((cewl, can we start now?))
((yeah, I'm on my phone right now, so ill make a post when I get home around 3.))
Harlon whistled a tune he remembered from Earth as he walked through the trees silently. He had learned it was best to announce himself wherever he went in some way or another. Most creatures would leave him alone, and the ones that wouldn't would be able to find him no matter what. A sharp, barking call sounded through the trees and Harlon paused, listening for any responses. There were three barks in all, Aluraptors typically ran in pairs, but it seemed that he was about to stumble upon a group. Without a second thought, Harlon started to climb a tree as quickly as he could. It would be his only chance to beat the Slashers, find a place where he could pick them off one by one where they couldn't reach him. The alpha came into view by the time Harlon was situated about nine feet or so off the ground. He drew his gun and shot the slasher in the head, looking around for the rest of them. At least he had gotten the alpha first, that really calmed the other slashers down, when they had no leader.
Another bullet took down a second slasher, leaving the last one to scamper away, whimpering. Querta strode out from behind the trees to gaze at Harlon. "I remember that song. At least there's something like home on this wretched planet."
She watched the last slasher escape into the distance. "I know what you'll say about letting it live, but it doesn't deserve to die. This is their turf, after all, and we're the uninvited guests."
"Agreed!" Red called down from his place up high in a tall, tall tree. He spoke with a casual grin, though there was nothing casual about his position. He was hanging high up by his ankle, caught in his own trap. He dangled there precariously, so close to falling yet still stuck high up in the tree. Still, he grinned like it was a funny joke.
Querta couldn't help but laugh, despite how bad of a situation this was. "You'd be dead if Harlon hadn't been here, you know that? I'm honestly surprised you're still alive. Why don't you just cover yourself in barbeque sauce next time, you'll attract fewer Slahsers."
Harlon shook his head and rolled his eyes, but couldn't help but smile. He inched down the branch precariously until he got to Red's trap, and pulled out his hunting knife. "Heads up." He said, cutting the rope. It seemed that every day, more and more humans were venturing away from the city and going to explore Chrysos for themselves. Harlon thought it was good thing, while dangerous, it really put things into perspective. If you survived the forests here, you could survive anything.
Red's casual grin vanished for a few moments while he came crashing down to the ground. But it was back again pretty soon, even though he was lying there, trying to catch his breath and get the pretty stars out of his eyes so he could see.
"Much obliged..." He said breathlessly. "Ow....That didn't quite turn out right...." He shook his head a little, running his hands over his sides, more to make sure his knives were still in place than to check for broken bones. "I'll have to try that barbeque sauce thing some time."
"I don't think anyone truly knows what I would do for barbecue sauce..." Harlon says, appearing deep in thought as he climbs down the tree. He missed Earth food, Chrysos food was ok and everything, but it hardly had flavor. "I found a whole cache of cacti over the ridge that haven't been picked. If ya'll help me haul em back, I'll split the profits down the middle." Harlon said. The hospital back in town was running low, and that meant they would be willing to pay more then usual.
Saskia watched the humans from her hiding place in the trees, well above the forest floor. She narrowed her eyes and regarded them suspiciously. The human she helped wasn't part of that group, so it had to mean that more humans were foolishly straying into forest. She shook her head, hoping there would ne no need for her to help them...she had already got herself into enough trouble.
Red grinned even wider, with a slightly devious touch to it now. He staggered to his feet, wobbling for a moment before he steadied himself.
"Mm...I always like doing things with profit." He said. His eyes got a sudden calculating look, hidden under the boyish face.
"Yeah, anything's better than just roaming the woods. Especially with all the idiots you find hanging in the trees." She grinned at Red, still a bit unsteady from his trapping mishap. "Not that the money's really worth anything to me on this planet. Not exactly an abundance of clothing stores out here on Chrysos."
"Hey, I'm not an idiot." Red said, pouting childishly as he bent over to massage the blood back into his ankle. "I'm just not used to having my usually incredibly successful traps leap up at me with a mind of their own." He continued stubbornly, straightening out and holding his head high. He grinned.
"'Incredibly Succesful'? I beg to differ. And how can they have minds of their own while you still seem to be lacking your own?" Querta smiled at her own joke. Enjoying the beauty of the wilderness for a second, she sighed. "Well, those cacti aren't going to pick themselves!"
Harlon had already started walking. Red and Querta argued like siblings, and it was ridiculous. "No kidding." He said, looking back. The cacti weren't that far away, growing in a cluster in the golden sand. Harlon bent down and sliced open a pod with his hunting knife, catching some of the blood red seeds that spilt from the plant's core. He popped one into his mouth and chewed it, grimacing slightly at the bitter taste. "These are pretty high quality, been growin for a few years."
Aboslutely determined to show off, Querta cocks her gun and shoots a cacti pod only a foot away from where Harlon was crouching. Seeds exploded from the pressured pod, a substantial number pelting Harlon's face. Querta laughed, "Bulls-eye!" then bending down next to Harlon to eat a seed sticking to his face.
Red followed Harlon, choosing not to respond to Querta. He licked his lips a little at the sight of the cacti. Not at the thought of eating what laid inside, though that could've been appealing. No, his thoughts wandered to the profit of them, and just what he could do with it.
Itching to show off, Querta cocked her gun and shot a catctus pod a foot away from where Harlon was crouching. Seeds exploded out of the pressurized pod, pelting both of their faces with red seeds. "Bulls-eye!" laughed Querta as she ate a seed sticking to Harlon's face
(sry must not've posted the first time)
Harlon scowled at Querta as he wiped the red seeds off his face. "Thanks, now I'm gonna be too busy tripping balls to make the deal." He shook his head, trying to get more cacti juice off. In small quantities, Incorparalis Insomnium was a medicine in small doses, but when you got a face full of seeds, it was likely that you would start hallucinating. Harlon had tried it once, the Durangello spirit quest taken by the natives, and it terrified him. "Let's just get these back to town, then I can kick your as.s." Harlon said, starting to pick the cacti and tossing the entire pods into a leather bag.
Harlon scowled at Querta as he wiped the red seeds off his face. "Thanks, now I'm gonna be too busy tripping ba.lls to make the deal." He shook his head, trying to get more cacti juice off. In small quantities, Incorparalis Insomnium was a medicine in small doses, but when you got a face full of seeds, it was likely that you would start hallucinating. Harlon had tried it once, the Durangello spirit quest taken by the natives, and it terrified him. "Let's just get these back to town, then I can kick your as.s." Harlon said, starting to pick the cacti and tossing the entire pods into a leather bag.