Prize in the Black Sands V1
Log Entry: 030512
Hot dry morning on Socorro. Vuul says it’s two more days to the badlands. I break out the video droid and set it to hover behind us. I hope to get some great footage.
Passes without incident. Land is mostly flat and its very hot.
Terrain changes with ominous mountains rising in the west. There is an eerie silence across the desert. Reminds me of when the crawler broke down for a week. Not getting exciting video footage, going to take some serious editing to make this trip look exciting.
We hit the Badlands. The land becomes more rocky. We are riding along when suddenly Vuul yells out a warning. Gigantic columns of fire burst from the ground showering our speeder in molten rock. Tyr guns the engine and we burst forward. I do manage to capture the event on film though.
We stop to make camp at nightfall. Vuul serves a mean local dish, some kind of lizard, highly seasoned with spices. Vrinko diets on this own, inside his new envirosuit. No doubt stewing in his own juices.
More searching. Vrinko is using my macro-binoculars to view the landscape. I was unsure if he’d be able to work them. Tyr and I break out the scanners and begin our search for the Monoc, but we don’t find anything.
Later that evening Vuul and Urgle on his swoopbike are coasting along a large mountain side when Vrinko yells out over the intercom. A huge landslide begins and they are quickly covered by a cloud of dust and loose stones. For a second I think they’re done for but a screeching engine in overdrive is followed by two dusty figures on a swoop bike breaking through the dust cloud. Luckily I got that on film. That will look great on our crew site.
Ari and I head out to collect kindling for Vuul. We climb a small cliff and I start collecting small pieces of dry wood. Ari grabs hold of a massive root and with a mighty yank, the cliff above begins to crumble! A large grey sack tumbles down and lands at our feet.. Ari and I stare at it for a moment. The sack shudders with a violent buzz. Oh Oh…a cloud of giant sand wasps burst forth and angrily swarm us. I hate insects. I slowly walk backwards hoping they will leave me alone, but one follows, buzzing around my head. Ari fares no better and I spot several attacking him until he scrambles down the shelf we stand on. I order the video droid to fly through the wasps. My plan works! Most of them break off attacking it!
Arrrgghhh…I feel a sharp stab on my arm followed by extreme burning, my head is spinning. I feel nauseated. I stagger backwards. I mumble an order at the droid to go higher, as Ari grabs my legs and hoists me off the cliff. My legs are not working now and its going dark.
I come too moments later at camp where Vuul applies a natural remedy. The droid returns and I show Vuul the footage, which he finds most amusing. The droid is covered in disgusting green wasp juice, which I manage to distil it into a fine poison for Vrinko.
Vuul spots movement on the horizon; several dog like creatures called Mutriok. We follow their trail on foot and discover prints, very large prints; the impression of huge feet. This, Vull says is the Monnok. Following the prints we find large piles of scat full of undigested bones. I sure hope I don’t end up in there. I check my light repeater- fully loaded.
We head over a ridge and finally, spot our prey.
It’s huge, close to 3 meters tall and muscular.
I sneak up to the edge of the ridge, lay down and put the creature in my sights. I set the camera to hover.
Vrinko and Urgle set off, sneaking around the ridge, hoping to flank the beast. Ari remains with me. He will make a good shield should things get messy and with us, they always do. Tyr heads back to grab our speeder.
I wait for Vrinko and Urgle to take up position. My hands are shaking, I need to relax. I am startled by a sound of someone falling and sliding down the ridge. Damn! One of them has fallen.
The Monnok looks up. I instinctively fire off a round. It goes wild, missing badly. The Monnok turns to look right at me and charges forward. I fire again, and this time hit it in the leg. It has no effect and the Monnok closes the distance to about 20 meters. It will be upon me in seconds. I have a bad feeling about this. Ari moves forward to intercept it.
Breath…another deep breath…I hold my breath and close my eyes for a split second, calming myself. I exhale and squeeze. The shot strikes the Monnok in the face- It takes one more step and falls over. Knocked out cold.
I cannot wait to see the footage.
We all run down the ridge and I secure the beast with Synthrope. Ari sits down on the Monnok, levelling a stun rod at its body. A moment later the beast stirs. Urgle calmly shoots it in the face stunning it again. Luckily Tyr arrives with the speeder and we set up the force cage. Expecting Vrinko to help move the thing was clearly foolish as he just stands there drooling like a gormless idiot.
I encourage him to use his thing, whatever it’s called. The Force. At the same time Ari tries picking the thing up, much to his surprise it’s very light… with Vrinko’s help.
Vuul gives both of them a quizzical look.
We head back and luckily the ride home is uneventful. We say farewell to Vuul and dust off for Dynan.
The Traitors Gambit
I spend the next few days feeding the Monnok. I try to communicate with it and much to my surprise I get the distinct impressions its sentient.
I hold my hand up to the force cage and the poor creature does the same. I no longer feel happy, I only feel remorse for what we have done. I wonder if the Monnok had family?
Tyr keeps me busy with menial ship tasks, but I sneak out at night to see if I can learn more. This time it smashes itself against the cage, knocking itself out. I return to my room and try to get some sleep.
We reach Dynan and meet Chessel Bard. I’m still upset about the Monnok and at Tyr’s request I fail to get more credits. 6000c will still come in useful though. The beast looks at me one last time as its transported away from our ship to an unknown fate.
Chessel gives us three more creatures to hunt down and I struggle to feign interest.