Fic migrated to my account -
A/N: Yo, it's Casus Fere, in collaboration with Verteri Lunum, bringing y'all a Pitch Black/Forgotten Realms crossover. What happens when a survey team goes to Faerûn. Accommodations for Pitch Black: The planes are mostly planets. Carceri is the third no-daylight slammer, besides Butcher's Bay and Cremetoria.
This is really a side story to our main collaboration fic, as yet unnamed and unposted, but happens before it.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything anyone else does. Think that covers everything.
Strange place, Toril. Oh, the prison on Carceri is normal enough. No-daylight slammer, seen one, seen 'em all, eh? Most people's interest in the Toril system begins and ends there – if they had any interest to begin with. But Carceri isn't the strangest part of Toril, not by far.
Nearly every planet in the system's said to be inhabited by intelligent life, but there's not a single spaceship among them. In fact, only a very few of the natives have ever seen a computer, most of those from the occasional miss-begotten survey venture.
My team came in on one of those survey missions. Check out the colonization sites, look for natural resources, report back on the viability of taking the place over and making it civilized. The few reports we had beforehand pegged the people as rather primitive – no mechanics, no modern medicine, or anything more complicated than old guys brewing teas. Not even the most basic electricity. The people were, all in all, ignorant and superstitious. Perfect for us to sweep in, convince them we were their saviors, sent by the gods, whatever.
Don't know what they were smoking. Obviously they didn't stick around too long. Someone should hunt down the entire team and shoot them.
We arrived in-system, and headed sun-ward from the prison-planet Carceri. Abeir-Toril, reportedly the most densely populated planet, was pretty enough. We landed on the largest continent, Faerûn.
Kicked up a lot of sparks on entry, made quite a show. Our pilot, Gusteiv, landed us just outside a good-sized settlement; so we had a bit of an audience. Whole bunch of dirty peasantly-types were bunched together a little ways off, watching our ship. Most of them looked like they were deciding whether to bolt or scoot closer. They ended up milling there, muttering to each other, as we unloaded. My crew was grinning to each other, figuring this would be easier than expected.
That lasted about as long as it took the guy on the horse to get there. Yeah, a horse. In full plate armor, like you see on the old holo-dramas about the Knights of the Round Table and shit like that. Had a sword, too – had to be four feet long – strapped to his back.
He rode right up to us and demanded to know who we were and why we had come. No fear, no uncertainty; he looked for all the world like a police officer demanding your id. I put on my best beatific smile, and said to him, "We have come to share with you the wonders of our healing medicines, and bring you wondrous items from our world as a token of peace between our peoples."
Don't laugh. It impresses the natives. Well, most of them. The dude in the metal suit looked very not impressed. So did the three guys who followed him out of the woods, for that matter.
"Unlikely, that. My guess is that they're fugitives, spies, or scouts for something big and nasty. Let's kill them now and be done with it," snorted one of them. He was dressed in something that reminded me of a bathrobe and a belt liberally festooned with odd trinkets.
"Peace, Mandier. Perhaps they do come in goodwill. We would do ill to not hear them out."
"Well if you insist." He turned to us. "Well? Are you fugitives, or spies?"
I just stared at the guy blankly. Who the hell were these people, anyway? "Uh…"
"Oh, another batch of stupid idiots. Like two other people I could name?"
The guy in the green flipped him a rude gesture, while behind him, the fourth man spoke up, "Mandier, you wouldn't know wit if it bit you in the ass."
The crew took heart in the bickering and Hamlien, my mate, spoke up. "We're wandering scholars. We have been sent to gather new knowledge of far away lands, and share our own discoveries."
I swear the bastard in the bathrobe smirked at us. Big guy on the horse just frowned. Leaning against his tree, the last guy perked up. "Oh, so you're like worshipers of Ohgma? Traveling the Realms in search of wisdom?"
We exchanged glances. Worshipers of who? Traveling the what? Ah well, play along… "Yes, that's it exactly. We're worshipers of… Ohgma." I stumbled slightly over the name, but no one seemed to notice, and the big guy left off glaring at us to frown at his companion.
The said companion ignored him and continued. "Oh, how splendid! Worshipers of Ohgma! Judging by your strange clothing, you must also follow Cyric, god of fashion!"
God of fashion? They have a god of fashion? I pasted a smile across my face and bluffed, "Of course we are! Can't you tell?"
Goddamn bastard. He smirked at me as the big guy on the horse hauled out that huge sword, and bathrobe-man… Mandier… laughed. Laughed! "Still think they come in peace, oh Sir Rasien?"
I missed Sir Rasien's response; I was busy watching the scruffy guy in the green string a bow and ready an arrow. Yes, a bow and frickin' arrow. "I think," he said calmly, "You should explain exactly why you are here. And at least try not to lie this time?"
Cocky-ass primitive! You'd have to be deaf not to hear the condensation in his voice. And while he pointed a bow and arrow at us! To hell with awing the bastards!
I pulled my sidearm and leveled it at the closest, the guy on the horse. "We're a survey team sent to decide if this world is suitable for colonization. Now, if you drop that overgrown shiv and be real good, we might decide to not raze this sorry little shithole."
"Crawl back to your little… vessel, and I might decide to let you leave," mocked Mandier.
That was it. I motioned sharply to one of my crew. "Kill him." Hamlien fired.
And that was when the weird shit started happening.
Colonization Prospects: None.
A/N: Casus Fere: I was going to detail the fight, but it was just such a good ending line! I could do another chapter, but I think it woulda ended up dragging the story out to long... The poor survey team's going to come up in the main story, at some point. I had some fun ideas to use, but I think I'll keep them 'till then. Until next time, m'lads.
Ver, you owe me a brownie for this! mmmmm... brownies...