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Terror on Terax

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#1
Laira Darkhold

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Terax II

Base Camp

 

Hot air blew across the arid sand around base camp, billowing small particles across the tents and supplies strewn in the dunes. Laira padded her forehead with a damp rag, sweat beading along her brow and dripping down her skin. Base camp was little more than the Rebel Outcast parked ontop of the mesa, a communications antenna erected nearby, four or five moisture collectors, and crates laid out filled with various scientific tools and supplies.

 

She was miserable. The princess was hot, dehydrated, and sweaty. If it hadn't have been so personally important, and with someone she fancied, Laira likely would have tried to delegate this mission to someone else. Instead, the redhead was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Elpsis Elaris, a fellow redhead she had had an excellent first meeting with, so much so that the princess had butterflies in her stomach in anticipation of seeing her friend again.

 

Laira wore her dark trousers and belt, pistol, toolkit, and spear hanging from it, a pair of knee-high work boots, and a sports bra. Her shirt was tied around her waist for the time being, already too sweaty and too dirty to bother keeping on, and not worth ruining another to change. 

 

Dimeria, still in her gold plated armor sat stoically, resting on a crate while she waited. While the knight had accompanied the Ranger to the desert planet, she would not be going any further. The ship needed to be watched and they actually had a responsibility that needed to be completed while Laira ran off alone with Elpsis once she arrived.

 

The redhead huffed, blowing her breath upwards. "I look horrible." She muttered, anxious about making a good impression despite knowing Elpsis was blind. Taking the extra effort to tend to her appearance might mean the difference between casual fling and something else to the blind Force User, and she didn't like the idea of smelling like a day's work when her friend arrived.

 

"Eh, I doubt anyone would kick you out of bed. But you could use some deodorant." Dimeria grinned, tossing the younger redhead an ice cube from her drink. "Your bike is juiced up by the way."

 

Laira shot her a glare, "Thanks." Her voice filled with sarcasm. Despite the help the Knight was doing, her jokes weren't aiding in calming the girl's nerves. If anything they only exacerbated her worries.



#2
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

Elpsis' tramp freighter arrived without fanfare. Laira and her Force Dead companion might wonder how the ship was able to fly in the first place, for it looked like it was held together with spit, duct tape and glue. Elpsis consistently and resolutely refused to get herself a newer, better ship.

 

 

The freighter kicked up plenty of sand and dust when it landed - fortunately without crashing or blowing up. The engines were powered down, the hatch opened and Elpsis sauntered out.She wore a pair of dark, faded trousers that were losing their colour, a sleeveless shirt and practical boots. Her lightsabre hung from her belt and she had a pistol holstered on her thigh.

 

 

Seeing Laira, she gave her fellow redhead a friendly wave. She'd been looking forward to meeting her again. "Hiya." She did not address Dimeria. This was not out of rudeness. Elpsis simply could not see her.



#3
Laira Darkhold

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Laira stood as the ship landed, trying to calm her nerves and exude positive emotions and feelings into her aura. It wasn't hard, she was understandably excited about getting to build a lightsaber and spend time with her developing crush. Elpsis offered her a friendly wave and Laira stepped through the sand and dust to get to her arriving friend. "Hiya sweet thang." She said, putting a little extra emphasis on her draw as she did, and instantly thinking she sounded stupid and that everything she did was awkward and awful. Her cheeks flushed with red in embarrassment as the young redhead closed to arms reach.

 

Rather than think about it, Laira went in for a hug. They were a bit too close for handshakes and shy waves while kicking dirt weren't they? "Its so good to see you again. Thank you so much for coming out this far for me." She squeezed Elpsis tight, inadvertently ensuring Elpsis's senses got a good wiff of how she smelled after several hours in the hot sun, some sweat and dirt on her currently clean clothes, and without the benefit of being able to see the lines of her abdominal muscles glistening in sweat.

 

Before she could say any apologies about it, Dimeria spoke up, "Aww, twinsies. Don't you two look cute together!" The Knight was still in her mid twenties, not exactly much older than them, but it seemed she had adopted a kind of big sister role to the young Ranger. 

 

"Shut up!" Laira snapped, shooting a look containing daggers and heat at the woman with the dark and purple top-knot, completely unware Elpsis had no idea where the sound had originated. She was more worried Dimeria had outed her intentions or crossed a line that would bother or embarrass the blind flame-maned Force Master.

 

Elpsis Elaris



#4
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

The whole 'sweet thang' was campy, but Elpsis liked campy. As Makai Dashiell could no doubt confirm, she set new standards for immense corniness. Anyhow, as soon as she stepped onto the sand, she was suddenly enveloped in a hug by Laira.

 

 

Who had some rather fetching muscles. Those were nice. Alas, it also meant she got a strong whiff of how the other redhead smelt. That was not nice. Then again, Elpsis had jumped Taryc Ap'Irae right after the Battle for Kaeshana. Both had been rather sweaty then.

 

 

"No big. Happy to see you again as well, Laira," Elpsis said warmly. Then she suddenly heard another voice. It was a clearly female voice, but what disconcerted the redhead was that she could not perceive its source.

 

 

She could figure out from which direction it had come from, but when she looked towards the spot after pulling away from Laira, there was no one there! All she saw was a void. The unknown figure could not have concealed herself with an illusion, because Elpsis was pretty good at spotting those. "Who's there? Laira, am I hearing voices or is someone else here?" she sounded a bit disstressed.



#5
Laira Darkhold

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"Oh, I'm sorry hun. That's Dimeria," The redhead released her bestie-slash-crush and pointed at the golden armored woman standing in the sand, slipping her other arm around Elpsis's back. "She's my partner from the Ranger Corps so she had to tag-a-long." As far as the Corps were concerned they were collecting some seismic data on the planet for the Argo, completely unaware that Laira had only requested the mission so that she could rendezvous with Elpsis leaving Dimeria to do all the work. Luckily, the Knight didn't mind covering for her younger partner too much.

 

"And I'm an idiot." Laira said, it finally dawning on her that Elpsis could only see through the Force and Dimeria didn't exist in the Force. "She's Force-dead, its a long story, but for her she was born that way." A rare genetic mutation that arose on Alderaan after the Vongforming of the better half of the world. A very small percentage of girls born during the occupation and mothered by those women had a rare genetic trait that rendered them completely void in the Force.  

 

"A pleasure to meet you. Dame Dimeria Nykerian of Alderaan." The woman stepped forward and bowed to the new arrival, leaning close enough that she could kiss Elpsis's outstretched hand if it was offered in her direction, as was customary when meeting royalty. "Though I don't think I'll be your third wheel, I'll let you two lovebirds run off alone." She winked at Laira and grinned devilishly, Laira's eyes very wide and cheeks very red.

 

"I said shut up." Laira's voice was insistent, only missing a stomp in the sand and jerk of her arms, already embarrassed by her own antics and now only added to by Dimeria deciding to tease her.

 

Elpsis Elaris


Edited by Laira Vereen, 05 November 2017 - 03:04 PM.


#6
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

"Oh," Elpsis flushed a bit, feeling quite embarrassed. She knew about Force Dead people, but she'd never met one in the flesh. She was a bit at a loss of what to say. She struggled with wrapping a mind around the fact that you could be a complete void in the Force.

 

 

Then Dimeria stepped towards her. Elpsis could obviously not see her approaching, but she heard the sound her boots made. Unconsciously, she reached out with her hand. She was utterly unaware of the fact that the Force Dead woman wanted to follow the old code of chivalry by kissing her hand. Rather she simply wanted to try and touch the other person to make sure she was really there.

 

 

"You're really there," she muttered. "Uh, hi, I'm Elpsis Elaris...which I guess you know," she said awkwardly. "It's nice to meet you. Sorry for freaking out and stuff. Any friend of Laira's is a friend of mine," her lips curled into a warm smile. Force Dead or not, she the woman before her was a friend of Laira's and seemed nice enough, so she would treat her properly.

 

 

She was so lost in her own thoughts that she almost completely missed Dimeria's teasing and Laira's reaction to it. Her eyebrow quirked in amusement. She caught the tail-end of it. "Missed me, huh?" she asked Laira in a completely innocent tone.



#7
Laira Darkhold

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"Yeah, the same goes for you miss Elaris." How Laira had gotten herself mixed up with a prominent woman associated with Firemane, Dimeria didn't know. Perhaps it was one of the reasons the young Ranger got a lot of special treatment, or perhaps it was a symptom of how Laira Darkhold managed to get away with so much from the Ranger Corp. "Any friend of Laira's can count on me in battle, but I won't be tagging in for her. I'll be on comms if you two need anything." With that the Knight nodded to them both and began walking away from them, intrigued by what Elpsis's relationship was with Laira, but not enough to continue to annoy them or butt into their conversation.

 

Dimeria was a lot of things that weren't exactly becoming of a Knight; a cynic, a coldblooded killer, even a lair at times, but she had honor. She could tell her friend has some form of feelings for the newly arrived redhead and had no intention of complicating those further. 

 

Laira blushed again, waiting for Dimeria to take a few steps before turning to address Elpsis. "Well, yeah." She answered shyly, unsure of how the blind redhead would take all of the Knight's teasing. She didn't like having all of her confusing feelings thrown out in the open by a third party, but it had already happened. "I may have been talking about you since she and I left and she thinks I have a crush or something." The Princess waved her arm, like she was waving off the notion in an attempt to add a little bit of doubt to the situation.

 

"Anyways, besides the obvious, why are we on Terax. I mean the scenery is nice, the company is great, the locale is very discrete, but deserts? Why'd it have to be deserts sweetheart?" Laira raised an eyebrow at her fellow young redhead, grinning widely again in hopes the embarrassment had passed by. 

 

Elpsis Elaris



#8
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

"A crush, huh? Well, she's got a vivid imagination. I'm really flattered that she thinks you feel that way about me," Elpsis giggled. She was either trying to be diplomatic or rather oblivious. "Maybe she has a crush on you. I mean, she came to a desert wasteland with you," she joked.

 

 

"As for why we're here, c'mon the desert isn't that bad. It could be worse...like a frozen ice ball." Like the one Makai Dashiell had decided to settle on! "Firemane wants to scout out the planet. We don't know much about the place or the natives beyond hearsay. It could be good for survival training though. Besides, there's wonderful stuff here. Such as Krayt Dragons, which means, y'know, Krayt Dragon Pearls, and thus lightsabre crystals.



#9
Laira Darkhold

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"What her? Nah, she doesn't 'consort with colleagues' or something like that, I've heard her shoot down a few crewmen on the ship with that excuse." Laira brushed off the notion. Dimeria was certainly more promiscuous than what Laira imagined a Knight should be, but she was die-hard about not sleeping with people she had to see or work with everyday. Not that Laira had pursued such, only that she had noticed in their time working alongside each other. "And yeah, we have an assignment out here I volunteered us for when you told me you were coming to the planet."

 

The Princess was rather grateful that Elpsis didn't press too hard on her feelings just yet. Laira wasn't sure what she wanted from or how she felt about her firemaned companion, and didn't want to have to decide on the spot. Relaxing a bit, the redhead squeezed Elpsis again in a sort of half hug before continuing on with their conversation.

 

Desert versus cold. Desert won out as the lesser of the two evils, but only kinda. "Dragons huh? I guess dragon-slaying sounds awesome enough for the two of us. I've got some more hunting gear than I did on Manaan if you wanna check it out." She pointed up the ramp to the Rekali-class ship she used as her personal freighter slash mobile home. "Bait bombs, stun grenades, two spears instead of just the one now. Kept the Harpoon gun of course." Her cache of big game weapons were nice, and now that Laira had done some training with the Force she wouldn't be as reliant on those weapons if they got in trouble, as useful as they were.

 

Elpsis Elaris



#10
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

In that regard, Elpsis was the opposite of Laira since she, let's be honest, slept around an awful lot. In the past, during her years on the run searching for purpose, she'd been promiscuous to fill a void in her life, and because realised it was a way to get what she wanted from others. This was no longer the case, but she lived with a family that in many cases did not just tolerate her behaviour, but affirmed it.

 

 

Auntie Tegaea Alcori was such a nice auntie that she organised hook-ups. Anyhow, desert totally won out over the cold, but let us move on with the plot. "Dragonslayer would look real good on the resume, wouldn't it? Mind you, I wouldn't mind taming one. Galina would be soooo jealous," she giggled a bit at the probably extremely unrealistic scenario.

 

 

"Nice toys you got. We best get a move on. Intel's pretty limited, but there should be an oasis close by. Reachable via speeder. Caravans of the natives should pass through the area. Not sure how they'll respond to outsiders treading on their...sand. I'd like to avoid violence though. Or infecting them with diseases they don't know of," she added, furrowing her brow slightly. One imagined that the young empath would strongly disapprove of the Hernando Cortez and Francisco Pizarro school of first contact.



#11
Laira Darkhold

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"Oooh, Dragon-Master would look pretty good on a resume too wouldn't it? You might have to take the lead on taming though." The redheaded Ranger didn't have much in the way of taming beasts or mind tricks that could help calm an angry Krayt Dragon. She could do other things to help, but not do it herself.

 

"Alright, I, uh, brought my own bike for us to use." The sleek black bike was effectively a sport speeder bike that had been transplanted onto a podracer engine. It looked every bit as dangerous as it was, a pair of handle bars and a seat sitting atop a fusial thrust engine. "If I'm being honest, I kinda wanted to show it off." It resembled something that a thrill seeker like Laira might drool over, in fact while building it she had been very pleased with herself.

 

Saddle bags with basic supplies were already loaded on it and luckily for the girls, most of the monster hunting weapons collapsed into much smaller and easy to carry versions of themselves. "You might want some goggles with all the sand. And you'll have to navigate." Laira took the time to pull her long feathered locks into a loose set of buns on the back of her head. Partially it was practical and would keep her hair from hitting Elpsis in the face at the speed of sound, but most importantly because it looked good and she was trying to impress her companion in as many ways as she possibly could.

 

She gave Elpsis a flirtatious 'how to I look' curtsy and spin when she was done, not bothering to mess with her trousers or the shirt tied around her waist. "Whenever you're ready, hun."

 

Elpsis Elaris



#12
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

Elpsis approached the sleek, black bike, hips swaying slightly. Being unable to actually see the vehicle, she bent down to run her hand over the hard Mandalorian steel and beautiful leather. Incidentally, this probably gave Laira a good view of her friend's tight, round butt. "Sexy. I like it. Perfect for a hard, fast ride, huh?" she quipped. Her delivery was lewd and sensual. Or just plain corny. She took a while to examine the bike, checking it out.

 

 

Then she looked back at Laira. The pyromancer furrowed her brow slightly. "I, uh, don't think I can navigate. I wouldn't see anything on the screen," she admitted a bit sheepishly, looking mildly embarrassed. "Maybe we could swap? I could drive. If you're cool with that." After all, it was Laira's bike, and thus rather personal.



#13
Laira Darkhold

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Laira peeked while Elpsis gave the bike a good once over. She was a good girl, but even she had her limits especially around her current heart throb. She let out a shy giggle when Elpsis quipped about the make and speed of the bike, covering her mouth with one hand. "Certainly fast and powerful, pretty smooth too." Her tone echoed her companion's corny flirtation.

 

"Oh, I'm sorry." The princess was always forgetting her friend was blind, partially because Elpsis was so incredibly functional despite her disability. Elpsis rarely needed help with anything and it simply didn't occur to Laira that the blind redhead struggled with many everyday tasks she took for granted. "I didn't even think about that, I was too caught up trying to show off for you." The princess looked at her tight black bike and frowned a little, looking at the large engine that would be right beneath the two girls. After a short moment of contemplation Laira looked back to Elpsis after something occurred to her.

 

"Of course you can drive." She smiled again, grinning widely and sincerely. "Just, you know be careful. Its really quick and goes from zero to full faster than you'd think." With her flame colored hair tied back behind her head neatly and the idea of escaping the sweltering heat looking more and more promising, Laira slung her long leg over the seat, making room for Elpsis to squeeze onto the leather in front of her. Internally she was quite pleased she had decided to wear boots and a decent pair of tight trousers for this mission.

 

Elpsis Elaris



#14
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

"Oh, it's fine, babe. Don't sweat it." Poor choice of words given how much they must be sweating in the blazing sun? Maybe. "I like it when you show off for me," she planted a kiss on Laira's nose and gave her a pat on the booty, before following her onto the bike.

 

 

Slinging her legs over the extremely powerful vehicle, she made herself comfortable on the leather seat. It was probably good that she'd also chosen to wear practical attire. Then again, Elpsis was very tomboyish in general. despite Auntie Tegaea's occasional attempts to transform her into a pretty princess.

 

 

Anyhow, she took a few moments to familiarise herself with the controls. After all, this was Laira's bike, so she really did not want to accidentally wreck or damage it. That would be mortifying. Lacking physical sight, she largely operated by touch and Force-based intuition. Finally, she took the controls and kicked the bike into gear. "Ok, I'm starting now," then suddenly the bike sprang to life and shot across the desert at phemomenal speed. "Woah, you weren't kidding about this baby," Elpsis exclaimed excitedly.


Edited by Elpsis Elaris, 12 November 2017 - 07:36 PM.


#15
Laira Darkhold

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Laira wrapped her arms around Elpsis's midriff tightly while her fellow redhead familiarized herself with the controls. They were pretty straight-forward luckily enough. No weapons triggers to worry about, just break, throttle and gear-shift. Elpsis soon discovered one of the reasons Laira was hugging to her so tightly, the thing had some serious speed. "Yeah, just be careful. It rattles a lot right before you punch through the sound barrier." Which if they did would make communication a little more difficult.

 

The landscape zipped by the two flame-haired maidens on their excellent adventure, arid desert passing them by at a hefty pace. Laira carefully looked over the navi-pad they had brought, providing instructions as best she could when it came up. "Looks like fifteen degrees north, then you can just punch it. Canyons and stuff in the way though. That could be pretty fun." The pretty princess in hiding did enjoy adding a degree of danger to any mission or adventure, and the thrill of zipping through desert canyons at close to the speed of sound seemed like a good bonus for the both of them. In her mind she could see how it would look with the vapor cone erupting off the bike taking the turns hard.

 

Of course, that had nothing to do with Force Crystals or Krayt Dragon pearls for building a lightsaber, but it was an added bit of fun for at least one of them if Elpsis decided to take that route. She could always fly over them if she wanted. 

 

Elpsis Elaris



#16
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

Racing across a canyon might not be the wisest idea...but it sounded like a lot of fun to Elpsis. She also did not mind Laira embracing her so...tight. The wind whipped her air and kissed her tanned skin as the shot across the sandy desert at a pace that came close to the speed of sound, with a vapour cone erupting from the bike, while columns of sand and dust were blown into the air. She felt a strong surge of excitement and exhilaration.

 

 

It was, alas, rather difficult for Elpsis to control the bike as it zipped through the canyon. To say that it was moving at breakneck speed would have been an understatement. Lacking physical sight, she had to rely on Force-based intuition, her connection to the soil and simple precog to avoid dangers.

 

 

Several times, this saved them from a shattering fall from a cliff or a collision with a rock that would have, given the speed of their vehicle, certainly ended fatally. Beneath her helmet, her flaming red hair was soaked, and sweat dripped down her face and back. Hopefully Laira was holding on very tight and keeping an idea on the navigation computer to make sure they did not have an accident. It would soon become apparent that the dynamic duo of adventure tourists was not alone. Far ahead of them, a caravan of Cathar tribespeople was making its way through the canyon. Hopefully the two bikers would not end up running any of them over. That would make first contact terribly awkward.


Edited by Elpsis Elaris, 15 November 2017 - 06:09 PM.


#17
Laira Darkhold

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Laira kept her tight grip around Elpsis while flying through the canyons, despite the fact that both women were sweating. A little heat never hurt anyone, not really, even if Laira didn't like being sweaty and dirty she could deal. It was preference sort of thing. As Elpsis took hard corners Laira laughed inaudibly, but it was obvious that she was having a good time zipping through the obstacle course the desert provided the two redheads. In fact she was having such a good time racing across the sand dunes and the arid rocks that she almost forgot why they were out together.

 

The princess began distracting herself from the task at hand with making herself comfortable with Elpsis and seeing exactly what she could get away with. She could speak back and forth, but she could gesture some every now and then, squeezing the blind pilot tightly with her legs and holding on to the buckle of Elpsis's belt when she pointed in a direction for the bike to take them.

 

The navigator built into the engine with handlebars they were riding sat in front of the pilot but could be connected with a little cord to a hand-held version, providing it with some maneuverability that allowed Laira to keep an eye on it without having to squish against Elpsis and lean over her each time she wanted to check the topography and distance to their target zone. Not that she didn't mind leaning over Elpsis's shoulder, just not when they were racing across hard stones faster than sound. She didn't want to risk a fall at these speeds so much as to try and stand up on the bike.

 

As the pair neared the area marked on the Navicomp, Laira patted Elpsis's brake hand to get her to slow down so they could talk some on the way in.

 

Elpsis Elaris



#18
Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

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Laira Vereen

 

 

Laira could get away with...a lot. For Elpsis was thoroughly lacking in shame or modesty. Sadly, she was unable to reciprocate by feeling up Laira's muscles since she was busy driving. It stood to reason that she was probably showing off more than a little. Actually, that was certain. Hey, you did not get to ride a hot bike like this across a canyon every day. Especially with an equally hot redhead tightly wrapped around you.

 

 

Though she was focused on what lay ahead of her, she did not miss the signal Laira gave her, feeling the other gir's hand on the brake. So she deaccelerated, slowing the bike down to a more comfortable pace, so it no longer felt as if they were riding a speeding bullet.

 

 

"That was amazing, wasn't it?" she asked rhetorically, sounding joyful. "Gotta do this again real soon. So I guess we're close?" What else she might have wanted to say was drowned out by an awful amount of noise coming their way. In all fairness, it was not as noisy as the bike. The sounds were not caused by engines, but animals.

 

 

Large Banthas marched across the desert, blowing up sand as they went. They were accompanied by camels. The animals were mounted by natives clad in garb reminiscient of what the Sand People wore, but if one were to look upon their features from up close, one would find that they were Cathar. They wielded melee weapons and primitive slugthrowers. Children were among them. Beasts and cat people had clearly been rattled by the interlopers. "Ok...I guess we found the locals. Some of 'em at least. Do you do the first contact thing or I?" Elpsis wondered aloud. Then camel riders gallopped towards them.



#19
Laira Darkhold

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Laira brushed her hair back off her face, sighing. "Yes, it was awesome." She was breathing deeply, sucking in air and grinning ear to ear as she spoke, her tone laddled with excitement and exhilaration. "You are quite the hot pilot." She giggled a little to herself, enjoying the friendly back and forth that was included in their repertoire. So far everything was going quite good for their second get together as far as Laira was concerned.

 

"Umm, you are the empath, it'll probably be best if you do." They hadn't opened fire on the redheaded girls, so the Cathar were much friendlier than tusken raiders already. The main question was whether or not they would approve of the girls impeding on their territory, nomadic as they were. "I think I'll just back you up and try to look sweet and innocent." Cathar were a fairly religious people, with spiritual customs and quirks that made the species eccentric. If they thought Laira and Elpsis were there to cause some havoc to their ancient sites or spirits, they might react very poorly to their presence. "You woo them over, you are better at that than me anyway."

 

The first several cathar's camels galloped over and swung wide of the little swoop bike, turning to either side so they would surround the two girls. It wasn't that big of an issue. If it looked like it was going to come to blows, Elpsis could always just hit the accelerator and they would be gone and out of slugthrower range in no time flat. Most Slugthrowers had about a three or four hundred meter range, so they would have to be damn good shots from the hip to hit the girls if they were fleeing.

 

As the camels turned and began drawing in, the posture of the Cathar seemed much more defensive than a raiding party might be. It looked as though the girls sudden arrival startled them and they were ensuring they could keep a possible threat from their non-combatants. One of them growled, barking out something in Catharese before stopping and repeating his command in broken Galactic Basic with a thick accent reminiscent of that of old desert peoples. "What iz your purpose, Outsiders!" Leveling his spear to point at the girls as he did so.

 

Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori



#20
Laira Darkhold

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Edited by Laira Vereen, 24 December 2017 - 04:09 PM.