Trying To Get By Ch. 02byTaLtos6©
This is the second part of this one. It happens very near where I left off the first part.
The three people in most of this are a little different - even for me. If you need a hint - or a spoiler, depending on your viewpoint, they're three different kinds of something like a centaur from someplace else - a world where there's been war between two kinds seemingly forever.
That leads to some very deep hatred.
There's no actual sex in this one, but it's expressed as some sorts of desirous thoughts and ideas. Aaaand it's gonna get there soon.
What might be the main character in it is something that I've called a Highlander. They're a people who live in ... ok, I don't need to tell you they're from some mountains on their world.
To be clear, this is NOT something like that old movie, not that kind of Highlander.
This one's got a vast reserve of internal strength and as I wrote it, she just sort of grew an accent somehow, not that I'd planned for it. I just got tired of noticing it and having to go back to take it out.
I'd guess this might be a little obvious, but the conversations between the three creatures is not English. I only wrote it that way - since that's about the only way to get the story told. They can understand each other, but this chapter doesn't have them interacting with anyone else just yet.
Oh, if we gotta worry about names ...
"Lelly" ought to be easy enough.
"Zhizah" is easy too, think of it like "zee-zah".
"Rhisu" ought to sound like "Reezoo."
This ought to be up hopefully not long into the new year, so have a safe and happy one and I hope this is enjoyed.
H'Yan-Ah was pleased to see the way that Irianni attacked her breakfast, though it left her few openings for conversation and she didn't mind. She'd learned that Irianni could be a bit of a chatterbox and that was fine with her. She already couldn't imagine how she'd stayed a little sane in here by herself for so long.
Afterward, H'Yan-Ah began to show Irianni how things worked, showing her the numerical system and explaining that for most things, she'd given up needing to keep translating things to herself and so she'd gotten a labeler and gone wild so that she could learn to remember where controls were without thinking.
Irianni spent most of the morning reading the markings, trying to soak up everything.
Alarms began to sound softly early in the afternoon from the flight deck area and H'Yan-Ah ran off toward the entrance of a passageway which led there with Irianni chasing her and wondering what it was about.
When she got there, she saw H'Yan-Ah leaning over a console with a concerned look on her face.
"What is it?" Irianni asked, "Another of those watcher things?"
H'Yan-Ah shook her head and slid down into the seat slowly.
"Worse," she said, "Likely much worse." She pointed to a display and said, "A Yautja vessel, already in atmosphere and on the way here, from what I see."
"What can we do?" Irianni asked, a little quietly.
"Not much," H'Yan-Ah said, "They have the same defenses - and weapons - that we have. They probably know how to use them better too."
Four minutes later, as H'Yan-Ah watched on her displays, Irianni stood in the dome above and saw the same sort of cloaking that she'd seen the day before - but this time, it was in motion and it was massive. It remained in the air, from what she could tell, but it slid to a spot where it remained motionless. She raised the dome's shields and went back to where H'Yan-Ah sat.
More alarms began, some of them sounding strident this time.
"Watchers," H'Yan-Ah said flatly, "several at different altitudes and distances. They're probably here because of that vessel's arrival.
Nothing happened for several minutes as H'Yan-Ah watched her displays.
Suddenly, there were bluish streaks emitted from several places in the slowly shimmering presence out there.
"They're attacking the watchers!" H'Yan-Ah said in surprise, "Almost all of -"
She shook her head as though in disbelief at what she now saw.
"All of them are destroyed," she said after another moment. "They got every one."
She reached over and pressed a raised spot on her panel and an overhead display in front of them came on. Irianni made no sound, though H'Yan-Ah gasped to see the face of a Yautja at the size which the monitor showed. He almost immediately launched into something which sounded like directives to her.
H'Yan-Ah listened and watched before she began to reply as soon as the one on the screen stopped for a breath. Her speech was much the same - other than it was not as deep in the way that she growled and grumbled right back, complete with some throat clicking which surprised Irianni.
It went on and became a dialog after a short time. After maybe seven minutes of it, there was silence and the display went out.
"What's going on?" Irianni asked nervously.
H'Yan-Ah sighed, "Something I would never have thought would happen. They know this vessel and a lot of what happened. They said that my father was charged with a long list of crimes.
"I argued that many were not his doing and that he had been left here by the other crew. I told him that it was a moot point because my father was dead."
She turned in her seat and looked at Irianni, "That one, he knew of me. I must have surprised him, since we could speak directly."
She smiled a little, "He said that I have a terrible accent, but it is understandable. I was asked if we wished to be taken back to where they came from and I refused. I stated that I am not alone here and that you are not Yautja at all.
"I also told him that I know what sort of treatment that I can expect there because I grew up with it in my face here.
"After he accepted it, I asked if we had to give up the vessel and that if so, I would need a short time to get some things off."
She looked over with her eyebrows rising, "He said no. He said that we can keep the vessel, but that we are not to allow it to be taken by the people on this world. He said that there is a way that this craft can hide from detection from them and he told me how it was done. I just never knew about it before.
"They are prepared to allow us to keep this ship - if we take a few people on board as a crew to help us. He said that they are carrying prisoners - the survivors of a pirate crew plus three others from a world something like this one. The pirate's ship was destroyed along with their leaders. None of them are Yautja and all of them have agreed to this - if we accept."
She raised her eyebrows, "The three others know nothing of any of this, but he wants them off his vessel and he said that one is a decorated veteran of the wars on their world and the others can bring talents of their own. I don't know what that means, but they're all ours."
She sighed, "And if we do accept, then they said that they have work for us. We are to go to the other side of the world and take on a passenger - or more than one - but not many. We are to take them to another world and if we do that and succeed, they would pay us and provide more work."
Irianni asked what was obvious to her, at least.
H'Yan-Ah smiled, "We think in the same way.
"I asked the very same thing; why would we want that? He said that in the first place, to refuse would be to die - either here and now, or if we were somehow able to live through what they would do and escape in this vessel - as damaged as it would be then, we would face a slow death freezing to death sooner or later. He said that our being here together told him that the human people here could not have been very kind or we would not be here in the first place.
"He said that now there was very little of interest to them here. They actually came to destroy this vessel, thinking that it was abandoned. They were very surprised that it was not where it crashed and that it was flown here - with no full-Yautja aboard at all. I won some respect among them for that."
She smiled, "It's not a little thing to them, Irianni.
"I asked him if the ones they had are criminals and they said not particularly. They are more like ... problems that he wishes to be rid of. Most or all of them are capable of operating Yautja technology - because most or all of them have stolen Yautja vessels before.
"He said that with the cooperation of the ones on his vessel, we would have at least a knowledgeable and experienced crew to begin the venture with. None of them wish to return to their home worlds and are a little eager to work with us, since it is better than the alternative."
Irianni thought about it for a moment.
"Do you trust him?" she asked.
H'Yan-Ah looked back from her status indicators.
"But they're going to land anyway, so I need to get you to the lockers down on the lower level. There's some armour there that I'm sure will fit you. Come on."
"Why do I need ...?"
"You just do, Irianni," H'Yan-Ah said. "I haven't got time to teach you how to work the blasters, but at least you'll be covered out there in the cold."
Inside the lower levels of the newly arrived Yautja cruiser.
Lelly lifted her head and looked back, listening to heavy footfalls coming down the ramp. There were two of the slavers coming by the sounds.
She wondered what they wanted - if they were hopefully bringing food - or if they were just bringing another captive. She couldn't hear anything dragging, so she guessed not. Not even this bunch could land and snare another unfortunate this quickly. They'd only been down now for a short time.
Their clicking grew a little louder between them as they came so she guessed that they didn't have that much to say to each other, which was a little unusual.
To her surprise, they stopped at the door to her stall and one of them banged on it with a gloved fist. She turned around and held in her gasp as she saw that they were unlocking the door.
Lelly didn't know what this meant. Had they landed at whatever world they intended to trade her at? She looked at them and one of them pointed past her.
She looked back and all that she saw were her few belongings. When she looked at them again, she saw them point once more and then they pointed at her. It took a few tries on their part, both of them pointing emphatically before she gathered that they wanted her to take her things and bring them with her.
She wanted to groan, but her pride held it back.
So this was the place where she'd be sold off. To fight in some pit or other.
To die, she guessed.
She took everything and walked to the door where they fastened a rough noose around her neck and began to lead her to the ramp upward. There was no use in fighting them here. She was alone and they'd proven that there was only more pain down that path.
A few minutes later, she was standing at the top of a different ramp staring at a landscape something like she'd heard existed where she was from - only she was from the lowland forests. This looked to her like the mountainous parts where her kind never really went.
She could already feel the cold.
They removed the noose and pointed outward. The land was a flat place near to some forest and rocks with a large white space to be seen in the distance. So it wasn't quite the mountains, she supposed. There was snow over everything and she looked at it a moment, never having seen very much of it from this close before.
Farther out, she saw another of their vessels. Between it and where she stood, she saw a number of figures standing in a loose group. From this far away, she saw no one who looked even a little like her.
As she took the first step, the one nearest her laid his hand onto her arm. The motion was accompanied by a lot of their clicks and growls. Lelly didn't know what it was about and snapped her head around, wondering if she'd done something wrong and was now going to be punished again.
One of her captors was holding out her weapons, her bow and quiver in one hand and her bladed lance in the other.
She stared at him for a moment and watched as he gestured with them, that she was to take them and she did, after a little more disbelieving hesitation. They pointed again and so she walked down the ramp and into the snow. She found it to be well over her hocks and almost halfway up her legs.
So the going became somewhat slower.
She was a little glad of the pace after she'd almost tripped over branches and rocks hidden by the snow and at last, she neared the rest of the group. She'd wondered if any of them would stare at her, but not many did and among those, it seemed to be more about another coming to the group. No one was looking at her very much and so she just stayed where she was, thirty yards or so away.
Rhisu heard them coming and wondered about what sort of fight she could put up as she noticed that their footfalls were growing louder. Every moment that they came on narrowed down the chances that they were here for someone other than her today.
She'd already heard them come for somebody else a short while ago. She didn't know anything about it, but the only thing that she could imagine that it meant was that they'd arrived at wherever they intended to kill a few - if this wasn't the place where they were to be sold as fighters or whatever they did with the ones that they captured.
Such as her.
Rhisu didn't know it, but hers was now the only occupied stall on this level. She'd heard them when they'd come for Lelly, but they'd never met, neither of them being aware of the other.
The footsteps stopped in front of Rhisu's stall and she heard some familiar clanking after a moment.
What was this? Did they want her to fight them now, unarmed, bare-chested and all?
The door swung open and she braced herself, balling her fists and getting ready to rear. She might not last long, but she intended to go out with a little unknown glory all the same if she got lucky and killed one of them before the other one killed her.
She barely had time to look up when she saw their weapons rise over the horizons of their shoulders and by the red glow; she knew that they had a targeting lock on her. She snorted at her sorry luck. Two of them; both armed, a shooter on both shoulders.
She held up her hands and glared.
They pointed past her. She tossed just a quick look back and saw only her things.
They pointed from them to her, so she took them up and they motioned her forward slowly and she got the message.
Outside her stall, one of them motioned for her to stand still and they both moved the lower breastplate of her armour forward on the floor.
Rhisu almost gaped. She saw one of them hold out his arms and she placed her belongings in them. Then she lifted the piece and held it against her with one arm while feeling and closing the fasteners nearest to her back first before reaching back to get the ones which went over her withers.
When she looked again, wondering why they were doing this, the other one held up her upper breastplate and she took it and had it fastened in moments.
He held up one of her shoulder guards.
Next came the other one and then her gauntlets.
Rhisu still had no idea as to why, other than they wanted her to fight very close by, perhaps.
She almost fell over when one of them held out her assault weapon and her bag of magazines for it. By the weight of it, they hadn't removed anything. Her rifle had no magazine in it, but she could fix that in a heartbeat. This didn't make any sense to her, but she slung the thing over her left shoulder so that it hung near her right hand. They seemed to want her ready to leave. She had no desire to fight them over it.
They hung her shield over it's place on her harness on her left side and held out her sword, and with that in the scabbard under the shield, she could only stare open-mouthed as her tears came.
One of them pressed shaft of the lance of her family - her forebears - into her gloved hand.
Then they handed her back her belongings and waited while she stuffed them into her pack and hung it on her other side opposite the shield.
They motioned for her to come with them so she did, feeling better at least that no matter what came now, she had the correct things on her and with her to die at least a little properly under the eyes of her ancestors, a fiercely-proud Highland girl to the end.
But it wasn't to be her end, not quite yet, anyway. She was led along a long corridor that led to a large door and a ramp which opened out onto a snowy landscape.
She stood looking out at the snow and it wasn't a thought to her. The odd-looking people out there weren't either - at least not very much for now, she thought to herself.
But then her eyes narrowed as she saw a Lowlander standing off from them, a distance away from the group.
She felt all sorts of things coming up in her for a long moment but by the end of that time, she'd forced them all back down.
These weren't her lands and this wasn't the world that she'd been born on. She could tell that by just one look at what she could see of the sky.
That wild Lowlander girl out there was in the same predicament.
She took a breath and sauntered forward down the ramp and into the snow, a little glad of the depth of it for now. Her hocks were filthy and she knew that this would help at least a little.
As she drew a little near, she stopped and tapped her shield once with a fingertip.
It was a small sound, but it caused the wildling to snap her head around and seeing a Highlander - fully armed - right there in front of her, she raised her lance and glared, her jaw already clenched.
"You're looking a little cold there friend," Rhisu smiled in a friendly way, "I've a spare coat with me. Might be a little large on you, but it's better than chattering teeth, I daresay."
Lelly raised the tip of her lance and took a step forward. From where she stood, she could thrust it into the throat of her enemy easily.
The only thing - and she found it to be a little disquieting - was the way that the large mountain girl didn't flinch or move. In fact, she didn't look threatened at all. Lelly thought that she recognised this one from a time more than a year ago. But if she was the same one, this was worse. This was in person.
Lelly tried to at least sound a little threatening, "I need nothing from a stone breaker and I am not your friend. "
Rhisu held up her empty hand, "Hey now, I've no want to fight with you, Lowlander. If you look around yourself, you'll see that we're not where we began. I see only one sun here, not the two that you and I know.
"If I ask, I'm sure you could tell me - names and all - every one of the ones that my kind have killed in our war who were in some way tied by blood or oath to you. Well I could do the same, as easy as falling down and my list would likely be just as long as yours, give or take.
"It might have made all of us - both kinds, you mind - into sharper, quicker, and better fighters, those of us who still live on both sides. But other than that, the war's done nothing for our two peoples but give us new misery about every week, new piles of bodies to deal with, more little ones starving with no parents to feed them anymore and a lot of suffering and tears all around.
"If you know what it was that set our two peoples against each other so long ago, then please tell me, for I surely don't know and never did. No one's ever told me a story that I could believe.
"Stone breaker you call me and mine for the way that we make our homes. I know that you and your people like to toss bits in about us using so much metal while your kind only uses it in the killing of mine when you can't get good stone for it."
Lelly nodded slowly and motioned with her chin for the blonde Highlander to keep talking.