Prologue + 0 hours
Modos was in a state of decay when I first arrived there. It had lost its previous defenders in a series of pirate raids. One had been abducted by the pirates for some reason none of the citizens could fathom, the rest had been killed. After that, well, that’s what I witnessed when I arrived: some archaic elemental called the Light Ravager shows up and blasts half the city into oblivion. They were desperate. As sure as I am the Fire Toa Tignioni, I was going to do something to help them.
My team as a whole could never have afforded to stop on our task. It was our goal to destroy the Ravager and prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again. I was worried, though. What if, out of desperation, the townspeople here in Modos turned to the wrong people for help? I couldn’t abandon them. I’d been at my task for long enough. I left the others to finish the quest. I was staying behind.
They weren’t going to make it with just one Toa as their entire defending force, however. I trained the townspeople how to defend themselves enough so that any one part of the town would be able to hold off attackers long enough for me to deal with the other fronts first. The villagers were more capable than you might expect. They aren’t all Matoran. We have a fair number of Vortixx that act as overseers and merchants. There aren’t many, but we have a few Steltians, including members from each level of the social ladder. Our elitist Steltians handle trade negotiation; the others remain local and rarely venture beyond Modos. It’s a good thing they can fight: I just wouldn’t be able to be everywhere at once in a major engagement. They learned well. It was pleasant work, teaching them. I enjoyed every day of it.
That’s what brought me to today. And today is about to change everything for the devastated town of Modos.
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+ 0 hours
The leader of the town, Tol, is at my door. He speaks to me.
“Tignioni, we’re going to need you soon. The pirates are back.” He looks at the floor. “The attack force is bigger than ever before. We don’t know why. They took out all our defenders last time. They don’t need the same amount of muscle to rob us blind anymore. You know what I’ve told you. They would charge in and send some of their numbers to preoccupy the defenders while the rest looted everything of value they could snatch. It’s bad. What do they want this time? To wipe us all out? Because they have the firepower to do it with no problem this time. I don’t know what to say.”
He looks into my eyes. I see desperation there – hopelessness, too. He seems to think I’m going to give up on them and leave. That isn’t happening.
“How far out are they? Did the sentries just find out?”
He releases a sigh of relief, but then remembers that the odds are still hopelessly stacked against us. “Yes. According to the signals, we have until sundown before they make it here. It will be a night battle.”
“Ok, spread the word. I need to formulate a plan to deal with this.”
He looks at me like a dead man walking. I don’t blame him if what he says is true.
The sentries are on a series of lookout posts. These tall towers are placed on the highest peaks of the surrounding mountain
chains. They have telescopes that are used to survey the sea for impending marauders and mirrors to send light signals to one another. The farthest outposts are a long distance down the shoreline. That’s why the warning was able to make it here as soon as it did. It’s still the early morning. We have a whole day to prepare thanks to the well-organized system in place.
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“What I’m suggesting is that we take the scaffolding from the repair effort and lay it down horizontally, facing the direction of the attackers. Bolster it by using rubble – we certainly have enough of that lying around! – and you have a barricade.” I’m doing my best to organize an effort to erect a defensible perimeter along major venues in Modos. There will be no way to defend the entire area, so it’s going to be a matter of prioritization: get everyone to the most defensible locations, then hold those with everything we have. Anything hard to defend must be abandoned. We can always rebuild, but we can’t raise dead townspeople.
“I will notify the workers,” drones a Matoran of Gravity. Many of the members of his elemental affiliation speak in such a manner, at least the ones around Modos. We have a major mining operation in Modos; it’s what supports our economy. We export ore, stone, and metals – even some precious minerals – all across the known world. The Matoran of Gravity work most of the shafts and perform a lot of the strenuous labor. Matoran of Plasma typically work the heated machines and manage the slag in refineries. They are more experienced in these functions.
Suddenly, a major tremor racks the earth. I barely manage to stay on my feet. Luckily, there are few tall structures left on Modos that could be damaged by the tremor. It wasn’t really an earthquake, just an isolated tremor that passed by like a shockwave. Almost immediately, I see a Matoran of Plasma running towards me from the entrance to our mining shafts.
“Tignioni, Toa, protector, Tignio-”
“Calm yourself,” I say. “What’s going on down there?”
“The shafts, Toa! We think they’re all about to collapse. Everyone down there might die! Please, Toa, please; you have to do something. Toa-”
“Don’t worry, my friend,” I say attempting to mollify this distraught Matoran. “There is nothing I can do help fight the pirates until they get here. I will attend to the mines in the meantime. Tell those that are able to get out to evacuate the mines. I will come soon to rescue the ones that are trapped.”
“Thank you, Toa, thank you!”
I stop for a moment to collect my thoughts. I’ll give the evacuation process some time to get underway before I rush into the shafts. Until the majority has gotten themselves out, I’ll only get in the way. This is an unforeseen complication. Now I will have to descend into the mine shafts, get the Matoran miners out, and then return to the surface, all before sundown as the Matoran need me to protect them from the pirates. In Modos, I snidely remark to myself, there is never a simple situation.
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Edited by Maganar, Oct 07 2012 - 08:39 PM.