This is the posting thread for RO team 4
RO team 4:
Chib Nyac 8343
The Run-on rules can be found here
This is the posting thread for RO team 4
RO team 4:
Chib Nyac 8343
The Run-on rules can be found here
In the largest room of Kuku-Hawene lies one of its most difficult challenges to face. Peering from the other side, once can see the sprawling landscape of twisting shapes that combine to form a labyrinth of featureless walls and untold dangers. Bones remain unburied in the maze as reminders of those who came before to die of starvation or mutilation from whatever stalks through the tight passages.
A smaller temple on which Kuku-Hawene was constructed is visible above the labyrinth’s walls—a deception to fool the unobservant that are left wandering the halls until meeting their end. No clear indication of where the correct passage might lead exists; one must follow their own logic to navigate through the maze.
“Enter the labyrinths of Kuku-Hawene, face the trials, find the Heart of the Force.” That had been the charge to all the Odanite teams as they entered the lower levels of the ancient city. Force user and non Force user alike had been permitted to face the trials, only the worthy would reach the end.
Chib sipped on from his canteen, the combination of Ayahuasca tea and Iwu Krouh spider venom calming the Ithorian. His eyes scanned the area before him, looking at the temple walls and the labyrinth that followed. A slight draft could be felt, if one was looking to feel such things. The Jedi and his companions stayed in the room for a moment, gathering their thoughts for the coming maze. He slurped a big mouthful and then returned his canteen to its sling. He scratched his hump and then turned to the others.
He eyed the group, the blind Miraluka and the armor clad Mandalorian sticking out more than the Shard housed inside a metal host. The Ithorian chuckled to himself, enjoying the trials that would follow grouped with the individuals he was with. He started pacing as he thought of the maze ahead, the ghosts of troubles and corpses forgotten, when the silence of the group was broken by Seridan.
“How will we proceed?” asked the Miraluka, his bandaged eyes staring straight at the entrance of the labyrinth.
“I’ll proceed first, with Solari behind me?” suggested Dolash, “I can see in the dark and perceive other obstacles. Solari can assess any issues we might encounter being closer to the front.”
“That does sound best.” replied Solari, “Any issues that arise, we’ll be able to handle I would imagine.”
The Mandalorian grabbed his blade, the sword known as Vengeance, and readied himself. The Ithorian frowned slightly as he saw it, but knew that violence may be inevitable as well as unavoidable. Chib grabbed his canteen once more and sipped from it, the effects of the tea starting to pluck at his mind.
“I’ll listen to the wind, perhaps it will help us.” said Chib.
“Indeed.” said Seridan.
The group began their approach, the darkness of the labyrinth slowly swallowing them up. The lights of Dolash’s helmet broke away some of the shadows, allowing the group to see slightly in front of them. The padded feet of the Ithorian delicately stepped down, the sensation of cool tile causing a shiver to plunge down his spine.
The quartet made their way through the increasingly random twists and turns of the dark labyrinth. Dolash stepped with caution while managing to keep a surprising pace. His armoured ball of his foot would press lightly on its intended position, followed by the heavier step of the heel which seemed to click against the hard floor.
The group grew restless. Only an hour had past but they had no indication of progress.
“Didn’t they say there would be traps down here?” Seridan called from the behind.
“Yes,” Dolash replied curtly. “Why do you think I have been keeping up this ridiculous shoal darter step?”
The Mandalorian turned to see his robotic companion mimicking his stride. He shook his head.
Solari’s vocoder cracked to life, “apologies.” His host came to a halt next to the face - or rather helmet - palming mercenary. "I assumed this was how your particular branch of humanity maintains bipedal motion.
Chib Nyac interjected before Dolash could recommend an alternative motion. “Let’s take stock. We don’t know how close to our objective we are. Do we know our way back? Are we lost in here?”
“Certainly not,” Solari offered. “It’s been precisely 68 standard minutes since we decided on marching order. We have made the following turns: left, left, right, left, straight…”
“Ah, about those traps?” Seridan cut off the Shard mid recall.
“Not too surprising that we haven’t found any yet.” Dolash crouched, leaning on the hilt of his sword and drawing a diagram with his other hand. “You hear that a place is littered with traps, you think they are spread out evenly across the whole area. A better approach is to omit any for a while, lul your intruders into a false sense of security so they are more likely to make a mistake or miss something.”
Dolash looks up at the group, the around the area, “this place though? This place is taking the piss.”
As if the area was sentient and had been waiting for the right moment, Dolash suddenly lost balance on the hilt of his sword as the tip depressed a small section of the floor with a loud click and a small puff of dust.
“DOWN!” Bellowed Chib.
In that moment of confusion, every member of their ragtag group hit the decks, ducking under the trap that they believed to be inevitable. And yet, as the displaced dust above the triggered pressure plate dissipated, absolutely nothing happened.
In that initial, awkward moment, all four of them were frozen in anticipation, grimaces preemptively stamped onto their faces (well, Chib’s expression was more like a smile, but that was due to his two Ithorian mouths and rigid skin). After a number of seconds, they started looking at each other, unsure whether they were safe. Though Seridan was doing the same, he looked slightly like a befuddled meerkat, being biologically blind, and all.
As time dragged on, the four figures picked themselves up with caution and slowly rose to their feet. Solari, here, was slightly behind the others, obviously mimicking the actions of those around him.
The foursome waited silently for a few seconds, until the helmeted Dolash spoke, “So, do we carry on now or not?”
The Shard’s mechanical vocoder whirred to life, “This outcome is most improbable. There is still a high probability that a trap has been sprung. Heading back is the safest way. However, that will mean we will deviate from our course and therefore we may not reach our destination in the required time.”
The Miraluka had placed himself towards the back again, distancing himself from the pack slightly, but now he piped up, “I don’t know about you, but getting our first pressure plate this far into the labyrinth tells me the ancient Makers of this temple don’t play according to the rules.”
Chib nodded, “They’re trying to be counter-intuitive, to trick us and delay us and make us doubt ourselves.”
“They’ve attempted to lull us into a false sense of security, and now, I reckon they’re trying to draw out the cautious ones.”
“Oh?” Seridan murmured inquisitively (when logic and reason were involved (especially when these were beyond his own skills), the young Shadow got astoundingly excited), “Please go on.”
Chib notably became more proud, his chest pushing out from between his thin shoulders, “I reckon they’ve put a massive time delay on the trap, so that just when the cautious ones start moving again, that’s when it strikes.”
Solari joined in on the discussion, his tactical circuits firing, “It is a hypothesis, but they are likely to be targeting the reckless ones as well. There’s likely a second trigger up ahead as well that, when taken in conjunction with the first, provided that the time difference is short enough, deploys a trap that’ll catch them, too. We could turn back, but I think we should carry on moving, quickly. If this proposition is correct, then we should --”
“Will you logicians stop nattering and can we start moving, please?” Dolash said, growing impatient with the intelligent conversation – especially as there could be a potentially death-inducing trap heading their way.
Chib, as the current Aedile of the House, and the only one with any significant Summit position, spoke up, “Let’s carr–”
At that precise moment, when they’d all pretty much recovered from their frantics earlier, and were indeed about to head off, did the hiss of millennia-old gas start to reach their ears. The trap had indeed sprung.
Were the group being too cautious? You don’t know the half of it – the ancient Makers had intended for the ‘cautious’ trap to be sprung 5 minutes earlier!
Dolash curshed aubdibly through his helmet’s vocoder. Both Chib and Seridan would be susceptible to the effects of the gas. Scanning the area with an experienced eye and the technologies made available to him by his state of the art HUD he immediately identified the source of the gas which was directly ahead of them, crested in a corner above a fork in the labyrinth. Regardless of the direction taken, they would still be exposed to the trap’s design.
“Turn back, and take that last turn we passed! Go!” Dolash spun on his heel in proper military fashion, pushed off with his back foot and reached a surprising speed considering his size and the heavy armor he donned. Not to mention, as he passed the straggler of the two that would be affected by the gas, he reached for Seridan, pulling him into an embrace as he continued a rapid pace opposite of the gas.
Would they make it?
“Ahhhhhhh! Make it stop, please, please, please!” Dolash felt his fear soar unnaturally as he looked down upon Seridan whose contorted face hid none of the overwhelming discomfort Dolash was certain he was enduring. He glanced back and noticed that his Ithorian companion appeared wholly unaffected by the effects that were tormenting Seridan presently.
“Chib, why do you seem fine when you were closer to the gas than Seridan was?” Dolash demanded almost indignantly as he set the thrashing Seridan upon the ground.
"I’m not sure. I saw it pass me and overtake you and Seridan up front, but I never felt any pain –
Seridan shouted, “SPIDERS”
– or change in my psyche." Chib continued as he reflected upon their friend’s tormented yelps.
“Perhaps a mutation specific to his species or familial line?” Solari piped up, his mechanical voice grating as it pulled Dolash from his revery of deep consternation. Once more he intoned, “Aedile Chib, what is the herb that you have consumed 4 times since we entered the temple?”
Dolash realized what Solari was implying and couldn’t help but find himself feeling hopeful. Don’t worry Seridan, we might just help you yet.
Seridan woke up 26 hours later. He would call the mission a success, but he’d been incapacitated for pretty much all of it. The trap was a bit pointless, really. In a labyrinth where the walls don’t extend all the way up to the ceiling, and only high enough to be unclimbable, gas isn’t the best boobytrap, seen as when the trap is first sprung, it is pretty damn difficult to escape it. The gas wouldn’t just flow down the path they were following, but it would diffuse into surrounding paths, and eventually it would fill the entire labyrinth, rendering it exceedingly difficult to cross unless you a) were a Shard in a droid host, b) a helmeted Mandalorian, or c) a wise Ithorian who eats anti-knockout-gas herbs for fun. Not that Seridan was bitter for being the only person to succumb to the trap or anything. Oh, and Chib’s herb only prevented the gas’s effects, not cured them.
When he’d come to, it was dark and no one was around. The Peacekeeper figured that they’d all gone to bed, the lazy buggers, but he’d learn later that in fact there was a… minor spat between the Jedi and the Order. He felt as if he’d been whacked by a wampa, then digested by a bantha, so let’s say he wasn’t in the right mood for mindlessly hypothesising. At this point, he simply felt one thing: hunger. He got out of the crudely-crafted cot, and slung his weapons harness over his right shoulder. He half-stumbled, half-hobbled through the catacombs of the temple, trying to find some food. As he moved, the grogginess did seem to lift, though the thirst and hunger seemed to be just as distracting.
He started to pass lit braziers, and so he was ‘filled with complete and utter joy’ at going the right way. Then it hit him: he was a Jedi. And Jedi had Force powers! Seridan opened himself up to his environment, searching with his senses, both natural and ‘divine’, for a hunk of bread or some Tusken mead. But that was a mistake. As soon as he opened himself to his senses, the copper stink of blood assaulted him. In the room ahead, there was food, but there was also bodies. Dead. Beyond them, an exit to the grassland outside the temple. And on the grass, the vwoms of a lightsaber swing, the hiss of dueling lightsabers, and the shouts of a dozen men engaged in battle.
With this finding, Seridan’s biological stress reaction began. Immediately, his amygdala had told his pituitary gland to start releasing adrenaline. The amygdala then told his thalamus to being the synthesis of cortisol. Then, the thalamus halted any energy used for digestion, and redirected it, as well as the blood’s oxygen, to the brain, the heart, and the muscles. His heart rate increased, and his veins’ lumen increased, so that the body would not overheat. His muscles tensed, and he instinctively grabbed the quarterstaff from its harness.
Needless to say, he forgot about being hungry.
The air was cold, and a light wind touched the hair on Seridan’s arm. He dropped his staff and his harness, summoning his lightsaber to his hand. He ran forward, ice-blue blade dancing in his fingertips, towards the sound of death.
It is odd, what men do in battle. Men incapacitated moments before, malnourished, and severely dehydrated, will still sprint, fight and kill as much as others. That being said, doing this is incredibly stupid. You run out of energy very quickly, and the weight of all your wounds catch up to you. You stumble, fall, and faint on a battlefield. You lose all control, and essentially put your life in your enemy’s hands.
It’s a good job that the enemy, in this case, are light-side zealots. They do not kill disadvantaged opponents. They are better than that. Though, maybe not so good as to maim them in the heat and rage of battle.
Seridan awoke 26 hours later. Beside him, on a stool, was a sizeable hunk of bread and a tankard of Mislusian whiskey. Beside that, in front of him, was a gathering of friends. Chib stood, a gleam in his eye, and the whiff of odd herbs emanating from his mouth. Dolash, helmet not equipped, grinned. Solari’s droid host’s chest plate glowed in such a way that it seemed like pleasure. Also, its mechanical jaw attempted to give Seridan a smile, even though there were no teeth. It was, let’s say, very odd. To their right, A cloaked man sat. The Quaestor of the House and the spark that revealed the Order, Mar Sul, looked right at the Miraluka. With a glance at the others, he smirked, and for a moment, some of his teeth were revealed in a pseudo-smile.
There was something in their eyes, though. Something ultimately not happy, something disappointing, even. Maybe they’d lost the battle?
Disregarding this, he carried on panning through his surroundings. To his right, there was another stool, with a realistic-looking statue of a hand holding his lightsaber.
He opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the loudest roar (It came from his stomach, don’t worry, dear reader). He then closed his mouth and reached over to grab some bread.
It was then that he saw the stump of his right hand. ‘Ah,’ he said.
He turned to his friends, who now had slight flaws in their smiles.
“Now, that appendage was quite handy…” he started. “By any chance, can any one of you lend me a hand?”