And that, Larz thought. Is where all my food went. He was staring at a Meodask hunter, And the hunter's mirrored pupils, were staring right back.
It was a male scout, no doubt, this side of the river had been full of them ever since his first discovery by the pride on their territory.
So far, Larz had managed to avoid or outrun them, so they'd gotten smart. Or at least this one has. He knew i'd have to eat, so he emptied my traps twice a day.
Found my traps, then emptied them twice a day. He had been so hungry the thought hadn't even occurred to him. And the natural apex predator of the land, had set his own trap.
This particular snare was a twine net tied to a tree that would lift the catch up in the air once caught.
Larz had placed it at the base of a steep fifteen meter hill, that was ten times as wide as it was tall. The perfect trap, he scolded, and you walked right into it.
The only suitable terrain away from the hillside, was through the Meodask in front of him.
He was large, even by the standards the rest of his tribe set for him. only slightly taller than Larz, but certainly double the weight.
His black fur turned thick about the calves and forearms, and the claws at the ends of his fingers and toes would be sharp as a vibroblade.
His feline flat muzzle was covered by the lower half of a predator's skull, with its toothed jaws nearly touching the hunters thick and furred chest.
But the eyes glimmered in the jungle light, with Jedi reflected in their shine from beneath the skull.
The Meodask thick hair and mane about the neck were in loose and filthy black dread locks with bones tied in. He was covered in bones. About the wrist and ankles, teeth.
About the waist, holding up his pelt loin cloth, Vertebrae. Down his shoulders and long arms, jaw bones, teeth and all. The sight of so many things killed by this one hunter, was nit inspiring.
It took only a second for Larz to take this all in, which was good, as it gave him one more second before the Meodask launched at him, foot and hand talons extended, ready for the eviscerations.
They caught only air. The hunter lunged, more cautiously, but no less deadly. Each strike precise, but missing, barely.
It didn't matter, Larz was retreating, and behind him, was nothing but wall. He would run out of space, and then he would run out of time.
As easily as making the decision to do so, the Meodask was blown backwards. A force shove flipping him into the air.
Into the tree that was supposed to catch Larz's dinner, instead it caught Meodask. And the Meodask, caught it.
The hunter spun around the branch with one hand, set his feet on it, a force leapt so hard it snapped the thick limb. Force leapt down like a catapult had fired him at Larz's face.
Years of Jedi training saved him, his body moving a few millimeters beyond the claws without his mind giving the orders. And directly under the falling limb that crashed atop his chest.
The problem with not using your mind, is that your body doesn't always pay close enough attention to the world around it.
The hunter was on him in an instant, crouching atop the fallen limb, atop of Larz's torso. Hands lifted high for the killing blow and Larz screamed.
Not in fear or desperation, Larz screamed with the force. It made his vocal chords a sonic weapon, one that hit the Meodask square in the face.
The skull he wore shattered across his head, which shot backward like a tree snapping over in a storm.
With another exertion the limb atop him exploded outwards, upwards, splinters the size of hypodermics cascading into his foe. They reached their feet simultaneously, the Meodask worse for wear.
His eyes were wet with bloody tears from the impact of the force scream, and splinters jutted out from his legs and torso. Superficial damage Larz thought, steeling himself for the next round.
He was opposite the wall now, but he had no intentions of running.
There's no way he hasn't figured out I'm a Jedi now, He thought, disheartened by the necessity of the actions he had, and would have to take.
Nothing will stop the hunters if they know I'm a Jedi. The scout had certainly sent out a call to arms through the force, alerting nearby hunters that the trespasser had been caught.
But maybe, Larz hoped against hope, Maybe they don't know it's a Jedi.
When the Meodask bellowed out a roar and dove, clawed hand for the throat, Larz was ready.
Twisting at the hips to dodge, he grabbed the inside of the wide wrist, stepped backward, pulling it with him to extend the elbow, and slammed his left fist through the joint.
It folded backward with a crunch. The hunter's inertia carried him forward, as Larz released the arm, and slid his gauntleted forearms around the thickly maned neck.
One atop the head, one under the chin, prepared to twist and end the predators life.
Instead, he dropped him and spun himself flat onto the ground as a spear whizzed through the air above, right where his head would've been. Thank the force for, well, itself I guess.
Two females sprang from the treetops a dozen meters down the path, sprinting towards him at preternatural speeds. He rolled across the ground to avoid being staked arrows.
The reinforcements, Larz lamented, one second too early.
This had to end, and fast. The male was incapacitated, but Larz was fatigued. No food for days was taking its toll, battling into exhaustion was second nature for most Jedi.
But starting out beyond exhaustion was a recipe for disaster. He stopped dodging, using the force to deflect the projectiles to either side of him.
With a mental command, his gauntlets 'compartments opened, and the familiar cylinders slid into his expectant palms. The females got closer. Four meters. Three. Two.
Larz sprang forward, faster even then his sabers could ignite. By the time they had fully expanded, They were in the neck of one female, and through the forehead of the other.
They dropped to the ground.
Larz turned, determined to finish the male and burn the bodies to hide the means in which they fell, when he felt it. felt them. He looked at the broken and battered Meodask.
"I'm sorry," he said to him, knowing he probably didn't understand his words. "I thought you were alone." The broken Meodask stared daggers into him.
The mirror pupils and iris showed the two bodies behind his Jedi foe. "Yeah, guess I didn't.
" All around him, a score of males and females were dropping from trees, coming up the trail, or out of the thick and swampy vegetation. They're so attuned to the forest.
So attuned to the currents of the force on this world, their world. He hadn't sensed them, still he barely knew they were there through the force. But he could sense their hate.
Their focused loathing, and all eyes were on him. He deactivated his sabers, and dropped them in front of the now standing semi crippled male. "I surrender."