Lt. Cmdr. DeVeau - "Find A Mate" (Backsim)

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Amanda Nordstrom

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Jan 11, 2019, 10:54:37 PM1/11/19
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((Planet Limbo, Day 51))

::Alora had said goodbye to the river several days prior as it had curved away from the course she had set from the very first day.  Although the trek had been slow and difficult, she had continued in the directly her shuttle had been going.  Despite the fact she’d yet to meet anyone else, she was not going to give up.  Wherever they were was huge - in comparison to her legs and without flight - so it was possible the other shuttles had just managed to go much further.  Hopefully, they hadn’t crashed.::

::The forest had closed in above her, shielding more of the sunlight, yet it was still bright, and heartening.  Shade, however, was easier to find, and the glare had diminished significantly.  As she sifted through the underbrush, was glad to get on her way, but alas, it would take a little more energy to catch game.  Several types of fish of a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours had teemed in the waters, and she could almost simply kick them from the shallows.  In addition, a large, green water fowl with a ladle shaped bill had proved to be not only easy to catch, but quite delicious.  However, they were behind her, and she would have to resume setting up traps.  The nights, too, had become darker, and for a couple of hours during the afternoon each day, the humming continued, growing louder with every step.::

::All in all, it still wasn’t bad.  Game was plentiful, as was fruit.  Although there was no way Alora would ever climb a tree to get at it, often times, she could shake the younger ones, and ripe fruits would fall to the ground.  There was one that grew in a pod of sorts, and she could tell when those were ripe due to the coverings having split open.  When she first managed to knock one day by slinging a rock at it, she’d made a slingshot and practised her aim.  Every day, it improved, though she doubted she could kill anything using it at that point.::

::That particular day, Sachiko had been bounding along behind her, beside her, behind her again, jumping around like the little ball of energy that she was.  Suddenly, though, she stopped, pricker her ears, then hurried to catch up and hover close to Alora.  Over the course their time that, the young science officer had learned to recognise that as a word of caution.  Either something was coming, or they were walking into something.  Immediately, Alora slowed down and glanced around.  Lost in her thoughts, she hadn’t noticed how the trees were thinning.  A bright light and darker swath of green shine ahead, and a few moments later, she realised they were entering an area that was more open.::

::As she stepped to the edge of one line of trees, she could see others scattered about, but each extended along a mountain that rose from the middle of the forest, stretching toward the sky.  Most of brae was covered in more trees, but toward the crest, grey streaked through, then turned white at the very tip.   It loomed over the forest around it, as if expecting adoration. Before her, at the bottom, the trees thinned out into a shallow valley, where only a mottleing or brush interrupted great swaths of grass. Unlike the mountain, it was the sight there that took Alora’s breath away.::

::Mingling among the bits of brush and what few trees dared to stake their claim, were a three of the large beast that she had named Mantilons.  Hovering behind a trunk to keep from being spied, Alora watched, wide-eyed at the creatures that milled about, revealing one more than she had first anticipated.  Quite aware of the danger she could be in, Alora still could not bear to move.  The elusive specimen had been spotted on more than one occasion, but Alora had learned to read the signs of one’s approach. Had she come across one hunting, she doubted she would have had any warning - unless Sachiko had been able to sense one.::

::That thought made Alora pause and peer down at the little feline.  Had she?  The cat had often seemed to notice things, and brought attention to things before they had come to Alora’s by the sheer fact that something had appeared right in front of her face.  Had there been ties where Sachiko’s strange before had kept Alora out of true danger?::

::It was not a question Alora could fathom for long, for the scene was far too delectable not to drink in.  She focused on the animals.  One, the smallest of the group, had chosen a tree against which to stretch and scratch, every moment extended, as if it had all the time in the world.  The four others stood, ears pricked forward, eyes focused on that single one until the smaller stopped and wound around the tree, and yawned.::

::One of the larger started toward the smaller, but another stepped in and snapped.  That began a scuffle which turned into an all out fight.  A third also started, but that was when the fourth decided not to allow the third to get anywhere close.  It was then that Alora realised what was happening - four beaus were coming to call and only one of them would be chosen as a mate for the queen.::

::Fascinated, Alora remained crouched on the ground, watching the movie play out.  Eventually the four all seemed to exchange brawl partners.  At point point, three were fighting and the forth started to make a beeline for the female, only to get pulled back in.::

::Finally, one trotted off, unwilling to continue.  A second followed, and soon there were only two left.  The final fight lasted the longest.  Claws slashed at each other, fur flew through the air, and dark, orange blood flowed over the otherwise flawless coats of the beast, all while the female looked on, as if she were bored. Growls sounded, screeches raged, but the last sound was choked out.  The male that finally won had not been the largest, but of the others, but he had managed to twist and grab hold of his competitor’s throat, just below where the hood and jaw met, then held on.  As might as his enemy had been, the other male thrashed, but could not gain release, and eventually fell to his death.  It was only then the female rose to greet the winner, her tongue caressing over the wounds of her new mate.  Then, together, him limping and her leaning alongside him, they ambled into the depths of the trees, not a hundred feet where they’d had an unexpected audience.::

::Once they past, Alora let out the breath she had been holding, then flopped down on to her back, arms spread. Her items that adorned her belt bit into her back, but she didn’t care.  What a spectacle!  And she had been witness!  Alora almost couldn’t wait to meet up with the others and tell them the fantastical display she had seen!::

::Sitting up, that grounded the scientist.  As much as she wanted to bask in the glory of it, Alora knew she needed to go on.  Yet, there was an opportunity there.  One of the animals had been left for dead, and since the contest had just occurred, surely it would be safe to go and examine the creature.  She would take the time to do so, then continue her journey.  After all, she was a scientist and an explorer - and this was a chance to explore.::

--
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Science Officer
USS Veritas
M239008AD0
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