Return to Earth

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Max was trotting at a very purposeful pace, believing he had a very good idea where Telara may have landed. After he found her he'd drag her back to the ship and set her up in some kind of safety area or something. He was at the torn up area where the mortars had struck, he shook his head at the destruction and trotted across it. Max was approaching the bushes at an angle, walking through them not bothering to be stealthy, he figured the natives were all taking cover from the crisscrossing bullets. The way he was headed eventually lead to a downward slope and as he looked for Telara he was none the wiser to the native crawling through the bushes near by.
Laack moved through the bushes quickly in hopes of getting the creature and getting out of there. She stopped ust before she headed down the slope though, she could see another creature heading in the same direction as her. It probably was going after the one she had lost. It wouldn't be good to have a confrontion with something she didn't even know how to fight. If she could knock out the other creature from a distance she could just take that one and get out of the area as fast as posible. She stalked after the other quietly and quickly, hoping to get to it before it reached the other. When a moment of change came she acted quickly, lifting the shaft of her spear up and quickly bringing it down upon the back of it's head. She hopped back quickly and held her spear at the ready encase he blow did not take him down.

Telara had no idea what was going on anymore. At one point she was sure that one of the beasts had finally grabbed her and was going to eat her, but just as quickly she could hear the Goons firing off their guns. A loud explosion later and she was in a river. A fast river, trying to keep her head above water!

"...shit...!" Struggling to get out of the current and swim for shore, Telara didn't get far before a waterfall came in to her line of sight. The water was rushing too fast. Sucking in a deep breath, she held it and closed her eyes just in time to go flying off the waterfall and down almost a hundred feet below.

The impact had knocked the breath from her. Telara bobbing to the surface of the small lake coughing water up out of her lungs. No gun shots or explosions could be heard here. Just the sound of water and animals in the surrounding forest. Splashing over to the bank, she crawled herself up on to dry land.

Frantic, she padded at her clothing looking for her datapad and communication link. "...Blast it! Soaked through." she muttered to herself. All of the tech was fritzed out. There was no way to contact the others.

She was successfully separated and lost.
Looking down the hill at all the green Max thought this place was pretty neat, looking over the fact one of the natives wanted to go to war with them, there was a lot of life and fresh stuff around. This is what Max was thinking when he heard a rustling and then felt crack against the back of his head, black red and white flashed in front of his eyes. He turned around as quickly as he could, wobbled as he drew out his pistol and fired off a shot nearly blind. He grunted with the effort of staying upright but his cerebellum didn't hold up, staggering to the side and falling to the ground. The slope of the hill guided his momentum downward, Max's unconscious body started rolling down the hill.
Laack's first expression was joy, as it seemed as if she succeeded, but it quickly changed as the creature pulled out something and point it in her direction. Before she knew it she was holding onto her side tightly, what ever it was he was pointing at her having shoot something and grazed her side. It wasn't to deep luckily, bit it certainly hurt enough to bring her down to one knee. She looked up at the creature to find him rolling down the hill and quickly pounced to catch it, not wanting to lose another one to the damn slope. With a whine and a grunt she pulled the creature up the slope, putting her spear on her back and storing his strange weapon back where ever it came from, she wanted to make sure that everything was there for the Carcaeons. Then with on hand on her wound and the other tugging on the back of this clothing, she dragged him back to her village, to weak to lift him at all.
Teneb stopped in his tracks, throwing his arms over his face as the air around him became thunderous, dirt and debris being hurled everywhere, the noise deafening. As the gas began to spread through the area he dropped to his hands and knees, coughing, before closing his eyes, mentally reciting a prayer of battle as he brought his reactions under control.

One of the Gerayt behind him had a device in their hand that was flashing and making noise, seeming to cause wounds to the beast. With a powerful throw he sent his spear towards the soldier before turning and continuing to chase after Telara.

He saw the marks in the dirt that lead to the river, and followed the water until he saw her at the shore of the lake at the bottom. As silently as possible, he descended down to the level of the lake.

He was to her side, and rested one hand on the hilt of his blade with obvious intent as he watched, saying to her in a menacing growl: "[Get up.]"
Telara froze. Glancing up at the man who, under the circumstances, looked like the least friendly thing she encountered today. With an eye on his knife, Telara rose to her feet. She was sopping wet, bewildered, and had no desire to get him all riled up. Especially since she didn't see any of her crew-mates anywhere in sight.

"Whooooakay. Take it easy, Guy." Raising her hands mid way, making some sort of ridiculous motion to keep him from whipping out his knife and stabbing her today, Telara keep her tone smooth. Not that she understood a word he said. Could he even understand her?

"No need to do anything hasty... I'm just gonna... step on over here.... go on out of your way..." she mumbled, keeping her eyes on him while she attempted to tip-toe to the side and prepare to run again.
Teneb pointedly walked around, moving between Telara and the treeline, his hand never moving off of his sword. His eyes momentarily darted down the river bank, as he saw what he wanted to see. He knew what this was, one of the small streams that fed into the main river. Downstream was the direction of home.

But did he want to bring her to Carcae? Inside the walls?

This was a matter for the high priests, he knew. All his learning and experience was not enough to handle this situation well. Let the high priests debate and discuss this, there would likely be no shortage of warrior priests to guard her even if they decided to keep her outside the city. It was perhaps one of the most sacred duties that could be given to one.

He stepped closer to her, just outside of arm's reach of either of them, using his free hand to point downriver, saying, "[Walk.]" in a low, commanding tone, fingers drumming on the hilt of his sword to underscore the seriousness of his intent.

That was really all Telara could think to say given the circumstance. She cursed her luck at being stuck with the native that couldn't speak common English. However, he wasn't outright trying to eat her, or stab her. That gave Telara some form of hope that a perfectly good negotiation could be made.

"I'm moving, I'm moving..." she mumbled, turning slowly with her hands half raised to start walking along the bank where he pointed. Where ever they were going, she hoped it would be close by. Her wet clothes were becoming uncomfortable, and she wasn't sure how much longer she could keep it together before she started screaming like a girl.

After a long stretch of silence, Telara tried to at least make some conversation. "So... I'm Telara? Did I mention that already?"
Deegan had been enthralled by his meeting with the native inhabitants--their diverse shapes; their alien, yet somehow human appearances, the ease with which they fended off fearsome beasts. He was especially interested in their technology. He inspected the translation and communication devices they were using with a gleam in his eye, tentatively raising a curious hand up to the one that was emitting Common speech. He pondered, mouth agape, at their orbs and mystical weapons, none with power sources that he could recognize, apparently running on ethereal forces.

He was knocked out of this entranced state when Sargeant Northgate's men launched their attack. Deegan was forcibly swept up by Northgate's troopers, who strapped a gas mask to his face and began to drag him and Max back towards the shuttle. In the haze of tear gas and general mayhem that enveloped the jungle after their surprise attack, however, it was easy enough to wring himself free of his soldier escort, who was preoccupied with fending off native life, both wild and humanoid. Deegan ran back to the scene of the scuffle, where a massive bear was being taken down by a group of natives. He dodged the falling beast with a haphazard side-step and an exclamation of relief. He gave a nod and a friendly thumbs-up to the thin, long-tailed humanoids that brought it down. "Whoa... nice job guys!"

Making his way through the jungle, he finally spotted Sargeant Northgate standing over some of the robed aliens that had surrendered, and giving orders into his comm link. Deegan tugged at the back of the sargeant's shirt and struggled to make himself understood through the gas mask. "Sarge! Call off the attack! Listen, they talk, they have technology... some kind of translating device--must be a binaural-neuronal scanning processor, it's totally wicked--but anyway, we can communicate with them! So much tech to study... and these ones can handle the wildlife," he said, pointing to Skivv's group that had descended from the trees onto the body of the bear-beast. Deegan pulled off his gas mask, coughing and sputtering for a moment, before giving the sargeant a searching look. "And, they have Telara. If we piss 'em off, there's no way we'll get her back... You've gotta call them off!"
Teneb gave Telara a nudge on the shoulder as she asked her question, making a negative sounding grunt. He didn't want her talking, never knew what might be a spell or hex on him. Hopefully she got the message, else he would have to stop to improvise some kind of gag to keep her witchcraft in line.

But the silence was oppressive, and as they walked Teneb found himself humming, then quietly singing a hymn very familiar to him. It was a hymn asking for Caeonos's blessing over marriage, childbirth, and a successful life. It was the song that his mother had sung over him while she was pregnant and after he was born, and Teneb had always felt as though it personally spoke to him, had saved him from death.

As the treeline came into view, Teneb walked faster, now beside Telara. After the events earlier this afternoon, he needed to see home.

The trees fell away on either side of them, giving away to low bushes and wild grass that came to an abrupt stop where they became fields and orchards. The land gradually dipped down to the river, the stream that they had followed trailing down, becoming orderly and managed before it reached the river.

And downstream, clearly distant but still visible and imposing, was the city itself, Carcae. It must be similar to the feeling some old soldiers had described to him, the sheer relief at seeing the walls and rooftops, reaching into one's heart and soul and filling both with peace. The knowledge that he had a prisoner slipped from Teneb's mind as he looked to his home city.
Three of the Ternalis were dead, their bodies strewn with smoking holes in their armour. Atlan himself had suffered a graze to the skull, and the fifth warrior had surrendered. Northgate's men kept a ring around the two of them, weapons trained. Likewise, the handful of Skivvs who had not fled had been herded against the corpse of the bear-giant, the sight of the boomsticks enough to keep them compliant. The gas was clearing now and being replaced by gunsmoke and churned earth.

"Leave it out, Napoleon!" Northgate snapped, shrugging Deegan's hand from his shoulder. "I don't care if they got Death Stars for bollox - I ain't bending over for these cunts!" He lunged forward and delivered his boot to the surviving Ternalis, knocking him sprawling over Atlan's body.


Having delivered his rapier-like political commentary, Northgate turned and pushed past Deegan, reloading his rifle as he moved. "We'll stick the prisoners in the shuttle then rustle up a search party. Telara wants to run off and get some ET-cock up her arse, it's 'er problem. We'll save 'er when we save 'er."

More soldiers were arriving from the shuttle, setting up a perimeter and processing the prisoners. One of them fell in step with the sergeant as he strode. "We got another MIA, Sarge. No sign of Max."

"Where's that fackin' pillock now?" Northgate muttered as he stuffed his gasmask back in its pouch. "Alright, get me some maps o' this shithole. AND FOR FACK'S SAKE, SOMEONE PUT A BREW ON!"
The alien, er... native hummed as they walked. It gave Telara the impression of that popular deathmarch song she'd hear on cartoons. Walking off to your execution. Her gloom quickly shifted to curiosity, however, when the native's city walls came in to view. It was... Well, she couldn't think of any ways to describe it! Eyes wide in amazement, thoughts of an escape fled her as she began trailing behind Teneb like a stupefied puppy.

If only she had a working camera. Her own datapad was soaked, which meant she wouldn't even be able to take some samples of... Telara wasn't sure what she'd collect, seeing as her job was about plants and not long lost civilizations. She could only imagine how the social scientists would be creaming their pants at the thought of a missed chance to personally explore the city and meet it's people.

Suddenly, she remembered that she wasn't exactly a GUEST here. She was a prisoner! With Teneb seemingly distracted by his own home, Telara took her opportunity to try running for the trees again!
Laack dragged back the strange creature she had captured all the way back to her village, grunting and growling as she worked through the pain in her said. She would have killed this creature if he wasn't important to the relationship that her people shared with the Carcaeons. She slowly wandered into the small meadow where her village rested above high in the surrounding trees, letting out a loud screech to summon help. In a flash there were nearly tell, her father one of them, signalling at her for an explanation. She motioned to them and told them she would later and instead directed their attention to the new captive.

A few male took the creature from her and quickly climbed up the tree without a problem, another one helping her up because of her injury. They dragged the unconscious beast away and lead her off to a medical hut where she was treated for her burns. She tried to keep still as she was tended to but it was hard as she explained her strange story to her people. It hurt her the most to learn that some of the men who had been with her did not make it back before her, she could only hope they were still alive after the incident. Once her wound was wrapped she dismissed herself and went to her own private hut to clean herself up after this mornings ordeal. The creatures wouldn't find this place easily, they weren't extremely fast and she doubted they had the ability to track her scent.

She slipped on her beads, and her bands of gold, nothing more, before walking back out of her tent and heading toward where their captive would be. The males had stripped him of most of his items, the only thing remaining on his body being a simple cloth outfit of sorts. She wandered over to the males and sent them away, he was her capture after all so she would be the one to watch and deal with his strange things. She knelt down among his items and examined them cautiously, going through the less dangerous items first to avoid getting herself hurt again.
Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch. Max's vision faded in and out with his consciousness, what he could see when he could see was blurry and green. The sounds were coming to him like he was under water and the throbbing in his head was like a pulsing wave in that same water. Yeah, it was going to be fun when he woke up. Max woke up slightly as the critter that bonked him signaled to other critters of the same kind. Of course he didn't know this was going on because he was still out of it. As a couple of them hoisted him up into the trees Max received a queasy feeling from the shift in gravity and then his head bonked lightly against the tree trunk. This sent a flare of pain through Max's head and he was fully unconscious.

Like an hour or two later the throbbing pain woke Max up like an unpleasant alarm clock. Unfortunately he had no way of rolling over and slapping the snooze button on this particular alarm giving him no other choice but to wake up. Shifting his arms Max found that his hands were tied together at the wrists behind his back around a large branch. His back against the branch his legs were stretched out before him, also tied together. Max was leaning to the side and tried lifting his aching head to look around at his surroundings. Looked like it was a kind of hut, branches passing through here and there. He spotted some one, pink flesh, weird lookin'. Nah it kinda looked like a she, yeah. She was poking around his stuff. It was his pistol and various pieces of light body armor along with his pack that had a couple snacks and a couple grenades. Of course there was his trusty knife in it's sheath on his belt with it's neat compartments.

As the native pawed through his stuff, Max tried to twist his hands out of the bonds that held them together. It didn't work out, his hands remained bound. Max looked around the hut for something he could possibly use, forgetting he couldn't use it even if he did spy something useful. At that moment he directed his attention at the weird looking native, she was holding one of his grenades in her hand. Max urgently sputtered "Put that down!"
Laack was calmly and quietly looking over a small round object when a sudden shout from behind her made her jump slightly. The item in her hand flew into the air for a moment before she caught it and turned to glare at the creatu-... male behind her. The ones who had taken his items had told her that he was male, at least she knew his sex finally. She placed the item on the ground and stood, looking down at the tied up man before her. Her gaze was cold and official, holding herself highly as she looked at him. It seemed that he was a vocal species, it would be difficult to communicate with him them. She started to motion with her hands, trying to sign as simply as she could, if she was lucky maybe he would understand, if not then she'd try something else.

"Who are you?"
"Uhh" Max stared at her hands. "Look, I don't know what you're trying to tell me. But I have to get back to the ship. If I don't then crazy shit will happen, explosions, fire, people dying. Which really isn't good so if you just let me go" he jerked against the ropes with the last three words "then we might be able to avoid death and dying. Do you understand me?" A thought occurred to Max. She was using her hands to communicate so...she was deaf? If that was the case then she wasn't going to be able to read his lips because she didn't even know that English was a language. "Ugh!" Max grunted loudly, annoyed, and let his head drop.
Laack wanted to growl in frustration but she figured that if she did he would take it the wrong way since it seemed that he understood her as much as she understood him. She watched him grunt in what seemed to be aggravation and tug at the ropes in an attempted to get free. She certainly wasn't going to let him go, no matter how much he wanted her too. She had to hold onto him and try to make contact with the Carcaeons to take him off her hands. She was silent for a moment before she stood once more and walked back to his items, maybe he had something on his person that could help bridge the communication gap that had formed between them. She started to shuffle through his things once more, this time not letting his noises bother her.
Max tried discouraging the alien from rummaging through his stuff and possibly blowing off a limb of face but in the end it was useless, she wouldn't listen. Max humphed and waited for the sound of a grenade being activated. Instead he heard the sound of his digital landscape holo-mapper boot up. It was essentially a rectangle with a screen on it that projected 3-D holographic images of landscapes with topography indicators. OR can be used to take pictures of things to be projected, or be represented as a 2-D image on the screen that can be edited with the stylus or a finger. A pretty handy tool. Jumping up out of the screen was a 3-D holo-image of the area where the ship landed.
Laack looked over the strange device curiously, the image it showing to be quite strange. At first she didn't know what it was, maybe another ruin in the forest or a strange creature waiting for prey, not even she had seen her whole home so it was completely possible. However, she noticed that one small thing was different about the thing in the picture, it didn't look living...well organic anyway. It looked like one of the many things built by the Carcaeons. It oculd be possile that this is what the creature came in, in that case she would need to report it to the Carcaeons quickly. She set it to the side gently, making sure to keep the image up, before turning back to the pile and shuffling through it once more.