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JP: MSNPCs Orh'am & Cth'am "Making The Path"


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((OOC:  The first of two incredible JP's establishing an antagonist for the Thor's current mission, The Lost Colony.  Fantastic alien characterization and perspective work @Alex Brodie & @Alieth!))

 

((Underground Caverns, Vel Maijan))

They moved through the tunnel of the serrated stalagmites. It was a narrow passage they rarely followed, their resources long ago exhausted. But there was something new, something strange there.

The youngest of them halted at the front, rested on his forelegs, and tested the air with the tip of his long tongue. He let the essence pass through the specialized organs inside his mouth during the time it took for the water to drip from the distant roof three times.

Then, and only then, did he emit a series of high-pitched clicks that expressed his excitement

They were on the right track, what they were looking for was in front of them.

The larger of the two followed behind, their ponderous movements slow and deliberate in comparison to their companions more excitable energy. The plates of mineralized skin flexed as they shifted through the network of tunnels that spanned the subsurface. Shifting through the narrow gaps between the rock formations.

Moving into the larger cavern to join their young cohort they were able to stand and stretch - their frame unfurling as they tested the air - familiar, stale. It was unmistakable though, there was something new in the atmosphere. Something rich and powerful...something they hadn’t tasted before.

It had been many cycles since the Scourge had befallen them - though after all this time there was little point in concerning themselves with the past. The present crisis was the priority for the colony.

He emanated a series of clicks as he dragged a claw across the exposed rock-face, scaring the surface and sampling the dust that remained. It wasn’t the most nourishing but would provide some sustenance in the short term. A second clawed swipe dislodged a larger clast, and he broke it in two, passing one to the youngling.

He gnawed at the stone delicately, paused the gesture for a brief moment, and then resumed it shortly, his movements less enthusiastic than they had initially been. A questioning murmur rumbled deep in his throat. A question. And a complaint.

The older Azcou looked at the younger and understood the reaction - but it was all they had.

The smaller one leaned his head to the side and clicked his jaws briefly. The tunnel in front of them sang in reply, its nooks and crannies repeating the older's rhyme. And there, almost at the edge of the echo, was the oddity. The novelty.

The slender creature wriggled a few strides forward, his slender limbs carrying him swiftly and efficiently in the direction of their objective. However, soon he halted, bristling with the thin mineral deposits that covered his body.

The older creature came close behind the younger one, sniffed the air...yes...he could smell it too. It wouldn’t be far now…

The two creatures continued down the dark path - their scales hardening and changing for what was to come. They knew the unknown was a risk...and they also knew there was little alternative.

They must have travelled miles - not that it mattered. The larger Azcou took another sample from the wall and lashed it with his tongue. The marked area began to effervesce and the material began to turn to an amorphous gel.

He clicked and hissed as he saw the look on his fellows face.

Orh’am: Are you going to feed a young baby, Cth'am? ::The younger one's clicks rang out cheeky, but with the playfulness that comes with acquaintance.::

Cth’am: I’m not as young as I once was…neither are my teeth.

Orh'am produced a low, rumbling sound in the lower part of his ribcage, and pursed his lips gently, revealing the sharp set of needle-like teeth that embellished his jaws. 

Orh’am: You still have many cycles left in you, my old friend. The colony needs you. 

The younger one's gurgling had sounded reassuring, but as soon as the silence thickened among them once more, it grew increasingly serious. That was not an expedition for leisure, but rather for need. 

Cth’am: How far do you think to the source?

The smaller one turned his head forward, and repeated the sound again, showing the intricate skein of corridors in front of them. The reverberations built up the complex image in the frontal part of his brain, as clear as if he were seeing them. 

He knew that Orh'am saw the same thing as him, his echolocation senses as sharp as his own and attuned to the same frequencies.

Orh’am: Half a cycle if we follow the tunnels. ::He tilted his head and pursed his lips again::. About a quarter of that time if we open a new one.

The larger Azcou turned his attention to the cave wall...it would take some effort but it would still be faster.

Cth’am: Then we dig.

Orh'am said naught and just wagged his long tail swiftly. The whistle it produced expressed his acquiescence to the plan.

Cth’am unfurled his large frame, his tail extending out behind him as he bent forwards to face the cavern wall. He pulled back and brought a driving slash down across the rack face - the stone splintering and shattering under the blow. 

The younger Azcou lingered behind, sat on his hind legs while he monitored the progress of his more robust and muscle-bound comrade. Once Cht'am had worn himself out, he would take over, progressing quickly through the stone outcropping that stood in their path. There was no time to spare. 

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Written By

 

Ensign Alieth (Orh’am)

Medical Officer

USS Thor NCC-82607

Writer ID:  E239702A10

&

Lt. Cmdr. Alexander Brodie (Cth’am)

Chief Counselor

USS Thor NCC-82607

Writer ID.: A239005BM0

 

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