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Clear and Green tried to trade Martian goods with a group of shady characters led by a skeletal being known as Kaptin Kwanza in CatH Post 4. When they realised Clear herself is worth more as the last salmitton, they try to catch her. Clear and Green are now, in CatH Post 5, on the run from Kwanza's group and flee through the spacestation. Green demonstrates the power she possesses by raising plants to ensnare their attackers. The two use The Bug to escape and demand that Note makes an immediate jump despite the lack of resources. They fly into the hangar of The Hopeful and instantly jump to avoid Kwanza and his own ship, The Jolly Wanker.

Post

Flight

Clear leaps and slide across a table, scattering plates and cups in all directions. The patrons of the bar, who were sitting outside the walls of the establishment with umbrella above them to protect them from the non-existent sunshine, likewise scatter. She pulls the table with her and uses it as a shield when dozens of lasers, masers, tasers, phasers, hazers, wasers, sasers and whatever other -asers you can think of, come flying towards her. Some of the energy beams slam into the table and rock it violently. Another pierces through it like it were made of paper, fortunately missing both Clear and Green. They scurry away, keeping as low as they could, then took a quick left turn. Blaster fire strikes the wall behind them but, for the moment, they are protected. They run down the thin alleyway between the two bars and then scoot right when they reach the end and duck into the yard of one bar. There a bar tender looks up from the barrel of beer he was getting to watch the two women rush by and climb the wall. He then shrugs and resumed his duties.

The next bar wall, Green raises her arms up and from the ground bursts hundreds of vines that wrap around the two of them and lift them quickly up and over the wall. The vines then latch onto the wall where they remained as though they had always been there. Clear, perturbed at being lifted by vines, guides Green into the bar they'd landed in the yard of. They sneak through and down into its cellar. They can take a moment to catch their breath while the pirates roam the world above them. They don't speak much. Better to stay silent in case anyone came down looking for them.

Clear watches the time on her wrist display. She counts the seconds as they go by. Several minutes later she moves and takes Green's hand again. They softly head back upstairs. The bar they're in, a reserved gentleman's club filled with sensual women serving the drinks, appears as though nothing had ever happened. They get to the entrance and Clear peeks out. There are two of the human pirates walking down the bar strip, keeping an eye out for their quarry.

Clear: "There's just two of them. We should take them out. It'll keep them from following us later."

Green: "By take them out, you mean..."

Clear: "I mean take them out of play. If that means dead then dead. If they're alive but out, fine. Either way will work."

Green: "I know what to do."

She runs out before Clear could even protest. The small, green-haired girl whips her arms up and thousands of vines spring up from the ground germinated by magic. The vines thrust up and take the two women up into the air like green, leafy claws. Then the vines spin and wrap around the men forming a cocoon-like state. There, suspended in the air, everything goes still and quiet. Bystanders are unsure if they ought to be scared or impressed. Many are drunk and barely seem to take note.

Green: "They'll be able to cut themselves free... eventually."

Clear comes to stand beside Green.

Clear: "Well... that works. Well done."

She motions with her head that they ought to get moving. They walk at a quick pace through the crowds of spectators that had grown and were admiring the new piece of modern art. Clear is more than a little afraid of Green and her strange powers, but she sense that the girl is more than a little innocent and probably naïve enough to remain harmless. She guides the girl down a series of stairs until they are finally back to the docking bay for small craft. She searches for their lot until she sees it. The Bug is sitting pretty, or ugly as the case is, but with two more humans outside it. They tapping the metal and investigating its odd sections. Clear sighs. She doesn't fancy letting Green lose to close to the craft but Clear has never possessed any kind of fire power. She'd need to get in close if she is going to do any damage to these fools. She is considering how to approach when the two men get a communication and proceed to troop off. Clear and Green look at each other then shrug.

They head to the craft, not wanting to waste the opportunity, and climb aboard. The docking station detects their presence and the starting of their ship's engine. The platform that the bug rests on swivels round and exits the interior of the station. Once in space, Clear boosts the ship's thrusters and it takes off into space. Only when they are half way towards The Hopeless does Clear become aware of a speck on the bug's radar. She adjusts scanning equipment and information splashes onto her cockpit screen. Kaptin Kwanza and his crew are following her to her ship. That was why the two men retired. They want to get her at her home. Clear flips a switch and speaks into the mic.

Clear: "Make sure you're buckled up, Green. This could get bumpy."

She then changes the channel and sends a request for contact with The Hopeless. Note's digital face appears on screen.

Clear: "You need to get your jump drive prepped and ready to jump as soon as I dock, Note."

Note: "The mission was a success?"

Clear: "No. The opposite. We have pursuers that will try to board The Hopeful and they're not friendly."

Note: "Salvage required."

Clear: "Are you saying you can't make a single jump?"

Note takes a moment to respond.

Note: "The Hopeful can jump."

Clear: "Then we're going to do it."

She pushes the bug to full throttle. It'll waste the small's ship's fuel, but she'll get back to The Hopeless all the quicker. As she does so she reads increased speed from the craft following her. She reads the description read-out of the ship and realises it's much better equipped than her little bug could ever dream to be. The name that Kaptin Kwanza had chosen for his deadly vehicle was The Jolly Wanker.

Clear: "Cute..."

Then the bug's indicators flash. The ships lights went out as something hit it. The emergency red lighting should have turned on but the bulbs needed to be replaced. And had needed replacing for the past two years. Luckily she doesn't need lights to pilot the ship. Poor Green would probably be crying in the living room by herself. The Hopeless hangar nears. She is aware that Kwanza didn't wish to blow her ship to bits. He could have done that by now. They were warning shots. She isn't sure if the good captain would destroy her as she gets close to the larger craft, just to spite his loss. Even her bug could detect that The Hopeful is readying its jump drives, the masking technology of the ship being long since defunct. 

The bug flies into the hangar bay, a little too quickly. She shuts off the engine and the ship lands on the metal bay floor with a clang. It then skids with a horrible metal grating sound that reverberated throughout The Hopeless. Clear actually closes her eyes. Then everything shifts through the colours of a jump and is suddenly still...

Notes

Britt's Commentary

"Here I really wanted to show off more of what Green could do with her powers. Often "nature powers" are seriously under utilised offensively in fantasy, normally relegated to curing things or being nice and pleasant. I wanted to show a more violent side of this power. This was also the first real action scene of Clear and the Hopeless and I wanted it to be less of a fight and more of a chase, showing that this series is less about confrontation and more about survival." - Britt the Writer

References

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