The final frontier (and some stops inbetween)

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The news that she had heard of a space ship brought hope, but the part that her tribe might kill them on sight... he pinched his nose as he frowned,
"Right, xenophobia and all that." then remembered she might not get it, "I mean fear of unknown people. Hmm."
This was a tough one. "Well, the way she reacted to you-" he looked at Janu, "it would be a bad idea to let you go along. No offence."

Quain then got an idea and turned his attention to Sinrah, "Would it help if one of us joined you and brought a, hm, gift as a sign of goodwill?"
He'd heard of other traders' tales of how doing something like this was a good way to break the ice. "Maybe then we can negotiate something and bring our ship closer - not too close, of course."
"I think the most important thing we need is food," and looking at Janu again, "The solar panels should help us to save on fuel. Unless you think this planet may have something we can convert?"
Janu nodded at Joe's suggestion. "Smart tactic. Will stay behind with ship. Protect it."
He talks strange...Sinrah thought to herself.
"Would it help if one of us joined you and brought a, hm, gift as a sign of goodwill?" Quain said. "Maybe then we can negotiate something and bring our ship closer - not too close, of course."
Sinrah thought hard about that. It was a custom different tribes employed to reduce fighting and ambushes against each other. Have merchants from each tribe bring a single gift to the other and that was the start of a negotiating period where hopefully wars would not be waged. How would they react to a different species doing it though?
"Hmm...there is still a risk, but it is significantly lower." Sinrah said.
"I think the most important thing we need is food," Joe looked at Janu."The solar panels should help us to save on fuel. Unless you think this planet may have something we can convert?"
Janu rubbed the bottom of his chin thoughfully. "Maybe. Will look around for something."
Sinrah was still a bit uncomfortable about the idea. Her tribe ruler and his council of advice would be less than happy that she brought an alien species to their tribe. One that could be a potential threat to the tribe. Her position could be destroyed and her respect as well among the tribe-members.

But it was still worth a shot, right?
"Hmm...there is still a risk, but it is significantly lower."
"Lower risk is good." Quain nodded. The question now was... what kind of gift could they give?

"Maybe. Will look around for something."
"Alright, we'll stay in radio contact just in case." Was Joe's suggestion. If things went wrong they could take off easily without causing too much trouble.
Quain was still milling over the gift part, and thought what they could part with in their possession. In the end he decided to ask Sinrah since she would know best,
"What would be a good gift to give? Does your people value metals, furs, strange items?..." he asked.
"Weapons." Sinrah simply said. "Our tribe specializes in blades. Knifes, axes, and swords..."
Janu looked at Quain. "Not sure if we have weapons like that. Do we?"
In the distance, a strange deep hooting echoed in the deep fog. A short moment of silence followed, then a chorus of similar hoots began to ring out from the fog. It continuously got louder and louder before it suddenly became quiet. After that, only a small hush of activity and the sound of the wind could be heard. A small creature poked its way out of the thick white sheet and sniffed at Sinrah's foot. She casually kicked it aside. It squealed before scurrying off into the tree close by.
Sinrah tensed up a bit and trailed a hand onto her killing blade. "There's a herd of Siriks nearby. That's not good."
"The only weapon I can think of like that is the one I have." Quain said, gesturing to the blade strapped to his side.
"Otherwise we have those scraps we found on planet Necrus from the crash site." Joe remembered. "That's about-"

Joe was interrupted by the sounds and immediately had his hand on his rifle, Quain did the same for his weapon. Their ears perked up at the sounds and they sent out their combined awareness, but the creatures were too far to be scouted.

"Siriks?" Joe asked,
"What do they look like?" Was Quain's question.
Together, "That was a hunting call, wasn't it."
"That was a hunting call, wasn't it."

Sinrah was startled at their ability of talking together. It seemed as if this bunch was full of surprises. Though focusing back onto the subject she replied "More of a call to signal a nearby life-form." There was an eerie silence following that.
"Might want more information on creatures." Janu requested, looking around. Unfortunately, his eyes could not look through the thick fog.
"Siriks are pack creatures. This herd sound like about twenty." She paused. "Sounds like a bachelor herd. The most dangerous. They're filled with rowdy male Siriks. They prowl fields in search of food, strengthening themselves for the upcoming mating seasons. They are dangerous predators."
Just after she said that, they began hooting again though this time it was louder and closer. The hooting was more frenzied and filled with almost insane blood lust.
"That's their hunting call." Sinrah said, before flicking her wrists. Her killing blades were unsheathed and glinted brightly in the dim light. She lay her body low to the ground, stealthily.
I'd get into your spaceship now if I were you." Then she was silent. So silent it seemed as if she had blended into the earth and disappeared. The hooting was less frequent now but occasionally a small call would erupt from one of the creatures. Sinrah herself didn't move. No, Siriks were a potential threat to her tribe and as a protector, it was her duty to kill them. She wouldn't try to kill all of them. Siriks were deadly when high in numbers. Using her stealth, she'd pick off maybe five and then flee. The pack would be disoriented for a few weeks before regaining their composure. That gave some time to get more than one protector to attack them.
Janu was standing still, but his eyes darted around. His huge eyes were meant to see in darkness, not fog. His hand slowly moved to his gun that was to his hip. "Good idea. Joe, Quain. Should go." He gestured to the ship. The hooting was getting closer and Janu did not want to be around when they arrived.
At the description of the creatures and the mention that this was a bachelor herd, Joe and Quain made a funny "Ewh" sound with their faces mimicking their awkward feelings.

"That's their hunting call."
"Ah. Much more comforting." Joe said sarcastically. Quain snorted a laugh. That was one thing about the twins: even in the belly of the beast they'd still find something funny.

They agreed with Janu and Sinrah, getting to the ship was a better idea than staying here and being open targets. They'd have to try negotiations with the tribe some other time. They quietly made their way to the ship, careful to cover each other's backs and Janu's. The creatures were still just beyond their awareness' reach, but they stayed weary just in case there was a new development.

One of the problems were, they didn't even know the size of these things. Until one of them got close enough, they'd have to go on what they could hear. As they approached the ship, they became aware of something, and both looked to the closest wing.
There it was, ready for an ambush.
Joe aimed his rifle, ready to shoot at the thing's head.

He pulled the trigger.

((Not sure if you've already thought about how these wonderful creatures look, so I'll let you have the honour of 'playing' with them for a bit.))
((I have. I'm going to post a picture, but it's a bit big. Sorry about that. If you wish, you can add in on some of the creatures behavior if you want or make something up about them. It'll be kind of interesting that way.)

Sinrah heard the gun go off. It shattered the hooting and wild calls of the Siriks. One Sirik let out a shrill scream before falling to the ground with a thump. His leg was injured and no doubt he would be killed by the others and maybe even eaten. The Sirik's death caused the others in the pack to go on a now frenzied free-for-all. They barged through the fog and charged at the group.


Sinrah quickly jumped into a tree, knowing Siriks couldn't climb. She quickly threw a knife at one, impaling it in the base of its neck. Their weak spot. With an anguished cry it fell to the ground as blood flowed freely from its wound. At the scent of its blood, the others began to run around more chaotically. With a small jump, Sinrah landed on top of one roughly, scratching her ankle. The small cut was nothing and she ignored it. She stabbed her killing blade deep into the base of its neck, letting it cry out and fall to the ground. She then jumped again and landed behind the pack who began to trample the Sirik's dead body, looking for the killer.

The fight was on and Sinrah was ready.
As soon as the creatures charged, the twins' armour was out. For added protection and advantage they added additional spikes to the ones they already had. Quain also made sure to incorporate his weapon in his right hand and this made it easier to fight.
The creatures were heavily armoured themselves, and this made it tricky to find their weak spots - if they had any.

Joe however saw Sinrah aiming for one of the things' neck and relayed this message to his brother. He himself kept close to Janu, shooting at any Siriks that might approach. His awareness helped to pick out the right targets and keep a perimeter, albeit a small one.
Quain in the meantime was looking for the alpha male, or if that failed, the biggest one that made the loudest noise. He figured that if he could take that one out then the pack might think twice about sticking around.

One of the Siriks jumped at him, but he was ready. As it landed on him he held his blade to puncture its neck and in a gurgled moan it died... with its dead weight on Quain. Oh brilliant. he thought. With some struggling he eventually made it out and saw a few of the Siriks had surrounded him. One of them were much larger than the others. It was growling and nipping at the others who wanted to approach first.

"Haa! Come on!" Quain yelled his challenge as he took a battle stance and flicked his tails side to side.
The Sirik had a much more impressive vocal response and scraped his feet on the ground like a bull, ready to charge. It did so, lowering its head to try and impale Quain, but at the last moment he ducked out of the way and with his spiked tail lashed at the Sirik's eye. It yowled as a spike struck home and in its confusion Quain made his move to slash its throat.
Sinrah watched Quain fight from the corner of her eye. Hmm, he was definitely a skilled fighter, more so than Sinrah though. Maybe they wouldn't get killed when she took them to her tribe. Hmm...
The pack had seemingly lost their fighting will and some began to retreat from the fight, running off into the distance while yelping. Their weak hooting calls vibrated as they scurried away to nurse their wounds.
"Hmm..." Sinrah watched them as they ran off.
"Nice work." Janu commented briefly.
"Wait." Sinrah was silent for a moment before saying "I only counted nineteen killed and wounded." There was an uncomfortable silence.

Suddenly one jumped out from the fog, striking at Sinrah. She yelled in surprise and felt her leg seized by the creatures. The Sirik let out a hissing groan as it began to drag Sinrah. She slashed repeatedly at its throat before finally it weakened its grasp on her. Squirming from underneath it, she ripped its neck, watching as it screamed in pain and agony before collapsing to the ground.

Sinrah dragged her bloodied leg across the ground. "Dammit!" She yelled. Stumbling, she caught herself in time on the side of the ship. "Dammit!" She yelled again, her leg in one of her hands. The ragged and tore flesh dripped with blood. Janu quickly opened up a pack on his back and retrieved something from the inside of it. It looked like a blue cloth made of a strange silk material. He quickly walked over to Sinrah and began to put it on her wound.
"What are you doing?!" She gasped, trying to wave him away.
Janu looked up at her curiously. "Healing your wound. Medi-cloth. Not best treatment. Will have to do. Soothes pain."
Sinrah groaned with pain but let him continue his work.
Joe chuckled at Janu's compliment and gave a brief nod as he lowered his gun. It seemed they had won this little battle, at least for now.
Quain rejoined the group and looked at his arms and most of his body, "Eeagh, I'm gonna have to take a shower." he said, disgusted.
"You don't smell half bad either." his brother teased him.
As Sinrah cautioned them, Joe enforced his awareness but was too slow to detect the pouncing Sirik. Thankfully Sinrah was a capable fighter but not without getting a bad wound on her leg.

While Janu was treating her wound, Joe kept a constant lookout for any other chancers. The area looked clear though. Quain got an idea and after a brief trip to the ship he came back with a small fruit which he held out to Sinrah,
"It'll help with the pain." he told her. It was a fruit that tasted a lot like honey and had a wonderful way of targeting pain and would numb the area for a small while. The only reason it wasn't widely used was becasue too many of these fruit would cause hallucinations.

Meanwhile Joe was inspecting a fallen Sirik. The armouring had potential... and that long horn on the thing's snout...
"Sinrah? Could you use these for blades?" Joe asked, pointing to it. "And this hide would make some mean armour." he commented, poking it's back with a foot. It looked extremely tough,but with a good medical laser he could make short work of it.
"Or a nice handbag." Quain chortled.
Janu pressed the cloth against her wound, causing sharp gasps of pain from Sinrah. Finally he was able to secure the cloth onto it and got up from crouching on the ground.
"There. Wound will feel numb in a little bit. Will ease pain." Janu said, rubbing his hands together.
Sinrah moved her leg a little. Pain shot up and down in her body and she emitted a loud hiss.
"Can walk effectively?" Janu asked, holding out a hand for her to use as support.
Sinrah was about to reach for it, but she then noticed the features of his hand. " only have three fingers!" She said, amazed.
Janu blinked slowly. "Yes."
She stared at it. "How..." She shook her head slowly. "You're a very strange creature."
Janu blinked again, unsure of what to say.

After their conversation, Quian came out of the ship holding a strange fruit. "It'll help with the pain." He held it out to her. Sinrah glanced at it curiously before eventually taking it. She pressed a thumb down on it gently, then rolled it around on her palm. Finally she took a small bite. After some moments of sluggish careful chewing, Sinrah eventually took another bite.
"Sinrah? Could you use these for blades?" He pointed at the fallen Sirik's horn. "And this hide would make some mean armour."
"Or a nice handbag." Quian joked.
"Yes." Sinrah ansered. "I'm not a crafter, however. I do not know how to make weapons or armor..."
Janu nodded. "Yes. Could make blades..." He seemed deep in thought for a bit.
Sinrah noticed Janu's head was turned away from her with his frill close to her. With a careful hand, she poked his frill. Janu, surprised, turned around. Sinrah winced when he looked upon her.
"I'm sorry. I was curious about your frill." She said.
Janu tilted his head and smiled.
"Yes." Sinrah ansered. "I'm not a crafter, however. I do not know how to make weapons or armor..."
Janu nodded. "Yes. Could make blades..." He seemed deep in thought for a bit.

"Great." Joe answered excited and slung his rifle comfortably to his back. "If you guys don't mind waiting for a bit we can work on those gifts." he said with a grin as he headed to the ship.
Quain couldn't help but smirk playfully at Janu and Sinrah's little moment and at her comment he winked at Janu, knowing what the frill meant as a symbol to his species. Taking advantage of the potential for fun he asked her if she liked it.

His brother meanwhile emerged from the ship and with two gun-like gadgets and a small battery for them stopped at the big fallen Sirik. One of the gadgets was the laser cutter which had a fine point for precision. He adjusted it to make a thicker "blade" and cut the horn off, careful to make a clean job of it. It took a few seconds, but the result was a possible blade with enough space at the back to be fixed to a pole or handle. Joe then worked his way along the dead Sirik's back, following along the lower half of the spines to cut out a shape looking like a long, spiky shield. Using the second gadget with a wider front he scanned along the meat side to harden and dry it. Normally this scanner would be used to close up big gashes to stop bleeding, but it worked just as well as a tanning device for leather.
Neither he or his brother were crafters, but this could work too, right?

He did the same with the other fallen Siriks, taking whatever horns or even claws he could use and hides he could scavenge. Quain helped by piling the "loot" together and binding it in a big bundle - organised in different categories. In the end it looked to be an impressive prize.
"Gotta love technology." Quain said as he gazed upon their work.

((this post isn't too long, is it?))
((No, not at all! Very nice post, in fact. Made me laugh at Joe's part, haha!))

Janu noticed Joe smirking and winking at him, seemingly trying to cast some hidden message in his actions to him. He shot him a puzzled look, not sure what he was trying to say to him. Joe then asked Sinrah if she liked Janu's frill, a question which made both of them confused.
"Do I..." She shot a timid glance at his frill. "It's very strange. What is it even used for? It looks like some kind of blade."
Janu chuckled at that statement. "No. Only in males."
"Females do not have the frill?"
"No." Janu confirmed. "Used to show health and age. Frills in good condition mean healthy male. Potentially more attractive to a female." That was when Sinrah finally got the purpose behind Joe's actions and shot him a glare. Janu however remained clueless.
"Do you have a special female?" Sinrah asked.
Janu became very quiet for a little bit. His eyes became slightly downcast and had a hint of grief and sadness in them. Sinrah was wondering what was wrong with her question when he finally answered. "Used to. Name was Faybri. Carrying what we thought was a son for us. Actually was a false baby virus." He paused before uttering the last word very quietly. "Died."
There was a forlorn silence after that. Sinrah didn't know what to say, so she simply shut her mouth. She didn't know asking that question would trigger such a negative answer. Now she was scared of asking another such question.
Suddenly he lightened up again and cheered as if the subject never arose. "You are committed?"
Due to Sinrah's very dark skin, the blush showed up easily on her skin. Her hand began to rub a rosy cheek. "Well, male Nythem give secret gifts to the woman they want to be with...I've received a few. But the males were either crafters or farmers." She shook her head. "I have a need to fight. I couldn't settle down for them."
Janu nodded, though if one looked closely they could see a mourning longing deep in his eyes. It was as if the conversation reminded of the days he was with his late wife and the joy that he would soon be a father.

The talking ended when Sinrah noticed Quian was done with his work. "Very impressive." She said, limping towards him. Part of her was glad to end the conversation.
"Yes." Janu stated, nodding with approve at the tools. "Very well-crafted."
"The Yahnrat tribe will greatly appreciate these gifts..." Sinrah almost smiled. Almost. "When will we be going?"

((Just some information: The False Baby Virus is a virus that only attacks females of a species. It tricks her body into thinking that she's pregnant and while her body's getting ready to house for baby and nurture it, it attacks so the body is kind of distracted. Very fatal, only about 10% chance of survival. Luckily though, it's very rare. Janu's wife was one of the unlucky ones...Poor Janu. :( ))
((Hehe, thought you might appreciate it ;) ))

The glare that Sinrah shot him made the joke even funnier, and Janu still not getting it also added to the comical value. Unfortunately the atmosphere was dimmed when Janu told Sinrah of his late wife... It must have been really bad for him back then. Thankfully he perked up, and one might even think he was flirting with the warrior woman. Joe figured it as innocent curiosity on Janu's part though. Either way it had her blushing, which was kind of cute.

"Thanks." The twins said in unison to her and Janu, quite proud of their work.
"Well, I suppose the sooner the better. How's your leg though?" Joe asked concerned, not knowing how far her tribe was.
Quain re-emerged his armour for added strength and lifted most of the hides over his head. He tested the weight and it was just right that he could hold for a small journey.
"Can we take the ship, or is that a bad idea?" he asked Sinrah. If so he could quickly load everything.
"Or we could just take the hover plates." his brother suggested.
"Now where's the fun in that?"
"Oh no," Sinrah quickly said. "That would be a bad idea. Many people at my tribe think your flying vehicle is a some sort of weapon..." She stared off into the distance. "We'll have to travel on foot. It's not too long of a distance."
Janu nodded. "Will stay behind with the ship. Make sure no wildlife damage it."
Sinrah nodded back. "Alright. We should get going. The Siriks are the only real dangerous animal around here at this time...unless we see a stray Anarit." She began to drag her injured leg towards her tribe.
"Who will go with her?" He asked Joe and Quain. "And have weapons?"
Sinrah rubbed her weapon-bracelets. "I have weapons."
Janu made a slight frown. "Advanced weapons."
Sinrah seemed slightly offended by that statement but said "Okay."
Walking back to the ship, Janu waved goodbye. "Be safe, my friends."
Sinrah touched her forehead gently, which was a sign of farewell and good peace. "Goodbye." Then she turned towards the distance. "Let's go." She began to limp slowly off into the fog before stopping suddenly. She turned around. "Oh yes, I forgot. Watch out for Saiprocs. If you hear a clicking noise, run."

Nyth seemed to be full of suprises.
"Alright then, on foot it is." Quain shrugged.
"I'll take the rifle, just in case." Joe said. "If anything happens and we need help we'll call you over the radio."

Before they left, Quain had piled the loot on two hover plates for in case they did meet more unfriendly creatures and needed to fight. They both thanked Janu and waved as they followed Sinrah.
At her warning they gave each other a glance, "This planet is just so friendly!"
The trek was not easy. The fog was still thick and very hard to see through, though Sinrah's sharp eyes were able to look into the distance. Every so often some strange creature would make a noise in the distance, giving the possibility of a dangerous predator. Sinrah kept her ears open for a distinct clicking noise. Sometimes small critters would scurry around their feet and climb up a nearby tree.
"Tell me," She suddenly said, massaging her injured leg. "About what you see." She pointed to the sky. "Up there. In there. Away from your homes. I want to know."
In her mind, it was hard for Sinrah to imagine what life would be like away from her tribe. No more constant hunting or fighting. She would never see her friends or her family. But for all the bad things, surely there would be good.
((Sorry for short posts!))
As they walked, the twins enjoyed the scenery as best they could through their awareness. Everything smelled so fresh (barring a corpse or "leftovers") and the planet was very alive. They kept quiet on they way, letting Sinrah have the time to listen out for what she could identify as dangerous. It was quite a surprise when she broke that silence.
"Up there?" they had to think of how to describe it, and after a few steps, answered.
"Well for one, imagine the biggest night sky you've ever seen and then imagine it never-ending." Joe started.
"There are a lot of stars, most of them burning balls of flame, others are round planets."
"There are also very colourful clouds that make strange shapes. Some of them have names, and many still haven't."
"As for planets, there are a lot and then some. Many are unique and some share some similarities. We actually came upon a planet once that had fog like yours when it didn't rain. Didn't see a lot of sun."

Their description lacked a lot of detail, and in truth who could do a good job of describing something that was never ending and held so many wonders and mysteries?

"To tell the truth, it would be easier to show that to tell. There are so many things up there. It's amazing." Joe finally said.

((No worries, my previous post was shorter ;) ))
Sinrah tried to picture this in her mind. Other worlds? A huge night sky? This was all very hard to believe and for a second Sinrah thought they were purposefully lying to her...but then she thought about it a little more. The more she looked at the details, the more it seemed to make sense. Staying on one world all your life and never seeing what was beyond did make those things seem strange. But something strange could be very beautiful.

Sinrah wondered what could be out there. She stretched her imagination to its limits to think. Janu was a strange creature...were there beings much more stranger than him? And the worlds...what kind of worlds would be out there? She had heard of worlds with no fog...occasionally on Nyth there'd be periods of no fog but that was actually a bad thing. You no longer had the fog to cover you while hunting so you were easier to spot. Sometimes a black fog would cover the surface and that was even worse. While Nythen eyes could pierce through the white fog, they were blind in the black fog. And predators became enraged and confused during those times...A place with no fog, how would that be like?

"I...would like to go up there some day. It would be nice. But I will not lie, it sounds bizarre. Scary even. I will not know what to expect..."
Sinrah was quiet for a moment before speaking again. "Your world. What is it like?"