The Not-so Amazing Race
The Drexl; Soulfire’s personal LAAT/i stuck out like a sore thumb from it’s resting position on the verdant fields outside of Arcona’s Citadel. The unvarying squall of wind caused the tall blades of grass to sway consistently against Juda’s legs from his perched spot on the transport’s open deck. The adolescent’s porcelain skin seemed to glow under the midday sun, his attire was composed of a simple, tight fitting dark tunic and trousers, separated by a black leather sash. The polar-opposite of his usual Soulfire armour.
Juda allowed himself a grin as he looked out on the several Arconan’s that stood before him, each looking slightly unsure as to why they had been gathered. Knight Mayda stood proud, greeting Juda with a warm smile, at her right hand was her apprentice, Moloch. His eyes burned with animosity as he waited patiently, next to Brigan, Jaxion and Kant.
A few feet to the East stood Erinos founders; Exarch Sashar and Warrior Zandro. Both of whom greeted Juda via slamming their clenched fists to their chests; the Soulfire salute. On the West were gathered other Arconans. Sakiyan Knight, Etah, Bran, Legorii and Draco
A soft breeze transmitted Juda's announcement for the mission they were all assembled to hear about, wondering why they would need two days off from their normal clan duties.
“Greetings friends!” Juda spoke only to be cut off by a heaving laugh from across the grassland, the adolescent Mandalorian turned to find Soulfire sergeant Kieran and ex-Soulfirian sniper Rho along with Malidir walking casually toward the crowd.
“Judika!” Rho bellowed in a half-drunken state while wrapping his arm around Kieran as the trio approached Sashar and Zandro.
“Yeah, we hit up the Last Stand bar when-” Kieran turned towards Juda and paused, before gesturing for the Knight to continue,
“Isn’t it a bit early to be drinking Sarge?” Juda said running a hand through his jagged crimson hair.
“Go back to bed then!” Kieran retorted with a grin.
“Ahem” Juda cleared his throat before continuing, “What you will face over the next two days will differ greatly from your usual training. Think of something along the lines of a checkpoint race, I will be splitting you up into three teams, each team must reach the desired location within six hours in order to continue.”
“Is there a purpose to this?” Etah asked, his arms folded across his burley chest.
“Prizes my bald-headed alien friend, prizes!” Juda beamed.
“Before I go anywhere, what are the teams?” Sashar demanded.
“The first two teams consists of five members which are as follows, Team Mayda; Moloch, Jaxion, Brigan, Kant and of course May” Juda paused to give a wink to the fiery red-head. “Team D’tana consists of Etah, Bran, Legorii, Draco and Rho.”
“That leaves Kieran, Zandro, Mal and myself?” Sashar pointed out.
“Indeed it does, you four will make up Team Erinos.”
“I can live with that” Kieran retorted.
The Drexl’s engines were almost silent as it peacefully glided through Naboo’s atmosphere, the sprawling lakes and oceans that wrapped flourished islands and mainland seemed almost crystal clear, even from such a height.
“Another note.” Juda said, “At each location I will be giving each team a cache, you can use the items inside as you see fit… or not” Juda turned to hand out three small metallic caches.
“What’s in them?” Mayda asked, shaking it.
“For Naboo, I’m giving you a blowtorch, data pad and 100 credits.”
“Judika, have you ever been to Naboo?” Sashar asked,
“No, master. Why?”
“Because 100 credits won’t even buy you a round of drinks here!” Kieran butted in.
Juda stared for a moment at Zandro who was lost deep in thought before turning to the cockpit bay, “Sli'Rui, this’ll do nicely”
The Twi’lek pilot nodded her acceptance as she jerked the steering helm sending the Drexl into a steady decent. Juda opened the shutter-doors thirty feet from landing and inhaled deeply.
“Your first mission is to navigate successfully through that!” The young medic pointed toward the extensive forest made up of greens and browns, flooded with swamps and marshes. “You have six hours to get to the co-ordinates I’ve programmed into your data pads, I’ll be waiting on the other side of Theed for you.”
“Your on extensive training when we get back Judika” Kieran snarled.
First off, in case that was a bit shaky, the teams are as follows;
The idea with this RO is to be creative, try out things, be funny but most of all, have fun! Don’t write yourself getting to the checkpoint, just navigating there as I will write the checkpoint posts every four days.
Also, to avoid the old age excuse of ‘certain people are hogging it, so I never got a chance’ each person is only allowed to post a maximum of 3 posts per day.
But yeah, that’s basically it, just have fun with it!
Points will be based on creativity and how much you make me giggle. With that said, onward friends! Onward! For the first location, navigate through Naboo’s swamplands into the City of Theed.
Mayda patiently waited to see if this was the way things would work, before she decided what to do. This was not the set of rules and expectations that she had been told about, and she wasn't quite sure if she would participate.
She advised those people who had been assigned to her to wait for word if the situation would change, per whatever Juda would say next, but she was not going forward.
The almost permanently gruff Moloch wondered why the hell he even got himself into this whole game, then with a look at Mayda he remembered. Wherever the Mistress went he would follow, if he could, he gave a quick nod of support her way before looking over at the whelp Brigan.
One thing could be said for sure about the guy, he had shown guts where other would have fled. The recent war people might think but no, he braved the churning waters of Mistress Ferium's initial words and actions and had returned once more to work beside her. Noticing his 'team-mate' looking back in his direction Moloch gave a scowl, couldn't let the whelp think he had earned some form of trust or equality yet.
Moloch wasn't done looking tough. Once finished with Brigan he looked towards Etah, he had met the man once, though not formally enough to exchange names. Today he was the enemy though and so Moloch would be even colder than before. The Guardian was so busy keeping up appearances that he almost continued right past his mistress as she had taken up a spot to the side. He quickly turned and faced her upon noticing and moved in closer, close enough to whisper "A trek through the swamps wasn't on my to do list today, I do hope I haven't blindly followed you into something pointless my Mistress.” Before she even had enough time to give him any sort of look Moloch himself by adding, “Though of course I trust your guidance and you definitely know what you are doing."
The five members of team d’Tana dropped off the shuttle and followed the locator toward the coordinates for the first checkpoint. Etah and Rho were in the lead, the other three members of clan Arcona trudging behind. The two Dark Jedi Knights argued the merits and weakness of the Sith and the Obelisk.
The terrain, which started out forested, soon devolved into jungle and swamp. The members plodded through the grayish muck, five pairs of legs making ‘schlork’ sounds as the viscous mud tried to suck the boots off their legs.
“I’m going to kill Juda,” Rho said while staggering forward toward the prize.
Through the mists and fogs the five dark Jedi came upon a small, wizened creature perched on a rock in the middle of the path. He had blue skin with white tufts of fur on top of his round head and under the chin. He was a chubby little being wearing a green shimmersilk robe and carrying a wooden walking stick. He watched the small party approach with a bemused expression.
“No farther can you go. I am No-Duh, wizard of the forest and master of life,” the creature said.
“That’s what you think, you little garden gnome,” growled Etah as he tried to shove his way past.
No-Duh swung his cane into the Obelisk’s shins, causing an audible ‘thunk’. Etah cursed and limped backward.
“You little kriffer.” The DJK pushed out with the Force to fling the wizard out of the way, but No-Duh sat there serenely, smiling his simple-minded grin.
“Pass you cannot, until you answer my quiz. But fail it you shall, because stupid you all are.”
Mayda tapped her foot, extremely annoyed that the rules of the training had been changed without consultation with her, who shared in its creation. One or two people told her it should not be changed, and to roll with it, but Mayda had principles and did not have the time or effort for what it had now become, it was not what she had agreed to.
As luck would have it, her comm urgently blinked red. She took the call, as she listened, her face dropped. She spoke to Moloch through the force, conveying her emotion.
She informed Juda and her team members, "I regret to inform you that I am unable to compete in this training exercise. I must depart immediately for my home world, Moloch will accompany me, and we will be gone for some time. I am sure that Knight Juda will decide what to do with the remaining three members, and I wish you all well on your endeavors. Goodbye, friends."
And with that, she made another call to the Naboo City Transport, and the two went on their way to the Spaceport.
It was more than clear to Rho that he had gotten himself into something that he really didn't want to do. Although, even though this, so far, seemed out of Juda's character, as Rho's former Soulfire comrade, he trusted Juda. Yeah, the rules were a little unclear at the moment, but he knew that in the end it would all make sense.
In the mean time, there were what seemed to be a little troll-like creature asking them to answer a riddle? Where were they, some kind of fairy-tale? Rho, Etah and their team had places to go and things to do so this was completely unacceptable.
"Listen troll... we have no time nor patience for your games." Rho says authoritatively while igniting his Crimson Light-Saber and pointing it directly at the forehead of this creature. "And if you do not remove yourself from our path we will be forced to remove you. It's your choice."
The tiny, self-proclaimed wizard stared down the lightsaber blade as a look of disappointment wafted across his face. He shook his head. “Angry and violent you are, and nothing but blood and strife shall you find in these swamps. Warned you, I have.” With these words the gnome leapt into the air, bonked Rho atop the head with his stick, and vanished into the jungle canopy before the Dark Jedi Knight could swing his blade at the strange creature.
The members of clan Arcona looked askance at one another, then almost as if in unison reached out with the Force into the surrounding fauna. The mood in the jungle grew dark, forbidding, making the aura of the Force swirl with cold anger.
Etah took a step towards their goal, stopped, and looked back. “Draco, take point.”
The young Guardian pointed to his chest. “Me? I’m not the one who ticked off the midget.” After seeing the steely stare of the Obelisk he grudgingly plodded forward through the mire.
Etah slapped him on the head as he passed. “Next time don’t hesitate when I give an order.”
The five beings trudged forward, spread out like points on a pentagram. All had weapons out and ready, and the younger members at least grew jumpy as the screeches of unknown creatures echoed through the trees and reverberated off the dank waters of the swamp.