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Taris II: Electric Boogaloo

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You did WHAT?”

Needless to say, Carth is not pleased. He hadn’t been happy to be sent back to the apartment, replaced in the group by Zaalbaar, but he’d understood that Ari had wanted to see what the Wookie could do, and that Mission and Zaalbarr were already a good team. He’d completely understood that part and had used the time back at the apartment to find more supplies and keep his head low.

But then Ari had come back limping, bite marks in their shoulder, stinking to high heaven of sewer, rahkghoul, and explosives. Mission too, with Zaalbar helping them both in. He had grabbed medkits immediately and was promised a briefing after they all had gotten some degree of fixed up and clean. Especially clean. Carth is glad for his strong stomach, because the smell is beyond revolting. 

He does not like the briefing.

“What?” Mission pipes up from where she is sorting her haul of guns and mines (on that note, MINES. HOW DID THEY FIND SO MANY MINES). “We didn’t die and we got the prototype. That sounds like a good trip to me!”

“A good tr- you had to fight a rancor!” Carth isn't sure if he's getting close to hysterical or if he's just incredulous. Probably a bit of both, but he crosses his arms over his chest and glares at his travelling companion. "You could have died!"

Ari nods and shrugs, rubbing the bandages tied around their hands. "Well, yeah. We couldn't sneak around it - Zaalbar can't stealth like Mission and I can, and there was a whole bunch of Black Vulkars on the other side. Engaging it directly was the only solution."

He hates to admit that's a good point and just sighs. “You fought a rancor. Underground. With mines and grenades.”

Tactically, he understood the plan. They couldn’t go near it and guns did very little damage. This had been an effective way. But he’d almost felt the ground shift. That was not a good sign. Besides, Ari is sitting there far too nonchalantly, back against the wall while sitting on the floor, legs splayed out and arms loosely balanced on their thighs. It's more than a bit infuriating. The things that might happen if they had failed in their chance to get Bastila...

“Carth, it barely even got a chance to attack us. Just charged right into the mines. A couple of grenades for dessert and down it went,” Ari gives a sloppy grin at that. "I wish you could have seen it."

Carth grimaced. “You should have brought me with you.”

“What else would you have done? Lectured it to death?” Ari raised an eyebrow. “Besides, it was oddly fun.”

“Fun?” Zaalbaar groaned from a corner, resting the various bruises he’d gotten from the Black Vulkars. “I hate to see what you call a bad day.”

“I apologize in advance for the bad day that will inevitably come,” Ari smiles. 

Carth puts his face into his hands and sighs as loudly as he can. Logically, he knows that there was no other course of action. Ari had to rescue Zaalbar to get the location to the Black Vulkar base, the base was blocked by a rancor, they had to kill the rancor and then strip the base to find the prototype. He understands this, logically. But that was not fun. This was important. The fate of the Republic was in their hands - they had to find Bastila. There was no real room for fun here - just business to get this done. But here is this Republic Scout - which he had so many questions about and he is definitely going to interrogate them more about this later - charming their way through deals, blowing up underground areas with far too many frag grenades, kicking Vulkars in the nuts before shooting them in the face with a blaster rifle, and having way too fun while doing it. 

He pinches the bridge of his nose and starightens up. "Fine. Now we have to take that prototype to the Hidden Beks and get you into that swoop bike race. Have you ever ridden a swoop bike before?"

They are already standing up, shrugging. "I'm sure I can figure it out."

Carth stares for a moment and mutters, "Goddammit."

...they are all definitely going to die. Or fight another rancor. Or have Bastila rescue them instead. Carth knows it.