A Good Talking Too

A few minutes later, the noise got louder. It was obviously heading directly for them, and when the truck stopped, and the door opened, Jamie stepped out with his bow drawn back.
"Don't move." He called out as a challenge, and stepped around the truck.
"Don't shoot, even." came back the reply. Jamie relaxed his stance, and lowered the bow, returning the arrow to his quiver.
"Where the hell did you get that from?" He asked, and everyone else came out from behind the trees.
"some military guys got it stuck in quicksand, even." Janky replied, indicating the wet sand still stuck to the outside of the truck. "They pulled it out and I knocked them out when they were tired, even."
"And what were you thinking, leaving us alone here?" Cass asked, irritated once more.
"I was only gone for half an hour, even." Janky replied, not seeing the problem.
"In half an hour, a creatures from the jungle could have eaten one of us." Jamie said, "This truck should save a couple of hours off our trip though. I doubt we'll get it all the way."
"Do we want to alert whoever is there to our approach?" Cass said, scanning the truck with her terminal. "This thing gives off signals like a beacon."
Eve walked up to janky, gave him a stern look like only a wife can, and berated him. "You need to stop taking over Jaxx like this. You're going to get him in trouble. Is he even awake with all of this going on?"
"Lighten up, even. I got us some transport!" Franky replied, justifying his actions.

"We're running low on time." Cass said. "Everyone in, we will discuss this on the way."
"Which way do we need to go, even?" Franky asked, aimed at Jamie.
"I'm driving." Jamie said. "You can get told off by Cass and Eve while I concentrate on getting us there safely."

Franky/Jaxx dropped his jaw as if he was shocked and turned to see the others were a bit miffed at him. However Cass was in a foul mood and rushed everyone onboard the transport before the lecture ensued. Franky/Jaxx helped pack the transport before climbing in to see some scary female glares staring right at him. Franky/Jaxx covered his lips with two fingers in a feminine manner and replied, “Oceans to Murgatroyd it seems I have three angry kitten before me, even.” Cass glared at Franky/Jaxx as she replied, “Don’t give me that crap! You left us vulnerable to an attack by not telling us where you went!” Jade replied, “You could have at least woke us up before you took off!” Evelina clenched up her fists and took a deep breath to calm down before she replied, “Why didn’t you at least wake us up? Did Jaxx know about this?” Franky/Jaxx smirked in a feminine pose and replied, “Of course not even he is still sleeping like a baby. Look ladies, you all had a rough night even, and those soldiers were making such a racket. So I let you all slumber for a bit longer while I acquired some transportation even.”

Cass, Jade and Evelina lectured Franky for almost two hours on how they want him to be a team player.

Evelina sighed as she replied, “Look Franky I know you meant well but like you said we are all on edge right now. I don’t know how you normally do things where you are from but as long as you are with us you need to at least work with us.” Franky/Jaxx then smirked as he struck a feminine pose and replied, “Oceans to Murgatroyd, even you folks are to tense. But in lite of events I’ll try to be more accommodating even.” Cass scoffed as she wanted to vent but Jade calmed her down. Evelina replied, “Look Franky, Jaxx is in the hot seat because he acted independently of the crew and it caused a lot of waves. I know you’re not a crew member, but since you’re in Jaxx’s body he will be held accountable for your actions as well.” Jade replied, “She is right. When Jaxx went on his solo missions he would often endanger us or create a new problem for us. So before you do anything else please communicate with us so we can be on the same page.” Cass scoffed as she commented, “He is almost as bad as Jaxx.” Franky/Jaxx raised his eye brow at Cass and put his hands on his hips in a feminine manner as he replied, “Oh my even. While I do apologize for my lack of decorum, I wish you all to understand something. As a Calamar Master Monk I was raised to operate mostly on single missions. The only partners I had were either my mentors or my students even. In the last nine centuries I have seen and done more than your delicate little minds could handle even. You could say I have been around the block a few million times even. When I left you all you were clearly in no danger, however it would have been proper had I informed you of the situation, so in the future I will less aloof even.”

"Ok, I understand, even. I don't want my cute apprentice to get into trouble for my actions, even", Franky replied. Evelina replied, “And then let Jaxx take over again.” Franky smiled as he closed his eyes for a moment. After a minute Jaxx woke up with a dazed and confused look on his face as he muttered, “Huh? Wuts like going on?” Jaxx saw glares from Cass, Jade and Evelina and quickly made a nervous face as he replied, “Like wut ever I did I’m like sorry and stuff.” Evelina looked at the nervous Jaxx and replied, “It’s not you this time. Your friend Franky was in the wrong this time.” Jaxx nervously rubbed the back of his head as he nervously replied, “Oh wow. I like guess like we all do something bogus eventually huh?” Evelina smiled as she shook her head and hugged Jaxx as she replied, “Jaxx please listen to Jay and me ok?” Jaxx replied, “Sure thing Eve babe. By the way like where are we going?” Evelina filled Jaxx in on what happened since he went to sleep till he just woke up.

"We're here." Jamie said. "At least, as far as we can take the truck." he added. In front of them was a clump of trees thicker than the truck, and a gap only big enough to walk through, single file.
"How do the trees grow so close together here?" Jade asked, with interest.
"It's just one plant." Jamie said. "I call it a cluster-tree. From what I can gather, they take over entire areas, just so they can get enough water. We should refill our water bottles before we go on."
They all climbed out of the truck, and Jamie approached one of the tree-trunks. He withdrew a knife, and stabbed it into the tree. He held a water bottle underneath it, and removed the knife. Water poured out and filled all of their bottles. Jamie then slapped a handful of mud on the 'wound', so it stopped emptying any more.
"Are you sure this water is safe to drink?" Cass asked. Jamie answered by taking a mouthful from his bottle. "It's even got some nutrients in it from the tree." he replied. That seemed to satisfy everyone.
"Ok, let's go. It'll take us about an hour to get there from here. Maybe half, if this tree is the only thing around here."
Jamie took point, his bow ready, but not drawn. he cautiously led them as fast as he could through the maze of cluster-tree towards their destination.
A short time later...
"Pantheon, Serraco Enterprises." Jamie said, quizically. "Never heard of it." He was reading it from the side of a pre-fabricated building that looked like it had been dumped a long time ago, and the jungle was starting to reclaim it. They turned stealthy in case anyone was still around, and rounded the corner.
"Ahh, that looks like the source of the explosion." Cass said, indicating the wrecked hulk of a transport.
"Good news then, it wasn't Jay's Jetbike." Jade said, happy that this had turned out ok.

Jaxx looked around as looked at the destruction around him and then at the building. Evelina looked at Jaxx and asked, “What is it Jaxx?” Jaxx made a worried look on his face as he replied, “I smell dead stuff.” Evelina replied, “Well I imagine someone was killed in the blast.” Jaxx shook his head as he replied, “Naaw Eve babe like old dead stuff.” Jade looked at Jaxx and asked, “What do you mean Jaxx?” Jaxx rubbed his head as he tried to make sense of it before he replied, “Like you know when we like get hurt or die we like have a bad smell?” Jade nodded and replied, “Of course.” Jaxx replied, “Well like when the wound or dead body are left to long the smell gets different?” Jade replied, “Yes because the bacteria is taking over. What are you getting at?” Jaxx looked worried as he looked at Jade and said, “It smells like that stuff, but I totally don’t see any dead bodies.” Evelina grabbed Jaxx’s webbed hand and commented, “This like Night of the Living Dead creepy.” Jaxx looked at Evelina with a confused look as he replied, “Huh? Wuts that?” Evelina replied, “Oh that’s right I haven’t made you watch any Zombie movies yet. Its stories about the dead coming back to life to eat the living.” Jaxx made a grossed out face as he replied, “Spew! That’s totally messed up Eve babe. Is like that stuff real?” Jade sighed as she replied, “Not likely but stay alert just in case. It worries me to not see any bodies either.” Jaxx then looked around and said, “So like which way do we go and stuff?” Cass checked her terminal and saw some weird readings on it, but the interference made it hard to verify. Cass smacked her terminal as she replied, “Stupid interference!” Jade looked at Jamie and asked, “Any tracks we can follow Jamie?” Jaxx pointed at the ground at an unusual print on the ground and asked, “Ummmm? Like wuts this Jungle Jamie dude?” Jamie looked at Jaxx after his Jungle Jamie dude comment but ignored it and looked at the print. After examining the print Jamie looked around and found the pattern and said, “Hmmmmmmm. It looks like a few humans and a robot were here not long ago. Perhaps we should follow them to see if they are friendly or foe.” Cass nodded as she replied, “Yeah well it seems to be our only lead thus far.”

TAG (What awaits the crew at the end of the tracks?)

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