It was a long night

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NOTE: All entries and replies are to be In Character. There is usually a comment thread in the Stories/Journal Comments forum for OOC comments and questions.
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Smallcorners
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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:27 pm

The Doctor and Gwen had contacted Aimi with a request just before the meeting. While they were recovering well, they had some distressing news that the pirates that had attacked them were trying to sell off their research. They wanted that stopped and the data returned to them.

However, Aimi did not get much other information from them at all, so a small delegation was selected to go talk to Gwen and the Doctor. That delegation was her, Aimi, and most likely Fou to watch their backs. Eti did talk to Rando about also going with them, his reluctance had nothing to do with not wanting her safe, and more to do with a need for diplomacy with Megan. He told her Fou seemed like a reasonable and competent man, and if they met on the station, there should be little trouble anyway.

Gwen did state the emblem she remembered seeing, an A with a circle around it. The mercs were familiar with this symbol as belonging to the Alrak group. Aimi asked Dino to round up a few people to go over the ships they captured from them, again, with a finer comb to glean any new clues about the Alrak's.

Find the information from Gwen and the Doctor, add to anything from the ships, then stop the sale of the research. Eti hoped that everything would go as smoothly as expected.

Aimi also mentioned that Alifisno had a job for them next week, but no details were shared.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:19 pm

Eti looked over her notes from the recording she made of the conversation with Gwen. There was no visuals as the pad had none, and as it was in her pocket, the sound was not always the best. But it did allow her to give her full attention to the other young woman and try to keep the talk conversational. So what had she learned?

- There were five of them supposed to be in the camp. Her, Doctor Josiah, and three others who Gwen did not know, but she thought they were from the company Josiah worked for. Why didn't Gwen know the other three more? Or what they did? Who were those people?
- Gwen thought they had a permit or 'something' to be there, though when Eti talked to the Nightsister that was on Jato during the meeting, she insisted the Clans gave no permission.
- Doctor Josiah worked for the Hanna Pharmaceuticals Research Institution of Hanna, Chandrila. Yet he funded most of his own research, and Gwen stated the company did not know that his work had been stolen. Was he on Dathomir working for them? Gwen said he talked to them twice while they were there. She also stated the company did not like her.
- She claimed that a couple days before they were attacked she thought she heard noises in the area outside the camp, and would have sworn that her flashlight had gleamed off of something shiny and black. The Doctor told her it was nothing and to not worry, that the planet could take care of itself. The people that had attacked them wore black armor with a symbol of an A and a circle.
- The attackers mentioned that the research would "turn a hefty profit" according to Gwen. She stated that this phrase was also in the letter demanding 500,000 credits to have it returned. The letter, which was electronic, was sent to his work address. Eti asked for a copy to be sent to them.
- Doctor Josiah told her that they took all of the research, but he also said they destroyed parts of it, samples and such. He also forbade her taking out a loan to pay for the ransom, an offer she made as she had known him since she was a little girl.
- They were in that very specific spot "looking at everything" due to the size of the animals in the area. She later clarified that the doctor had narrowed down to testing growth hormones of the local spiders. It seems that he was looking for a new type of quick healing medicine attached to those hormones.
- None of the research was uploaded, or back saved, due to issues with the equipment connecting to uplinks. The camp was not attacked until right after the Doctor exclaimed that he had found something reproducible, so clearly they were being watched, but from without, or within?

After Aimi acknowledged getting the copy of the ransom demand, Eti suggested scouring it for tags to see where it truly came from. The Nautolan felt that there was something very wrong with the whole scenario, but she was not sure if the Doctor was lying, or Gwen, or someone on their team.

Eti had hoped to also talk to Josiah, without Gwen, and wondered if she should set that up for herself, or have Aimi do it? She also wanted to talk to the Sister Clans in the area. If there truly was a medicine of that sort, then the local healers would have known about it for centuries, even if the outside world had not. Nor would it have hurt to find those other three team members and have a chat with them...

It was not until after everyone had left that it occurred to Eti she had not heard how the search of the ships had gone?

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:33 pm

A couple days after fight night on Jato and Eti was sitting on a beach looking out over a bay. New Zeltros was nice, but it was not home now, however home was not exactly safe at the moment. She and Rando had differing opinions on who it was least safe for, though they both agreed that they would not stand still for the other being in danger. Hence how they ended up staying in NZ over night instead of flying home.

She was not sure if Cazz was there for either of them, the female Dosh having been through the city before. Nor was it a particular secret where the Nautolan singer was living these days. The difference was her talking with Megan at fight night about her upcoming wedding. Could she have been a bit more circumspect about it? Perhaps, but Eti was thinking about the dire warning the tiny Zeltron had given her.

They will come looking for him. Not just bounty hunters, most of which seemed to know better, but Megan meant the Imperials she was connected to.

The fights themselves went very well, other than a couple cold packs, everyone refused treatment. For once Eti had not done much more than ask some of them again if they were sure.

Rusulor had won his bout against Jegy.
Venatus defeated Ghaal. Then went on to lose against Akicar.
Akicar won her bout against Dino prior to that.
Demi had beaten Grix, but then had to leave so Grixter moved up to also fight Nevare.
Nevare had previously beaten Rafe, then won the match by taking out Akicar.

Eti tipped her head then smiled and looked over her shoulder. Today, perhaps, was a good day for a swim. "Hello, Handsome."

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:41 pm

Eti stepped off the shuttle onto Port Jato Station and looked around. She had been here hundreds of times before, but this time the station felt different, no, she felt different. And she was alone. Which was not exactly true either, there were people here, she could sense them easily enough, a few even felt familiar, so why the nerves?

Neither Ren, nor Par were coming. They had a mission of their own to accomplish, and without it's completion she and Rando were on a bit of a hold. Rando she had left back on Chandrila with their ship and Nasha so he could accomplish more of what he was trying to do. Saltarkkata was out of touch as well, something to do with yet more missing Wookiees.

Perhaps it was just the events of the past week that had her jumpy? Dantooine had been invaded, then taken over by the Empire, or some fractured part of it. In the process a friend, a teacher, had been captured and killed. Fazza's death struck close, if they would kill an elderly gardener and healer, what would they do to her? She shook the selfish thought out of her head. Fazza had many friends in Agathon, and they were all hurting.

Agathon too was in trouble. The town had been occupied, and while house to house searches have not started yet, it was only a matter of time. She and Rando were, for the moment, avoiding going home while they had some good they could do. Ren and Par had elected to stay. Ivu refused to leave. Cari refused to leave. Jenn had taken to the space lanes, but had not gone far. Bywing and Zarek were also on Chandrila, or were the last she saw them.

She sighed and started the walk to the shooting range. Rando had teased her into coming up top to work, and tonight should be easy enough as long as no one shot at each other. Nor was she sensing anything hostile, her jitters all had to do with stress and perhaps more time in space than she had ever had in one span before. Another reason to be sitting on Chandrila, save the fuel, the scrubbers, and their sanity.

Eti had two tasks during the nights they did ranged shooting. The first was to greet everyone, determine if they were going to enter, encourage as needed, then send them to Jenn, or Aimi to sign up. The second was of course as a medic if someone got hurt. Tonight they had seven people sign up for the match, four to just observe, then her, Aimi and Tsanthar to keep an eye on things. Not too bad of a turn out.

Mina won the pass for the first round, so the first up were Jenn and Ven. Her friend won the round sending Vennie to the sidelines to give his girlfriend, Aly, pointers on how to use his rifle. Kris and Bones were up next. The Droid belonged to Yirr'li who had not shown up, it had a fairly nimble AI which may have been why she followed the whim to ask it to enter the competition. While Bones did well, Kris won the round. The last two for the round were Zarek and Aly. Aly was unsure of her weapon, Ven's rifle, and her suffering showed. Z, for his part had stated earlier that he had not fired in a long time, so was entering for the fun of it. Even so, it was a bit of a surprise when Aly won after and initial rough start.

Eti was relaxing, there were people here that she knew, trusted, and worked with before. Tsanthar, Grixter, Zarek, Jenn, Fou, Mina, were the closest to her of the Mercs present. Aimi was non combatant, but also a familiar presence as was Vennie and Aly. The familiar rhythm of the match helped as well.

The next round started with Jenn shooting along side Kris. Once again her friend quietly took the spot to move on, leaving Mina to face Aly. The Chiss was the favorite to win, but Aly once more managed to just come out ahead. Eti had offered something for the pain she knew the other woman must be starting to feel from the rifle stock bouncing off her shoulder. It had been turned down other than a cold pack, so she has counseled her to see a doctor later as needed.

The final round was Jenn against Aly. At one point it seemed that the novice might beat out the more experienced pilot, however in the end Jenn accomplished the match, Both women were congratulated for the show, and Eti promised Jenn a tin of cookies once she had a proper oven to work with.

Before leaving the station she learned that the next GRC race, to be held in Broken Bridge, Corellia, had been shifted to a day later, but at the same local time (Thursday @ 8:30pm ET). The vehicle of choice for that race was to be the bike, not the swoop. She loved to race, and knew that she could make this one. She agreed to meet Jenn there, then headed off the station relieved that it had indeed been a quiet evening.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:02 am

Eti looked over her notes from the meeting, remembering she had wanted to send Alifisno a written comm asking specific questions about the upcoming mission.
  • Where where they picking up the package? Generally useful information.
  • Where were they delivering it to? Also generally useful information.
  • Who were they working for? The Mercs had grown increasingly wary of job offers from unknown persons these days.
  • What was the package? All Megan could say was that is was "equipment". She sort of hinted that it was liberated equipment.
  • How big was it? With the tied in question of which ship would they take?
  • Who was going to pilot said ship? Considering no one had seen the contracted pilot since he was hired, Jenn, Dino, and Fou had been doing the flying with various crew in the cockpit.
  • Who did they need to take? Megan mentioned teams, which lead back to the what were they getting? This hinted that acquiring the 'liberated' equipment needed something more than simple negotiation. Depending on whose definition of simple anyway. Though, she considered, they could be just escorting the stuff out of where ever it was and someone else was doing the hauling. Then the thought occurred to her that teams could also mean more then one ship was needed? Back to the question of which ships and pilots?
  • She knew the when, in a couple days.
  • The why was for the pay.
Her notes also mentioned that Jato would be expecting new gaming tables soon. Eti was not much of a gambler, but she still hoped that the games would be interesting and fun. Her finger tapped the screen, Megan did not say when they were being installed.

Eti sat back and sighed. The meeting had been interrupted by activity from the VSD causing trepidation, speculation, and much discussion. She made careful note of what was said, what happened, what she observed. Then she reported it all to Tsanthar as soon as she able. She trusted the big Mandolorian, and respected him. He also listened to her as she spoke to him, working through her thoughts of the situation. He was spare with his words, even more so than her Fisherman, but this worked her as her mind darted around in those deep pools.

There was one last line at the bottom of her notes... Aimi was pregnant?

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((Port Jato planning sessions are on Thursday evenings at 9pm ET. Campaigns are 9pm ET Sundays, arrive by 8:30 please. Other RP up on the station does occur, find (a smuggler) in one of several NPC cantinas with 5500 credits in cash on hand.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:03 pm

Eti looked out the windows of the house in Dal City where she and Rando were staying. Most people would agree that just looking at flat water was boring unless framed by something interesting like a beach or mountains, here it was the city that was framed by the water. Even better, to her, was that most of it was under that deceptively flat surface. Unless one dove deeper, you missed a lot of details.

Which reminded her of her fiance who had gone out to get them breakfast. There was much more to Rando than met the eye, but few got past that crusty outer layer with the deeply sarcastic and cynical tones. There was little hope that Dantooine would be free anytime soon, or safe enough for them to have their wedding there. Maybe she should consider here?

The thought reminded her of how long Megan and Alifisno waited to finally get married themselves. Their ceremony happened in secret on Jenn's ship a couple days previous, the mercs that arrived on Jato expecting a mission were instead greeted with the prospect of a wedding reception.

Megan looked stunning in her dress, Al handsome and proud in his suit. She was amused that Jenn had worked hard to get the oil stains out of her own dress so all the bride's maids, Aimi, Alhai and Sai in addition to Jenn, looked pretty. Alhai and Aimi's husbands, Jaxon and Fou, were the groom's men. Though she heard that Jenn also officiated the ceremony.

The Mistell was offering free drinks and food, there was cake, but it did not get as far around the bar where she stood with Rando talking to Megan and Al.

There was tension in the room, it made Eti nervous, stressed, especially as some of it was directed at them, nevertheless she managed to remain in control, appearing upbeat, smiling, friendly. Only Rando and Megan seemed to have noticed her discomfort. Her mate was his usual charming self to those around him that oddly helped her keep her control. Balance.

They learned while talking to Megan and Al that Pal had taken off in the UTB2 to parts unknown, which explained why he was a holo-projection when he arrived to offer his wedding gift. Rando asked a few questions of Al about that and the two men put aside their differences long enough to discuss it.

Sometime during the party the VSD that had been hovering just outside the station shot off several missiles away from Jato that exploded into a series of fireworks. Then it pulled up skirts and took off. She watched the recording later on the Little Trouble, admitting the display was pretty even though the whole situation with the ship made the mercs jumpy. Either way it was gone now only leaving the mystery of who it belonged to.

Eventually she and Rando wished the happy couple well, Eti hinting to Al that it was time to steal his bride away all ready. She truly did hope that things would work out for the couple considering they survived their betrothal period intact.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:33 am

Eti pushed the view screen back, the information about the Chiloon Rift Nebula paused onto a picture of the formation. She pulled her notes closer to see if she noted the coordinates Jaxon mentioned, then sighs. "Of course I only wrote large asteroid field that two huge ships can fit into." She peers at the picture again. "Where would a CR92 and a Class 2 Acclamator, and maybe a vigo or two fit in that mess?"

She spends a bit of time studying various asteroid fields before hitting on one one that might have the clear space to be just big enough. "Jaxon said there was just enough thruster use to keep the Untold Bounty Two from getting bumped, that power had been rerouted from gravity and life support systems and to the computer core instead. Oh, and the bridge had power." Eti stood up to get herself another mug of tea, still musing. "Pal has been sitting there for days, at least the five that the Trinity has been watching it. They saw no signs of combat, and no transmissions. What is he doing out there?"

She chewed a lip as she thought, looking out the window near the Little Trouble's galley. "Pal himself looked odd, spoke odd, with all those heavy wires attached to it's... his? Head. He sounded self aware the way he talked, but then he also mentioned his programing." The Nautolan took a sip of the tea, then went back to look at the screen and her notes again. "He said that it was no longer in his programing to protect Megan, or Alifisno. That they had lied to him. That they, and the station's owner did not trust him any more than he trusted them."

The console beeped twice at her then subsided, she ignored the flashing message for the moment. "Pal said that he needed to finish his 'work'. Jaxon seemed keen to bombard the Bounty with ion cannons." She snorted. "Only if we the mercs thought it was best, but the Trinity already had a plan on how to do so." Eti pulled up information on how ion cannons worked, reading for several moments.

"Subdue the several hundred battle droids on board, disable Pal, retake the Bounty. Easy, right?" The console beeped again, this time she pulled up her messages. "Ah... Salt, I don't blame you for being upset." Eti shook her head as she read the message form the young Wookiee female. Saltarkkata had also shown that night looking for assistance in finding a Wookiee family that had gone missing, one she was to have met for a Life Day dinner.

Salt had not been denied, just put off as Jaxon had stated that time was short to stop Pal from whatever he might be plotting. Granted a week's delay most likely meant that those Wookiees would probably never be found. Then Jaxon brought up the question of if Endor would even allow the merc group there? Eti knew these were stalling tactics, and thus understood why Salt growled before sitting down to see the transmission from Pal.

The Wookiee stated she would be back in a week, the words from the former slave sounding clipped, yet tired. The main encampment of Wookiee elders celebrating at the site had left, the message stated. Eti sighed then flicked the console off, she had to prepare for the mission to retake the Untold Bounty Two.

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((Port Jato planning sessions are on Thursday evenings at 9pm ET. Campaigns are 9pm ET Sundays, arrive by 8:30 please. Other RP up on the station does occur, find (a smuggler) in one of several NPC cantinas with 5500 credits in cash on hand.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:03 pm

Eti groaned as she sat up, semi-disentangling herself from Rando who was reluctant for her to move. Yet it was nearly mid-morning and she knew he too still needed healing. Ignoring her own aches and force headache from what was about to be the fourth straight day of nonstop usage, the healer turned to examine the deep bruises along his side and back. Silently she wondered how he had not broken anything when the bridge of the Untold Bounty 2 depressurized.

Gently she laid her hands on the darkest areas of the extensive injury then centered herself with a hummed cantrip before settling into a healing focus. Pal, the droid that they had been sent to stop had gotten away through the window that had been shattered by... well she was not exactly sure by what. There had been chatter on the comms about other ships? Someone questioned if they were CIS. Eti had not been on the bridge at the time of the incident, she was on the other side of the door treating the team trying desperately to buy those inside more time by holding off the waves of battle droids Pal had brought with him.

The team was slender going in, and had taken some injuries trying to get to the bridge, often getting strung out in the corridors beyond her range of care. Training, there would always be a need for training. Eti spread her fingers a bit wider as he shifted position enough to get an arm around her. Touch increased her abilities, for whatever reason the stunting she had gotten with some her racial abilities also translated into certain of her force ones. To heal she needed people close by, this worked in her role as a medic as mundanely that training needed to be within a certain distance to be effective too.

Rando settled back into slumber under her hands, she could have lost him as they had lost Dino. When the glass shattered, not only was Pal sucked out, but the old man as well. She imagined he probably tried to make a grab for Pal, or for the death that he sometimes seemed to desperately wish for. The comms had chirped with that information too, but Or'Dino was not to die in space, one of the ships that had come to 'rescue' Pal had also collected the human. She wondered who was going to have the task of telling Aimi that?

She had already informed Alisyad of the incident, suspecting that he had gotten more information from the pair that he had sent to protect her. As it was she had needed to do surgery on one of them when they managed to limp the Bounty back to Jato. Rando had flown the ship back with help from her and the injured one of the pair, leaving Jenn and Cari to bring back the Vigo. She had lost track of the Trinity and the second Imperial ship that had fired on the Bounty when they arrived, all she knew was that they had not followed them back to Jato.

Eti winced as her headache sharpened, Rando murmured "Enough", then pulled her back down with a grumbled sigh. She curled back into his arms with an amused huff at the reminder that she did promise to obey him today. Moments later she was once again asleep.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:08 pm

Saltarkkata was not sure why Eti had not shown up at Jato, nor was she sure why Parodan insisted on private to talk to Rando after the meeting. What she was sure of was that finally the Jato Mercs had agreed to go to Endor and follow the clearest lead they had yet on the missing Wookiees.

In each of the past vanishings, the Wookiees had done just that with no trace of when, or where they could have gone. There had just been less and less of them, or they never showed up where they were expected to. Then there was that false report that Kashyyk had been freed, of the families that had tried to go back many were never heard from again.

This time she knew the where, the who, and the when. Just not the why, or how, or the other who of who did it? She was frustrated by the fact that the trail had cooled, might even be compromised by weather or others in the time since the last days of Life Day. Yet she still had to try and so appealed a second time to the Jato Mercs.

Hopefully Endor would hold the clues needed...


------
((Port Jato planning sessions are on Thursday evenings at 9pm ET. Campaigns are 9pm ET Sundays, arrive by 8:30 please. Other RP up on the station does occur, find (a smuggler) in one of several NPC cantinas with 5500 credits in cash on hand.

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Re: It was a long night

Post by Smallcorners » Mon Jan 21, 2019 4:21 pm

Salt was angry at the senseless death of her friend, angry enough that she turned down Wooraabecca's gentle request that she stay with him on Port Jato for the rest of the evening. Enclosed spaces, artificial spaces always reminded her of her days as a slave. While she could tolerate them for a time, in her current temper she desperately needed fresh air, space, trees.

She told the shuttle pilot her destination once she was on board. Woor would not have wanted her to go back to the place that had upset her so, but she had to face it, overcome it. Learn from it. Anishor was always asking her to learn from her feelings and then put them in their proper place. Anger, fury, while good fuel for a time, left one spent. One could have passion while doing the work the Great Mother Tree needed if it was reined in properly so the vision remained clear.

The pilot dropped her off at what is commonly called Smuggler's Outpost on Endor, this was one of his usual stops so she had not taken him out of his way. The young female quickly rented a swoop and headed to the last location the Mercs had been. By the time she reached it, most of the Ewoks had departed again. Salt sniffed the air then walked to where they box had been with Tark's body. She knelt next to the flattened grass setting one hand in the center, head bowed she remained there a few moments. Then she lifted her head and roared, letting go of the hatred and the anger, but keeping the knowledge of why she had them.

Justice, not revenge.

Rising Saltarkatta looked around the clearing again. Clearly a shuttle had been parked here, by the skid marks and burn pattern on some of the trees, a Lambda class. Imperials, she thought, or someone using a typical Imperial ship. It would certainly be large enough to steal away a family of Wookiees. She remembered that a broken, or malfunctioning, slave collar had been found. It was of a type commonly crafted and used by Hutts. Jenn had mentioned that there did not seem to be any specific owner marks on it.

Before he had died Tarkeskbecca had scratched, or tried to scratch, two symbols into the lid of the box he had been imprisoned in. One was for Tatooine. A flyer had also been found in the trash left about the site for the Boonta Eve Skyhopper races in Mos Espa. Salt and Woor had both been there during the races and observing the yearly slave ritual. Salt herself had led several slaves not to the Twi'Lek that wanted their obeisance, but to a ship that could carry them away to freedom.

Wooraabecca told Jenn, Cari and Darrando that his presence in Mos Espa at that time was to infiltrate the slavers and hopefully find out where the previously captured Wookiees were. In fact while he and Salt were both there she had been accosted by a Trandoshan hoping to capture her, Woor had rescued her beating the Dosh in a terrible battle in the street. Her mate, furious at the attack and that the Trandoshan tried to convince Saltarkkata that Woor himself was a slaver, ripped off the other male's arms.

In an act of compassion, Salt prevented Woor from killing the male then and there. Looking around at the site where her people, her cousins, had been loaded onto a shuttle like so much cattle, she briefly regretted that decision. Yet for all of Woor's talk about that Trandoshan earlier, and even after all these days of weather, she had not seen, nor smelled, sign of him.

She circled the site again, looking for anything they might have missed.

The small Wookiee female found three trails. One leading to Smuggler's that she and the others created earlier, one to the campsite of the clan that was missing, and a third barely noticeable and possibly created by game, or the Ewoks. She considered the faint trail a moment, then turned towards the other, clearer path.

Darrando's huurton, Rioux, had led them this way, possibly following the stronger and harder to wash away blood trail that possibly came from Tark. There had been signs of a struggle at the family's camp and Rando found a ceremonial spear stained with blood. There was also other blood about, perhaps overlooked, or just not commented on. What was clear was that the family had been ambushed as they slept, there was even a game hunting dart found among the tussled up bedding. She had heard Woor explaining what it was to Aly, who had found it, but she was unsure what had become of it after that.

The supplies left at the camp had been properly sealed and were enough for the family to use for the remainder of their stay, the usage from them seemed typical for the few days she knew they had been there before. Salt supposed that the single landspeeder at the site had been used to haul the bulkier supplies. Otherwise it appeared to have been parked for weeks.

Thoughtfully she circled the camp. There was a trail to Research, where the Mercs had arrived from, one to the ceremonial area which had been broken down, cleaned up and generally restored. There was the trail to the site where the shuttle had been, and... Salt stopped at the familiarity of the slight trail in front of her. About the same width as the one she saw leading away from the landing site, the grasses bent both ways but what was odd about this trail, was that it did not quite break through to the campsite.

Was that why it had been missed by Venatus the day before? She had crossed it just generally circling the camp from the ceremonial trail to the one from Research. On a whim, Salt turned to follow it. On the surface it truly did seem to be a game trail with other branches off until she realized that those branches went to what looked like other campsites, but did not break into them. Why?

The young female was tiring by the time she realized she had reached the center of the web. It had been a long day for her, perhaps two days considering the shuttle travel, so as eager as she was to see what was in the small camp ahead of her, she knew she had rest soon. Salt looked up at the light filtering through the leaves, If she did not let herself get off on a tangent, she would have enough of good light to look about. Practicality warred with curiosity and this time her curious nature won, she stepped into the clearing.

The hut was small, rough and had clearly been used by a game hunter. Had this more permanent spot been allocated to one of the providers for the celebrants? She looked around the edge of the camp itself, there were a few trails, one clearly led to the main celebration site, supporting her theory, another from the direction appeared to head towards Research. There was the trail she arrived on, and then another lightly used trail heading into the forest, she would follow that in the morning.

She investigated the firepit and found a mostly burned flyer for the Boonta Eve races, and what looked like the burned and melted remnants of a bloodied bandage. The flyer was unusual, but the bandage perhaps not as much, hunters often became injured and leaving blood scent around was a good way to scare off your prey. She sniffed it to see if there was any scent left discernible, then shook her head, weeks sitting in the ashes in the open had deteriorated any strong scent markers.

She turned her attention to the small hut itself, large enough for one or two of her people, depending on size, it looked to be a repurposed Ewok shelter. The air inside was still, compressed dirt showed where someone had laid their bedroll. She took in a breath, nostrils wide, then stopped moving. Her nostrils flared as she took a deeper scenting, now moving further into the small space. He had been here, why had he not said so?

Now she looked about with a keener eye, the walls were rough and the ceiling low, she found a few strands of black fur near the sleeping spot. Outside the door, not quite knee height was a small catch of black cloth. The second, almost finished symbol scratched into the inside of the crate lid by Tark was 'black'. Deep in thought she unconsciously followed the unidentified trail, ending up at the shuttle site. Salt let out a mournful and confused noise, not quite cry, not really a moan.

He had said he was undercover, he seemed genuinely surprised to see Tarkeskbecca's body, and unhappy that she was upset about the loss of her cousins, one more link to her home lost. Why didn't he say he was there? Why did Jenn and Cari ask him about the slavery stuff specifically? They had not disputed his story, but the Trandoshan had. He was her mate, he treated her well and was clearly fond of her, she believed him.

Why didn't he tell her he had been there?

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