Timbal's Poaching Teams!
House Acclivis Draco Headquarters Facility,
Valley of Silence, Heimdall Mountain Range, Hela Continent,
Antenora, Cocytus System,
Dark Brotherhood Territories
Timbal gently shut off his comlink, still wincing at the chewing out that his Consul had given him. He still found it odd that he could still get chewed out, considering his seniority in his beloved Clan, but that was Phoenix for you. He didn’t give a single micron who or what you were, but he cared about results. Shrugging it off, he was about to turn and start issuing orders to his former Student, Xathia, but she had already graduated from the vaunted Scholae Palatinae Master/Student program about a month now. Sighing, he knew that he was going to have to get used to not having such an informal assistant from now on.
He thought and thought about his assignment, and finally just threw up his hands in frustration. Forget it, he thought, just do the thing here. He put the comlink away, he stalked away from the library, heading off to his own quarters. He had a project to complete.
Turning on his deskcomp, he went through his mental checklist again, and started to add their names to this communication that he working on. Scheduling the transportation was the easy part, so he got that done next. Finally, getting the proper items signed out from the armory was another bit of red tape that he had to go through, but his seniority helped him immensely here. Arranging to have everything shipped by the specified time, he flipped the machine off with annoyance and went off to find his drinking buddy.
Well of the Dragon,
Somewhere between Li Gandor and Batnare,
Antenora, Cocytus System,
Dark Brotherhood Territories
Three days later
The Delta X-9 transport Impaler sealed its’ cargo door, and with a much increased whine of its’ repulsorlifts, it departed back to Clan headquarters.
The people that have been left behind nervously but excitedly looked around, realizing the danger that they were all in. The Krath Epis didn’t waste time and cracked open the cases that were left behind with them. Removing a blaster rifle, he tossed it at Guardian Q’win, and motioned to the others to follow his lead.
“Get equipped, people,” he warned, and looked around. Most of them started grabbing gear and equipment, although most of those that have earned their lightsabres kept them as their only armament. Timbal thought it unwise, but he wasn’t going to take them to task about it. He himself was loaded up with his normal combat outfit and gear, amongst which included his dual sai, a selection of grenades, and quite a few throwing stars. His lightsabre rounded off his weaponry selection.
Dante spoke up. “So, Epis, any specific target you had in mind?”
Timbal shook his head. “Negative. Just team up with whom you want to, and look for the biggest animal you can find. Remember, the winner is the team or individual that kills the biggest creature!”
With that, he pointed at Nokkon, and beckoned him to follow him. Nokkon looked surprised, and asked, “Why me?”
Timbal dryly said, “That way you won’t hump Xathia’s leg while I’m out of sight.” With that, Timbal set out to stalk his prey.
The others looked around, and formed up. Time to go poaching!
Well of the Dragon,
Somewhere between Li Gandor and Batnare,
Antenora, Cocytus System,
Dark Brotherhood Territories
He looked around, realising that their could be any creature out their of any size, just waiting to attack, waiting to consume them, waiting to die.
He picked up his gear, claiming a blaster and his favoured weapon, the katana. Strapping them to his belt he looked round to see the others which had come to enjoy the hunt.
“So, who do I get to team up with? I have a plan, find water and you we will find predators, find predators and we can win.”, he said smiling.
Dante eyed him up and down, “Remind me who you are again.”
The Nelvaanian growled, “Guardian Elad Cirith of Caliburnus, proud apprentice of Ras and easily wound up so don't forget who I am.”
Dante may have been more senior and the new Dark Paladin, but Elad didn't care. He just wanted to win, for himself and to prove himself to Ras and the rest of Caliburnus.
Jack looked at the scenery taking all of it in. His home planet and Korriban were never as green and full of life as this one was. On Vjuun all it did was rain and keeping up with vaders castle was no small task, then again he had the help of the Imperial Remenant. On Korriban it was too windy and going through the Sith Tombs was no small feat either. More sand than anything in the world and half of the tombs were caved in so you had to move the rocks in order to get through them. Here was different, WAY different than what he was use to. He also had his mistress with him so if he got into any "trouble" she would be able to help him to an extent. Last time he hunted animals in the wild he came back with no arm. Hopefully this time he'll come back with something more than just no arm.
After hearing the call to grab equipment and weapons, Jack moved over to the combat gear and barely got into some tight fitting light armor. Thinking to himself "good thing I don't have to get out of this in a hurry otherwise I'll be in trouble." Not having a lightsaber yet he went to the next best thing, something he mastered long time ago. He moved to where the swords were kept and picked around until he found a double-bladed Quarterstaff. After finding the Quarterstaff he pulled it out of the footlocker it was stored in and twirled it around to see if it would work for his pleasure before grabbing a survival gear backpack. He waited for his mistress, xathia to get ready before they moved out towards the west exploring the area and spending time with his mistress. Back at the academy he would always train and study leaving little time to learn from his mistress.
Well of the Dragon,
Antenora, Cocytus System,
Dark Brotherhood Territories
Korvyn stepped out of the Shuttle into an unfamiliar world. At once the Sweat began pouring off him like a river. Caina was a Frozen Wasteland and the heat here was almost unbearable. The Landing Zone was clear for now but the animals would soon forget about the Noise from the Transport and would come to investigate. Korvyn Pulled his Bryar Pistol Instinctively at the first Loud noise.
His Nightstalker armor was going to be little help in the Open desert. So Korvyn knew his only move was to head into the underbrush. Turning quickly Korvyn Heard a Crunching sound underneath his feet, looking down Korvyn saw what 5 seconds ago was a Desert Beetle. Korvyn Quickly held it up and said laughingly” Korvyn one, everyone else Zero.”
Tra'an Reith made a hard deceleration burn from orbit, realizing that he was rather late. Meeting with Lucien on Judecca had, of course, put him behind schedule, again. He was gratified to see the shuttle that had dropped the others was just rising through the Ionosphere, indicating that he wasn't overly late. The sonic boom from Stellar vibrations shook the undergrowth below him as he came out of blackout. His sensors came to life as the navigation computer directed him to the landing beacon the was still pulsing.
He set the ship for auto pilot and ran to the back, grabbing his standard armament. The ship slowed as it came with 300 yards of the landing area, opened the airlock from him, gave him twenty seconds to drop and clear, before it accelerated again. It headed for orbit, where it would wait for a call from him. He was surprised to see that there were others without significant armor. All he was wearing was a soft black skinsuit that was designed to protect from the elements and help rehydrate him as the world drained away his water through the suffocating humidity.
Striding at a fast pace, he walked directly over to Xathia. "Still not found a partner yet? I'd like to hunt with you if you don't mind." He smiled rather disarmingly at his friend, hoping she wouldn't mind. As he waited for her answer, his body shifted a bit to accommodate the gravity of his new home planet, as it did every time he set foot on Antenora. The gravity he had been boosting at to get here as soon as he did was a bit more than the dampeners could take, so he had adjusted his body to compensate.
His comlink beeped as it transferred a datastream from his ship to his pad. Pulling it out, he looked it over and winced. The Vibrations was going to need some serious overhaul from what he had done to it. Putting that away, he watched as many of the people wandered away in groups after collecting gear. He patted down his own armament, and inventoried the storehouses within him. Grenades, holdout blasters, knives, vibroblades, training saber, and thermal detonator, all check.
He was good to go, now it was up to Xathia.
Q'win stood holding the blaster rifle that was thrust in his hands rather dumbfounded. He watched as people gathered pieces of equipment that he had no clue about, and he wondered about armour? Why would anyone need armour when hunting?
The Judaccian had been hunting since his youth, but his home world had been stripped of any major predators back when the Rakata first seeded the planet, so the worst that he knew was either the 100 kg rolsk (a boar like creature) or the 10 kg flying fox.
Although Q'win has his katana with him, he would feel a lot more comfortable with his hunting spears from home, but he was determined to learn to do things as the great wizards do, and this was all a part of it.
Then the Guardian notices Elad getting eyed by Dante, noticing how comfortable he seems with the equipment so he decides to wander over and see if he'd be willing to help Q'win out for this exercise.
The day was young, and so were most of the the Journeymen that huddled and skirted around him. Back on the shuttle, Prajna had already made a bet on the first round of drinks that he would beat Dante. Their friendly rivalry was the main thing that spurred the Cerean on this excursion; that with the possibility of seeing some of his young house cherubs in action. The new Aedile scanned the hair and helmets among the folks who came for the ride, and recognized many from his time in House Caliburnus not to long ago. Still only Dante stuck out as a fellow Son of the Lost Sun.
As Lord Berkana drifted his way to the edge of the clearing, he didn't exactly blend in with the surroundings. Most people rarely saw a Cerean in their whole life. Being a head and shoulders above everyone didn't support it. Surprising to the Templar, the distracted youngsters were still hustling to grab their preferred weapons.
His large hands pulled a datapad out from under his robes. Prajna scanned through a recon report he had been required to make about six months ago. Nothing in here was even bigger than twice his size. PJ sighed. Will this hunt even be worth it? Perhaps they would hunt into the night and find somethings more interesting.
A sassy comment caused PJ to spin his head. Not five meters away, Korvyn, a Guardian Prajna recognized from roll, turned and stepped into the jungle alone. PJ flipped a nod to Dante as a silent good luck from across the clearing. Prajna swept up a scoped assault rifle off the ground, throwing the strap over his back, and parted the shrubbery to shadow the bold Journeyman.
“You shouldn’t have taken me for a partner, Timbal. I am a city kid. No big game hunter over here.” Nokkon stomped through the wilderness behind the shorter leader of the expedition. “I mean, I would assume you want to kill some big beasty out here.”
“That would be the point Nokkon, and it isn’t going to happen with you making more noise than a bantha giving birth.” The Epis had a dangerous edge to his voice. “I told you I wanted to keep you away from Xathia, but truth be told, you could stand to learn a bit from me out here too.”
Nokkon made a face at Timbal’s back and followed in silence after the rebuke. The untrained Corellian could see the point, but that didn’t mean it was going to sit well with him. Looking behind him, Nok wondered whom Xathia had chosen to take with her. The grunt Timbal gave out brought Nok back to reality for a second. The little Epis was crouched down and staring at the ground. Nok walked up behind him and glanced over Timbal’s shoulder.
“Tell me what you see, boy.” Timbal commanded. The ground was chewed up pretty good. Nokkon could see that at least two different animals had been on this track, but that is all his inexperienced mind could tell.
“Looks like a pack of wild Voorpaks had a feeding frenzy.” Nok grinned. Timbal looked at him in complete disgust and started to point out the different tracks and what they meant. Nokkon tried not to appear too interested, but couldn’t help and retain some of the information Timbal was passing on to him. A triumphant roar was heard from a distance ahead of them and Timbal smiled.
“Sounds like our prey found his prey. Now lets get after this nasty beasty of ours.” Timbal trotted off and Nokkon could do nothing but follow. This didn’t seem like the wisest course to the Hunter. The thing sounded quite large to Nokkon’s ears.
Korvyn crept from tree to tree. He knew Prajna was following him. A presence that strong in the dark side was impossible to ignore. Korvyn didn’t mind though since this was a team hunt. The Forest around them was eerily quite. Usually Forests were teaming with life and noise. It was probably just the crunching noises of twigs under Prajna’s feet though. Stealth was obviously not one of his strong points.
Korvyn knelt down examining tracks in the soft ground. The tracks were of average size not much bigger than Korvyn’s on hand. The prints held no sign of talons or claws and were not very deep. It was pretty Obvious to him that this were from a herbivore of not to great a size.
“Not very big and not Dangerous” Korvyn said as he heard Prajna approaching.
“Nothing here really is” Prajna replied.
Korvyn stared off into the forest trying to picture in his mind what to do next. Prajna spoke up first offering a suggestion since he at least knew something of the area.
"As you grow in the Force, which only time and patience can bring, you will learn to hear and see things that you didn't even know existed." Prajna spoke to the human he had followed in an old wise man's lecturing voice that he had learned over many mistakes in his years learning under Braecen Kaeth. "Even now, though, you can reach out and feel the Force around you."
Korvyn nodded, and looked around as if his eyes could see the Force. "The trees are alive like they are breathing like they are one living organism."
"Good," Prajna agreed. "Now listen to the ground." Korvyn looked confused. The Guardian's Aedile urged him on. "Go ahead, put your ear to the ground and listen. Feel with the Force, and hear the movement around you. The larger prey will be easier to find, and that is what we are looking for."
The scared hand reached to the ground, as Korvyn supported his weight to his hands. He felt the vibrations against the ground, and for a moment he actually did feel something. "I feel a pack of creatures moving." He looked up. "West?"
"If I took the time to fully meditate, as a Cerean I could map out every creature and tree in the forest, with enough time. But where is the fun in that?" They both laughed lightly.
"However, for now your judgment is correct. Where there is critter herds, there is most likely larger predators hunting. That is as good of a place as any to start. Lets go!" Prajna moved west without waiting for his hunting partner to keep up.
Well, Bal, you've certainly gotten yourself into a spot, the tall, dark-haired man thought to himself as he shouldered his rifle. The weight felt reassuring in his hands, giving him some comfort in this world that seemed devoid of metal. Life teemed around him, seeming to be untouched by any civilized race. He wiped his brow with the sleeve of his robe before trudging on through the forest. He could imagine the others fading away from the cases and thought briefly of the elder Jedi as they each made their own way through the brush.
He didn't know why, but he hated this training more than anything else. He was angry at his superiors for sending him here, but something else knawed at the back of his mind. He couldn't quite place what it was, but it made him lose focus, something he did not do often. He stopped in his tracks and leaned against a tree, checking through his pack for the water rations that had been distributed.
Fear!? he thought abruptly as he figured out what was eating him. What could I fear in this place? There doesn't seem to be many predators, and if there were, I have my rifle. A faraway roar caused him to snap his rifle up and search around him. The air seemed to be dense all of the sudden and he gulped in air greedily, his breathing becoming louder in his mind.
"Hot damn, I AM afraid," he muttered to himself as he lowered his rifle. He leaned against the tree again and brought out the small canteen. The water felt cool as he swished it in his mouth and swallowed. Replacing the canteen into his pack, he thought about where he should go. I'm no hunter, and I sure as hell don't know where I'm going out here. Maybe the direction of the roar? Predators seem to roar when threatened or when claiming something, like a meal.
Pleased with himself at coming up with what seemed like an intelligent answer, he shouldered his pack and picked up his rifle. He started moving again, slowly and trying not to make too much noise crashing through the forest...
Looking around at the others starting to leave he got an uneasy feeling as he has a flashback to the night he got his robotic arm. If anybody was near him they could sense the uneasy feeling and if their very fine tuned into the force can also witness the flashback.
Joe, Jack, Eva and shala'mal are on dantooine hunting when they come across some old AT-ST's that have been destroyed but still standing up with some of the destroyed parts being sharp.
The girls cheer and comment about the old AT-ST. Almost on cue the AT-ST falls towards the group. Jack being the strongest out of the 4 push everyone out of the way before jumping a little late away getting his right arm severed.
Shaking his head to clear the image away from his mind he gathered up some medical kits just in case that "incident" should rise again and looked around wondering who would make the camp seeing as everyone has gone out to hunt. Remembering from his days back on Vjunn and Korriban "you never know when your going to need a foward base for when fate will throw you a curve ball and hit you square in the nuts"
Digging through the other equipment looking for the base equipment he started making a foward base sorting weapons and armor into several piles.
It is a thing of beauty and grace, to watch a well tuned force muster their gear and move off as assigned. Q'win was impressed and amazed with the efficiency that everyone seemed to move around in. As he wandered over to talk to people, and picking up pieces of gear that he'd seen others grab but had no idea what they were, he noticed that anyone who might be able to assist him seemed to always vanish before he made his way to them.
Not being one to just give up, the Guardian hauled his gear off away from the west, where most seemed to head. If he was going to figure out how to use this blaster rifle there better not be anyone nearby, just in case.
What had seemed a sure transport route at the base camp was quickly overgrown within half a kilometer so that without a good eye one could not tell where it went. The thinning of trees behind let Q'win know which way not to shoot, and so he started looking over the blaster rifle. Not wanting to shoot himself in the shoulder he made sure which end was the barrel and which the butt. Sitting with his back against a tree the Jucaccian brought the weapon to his shoulder and eyed down the sight. He could feel the trigger guard with his finger, but kept away from the trigger until he was ready to actually use it.
The weapon lowered to rest on his upraised knees as Q'win allowed himself to sink into some revelry. It had been over a year now since he left his home, and so much had happened in that time. To go from living a simple nomadic life in a wilderness very like where he'd found himself today, into a magical and very busy life, was a huge shift. So he lust let himself soak in the surroundings.
Quietly, slowly, something seemed to be creeping into his awareness. His ears could pickup the little noises, and his nose caught a shift in the air. Was someone coming from the camp to check on him, or was the world bringing to Q'win that which he was supposed to be seeking?
Seeing as how everyone was out doing their things and not wanting to get killed on this little "hunt" Jack opted to stay behind and guard the gear as anybody knows with hunting, wierd things happen when you leave your gear behind. After searching through several boxes of armor, weapons and medical supplies he finially found what he was looking for.
Thinking "who in their right mind would put the field base supplies at the bottom of this stuff. Hunting Rules #1 states: Always make sure that you put your medical supplies and foward base operation equipment at the top of what your going to take with you. You never know when fate will hit you at the worst possible time." Shaking his head at the poor packing he shuffled the stuff around before gathering the gear and sitting it out several feet from where the armor and other supplies are.
He reached for his com link and activated it talking to the others "Acolyte Jack Okason here. Foward Base should be up and operational in a few minutes. Grab your food when you want it. Okason out"
Jack dug around in the base supplies getting everything he needs to build tables to put supplies on and shelters in case they are spending more than a few days. He slid off his cloak and put the staff away and started building the medical tent and activating the medical droids.
Bal could barely percieve the message that had been sent through his comlink. He was creeping through the brush, his eyes following the sight of his rifle. Hunting wasn't his thing, but he did know that sneaking up on a kill was a hell of a lot better than trudging up to your prey. Bal could be patient when he wanted to, he just rarely wanted to. Not exactly my strong point, he thought with a grimace. High time I work on that.
A slight noise to his left caused him to spin, the barrel of his rifle whipping around to track the disturbance. A look of confusion crossed Bal's face. How the hell did I know to do that? It's almost like I've been taught to do this, but I can't ever remember training for it. Could that be what I was before? A soldier? he thought. His past was coming back to him, teaching him a bit more of what he was, where he had been. But he still didn't know who he was. All he had now for answers was the DB. It unnerved him.
He didn't have too much time to think about it, however. Without warning, a fast, blurry figure jumped out of the brush and knocked into Bal from behind, lurching him forward. He was quick on his feet, though, and pivoted his foot while swing the other leg around to come to a crouch on one knee. His rifle traced up to point at the figure that had attacked him and his finger almost squeezed the trigger. A flash of recognition caused him to stop.
The face of his attacker was tanned to an almost brown tint. Brown hair and eyes complemented his skin tone, making him seem like he had sprouted out of the dirt. He could probably fit in to any forest 'tribe' on some worlds, Bal thought. Though I know better. He was on the shuttle with me. He noticed the man holding up his hands in a gesture of surrender, and realized he was still pointing his rifle at him. He lowered it quickly.
"I'm sorry. Q'win didn't know you were behind the brush," the man said quickly. "Forgive me."
Bal gave a tight-lipped grin. "No harm done. I'm just glad I didn't shoot you." He came up to his feet and held his hand out to shake. "The name's Bal. You are?"
Exodius trotted through the brush, occasionally sniffing the air. He stopped to double-check his weapons, making sure his lanvarok was loaded. He then took out a small laser sharpener and honed the edges of his gauntlet blades. The reptilian smiled as he felt his lightsaber in his shoulder holster, forgoing the traditional belt clip, favoring the broadsword appearance. The Prelate sniffed the air again, catching the scent of death close by. Intrigued by this, the Trandoshan hunter headed off in the direction the smell came from.
A clearing appeared up ahead and the source of the smell became apparent: bodies of a lost patrol littered the clearing. Thinking back, he remembered on patrol not reporting in, but it was dismissed as "abandonment." Looking around, he noticed a cave entrance just outside the clearing. He looked and found the sergeant's datapad. He looked and noticed that the helmet camera feed was still active. Exodius punched in the video and downloaded it to his datapad. Sitting down, he watched the video, freezing it when he saw the blurry image of what killed the patrol. The beast was about as large as a rancor, except it had tusks and spines on the back. Something about the image sent a chill down the Obelisk's spine. He sent the image into the database to search for a match. Settling down for a wait, the Trandoshan Prelate meditated, focusing his power on the hunt, hoping to score some more Jagganath points for the Scorekeeper, the Trandoshan deity. Just then, his datapad pinged with a match in the Dark Brotherhood bestiary. Exo’s eyes widened as he read the information. Looking around, the large reptilian moved slowly away from the cave as he reached for his comlink.
“Timbal, I think we might have a problem….”
The two set off once again heading west. The force seemed to flow through Korvyn. He had almost forgotten what it felt like. To have such a strong connection as he once had ripped away was like blinding someone. Those who could not feel the Force would never understand of course.
The snapping of twigs brought Korvyn back to reality as he turned toward Prajna. It really wasn’t his fault he was so loud. He lacked the training that Korvyn had received.
“You sound like a Bantha. Put your weight onto the ball of your heal and pretend your rolling onto your toes.” Korvyn said as he showed him the motion with his hands. “It’s a simple technique but should help you a lot.”
Turning and setting back off again there was considerably less crunching noises coming from behind him. Instead it was coming from the east. Korvyn held up his hand telling Prajna to stop and slowly crept forward. The Jungle around them was denser here and Korvyn made great effort to remain in sight of Prajna so they didn’t get separated. Korvyn drew not his blaster but a Combat Knife in a reverse grip as he crouched down waiting to pounce on the creature emerging from the jungle.
Tra'an watched with a small amount of dismay as another shuttle arrived with orders for Xathia to leave with it for immediate duty somewhere else. The orders had been sealed and from Phoenix, so he assumed she was off to "save the clan" once again. As it was, this left him by himself as he no longer had a partner and all of the teams were long gone. Pulling out one of his vibroblades, he followed in the tracks of Timbal and Nokkon. If nothing else, Nokkon's relative inexperience made it far easier to track them than Timbal's experienced skills.
He followed the underbrush, occasionally slicing away some random poisonous reptile or hostile bird analog that decided he was its next prey despite being far better armed and armored than they could ever hope to kill. Then again, he wasn't one to take the time to use the Force to integrate himself with his environment if the situation didn't require him too. Thrashing noises grew louder as Nokkon moved through the underbrush ahead of him. The sounds were easy enough to follow since he knew what to listen for.
Soon enough, Nokkon's back was in sight. Tra'an kept his distance for now, observing the pair as they moved, well aware that Timbal had long since been aware of his presence and was slightly amused by the game that was being played. He trusted that for now, Timbal knew where he was going to find something of an interesting prey for them to hunt.
Timbal looked slowly around, not happy. The tracks that he saw on the floor indicated something big was around, and it was a fresh. Even worse, Timbal had a sense of foreboding. Whenever that happened, Timbal knew that something not good was about to happen. His extensive combat experience had sharpened up his senses, and with the Force he felt like he was on a sensory overload.
It didn’t help that Nokkon was busy creating a huge racket behind him, so Timbal deadened his senses in Nokkon’s direction, but not before he sensed Tra’an creeping up much more stealthily than Nokkon. Timbal sensed the Shi'ido’s dark sense of humor amusing him at the thought of surprising the inept Nokkon, but Timbal kept his own sense of humor in check, since he knew something still wasn’t right.
Unexpectedly, his commlink vibrated, and Timbal stopped to retrieve it. After checking his surroundings for anything that might attack him while he was distracted, he checked the small display built-into the unit.
Exodius was reporting what sort of animal he had run into, and Timbal frowned. He wasn’t aware of such an animal, and had to run the name through his datapad.
He quickly skimmed the description, and what he found made his mouth run dry. He was about to turn and start issuing orders when a piercing bestial scream was uttered by a huge creature that was about twenty meters away.
It charged forward with amazing grace and speed for such a huge animal. Timbal’s combat instincts kicked in, and he flung himself forward, tucking himself into a ball to absorb the impact better.
He let the forward momentum carry him forward a bit, and then he unfolded himself unto his feet, his ignited lightsabre immediately in his hand and into a protective stance.
He saw that the animal was not stupid, as it completely ignored the fast-moving Epis and instead set its’ sights on Nokkon.
Timbal immediately yelled, “Move!” but the Dark Jedi stood rooted to the spot, clearly frightened out of his mind. Timbal only had a second to react…
Before he could even complete the thought, his lightsabre was flung forward towards the huge creature, hoping to at least distract it from the Corellian. It indeed intersected the beast, and in fact the blade sizzled a deep cut on the creature, but its’ thick hide and obvious layers of fat and muscle kept it from being anything but an annoyance.
In the meantime, it grabbed Nokkon with its’ monsterous claw hands, and snipped his head off with a huge pair of mandibles. The head was promptly swallowed by the beast, with the rest of the body following in similar gruesome fashion.
Timbal was only peripherally aware of this, as by now he had already called his lightsabre back to him and was busy retreating as stealthily as he could. Through the Force, he felt the shock coming through from Tra’an, but he knew that the Jedi Hunter was himself busy making his own advance to the rear.
As soon as Timbal was out of stalking range of the beast, he pulled out his commlink and quietly but insistently commanded all teams to retreat to the forward base that Okason had staked out, and to prepare for heavy contact. He quickly switched channels to Jacks’ personal commlink and informed him to stand ready with the E-Web, and for the love of Sith to not shoot the incoming Clan members. He killed the channel, and thought furiously.
The lower-ranking members should be fine if they managed to rally at the forward base, since Timbal knew that the heavy concentration of firepower there should be able to keep these things back at a distance. However, he needed someone smart to command them, and he couldn’t leave the few full Jedi that were sprinkled amongst the teams in charge because he needed him for other duties. That left only one person in mind.
Timbal changed the channel on his commlink again. “Tra’an!” he almost shouted at the commlink. He waited a few moments, and then got a very nervous and exasperated, “What?!” in reply.
“Take command of the forward base. DO NOT CALL FOR REINFORCEMENTS OR A TRANSPORT! I don’t want these things anywhere near a transport, I want them contained here. I’ll be setting up an ambush for this thing, and I’ll draw its’ attention to keep it away from you. When you hear a commotion coming from my direction, get the hell out of here.”
Timbal didn’t wait for the Hunter to reply, but the sudden spike of fear in the Force reinforced that he was heard. Timbal quickly looked around, and saw nothing really that could hurt this monster. So that meant that he had to get its’ attention so Tra’an could leave. He took a deep breath, and let fly with his blaster rifle….
Kara hunted on the East side of the base, but after getting Timbal's message, she cut that short, and headed back to the base, where she hoped she would meet up with the rest of her Clan-mates. On the way back, she logged some very interesting findings, as well as having taken pictures and coordinates for those finds. She'd want to return there later to study them, if conditions and time permitted.
After getting the medical tent up and the medical droids working he took a break and moved over to where the food and waters was and had a meal. He worked to get that tent up and was sweating some. This is when he got the call about the reatreat.
Almost choking on his drink when he heard to get the E-webs he put his drink down and started to unpack all of the heavy weapons and setting up defensive positions around the camp. He heard the retreat call and knew that fate had thrown the party a curve ball that hit the nuts. Good thing he was starting the camp otherwise the stay here would be very short and very painful... or worse.
After digging around for the weapons and meeting up with Kara and several others that didn't have a chance to make it out to hunt he started to coordinate defensive positions and e-web placements with them until timbal or whoever was in charge came back. Jack told everyone to suit up for battle and to watch their fire and to feel with the force on who is a friendly and who is the enemy.
"Give me a 360 spread on these e-webs. Cover all directions with these e-webs. we have enough to cover our flanks. If your medically trained grab a medical kit and wait for casualities. Triage the wounded if any. Worst case's go in the shuttle, rest go in the medical tent. Move it people, we're about to get hard and the fight of the life time. Grab a heavy rifle if your trained in it and take up a defensive position. The rest listen up. Those with lightsabers guard next to the e-webs, those good with e-webs and without lightsabers man those damn guns. This isn't a corellian tea party. This is life and death people." Jack barked these orders as if he was commanding the forward base itself. The anger that was in his voice was prominent and authorative although he was only an Acolyte in the Sith order he still could bark orders as if he was a full forced Jedi
All around him people are setting up the defenses and donning armor. He grabbed his comm link and opened it for all hunting parties "A defensive perimeter is being set up in a 360 angle to cover all flanks of the base. E-webs and small arms for those not with lightsabers, saber wielders are guarding the e-webs. Medic's are on standby. See you guys soon. Okason out"
He cleared his mind and readied himself for the fun that is about to begin.
Waiting for a distraction didn't take all that long. Timbal let fly with a useless barrage of blaster shots right into the hindquarters of this over-large beast of hell. He left immediately, not bothering with stealth since speed was the important thing. He let the Force flood his legs with power, increasing his speed for a prolonged trek back to the forward base. He made little noise since Nokkon's fool self had made a plenty wide path for him to escape on.
The beast seemed to ignore the Epis' shots when Tra'an scent was suddenly everywhere, pumped out by his Force fueled exertion. The beast seemed to lock onto the Jedi Hunter with ease and take off in fast pursuit. The lead that had been gained was sufficient to keep it at bay, for now. The path that had been taken to the point had been somewhat serpentine, and it was buying the base time to set up, even if it was costing Tra'an a bit of his lead with each turn, since the creature was trying a more straight-edge approach to capturing him.
Flipping the comlink open, the voice stream transmitted was something loud and heavy, "Jack, you better have those guns set up for an incoming vector of 295 by 90. This thing is fast and right on my tail. Try not to shoot me, ok?" The link was closed before a reply could be heard as Tra'an rounded the last switchback. Now it was just a straight dash of a mile to the base, where they could easily see him coming. The loud roar of frustration from this beast spurred him with fear and added adrenaline to the Force pumping through him.
The beast appeared behind him through the brush, gnashing teeth and scything claws, thousands of pounds of whirling death. As Tra'an closed to the base, the outlying E-webs opened fire on the beast..........
Hearing Tra'an and the beast coming his way he barked the orders to focus on that vector. One of the sharpshooters spotted Tra'an and the Beast behind him closing rapidly and opened fire with one e-web aiming at the Beast's mouth when it roard.
Jack grabbed the com link and opened it up to Tra'an: "good thing we brought along some sharpshooters, double time it Tra'an that thing's not going to be dazed for too long." He pointed at two Dark Jedi Knights with their sabers to act as distractions for the Beast once the sharpshooter gave the Beast a mouthful of E-web fire.
He watched as the Beast staggered back raising its arms up to block the E-web fire to no avail. It was at this time that gave Tra'an enough time to head back to the base through the woods as the fire lifted and the Dark Jedi Knights moved in to cover Tra'ans back.
Thinking "this is going to be one hell of a hunting trip" before talking to Tra'an when he arrived within the defense grid "Welcome to Camp Chulpakapek. We have a 360 perimeter.. well some what still setting up on the south side." He pointed behind him as the Dark Jedi Knights return a little bloodied up with the Beast behind them "for the love of the sith. This thing doesn't give up" Jack grabbed one of the E-webs after one of the guys left to attend another one on the south side and fired at the beast directly killing it as he aimed for the head.
Exodius closed down his comlink as he heard the cry of the beast several clicks away.
Terentateks, Exo thought. “Just when I thought Antenora was a paradise.” Heading in the direction of the roar, the reptilian Obelisk ran through the information he gathered. Tarentateks feed on Force-users, but when pressed, they aren’t that picky. They are Force resistant, so Jedi and Dark Jedi are easy pickings when not sufficiently numbered. And there isn’t usually just one. Notable encounters have always shown three of them in certain locations of sufficient Dark Side energy. And this system was ripe with it.
Exodius paused as he heard another roar, this one sounding like a victory claim. The Prelate used the Dark Side to boost his speed, sensing that Timbal might need his help..
The Cerean closed his eyes to slits, and opened his minds. With the practiced speed of an experienced Mind-Welder, PJ touched the mind of the Guardian under his protection. As soon as Korvyn realized what it was, he let the other flow into his mind. It was always a unique experience to see another's soul through the Force. This one was no different. PJ felt to be a lost child running through a maze of high walls that were Korvyn's memory. He then jumped up toward the senses.
The human reached up to touch his round head, and PJ laughed silently as he knew he had found the motor skills. Relax. It was hard to tell if Prajna or Korvyn was giving the advice, but both minds accepted it. Sight and sound amplified, and now with amplified will, the younger Obelisk could sense his prey. It was four legged, and had large antlers protruding from its head.
Adrenaline pumped through Korvyn's body, and he pounced. The creature neighed and bucked wildly. It took focus for Prajna to not break the battle meditation and physically aide his partner. He knew it the guy would appreciate it, and only in doing could he really learn. This allowed him to feel the Force again, like Korvyn could only wish to remember.
His arms pumped stronger than natural physical prowess should allow. The Guardian tightened the blade around the beast's neck, and slit the throat. The wild thrashing faded, and a limp animal dropped into his arms. "Well done." The Templar said aloud as he returned to his own body.
"Thank you sir." Korvyn bowed his head in respect. "You remind me why I am hopeful and still do this. The Force feels great."
"And now we have a prize to show." Prajna flashed an evil grin. He reached over to pluck the trophy animal up and tossed it over his shoulders. "Timbal is requesting everyone return to base camp." The Cerean's demeanor faded from joy for a moment as he worried about what could call off the free hunt. Then he looked back to the Guardian and grinned again. "Race you home!" PJ, even with the creature on his back, sprinted off lightly without waiting for Korv to get a fair start.
Jack watched as the beast gave the loud roar before falling with great force making the ground shake. The e-web that he was using was spitting out so much power that it overheated and needed to be replaced. What Jack didn't know was he unconsciously used the force to double the power of the e-web. He got up as 2 people took the e-web to the used supplies and replaced it with a new one.
He looked around before calling out to everyone on the com link after grabbing it and turning it on "everyone alright? We had a little excitement here on the north side." Several others reported ok before talking again "chulpakapek to all fire teams. Several members wounded, no KIA. Repeat no KIA at the home base. One beast down. Situation normal. All vectors are clear, come on home. Out."
He rubbed his arm feeling it tingle a litte as it started to hurt oddly. This was his first mission and first sign of actual combat. He walked over to some supplies that carried several equipment used to make a command center and a better medical center and started to unpack them as their stay is going to be a while.
Timbal was pissed off, mainly because he thought that he would have brought that beast down himself. It bruised his ego that it completely ignored him, but at the same time he was kind of glad that Tra’an got away cleanly and that the people at the forward base were able to make their first kill. Always good to get some confidence going.
Still, that meant that Timbal was without a kill, and Phoenix was most insistent about that. Why, Timbal didn’t ask, but he figured that that son of a mynock was in orbit watching the activities down here with glee, like some sort of gladiatorial event.
He received Jacks’ report about a few wounded but no casualties, and in turn gave orders to have the base prepare for another attack, just in case. After all, he mentioned, there were plenty of other dangerous animals about.
After clearing the channel, his growing anger sharpened his thinking, and cleared his mind to focus on the task at hand. He started to use logical reasoning, and got an interesting idea.
These creatures, from what he’s read, didn’t hunt in packs, but they did gravitate towards the kill of one to attempt to steal or fight for the kill. If that were the case, more of these creatures would be showing up soon. If that were the case....
Timbal started to backtrack the creatures’ trail quickly, and eventually came to a decently sized water hole. Looking around, he spotted other, similar tracks, some lighter and some heavier than others. He ignored the lighter ones, and followed the freshest and heaviest track he found. After a few moments, as from a distance, he felt a familiar presence, and he was pleased that Exodius was following up on his thoughts and covering the flanks of the trail....
"I am glad to meet you." replied Q'win, "and I see that I did figure out which end of the blaster to point."
If there were any creatures around Q'win's laugh would have frightened them away. He gladly took Bal's proffered hand and shook it firmly.
"I would not normally be quite so loud on a hunting trip, but the darn communication device has been so noisy any creature is far gone already." Q'win continued.
Bal couldn't help but notice that the Judaccians com device was not on his wrist and inquired to which Q'win responded merely by pointing to a spot of freshly dug dirt.
"The others are playing tricks on me so that I cannot find decent game, so I just buried it."
Beside the small grave was a pile of other pieces of equipment in total disarray, some intact and some not quite so.
"At home I was a renowned hunter, and all it took was my knife and a few spears. Here the hunting equipment weighs more than the game we hunt. It's way too complicated and takes the challenge out of the hunt I think."
The Guardian was obviously flustered and over his head in so many ways.
Suddenly Bal was holding his hand up and holding his com close to his ear. His face turned suddenly stern and he quickly and gruffly started putting the equipment on Q'win, merely saying under his breath "This is not a good time to be babysitting."
Robin awoke to the sound of a intense blaster fire. She frantically batted at her eyes trying to clear them as she could not remember where she was. She came to realize that she was in a field tent and they were on Antenora for a hunt. She started to ask herself a whole bunch of questions including why didn't anyone wake her, how long was she asleep and what happened to her. "This was Ceth's doing," she answered herself out loud. "He was bound to get back at me for waking him up all those times I found him sleeping in his office."
Gathering herself together she exited the tent and headed towards an Acolyte that she noticed was apparently in charge, directing defenses and such. She had many questions, and hoped he could answer some for her.
As tired as he was Korvyn kept moving. Prajna was only a few paces ahead of him but winning the race back to Base Camp was not what drove Korvyn on. No, something had been awakened in him by the practice of using the force. He was starting to do so on instinct again and his instinct told him the area was no longer safe.
The sound of Blaster fire and battle filled the air as the pair stood in amazment at the creature that fell to the ground with a thud.
"Guess we just lost." korvyn said. "We should see where we are needed."
Jack started organizing the defenses as more creatures started to come out of the wood work. More and more of the hunting teams started to come in seeing the dead beast and wondering who killed it. Jack never was one for glory and fame, as usually fame got you killed or a bounty put on your head so he never spoke up. The others however talked about it making those coming in even more suprised that a young acolyte could command this foward base and control an e-web with such finess.
By this time Robin Hawk was awake, probabily due to the battle several minutes earlier and came out of the mess tent and moved over to him. "Greetings and welcome to camp chulpulkapek." He had his cloak off and the top of his robes off only exposing a white cotton muscle shirt showing his broad shoulders and muscular arms. It also showed where the robotic right arm connected to his shoulder. "Can you give me a hand setting up the command center". He asked the girl as he was moving footlockers around getting everything set up.
Several people greeted Prajna and Korvyn as they came in through the clearing and stepping over the dead beast. He was too busy moving equipment around to notice them.
Dante yawned slightly as he moved silently through the underbrush. The paint scheme of his normally black armor was now a mixture of greens, browns, and a bit of black in order to blend in more with his surroundings. He'd heard the screams of his clan mates over the comm system, and he was moving back towards the base camp. Hopefully, the newbs wouldn't get slaughtered before the more experienced members of the Hunt arrived.
As he crested a hill and looked out over the expanse of wilderness, the old trooper noticed the similarity between here and the planet of Flint. The only difference was the lack of rain which had been a near constant downpour during the three month-long battles that he and his troopers had fought on that miserable planet.
He snapped back from his momentary remembrance of times past almost instantly when he heard the sounds of an incoming animal. Slinking back into the brush, the Templar took a knee and slowly raised his heavily modified AXM-5 to his shoulder.
The beast came crashing down the hill where Dante had just been. Its movement stopped all of a sudden, and the beast raised its head and began sniffing the air. It opened its mouth to let out a roar, but then it seemed to choke on something that had just popped into its mouth. Gagging, the beast attempted to dislodge the object, but it ended up swallowing it. Two seconds later, the beast became a ball of light and scattered body parts throughout the terrain as the micro-grenade that Dante had fired into its mouth decided to explode.
Walking over to see what was left of the unknown beast, Dante shook his head and muttered "Not enough left to take back.... oh well...."
The Guardian Korvyn lead the way through the crowd of journeymen so Prajna wouldn't have so difficult of a time wading through the kiddie pool. As he tossed the Ruminant to the side, PJ paused to close his eyes. Several of the young Dark Jedi paused to study the Templar in sudden meditation, while others continued to gossip as they investigated the downed prey Korvyn had slain.
The Cerean’s head looked to one side of the clearing, trying to pierce the thickness of the jungle they were in. Quite suddenly, he resumed his walk through the base camp as if he had never stopped. “I suggest you set some scouts in the trees on the edge of the clearing to act as spotters. Preferably get some snipers elevated.” The years of training as a troop sergeant kicked in and the Dorimad Sol Aedile began suggesting orders to get the many unorganized Journeymen prepped.
He noticed Kara looking a bit lost in a corner for a new Equite. “Kara, you are with me. Equites have bigger fish to fry.” She nodded and silently fell in line behind the Templar.
As leader of the main base’s detachment, Jack looked over to the Commander of Caina. “Excuse me, sir. Bigger fish?" Jack visible gulped. "What could possibly penetrate our defenses after you properly organized such a perimeter?”
It took only a moment for PJ to scan his datapad and highlight an article in one of his old scouting reports. He dropped the datapad, as the last two Equites in the camp leaped off into the slowly creeping wild darkness. Jack hesitantly picked up the notes, and his face turned white. Korvyn hobbled over. “What? What does it say?” Jack was stunned, and simply handed over the electronic flat panel to the Guardian. The article was titled Possible Gundark footprints...
Timbal continued his hunt, going slowly forward to give Exodius enough time to catch up to him and properly flank him. No words were needed to execute their search; they have both worked together for years and knew each other well enough to not need pointless talk.
Slowly they went forward, silent hunters moving fluidly in the daylight, senses out in all directions and ready for anything. However, they were slow in recognizing the trap.
Timbal’s eyebrows furrowed as he passed a small thicket and saw the water hole that he had started his hunt from not that long ago. His thoughts quickly reached the logical conclusion that he had followed the tracks in a complete circle. Even worse, the tracks clearly ended in the water, since he saw a half-submerged footprint from where he was standing. That probably meant....
The simultaneous roar of the huge beast along with its’ mad headlong rush to the spot where Timbal was standing didn’t even cause him to bat an eye. The combat-hardened veteran of too many battles merely executed the first thing that came to mind.
Flinging his lightsabre forward, he activated the blade just as it left his hand. The fast-moving cerulean blade looked like a spinning disk of death, and neatly intersected with the beast. Half a heartbeat later, Exodius’ own crimson blade followed suit.
The blades caused hideous damage, but that didn’t even slow the beast down. Timbal expected this, and started running away, with the Force powering his muscles. He quickly out-distanced the monster, and Timbal knew that he was facing down a hideous threat in this terentatek. His lightsabre was a bit out of range right now, so he couldn’t call it back to him by using the Force since it would require him to spend too much time concentrating to call it back. However, he knew that Exodius would retrieve it for him. That left the standard weapons he always carried. He saw that the terentatek was still racing towards him, so he only had a few seconds to act.
Timing things, at the proper moment he pulled two of his concussion grenades attached to his combat harness, pulled their pins, dropped them, and ran, pulling another pair of grenades off his harness as he did so.
The five second delay counted down and detonated the pair of grenades just as the beast was about to step on them. The shockwave stunned the creature, causing it to go a few steps forward, trip up, and fall to the ground with a big thud.
Timbal didn’t wait. Grenades were already flying in the air, timed perfectly to explode just as they reached the hide of the monster. The thermite grenades showered the beast with burning pools of thermite that chewed their way through its’ thick hide. The creature howled in pain and disorientation, and started to get back up, but two more grenades tortured the beast, this time being two fragmentation grenades that caused hundreds of small but white-hot supersonic metal splinters to pierce it.
Timbal then opened up with his rifle, centering his fire on the biggest wound that the fragmentation grenades had opened up, which was about the size of this thumb. The searing heat of the blaster bolts tore in, opening up the creature, eliciting another roar of agony.
It then hunkered its’ head down, arm down to protect its’ wounded side, and charged again....
Tra'an grabbed his lightsaber, a micro grenade launcher and magazine, and a blaster rifle. Tucking the guns over his back, he sprinted off into the brush to return to Timbal. He followed the signal on his com link, indicating where the head of the expedition lay. He hoped to resume the hunt with the experienced hunter, expecting that his chance to bag an excellent prize would lay best with Timbal.
The ground lept away beneath his feet, as Tra'an remembered the path he had taken to Timbal the first time before the damned beast had tried to eat him like a dog chasing a bone. Time was passing quickly as he heard a burst of static over the comms, indicating that the Journeyman camp was under attack. It seemed to be inundated with tons of smaller creatures and was having one hell of a time keeping the fire zones clear.
He burst through a thicket, finding himself close to where he wanted to be, and Timbal's lightsaber lying on the ground. He picked it up and tucked it away, intending to return it at his earliest opportunity.
Emerging on the far side of the waterhole, having taken a slightly more round course than he thought he had, Tra'an found himself on the wrong side of the hole. The creature was charging Timbal, and Exodius was flanking it, preparing to fling his 'saber at it as soon as Timbal was clear. The Jedi Hunter raced around the watering hole, hoping that he would arrive in time to lend his blade, fearing that he would not and that only Timbal Bits for dogs would remain.
The Provost of Air for the Blades of Chaos continued to help out Jack; minding the camp and helping the injured. But Hawk was getting antsy, she wanted to go out and kill something but had no intent on doing it alone. Throwing another log on the fire she looked around for anyone that was available who could fit the bill. Someone who also has been wanting that feeling of blood on their skin and sweat on their brow. Digging down into her pack she pulled out some black material, then she dipped inside a nearby tent to change.
Emerging from the tent, Robin wore some tight black fitting material which stretched across her skin. Resting on her hips rested a utility belt and strapped across her back was her katana. Her hair was now tied in a braid in the back and her big combat boots belted up almost to her knees.
Grabbing a small canister, some water and some fine dust off the ground, the Jedi Hunter began to make a slurry. Placing her thumb in the slurry she began to wipe it over her exposed skin starting with her forehead. Hoping that someone might get the idea that she wanted to go hunting.
Kara Incendia Zor-El
Having been trained as a medic as well as a technician for hospital pharmaceuticals, she had grabbed one of the medkits and ran to keep up with the triage unit as they started to send the wounded by the dozen. The young Zabrak swore, "Zhola kfascos! What does that triage unit think I am....a cyborg! " As she moved from one patient to the other, a pattern emerged. She picked up her communications unit and called Timbal. "Timbal....I think there's something here you should see. Some of these wounded have some really odd markings on them. Kara out."
As she closed the link, she began to wonder just what the Hell was making these odd markings. It wasn't from any weapon that she knew of, and it wasn't from any creature she knew of, but that didn't say there wasn't something around with the ability to make such marks. She knew that now wasn't the time to be leaving the wounded alone, as whatever started this might well be back, and these guys and gals couldn't defend themselves. She might be an expert tracker, but this time her services as a trained physician were what was needed the most. She sighed heavily and, after treating the wounded the best that she could, sat back to wait for Timbal.