Dum Spiramus Tuebimur
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Buried in books...literally
Current Game: Assassin's Creed
Chapter 14: The Hunt
The morning sun rose as it did each day but there was a wave of fog. The Haida camp stirred with a different feeling and with good reason, Nekang was going on the hunt. Moira awoke to find that Nekang had already left with everything for the hunt. She didn’t smile but frowned at this. She said nothing about it except to Lardonis who was slightly put out that she left and Lilah who showed nothing on her face except concern. To Obi-wan she said nothing for she highly suspected that he was the cause of Nekang’s behavioral change. She was at a standstill when Obi-wan inquired about her and she was speechless at how to answer.
Deep in the forest, Nekang was making her way towards one of the rocky ridges. She was following Daranka who was on the trail of something and they had been at it since early morning. She had left without saying anything mostly because she didn’t want anyone harmed at her expense. She would rather have her take the risk; something that she couldn’t make Moira understand. Another part was that she feared only one thing truly and it made her uncomfortable. So she took Daranka who came willingly with his new friend and they set off together.
They were walking through when a blaster shot rang out. Nekang’s first reaction was to drop down for cover. When another sounded, she realized that it wasn’t her they were shooting at. She followed the sounds, her boots softly treading over the ground. She came to another clearing ringed with burnt and dead stumps. The brush was thick so it wouldn’t be difficult to hide in it. She saw someone hanging by their legs and being tormented at by some rough looking men. They were attempting to grab their captive. Nekang narrowed her eyes and crept through the brush.
Dragus was pleased. He had received word that his quarry had left but even better, a Jedi was following as well. He recalled the ritualistic motions of preparing for the hunt. This truly was going to be a hunt, if she made it that far. His eyes drifted back to the table where his choice of weapon was resting. He picked it up and hooked it onto his belt. He began to absently pet his draigon who growled pleasurably much to the slight displeasure of Dooku who was gazing at the herds below.
The chime sounded and Tarkus entered the room that was overlooking the enclosure of the herds. He gave a salute and said, “All the security elements are in place and forces are ready to begin bombardment.”
“Just make sure this plan succeeds,” Dooku responded.
“It will. Even if they manage to repel our forces, they will be broken.”
“What do you mean?” Dooku asked slightly confused. He knew full well that the Avalonians were a vital defense but what Dragus was saying was not making any sense.
Seeing that, Dragus gave the order to begin bombardment and invasion. Tarkus left to carry out the order. Once they were alone, Dragus spoke, “You are confused. That is natural more likely because you have forgotten the mind set of the Avalonian people.” Dragus made sure he had Dooku’s attention before continuing. “I said what I said because the true strength of these people lies not in their military strength but in specific individuals.”
“And who are we after if not the military?”
“An old friend. Someone who impressed you the last time you met. Though I might say that her powers improved a bit since then.”
The realization dawned on Dooku. “Lady Ashira?”
Dragus nodded with a sadistic smile. “She is important yes but I think as well as a few others. Luckily one is dead already and two more will soon be there.”
“You sound as if you know who they are.”
“Break the backbone and you break the heart. Now time to prepare for the hunt,” and Dragus made a motion for Dooku to step through. “She is the heart, they are hers.”
The wolf was eying her prey with amber eyes. She slunk through the brush of the forest quietly. This was like another practice round, only this time she was freeing two captives. There were two she was hunting and they were clear in her sights. The taller of the two was reaching up to slash the smaller of the two who was spitting out some choice words. The wolf’s prey was laughing as if it were a big joke. The wolf poised ready to attack, crouched and struck.
The two men that had captured their foes fell forward, dead, each with an arrow sticking out of their backs. The two captives hanging upside down looked at them. The female looked at them with a slight surge of pride. The male looked more surprised but quickly hid it as he tried to reach his lightsaber. Out of the brush a voice sounded, “For a Jedi, you sure have a way of getting caught.”
Nekang appeared and cut the ropes holding them. She had a bemused smile as they fell, the girl landing gracefully. Obi-wan took a while to get his bearing and stood to face a short woman with dark brown hair that was tinged with thick blonde stripes. She stared with intensive amber colored eyes and had a posture that boasted that of a soldier. In her right, she held a bow and on her waist, she bore a sword, more likely a katana. The small dagger that she had used to cut the ropes, she replaced in her boot. Obi-wan thought she was familiar, especially her voice. He glanced at her neck to find a ruby red stone dangling from a chain. He dismissed it as not being Ashira for, if anything, she had a distinct pendant. He spoke, “Thanks.”
The girl who had found him spoke, “Thank goodness you found us Nekang.”
Nekang spoke quickly, “We’re getting close. From the looks of this, the herds are near by.” She gave a shrill whistle that brought Daranka running. She looked at Lilah and spoke in the Haida language. She told her to go back and to tell Moira to mass near the viewpoint. She also mentioned that she would have Daranka lead her to where she was. Before she left she also wished her good luck.
Lilah nodded and picked up her fallen bow and headed back to the settlement at a run. She made no noise as she ran. When she had left, Obi-wan asked, “What did you tell her? I tried to tell her to leave and she refused.”
With a click at the back of her throat, Daranka started sniffing. Nekang started to follow and motioned for Obi-wan to follow. She replied, “She answers to no one except her sisters.”
Obi-wan listened to the richness of her voice and recognized it. He had to keep taking double takes because she was different than when he last saw her. Sometimes he wasn’t sure if it was her. He decided to try and get her to talk. He asked, “And what of you?”
“I do what I am asked. Right now I am on the hunt to find the herds. Someone has betrayed us. An outsider wouldn’t know how to starve the tribes into weakness.” Her voice was firm, much like that of Moira’s when she was adamant about her position.
“An outsider? Would that include me?”
“You are a Jedi but not one of our own. Avalonian Jedi understand that some things must be done in order for other things to occur. They understand the will of the Force.” Nekang was busy keeping an eye on Daranka that she vaguely left her tongue unguarded and betrayed her nature, the one that Obi-wan was familiar with. She then cut him off with a sweeping motion of her hand.
They had come to a ridge. Daranka was onto something as he led Nekang to the edge. He was perched on a rock and he looked down. Nekang and Obi-wan followed his gaze. Below was a sweeping valley dotted with hundreds of kataran beasts. They were ringed by the mountains on three sides and along one side was a massive bulkhead. Nekang nudged Obi-wan’s arm and pointed, “That’s why the kataran herds have not returned. Someone has built a huge bulkhead.” She stopped when she saw a few of the herders being beaten by some abnormally tall men. Even though she couldn’t hear the cries and the jeering, she could sense it on the air.
Obi-wan stole a sideways glance at Nekang. He saw the harden lines soften. Underneath, he saw the familiar girl that he had grown up with. He looked back down at the scene and then nudged her gently saying, “We should go.”
As quickly as her face softened, Nekang regained her determination and turned away from the ridge. She spoke in the warrior dialect to Daranka, telling him to find Lilah. After he took off, she picked up her bow, slung it on her shoulder and led the way down the ridge. This was one hunt that the wolf was going to follow through with.