeping his eyes open. "Your crew has eaten, Captain. Take some food," Wing said, forcing the tray on him again. Despite the gesture, despite the command, Wing's tone was gentle, as if he was trying to calm an injured animal. Rahl glared a moment, meeting the native leader's dark gaze. Patim's voice broke their staring contest.
"Please, satisfy a land-bound's wondering mind. Where have you come from and how did you come to be on Ziyou? Where were you going, so far from the regular shipping lanes?" He felt Drew's gaze on him, but didn't look towards her, examining the natives instead. Wing's eyes were cautious, watching each of them. What was he looking for? What did he find?
"We were making a supply run to Higgin's Moon." There was no reason to elaborate, no reason to say more, and no reason to completely lie - especially if any of these people were to be allowed near the ship's computers. His own empty, flat tone worried him, made him wonder what could possibly happen next. Again, his mind made a push for unconsciousness that he stubbornly resisted, forcing himself to ignore it.
The Atillian - November 6, 2009 07:04 PM (GMT)
Admin Plot Progress
Eventually, whether they like it or not, every member of the Jester's crew falls into an uneasy sleep. A few of the lucky ones are allowed the sleep afforded by numbing drugs, painkillers and the like. Rahl continues to refuse all help and spends most of the night in tense conversation with Wing. Their soft, muttering whispers act as an undercurrent, the cadence kept even throughout the night. It helps, acting as a bizarre sort of lullaby when coupled with the wind, the bird calls, the sounds of a sleeping world.
Morning dawns too early, too bright, the jewel toned leaves vibrant with the rain that fell during the night. Wing dispatches Robbin and Cal to locate and examine the fallen ship. For the moment, Drew and Rex are their only escorts. As the crew is offered another simple meal, eating with the inhabitants of Ziyou rather than being served by them, Rahl begins to check in with his crew, sampling dishes as he walks by them, the only one staying on his feet. Despite the dark circles under his eyes, the Captain is more in control after the night of quiet discussion. Wing is also more in control, his body still as a hunting jungle cat about to pounce, his own bright eyes shifting from one unfamiliar face to the next. During the night, something has shifted, changed, between the two leaders, though it remains invisible as the birds singing in the trees.
Absent characters GMed at Admin discretion. Let's get things moving if we can.
The Breeze - November 9, 2009 07:47 AM (GMT)
Gorram meds were makin' her fuzzy.
Everything, every word the jungle hicks gabbled at her consumed itself, every word gone as soon as it was spoken, a brass haze of whispers and overtones that twisted the connecting nerves behind her eyes until she wasn't sure if she sleeping. Felt weird. Didn't hurt, not really. More like she was drunk, and it was getting kinda interesting trying to watch her feet. Hadn't touched the bottle, h'officer, care t'smell me breath?
The air hummed with a clanking hiss, like engines or the crowd around a building while it burned, sun-sharp and serrated, and she was staggering under the unexpected weight.
The shadows were colder, and a tremor snaked up her legs from the floor with every step she took, forgetting where her spot was, which way the ship was, every instinct that'd remained with her. The sunlight stabbed at her face, goose-egged and pulsing and sending painful needles through her brain, and maybe it wasn't Tuesday after all, she thought, and she could barely see Baytee but The Breeze knew she was giving her the hairy eyeball. Maybe she could tell The Breeze hadn't taken that last bit of stuff...?
Huffing, The Breeze rolled towards the cool shadow of Rahl's passing until hardly any sunlight touched her, shoulder curled up with her arm slumped over Nichole, clinging to her for one precious, terrified minute before she folded at the waist and flopped over Nichole's lap like a lizard to bask in the sun.
"Shut up," she muttered to Baytee without opening her eyes, and her voice was like flame leavings and nails and tiredness. "'S too ruttin' hot t'talk, so just shut the hell up."
Bayttee - November 17, 2009 05:44 AM (GMT)
"'S too ruttin' hot t'talk, so just shut the hell up."
"Shut your own trap, twiggy." Bayttee growled back. This whole planet was starting to weigh on her like one big sweaty dishrag. A little more kindly, she sucked in a lungful of the thick air, "You should be sleepin' while you got it in ya, Breeze. Soon as your head's clear there's gonna be plenty of work needing you."
At least Bayttee hoped so. Both that there would be work for Breeze to do and tha her head would clear. Lowering her voice, she shifted closer to Rahl, hoping that Breeze was already too out of it to hear her. "I don't know, Captain. I really thought she'd be doing better than this today. Her brain musta got a really bad rattle."
Bayttee tried to let her eyes say what her words wouldn't. It was possible that Breeze hadn't gotten enough air when the vacuum filled the ship, that the damage was more then skull deep. She wouldn't entertain that notion seriously. Not yet. She couldn't do it.
Her eyes flashed around at the others. Alekz seemed all right, as did Adam, even though the huge man was as silent as he ever was. The other passenger, though, still loooked a little gill-green, "Mikie? How you holdin' up? Ain't gonna start pukin' like Breezie, are ya?"
Rahl - November 17, 2009 03:04 PM (GMT)
The night had been too long - ages too long, hour after hour spent whispering, hissing, growling, trying to get a feel for the man sitting in front of him. Wing knew the rules as well as Rahl did; that much had been established as they talked. "It's odd, Captain, how much you seem to care for them while giving no second thought to your own well-being." Every time Wing had moved too close to one of the crew, Rahl had glared, objecting as loud as he dared in the room full of sleeping and sick. They had almost come to blows, but had finally reached an understanding. Neither of them was backing down.
Popping a piece of fruit in his mouth from the tray sitting by Alexz, he walked as he chewed. The humid air seemed more like a solid, some live thing trying to choke them all. If Wing had done anything... Rahl's gaze darted to the leader, sitting by Adam, making a pretense of trying to draw Nichole into conversation. The Captain's hand clenched into a fist at his side, knuckles cracking audibly, before Bayttee shifted closer to hiss in his ear. "I don't know, Captain. I really thought she'd be doing better than this today. Her brain musta got a really bad rattle."
The mechanic was complaining with no energy or enthusiasm. Even with his lack of skills as a medic, Rahl could tell she wasn't completely with them. "Perfect." He resisted the urge to swear, though the word was still etched in his dark eyes and furrowed brow. They had to get out of here.
Stepping outside, the sunlight pierced straight through his eyes, a drill into his brain. This place was too bright, too damp. Even in such open sunlight, they were hiding so much. That, more than anything, scared the hell out of Rahl. They had to get out of here, off this god-forsaken, too-green rock they were stranded on. Despite the warmth, the Captain shuddered. Who could be watching them now, hidden in the trees?
Spinning on his heel, he moved back into the shadows granted by the roof of the structure, noting numbly that it didn't offer much change from the sun. "Juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan..." With too much force, not caring, Rahl's back met the wall. Slowly, he slid down to the floor, eyes closed, head throbbing, mind and body still pushing for the unconsciousness he'd never found. Too much go-se going on around here. Too much to figure out. Another memory from the endless night resurfaced. "We both have our secrets. That's what makes us the same. The difference is how far we'll go to protect them." How much farther could he go?
"The others will be back soon, Captain." Wing, trying to be helpful. Rahl wasn't in the mood. "Shut up," he growled, not bothering to open his eyes.
Juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean jan - This really is a happy day.
Michael O'Shea - November 29, 2009 01:26 AM (GMT)
He heard voices, talking and whispering all around him as if the very trees themselves were talking. It had been too hot to sleep properly and even after he'd stripped off his jacket, rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and pulled the legs of his trousers up to his knees it had been too gorram hot. Some time during the night he came to the conclusion that he really hated this place more than any other planet he had ever visited and that he almost, almost, wished that he was still back on Santo. At least the weather there was bearable and when it wasn't you could just head for the casinos and enjoy the air conditioning.
"Mikie? How you holdin' up? Ain't gonna start pukin' like Breezie, are ya?"
Mikie? He cracked open an eyelid and the crazy medic came into view, her expression seemingly milder than it had been yesterday. But now that he was coming fully awake, he could feel that the awful itching on his legs was still very much present. He sat up slowly and wiped a hand across his sweaty forehead and through his damp hair, then blinked a few times, then shook his head at Baytee. “No. Not going to puke, I don't think. But if you've got some more of that spray stuff and a painkiller I'd be eternally grateful.”
The Breeze - December 6, 2009 12:50 AM (GMT)
Words came rattling out Baytee's throat, reassuring words, that she probably should have been listening to, actually, but it was too much, too much, and it'd seemed so much easier to just go back to sleep than to keep listening, so she had, had turned away, rolling, shifting, reaching blindly, and
she could almost remember the way his face had looked through the fall of her hair, different like no other, fantastic, and she still hadn't taken for granted the wonder of it, but every day she'd come a little closer to forgetting-
her hands gripped skin hard enough to hurt, wanting to hurt, like she'd fly apart into pieces if she let go.
The Breeze opened her eyes. "Cap?" She said slowly, floundering, awkward, because it was Nicki, not Rahl, she was holding, and the look on Nicki's face-
"Oh," she said, and looked down at her hands. They were still holding on. She couldn't seem to make them let go. "Oh," she said again, making a face that, normally, would have meant she was trying not to spit. "Cap?" She said, her voice rising and breaking, and she still couldn't let go. "Rahl!"
Nichole Walker - December 31, 2009 07:20 PM (GMT)
What the rutt was with this planet? Too gorram hot, the air too thick, too heavy. Rahl was tense. Even leaning against the wall with his eyes shut, he had tension rolling off him. The Breeze doubled over into her lap, clinging tight, dazed. Was everyone getting sick, affected by the heat? The sunlight was too bright, the eyes of the natives too still, the fruit too sweet. Rahl still wasn't moving. Nichole's trembling hand ran through the mechanic's hair, a move intended to soothe.
With those same hands, she'd pushed that box across the cargo bay. She'd made the twisted metal meld with a human body. She'd- Nichole held her breath for three seconds before letting it out in a gust, looking at Wing, looking at Rahl. "Can we get out of here yet?"
"Can't leave til the ship's fixed." Rahl's lips barely moved as he spoke, though he finally opened his eyes, finally moved over to them. Kneeling beside her, he put his hand over The Breeze's, attempting to pull her away and hold her himself. He was muttering nonsense, soothing words she didn't hear. Nobody knew she was guilty. In this heat, would they care?
"Bao-bei...I want to go back home." Rahl's lips were cool on her temple, his hand brushing up and down her back. "We'll get back as soon as the ship's fixed, Nicki."
"The others should be back soon to tell us how bad your bird's hurt." Wing's voice, husky and silky at once, made her jump. Rahl nodded. "Thanks for the food." Wing shrugged, not responding as he took another bite of fruit, juice running sticky from the corners of his lips.
Patim - December 31, 2009 08:42 PM (GMT)
She tried to watch everything. All of them at once. She tried to be as still as the trees that held their world. But the voice inside would be silent no longer, and she ceased trying to keep it so.
With a sudden determination, she slipped beneath Wing's arm, and knelt before the captain of the fallen bird. Raising her veiled face, she regarded him with one eye, the visible corner of her lip rising in a faint smile.
"Captain? Forgive me the intrusion when I know you are weary..." She hesitated, guessing that behind her back Wing was glaring at her in disapproval, "But your man there," her slender work-worn hand gestured towards the stoic bulk of Adam Man, "His mind? It isn't right is it? He's but a child?"
The woman who carried grace for all of the ugliness her life had handed her steeled herself for the answer that she was certain would come. So many years of wondering, of waiting, and this what it came down to. Patim had long forgiven, even blessed, the man. She had often dreamed of the day she would thank him.
But she had never expected this.
She had never expected to feel pity for the man who had killed her husband.
Robbin - December 31, 2009 09:18 PM (GMT)
Robbin & Gang Continue from Atillian Thread
The fuel-injector box in hand, Robbin climbed to the main-house. He signalled Wing with his free hand, a barely noticeable hunters gesture.
The first mate could tell the others what was up with their ship, that it was nearly flight-worthy. It was to the ships mechanic that Robbin reported. "I know she is not well," He gestured to Nichole and Bayttee, "But this injector box is broken, the springs here and here...And this bolt. I can make the parts in my workshop, but I think she is the only one here who knows the callibrations necessary to do it right."
Squatting, Robbin's dark hard form leaned over the small woman, who huddled forlorn and unwell against her friends, "Come, little girl," He said not unkindly, in words calculated to encourage a fighting response, "Your bird is wounded. What kind of mechanic just lays there when her machine is weeping?"
The Breeze - January 6, 2010 01:19 AM (GMT)
"-little girl," said a voice, who was just close enough to her face that she could see the sharp outline of his thin profile, the ragged line of his soft hair. "Your bird is wounded. What kind of mechanic just lays there when her machine is weeping?"
The Breeze blinked up at him for a moment, gaze unfocused -- and then she jerked and glared at Robbin with a look of pure startled-cat fury.
"Weepin'?" The Breeze growled, and arched, snapping out a hand out from where she sprawled, half beside and half on top of Rahl and Nikki -- and as she did, it brushed metal.
Then reached out for the part. Her hands were perfectly steady through her eyes were not, gravitating with uncanny precision to the hurt. She turned it in her hands, feeling the burn of it in her firery grip. Drew it to her lips and pressed a single, single kiss to it that started at the top of her spine, then crept all the way down, shuddering electric, like the beginning of the world.
A breath held, then released, slowly out her nose, and The Breeze sagged back against. She hugged the part closer to her chest, feeling suddenly exposed, everything raw and bright. "Weepin'?" Her fingers tightened. Even though she couldn't feel Atillian's heart, she knew it was there, knew if she pressed her fingers close enough she could feel the beat. "Weepin'?"
This time when she grabbed at him, she made it all the way up. "My ship don't weep," she growled, "'n neither do I."
Andrea Glass - January 9, 2010 08:15 AM (GMT)
Things were looking up. The ship was doing better, much better, with the help of the locals. Andrea wasn't all about trusting them, it wasn't her thing. Perhaps it was still her survive and give a chance in trusting after that. Perhaps it was a simple test for the others. It was what kept the first mate on their return to the village of the locals. But as soon as the rejoined the club, Drew took it too step away from the locals, looking for her captain. She paused as she scared the people around her, looking for her captain. It wasn't at first that she saw him. He was hidden in the shadows of one of the shadows given by the buildings, approached by Wing, as well as Nikki.
Moving quickly towards him, as well as them, the first mate hesitated for a second due to the local in their presence but seeing as Robbin had been with them on the ship and was right now delivering the unfixed part of their ship to The Breeze, it seemed partly alright to share this in front of Wing. "Captain." She greeted only person on The Attilian above Andrea's so to speak. "The ship is in order again, expect for a small fuel-injector plate. Robbin is handing to Breeze right now." She shortly reported before looking back to see Robbin and The Breeze interacting. Their mecanic didn't seem to pleased with the local. Perhaps he said something wrong. Or perhaps it was just the fact that The Attilian wasn't doing too well. Looking back, she glanced Nikki, Wing and Patim, whom she had only just noticed.
She really wanted to get off this planet. Despite her schooling and it impling that she should feel nothing but comfort in the nature, she wasn't that person anymore. She didn't know how to live like that any more. Andrea was the first mate. It was all she was nowadays.
(OOC: Yes, The prodigal daughter returns... I know, I've been bad. Here's a short, I'm getting back in the trenches, so to speak.)
Rahl - May 4, 2010 09:51 PM (GMT)
"Captain? Forgive me the intrusion when I know you are weary..." Weary. The word hardly seemed enough. Blue eyes opened slowly, head rolling lazily to examine the woman before him. She hesitated, nervous. It was an interesting development, considering she was so much more comfortable here than he was. She wasn't the stranger in this land.
"But your man there... His mind? It isn't right is it? He's but a child?" As she mentioned Adam, Rahl glanced over to his simple-minded guard dog, loyal as ever. Behind the hulk of muscle that was Adam, Wing's eyes threatened to burn him if only it were a possibility. "Captain. The ship is in order again, expect for a small fuel-injector plate. Robbin is handing to Breeze right now."
As Drew interrupted, Rahl nodded automatically. He didn't ask about the cargo, instead watching as The Breeze got up, growling and spitting the whole time. They'd all have to be checked out once they got back to the ship, make sure the sun didn't get anybody sick. Drew had said the ship was in order; surely that included the cargo. She would've known to check it...but had she been able to? Keeping perfectly calm, expression neutral, Rahl nodded and moved his arm from around Nichole's shoulder. "Go with Drew, get some food," he said, speaking the words as a suggestion instead of an order.
Rising, he looked from Patim to Adam to Wing and back through the line. "You've got it right. He's not complete in his own mind, but he's plenty loyal." The Captain kept his voice low, the conversation as private as was possible, which meant hardly at all. Rahl knew everyone was listening, anybody in earshot straining for any clues of his ship and its purpose. "Why do you ask?" He kept the question light, casual, determined to get information before giving any. Determined not to show any sign of nerves, of being shaken, he filled a small clay mug with fruit-sweetened water and took a slow drink.
Nichole Walker - May 4, 2010 10:02 PM (GMT)
Food. Fruit, meat, juice, water. Nichole moved slowly over to another of the plates the natives had been passing around earlier. She looked to Drew, nervous and tense, still feeling as if her secret was written on her forehead. "You really think the ship will be fixed soon?" Would they get to go back home, back to the ship, back to the black? What if The Breeze couldn't fix things? Looking out the door of the tree house, Nichole listened for any sound of chaos in the thick jungle growth. So many lives on that ship. So many lives, most of them hidden, and two dead, one at her hand. Things were so much easier in the black. "How are we going to get away from here?"
Patim - May 6, 2010 05:26 PM (GMT)
"You've got it right. He's not complete in his own mind, but he's plenty loyal."
Patim rose and moved with Rahl, ignoring Wing's outstretched arm. She didn't glance back at the leader of their colony. This was her moment, and she did not intend to let it go.
"Why do you ask?"
She, too, kept her voice low, but not out of desire for secrecy. Too long words and whispers had come from behind her and she no longer intended to whisper into the maelstrom and let her words be swept into the invisible. In the moment, however, she found that her voice could not raise the words above a pale murmur, "Because I know what he was. I know where he was. I was there, too."
Her visible eye trailed to the huge man and then back to Rahl, "I was in the stable of the pits where they would fight. Humans did terrible things in that place, horrible things, to survive another day. No one escapes, not without much luck or much courage."
Patim's hand came up, pushing back the veil, her gaze lowering to Rahl's chest so that she did not have to witness his reactions. One side of her face was perfect. Beautiful peach skin curved to a perfect cheek, a bright blue eye that gazed out on the world with clarity, soft pink lips that touched the edge of a smile that didn't quite reach her heart. The other side was unrecognizeable as human.
Livid knotted acid-burned scars ran from her brow, down over an eye scarred closed, etched raw lines down the cheek and the corner of her mouth. From the edge of her nose, across the line of her cheekbone all the way to her ear was a plate of thick reddened scar tissue, building up and up over the years as her body strove to heal.
"The man I was given to as bond-wife did this to me in a jealous rage." She told Rahl, her hands coming up steadily to rewrap her damaged facade, hiding the nightmare once more, only her beautiful side exposed, "And he was thrown into the pit with your man as a punishment. He died. I survived, somehow."
"It was a blessing, If you can believe it." She told this stranger, her voice growing stronger with the memory, "In the stables to be ugly is to be forgotten. I found a way out of that hell. But so few do." Patim's gaze turned calculating, and she resisted the urge to look to Wing, "So few survive. Tell me, Captain of the ship that fell from the sky. How did he? With his mind so broken and lost? How did he come to you?"
If Adam was a slave still, that meant one thing and one thing alone to the crew of this ship. Patim's gaze remained steady, awaiting the answer.
Robbin - May 7, 2010 02:55 AM (GMT)
On the Ground: Robbin's Workshop
Robbin carefully poured the small part, muscles rippling beneath sweat slicked chocolate skin. His dark eyes, cautious shadows, bore orange highlights reflected from the molten metal in the crucible. He was a powerful speciman of a man, forged, like the steel he poured, in fires designed to form and harden. A lesser metal made from the wrong mix might turn brittle, crack, or snap.
He had watched the young mechanic rally herself, letting her anger feed her strength, and it was good. She would heal faster, recover sooner, if her spirit kept her driving forward. Robbin had learned long ago never to undersestimate anyone, not old men with crippled bones or young bright girls with smart eyes and he judged his next words very carefully.
"So," He said casually to the mechanic, "Your ship. It is unusual... Very rare to see one fly. How long have you been her fixer?"
The Breeze - May 10, 2010 11:16 PM (GMT)
On the Ground: Robbin's Workshop
The Breeze, blinked, slowly, pulling her eyes away from the crucible to look at Robbin with an effort. His face swam, awash in dizzying smears of light that sent a lance of pain right through her head worse than the morning after shore leave. "How long've I...? That's what you're askin' me? Really?" She stared. "That's really ruttin' stupid," she muttered, shaking her head a little as she massaged her knuckles into the back of her neck. "Waste a time. Don't matter. Didn' ask you how you're a hick." Anger, fizzing away madly in her blood so nothing else mattered. Felt good, familiar. Easier to think. Harder, too.
"Just... Just don't ruttin' shilly-shally. Focus on the ruttin' thing so you c'n see 'er fly again."
Robbin - May 12, 2010 03:26 PM (GMT)
On the Ground: Robbin's Workshop
"Waste a time. Don't matter. Didn' ask you how you're a hick."
Robbin smiled, but it did not reach his eyes. They turned cold, harsher than Ziyou's polar winds, as he stared at her. Slowly, his powerful hands lifted the crucible from the pour, leaving the form half-filled, ruined. They would have to cool it, break it from the mould and start over.
As he had, so many times before.
Just... Just don't ruttin' shilly-shally. Focus on the ruttin' thing so you c'n see 'er fly again."
Returning the glowing steel to the furnace frame, Robbin turned slowly back to Breeze, praying to the winds for calm, speaking very softly, "You are in my home, little girl. Your bird is in our nest, and with a whisper from my lips, she will not rise from it again."
"You," The dark-eyed master of forge and kiln, birthed of both, met the small angry mechanic's gaze with both infinite patience and timely grace, "Are not a master here."
Bayttee - May 12, 2010 03:38 PM (GMT)
In the TreeHouse
“No. Not going to puke, I don't think. But if you've got some more of that spray stuff and a painkiller I'd be eternally grateful.”
Bayttee reached for her bag. Painkillers she had plenty of, and she tossed him a small bottle of hydroxyn, "No more than two, or your brain will shrivel into a peanut." It wouldn't, but Mike seemed to her like the kind of guy who thought if one was good, eight must be better. Shaking the spray antiseptic, she shook her head and handed over that, too, "Almost gone. Use it sparing."
She looked across at Rahl, who had moved off to talk quietly to the woman, Patim. She couldn't hear what was being said, but she saw the pretty-eyed girl strip off her veils and gasped. Bayttee had seen a lot on Santo's darkest streets, but that was ... in a civilized world they had ways to mitigate that kind of scarring, skin and plasti-grafts that could hide that kind of damage. As much as she wanted to slip closer, she shifted instead to put her body between Rahl and the woman and the other 'natives' in the tree-flet. Whatever they were saying, it was between the two of them.
It was Drew's place to watch his back, not hers, but Bayttee needed to get off this rock, preferably alive and in one piece. "Let's just hope we don't need anymore right away."
Sorry, Charlie! I didn't realize Mike was jammed up waiting on me! You shoulda said something!
The Breeze - May 12, 2010 08:13 PM (GMT)
"That so?" She said, and even she could hear the smile in her voice, ragged, edged. Half demand, half warning. Yes. This was what she'd needed, not pills or sensitivity or understanding or rutting kindness, because she's not in the mood for kindness. Been too rutting long since she'd seen it. This. Just this, just like this, just the way she wanted it, just the way she needed it, and more than she wanted to feel. "We ain't that easy t'keep, y'know," she grinned, all teeth. "But that ain't what yer sayin', is it?"
She settled back her palms, let her head loll back on her neck so she didn't have to look at the fire, or his face, tracing her eyes with his. Fine. This was his. She got it. "Couple a years," she said abruptly, without the slightest hint of an apology, or acknowledgment that she needed to give one. "Just after I got me tits. Had some disagreements with me last cap'n. Saw Tilly when we was in port, hitched a ride. There. Satisfied?"
She sat back up. "If we done with that go-se, 's tit fer tat time. Told ya mine. I shared. What's yours? Her grin turned mocking. Hick.
Andrea Glass - May 13, 2010 04:26 PM (GMT)
She didn't like the planet. Nothing was going to change that, even if she stayed any longer. Hopefully, that wasn't even an option. No, that was not going to be an option, she said to her firmly as she noticed the captain nod to her report and glanced around at all the villagers. There was nothing threatening about the way she looked them but there was not cheerfulness about it.
"Go with Drew, get some food,"
Glancing back when she heard her name being spoken, Drew noticed Rahl was speaking to Nicole. The first mate glanced at the blond woman and waited for her to move then followed her away from the captain and his conversation with the local.
"You really think the ship will be fixed soon?"
"How are we going to get away from here?"
Andrea couldn't help but study to woman. She doubted in The Breeze's ability. She did not approve of it, her changed expression didn't hate it. She had nothing against Nicole, she just didn't know her enough to consider her as part of the family as she did with Rahl and The Breeze. Still, the question had appeared in her mind as well even though she didn't share it with anyone. She just had a lot more faith at their mechanic. Yes, a lot more, obviously. "The Breeze can fix anything. Believe me." Glancing over at the crazy girl, she knew she believed it enough to show confidence in her voice. And yet, she could not help but glance back when the blond had another question for her. She seemed worried that they were going to be stuck here for good.
The idea scared her. No, she couldn't think about it. They were leaving and leaving very soon. There was no gorram way they were going to be stuck here. No gorram way. "Easy." Short and sweet and more then clear in what she meant, Andrea took another look around the place before she looked at Nicole one more time. "Breeze is gonna fix the ship and we'll be in the back before you know it." Drew really believed in what she was saying. She wouldn't saying it otherwise. There was a way she spoke to children and there was a way she talked to people in general that she didn't trust all the way. To children, she knew she had to lie if the situation required it, to keep their mind at ease. But she believed this enough to be telling Nicole the truth. The Breeze was going to fix the ship and they were going to get off this rock very soon. Very soon, she repeated it in her mind as she looked outside again and sighed. She did believe it, right? The Breeze was fixing it up already, she was sure. Tilly trusted her to fix her and that was what the crazy girl would do as always. Fix her.
And then they were out of here.
Michael O'Shea - May 14, 2010 03:11 AM (GMT)
"No more than two, or your brain will shrivel into a peanut. [...] Almost gone. Use it sparing."
A bottle of decent painkillers found its way to Mike's hand, then the magic spray was in his other hand and he smiled gratefully at Bayttee. “Thank you,” he said, looking around for some water and nearly groaned when he discovered that he would have to move to get to a pitcher that sat a few feet away, just out of his reach. He gave a quick glance at the medic, wondering if her generosity might extend to fetching him a mug of water, but he thought better of it a few moments later. Better not to overstep his bounds, now that she was at least civil to him.
Without getting to his feet, he scrambled the few feet to the water pitcher, found a mug and filled it to the brim, drinking it greedily before refilling it once more. Shaking two of the tablets out in the palm of his hand, he drank again, swallowed the pills and sat back against the wall with his eyes closed, feeling the rapid disappearance of the headache. “Gooood stuff,” he muttered with a smile, then stuffed the bottle into his inner pocket and shook the canister of magic spray before using the rest of it on his legs. “You are a godsend, miss Bayttee.”
Robbin - June 4, 2010 02:21 AM (GMT)
"Just after I got me tits. Had some disagreements with me last cap'n. Saw Tilly when we was in port, hitched a ride. There. Satisfied?"
"If we done with that go-se, 's tit fer tat time. Told ya mine. I shared. What's yours?"
Now he knew. Slowly, with hands steadier than his soul, he repoured the piece, gently shifting the mould to let the hot steel settle into the grooves. A ladel of cold water over the piece sent steam rising between him and the girl. Eyes turned black in the veil of mist stared through it, his kind smile turning downward, a devils grimace appearing, "My story? You want to know? "
Stripping of his leather vest, even the humid jungle air cooling to his bare skin, he turned his back to her. As the mist rose and cleared, the raised black and red scar tissue that laced his skin in long stripes was exposed. The escaped slave's hand recovered his machete from the frame of the forge, the leather circlet falling around his wrist, a whisper of a snake against skin, "Oh, no, little sister. I am far from satisfied."
"A rare bird, the black Jester is. And I had hoped, " And Robbin struggled to keep the agony from his low tones, but they were laced with low fury of a life long-contained, "That you were new to that devil's ship. That you did not know what she is, but you know. And I know. She is a carrion crow eating the flesh of living men. Eating my flesh."
His gaze trailed past the injured weakened woman, up to the treehouse, and in one long leap he was between her and tree-flet. The machete never raised, but held to his side, his powerful fist ridged on it's leather-wrapped handle, "I will give you only one chance, slaver. You tell me how many are onboard, and lead me to where you have hidden them."
OOC: Jax, if you need me to change anything, say so.
The Breeze - June 4, 2010 02:50 PM (GMT)
The Breeze blinked up at Robbin, swaying on her perch as she tried to follow him, grin growing all the wider when she finally noticed his machete. There was no fear in it, no anger. Only teeth. She seemed a little mad in that moment.
"Shoulda knowd you fer a sheep by the smell," She muttered. Stood up, took a step, and faltered, face slackening as the world tilted on its axis, roaring, hammering in her ears as it came. She staggered. "Betcha been..." Her tongue poked through the new gaps in her smile, stained with blood and abandon. "Been waitin' all these years t'say that. 'Spect ya thought yerself 's some kina, kina watchdog? Hell. Musta bust little brains ya had left, figger that out."
That felt wrong. Why was...
"Thought y'd reach in me head?"
...she saying this?
"Make me squeal? Some kina hero? Too bad. Too bad y'picked wrong person t'talk at, cookie-pants. Shoulda gone fer t'spindly one. Big face. Thought y'd reach in me head? With that?" She looked at the machete, back at Robbin. Smiled. "Y'ain't threatenin' me. Promises. I know promises. Thing is..."
Her hand snapped out and grabbed the blade, hauled it up before their eyes. And squeezed. Squeezed. Forced it into glove and flesh, narrowing as she watched, down to a tiny crease of pressure in her hand. "My hide don't sell cheap as yours."
Rahl - August 18, 2010 07:59 PM (GMT)
As Patim revealed her scars, Rahl's blue eyes hardened, frost clouding a clear pool, making it impenetrable as stone. If only he had his weapons... The scars were nothing, unimportant; as it always went, the story was more important and he'd heard and seen much worse. Some of the slaves lived that life so long that nothing else mattered; it was all they knew, all they would ever know. It made them animals. Had the attack that had so marked her been performed by such a man? How badly had Adam broken him?
Patim had learned a hard truth and spoken it in the plainest words he'd heard: to be ugly is to be forgotten. It had been that same logic he'd learned as a child, though silence had been his shield. Jaw muscles clenching, the Captain worked to still the defensive instinct curling in his chest. He had to protect the ship, the crew. "Tell me, Captain of the ship that fell from the sky. How did he? With his mind so broken and lost? How did he come to you?" The question was dangerous, Wing pacing behind them like a jungle cat, watchful and restless, though he stayed just out of earshot. Could he read lips?
Rahl turned a few degrees away from the unblinking gaze of the jungle-planet's leader, wanting more than anything to shield his crew, to send them back to the ship, to barricade them inside it, to take back everything that had happened to bring them here. "He was forgotten as well. Until I found him." A blatant lie, shrouded in rags of truth. Adam had been forgotten, another piece of faceless cargo that happened to draw breath. He had been found, bursting from the cryo case as he had. "After noticing his strength, I hired him, not realizing his mental deficiency until later. He's one of my crew."
He willed his mouth to shut before the thought could finish. Adam was obviously something else, an other that didn't necessarily fit. He would surely be noticed, remembered by other slavers at the bidding wars they could be summoned to any time, ordered to choose their own cargo. Was it worth the risk to keep Adam on the ship? Rahl shook away the thoughts. This wasn't the time. There was nothing more to say, though his guard was now up. Though wary as an injured dog, Rahl focused on Patim, unaware that Wing was moving slowly closer, a native on either side of him. There were too many scars, seen and unseen, in this room, too many lies. He wanted out.
The Breeze - September 7, 2010 06:11 AM (GMT)
Robin blinked. It wasn't quite a double-take. Not even that much of a reaction. Just a- it was just a second, the unravel of hands and breath and lips, the tiniest widening of the eyes, watching her hand instead of her eyes, the part, and that was when The Breeze moved. And. And Robin's hut, the forge, dissolved. Just floated away between one second and the next, and then she was running, stumbling, half-falling as she came, with no plan, no idea what to do next, not the slightest thought in her head except to get away. Get away and find Rahl and Andy and Ash, they'd
There was no noise as they ran, Robin and The Breeze. Nothing. There was just the sound of her own breaths in her ears, in time with the steady pulse of heat, dragging at her hand. She didn't mind. It hurt, but
they'd fix it. They'd go home.
Spit and old habit alone kept her on her feet in those first few seconds, but often as not The Breeze was bouncing off of trees and rocks than moving by her own devices, so overwhelmed by the simple act of keeping her feet moving that Robin was on her before she even knew that he'd closed in.
He hit her. Must've been -oh- the machete, she could hear it, the grind against bone, but there was nothing there, only a kind of resistance, a tug, that pulled her around and dumped her on her pi-gu as it pulled her arm up and away, out to the side, and there it hung for a moment, suspended, as Robin swung the blade 'round again. Glinted. Reflected in Robin's eyes, refracted and bounced back into a thousand thousand wakes, like waves that rose and crested.
Robbin snarled. The creature- Oh yes, he tried to maintain it's humanity, tried to remember it was a girl, a woman, a human. But all his dark eyes could see was one of the them. Creatures who denied humanity, belied the state of the soul, rejected the hope, life and love that was their birthright and in that state stole it from others, condemned others to die for their lack of soul.
His voice screamed through the trees that separated his forge from the main tree-flets, "WING! SLAVERS!" He dove forward, slashing again, this time to kill.
The machete glanced off her gun. Her old friend. Bloodied, now, the cuts on her other hand had opened up again, retrieving it from the backside of her pants. Shook. Not enough. "Oh, darlin'. What. What're y'gon' do?" The Breeze laughed, more an exhalation than true sound, and smiled, and oh, Gustav. "Now y'caught me?"
He stood, hands outstretched to his side, the machete dangling by it's rawhide strip around his wrist. Staring not into the barrel of the gun that shook so mightily he feared she would accidently shoot him not fatally, but somewhere that would never heal, the former slave stared into her eyes.
For a moment, he paused, waited, let her see defeat, let her think she'd won.
And then he spun low and fast, his powerful leg lashing out in a sweeping blast to kick the trembling weapon from her hand.
OOC: Endless amounts of credit to Jax and the marvelous Ertia on this one -- the words in blue are hers, and much more besides. Kind've hard to colour-code inspiration :)
Wing - September 8, 2010 07:47 PM (GMT)
Patim and Rahl were in a stand-off, the Captain sufficiently distracted. The two at Wing's sides were there to help, to serve as further distraction if necessary. Would they truly be needed? Wing hoped not. Eying Rahl's back, the slump of his exhausted shoulders, the tautness in his neck muscles, the leader of Ziyou offered a mental salute to his equal, the stoic leader of the mysterious ship. Truly, it would be a shame to kill him, similar to the destruction of a well-honed tool. They were made, truly, of the same mold, both holding the same desires and fears. Even without seeing Rahl's expression, Wing knew the determination that would burn coldly in his blue eyes. Everything the Captain had done was cold, removed from the crew he appeared so fierce about protecting. A difference between them at last.
As Wing slid forward on silent feet, his muscles coiled for attack, hand on his knife-blade. Warmth flooded his system, adrenaline burning hot as fire in his veins. His smile was fierce, a jaguar showing its teeth. Fire and ice would meet; one would consume the other. Wing tasted an easy victory at hand...until the yell came. Robbin's voice was a scream, a signal, another unnecessary punch of adrenaline. "WING! SLAVERS!"
Slavers. Every scar on Wing's body, every remembered moment of degradation came rushing back, building the inferno. With the primal scream of the warrior, of one no longer a victim, Wing rushed at Rahl, no longer caring what anyone else was doing. A flash of silver as the Captain bent low. Metal met metal, a knife in each hand. He'd kept a weapon. Wing barely noticed, forcing Rahl back, his strikes wild, each one faster than the last. Keeping his balance as Rahl got in a lucky swing - and missed - Wing flew into the dark-clad man. As they fell through the canopy, Wing called one last command. "Kill the slavers!" "RUN," Rahl screamed desperately at his people.
Whether the words were heard, neither man knew. They fell, Wing easily rolling to his feet about ten yards from the Captain, who struggled on the ground. Wing let out a hiss, flying across the space that separated them. Swinging back, Rahl landed a solid punch to Wing's jaw, giving himself enough time to get to his feet. The continued coldness of those blue eyes sent hate pulsing through Wing, making him see red. How could Rahl stay so calm? Half crazed with madness, Wing moved close for another attack.
The heat of the planet was his, matching the heat of his anger that he'd allowed these people to get so close. Now, the others were threatened, the whole put at risk by the presence of these outsiders. The whole was important, it had to be protected no matter the cost. A lucky stab at Rahl's midsection gave the slaver his own lucky strike at Wing's arm. Uncaring, Wing pulled away and ripped the blade free of Rahl's hand. In the shadows of Ziyou, fire and ice continued to clash.
Patim - September 8, 2010 08:53 PM (GMT)
"After noticing his strength, I hired him, not realizing his mental deficiency until later. He's one of my crew."
Patim nodded slowly, gently, her drapes falling once more over her scarred visage, hiding the hideousness of her form, if not that in her heart. "Care for him well," And her eye strayed it's pale glance to the huge man, "Ever an asset may not know his own means."
Glancing past him, she saw Wing moving at last, and cringed, starting to shake her head 'no', to hold the moment at bay for another breath.
And then the sound rang through the trees, the scream of desperation, of freedom being stripped away. Slavers.
Patim cursed herself as she leaped back from Rahl just as Wing closed for the attack. Paranoia was her servent, that which dressed and fed her, and she had all but resigned it when faced with her past. Diving to the wall of rough-woven entwined branches, she grabbed the bell-rope, yanking with her all her might, sending the claxon through the tree-tops.
Children and mothers scampered for the hiding places, and able fighters scrambled to aid their fellows.
Patim's machete was drawn from her back-sling and in her hand without forethought, her other hand reaching for her dagger.
Sidling past the fighting leaders, she blocked the door to the ladders, blades at ready...
Bayttee - September 8, 2010 09:06 PM (GMT)
Bayttee leaped to her feet as the world exploded into fury.
The first comer dove at her waist, thinking, apparently , to bear her back and through the thin walls to fall to the ground. He hadn't taken into account her greater mass and she stood unmoving as he ploughed into her.
They grappled, hand to hand, before she managed to get a grip around his waist and toss him away from her.
"MICHAEL! The door! Clear the door!"
Snapping her hand into her bag, she whipped out her pistol, aiming a clearing shot towards the scarred woman she had only moments before felt such pity for. Still did. Bayttee's suspicions had been confirmed, but they needed to get out of here. Alive. And with a minimum of harm to these people if at all possible.
Her finger clicked on the trigger.
Snapping the revolver open she discovered that it had been emptied sometime during the night. Swearing bitterly, Bay found herself assaulted from behind, someone's weight nearly dragging her to the floor. "DREW, my gun's empty! Nichole! We've got to get of here! Just run! Get back to the ship!"
Her attacker had hands around her throat and Bayttee threw herself backwards, the floor shuddering under the impact as she bore both her own weight and her attackers to the ground in hopes of squashing something vital in her opponent.
Michael O'Shea - September 9, 2010 04:09 PM (GMT)
He heard the shout just as the painkillers were really starting to take effect, the smile lingering on his lips even as he saw people start to move in the treetop hut. Suddenly, Rahl and the tribal leader were gone, in the moment it had taken Mike to blink and he heard more shouts, but couldn't make them out. Had someone said something about killing? And running? Wait...
"MICHAEL! The door! Clear the door!"
Had slavers landed? Lucky bastards must have followed them in and avoided the mines Atillian had blow on her way here. But then why were the villagers attacking Baytee? And why was the medic shouting at him to get the door cleared? Rutt it, those painkillers worked quickly, Mike thought as he slowly got to his feet, his muddled brain trying to work out what had happened.
Slavers... Waitaminute... But there was no time to finish the thought as a strong body crashed into him, flooring him with ease, punching the breath out of his lungs and sending a surge of adrenaline through his veins that cleared his head long enough to send an indisputable message to his muscles: Fight!
"DREW, my gun's empty! Nichole! We've got to get of here! Just run! Get back to the ship!"
He brought his knee up, not knowing if his attacker was male or female, but aimed for the groin anyway, while his right hand shot up toward the villager's temple. He felt his knee connect at the same time his knuckles smashed into bone, but the only reaction it produced were a grunt and then he felt sharp-nailed fingers wrapping around his throat with such strength that all Mike could do was flail against the attacker's body, screaming and yelling to get the attention of someone - anyone - who might help him.
Rahl - September 12, 2010 03:09 PM (GMT)
The secret was out - and that was the very least of Rahl's problems. Passengers could still be lied to, once everyone made it through this alive. As Wing pulled the blade free of his arm and sprang for another attack, a blade in each hand, Rahl acted automatically, grabbing the ex-slave by the shoulders and trying to force him to the ground. The knives jabbed a quick one-two towards his face, forcing him back and catching low on his wrist instead. Crimson liquid was ignored, both fighters bleeding now. All Rahl thought of was his ship, his crew.
To get off this rock, he had to get through Wing, had to get away from this skilled fighter who, no doubt, had plenty of others at his command to help track them on this unfamiliar planet assuming he couldn't do the job himself. Ziyou's leader was driven back as Rahl, unarmed, drove forward with bare hands and fists. Overhead, a claxon of bells refused to fade, the sound bringing a smile to Wing's face. "My people are safe, Captain. Can you say the same of yours?"
Rahl felt his jaw flex and tighten, as he struggled not to rise to the bait. Banter was a waste of energy, a beginner mistake, a distraction he couldn't afford until he got a knife back in his hand. Cold blue eyes stayed on his opponent as chaos continued to reign overhead. How many of them would make it out? What if they didn't?
"You look tired." Wing's voice was low, soft; it had taken on a hypnotic quality. "How long did you say you've worked with them? You still don't trust all of them, do you? This whole problem will go away if you let the people in your hold go free." Wing dodged another set of blows, smiling, a viper ready to strike. "I will let you and your people go free if you release those slaves."
Tempting. Lies. So tempting. Rahl backed up a few feet, circling; Wing mirrored the move, both searching, one for an opening, the other for answers, both for weakness. "Your crew won't last, you know. Not under your leadership. You drive them too hard. They carry too many secrets. I've told you this and you refused to listen. Are you still so stubborn, Captain?" As one, they moved in again, hit and strike and block, a dozen of each, another portion of the dance before moving apart again. Bruises would blossom on both bodies soon enough. Blood and adrenaline continued to pump as they circled again. Cuts, some razor thin, others deeper, bled slowly; one knife was embedded in Rahl's chest, making it hard to breathe. The blade, he knew without seeing, had pierced the healing 1, the warning The Lads had left him. It was time for plan B. It was time to leave.
Rahl circled slowly, working to ignore the feel of a weight pushing on his chest. As soon as he knew, once he was sure his sense of direction was right, Rahl turned his back and ran. Tearing through the trees, away from the treehouse, Rahl flew for his ship, Wing pounding steadily behind him.
The Breeze - September 16, 2010 08:57 PM (GMT)
The Breeze tried to get out of the way, to get up, to run, but it was like slow motion, like when a message got rutted up on the 'tex and everything spun down until she moved like she was underwater and Robin, everything, sounded like a foghorn in Arabic. But, really, it went so fast that the only real, conscious thought her brain got off was how much it hurt as Robin fell upon her, lifting her skin from beneath and making The Breeze bury her face in the dirt and just hold on, trying not to let the scream go, trying to stop shaking, because if she did, it was going to hurt. She could feel it now. Welling up in her throat, something raw and overwhelming and broken. If she let it out, it'd-
She heard the cracking sound first, and wondered what it was in the split second before everything lit up with fire, burned hot and then cold as the force of another blow passed through Robin and slammed into her as she lay bleeding out on the jungle floor.
A thousand years and a few seconds later The Breeze became aware, dimly conscious of the growing coldness of the world, of the way her own heartbeat had drowned out her capacity for all other sound, of the way her entire vision burst wide in an instant, then tunneled slowly down and down and down to seep into the leaf matter. The way her fingers touched metal.
She opened her eyes. It was a struggle because it felt like her face was weighed down with lead, sluggish and unresponsive. It. The part. It was still, somehow, nestled in the red mass of pulp, it's brassy whorls the only thing resembling a sun in sight. The Breeze looked down at the part and felt like the world was spinning, she was going to fall over because she couldn't breathe. She thought she heard wings.
Then she thrust the red-hot chunk of metal into Robin's face.
Robbin - January 27, 2011 09:38 PM (GMT)
Robbin rolled backwards as Breeze thrust the heavy hot metal towards his face in desperation. Fast, but not quite fast enough. It struck his chest, just at the v of his leather vest. The impact itself was a horse-kick that knocked his breath from his lungs, but the metal, dry hot from the forge, sizzled as it shredded a long strip of flesh from him.
His scream of anger echoed, the roar of a wounded lion.
The agonizing pain reeled him away from her, his hand automatically reaching to touch the brand and then drawing away again. The little beast was finished anyway, he decided, for all her fiest and violence, she wouldn't last long bleeding like that.
With another primal roar, pain melding with sinew, he turned to run for the tree-flets where the sounds of fighting could be heard.
And fell senseless to his knees as something clubbed him from behind.
Bayttee - January 31, 2011 02:00 PM (GMT)
In the sweltering jungle-green of Ziyou, Teelah Baynes stood over Robbin's fallen form, the wooden club she'd scooped up heavy in her hand.
Michael's screams for help renewed Bayttee's strength and she dove from under her attacker, grabbing them around the waist and using her considerable body-weight to launch them away from her and over the edge of the treehouse. The nurse tried not to think about the grinding thump that followed. Please don't let them be dead, she prayed, even as she dashed to Michael's rescue.
He'd gotten himself dunked under by two locals. Worst part was, Bayttee knew the guy didn't deserve it. He was just a passenger who happened to get on the wrong ship.
Like she was?
Arms flinging, she strode into the mess, pulling hair, grabbing clothes, anything to get a grip on the attackers and shove them away from them.
Grabbing up Michael, she winced at the claw-marks and bruises on his face. Without thinking, she yanked him to his feet, not releasing him as she ran for the ladder and unceremoniously dumped him down it in front her. Gorram. For a skinny bony guy he was heavier than he looked!
Hitting the ground, she yelled "RUN", shoving him after Drew and the others.
Hearing the already injured Breeze scream, she turned that direction and came into the clearing just in time for Robbin's retreat.
"Sorry about this." She whispered, more to herself than to the man, as she clubbed him over the head. Bay cringed,avoiding glancing down at the form in the dirt. Hopefully she'd managed to anything resembling brain damage...
Scooping Breeze, still clinging to the necessary part, she hoisted her over her shoulder in a fireman's carry and ran for the ship.
Post approval and GM permission given by Taokan & Charlie.
The Atillian - January 31, 2011 02:31 PM (GMT)
The crew of The Atillian has all returned, battered but unbroken, to The Atillian.
In their wake, they leave anger and desperate fear. Ziyou's people, who have eked out a meager existance on this forgotten, inhospitable world, have been compromised.
The universe has shown them the worst faces of mankind: The faces of those those who put a price on a human being. They survived, they escaped, and they found refuge in the sweltering deadly jungles and black sand plains. Now a slave ship has come among them and managed to escape again, threatening their way of life, their very freedom.
But perhaps in Patim's honest words, in the demonstration of care and aid to these people, they have struck a chord. A chord that will resonate: that will find it's way to the darkest places of the hearts of the Atillian crew.
Perhaps, though the encounter ended in senseless and inhumane violence, these strugglers for freedom have managed to light a spark.OOC:
Here ends the Atillian's encounter with Ziyou. Any further posting takes place at the ship.