The query was a sharp, angry hiss that drilled into her ears immediately, and the Av-Matoran knew instinctively that though the tone was hostile, this was no enemy, nor was it someone who sought to do her harm in any way. No, this was just another Av-Matoran. Just another stupid, scared Av-Matoran who thought he knew better than everyone else did. Well, she would show him, just wait…
“What does it look like I’m doing, jumping rope?” she replied scathingly, ducking underneath an improvised warning sign: the lettering was written suspiciously in what looked like blood layered over wood.
“It looks like you’re trying to climb over the Lightvine!” hissed Merkan, the Av-Matoran who had discovered her; as he drew closer, Vospula could see him clearly reflected inside the soft, enveloping glow of the plant. He was a tall, gaunt looking, alabaster Av-Matoran with red stripes running up and down his body, generally assigned to guard duty by the elders due to his…specific…set of skills. Merkan’s prowess as a warrior was almost as renowned as his cruelty towards the servants of darkness; these servants could range from Makuta to their minions to even disloyal Av-Matoran. He was not someone, Vospula knew, someone that should be trifled with. She had heard the rumors, after all: most of the ones who didn’t know Merkan’s reputation ended up dead or in a medical hut, barely recognizable as anything that was once sentient. “You do know that the Makuta could be out patrolling as we speak, don’t you? This village is a sanctuary, and you taking nighttime strolls is not doing that reputation any favors!”
Had she not been so close to the Lightvine, had her outline not been so clearly visible to the guard, Vospula would have scoffed and rolled her eyes. As it was, her body tensed, her fists clenched; she seemed to be readying herself for a fight that both Matoran knew could very well happen. Merkan was standing a fair distance away from the plant, however, shielding his eyes with his hands so as to see her better.
“I just need some me time,” she said back, rather more calmly than she intended to sound. “My legs are beginning to fold in upon themselves after being constricted in between these vines so long. It’s impossible to properly let them stretch while confined to the village.”
The smoke was almost boiling out of Merkan’s ears as he took in every word she spoke: Vospula could almost see the possible responses flitting through his irises, the bitingly sarcastic or cruel comebacks that she knew he was so used to spitting in the same manner that a Doom Viper spits venom at its foe, waiting for the moment that it can swoop in and wrap itself around its disabled enemy and begin to squeeze the life out of it…
“I can’t legally let you go,” he snarled finally, which was not what Vospula expected; at most, the guard would have normally spat threats of dismemberment or imprisonment at her, as was typical of the village guards since the Makuta invaded Karda Nui, but hey. She wasn’t complaining. “But since you annoy me, and you risking yourself out there with the Makuta is an appealing prospect…have a pleasant night.”
Merkan gave a bitter smirk – now that was more like him – and began to walk away from Vospula and the Lightvine, and she turned as well, rubbing her hands in glee: she could finally go outside, finally take a walk for herself, allow herself to escape the claustrophobic tendrils of village life for just one night. It had been her dream for months now, and she had to pinch herself once or twice to make sure it wasn’t some kind of sleep-induced hallucination. But no. It wasn’t. She was going outside at last.
Slowly, almost timidly, Vospula put one foot over the Lightvine, and immediately, her left leg felt relieved, as though if it had been filled with lead before the vine had drained it out of her system. Reveling in her own internal ecstasy, she stepped over the plant with her other leg; immediately, though she felt truly alive and excited, the warmth of the Lightvine seemed to fade and die, though its glow was still as bright and beautiful as ever. Already, she could feel the darkness creeping through her very being, robbing her of her innate light and beauty. Eager to escape this feeling, she began to take steps away from the village and began to explore the surrounding area.
It was easy to lose track of time during the bleak Karda Nui nights, and after what could have only been several hours, Vospula finally decided that it was time to find her way back towards Karda Nui…somehow. Without a Lightvine to help navigate her, or any other source of light beyond her rudimentary Lightstone, the Av-Matoran was totally and completely lost, and for the first time, a flitter of regret passed through her.
Maybe this wasn’t the best of ideas…
Her musings were cut short as she tripped and stumbled over something cold and hard, and only her quick reflexes managed to help her grab on to it and stop herself from busting her face on the cold, hard ground. Almost immediately, she knew something was wrong. The object, though hardened and chilled by days of exposure to the elements, still felt vaguely…familiar. Sickeningly familiar.
Screaming, Vospula realized that it was the blood-stained, mutilated body of Merkan, his face contorted in a final look of righteous fury. Taking her lighstone and lifting it, she immediately realized what had happened: Merkan had been dead for days. The Merkan in the village, the Merkan everyone thought they knew, was some kind of servant of Makuta – no, perhaps even a Makuta itself – was in the village right now, watching and scheming and waiting for the time to strike…
A cold, harsh laugh, like the sounds of Rahi fighting each other for dominance over their pack, began to reach Vospula’s ears, and as she spun, she thought she saw a shadow that didn’t seem to blend quite right with the black curtain the night sky cast over the Karda Nui landscape. Vospula suddenly realized she had been tricked, and as she saw the shadow move again, she turned on her heel and began to sprint.
Well, basically, this was a spur of the moment story idea that I got this afternoon and wanted to experiment with: the concept was about going beyond the boundaries of something and learning the consequences of pushing against those boundaries. I'll leave it to you, the reader, to decide how well I did. As always, I do this for you.
Edited by #firstworldtyler, Jun 22 2012 - 05:52 PM.