I have recently set out with a group of 12 on a zoology expedition in the Ralltiir System. I thought it would be an interesting way to get out, enjoy a hobby and have a drink and cigar in the process. It will also give me the opportunity to study the animals in their natural habitat and perhaps bring samples back for scholarly use in The Guild. We will be doing 4 grid square loops each 2 day search, sleeping out one night, before heading back for a rest aboard my ship, Equilibrium. I have my C3, Karma, in orbit with a few extra supplies if required and if the worst happens and some of the team are lost, we have some other willing volunteers to join us. The team with me are trained hunters, they will be watching my back during the expedition, though of course, I do have my own blaster along with me, just in caseYear 14 Day 76
Today we landed in a mix terrain area, hoping that we would see more of a variety of creatures with that. The best landing spot identified was on a desert area to the North East of our study patch. We were assured this area would be clear of others, except perhaps poachers and small looting parties. To the west of us was the mountain area we would be heading to secondly, to the south west was a rocky outlay, probably fall off from the mountains a long time ago, but now a haven for creatures thriving in rock habitats, a prime area for Mynocks and Granite Slugs. We would finish the study with the swamp area to the south, the thought being we would become dirtiest there and therefore need our wash at the ship that night.
The desert area was clear when we came in to land, no sight of animals nearby, but certainly Sand Panther tracks visible. Not that this meant we would see one of course, but what a treat that would be! This was creature native to my own home world, Corellia, which had spread somewhat throughout the galaxy now. It was much disputed as to the reasons for this of course, whether it be through natural means or introduction to the environment by some other intervention, but either way, they had somehow thrived. The Sand panther wouldn't be the most dangerous creature native to this terrain, other beasts held much higher levels of violent tendencies and aggression.
We set out across the terrain, macro binoculars searching for any life forms, but as the day was nearing its middle, we had to concede perhaps we had not put long enough into the day and we may not find anything. Sighing a note of resignation on my part, and mutters of irritation from my counterparts, we jumped into the Kettifree Air Mover we were using as our ground transport and headed west towards the mountain region. No sooner had we done this however, when a loud cry similar to that of grinding metal rang out across the dunes. The driver stopped the vehicle and we quickly dismounted, trying in vain to establish where the cry had emanated from, with only a whipping up of sand over a nearby dune giving a clue. I scrambled forward, reaching the edge of the dune before my colleagues and peaked over. There, in all its beauty stood a Krayt Dragon. It was wonderful, scales glinting shades of silver and green in the sunlight which baked the reptiles outer body. A cold blooded animal, it suited the desert conditions and thrived in them. I had always wanted to see one, but had only ever managed before at a distance. Now I lay not 100 paces from one as it basked in the midday sun. Its long tongue hung slightly from its incredibly toothy jawline. The tail was spasming every now and again, possibly a dream state for the Krayt causing signals to pass from its brain to its body. What a glorious creature to behold.
As my colleagues reached me, it soon became obvious that some had become to irritated and impatient with my studies. 6 of the 12 started forward towards the beast, obviously hoping they could take her down and claim a trophy from her, but they under estimated her. Kass Kwai, a Hutt was first to die, her speed a major set back as the dragon swept her aside with two blows to the chest, but four others fell in quick succession. Only one of the six, Nara Dontin, a human, managed to scramble back to our group, who were out of range of the dragon enough that they could fire. And fire they did. The dragon did not go down quickly, taking hit after hit without so much as a cry of pain until finally, Nara herself managed to deliver the killer blow, a bowcaster round to the head. The dragon slumped to the ground and out of respect for the beast, I ordered that no trophy be taken, instead pushing the men back to the Kettifree to move on. I felt for the beast. It had been so comforted resting in the sun before my men had arrived. Cursing slightly, I climbed into the Kettifree and ordered the driver on to the mountains. We left the dead where they were, they had been stupid enough to attack a sleeping dragon, when one should just let them lay. As we traveled, I administered a bacta patch to Nara’s wounds, my medical experience coming in handy for once.
When we reached the mountain range, the mood was sombre, so I decided it best we set up camp and res for the night. I could perhaps do a quick wildlife sweep in the morning, but I didn’t expect any results at all from it. One would think the drama was over but it was not. We hadn’t anticipated a Nautolan poacher pack in the mountains with us. That being, they were quickly dispatched, obviously aware of the fact the troops I had with me, or at least those that were left, far outweighed them in skill.
A sad day to lose men, but tomorrow I hope will hold something better for us.