1899/Rancor Huntin'

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Rancor Huntin'
Date of Scene: 29 March 2015
Location: The Citadel - Hangars
Synopsis: Juno Eclipse takes Lute and a small war-party to Felucia to capture a rancor egg for his monster collection.
Cast of Characters: 188, 428, 522, 583, 722, 731

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
Welcome to Felucia.

This system is located in the lawless Outer Rim territories. It's a verdant world of green and blue, and it seethes in the Dark Side of the Force. Undergrowth and fungal forests sprawl over its fertile surfaces, supporting a massive, complicated, and singularly merciless ecosystem. Nearly every organism here is an opportunist of some kind, ranging from carnivorous plants to herbivorous prey animals to sleek reptilian predators. There are also sentient natives, here, but they're smart enough to stay away from the more exposed areas.

At the very top of that food chain is the rancor beast: A towering reptomammal of muscle, leathery hide, claws, teeth, and rage. Social hunters, they live in packs dominated by a bull rancor. They're known to be ferociously protective of their eggs and young. Most things are smart enough to stay away from rancor nests.

Then again, it takes all kinds, in the multiverse.

The engines of the Rogue Shadow cuts through the cacaphony of animal life on Felucia's surface, banking smoothly down to the surface. Juno doesn't set the ship down on a clearing, instead landing on a very large mushroom cap and making deft use of the ship's repulsors to settle evenly. The belly hatch opens, and the entry ramp telescopes out to rest against their squishy, spore-ridden perch.

Juno's clipped and precise, Imperial-accented voice sounds over their comm equipment, slightly distorted and static-ridden, but audible.

    [This is as far as I can take you. I can't afford to wait on the surface and risk damage to the ship; it would attract too much attention from the locals. Good luck.]

Once everyone's safely disembarked, the Rogue Shadow's entry hatch slides closed. Just in time; a nearby mushroom reacts to the ship's presence, violently throwing off a cloud of spores. The cloud disperses harmlessly against the ship's hull, leaving a distinct greenish smear.

    [Sensors are picking up a large group of rancors approximately one kilometer north of your current position. That's likely where your nest is. The sooner you're on your way, the better; I doubt that your arrival has gone unnoticed.]

They're not Elite creatures, but still worthy of concern. Powerful predators, they have the potential to mete out incredible destruction on the basis of size and ferocity alone. Folks on the ground might not be worried, but Juno will be sweating bullets in the cockpit. When she speaks up again, Juno's voice carries just a touch of <span style="color:oncern.

    [cxterm81">Eclipse to Starkiller. Although I'm not picking up anything significant on sensors, keep an eye out for Shaak Ti. It's possible she backtracked to return here. I doubt she's rash enough to attack an armed party of Confederate allies, I wouldn't rule anything out. Please be careful, and comm me as soon as you're ready for extraction.</span>]

Slowly, the Rogue Shadow ascends back through the canopies. One of the towering plants is apparently a carnivorous example; it makes a grab for the ship, but the sleek transport is too fast for it. In the cockpit, Juno makes a sound of disgust, easing the ship away from immediate danger. Although unwilling to set down on the surface, if the Confederates look up, they'll see the dark shadow of the ship following them from a modest altitude, ready to swoop in if they need to beat a hasty retreat... or a quick rescue.

Come to think of it, the ship's hull is already starting to look somewhat greenish, and it's not just from the planet's gloomy lighting...

    [Eclipse out.]

Distant thunder sounds from the undergrowth up ahead; the roar of a massive creature, sporting massive lungs.

Something already knows they're here...

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    Starkiller is dressed in his Sith training robes today, silver and red and somewhat heavily armored for cloth. On his cloth belt sets his lightsaber, which is drawn the moment he is clear of the exit ramp. The mushroom underneath his feet is firm yet spongy, and he can sense the blast flying toward the Rogue Shadow. He ducks out of habit rather than the acutal threat of getting hit, and recovers quite quickly. He doesn't yet ignite the lightsaber clutched in his hand, but it's held in a way that makes firing the blade an almost instantaneous affair. He shifts his grip on the weapon, turning to the rest of the entourage. "Everything here is to be considered hostile," he says, "Even though we're hunting rancor, we'll likely be dealing with a multitude of other life forms. In other words..." he raises the hood on his robes, turning to look out across the landscape, "this planet hates you and wants you to die. Any questions?"

    With that, he ignites his lightsaber, the red blade humming into life and held behind him in a strange position. "As Eclipse says, quick is the way to go. Any energy lost before the fighting is energy wasted." He quirks an eyebrow slightly, then nods. "Starkiller to Eclipse, affirmative," he says, then turns his face toward the others. "By the way, there might be a Jedi lurking around here. If there is, you might have to hunt rancor by yourselves."

Mantigora (583) has posed:
Mantigora is one of the first to walk down the ramp once it's open, all too eager to see this supposedly hazardous planet for herself. Nostrils flare as she inhales deeply, then lets it out in an eeriely satisfying sounding exhale. "Even atmosphere of this world smells of potential danger around every turn... Certainly a good day for a hunt indeed."

Tail flicks with anticipation as the Draken walks out to the edge of their drop-off point. At the thundering roar she crouches down on reflex, nanotech reticle activating over her right eye. But she's still grinning, even as every augmented muscle and nerve in her body tenses. "We should not linger in one place too long." But that's obvious advice isn't it?

Lute (188) has posed:
     Lute is one of the first out of the Rogue Shadow. He is wearing his same casual outfit. He's not quite alone, though. Floating next to him is a strange creature, somewhat akin to a elongated black head of black metal, with a mouth filled with Teeth. This is an I-Class Destroyer, a creature from the Abyssal Fleet. Surrounding Lute are a horde of about twenty Unown. He looks at them for a moment, before giving them a nod. And, they start floating ahead, in a wide formation. Their eyes, looking down.

     "I'll have them scout for creatures. I think we'll be fine, though. Sure, everything here wants to kill us, but... ...Eh, that won't be any different than usual for me."

     And, Lute just sort of casually hops off the cap of the mushroom, town to the surface of the planet itself.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
One of the members of the Confederacy coming along to aid Lute and perhaps to also at last get a ride on the Rogue Shadow is Gaius Van Baelsar. Is in his normal Garlean Magitek Armored Suit with black armor that ignores the light, with gold trimmings that glisten slightly and red crimson leather-like cloth in the locations around his arms that the armor does not meet. Including red bands around his waist and black leather pants.

On Gaius backside is a gunblade known as the Heirsbane-- his own personal weapon. Those void-lens eyes in his helm hides his eyes and reflects nothing around him. With the step he takes onto their odd perch of a mushroom, the small 'orbs' on his helm's horns barely move.

He looks over the area, before watching the Rogue Shadow leave and then nearly being grasps by a very hungry tree. "Intriguing." Is all the Legatus has to say. When the roar releases from the distance, his attention shifts in that direction, but his movements were still easy. His years upon years of military training and discipline keeping his own nerves calm and his mind collected.

The Legatus then looks to others who are present, then to Lute, before the one called Starkiller. Listening to the Sith's advice and warnings, before giving a gentle nod. "Understood, if you like I will take up the rear in order to make sure we do not get followed." Or be the first to be eaten, though he does look to Mantigora, "Unless you wish to take the rear given your own stealth abilities?" The Legatus remembers well what the bounty huntress packs.

Though he himself starts to walk over to the edge, there was a gently click in his gauntlet, as he debates on the drop distance and if the armor can handle it with no assist.

Alvira (722) has posed:
    For the purpose of this hunting trip, Alvira has opted for much more practical leathers with sewn-in, flexible armor. A cloak is wrapped around her shoulders, which appears to be weighted at the edges and waterproof from the looks of it, knowing that this was going to be a planet with thick vegetation. The cloak itself seems to have been well worn and well used before.

    "Superb piloting, by the way." Alvira offers to Juno as she disembarks from the ship, pulling a pair of fingerless gloves onto her hands as she hustles off the ship. "I especially liked the part where we didn't get eaten by the plant."

    A frown graces her scarred face as she too draws her weapon, an unusual-looking 'sword' called the Spine. "So if there is a Jedi, you will abandon us? We are to wait for you to rendezvous when we've accomplished our objective, I take it?" She walks past him and the Legatus, not opting to be anywhere near the rear but up front, ready to receive the first hint of action.

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
The Rogue Shadow banks gently to one side, following the party down below with timed bursts of the manoeuvring thrusters. Although she snorts at the explanation given by Starkiller, she can't really argue with it, either. It's a pretty apt description of Felucia. Leaning forward, she shucks off her uniform jacket and tosses it somewhere behind her; PROXY's manning the co-pilot's seat, and it would be rude to throw a jacket over the poor droid's head.

This atmosphere is just too damned /hot/, even with the climate control of the ship running.

Reaching up to adjust her cap, she leans down to the systems, eyes scanning over the pilot and co-pilot stations' console boards.

Lingering in one place too long on Felucia is unwise. Anything that sits still too long inevitably becomes a meal for something bigger than itself.

    [You should be entering the target area soon. I've got more of the creatures on sensors, although I think they may be interested in something else. I can't be any more precise than that.]

Leaning forward over PROXY's station, she flicks a few switches, fingers dancing as she taps commands out on her own station.

    [There are so many life signs on Felucia's surface that the Rogue Shadow's sensors are being overwhelmed. I can't be more precise than that.]

There's a short pause, and she responds to Alvira, wryly.

    [Thank you. I must say that 'not being eaten' is quite high on my list of priorities.]

The ship ghosts their progress, following overhead; they can catch glimpses of it through the undergrowth if they look up.

    [I'm reading a sudden shift in the creatures up ahead. I'm afraid they must have noticed you--]

No sooner has she finished her transmission than the humid air is split by a thundering roar.

Something very large is crashing through the undergrowth--

    [Look out--!]

--and there are, quite suddenly, five rancor beasts bulling their way through the undergrowth, headed straight for the Confederate party. Their attacks are not very graceful, but when you're the planet's apex predator, you don't really need to look pretty. They use their massive claws and forelimbs to try and smash into the Confederates, roaring and snarling their bestial displeasure at having their territory invaded.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Gaius waits for everyone else and to see what Mantigora is going to do, before he steps off with simple ease and lands down in a partial crouch, before moving along with the group. What is curious about him in this moment is the fact he has yet to draw out the Heirsbane on his backside. Instead the weapon remains attached to his armor. This is because he has another weapon at ready encase something comes to buy him time to draw the sword.

There was no reason to have the blade at ready for it to only be extra weight in his hands.

When the five rancors coming charging up ahead, the Legatus looks toward the beasts and swiftly moves into action as a glow emits from his own boots. He flips away from a swing that could come his way and barrel has time to roll under another.

He flips back on his feet into the air, before launching out several blue plasma burst from his left arm gauntlet as a form of cover fire. His right hand reaching for the Gunblade and drawing it ready, before he spins himself around as soon has his feet touch the ground and sends out several armor piercing bullets as further assistance.

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    Starkiller smirks under his hood, nodding curtly. "The Jedi's death is a mission I was assigned to for several months. If I have the opportunity to give chase, I will do so. If that happens, Eclipse will get you all out of here." He would take the flak for that decision later, but he highly doubts Shaak Ti had returned to Felucia already. Nonetheless, things have been laid out. He leaps off the mushroom, landing straight-legged on the ground. As Juno gives them updates on the situation, Galen moves forward into a better position, falling closer to point than anchor. He had fought rancor before, and he knew their attack patterns. Attack pattern. Mainly, they just tried to overwhelm and overpower.

    And there's a crash, several crashes, and there they are, in all their glory. He smiles under his hood, drawing his free hand back as he rushes toward the incoming monsters. "Well Lute," he asks over the din, "Still sure you want one of these bad boys?" He smiles a bit wider, then moves in toward the bellowing beasts.

    The one in front is about to take some lightning to the face, while the Sith follows in with a slash toward its ankle. Step one: bring it down to a manageable level.

Mantigora (583) has posed:
Mantigora turns her head to briefly flash her toothy grin at Gaius. "My stealth is not meant for guarding the back of the party. Our potential withdrawl route is best kept in your hands." With that she hops down to the ground level and into the wilderness, fading out of view as she does so. Other races may see the planet as too dangerous to risk.

To her that just made the challenge all the more enervating. No worthy hunter wants an easy hunt!

Unless the rancors have some kind of thermal sense they're likely to pass right by the cloaked Draken in their rampage towards the more visible intruders to their terrain.

Almost silently the techno-blades extend from her forearms and Mantigora slips in behind the beasts to strikes at the back of one of the beast's thighs, going for a straight thrust to use the sharpened narrow design of her battle claws to get through as much of the rancor's thick hide as she can and inject one of the crippling nano-toxins from the blades into the beast. This one specifically designed to assault the blood's ability to carry oxygen and other nuitrents so the victim cripples themselves from the inside out with their own exertion.

Lute (188) has posed:
     The sudden arrival of the rancors is a surprise. At the least, Juno managed to detect them. He's a little sad that his Unown didn't spot them sooner. But, he comes to a realization. They're in a jungle. No matter how many eyes he has in the sky, it'd still be hard to see through the dense jungle. Higher tech methods are definitely better for this than his Unown's line of sight. And so, he discovers yet another weakness of his Unown.

     But, still, with the forewarning, and the Unown, he's one of the first to react. Even of the rancor come upon them, he just grabs for a Pokeball, and gives an order to his I-Class Destroyer.

     "FIRE CANNON! And, go, Tyrantrum!"

     The I-Class opens its mouth, and the barrel of a cannon appears in it. It fires its cannon straight at one of the rancor. Soon after, the T-rex Pokemon runs to face that same rancor, to try and hold it in place. Lute, of course, stays near the back. His Pokemon and monsters are his tools in combat, so no need for him to be put at risk, yet.

     But, he still is probably being far to casual about this. He smiles, glancing towards Galen. "If anything, this just impresses me more. I mean. Wow. These things must have great senses to pick us up so fast! And five of them at once... They're pack animals, or at least can be. That's a good sign. Once I get the eggs, I just have to make them part of the pack! Plus they're /so/ adorable defending their territory right now! ...shame that taming a fully grown creature is harder."

     He then wipes a bead of sweat off his brow, and puts his hands in his pockets. He's... way too casual with danger. But, part of it is he knows a lot of creatures can sense fear. So he's putting on a brave face.

Alvira (722) has posed:
    "Oh, understandable. Not being eaten ranks quite highly on my priorities as well." Just slightly above 'Alvira makes a lot of money.' at least. As they continue onward, it takes a moment for her to realize that Juno was continuing to monitor their position overhead-far, far overhead outside of the range of being grabbed by things. It brings a smile to Alvira's face to know that they had a spotter during this mission. Spotters were extememly useful things-

    "And what about you?" she asks Starkiller. "Would you be left alone on this planet? That would be dreadful. Please endeavor to return to us once you have dealt with your prey. I-"

    Whatever else she would have said is lost in the roar of a Rancor. Immediately, her head snaps up in the direction of the lumbering beasts, which are coming at them quite fast by the sound of it. In response, Alvira inverts the Spine, tapping the end to the ground to freeze a wide path of ice before her, stretching into the jungle just as a Rancor bursts through. With little hesitation, she runs at the Rancor, full speed, and slides underneath it upon the ice she created, between the legs of the running monster.

    With a finessed flick of the wrist, she thrusts the spine upwards, aiming to carve open the underside of the Rancor as she slides past with the serrated edges of her blade.

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
Up above, there's nothing left for Juno to do but keep to her monitoring, and wait. She flicks a nervous glance to PROXY, then a nervous glance to the console panels. Waiting is the worst part, but... that's what her training was for. Professional. Calm. Patient. She draws in a deep breath and lets it out through her teeth, worried.

The rancors, meanwhile, get more than they bargained for.

RANCOR ONE whirls and rounds on the Sith apprentice, snarling and doing its level best to swat Galen down with an enormous clawed forelimb. He's not fast enough to actually score a hit, though, and in order, he finds himself electrocuted and then carved into with a burning lightsaber. The beast roars in rage, ropy saliva flying from its open mouth. It certainly has the foul-smelling /breath/ of an apex predator. Ew. Its assault denied, it promptly attempts to slam both of its sickle-clawed forelimbs down on Galen from above, rearing up to its full and impressive height to do so. It promises to be a powerful, earth-shaking attack... except the electricity must have hit it harder than expected, perhaps even at its heart. It goes down twitching and does not get up again.

RANCOR TWO finds its way to Mantigora, except it doesn't, because it hasn't spotted her. It snarls as it rounds in tight little circles, smelling her but failing to see her; and it isn't until she bursts out of stealth to slice at its thigh. Its hide is very thick -- thick enough to repel a burning blaster bolt -- but these are the blades of a professional and trained Elite, which are another matter entirely from a stormtrooper's mis-aimed blaster. It's taken down a peg or two to a more manageable level... which, while roaring in pain and thrashing about, means it's now also trying to bite her. It's clear that the creature isn't goign to make it; even if it weren't bleeding out, it would be crippled.

RANCOR THREE is after Lute. This is probably unwise, considering the sheer number of monster allies Lute brings to the table. Specifically, the rancor is being held in place by iron jaws and fired upon by a torpedo. Which is, to go by the roaring and reptomammilian hollering, very painful. It's thrashing about trying to deal any damage it can -- which means it's probably trying to hit Lute by proximity, too. Maybe. Then again it may not be thinking that far ahead; by and large, they seem to be brute creatures. Except this one is probably, like the others, not going to make it, having taken some pretty crippling, if not lethal, damage to its head and neck.

RANCOR FOUR goes right for Alvira. Specifically, it doesn't even waste time trying to pound her flat with its claws; it just goes for a straight-up lunge with every effort made to try and bite her into two distinct pieces. And... then it slides rgiht forward on the ice, scrabbling almost comically as it tries to halt its sudden and unexpected forward momentum. It doesn't even notice as Alvira goes careening right beneath it. It notices when its entire stomach is opened up, though, and when it tries to turn, all it succeeds in doing is collapsing onto the ice; which very quickly runs red with rancor blood.

The one assaulted by Gaius is also affected by the ammunition, and apparently a lucky shot must have pegged it in the eyes. It, too, goes down; trying unsuccessfully to rub at its face with one forelimb. Easy pickings, for whichever Elite finishes up first.

Up above, Juno stares at her readouts. Seriously? Is this, then, the power of Elites? The pilot makes a very quick note not to ever piss off her Confederate allies. Ever.

Lute (188) has posed:
     With Lute's Tyrantrum trying to keep the Rancor in place, Lute just smiles. Lute is at least being smart enough to back out of the way of the rancors, so he won't get caught in the damage. But... Well. Time to put the beast out of its misery a bit. He pulls out one more Pokeball. And, from it, an Arcanine appears.

     "Bite its neck."

     And, Arcanine moves in, to try and get at the Rancor from behind. It moves to attempt and bite at its neck. Lute doesn't want its bod /completely/ destroyed. Because he has an idea.

     "Guys! Once they're down, rub some of their body on yourself. Get their scent on you. Should help a /bit/ for taking them by surprise!"

     It's a fairly valid tactic. Granted, it's fairly disturbing of a tactic to use for some people, but. He's guessing the rancors found them by scent. It's just a guess, though.

Alvira (722) has posed:
    Fortunately for Avira, the Rancor merely gets a mouth full of empty air as the diminutive CEO is well on her way to slipping underneath the monster. Blood splatters on the back of Avira's head as the wound is opened up, though the majority decorates the ice that she had just passed over. On the other side, Alvira continues to slide but manages to stop herself before she slides too far or crashes into the surrounding plant life. Clawing her way to a stop with one hand seems to help.

    Like the very wild animals they are hunting, she wastes no time in springing back on the fallen beast, bypassing the ice and landing on top of the collapsed Rancor. Inverting the Spine once more, she stabs the sharp weapon downwards, aiming to bury the sharp blade deep into the Rancor's hide, agitating and worsening whatever wound she makes.

    To further seal the kill, she will follow up by channeling her ice magic through the Spine and into the beast to split it open violently. "...rub it on me?" Alvira seems a little disgusted by the suggestion even though she realizes its utility.

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    Galen retracts his arms, swinging his lightsaber back into ready position as he leaps away, dodging the falling rancor as it attempts to strike one final time. As it hits the ground, he swoops back in, stabbing the beast through the skull with his saber to ensure a kill. At Lute's suggestion, he can't help but appear impressed for a moment. "That's a valid hunting tactic," he says, "Not sure if it works on rancor, though. Never tried it. Make sure not to get too messy, though." He chuckles, then turns his attention back to the task at hand.

    He looks through the underbrush from which the rancor had come, studying it with an inquisitive eye. "Still, they showed up way too fast. Something really feels off." He keeps his blade ready, stalking toward the underbrush. "They're pack minds," he adds, "More are likely on the way. We should be ready for another wave."

Mantigora (583) has posed:
Mantigora jumps out of the way of the lunging jaws, but the beasts flailing about in rage slams one of those rediculously long and muscular arms into her before she reachs the ground again. The blow sends her flying into a tree(?) with enough force to snap it in half and tumbling through the brush.

But it takes more than that to put down a Draken on the hunt. By the time she's getting back on her feet her nanotech is already patching off injuries. Though instead of rushing back in she retracts her claws, and pulls out a futuristic looking heavy weapon of some sort, that she braces much like one would a sniper rifle as she takes aim. "Skuzzler sends his regards." She fires the high speed explosive shell aimed right down the beast's mouth to get past that tough hide! "Regards of scientific -death-, that is."

THIS is what she keeps the annoying space gerbil around for -- the cool special mission 'toys'!

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
Rancor's get attacked one by one and the one Gaius has locked himself on goes down scuffing away at its face where it was hit. The Legatus flourish his sword before running right in to finish the job. His steps were quick, much faster then any man should move in such armor and when he leaps, he leaps into the air with great highest.

With a slide of his left hand across the Heirsbane it takes on a blue glow as some type of energy is ran through the blade's own magitek circuits, charged by the power of the spheres within the Gauntlet. As he hits the peek of his jump, he rotates his body around, before swinging his sword and with the swing, a blue wave of plasma rushes down for the Rancor below. Acting not only as a heated wave of plasma with explosive force, but also the cutting edge of a blade.

Once Gaius does land back down however, he slides back a bit, his feet dragged across the ground to slow down his momentum some. He glances over to Lute at the young man's suggestion. It seemed like a logical choice dealing with the fact they are beasts, so unless Starkiller says other wise--- Gaius may be partaking in this crazy idea.

The Legatus does look to Starkiller as the man speaks, "This is not their normal behavior?" The Garlean asks, seeming a little surprised by this fact. Maybe a little unnerved that something maybe could be observing them. "Believe it to be this... Jedi?"

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
Lute's rancor doesn't stand a chance; not with a Tyrantrum keeping it pinned down, an Arcanine attempting to perforate its windpipe, and some sort of torpedo thing having shot at its head and neck. It dies messily and noisily, one hind leg kicking out and tail thrashing in its death throes.

Similarly, Alvira's rancor dies pretty quickly, having been more or less neatly eviscerated. What little resistance it'd had leaves it as it crashes to the ground, twitching.

Galen's rancor twitches a bit, but it's more or less dead.

Gaius' rancor is, likewise, left very very dead by the Legatus' actions, because thick rancor hides are not designed to stop plasma. It crashes to the ground the same as the others, twitching and smoking. The smell is horrific.

Similarly, Mantigora's is shot down the gullet, and it does not take its sweet time dying. No, it dies pretty quick. It doesn't even have a chance to twitch.

Juno's voice crackles to life over the <span style="color:omm.

    [cxterm81">I'm reading all five rancors dead. No life signs.</span>]

There's a pause as she considers Lute's suggestion.

    [That's a possible strategy, but they also have excellent night-vision. Their hearing isn't bad, either. It's up to you if you want to do that, but you're very close to the nest, and I'd recommend finishing this before more of the creatures show up.]

There's a pause as, in the cockpit, Juno checks over the sensors and taps out a few rapid-fire <span style="color:ommands.

    [cxterm81">I'm not reading anything on sensors, but somewhere nearby there's going to be a very angry bull rancor. I'd recommend finishing this quickly.</span>]

Straightening, she glances over to the slender droid in the co-pilot's chair. "PROXY, are you finding anything on your scans?"

"No, Captain Eclipse," the droid answers in a pleasant voice. His yellow photoreceptors turn to her, and he gestures to his screen. "Nothing out of the ordinary for a typical surface scan of Felucia's life signs."

"Good." Juno looks back to her own screen. "Let's hope it stays that way."

Mantigora (583) has posed:
Mantigora snorts softly at Juno's communications. "Then best we make haste" She slings the sniper rifle over her shoulder so it's ready should she need it again before this night is over and walks up to the rancor she down. Emits another snort, this time of frustration. "Pity there is no time to take elaborate trophies." As much as she would love to see what she could do with tanning such tough hide, time is of the essence here.

So she settles on slipping a more ceremonial looking... thing, that resembles more an instrument of torture than a tool, and uses that to quickly yank out a couple of the rancor's teeth.

Satisfied with having something to take away from the kill, she turns and starts back into the alien jungle. "Let's get your eggs before angry alpha male shows up."

Alvira (722) has posed:
    The savaging of the wound with ice makes it easy for Alvira to withdraw the Spine otherwise such a task would be nearly impossible due to the cruelly serrated edges of the weapon. Reaching down, she coats her fingers with Rancor blood and daintily dabs a bit of it underneath her chin and along her neck, as if she were applying perfume.

    The cloak is unbuckled and bunched together so she can rub it against her dead prey, ignoring whether or not it gets blood on the garment.

    "When the bull shows up..." she says, tapping the comm to Juno, "Please let us know as soon as possible. Thank you."

    She doesn't sheath her sword but she does throw her cloak back over her shoulders, moving to regroup with the likes of Lute and Mantigora. "Its teeth would make nice trophies." Alvira remarks, "But extracting them would take more time than we have right now. Maybe a severed foreclaw would suffice?"

Lute (188) has posed:
     At the comment of 'an angry bull rancor', Lute releases one more Pokemon. He's still acting fairly casual as he does so. He just smiles, and looks around, trying to keep his cool. He has not heard good things about the Bull Rancor, and so he's a bit worried. As such, time to prepare the big guns.

     "Go, Giratina. Tyrantrum, return."

     The massive ghostly dragon appears, and lands on the ground. Soon after, Lute returns the Tyrantrum. He still has one idea for the Arcanine, so it's staying out. But, Lute quickly gets to work. He won't spend /long/ doing this, but he rubs their bodies against himself and his Pokemon and his I-Class Destroyer. Just a bit. Worth a shot. He quickly glances around.

     "Alright, I have a plan for if the bull shows up. Distract the Bull Rancor with Giratina. Have Arcanine use Fire Spin to surround it with flames. Then we just blast it with everything we have while it deals with the flames. I'll grab the egg while we distract it, or possibly anhillate it. Sound good?"

     He won't give everyone else much time before he starts moving forward a bit. Don't wanna stay in one place for /too/ long in a place like this.

     But, he does give a glance towards Mantigora, "Well. If we're 'lucky' enough to face the Bull, you can keep it as a trophy if you want."

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    Galen closes his eyes a bit, focusing on the Force. He would be able to sense if there was another Force user nearby, but with Elites nearby as well his senses are a bit dulled. However, when Juno says she's not reading anything on the scanners, he relaxes a bit. "It could be," he replies to Gaius' query, "but I don't think so this time. I think they just managed to catch us through scent or sound." Unfortunate, but not likely influenced by Shaak Ti. Of course, he couldn't rule that out completely yet.

    "Yes, the bull wasn't with the first wave. Which means he's still guarding the rest of the herd. Ready up."

    He slashes through the underbrush with his lightsaber, attempting to literally blaze them a trail. His voice sails up from his work, though. "It'll be hard for me to stick to the bull with that plan, but I should be able to make due. Be aware there might be more than just the bull left though."

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Legatus follows along with the group and nods to Starkiller's response. Though he has never met a Jedi, he can only imagine that they would be trouble if they did show up. Yet with the information that the bull is ahead, it could still spill a great deal of trouble, including more of these Rancors.

"Lute, I would suggest that while we distract the bull and the rest of the herd, you make a run for an egg. We get that egg," Gaius then looks ahead, "We get out of here."

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
Juno flicks a few switches, keeping an eye on her readouts even as she answers Alvira's <span style="color:omment.

    [cxterm81">I'm hoping that won't be necessary. An extended operation in this environment is a bad idea for everyone involved. Felucia's air is thick with spores and other biological contaminants; there is a heightened risk of infection in these conditions.</span>]

Back on the ground, there come no more problems or interruptions for the party. There's a distinct lack of rancors around, in fact; although there are plenty of scavengers already descending to feed on the five rancor corpses. Fresh meat never lasts for very long on Felucia, and there are plenty of opportunists who will swoop in to take advantage of it -- with as much noise and aggression as possible. By the time the party leaves the rancor corpses behind, it's getting pretty loud, but fortunately nothing bothers them. They smell like rancor, after all.

    [Fortunately, I'm not detecting any life signs, and certainly not anything significant enough to indicate the bull rancor. I'd rather you not engage the creature if it can be avoided.]

There is relief in moving forward, at the very least. A clearing opens up, some of the press of fungi and vegetation lessening.

And there, under the low-hanging bough of fungus stalks, lies the object of their hunt: A mud nest, with five leathery eggs in it. They look like they're very close to hatching, and in fact two of the eggs are just empty shells.

    [I'm reading life signs, but they're faint. Have you found the nest? It's difficult for me to pinpoint anything. The sensors are completely overwhelmed.]

Lute (188) has posed:
     Lute looks at the eggs, smiling. Well, even at this distance, he can see that two have hatched. And so, he radios right back to Juno, rather casually.

     [We see the eggs, Juno. Two of them are hatched, so the babies might be hiding around nearby. I'm going to go in for them.]

     Lute is, obviously, a bit reluctant. He looks towards his party, under the guise of checking if anyone is still together. Instead, though? He is finding that basically everyone here is just more than willing to let him walk into the nest of the dangerous animal first. At least, he'll have backup for if things go terribly. Which he expects they will.

     And with that, Lute starts slowly walking forward. He quietly gives orders to his Pokemon. Basically, just telling them to cover him if need be. And, unless he is stopped, he'll continue walking until he reaches the next, and grabs at the unhatched eggs.

Mantigora (583) has posed:
On a planet like this corpses will not last long before they are devoured by scavangers. Such is the way of life in the wild, and is enough to satisfy the Draken creedence of leaving nothing to waste. Moving on!

<Just because it is not here now does not mean it couldn't show up at any moment,> Mantigora murmurs back. Then out loud, "If there are eggs in the nest, no parent will wander far, even if they are hunting." She takes up a position at the edge of the nest's clearing, melding out of sight as her nano-camoflague recharges. "Best take your eggs and leave, Lute."

Despite the technology available to her, she doesn't activate more than her cloaking, instead relying on her normal senses and keen instincts as a predatory race, now that she knows personally what the rancor smell and sound like. Sensors would likely do little better than the Shadow's own in so much biological clutter.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
As they start to make their way to the clearing, Gaius turns around to face the direction they came from. He watches as the Scavengers quickly head for the corpses to be picked clean. Such a savage land, far more savage then anything he is aware of on Hydaelyn.

The Legatus looks ahead once more and watches as the group comes to a stop to the clearing, the location of what Lute has come here to seek; The Mud Nest. Gaius can see the eggs, including the ones already hatched. More then likely, they killed the young's mother and soon they will die to this harsh world. The thought of it actually causes his hand to tightly slightly on the hilt of his gunsword as his mind wonders back to the time when he was younger and he saved a small little girl from the wreckage of a home... she too could have been left to die... and she would have been if not for his actions, but these were beasts. Not humans. Ha, perhaps he was becoming to soft... a softness he will need to be rid of if another comes to challenge him.

His mind quickly snaps back to the proceedings before him, including as Lute heads for the nest. The Legatus moves to the edge and his gunblade at ready. Waiting for any signs of another Rancor or perhaps this bull he has heard about. Though while a part of the Garlean would enjoy the fight with such a massive creature, another part of him just wants to get off the wretched planet before something worse happens.

He does speak to Starkiller though while he remains vigilant, "Remind me to ask you about these Jedi you hunt on the way back home. If they are anything like what you have displayed here, they would indeed be a great threat."

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    Galen holds steady as they come across the eggs, allowing his lightsaber to die out. He straightens up, glancing around. No guards? They must be off hunting. Lucky for Lute, it looks like he can get three eggs! The Sith places his lightsaber back on his belt, then crosses his arms. "Looks like the spoils are yours, Lute. Congratulations."

    When Gaius speaks up, he nods a bit. "I could fill you in on them, sure. They are essentially the opposite of myself. Similar in ability, but in rebellion to the Empire. I have been tasked to eliminate one such Jedi, named Shaak Ti, but she appears to be still running." He shakes his head. "They are strong with the Force to be sure, but two have already fallen by my hands."

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
Nothing seems intent on bothering Lute while he goes after the unhatched eggs. They're warm to the touch, with an oddly leathery feel, soft-shelled but thick enough to protect their cargo. Perhaps Lute might imagine it, but one of them seems to twitch slightly when he picks it up. He won't need to wait long to see his brand new charges. They're close to hat<span style="color:hing.

    [cxterm81">Copy that. I'm still seeing no significant life signs in the immediate area, but you may want to hurry things along. Once you've got your eggs, there's a clearing approximately a third of a kilometer west of your current position. Proceed to the clearing, and I should have enough space to set down and retrieve you.</span>]

They might see the shadow passing over them as the Rogue Shadow proceeds ahead, and the hum of its sublight drives as it gracefully hovers down, settling just above the ground. The hatch slides open and the landing ramp telescopes out, waiting for the Confederate adventurers to return.

The hull looks pretty green by now. It's pretty well full of fungal gunk.

    [There's bound to be an angry bull rancor somewhere nearby, and it really would be better if we didn't cross paths with him, and there's a chance that Shaak Ti may have returned to Felucia. You've got what you've come for.]

PROXY's congenial voice sounds over the line.

    [I must agree with Captain Eclipse's assessment. While it is my master's primary programming to seek and eliminate Shaak Ti, the rest of you are under no such obligations.]

Juno's voice takes over.

    [PROXY's got a point. While I personally think that you could take her on, I think it would be far better that we left sooner rather than later. That's not your fight, and it wouldn't be fair to ask you to fight it. And I, personally, would prefer to spend as little time here on Felucia as possible.]

The ship swings about to face the Confederates once they arrive in the clearing, hovering patiently.

Lute (188) has posed:
     Lute is trying to hold back chuckling. This? It's just been so easy. Sure, they had some trouble with the five rancors, and raising these things won't be easy. But still. Lute's realizing, more and more, that he is having an /incredible/ lucky streak. He just grins, holding all three eggs in his arms. It's a bit of a juggling act, but he manages.

     "...Giratina, cover us from above just in case, but. Yeah. Let's get out of here, /fast/."

     He starts trying to lead the way to the clearing, looking at the group as a whole.

     "...I really only need one of these things, as a note. I'll try to raise all of them to be tame, but. ...Well. I might need to find some people to care for the other two once the training is over."

     He, of course, has no qualms about ignoring the search for the Jedi as to simply get everyone out of here as fast as possible.

Mantigora (583) has posed:
[There is no need to stick around longer than necessary], Mantigora agrees with Juno and her droid. Nothing else is coming after them, so she puts the sniper rifle away and extends her arm-claws once more. "Follow me." This time using them like oversized space machettes to cut a quick patch though the jungle vegetation to the pick-up point so the ones carrying the eggs won't have to struggle through overgrowth with the loads. The sooner they are away from the nest and off this planet, the better for its success.

She may want to come back to do some hunting later though. Dangerous prey is the -best- prey as far as Draken are concerned.

Gaius Van Baelsar (522) has posed:
The Legatus only glances to Starkiller for a moment as he explains, before his sights return to being on guard. "Most interesting. I will have to see about further research into this Force and including more into your culture once we return back home."

Then there was a pause in his thoughts, "Further, if you and Juno ever require assistance, I'll be more then glad to aid personally or offer up some of my own men. They could use a bit more worldly experience..."

Though when Juno speaks up after Lute gets his eggs, it is a warm welcomed voice to hear that they are leaving this place. The Garlean will follow up the rear once more, just to be sure that not only everyone gets on board, but to be sure no trouble follows them either.

Once everyone else gets on, he'll get himself up the ramp.

Galen Marek (731) has posed:
    With the eggs in tow by Lute, Galen starts making his way to the clearing. "If you actually succeed in raising those... I might know someone with an interest in a Rancor guard," he says to Lute, "So let me know the results." He crosses his arms, waiting for Juno and the Shadow to arrive. "I would be happy to give you what information I can," he adds to Gaius, "We'll have plenty of time on the way to the Citadel. As for men... well, groups tend to be liabilities when I really get going. More than a fair share of stormtroopers have died by my hand. Most of them weren't even on purpose."

Alvira (722) has posed:
    "Either way, I am glad that not only we accomplished what we came for..." Alvira says conversationally, post retrieval of the eggs, "But that we weren't put into an situation where we would have had to leave him behind ot hunt his Jedi. No offense meant, or anything, abandoning a comrad to a hostile planet such as this does not sit well with me."

    Calmly, she follows after Mantigora as she takes the lead to their meeting point. Her weapon remains out and at the ready in case more local wildlife decides to make their visit more troublesome. "Though.." she says quietly to Starkiller. "...should you ever want help in pursuit of this Jedi, I would be happy to oblidge...should such a task be something you can accept help on."

Juno Eclipse (428) has posed:
At least the rancor eggs are safely acquired, and all three of them seem to be healthy. They're all warm to the touch, and the colour on them seems to be uniform in a way that is presumably normal for a rancor egg. Who knows these things? Most sane people won't go anywhere near the thrashing terrors of the Felucian forest floor.

Up on the ship, Juno flicks a few switches, leaning over PROXY to key in a few commands on the co-pilot's console. Her eyes remain primarily on the displays even as she answers Mantigora.

    [Which is precisely why I recommend concluding your business and returning to the Rogue Shadow.]

Gaius' response earns a verbal sound, noncommittal, and the Legatus can probably imagine Juno shrugging.

    [Research all you like, but there isn't much information in Imperial databases on that. Maybe Starkiller can explain more, but I'm afraid it's not something I can explain. As for assistance, we'll see.

To Galen, she offers... what sounds like dead air for a second or two. Her response is just a bit less than enthusiasti<span style="color:-sounding.

    [cxterm81">I can attest to that. Inquisitor Starkiller does... not work best in a group setting. Once he's gotten in focus, he's as liable to attack friend as foe. For the safety of your men, Legatus, you may want to reconsider that offer.</span>]

To Alvira, Juno offers that verbal shrug again.

    [We've actually been to Felucia before. I am confident that Starkiller could handle himself for as long as would be necessary.]

Meanwhile, the ship remains waiting in its clearing, hatch open and ramp extended, waiting for the Confederate party. Once they're all safely aboard, the ramp retracts again, and the hatch slides closed. There's a hiss of air as the ship's air pressurises.

The Rogue Shadow's internal comm systems sound, a little clearer than the long-range transmissions.

    [Welcome back, everyone. Try not to get spores over too much of the inside of the ship.

And, with that, the ship lifts off to return to orbit, and from there to the warpgates elsewhere in the galaxy -- to deliver their allies back to their proper dropoff points. Eventually, it will return to the Citadel. I's going to take forever for Juno to scrape all the gunk off the ship, but high-power Confederate chemical decontaminants ought to make life easier.

...She really hates Felucia.