Hog Tied Ssala

The group had been walking for a while, and Jamie had been wondering how best to describe the Haruk. While true that he had not had many "dealings" with them, that was only in the civilised sense.

"The Haruk are definitely nasty slaver types. They love to capture anyone of any race they can find, and enslave them for any work they are capable of doing. If your friend is strong, she will build. If she's not strong, she will build badly. And that's not good." Jamie said.

"So... they're savages with an amount of intelligence?" Seymour asked. It reminded him of most of the races they had met on their travels across the galaxy. In his mind, he was deciding on the best ambassadorial approach for their first meeting.

"They are surprisingly civilised. From looking at them, you'd never realise they bury their dead!" Jamie said, describing them to everyone.

"I used up most of my ammo because I had one of their corpses on my doorstep, not realising this. Once I tossed it below, down the hill, they left me alone." He continued.

"Now, most of the creatures i've met here are scared of the clicking sound my gun makes, which is why it's great that we have a second now." He said, though at this point he had a quiver of homemade arrows on his back, and a nice Longbow that would have made an old englishman jealous. His sword with a Space-Corps logo on it was tied to his belt. To someone trained in such things, they would notice the disproportionate muscles in his shoulders, the downside of using such a strong bow.

"So you're telling me they are intelligent enough to bury their dead, but not enough to recognise when a gun is out of ammo?" Seymour said. A clever enough question for an Ambassador, and since Jamie had never met the man before, he had no idea how much of a failure most of his diplomatic missions had been.

"Hey, that's a great advantage for us." Jay said. "We have to take all advantages we can get."

"If you want advantages, there are several poisonous plants on this planet." Jamie said. His new friends had re-civilised him somewhat, forcing him to calm down from his heightened state of agitation.

"Some of them look perfectly edible, but are actually deadly." He added, "and there are even some with great medicinal properties."

Jade approached the trio, "Are you a Botanist?" She asked. "It would be great to know what kind of helpful herbs grow on this planet."

"No, not a botanist. Just a good listener. The Ssala are good at this kind of thing. Poisonous and helpful plants have been used in uprising attempts throughout their history." Jamie said. While he had stopped being so agitated with his speech, he was still gesticulating a spectacularly large amount.

"See up there?" he said, pointing to fruit on a tree. "That looks like a pear, right? That one is actually deadly poisonous. You can tell by the red patch near the stalk, but the rest is green. But the tree next to it, that's mostly red, with green splotches. Doesn't look apetising, but they are actually quite delicious. If we get a chance, I'll tell you about- "

<paraphrased snip>

"Guys" Davie hissed, cutting Jamie off. He was lying on a dirt ridge ahead of the group. "You've gotta see this!"

</paraphrased snip>

"They are the Ssala." Jamie said, lying next to Davie. Being the 'native' of the planet, he moved forward to see if it was safe for everyone else.

"Which one, the big guy or the little guys?" Davie asked.

"The little ones. The big guy is a Haruk. It looks like he has taken child-slaves from the local Ssala tribe. They will be happy to have them back."

Up ahead of them, a Haruk was carrying a couple of Ssala tied to a big stick. He was obviously taking them back to their city as slaves. They were hog-tied to the stick, like pigs.

The Haruk was huge. He towered above all of the humans spying on him. He looked poor - the clothing he had barely covered his decency. Above that, his blue skin seemed to shimmer slightly, like scales. This only extended up part way, when it smoothed out. His head and face was longer than that of a human, almost like the beginnings of a lizard head. These looks made it obvious to those who understand anatomy, that they are incredibly powerful, and mostly muscle.

The Ssala he was carrying were small - about half average human height. They had a much lighter colouring to their skin, a very light blue-grey.

"We have two options. We can either follow him back to their city, or we can save the Ssala, and enlist their help. Personally, we stand a better chance at saving your friend if we get help from the Ssala.

<Tag! for plot purposes, this Haruk is not a part of the city - only hoping to buy his way in with slave offerings. So we don't need to worry about the Ssala suffering reprisal! Jamie knows the language. 10 years is long enough to pick up the entire language, which makes sense considering the length of time Cass has been captive!>

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