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Template:PostIn CatH Post 64 Clear and Kimleigh arrived at an unknown Earth-like planet and now, in CatH Post 65, they sees a kind of vehicle and decide to follow it to civilisation. They arrive on an island where they meet the white-skinned locals but they do not understand English and Clear resorts to rough-cut translation software to understand them. Some of them seem angered by their presence and these people, nayaraks, attack Clear. She beats them down but one of the locals runs away for help while the other, who Clear thinks is called Ringo, enters into a fight with her. After a lengthy fight yet another local arrives but he has strange powers that blast Clear through the air. This man, however, has technology on his person that Kimleigh can exploit and hurt him with. The two of them then get back into Hoopa and leave.

Post

Meet the Locals

Clear: "Looks like they have some kind of aircraft here."

She looks up from the radar screen and peers out of the hatch window to see a vehicle soaring through the sky above them. It looks like a bulky elevator and the noise from it is a deep resonance that interferes with the radar, causing the blip to synch in and out of existence. 

Kimleigh: "Let's follow it! See where it goes! Let's find some civilisation!"

Clear: "Maybe they'll sell some real clothes..."

Kimleigh glances back from her front seat with a hurt look.

Kimleigh: "You know I picked those clothes out myself? Just the right amount of sex appeal and I think the silver and white matches your skin tone so well!"

Clear: "All of that is exactly why I want to get different clothes."

Kimleigh turns back to the controls and swings the craft up after the resonator.

Kimleigh: "Maybe you're right, Clear! You're such a non-conformist! I want to be like you! Who cares if I look good in my clothes, right!?"

Clear: "Trying to say I looked bad in my own clothes?"

Kimleigh: "Uh.... no!"

Clear just smirks.

Clear: "But that's the idea. I wear whatever I'm comfortable wearing."

She doesn't think to mention that she also wears clothes that harken back to her lost heritage, the free-fitting onesies and billowing shirts. She is sure if she's truly wearing what she wants or if she's trying to be like her dead culture expects. Even her scavenging kit is worn from practical necessity. 

Kimleigh: "I always wanted to dress like my sister, Tyril. She's the one you saw on the card."

Clear: "You mean the Magistrix with the giant boobs?"

Kimleigh: "No! The other one!"

Clear: "The one wearing... almost nothing!?"

Kimleigh: "Yes! Don't you think she looks domineering and badass!?"

Clear: "I think she looks like a wh--"

Kimleigh: "Hey! It looks like they're going to land on that island!"

Hoopa does a flyby of the island and they watch the resonator make its descent.

Kimleigh: "They're going awfully fast..."

Both women cry out with emphatic pain as the sound-lift ploughs straight into the sand with a horrible thud and buries itself deep. They're silent for a moment as they believe they've just witnessed their first case of death from drunk flying on this alien world. Then they see a door open on it.

Clear: "Great. We get to ask the drunks for directions."

Kimleigh: "They have awfully big heads, don't they!?"

Clear decides not to explain to Kimleigh how racist that sounds, mostly because Clear thinks she's probably guilty of similar comments about other species out there.

Kimleigh brings the red craft around. It's a very different experience to fly a ship in atmosphere than in space. A turn takes a second in space, while here the craft has to swoop and curve round to accommodate the wind. Kimleigh seems much more proficient at flying in space than she does in atmosphere. 

The craft comes down low and hovers there, over the beach, until Kimleigh gently takes it down. Clear sees there's quite a gathering on the beach now, though they're keeping their distance. Once landed Kimleigh pops open the hatch and Clear is grateful for the opportunity to stretch her legs. She spreads her arms and groans with satisfaction. All the leg-room in the world is simply not enough for the actual leg-room of the world.

Kimleigh throws herself from the ship, intending to land deftly on the beach and impress the locals. Instead her foot catches on the edge of the ship and she plummets to the ground with a squeak of anguish.

Clear peers down, grits her teeth with worry.

Clear: "Uh... you okay~?"

Kimleigh: "I meant to do that..."

Usually Clear leaps from cockpits like this but she decides that might be rubbing salt into the girl's pride, so she releases the ladder and climbs down rung-by-rung. Kimleigh is sitting up on the sand and Clear thinks she might be somewhat dazed from the fall.

The locals appear confused.

Their skin is stark white, like a human ghost, and they have big jellyfish-like bulges on their heads. Most of them seem to be wearing a kind of uniform, both their men and women having the same outfits. Two of them stand out though. They're wearing tight bodysuits that appear to be comprised of a firm material. She assumes they must be the leaders of the little cadre since they have the different outfit.

Clear saunters across the beach, trying to look a little apologetic about her friend's fall.

Clear: "Hey there! She'll be okay! No worries! She's more robust than she looks!"

The locals start gabbing to each other but make no reply to her at all. Clear grows a little uncomfortable at this but also annoyed. It seems pretty rude to her.

Clear: "So, uh, you guys know where we can do a bit of shopping? I could do with getting myself some proper clothes. You know how hard it is to walk over this beach in heels?"

They natter amongst themselves again until one of the two brown-suits steps forward. He looks older than the other one, more serious. He has a very straight nose that makes him look pompous and he wears a never-ceasing frown.

Local #1: "Indran Indran Indran Indran..."

Clear groans. Of all the planets in the whole galaxy she had to land on one that doesn't speak bloody English. She mucks about with her PIP and brings up a translation app. Unfortunately it doesn't detect their language. That explains it. She's on a backwater farm world somewhere. The styx. No-man's Land. Or certainly No-English Land.

Kimleigh: "Hold on..."

Kimleigh mutters as she comes up behind Clear but doesn't say or do anything else. Clear is distracted by the locals. While the head guy seems calm enough, his friend looks panicked while those behind him not only look panicked but angry.

Clear: "I don't think we're welcome, Kim..."

Kimleigh: "Well I just altered the software of that translation app. Now it should pick up the sounds and try to translate based on algorithms of common speech patterns. It won't be the best English you've ever seen but we should be able to work out what they're saying."

The app does display English as the local tries to garble at her again.

Local #1: "Who you are, Red-Face? You great menace of space?"

Clear raises an eyebrow and glances at Kimleigh. Kimleigh folds her arms in annoyance.

Kimleigh: "Apparently they like you more, Clear. I guess I'm too blue for them."

Clear: "You did say they have big heads..."

Kimleigh: "They don't know that!"

She turns back to the people.

Clear: "I am Clear."

She points at herself.

Clear: "Clear."

She jerks a thumb at Kimleigh.

Clear: "Kim. Kimleigh."

Kimleigh clears her throat and steps forward.

Kimleigh: "Actually they should address me as High Legatifex, Princess of the High Empire!"

She stands, posing like this means anything to them. Clear shakes her head.

Clear: "What happened to wanting to be a rebel and free of all that?"

Kimleigh glances back at Clear.

Kimleigh: "Being Princess will get us the best service! Do you want to stay in a beautiful hotel or a smelly yurt?"

Clear: "Fair point... I suppose..."

One of the locals bursts forwards, pushing out of the grasp of the others, and shouts a torrent of words at Kimleigh. Kimleigh looks surprised and turns slowly to Clear.

Kimleigh: "Apparently they really like you more than me."

Clear: "I think they don't like either of us, Kim..."

The guy at the front moves to try and calm down the other local with the outburst. However most of those wearing the blue uniform seem to agree with their own comrade and not the guy in brown. Another steps forward and shouts at Clear and Kimleigh while pointing to the sky.

Clear: "Don't need to look at the translator to know he's telling us to bugger off his island."

Kimleigh, however, firmly stands her ground and stamps her feet in place to prove she isn't going anywhere. She points a chastising finger at them.

Kimleigh: "Now you see here you petulant-- Oh!"

She ducks as one of them throws a rock at her. As that stone hits the sand, the other blue-wearers start marching towards Kimleigh. Seeing they have no technology for her to barrage them with, Kimleigh turns and runs awkwardly across the sand in mild panic coming to slink behind Clear.

Clear: "Thanks Kim."

Kimleigh: "It's not my fault they're barbarians!"

They shove the guy in brown aside as they march on the two aliens. When the first of them grabs Clear's arm, Clear gets to work. Instantly she thumps him in the face, the fool having grabbed her left arm, and, as he staggers back, she jumps into the air and brings her boot up to clam his chin, rocking his head back. The sudden snap renders him unconscious and his body topples to the sand. Another man shouts at her and tries to punch her but her Martian reflexes still outmatch this alien just like he's any human. She twists her body to dodge and backhands him across his cheek. She then kicks his friend beside him, anticipating she'd want to try her luck too, before punching him in the nose. His blue blood bursts from his nose.

Clear: "Huh. Something we have in common."

Kimleigh: "Hit him with a chair!"

Clear: "Why does everyone want me to smack people with chairs?"

Another woman runs up wielding a rock and throws it at Clear. The projectile hits the salmitton in the shoulder, causes a raging pain in her muscle that Clear knows is going to leave a terrible bruise. The woman doesn't stop and she screams with anger as she jumps at Clear. Clear hadn't expected such a wild and crazy move and takes the full force of the tackle. Fortunately it's not a good tackle, done by a woman who probably hasn't fought a day in her life. Clear is merely pushed back a few paces and now the woman is bent over and vulnerable. Clear considers just pushing her back. But she's not that nice. Instead she grabs the woman's bulb-head and throws it downards - bringing up her knee to connect. The woman yelps and falls to the sand. But as she lands she grabs a clump of grains and throws them straight up at Clear.

Eyes stinging Clear grabs at them. She feels water pouring instantly, that thick blue liquid that is absolutely going to stain her face. Taking advantage, the first woman throws her fist into Clear's cheek, knocking her hands from her face and causing an ache in the bone. The woman attacks again in the same place and Clear falls to one knee. As a third fist comes down Clear, expecting it, brings up her own hands and shoves the attack slightly forward - sparing her face and causes the woman to continue her downwards momentum. Now in a compromised position, Clear headbutts the woman. She falls over too, sending sand everywhere. As gets to her feet, still blinking her eyelids free of sand, and takes a few steps towards the woman. She builds up speed and kicks, like kicking an American football, into the woman's jaw. There's a cry, but it doesn't come from the woman, she's instantly unconscious, it comes from one of the brown-clad guys. Clear thinks she just made them angry too.

The two of them argue without looking at each other, their faces glued on Clear like she's some criminal to be watched. Through her bleary eyes Clear can see her PIP's translation;

Local #1: "Nayaraks fight Red-Face. Red-Face is flower."

Clear guesses that's a mark of innocence considering the situation. The second of them, the younger one with the fairer voice, retorts;

Local #2: "Red-Face unnecessary action. Downed kick."

Clear: "Hey. Heat of the moment, okay? She'd only get up and attack me again!"

She realises her protestations go uncomprehended and probably seemed like she was shouting angrily at them.

Local #1: "The Red-Face mayhaps dangerous she is. Blue-Face child mayhaps not. Map go fetch aid. Nayarak medicine is in need. The person that is I am subdue the Red-Face. Only hope not damage ther person that is I cause lady Red-Face."

Clear is still trying to work out the meaning of this broken English when the younger-faced local turns to run while the first guy stands his ground. He holds out his hand to his side, palm open. From nowhere a long staff materialises and swings straight into his open hand.

Clear: "Okay... unexpected."

Kimleigh: "That wasn't technology, Clear. He must have some kind of magic."

Clear: "You can just admit you're useless, if you'd like to, Kim?"

Kimleigh: "Yes. Yes I am useless. Lucky you're here to get punched in the face, right!?"

Clear grunts with annoyance and turns from Kimleigh grin and double-thumbs up.

Clear: "We couldn't landed on a metal, techno-world or something, could we? Had to be land of village idiots."

Local #1: "Clear Indran Indran Indran..."

Kimleigh: "I think he just said your name."

Clear: "Yeah. According to this he says I am a raging potato..."

Kimleigh barks into laughter.

Kimleigh: "I did say it wouldn't be perfect English, right?"

Seeing that this fight is inevitable, Clear starts to move, circling the guy. From the dialogue translations she's pretty sure he calls himself Ringo. The other guy that ran away was Map, which Clear thinks would sound very Martian if they spoke English and his name actually meant Map. Instead it's just a pretty little coincidence.

Ringo stands there but watches her from the corner of his eye. He knows he has the vast advantage of range and hard-hitting weapon and is evidently expecting her to make the attack. Clear sucks in her breath in consideration and decides...

Not to disappoint.

She kicks the sand, sending a buffer of distraction his way, before running forward. Knowing that these aliens are as slow as any human, Clear uses her speed and agility to her advantage. She leaps into the air and sees him strike at the sand with a powerful whip of his staff. She lands behind him in a crouch and she makes a small leap towards him, intent on making his weapon useless with close combat. Her momentum and weight is enough to knock him flat as they both fall. She lands atop of him and pins his arms down with her weight behind her. She finds he's much stronger than he looks as he tries to raise his hand arm, but she has her entire body weight upon those arms.

Clear: "Who's going to subjugate who, eh Ringo?"

Then she feels a sharp stabbing pain in her shoulder, from the rock-inflicted wound, as he tries to fight and bring his left arm up. She can't help but release him and she rolls away, getting some distance before he could take advantage of her distraction. He watches her as he slowly gets to his feet, pushing himself up with staff. Now, in the heat of the fight, he looks far angrier than the serious, concerned frown he had been wearing earlier.

Ringo: "Indran Indran Indran--"

Clear: "I am not looking at my PIP. I'm not a retard, Ringo."

Kimleigh: "You could have set it to vocal, you know?"

Clear: "Considering the jibberish it's writing, I wouldn't want to hear it."

She flexes her shoulder a little, trying to ease the throbbing. It hadn't hurt too much until all that applied pressure ploughed up her arm. Now it's a constant ache.

She holds her arms up, loose, and starts to move again in a circle. This time he does the same, learning that he speed would overcome any rigid stance he took. He would have to be able to move to keep up and this time he decides he'll open the offensive. His staff whirls around with perfect symmetry, fast and well-versed. Unlike the Nayaraks, as she'd heard Ringo call them, who had never fought anything, this guy knows what he's doing. Clear moves backward as his spin-cycle continues swiping before him as he advances. She considered the possibility of jumping over him again, but she figures he'd be wise to using the same trick twice and that staff could easily knock her out of the air.

Clear: "Kimleigh! Move behind him!"

Kimleigh: "What? I can't do all this-- punching and kicking! I'm not built for it!"

Clear: "He doesn't know that..."

Kimleigh does as she's told and Clear notices that the girl puts on her best 'I'm-going-to-bash-you-face' on as she does. Ringo notices her move and, maybe seeing the expression, becomes hesitant. He slows his pursuit to a stall and has to draw up in a defensive stance, ready to sweep at whichever of the two women attacked first. He stands stock still, his eyes moving from one person to the next. He mostly focuses on Clear though.

Clear: "I don't suppose you have one of those chairs handy?"

Kimleigh: "In my other pants."

Standing still, Clear feels the heels of her boots slowly sinking into the sand. She may have the agility and speed advantage but he has strength, range, weaponry and sensible clothes. When holding his arms down she did notice that the texture of the material was rough and hard, not the soft delicate fabric of her silly, silver dress.

Clear: "You're never allowed to dress me ever again, Kimleigh--"

Kimleigh doesn't get to reply as Ringo suddenly attacks her, his staff swings low towards her ankles and she's instantly taken down. She flumps into the snad with a loud, girlish squeal of surprise. If anything Ringo would now be well-aware that Kimleigh is not a fighter after that ungallant display. His sweep through Kimleigh's legs continues straight round to a high sweep at Clear, forcing the salmitton to throw her back backwards, bending her knees and stopping herself from hitting the deck with her hands planted in the sand. She thrusts herself back up quickly, quicker than he'd expected as he suddenly stops his follow-up low attack when he sees she's already prepared to jump over it. Instead of sweeping low, he jabs low - aiming to strike her feet with a sharp prod. She hops back several times as he nears but then jumps forward, over the staff, poised to bring her fist against his cheek.

He'd expected it, she found, and he twirls himself aside. She lands in his place but suddenly finds his staff swinging towards her mid-section. With reflexes Ringo has obviously never seen, Clear performs a back handspring, throwing her body backwards, narrowly clearing the mid-sweep, and jumping from her hands back onto her feet. All that distance cleared brings her straight up next to the white-skinned native.

Clear: "Hi there."

Before he can desperately react she thumps the bulb on his head and he shouts with sudden pain. Clear now realises that big, jelly, alien thing on his head is a big, jelly, alien target. As he staggers lightly away, only hurt enough to make him annoyed, the slight distance sudden gives her a perfect shot. She throws her leg up into a roundhouse and the nasty heel of her shoe cracks across the bridge of his nose. While that might have been enough to take one of the nayaraks out of the game, Ringo is more capable of taking punishment. His nose his cut open, from bridge to the top of his eye. She thinks he's going to need a lot of stitches for that.

He appears surprised though. She guesses he hadn't expected to be injured in this fight. Maybe he'd even expected an easy win. 

He growls his language at her but the fight is interrupted by a shout from their right. Beyond the treeline comes Map with an old guy. She assumes he's some kind of cult elder that has come to settle everyone down and dish out detentions. Clear assumes the fight is over and steps away from Ringo. She feels a little guilty since he was the only one trying to defend her innocence but he did then try to 'subjugate' her, so bugger him.

She looks at her PIP, thinking the old geezer is going to speak. Instead, however, she finds herself in a whole heap of pain and confusion.

She lands roughly on the sand, limbs splayed, and staring up at the red-tinted sky. The massive gas giant is up there, moving through the sky quick enough that she can actually watch it moving. Why she's looking at the sky she couldn't understand. She rolls over with a weary groan and looks across the beach at her alien assailants. Map is looking at Ringo's wound. The old guy, on the other hand, has his attention on her. He winds up his arm and she realises he's not here to mediate. He's the guy to take her down. He throws something, like he's throwing a cricket ball, and Clear finds herself flying through the air again, as though hit by a powerful explosion. She flies like a ragdoll.

She lands in the shallow of the ocean with a splash of saltwater and wet sand. After rolling from the momentum of the explosion, she tries to push herself up. The waves splash in her face, waking her up. On her feet again, barely, she sees the old guy closing the distance. He winds up his hand again. She jumps just as he throws. She manages to clear the distance from the immediate strike zone but she's still pushed along by the lesser radius of the invisible kinetic blast. Water and sand rains down on her as she staggers out of the water. One of her heels has snapped off to make her progress even harder. She mentally curses Kimleigh.

Perhaps too soon.

When Clear looks up to watch for a second strike she sees the man fall to his knees in pain. He then cries out and clutches his right ear. Behind him Kimleigh is glaring at him and slowly walks towards him. When the other two seem keen on intervening she holds her hand in the old man's direction, indicating she'd do more harm if they moved. Clear staggers over and sees that the man's ear is beginning to bleed profusely. Clear doesn't advise reining it in.

Kimleigh: "Turns out someone has technology on them. Some kind of network device glued to his head. Lucky for us."

Clear: "Is that how he just blasted me around like that? I mean... wow... that was not fun."

Kimleigh: "No. I don't know how he did that. This device in her ear is just a network device. Like an internet or something."

Clear: "Alright. I suggest we get out of here. I don't fancy going toe-to-toe with two of these guys. Not after having the sense blasted out of me. And these stupid, bloody shoes!"

She shouts down at the boots for having the audacity of not being more practical.

Ringo: "Blue-Face make your time!"

The translation reads as Ringo calls out. He looks pleadingly at Kimleigh.

Clear: "I think he wants you to stop hurting this old sod."

Kimleigh shrugs and releases her grasp of his technological bit. The man gasps with relief but still clutches the injury. Clear realises, looking down at him, that Kimleigh is not as pleasant and innocent as she always supposed. And since Clear had been happy with her actions, Clear realises she isn't as nice as Kimleigh supposes she is. They back away, towards Hoopa.

Taking down the idiot nayarak guys had been an easy case of slapping a few fools around. They'd wake up tomorrow with a few bumps and scrapes but they'd otherwise be fine. Nothing more than a bit of rough-housing. Taking on Ringo had been a competition of prowess. A fight for freedom or control. Seeing the old man in pools of his blood and anguish, their presence is now an anathema and she knows the nayaraks will think themselves vindicated by this.

Clear motions towards the ship for Kimleigh to get in. As Kimleigh starts up the ladder, Clear calls out to her;

Clear: "I'm driving."

Kimleigh whines but she gets into the back seat. Clear watches the three men for a long moment, wondering is the old man would try to use his cricket-ball powers when she turns her back. She's safe, however, in the knowledge that Kimleigh could wipe him out from a huge distance with ease and so, eventually, she turns and climbs the ladder herself. 

Wet, tired, injured and caked in sand - Clear is not very happy. She takes off in silence, though Kimleigh seems in higher spirits.

Kimleigh: "Where to next?"

Clear: "How about my bed?"

Kimleigh: "Clear! I'm not that kind of girl!"

Clear: "I meant to sleep."

Kimleigh: "Like I said, I'm not sleeping with you."

Clears her head. She can't muster enough enthusiasm to laugh or even complain.

Clear: "Next time, you can be the one who gets thrown around by Mr Explody Fingers."

Kimleigh: "But you're so much better at it than me! You landed so gracefully! As graceful as a bag of bricks!"

Clear: "Hey. You went face first out of this ship, remember? At least I have the excuse of being shot at by magic-aliens. What's your excuse?"

Kimleigh laughs at her own ineptitude.

Kimleigh: "It's your ship's fault for not having a lower hatch!"

She leans forward and points over Clear's shoulder.

Kimleigh: "Let's go there!"

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