Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Day... sometime after the last one...

Toob was much happier with the current landing zone. The ground was stable, it was high enough up that no significant predators were present and the local flora was both abundant and rich in the minerals and chemical properties he required for proper synthesis.

His skill set included some basic meal preparation and although his human patient did not much appreciate a mostly vegetable diet, he was at least capable of keeping her well nourished. A few slain prey animals provided both necessary protein and a way for Trillinae to work off her frustrations. He had also noted her growing proficiency with so-called "primitive" implements of violence.

He called them implements of violence; Trill had other names for them. Her engine-flange axe was named Beylan, a bad pun considering Beylan was known as the best slicer on the outer rim. The axe wasn't exactly a computer component but it did slice pretty well. Titanium engine casings had to be good for something once they rupture, after all.

Her knife, a worked piece of iridium welded to a spanner handle, was Keth-Keth. Like the jawa of the same name, it was small, abrasive and often did little more than annoy whatever it came into contact with. However, also like the jawa, it proved invaluable when nothing else was at hand. She always remembered the midget's catch phrase when she killed something with it. "Whatever I can reach, you can't afford to lose."

Lastly, her bow - Mil. It was always at hand, ready to help her take something down or bail her ass out of a fight too big for her to handle alone... just like her sister. This was the longest she'd ever been apart from Millinae and the separation was starting to show. Darrus had always said there was a bond of the Force between them, one that strengthened both siblings.

She wasn't sure she believed that but she was feeling pretty damn weak by herself now, light years from her sister or anyone else. All she had was Toob, not that she wasn't grateful for his electronic company. Without him, she'd probably already be dead. And her baby...

That always brought her out of her depressive funks. She wasn't just here for herself; she had to press on for her lovely little parasite.

With the way it constantly made her brood, always made her dwell on dark thoughts and depressing realities, she was pretty sure it was Jeht's. Only a child of Ol' Dark Eyes could be both an utter blessing and a complete wet blanket at the same time.

That made her chuckle. Out here, she needed all the funny she could get. Between her own inner monologues and lizard-rat sniping, there was precious little entertainment on this big green rock. And the lizard-rats were learning to avoid her so they weren't as amusing any more. Now, each one was a 50-50 shot at a wasted arrow or dinner; that was too serious a matter to take lightly. If she missed her one and only shot at the quick little things, she would go hungry that night. Enough failures in a row and she would starve...

"Hey!" she shouted as she thwapped her stomach. "Cut it out, you morose little tummy-leech!"

Trill shook her head and snapped off a shot at the running shape startled into flight by her outburst. Her arrow flew true, guided by a moment of concentration. Force or not, she was getting pretty damn good at putting a length of steel rod wherever she wanted it to go. Its sharpened tip impaled the scaly rodent, pinning it to the grassy earth.

"There! See that, munchkin! I am NOT gonna starve."

Walking over, she pried the arrow out of the ground, taking a good long look at the dead critter. Its scaled hide was covered in warts, its teeth and claws were yellow and chipped and its eyes were leaking blood from the impact of her killing shot. Its mouth, lolling wide open, issued a dying breath that could stop a rancor.

Trill winced at the sight of it. "On second thought... maybe I'll just have a salad tonight."