A jam between myself and Despair!
Salamander dropped his smile and leaned back in his chair, his eyes returning to their usual mixture of boredom and world-weary disdain. Tuara clearly had no desire to drag the pleasantries out any longer, so there was no point in continuing to act like a spineless fool.
"Ah, right... I guess I never did apologize for that. I do not mean to justify what I did when I say this, but in my eyes, you were in the way; I did what I felt was necessary in order to take down Utu, just as you were doing. I suppose it was a conflict between our differing methods more than our goals... After all, as much as I have wanted to, I have never been able to believe that morality is a matter of black and white. To me, the world is filled with endless shades of gray, and at that moment it became necessary to kill you in order to prevent Utu's darker shade from harming any more innocents. The many takes precedence over the few, after all, as unfortunate as that is for people like us. Since then, I have fallen, and now I am trying to pick myself up again."
He looked Tuara in the eyes, doing his best to convince his normally sarcastic voice to relent and convey sincerity for once, to express that what he was saying was indeed true.
"Tuara, I am sorry. I really am. However... That mission. I want to complete it. I want to finally take Utu down, to eliminate the threat he poses to the island. Now that the Mark Bearer fiasco is over, this is the perfect time to strike; he has no allies left, and we need to prevent him from changing that. It didn't take long last time, and we simply cannot afford the risk of letting it happen again."
Salamander sighed and stared out through a nearby window, his features softening slightly as he watched a Matoran struggle to load his wares onto a small cart.
"That is why I am here, Tuara. Of the ten or so people I know on this island, almost half of them are either completely insane, dead, or simply evil, and among them all you are the only one who can tell me what I need to know. So I'll ask you: where is Utu?"
Tuara put her alcohol back on the table not-so-nicely, "Death will not stop Utu."
She shook her head, "It didn't stop him then and it won't stop him now," she twisted the bottle of scotch, peering at it for a moment before turning her attention back to Salamander, "Bars and barricades are nothing when compared to death, and since we can't bring that upon him, what makes you think you can stop him?" She finished while leaning in again, a mock smile making her eyes seems smaller under the pressure of her rising cheeks.
"Death isn't cheap. For every time he is killed and brought back, some price has to be paid. There has to be a limit to how much that can be paid, and, more importantly, that price is not paid immediately. There is a delay, and that delay is what gives us any hope at all."
Salamander leaned forward in his seat, his bright orange eyes glowing with a fierce light. Although he had decided to make an effort to act more like a traditional hero, the prospect of a fight against Utu was still something he found exciting, something to look forward to. As much as he might want to, Salamander couldn't change the fact that he enjoyed fighting in general, and that Utu was an especially challenging opponent.
"I'm not one to scare easily, which leaves him with only his physical abilities and ice to use against me. Of course, that's if I'm lucky enough to find him out in the wilderness, which isn't something I'm counting on. Still would be nice, though. At any rate, I will find him, I will kill him, and then I will bring him back here. If he revives en route, I'll just kill him again, and keep doing so as many times as it takes. Meanwhile, you will convince the Guard to construct some type of prison especially for him. Maybe a small room a hundred feet beneath the rest of the village, or something similarly inaccessible. The point is, we lock him far away enough that he should not be able to feed his Mark, and then hope that he stays locked up until we can find a more permanent solution."
Tuara scoffed, almost coughing up the drink that was entering her body. She wiped her mouth, a little grin on her face, "I'd love to just convince the Guard to spend resources to build a prison specifically for a Toa I've spent too much of my sanity attempting to track down. At this point, I'm not even sure Utu is worth the trouble. He's practically invisible, and now he's working directly with the forces of Makuta himself."
A chuckle, "Utu was last seen beating Joske Nimil half to death before trapping his friends under a very big avalanche. Northern fishing village in a fjord in Ko-Wahi."
She pointed a thumb to her chest, "I'm not even in the Guard anymore, and I didn't leave on the best of terms either," she took another swig, "I left because I'm growing mentally unstable," her voice started to lower in pitch now, the alcohol starting to affect her speech, "You're going to try and tell me, that a recently retired Guardswoman who is both developing mental issues, and is already dealing with too many problems she's caused on her own is going to convince them to do that."
The beautiful Toa chuckled, bringing the neck of her scotch up to her mouth again, stopping only to add one more thing, "Sorry Scales, but I'm about as useful to you as the dirt the shopkeeper here sweeps outside every morning."
Salamander leaned back and stared up at the ceiling in frustration, trying to decide what to say next. After a moment of silence in which Tuara continued to drink her scotch, he relaxed and faced her once more.
"Bummer... I was hoping you could just ask them for permission, you know, as a final favor after your dedicated service to the Guard. All it would take is a talented Toa of Earth willing to put in a bit of effort and the prison could be created, but if that's really how things are... Ah well. I got the info I needed, and I’ll just have to see what happens after that. Thank you, Tuara.”
He stood up to leave, his chair scraping against the floor as it was pushed back. Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a small handful of widgets and placed it upon the table as payment for the drink Tuara had ordered.
“Now then, unless you have anything else to say, I think I will be off. Let’s do this again sometime.”
Tuara shook her head 'no', her attention turned to blank space as she made one more tilt of the bottle, "If it were up to me, I would have had a cell built for that psychopath long ago."
She made a motion with her hand, finally turning her attention to the Toa of fire, "Good luck."