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[size12 Riddick couldn’t help but to keep grinning. The girl looked quite the mess having basically done a swan dive into the swamp like slop of the oasis mud. He’s seen just about everything but the slip ups like this might be the most amusing.]
[size12 The woman was catching her breath leaned up against a nearby tree. Her words made his eyes shine not with his normal eyeshine but with something else. Satisfaction, maybe? Whatever it was, it was gone when the lady merc spoke again. This time, humor seemed to line his face. His eyes almost sparkled with it. He was almost going to laugh. Riddick surrender? Yeah, right. Does an animal give up fighting just because they’re cornered? No. But unlike an animal, Riddick had intelligence. It was all a matter of coming up with a clever plan to escape and timing it just right.]
[size12 Then a gunshot sounded, echoing through the oasis. Riddick turned to try and spot where it came from but whoever fired the shot was still too far off in the brush for him to see. Riddick looked at the girl when she mentioned being followed, his face back to being his usual ‘I’m mad at everything’ neutral look. He turned back then climbed up on top of the fallen beast to see if there was anyone coming which there wasn’t. Too far off still. He glanced back, his eyes shining in the dark.] [b “You, stay here.”] [size12 He slipped his goggles back over his eyes and then with a leap, he was off running.]
[size12 Riddick came up with a plan as he darted through the brush which was basically kill whoever was stalking them. He stopped just as he saw the four guys walking through the dense jungle-like oasis. They were twisting around and around, guns pointing everywhere and ready to shoot at anything that moved. Riddick crept slowly along the brush line of the path the men were taking. He watched the movements of each one, studied the behavior as if he was a tiger trying to pick out the weakest link. He listened for any sounds that were off kilter. There. A slight rattle. As if something was being shaken and the parts were clinking together. The sound of a gun in trembling hands. The weak link.]
[size12 Riddick stopped moving and poked his head up enough to see over the brush but still kept hidden. He lifted his goggles for a moment to find the trembling one. Of course, the scaredy cat was at the back. Riddick put the goggles back on and ducked back down. He scooted along the brush line till he was even with the chicken. He moved silently next to them, which was quite a feat considering Riddick’s size and build. There was a thicker bit of brush coming up and once the group reached it, Riddick reached out and grabbed the weakling's legs. He pulled the guy down and into the brush. The guy screamed as he did, though it was more a girly shriek. He fired his gun, the bullets going astray and hitting everything but Riddick. Then with a sickening snap, the oasis echoed into silence. Riddick had snapped the guy's neck, killing him instantly. One down, 3 to go.]
[size12 The remaining three started to move faster into the oasis. Riddick grabbed the ulaks from his back and chased after them. They were getting closer to the lady mercenary. He ran up a nearby tree a little ways and pushed off from it. He spun through the air behind the trio and as he did, he sliced into the neck that was bringing up the rear. Of course, the guy was walking backwards and turning side to side a lot so he was an easy kill. His neck was a gaping wound as he bled out in seconds and Riddick disappeared into the otherside of the trail, tucking his ulaks back into the holsters on his back as he took cover. The other two were only alerted when the sound of the guy’s body hitting the ground let them know Riddick was on their tail.] [+red “Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit! It’s Riddick!”]
[size12 Toombs groaned before yelling at the last remaining guy.] [+red “Calm down, you idiot. We can still get them. Thankfully, I had a bit of a backup plan in case something like this happened.”]
[+red “I hope it works because I’m out of here!”] [size12 The guy turned tail and began running back out of the oasis.]
[+red “Well, fuck me sidways. Good luck trying to get off this rock!”] [size12 Toombs took out a small device, popped the cover open and pushed a button that hid under it. The device beeped and began to blink with a red light. Toombs then began running after the other guy, a grin on his face as if he had everything planned out perfectly.]
[size12 Riddick had been listening and watching from the brush so he heard everything. They did something that made things lean in their favor. At least that’s what they thought anyway. Riddick decided to loot one of the bodies for a weapon or two. Not for himself but for the merc. Since she went face first into the muck, her guns were likely useless so she needed a new one. He grabbed a rifle, checked the ammo and functionality and was satisfied with it. He flung it over his shoulder by the attached strap and started heading back to where he left the woman.]
[size12 Once he got back, he took the rifle off his shoulder and held out to the girl.] [b “Pretty sure we’re down a ship. Your ship.”]
It looked like Adlyn was running further [i in] to the oasis. Of course, why wouldn't that be the case? She couldn't fucking see after all... Well, that wasn't [i entirely] true. She could see certain outlines here and there when the leaves above her were thin enough to let in the moonlight. And she could orient herself better from the light of the muzzle flash when she fired her machine pistols. She was still stumbling like a baboon through the woods, but she was able to keep herself upright and continued to carry her forward momentum. Despite the the somewhat feverish bits of illumination she's had, Adlyn wasn't actually sure if she shot anything, let alone the beast that was adamantly pursuing her. Statistically speaking, she should've hit something...
Adlyn doesn't deviate from her path, but she was sure there were enough subtle turns where she didn't know which way she was going... This goddamn oasis had to run out eventually! And she hoped it would soon, as the solid ground under her feet began to squelch and stick. It appeared she was entering in to more marshy territory which also had the subsequent effect of slowing her down some. Not good, especially since one of her guns just ran empty and she was pretty sure the other one was about to-
[i click click click click click]
Yeah, that sounded about right. Fortunately for her, the machine pistols were top-of-the-line HammerTech armaments and could be auto-loaded. Gave her a bit of an advantage in combat, and one while she was on the run. With a slight twist and flick, the spent magazines eject from the guns, and just as she's about to lower her guns for the next magazines to zip in to the well, her foot catches on a root concealed in slightly deeper water. As she flew forwards, she found herself wondering how this hadn't happened sooner before crashing in to the ground with her left shoulder, sliding a few extra feet in the mud. Immediately, she tries to get to her feet, but flounders in the mud and water, able to make it on to her haunches, the most effective form of retreat becoming her scurrying backwards until she backs in to something solid. The beast had been hot on her tail, she could hear its thundering gait drawing closer by the second, felt its weight heave from the ground as it jumped—she shields her face from what was coming next— it screeched, and then...
[i 'Nothing?'] She blinks a few times, trying to see in to the darkness with some of the moonlight that was she was afforded. Adlyn couldn't see much, but soon the darkness stirred once more, and out of the shadows came... [i Riddick]. She lets out a sigh despite her laboured breathing, slumping back in to the tree slightly while watching the ex-convicts grinning face. She wipes some water, mud, and her own hair out of her face, and couldn't help but grin back.
[b “I think, maybe, I'll add that one to the list.”] She responds with a forced chuckle. At this point, she was at his mercy. She was sitting backed against a tree, essentially flanked, weapons dry, and basically just waiting for the coup de grace... But she knew he wouldn't. He wasn't like that. And even if he was, it would have been much less of a hassle to just let the lizard-thing eat her. [b “Now that that's out of the way, I guess we can negotiate your unconditional surrender to me.”] She laughs in to a cough. Obviously that wasn't reasonable since Adlyn had literally nothing in the way of leverage—both figuratively and literally—it was just that now that she had Riddick here, right in front of her... She had no idea what to do about it. It was almost like the dreams she's had where she would be after him, the only difference being she didn't wake up just when she was about to catch him. It never really dawned on her what she would actually [i do] when she caught up to Riddick; it was always about [i the chase]. Her little obsession. And she had been scorned enough trying to get to him where she never even bothered looking at getting this far. If she had, it fled her mind long ago, and now she had nothing... Just bad jokes while covered in mud and sweat.
Adlyn begins picking herself up off of the ground, using the tree to help herself to her feet. [b “This isn't exactly how I imagined finding you. But now that we're here-”] [i blam!] A gunshot echoed from the direction the two had originally came from. Then a few more followed. [i 'Who the hell was that?'] She thought, and then something dawned on her, as she looked back to Riddick, her pupils dilating. [b “I must have been followed.”]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/X8iWsEc.png?1]]
Toombs slaps the other merc in the back of the head. “Are you a moron or something? You just blew our cover! It was a fucking [i bird]!” Jesus Christ, so much for all the 'talent' that he had to work with. If Riddick didn't know they were coming, he definitely knew now, making it especially dangerous in there now. He had been hoping Octavia would be enough of a distraction for them to swoop in and get their paycheck, but that idea was shot to shit.
“Sorry, boss. It just flew out.”
“That's what birds do, numb-nuts. Now we're going in hot, so everyone keep your eyes triple peeled. If it moves, shoot to kill. If it has a gravelly voice and wears goggles, shoot to wound.” They all turn on the flashlights attached to their guns, Toombs turning to face the oasis.
“Come out, come out wherever you are, Riddick! I'm here for you!” Toombs calls in to the blackened brush before they all go in.
[size12 She was on major high alert as she looked around her surroundings, gun at the ready. She had training, knew how to handle danger. But did she know how to handle things when her eyes were no longer as useful to her in the dark?]
[size12 It wasn’t long till she made her way to where Riddick was perched and his voice caught her attention. She spun around, trying to figure out where his voice traveled from. That’s one of the fun things about the dark. When there’s a sound, it tends to echo when it wouldn’t before. Sounds bounce around and seem like they’re coming from everywhere. It’s the fear that bubbles up in most people that causes that distortion of sound. It’s a mere trick of the mind. Fight or flight as most call it. Riddick seems to only have the fight response and only when facing situations where he has to face danger.]
[size12 Riddick moved so that he was leaning slightly over, his palms supporting his upper body as he leaned forward on the tree platform. The platform creaked under his weight ever so slightly. He blinked, his eyes giving off that eerie shine. The mercenary spoke, standing her ground with a brave front. He almost wanted to laugh. Everyone is afraid of something. Specially of what they can’t see in the dark. He had a feeling she might end up eating those words.]
[size12 The oasis had gone quiet. Only the sounds of smaller creatures making their nightly song could be heard. The larger beasts have quieted, possibly the prey animals of the oasis. Something was on the prowl. Something big. Riddick stayed put. He knew the oasis quite well by now and what lurked in it. The girl spoke again, her words intriguing him. His eyes followed her as she moved, the only thing she could see was his eye shine. She continued to speak. He stayed silent. She seemed to be looking for a reply. Her talking was attracting something and she was about to find out what. Snack time?]
[size12 A lizard like beast leaped out of the brush with a snarling screech and it was big. She tactically rolled out of the way but the beast was quick for its size. She began to run and it chased after. Gun shots sounded as she ran. SHe must be shooting at anything that moved in the brush. Riddick grabbed the hunters knife from its holster on his calf and hopped down from his perch and ran after the lizard beast. For a big man, he was nimble, fast and agile. He darted through the dense oasis like he has been doing it all his life. It wasn’t long till he caught up to the girl just when the beast was about to leap at her. Riddick made a running jump just as it did and with perfect timing, he landed on its back near the head and slammed the knife blade into its brain till there was no blade visible. The beast let out a quick screech and crashed to the ground lifeless, Riddick poised on it’s back. He yanked the blade out with a sickening sound of cracking bone and something gooey. He hopped off the back of the fallen beast and moved to where he could be seen. He stood near the nose of the fallen creature and looked towards the girl, a smirk on his face.] [b “Still not afraid of anything?”]
Well, this wasn't exactly the most tactically sound decision Adlyn has ever made. The sun was getting lower by the second, and the further she decided to push in to the oasis the more light would be snuffed out by its brush... [i And] she was tracking a notorious Man-Hunter who could [i see in the dark]. Apparently she had gone insane a long time ago looking for Riddick if this was the type of shit she was throwing herself in to. She was the perfect target in the perfect place for him to ghost her.
She wades through some of the brush slowly, trying to listen for something, [i anything], but all she could hear was her blood pressure rising, and the strange calls of the wildlife in the oasis. There was more now as the sun sank lower, and she was pretty sure by the end of this, she was going to be blowing holes in something big and nasty.
The voice caused her breath to hitch and she quickly stopped in her place. The gruff disembodied voice of Riddick had her searching the brush with her eyes, but she stayed relatively still, turning occasionally to assess the area. It sounded like it came from everywhere and nowhere at the same time... Adlyn wasn't sure if the contents of the sentence were supposed to rattle her or not, but she stood her ground none the less. [b “I'm not afraid of anything.”] She says to the air, although she wasn't sure how much good it would do her.
After what she said, there was silence. And not just silence between her and Riddick, a eerie silence that was almost deafening. [b “Oh shit...”] Adlyn mutters, drawing her other machine-pistol from its holster. The sounds of the jungle had mostly disappeared, which was good indication that danger was near. Now if Riddick or Adlyn herself was the danger, she could not determine. The fact that the sun had now fully set, and she was deep enough in the oasis where she was mostly surrounded by darkness was not a good thing. She couldn't even see where she had come in from now, and had managed to get herself a little turned around. Real fucking professional on her part, if you asked her.
[b “I'm not here to collect the bounty, Riddick.”] She turns a little bit, eyeing the treeline, bushes, and darkness for any sign of movement as she herself moved slowly. There was a small stir in he shadows, and she cocks her head in the direction. [b “I'm here for...”] Well, she didn't really know what to say about that. Two shimmering eyes could be seen in the dark of the brush to her left, and Adlyn takes a slow tentative step towards it. They looked just like Riddick's eyes. [b “Well, I'm not quite sure...”] She takes a few more slow steps towards the eyes. [b “But I'm not an enemy.”] She finishes a little less than ten feet from what she thought was Riddick. [b “Riddick?”] She whispers.
And with an inhuman screech and snarl, something big jumps from the bushes at Adlyn. She didn't quite catch a full glimpse as she rolled out of the way, but she was pretty sure it had scales and teeth. [i Big] teeth. She opens fires on the fauna it had jumped in to after missing her, and the entire oasis erupts in to shrieks and snarls, as bushes, trees, and even shadows begin to stir, immediately triggering Adlyn's fight or flight. Before she even realized it, she was on the move again, sprinting through the brush, and opening fire on anything that didn't look human. If she was running back towards civilization or further in to the oasis? She wasn't the right person to ask.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/X8iWsEc.png?1]]
Working with these novices was a real pain in the ass, but strength in numbers and all of that shit. Currently they were on the lookout for Octavia since she would be their best lead in to finding out where Riddick was. Or at least they could figure it out on their own. Octavia being here was cause enough for them believe Riddick was settled on this asshole of a planet.
She was originally a part of her crew on Abenic before they got fucking dusted by Riddick, both Octavia and himself being the only survivors. After that, Octavia resolved to hunt for Riddick by herself, and seemingly just as relentlessly as Toombs was hunting him. But he couldn't let that bitch get in the way of his laurels! He's been hunting Riddick for much longer. Since the fucking disaster on the Kublai Khan! Five goddamn years. Riddick was his, and his a lone, and there was no way he was going to let anyone get in his way of getting his hands on him.
Lighting up a cigarette, Toombs walks a couple paces around Octavia's ship, [i The Physalia]. It was a beat up lightweight transport vessel she had modified. Kind of a shit-bucket in his opinion in all honesty; she couldn't have jacked something smoother from the Argonites before she left?
“Find anything?” He asks, taking a drag off of the cigarette. The other three mercenaries with him were detailing the ship with scanners.
“No life signs, shes not in there. We [i are] picking up an AI signature though, one not endemic to the ship.” Huh, interesting.
“Well, lets crack this bitch open and see what we can find.” Toombs tells them, and just when they were about to grab the equipment to bust in to the ship, sounds of gunfire rattles through the quiet of the night. From the designated landing area, they got a good view of the town, and the oasis that it bordered, and since he couldn't see the flashes of gunfire in the streets, it was quite obvious where they originated from. “Nevermind boys, we now know where Octavia is, and no doubt Riddick is there too. Grab your shit and lets get a move on!” The men grab their guns and equipment, loading them up, and the four-man crew begins to make a hasty advance towards the oasis.
[size12 Riddick knew how mercs worked. They were like roaches. Where there was one, more often came out of the cracks. Like a scruffy worker bee leading the hive to nectar. Except this nectar happens to be a dangerous convict with a big chunk of change attached to his head. Of course, none of them seem to understand exactly who they are chasing after. It’s how a lot of them end up dead.]
[size12 He went about his day as normal. He didn’t seem concerned about the lady mercenary. If she left, great. If she stays, hopefully she uses her head. Of course, there’s no telling exactly what’s running through her mind. Her reaction to seeing just a peek of him was rather interesting. Was she hunting him or was she [i ‘hunting’] him? He didn’t care enough to find out but there was a feeling that he was going to end up finding out anyway.]
[size12 Time just ticked by. The day blazed away as it always did. Being unknown did have it’s perks. Access to liquor was one of those perks. Riddick stayed in the back of a little bar in the middle of the town. Riddick became a regular here. It was one of those bars that the lone wolves often go to just to get away from the bustling life and enjoy a quiet drink. Riddick is very much a lone wolf, rarely ever working with others. If he does work with others, it’s at his pace. He sets the rules and the pace and if someone can’t keep up or stick to his plan, good luck.]
[size12 The sun was starting to set. Mercs were on the planet with more likely on the way. Gotta start planning another escape. Just gotta do what’s always been done. Jack another ship. But none of the ships currently available can go off world. None accept the one the lone merc came in on. But she’s not causing him any problems yet so he’ll leave her alone. For now.]
[size12 Riddick had returned to where he was staying and got whatever gear back on and weapons in place. Mostly the curved blades he kept on his back and a couple pocket knives he picked up from the market. He also tied a big hunters knife to his calf. And that’s when he heard it. The sound of footsteps coming up to the housing area. Luckily, there was a back way out of the house. He quietly took his exit and headed towards the oasis.]
[size12 He peeked out from a bush to see what was going on. It was the lady mercenary. She decided to stay after all. And it turns out she figured out where Riddick was holed up at. He smirked, amused with the idea that a single woman mercenary has come after him. Does she even have easy access to backup if things go sideways?]
[size12 Riddick turned and headed into the darkness of the oasis. Of course, his movement would have alerted the girl and possibly sparked her curiosity. The sun was going to set soon and the whole planet would be set in darkness. Strange creatures would soon be waking up for their nightly hunts and being in the oasis when that happens is about as dangerous as being stranded in the desert with no water. Won’t last too long unless you know exactly what to do. Well that and having perfect night vision and can see everything coming. If this woman is going to do anything, she better do it now and she better do it quick.]
[size12 Riddick didn’t go too deep into the oasis. He climbed up into a tree that gave him a view of the housing area. There was a small platform in this particular tree that was there long before he came to the planet. With his goggles up and resting on his forehead, his eyes shined in the darkness like the eyes of a cat. He watched what the lady mercenary was going to do, having seen she was now on high alert. Sure enough, she’s deciding to head towards the thicket of the oasis. Critters were already stirring about, some were quite nasty.] [b “What’s going to get you first? The dark? Or what lays within? Hope you’re not scared of the dark.”] [size12 He says as he watches what events might just unfold before him.]
She was getting short of breath and she was [i walking] back to her ship. At the halfway point, she comes to halt, breathes in, and relaxes herself... It had been a long time since she had felt something like that; almost the same kind of rush Adlyn had felt when she first laid eyes on him. For the most part, she was resolved to just walk away from this, it had to be the trick of the light or her mind playing tricks on her... But at the same time, it seemed like if she had been close enough she could have reached out and touched him; very unlike a mirage.
It was time to for her to be reasonable about this, or at least [i reason] with it. Adlyn couldn't just let herself walk away now; she had to do her due diligence on the matter. If she left, she'd be wondering if it [i was] Riddick for the rest of her life, but if she investigated, she could at least put it all to bed forever... So it was decided then: she would stay to settle this once and for all. Alright, perfect... But where the hell did she start?
She snaps her fingers. The locals. If Riddick was here they would definitely have seen him, or perhaps could at least point her in the direction of someone who could. But she'd have to be careful about it; if she did in fact see Riddick, then it was likely that he had saw her first. That could put her in some danger, especially if since she was on her lonesome... If she wanted to do this properly-proper bounty hunter style-she'd need at least a five-man crew... However, she reminds herself she was [i not] hunting him down, she was [i searching] for him, which could be an advantage in of itself; he might not outright kill her if things came to close-quarters. She still needed to strike a balance though. If she appeared to be fervently hunting him, Riddick might just kill her, but if she didn't seem to be enough of a threat, he wouldn't even bother, just letting her tangle around the area until she left, so she'd have to approach this carefully. But for starters, she needed a lead.
Adlyn goes to one of the many vendors; this one in particular was selling hand crafted clothes, blankets, cloaks, and scarves. She hands over some credits and purchases a comfortable shemagh that went with her outfit. Wrapping it around her neck, she asks: [b “I saw a man in a cloak earlier, did he purchase that from you?”]
“I do not know which man you are referring to. Many purchase my wares.” Perfect, it meant she could ask without being too direct. Adlyn didn't know how connected he was to the town, so if she started asking [i too] specific questions, they might tip him off, and then she'd be as good as dead.
[b “I don't really remember. I think he was wearing black goggles? Kind of on the taller side?”]
“Oh, [i him].” Aha! “The outsider. No, he did not get this cloak from me. I have others if you might be interested?” So she [i did] see him! Good, she wasn't going crazy.
[b “Maybe, maybe. I might be back later, I'm not sure how long I'll be staying so I might need my own.”] And after that, she continued to ask some of the locals in very roundabout ways about Riddick. It was difficult, because she couldn't get too descriptive or pry for specifics; she had to find someone who was particularly chatty and would divulge the information without much prying or leading. And it did eventually come in the form of a little boy whom she shared some of her binangkal with.
The sun was starting to set at this point, so she was running out of time. [b “And this guy lives next to the oasis?”] She questioned as the boy stuffed more of the sweet treats in to his mouth.
“Yeah, yeah. But don't go there, my dad says its very dangerous. There are monsters in the oasis.” He takes the last of the balls and gobbles it down.
[b “Thanks for the info, kid.”] She turns to look at the vendor. [b “Yeah, can I get another helping of those for the kid?”]
She was finally off to the shelter near the edge of the oasis. Now, for the most part, Adlyn didn't believe in monsters, but she knew that on many planets there was strange creatures and wildlife that were dangerous to human's, so she wouldn't go in blindly. But at the same time, she was told this by a child, so it was most likely a story to keep them away from the actual oasis itself; it was thick with brush and fauna like a rain-forest. Smaller than most forests, but big enough for a person to get lost in. Saying that though, she did note that the town was encircling a safe distance from the actual oasis itself, most of the signs of local life being water educators and pumps siphoning from the aquifers underneath... Maybe she should have brought her hound, but with the sand she might've ended up carrying him back to the ship. And he was [i heavy].
Crossing the terrain between the town and to the shelter wasn't difficult, eerily quiet as she got further from town, but not difficult. The shelter in question was in fact uncomfortably close to the oasis as she had discovered, and it looked to be in disrepair. Definitely was Riddick's style to hole himself up in something like this, but she was also surprised it wasn't a cave or something... Although he probably [i did] have a cave or something similar in the event someone like Adlyn came looking for him. He had a high bounty on his head after all, so it was only a matter of time before someone came for the creds.
Now that she was outside of the shelter, staring it down, she waited a moment just to do some listening. A little bit of 'hurry up and wait', but adequately perceiving the situation with one's senses was never a waste of time; a handy lesson she learned from the Argonite Navy... but a lot of the officers she worked with had been exposed to the Argon gas, so their powers of perception were a little [i different] than hers, among [i other] things....
She heard no signs of life on the inside, and didn't see any shadowy movements, so it was likely he wasn't home... [i Or] waiting to ambush her... Most likely the former. If he saw her earlier, he would have definitely tagged her as a mercenary and wouldn't be running back to hide in literally the first place anyone would look... She was still going to look though.
Slowly, she approaches the shelter, keeping herself hyper aware of her surroundings and for any auditory cues... Which was kind of hard, because the wildlife in the dense forest-y oasis were making a lot of noise with their strange hoots, haws, and chitters. Nevertheless, she crept closer, placing one of her hands on one of her guns as she reached the other out to open the door when-
She turns around quickly, pulling out both of her machine-pistols and aiming them at the oasis. Some brush was still moving from whatever or whoever had stirred it. Normally she'd brush it off, but since it occurred nearly at the same time she was going to open the door, she didn't think it was a coincidence. Argonites don't believe in coincidences. Adlyn wasn't like most Argonites who were often considered to be very logical and lack a lot of empathy, but she was still mostly a product of her upbringing, and subscribed to a lot of their practices. The nonexistence of coincidences being one of them.
It could be Riddick. It was [i most likely] Riddick. And from the disturbed brush, it looked like he was heading deeper in to the oasis... [i Fucking great.] It looked like that was where she would be headed too. She places one of the machine pistols back in to its holster under her armpit, but keeps one primed and at the ready. She wasn't here to kill Riddick, but she'd be stupid to go in to the oasis where there were plenty of places for the Man-hunter to hide, unarmed. Not to mention she would also take precautions because of what the locals had said. They were pretty unspecific about exactly what horrors lurked in the the thick rain-forest-like brush, but she'd still be ready to defend herself in the event she was to run in to something she didn't like.
So, with a deep breath, she begin wading through the thick brush and in to the dark oasis.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/9llozSb.jpg]]
Flying down from orbit towards the surface, the [i Flattery C-19] breaks atmosphere and heads towards the town.
“How sure are you Riddick is here?” A man, gruff, with a thick stubble asks.
“As sure as my left nut, Hoss. That bitch Octavia has been all hot and bothered by Riddick since Abenic. She's almost caught up to him a few times now. Missed him by seconds.” He tells the other mercenary. Hoss nods at it, and begins thinking for a second. “Don't hurt yourself now.”
He ignores the insult. “Well, if Riddick is this elusive, and Octavia is a skilled mercenary, then how are we going to catch him?” And he laughs at Hoss' question. Head back, straight from the stomach and everything.
“Because this is a three-man job, Hoss, and I got four. Plus,” He jerks a thumb at himself as the ship lands smoothly, landing gears engaged, and everyone on board begins getting ready to depart for the hunt. “No one gets away from Alexander Toombs.”
[size12 It wasn’t that long ago when he crash landed in the middle of nowhere on this mostly wasteland of a planet. The ship he was piloting was a bit of a beat up thing that he jacked off some traders back on another planet as he was trying to just haul ass out of there. Sure it worked and it flew but it was a rickety old thing. Probably wasn’t supposed to be piloted off world let alone across the universe. It was doomed to crap out at some point. Of course it’s not a matter of IF but WHEN.]
[size12 He found out his when. The ship began to fail when one of the thrusters decided to go kaput. It set off a chain reaction that forced him to steer the bucket of rusted bolts towards a nearby planet. Alarms were blaring, lights were blinking all over the control panel and for some reason the back of the seat broke off. This was going to be a hell of a bumpy landing.]
[size12 Pull up on the steering control to keep as level as possible. Don’t bother with slowing down, that system was out of commision. The thrusters weren’t even doing anything at this point except billowing smoke. The ground was approaching fast. Brace of impact! Boom!]
[size12 He got tossed out of the window and skittered across the ground like a ragdoll. The ship was half buried in the rock and sand and kicked up a hell of a storm of dust. Shaky but still in one piece, he got up off the ground. His left shoulder was dislocated but that wasn’t a big deal. He cracked it back into place and went on with his day. Where the hell was he though?]
[size12 He made his way back into the wreck of the ship to shield from the light and peeked out a crack. He lifted his goggles to get a good look around. Nothing. He moved to another side and looked out another hole in the hull. Still nothing. Just a whole lot of nothing. Night time. He needed to wait for night time to get out to a higher spot to get a better look. And so he waited.]
[size12 And it paid off. He was able to spot what he believed was a settlement. So off he went. It took him about 4 days to get there. Luckily he had some supplies he managed to gather from the ship. To his surprise, he was welcomed into the busy town with smiling faces and open arms. No one seemed to know who he was. Perfect. He was also surprised to see the lush oasis bordering one side of the town. This would be the perfect place to lay low. Get the mercs off his tail.]
[size12 That was several months ago. Riddick has made himself right at home here. No mercs so far. Of course, there could always be a jinx somewhere waiting for him. He had settled into one of the houses that was often reserved for off world visitors stationed on the outskirts of town. There were a few of these housing spots but this one was majorly due for repairs. He was told no one stayed in this particular housing anymore because it was near the oasis. There were dangers in the oasis and the people warned him of them. Riddick wasn’t in the least bit worried. He was already fully aware of what lurked in the jungle like brush. And honestly, it was almost comforting.]
[size12 It was a busy day. Seems it was a big market day. The outskirts were dotted with all kinds of transports from the various other settlements on the planet. Every settlement had access to different things as each oasis supplied different resources. And then the rock supplied different minerals in different areas all over the planet. The town was alive like a disturbed anthill.]
[size12 Riddick had decided to make a bit of a living. Earn a few credits. Keep his animal heart alive. He’d go into the oasis and hunt down a beast or two that gave resources people needed but couldn’t easily get. Or if there was a beast that needed exterminating, they would hire him to take it out with also supplied resources. While he wandered through the town, the hood of his cloak up, something caught his eye. He spotted someone that looked out of place. He stepped aside and lifted his goggles to get a better look and sure enough. There was no mistaking a getup like that. Mercenary. Dammit. But it seemed they weren’t after anyone. Just getting supplies. He kept an eye on the girl till she disappeared from sight. Lowering his goggles, he moved. He found where she was sitting, seemingly lost in thought and appeared in the crowd. He only let just a glimpse of his face show from under his hood, letting her get a small peek. And then, like magic, he was gone.]
[size12 After a short time, he had made his way to the top of the building where the girl was sitting at. He watches as she makes her way through the crowd. He could tell she was utterly shocked.]
[b “This just got a bit interesting.”] [size12 He says to himself with a smirk.]
[+silver “We are within the proper deceleration parameters.”] A mechanical voice says. Despite it telling her that they were basically safe to land, she already knew that; she could read the numbers appearing on the Nav screen, and she's been flying this ship long enough where she could tell if they were in peril or not... Not to mention she was a pretty damn good pilot when she was paying attention. With her knowledge and skills she didn't really need a an AI to tell her when it was safe to land or not... But she didn't have the heart to turn the voice settings to off.
[b “Got it.”] She responds tightly, her lightweight ship kicking back slightly as they began their descent towards the surface of... She didn't remember its name. A backwater planet of mostly oasis towns and wastelands. Kind of a little-nothing rock if you asked her, but their primary export was fuel, and since the place was nothing more than a desperate pile of dust, the fuel was pretty cheap when you bought it from the locals.
The descent was smooth, and as the ship got close to the ground it kicks up a whirlwind of sand before touching down on to the softened ground. The small passenger ship hums for a few more seconds before slowing, and then finally coming to a stop. Once settled for a moment, the rear compartment doors begin lowering, whirring lightly as it slowly edged down in to the sand to form a ramp. And at the top of the ramp was Octavia Adlyn.
Adlyn was a woman of above average height and build, sporting a segmented armoured black and grey jumpsuit with urban-camouflage fatigue pants, black fingerless gloves, and shin high black combat boots. Looking at Adlyn, its easy to assume what she does for a living as strapped across her back and under her arms are shoulder holsters with two automatic pistols housed in them, and on her waist is a utility belt with a grenade and knife strapped to it for easy access. If those all weren't dead give-aways, the angry looking android hound currently residing next to her spoke volumes of her current vocation: this woman was a mercenary.
The hound turns its head, the proximity sensors it had for 'eyes' blinking. [+silver “Shall we proceed?”] The cybernetic canine asked, and she shakes her head.
[b “You'll stay with the ship while I find someone to refuel it.”] She crouches down, holding the canines head in her hands. [b “I also don't want your servos and gears to get mucked up with sand... Where are we again?”]
She nods her head at that. [b “Right.”] A long way from the Argonite System, that was for sure... But being away from her home system wasn't exactly the worst thing in the world. Apparently she had left at a pretty optimal time as tensions between the Argonites and the Aquilans were ramping up again. Last she heard they were engaged in a Cold War. But the bullshit blood feud that has been going on between the Argonites and Aquilans has never really been a major concern for Adlyn; maybe while she was still serving in the Navy, but certainly not now as a mercenary, and far removed from the politics of it all. Its also why she never got homesick.
[b “Alright, I'm gonna go get someone to refuel the ship and see what the local cuisine is like.”] Adlyn tells the hound before standing up and treading down the ramp. After that, it only took a few minutes to arrange for a fuel-skiff to tend to her ship, and speak with the locals about food and supplies. Despite being a bunch of trader towns surrounding oases, they had quite a lot to give and were more than happy to share with someone who wasn't from around here. She made sure to get herself acquainted with the local authorities and become familiar with the local wildlife and fauna. The last thing she wanted to do was get herself killed because she was unaware of the horned man-sized lizards that hid in the sand outside of the towns.
The sun here was hot and bright, which made Adlyn regret the attire she was currently wearing. But at the same time, the sunlight let her look on at the locals as they went through their everyday lives. Currently sat under a wooden gazebo, Adlyn sipped a sweet tasting drink the locals had given her while she waited. And while she waited, she continued to watch the locals and their routines. There were a surprising amount of people in this little town, but she had soon gathered that they had probably come in from other towns, as caravans, wagons, and skiffs all dotted the edge of town as their owners and occupants crowded in to haggle and trade.
The rampant conversations and humdrum bustling was almost enough to make her forget why she was out in the middle of nowhere. [i Almost].
It was a few years ago when Adlyn had first set eyes on him. She'd never call it a chance encounter, not in a million years. No, she had been hunting him. And so had a few others. What had felt like a standard job with high pay ended up leading to a wild goose chase that had now spanned longer than she was comfortable admitting. There was just something about the way he moved, how he sounded, and how he took life as easy as he took a breath that made her crave more. She couldn't explain it, but after that encounter—one where she was lucky to have survived—Adlyn had decided she needed to see more of him.
At first she had convinced herself she was just in shock, and that this was about the credits when it came down to it. So she pursued him, and it got more and more frustrating each time. It wasn't about the credits anymore, not after the sleepless nights she would have because of it. It had started to drive her mad the time and effort she had put in to trying to track him down. She was nearly in the red because she would chase down nearly every lead she possibly could. The salt on the wound was that each time she just miss him by a moment, sometimes even seconds. It was only recently had she decided that she would give up on her search, as she was becoming a near wreck. The pace she was going, the [i way] she was going, she was going to burn herself up like a meteor in orbit. So instead, she resolved to throw herself in to her work; make back the creds she lost on her foolish flights of fancy. It worked for the most part, but sometimes her mind did wonder...
“Miss Octavia?” A voice tears through her thoughts like a scalpel, and she turns to look at the man. “We are done refuelling your ship.”
[b “Perfect.”] Adlyn finishes off her drink. [b “I'll be right there.”] She turns to look back at the crowd one lat time when... She blinks.
A man in a dark hood in the crowd. The sculpted jaw. The taught muscular frame. The [i goggles]. She blinks again, and little a shadow, they disappeared, either from thought or in to the crowd... [b “Riddick.”] She manages as her heart beats in to her throat. Was it really him? Here? No, that was impossible. She'd tracked him down for months before and hadn't even managed to look at him like she just did now. Was it the heat? Was she finally just going crazy? Maybe a bit of both, but either or it was about time she got off of this rock. She turns her back on the crowd to begin her walk back to her ship, but then she stops. The beating in her chest didn't settle down, and what she saw played back in her memory clear as the day was... It couldn't have been her mind playing tricks on her... Could it?
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