Mandrake leads the outcasts to the Kybuck corral and let them know they were tamed and trained for riders. His Kybucks Andyr, Lyle, Lothor, Rowan, Dash, Barhis, and Marcus, named after his fallen mercenary squad, were relatively calm and accepting of the riders fore the most part. Hilliard jumped on Rowan who for some reason seemed quite fond of him, and even cooed in appreciation and then quickly ran after the speeder bike without a moment’s hesitation while Tal jumped on Lothor who willingly took him as a rider with no problem and ran off following Hilliard. Unfortunately for Gaph the Kybuck Barhis wasn’t too fond of him and started to buck and sway, quickly Gaph patted it on the head and calmed it down enough so it started to follow a little further behind Tal.
As the Kybucks continue to close ground on the speeder bike the outcasts can’t help but notice how fast the creatures really are, able to keep up with a speeder bike going full speed through the jungles. Large mushrooms and various other plants and fungai streak by faster than their eyes could even process, and the ground whips by at an incredible pace. The kybucks provided a relatively smooth ride, and it is clear that they knew the terrain far better than they could ever hope. They watched in amazement as they leapt, turned, twisted and dodged between the massive growths of the fungal forest. As they continued the terrain started to change as the kybucks ran into what appeared to be a massive fungal swamp. Shallow pools of water littered the landscape as the kybucks sent up huge splashes of water as their hoofed feet passed through the puddles. Large, multicolored fungai drooped low over the landscape, and huge birds swooped down to scoop up prey.
The fungal swamp was so thick it felt as if it was closing in on them. Gaph’s kybuck started speeding up despite the uneven terrain of the swamp and unknowingly bypassed Hilliard and Tal. As the area started to open up again he saw more clearly ahead and noticed the speeder bike was about 360 feet ahead, about the distance of a long range blaster shot, seizing the opportunity Gaph took a few shots but it was still hard to hit the scout trooper as he weaved in and out of the terrain.
Hilliard and Tal started to feel as though the jungle was continuing to close in on them as if at any minute they would be swallowed whole. Though they couldn’t see more than 100 feet ahead, they heard the splashing footsteps of Gaph’s kybuck ahead and started to follow the sound until the jungle finally started to open up again as they found the right path.
Finally out of the fungal swamp they could all see clearly ahead again which revealed a fork in the road. On one side there was a path through a large hollowed out trunk of what used to be a massive tree that probably was destroyed during the Clone Wars, on the other side was a path that was covered with thick foliage. Unfortunately they were not sure which path the scout trooper had taken so they split up. Gaph went through the tree trunk while Hilliard and Tal decided to take the path through the thick foliage.
Gaph was then traveling through a series of hollow logs and underground tunnels. The ceiling was so low his kybuck started to duck its head and he decided it was wise to follow suit. As he zipped through he saw chucks of moss and other fungi drooping down from above while the breaks in the ceiling let the occasional ray of light shine down upon him. Although the ceiling was low and there were plenty of things hanging from it that could have given Gaph a problem he passed through with great ease, his kybuck never faltered, in fact he had actually picked up speed, just when Gaph began to feel he might have chosen the wrong path he sees the speeder bike approximately 300 feet ahead and decided to take another few shots, which unfortunately also missed.
Meanwhile Hilliard in Tal, who took the other path through the thick foliage, quickly found themselves smack dab in the middle of some hazardous terrain. Among the ground there were all kinds of sinkholes and trenches which caused their kybucks to quickly leap over the small gorges and chasms with bouncing grace. As the kybucks bounded through the area they dipped and rose along with the terrain making it very difficult for them to see too far ahead. Hilliard’s Kybuck started to falter a bit as it stumbled over an unseen obstacle as its velocity started to decrease in order for it to get a hold of itself through this uneasy terrain. Despite the minor difficulty it seems to regain its footing and starts to pick up its pace again as he entered the clearing ahead. Tal managed to get through unscathed despite the uneven terrain his kybuck remained true.
Finally out of the rough terrain and tight tunnels the outcasts all met up in a big open clearing with no sign of any trouble. They continued to ride along closing in on the speeder bike when they heard the rumbling of the earth ahead when suddenly a large creature began to emerge from the dirt. It was none other than one of Felucia’s largest creatures the rancor. Though rancors are usually very dangerous creatures this one had buried itself in the dirt because it was getting ready to die. Even though it was near death it couldn’t help but attempt to get one last meal. Leading the pack, Tal’s kybuck charged at the rancor with tremendous speed as if it wasn’t intimidated by it at all. Despite his best efforts the rancor does spot him and took a low swing which he was unable to duck under, so he quickly stood up and jumped off his mount straight into the air doing a quick acrobatic flip over its arm landing safely back on the kybuck as if he had never left it continuing on after the speeder bike. Following close behind Hilliard began to urge his kybuck to run faster; despite the dangers that lay ahead, as he began to close in on the creature it attempted to take a slow and sluggish swing with its massive arm that Hilliard easily ducked under and continued to ride on after the speeder bike.
Seeing the success of the others Gaph rode forward with confidence, but as he approached the rancor he felt his kybuck get startled and start to run away from the rancor. Unprepared for the quick shift in direction Gaph was thrown off balance and was not at all prepared for the claw attack the rancor made. It catches him right on the face as he felt the tremendous pain of its sharp claws piercing the skin on his face. Despite this injury he kept right on running after the others.
After narrowly escaping the dying rancor the outcasts finally caught up with the speeder bike, which was slowing down and stopping. Several huge mushrooms towered over the area, nearly obscuring the Imperial outpost that stood across a narrow stream. The stream wound through the middle of the forest clearing, splitting around both sides of a humongous mushroom whose cap hangs like an awning over much of the battlefield. The outpost consisted of little more than a small base and a rotating satellite dish at its side. They quickly realized this was a communications outpost and that it was crucial to stop the imperials from transmitting the location of the village in order to protect its people.
Two scouts with speeder bikes were in front of the main blast door of the base which seemed to have blaster slits that some Stormtroopers were shooting through. First, Gaph made a run to the right towards the satellite dish hoping he would be able to disable the communications broadcast in some way. As he ran behind a mushroom, already injured from the rancor, a scout trooper rode his bike over and started firing at him with the blaster canons on the speeder bike cutting off his route to the satellite. Tal, igniting his lightsaber, used the force to pick up speed and run at the nearest scout trooper on his speeder bike. The scout started firing at the approaching Jedi, but he was deflecting the shots as he ran towards him. The scout trooper finally managed to pin him down that is where Tal called upon the Force to lift up the speeder bike and slam it on the ground.
Thrown off balance the scout trooper fell to the ground where Tal ran in for a stabbing blow, the scout trooper rolled out of the way and regained his footing, but had lost his blaster in the fall so started to attempt to punch Tal in defense. Tal bobbed and weaved avoiding all of the scout troopers haphazard blows. As the trooper became more enraged he became more sloppy and Tal noticed that he must have injured his leg in the fall, so taking advantage he landed a swift kick to the back of his knee bringing the Scout Trooper down to the ground making his head waist level in which Tal took a mighty swing which quickly severed the head from the trooper as he fell lifeless to the ground in a puddle of muddy water.
Hilliard, providing cover fire for Tal this whole time started to take aim and attempt to disable the trooper that was pinning Gaph down so he could get to the satellite. Between Hilliard and Gaph they finally managed to take down the scout trooper so Gaph could run towards the dish.
The Stormtoopers behind the blast door kept taking shots at Tal as he deflected the bolts and started to close ground on the blast door. Upon reaching the controls for the blast door, Tal managed to open it and start advancing on the troopers within. The troopers, however, seemed rather skilled against the Jedi and managed to pin him down at the corner of the blast door. Hilliard, having successfully taken out the scout trooper, started to aim and take shots at the Stormtroopers standing within the doorway. After several exchanges of blaster fire Hilliard managed to down two of the three Stormtroopers. Being free to advance again Tal quickly jumped out from the door doing a butterfly twist jump to avoid the hail of blaster fire coming from the now paranoid Stormtrooper left standing. Desperate and caught off guard Tal managed to feint an attack that caused to trooper to leave his chest exposed where Tal took the opportunity to stab his lightsaber right through his heart.
Now inside the facility Tal saw the Stormtrooper left who was attempting to broadcast a message to the main base. Tal reached out with the force and connected with his mind and told him to stop what he was doing to which he gladly complied. Hilliard having run towards the outpost blast door ran in and took a few blaster shots at the remaining trooper downing him with ease. Gaph, who this whole time was attempting to manually override the satellite managed to change the Imperial broadcast frequency to the same channel the pollen and other life forms utilize so the system was only broadcasting white noise.
Tired from the chase and battle the ensued now that the threat was eliminated the outcasts began gathering the bodies and throwing them inside the outpost. They emptied all the power packs from all the weapons in the outpost and Hilliard took the opportunity to don some Scout Trooper armor hoping it would help them sneak into the base later. Taking a moment to quickly tend to their wounds the outcasts hopped back on their Kybucks and rode back to the Felucian Village to tell Mandrake the good news. *