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About Eyru

Year 15
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    Real Canadian Maple Syrup
  • Birthday 07/24/1994

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  1. IC: Oreius | Metru Nui Airship Oreius knew the owner of the new voice. The young Toa Skyra had already built up a reputation among Metru Nui's ranks for her impulsive nature and her tendency to spread havoc wherever she went. He could forgive that nature if it confined itself to the battlefield, but it did not. He had never known a Toa of Air who could. It was like holding back the sea with a broom. The Toa of Fire nodded once to Iona. "Try it. Or don't." Then he turned and walked away.
  2. IC: Oreius | The Silver Sea "Does it help? The meditation I mean. Anticipation is a Karz of a thing to deal with." Oreius opened his eyes. He had seen this Toa before, though he didn't know her name. Not surprising—he could probably count the names he knew on one hand. His allies were allies regardless of how close they were. All he needed to know was that they served the Great Spirit and were willing to fight. She stood a little taller than him, wearing bulky purple-black armour and a nervous expression that she was doing her best to hide. She was young. Inexperienced. "It can help," he replied. "And it can hinder. It's a tool, nothing more. It will amplify the thoughts you choose to focus on."
  3. IC: Oreius | The Silver Sea The airships hung over the water like dark clouds, their vast forms moving silently through the still morning air. Dawn had yet to break, but the sky was beginning to grow light, illuminating the shimmering waters that lapped far below. The silver sea extended unbroken in every direction to meet the horizon, save for the direction in which the airships flew. There, to the southeast, lay the silhouette of an island. Oreius lowered a pair of binoculars, revealing his typically grim expression. Their surprise assault would make the fighting no less brutal. If they were lucky, the enemy would break ranks and flee; the alternative was a drawn-out siege with no help from their airships. But a victory here could turn the tide of the war. It was a necessary risk. Closing his eyes, the Toa quieted his thoughts and focused on the battle to come, his silence almost like a prayer. OOC: Buffer post before the assault.
  4. IC: Oreius | Liberated Island in the Silver Sea The Toa of fire acknowledged Brutaka's presence with a nod, and the two walked in silence. Oreius maintained that silence for some time after Brutaka's question: the lone Toa was not much of a talker, and preferred to arrange his thoughts into as few sentences as possible before speaking. "They won't be expecting it," he said at last. "Metru Nui is slow to action unless the threat is at her gates. The League expects us to lick our wounds and prepare for the next assault. If we move now, we can catch them by surprise."
  5. IC: Oreius | An Unnamed Island in the Silver Sea The Toa of fire sat alone on a rock, cleaning his swords. The metal gleamed as his deft fingers drew a handful of flames up one side and down the other, carefully burning away all traces of blood and grime. This was one of the few things Oreius allowed himself to enjoy. He took simple pleasure in taking soiled steel and making it clean again. The task was a microcosm of his own greater purpose: to cleanse the Great Spirit's lands of corruption and filth. He had fulfilled that duty today. The scorched and bloody beach was evidence of his zeal. Each shattered blade was a testament, and each ashy corpse a witness. The League had fallen back before his fire, their weaknesses laid bare in the Spirit's light, and the island was free. For now. He stood to his feet and slid each blade back into its sheath. The war was far from over, and the League was far from broken. They would be back, their eyes ever set on Metru Nui. They would not stop until their spirit was broken or their ranks cut down to the last man. And if that was what it took, then he would oblige. Oreius began to walk along the beach, back towards camp. Brutaka would be waiting: there were plans to be made before the moon was high. The sand crunched softly underfoot and the waves whispered as they rolled up the shore. The sun hung low over the horizon, spilling orange and red and purple light across the sky and into the silver sea. OOC: Oreius open for interaction.
  6. Name: Oreius Species: Toa of Fire Faction: Metru-Nui Description: Oreius’s body is orange and black, and he wears armour of a deep scarlet, pitted and scarred by countless battles. He stands a little shorter than the average height for a Toa, but he would be taller if not for the odd hunch he carries over his right shoulder blade, which causes his neck and head to jut forward. This lends him a perpetually hunched appearance, and does nothing to improve the glower that rarely leaves his face. Usually, his golden eyes are knitted in a frown and his jaw is set, betraying little emotion and less friendliness. Background/Occupation: Oreius’s history is about as penetrable as his perpetual scowl. He has served for centuries as a protector of various islands in the Silver Sea, moving from place to place as need calls. His original homeland is lost to history, but some say it was destroyed by an ancient power, and he has spent his life on endless combat as a way of atoning for his failure to defend it. Regardless of what drives him, he only stays in one place long enough to defeat whatever threat it faces before moving on, refusing any thanks beyond provisions to get him to his next destination. Currently, he serves Turaga Dume as a military leader on the front lines of the war between Metru Nui and the League of Six Kingdoms. Powers/Abilities: As a Toa of Fire, Oreius can control fire and heat in all its forms, from heating or cooling an area to creating powerful blasts and beams. He can absorb or release fire at will, and can detect sources of heat. Having spent his life in battle, Oreius is a consummate warrior. He wields his swords with brutal grace, honing in on enemies’ weak points and finding cracks in their defences. His martial skill is formidable, as is his knowledge of tactics and strategy. Mask/Tools: Oreius wears the Mask of Pain, a rare Kanohi that allows him to detect flaws and weaknesses. The mask is always on at a low level, informing him of the most effective way to incapacitate anyone around him. Oreius can mentally focus to receive more detailed information, but otherwise, the mask will simply inform him of the most efficient way to inflict debilitating injury. Oreius also carries twin short swords, which he straps to his back when not in use. These blades are utilitarian in appearance, bearing more resemblance to butcher’s knives than the ornate weapons that other Toa often carry. Flaws: Oreius does not deal in subtleties or shades of gray. He sees the world in black and white, good and evil, and has made it his life’s purpose to root out anything that threatens the Matoran. As such, he will not stand down against anything he perceives as evil, and will fight until his last breath, never allowing thoughts of surrender or retreat.
  7. There are currently no plans for a fanfic exchange this year. But if there's significant interest, then that's something we can look into doing another time!
  8. I received Lewa Mata for Christmas in 2001; Gali and Kopaka followed shortly after. Everything's hazy after that...
  9. OOC For Josh. I hope I got his voice right. Suggested listening: IC (Cael – Ko-Wahi) He was buried facing east. She stood over the grave, and the sun cast her shadow over the little heap of rocks that served as a marker. Although it was long past dawn, the cold still bit at any exposed skin. This high up the mountain, there was only so much the sun could do to warm the air. Cael’s breath rose before her in great clouds of vapour that drifted until they were lost in the vastness of the blue sky. She pulled the scarf tighter around her neck to ward off the chill, but it did nothing to ease the ache deep in her chest. Joske was gone. The truth tasted bitter in her mouth, like medicine. She wanted to vomit it up, to empty her body and mind of the knowledge so she could return to blissful ignorance. It would be better to remain in Ga-Koro and tend to her people and miss him terribly, but still hold out hope that one day she would hear his knock on the door and open it to see his face, smiling down at her like the sun. Instead, she stood here in the snow, watching over a grave, and felt the enormity of her loss settle over her like a suffocating cloud. It hurt in a way she’d never known. She knew broken bones and burned fingers and scraped knees, but this loss hurt differently. She could feel it roosting in her chest behind her heartlight, a slow, steady, unbearable ache poised to tear her heart in two. It felt like her chest might cave in at any moment, her ribs giving away to her anguish like twigs before a hurricane. It threatened to engulf her like the ocean, to sweep her away like an undertow. She had mourned for Gali, and for Nokama. She had borne the weight of a thousand years of loss. But she had never known grief like this. “You said once that love is suffering,” she said aloud, her steam-clothed words breaking the stillness at last. “So I guess this means I still love you. Because it hurts.” Her voice cracked on the last word. Her shoulders buckled once, twice, but no sound came out. The tears came silently, the way the stars appear at dusk. “It hurts, Joske,” she managed to say, squeezing each word through a voice thick with emotion. “It hurts so much. I just… I can’t…” She clenched her eyes shut and bowed her head, pressing her palms to her temples. Each inhalation hissed through gritted teeth, and each ragged exhalation carried a whimpered sob with it. It was an ugly sound, had anyone been close enough to hear it. The sound of a wound too deep to heal. “It’s… not… fair,” she said, sniffling back whatever tears hadn’t yet escaped. She lowered her hands, then wrapped her arms around her shoulders and hugged herself tightly, staring down at that little pile of rocks that symbolized him. The topmost rock was blueish grey speckled with white chips; it was such an unfitting grave; it was nothing like him. His armour had been red and his mask had been gold, but more than that, he’d always been so warm and alive. His every movement was full of energy. He never stopped moving, never stopped thinking, never stood still for a moment and it drove her crazy and it made her love him all the more because they were so different but he still loved her. For a moment, she imagined that her arms were his and he was holding her tight against the cold, but her shivering gave it away. He was gone. “It’s not fair,” she repeated, but the rocks gave no reply. *** They ate breakfast together. The fruit was fresh, the bread was warm, and the milk was cold and sweet. Cael apologized over the lack of coffee (she said she didn’t like it) but Joske waved it off. He was an athlete, he said, and preferred not to trust his performance to chemicals anyway. It was a bit of a grandiose thing to say, but the way he said it made it funny instead of pompous. She laughed and reminded him not to eat too quickly. He’d just woken up as a Toa yesterday, after all, and he was still getting accustomed to his new body. Joske accepted the advice and did his best not to wolf down everything in sight. As they ate, he asked how long she’d lived in Ga-Koro. “As long as I can remember,” she said, spreading jam on a piece of bread. “It’s where I grew up, and I’ve never found a reason to leave.” “I can see why,” the Toa of fire replied through a mouthful of fruit. “You’ve got it all here. Sun, beach, water, beautiful women—” He caught himself and smiled sheepishly. “—I mean waves. Beautiful waves. For surfing. You ever done it?” Usually, Joske would’ve already tossed out a half-dozen lines far more risqué than that. The Kohlii star was known for his cranked-to-eleven charm, and he had the marks on his bedpost to prove it. But he’d decided not to hit on Cael. Sure, he’d retain his trademark sarcasm, wit, suave, maybe throw in a flirt or two… but nothing past that. What’s this? A conscience? “I haven’t,” the healer replied, breaking his train of thought. “I guess it’s not my style.” “And what is your style?” His eyes crinkled mischievously. “Knitting by the fire?” “Try saving daredevils who get out of their depth,” she shot back. Joske clapped a hand to his chest in mock agony. “Karz! She heals with one hand and kills with the other!” They laughed. “Seriously though,” he continued, pouring himself another glass of milk. “You’ve lived in Ga-Koro your whole life and never once got the urge to pack up and see the world? There’s a lot of island out there.” “I’ve left once or twice,” she admitted. “I’ve been to Onu-Koro before, and Ta-Koro a couple times. But you’ve seen a lot more than that, I’m guessing.” He nodded. “Yeah. I mean, away games are half the fun of Kolhii. As much as I love playing home games, hearing the Ta-Koro crowd chant my name…” he drifted off, a lazy smile playing on his lips. “Well, it feels just as good to shut down another team on their home turf. Did you ever hear about the time I beat Hewkii six to one in Po-Koro?” She shook her head. “I don’t keep up with Kolhii much, to be honest. But tell me.” “Well, it’s kind of hard to do that game justice,” he said with a laugh. “I’m an athlete, not a poet. But let’s just say it was legendary…” *** “It’s not fair,” she said again. Her fingernails dug into her shoulders as she hugged herself tighter, but the pain seemed to be coming from far away. Everything was far away now, everything that mattered and everything that she loved, and she couldn’t get it back. She choked back another sob and let her arms fall and hang limply at her sides. The rocks remained unmoved by her grief, and their insolence turned her sorrow to sudden anger. “It’s! Not! Fair!” she screamed, and the sound scraped her throat raw as it passed. She stepped forward and kicked the pile of stones, scattering them to the snow. Her foot blossomed with pain, but it only fueled her fury. Fists clenched, she emptied her lungs again and the scream tore itself from her chest to echo across the unforgiving mountain. She kicked again and again with all the grace of a drunk, lashing out against the lifeless rocks that dared remind her that he was gone, and she didn’t stop until no two of them stood together. The rocks lay strewn across the snow like drops of paint on a canvas. The painter stood over them, breathing hard, her shoulders rising and falling and her eyes glassy with tears. She shuddered. What crime had she committed to deserve this? Surely she had done some awful thing and this was penance, to stand alone in the cold and never again feel his warmth. To never again see the light in his eyes or the way he smiled. His smile was effortless, she remembered, it came to his lips like it was meant to be there, like he’d been born smiling. She desperately tried to fix it in her memory, to memorize the line of his jaw and curve of his mouth before time stole it away. That was the cruelest punishment of all: to know that one day she was doomed to forget the blue of his eyes (like ice on the ocean, like the sky after a storm, like the sea under the sun) and the sound of his laugh (like water over rocks, like birds’ wings, like the wind in the trees) and the way he held her like she might break (like she was made of glass, or spiders’ silk, or light). Time was the enemy now. She felt tears trickle down her cheeks as she stared down at the scattered rocks, stark against the snow. Time had taken Joske from her, and she was still here, a blue figure standing over dark stones. *** They sat and talked together. Night hung over the island, a vast black sheet studded with constellations of twinkling stars. The trees of Ga-Wahi swayed under the sky as a gentle breeze made their leaves rustle and their boughs creak. These sounds mingled with the soft noises of the jungle: wild Rahi stalked through the undergrowth, and insects chirruped and clicked as they flitted from place to place. In the midst of this, two Toa sat on a rocky outcropping overlooking a river, silhouetted against the canvas of the sky. Joske had come here to be alone—to sort out his thoughts and figure out what to do next and how to keep his team together while they did it. It was hard enough being a new Toa, and harder still having the fate of the island resting on your shoulders. The Toa of fire would’ve liked nothing better than to hang up his quest and return to an easy life of Kolhii games and adoring fans, but that wasn’t an option. He had a job to do and a destiny to meet, and nothing would stand in his way. So he had come here to be alone. And yet—for some reason, he didn’t mind that he wasn’t. He leaned back against the rock and ran a hand along its surface, feeling the grooves and bumps under his fingertips. The two of them had talked for awhile about a lot of things: the Toa Code, their quest, the weather… regardless of the subject, talking with Cael was helpful. She straightened his thoughts out, untangling his quandaries with a practiced hand. They were a good team: her practical outlook balanced his outbursts of passion. But more than that, they enjoyed talking with each other. It was easy, even natural. “So there I was, leaning backwards over the table,” he said. “I thought for sure I was gonna drop the cue. Or snap my wrists. You know, one of the two.” She laughed. “Par for the course with you.” “Har har. But I had a hundred widgets on the line, not to mention my pride. So there was no way I couldn’t at least try to make the shot. “Naturally.” “I remembered my training—‘my training’ being that one time I watched Dorian Shaddix make the same shot. I took a deep breath. Easy in, easy out, and boom. Sunk it.” “Fascinating,” she said playfully. “So, when do we get to the part of the story where you actually meet this Dorian? I thought’s that what you were telling me.” “I’m getting there! Karz, woman, you’ve got no patience.” “Sorry. You know me, impatient as always. Can never wait for anything.” He chuckled and squeezed her hand. “Lucky you’ve got me around. You know, to teach you all those virtues, like patience, caution, common sense…” He trailed off and winked, and they both laughed. There was a sense of timelessness there, under the night sky. Like evening was a dream and morning was a myth and neither might actually exist. But if this was all there was, Cael would be satisfied. It would be enough. “Cael,” Joske said, his smile fading. “I need to tell you something. Not about pool, or Kolhii, or anything like that. She nodded. He took a deep breath and looked her in the eyes. “Look, I don’t know how all this is going to end. Tomorrow we’re going to go to Ga-Koro, find the last Crystal, and then I'll be off to find the Wanderer's Company and the Keeping Place... before fighting Heuani. I still have many questions left unanswered, and I don't know if I'll find answers for them all in time, let alone feel confident in my abilities. There are so many things I am unsure of right now, but I do have one immovable constant: you." He swallowed hard but didn’t break her gaze. "Cael, I love you. I love you so much. So much so that when this is all over, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. But I’m not going to ask for that. Not yet. Will you just stay here with me tonight, and just gaze at the stars? I don't want to go back right away, back to the pressures and choices and destiny... just us. The calm before the storm, I guess. And maybe a kiss that I don't have to steal?" She leaned into him, her heart beating so loud she swore it seemed to reverberate through the air. She had never anticipated something so much and felt so nervous at the same time. And yet, somehow, it felt right. Something she'd been waiting on for a long time. She opened her mouth to reply, but found herself, for once in her life, with nothing at all to say. Joske had said it all. Instead, she kissed him under the sky. No one was around to see, except for the stars. Those glittering points of light bore sole witness to the promise: whatever happened after this, neither of them would be alone. *** She was still here. Alone on the mountain, standing over a grave. This was her curse, to carry on in presence and absence. Long after others were allowed to move on, she remained, steadfast and lonely as a lighthouse. She persisted, even in the face of what now lay before her: an impossible expanse of empty time. She was no legendary hero. Those mythical men and women in the Turaga’s stories—they rose to a grand occasion, a climactic clash of good and evil that left the world forever changed. They lived and died for that decisive event, then laid their burdens down when it was done, and the curtain fell on their stories. But she was the epilogue. She rose from her seat and left the theatre to brave the outside world. She was allowed to partake of the great stories, to follow along from the first chapter until the last, but she was not allowed to rest when they came to an end. No—long after the book closed, she was doomed to persist. The immeasurable burden of time weighed heavy on her shoulders. It was an immensity of time, a colossal expanse of mundane hours and long days. No chronicler would bother with that time—it would never be tallied on the Wall or studied in the Sanctum. That time, like her, existed in the spaces between the great stories, enduring between lines and long past final sentences. She wiped her eyes, but the tears were gone now. What she found instead was a weary emptiness. The wind whistled gently over the snow, but its chill couldn’t touch her anymore. “I can’t do it, Joske,” she said softly. “I’m so tired. I thought I could. I promised I could. I know I said I’d wait for you, but I can’t.” Her voice broke again, and she covered her mouth with a hand. “I can’t,” she repeated, as if this confession was the secret phrase that would finally convince someone, anyone to listen and take this burden away. “I can’t.” No one was listening, but she pressed desperately on. “I can’t wait for you. Not for this long; it’s too much. You should’ve known that. I never would’ve asked this of you.” She breathed in—a long, shaky breath that filled her lungs to bursting and made her chest ache. Her throat hurt. The sky was too bright: the endless blue was vivid and cold and it bore down on her like the weight of all the time that lay before her, vast and utterly empty. *** They lay quiet together. The sun hung heavy over the horizon like a nodding head, like it was blinking back sleep and couldn’t wait to set. Its golden light pierced the frosty windows and fell soft over the room, illuminating a couch facing a smoldering fireplace. Two Toa sat there, covered in a thick blanket. One awake, one asleep. Joske had nodded off awhile ago, exhausted after a day of training. Each day was a new whirlwind of activity where he desperately pushed himself to be better, to move faster and hit harder. He woke before dawn every day to practice his swordplay, followed that with a morning of meditation and studies, then spent the afternoon training and sparring with anyone he could find. This handful of evening hours was his only free time, but he was often too tired to enjoy it. Cael didn’t seem to mind. She rested her head on his shoulder and watched the flames flicker. It was enough to be together, she thought, just to lean on his body and feel his warmth. To know that he was there. She envied him, though. She couldn’t remember the last time she had slept through the night. Closing her eyes brought no comfort anymore: the darkness reminded her of the cold shadows beneath the island, the ones that had taken her and swallowed her whole. So she stayed awake until she was too weary to fight her own weariness, and then she would sleep for a few blissful hours, only to awake in a cold sweat, heart pounding. Antrim said the nightmares would pass in time, but for now, she sat and watched the fire. “Morning,” Joske’s sleepy voice drew her from her thoughts. “What time is it?” “Nearly sundown,” she replied with a tired smile. “You’ve only been sleeping for half an hour.” He rubbed his eyes. “Sorry. I guess I passed out.” “That means you’re tired. Your body needs the rest.” “I can think of something else it needs more,” he teased, planting a kiss on the side of her head. “Like… a snack.” “There’s fruit on the table.” “Boring.” “Bread in the cupboard?” “Nah.” “There might still be some leftovers in the icebox.?” “I was thinking… maybe I’ll just eat you,” he said playfully, and mimed taking a bite out of her shoulder. “There’s gotta be a reason I call you honey. Or sweetie. It’s cause you’re just too…” He trailed off, noticing that she wasn’t laughing with him like she usually did. His smile faded. “You’re thinking about him again.” She nodded, suddenly afraid to speak. He sat up and looked for her eyes. “It’s okay. You’re here, with me.” Silence. “Say it, Cael.” “I’m here,” came the soft reply. “With you.” “I love you.” “You love me.” “I won’t let anything happen to you.” “You won’t let anything happen to me.” “I promise.” “You promise.” “I promise,” he repeated, and placed a kiss on her forehead. He hugged her tightly as the sun finally sank below the snow-covered hills, leaving a twilight canvas that stretched from earth to heaven. She breathed in his scent and closed her eyes. For this brief moment, the darkness was comforting, because she was with him. She was home. *** The sun still shone down, but now the healer’s shadow lay behind her, stretched across the snow. Time passed, as was its nature, and she was doomed to move with it while Joske was left farther and farther behind. She had chosen this, hadn’t she? This was her place: not in the great stories, but before them, and after. For by their very nature, healers must exist in the aftermath. Theirs is to deal with the fallout, to mend what was broken and rebuild what was ruined. Joske could never have survived in peacetime: he was restless, always aching for the next chance to prove his strength. He would’ve gone crazy. But her? Her place was here, in the space between stories. The years the history books sum up in single sentences. There was nothing for her in glorious battles, in dangerous quests, in climactic duels of shadow and light. No, hers was the aftermath. To pick up the pieces and do her best to carry on. She bent down and began to collect the stones. They were cold; each one numbed her fingers as she gently lifted it from the snow. Silently, the tears came again, running down her face and falling to the snow like drops of rain. Hers were the patient hours and sleepless nights. Hers were the broken wrists and sprained ankles and the detritus of ordinary life. Hers were the survivors, like herself: the ones who were blessed and cursed to live in the vast shadow of what they had lost. One by one, she placed the rocks back where she had found them. The pile grew slowly but steadily until it resembled again that marker she had destroyed. It no longer seemed an affront to her, but a tender reminder of the one she had loved, and who had loved her in return. It was no sprint they ran, these survivors, but a marathon. They would set a steady plodding pace across the innumerable years, through hills and valleys, neither to break into a sprint nor to stop and rest. Like all the others, she would run bearing precious cargo: the memories of a man she could never forget. She would carry his legacy in gentle hands across the vast face of implacable time. She would remember Joske Nimil long after the stories ended. She would carry their love until the end of all things.
  10. IC (Jin - Ko-Koro) The storm raged overhead, only getting stronger as the minutes ticked by. Where in karz had it come from? I wasn't exactly a meteorologist (although I've been told I could be a weather girl) but this wasn't normal, not even for Ko-Koro. An icy wind swirled down and raced me through the streets, carrying flurries of snow with it as the sky grew darker. I hurled silent curses at the storm to save my breath for running, then ducked into a nearby alley as another hail of bombs and disks struck the earth like lightning. Snow, ice and stone burst into the air, then fell like rain. I covered my head with my arms as the debris came down, feeling pieces of the street and nearby buildings glance off my body. Most of it was harmless, but I winced as one particularly big rock bounced off my shoulder. That's gonna bruise, I thought absently, but I was already shaking off the dust and moving again. The clock was winding down on this village, and if I stopped for anything then I was probably gonna go with it. I came to stop where two streets intersected in a large square, my breath coming in clouds as I watched a large group of people battling in the open space. Balls of fire burst against the sides of buildings and spears of earth buried themselves in the ground, and over everything rang the sounds of battle, the clashing of weapons and the screams of anger and pain. There didn't seem to be a reliable way of figuring out who was on my side and who wasn't, so I figured the best course of action would be to skirt around the edge of the battle and keep going, keeping my eyes peeled for Nika and Pae— A blast of ice almost took me off my feet, scattering my thoughts to the wind. I stumbled through the snow into something that might've resembled a ready stance and looked around for the moron who'd attacked me. It didn't take long. A gangly Toa of ice leered at me from behind a scarred Pakari, hefting a greatsword in both hands. With a snarl, he swung the blade up and unleashed another blast. He wasn't exactly being subtle, so it wasn't hard to dodge; I dove to the side, rolling to my feet just in time to see him rush up into melee range, swinging the massive sword as he approached. I'll be honest—I don't remember the last time I was in an honest fight. It's been awhile. Used to be I had my hands full either taking out my mark or dealing with the motley assortment of guards that accompanied them. These days? I usually operated in silence, working under the cover of darkness or with someone else drawing the heat. No need for fists with my kind of work—they worked too slow anyway. I needed bigger weapons than ones just a single person could wield. A girl with flashing fists and feet couldn't have sunk Xa-Koro on her own, not in a million years. That took something bigger, something calculated and worked over in secret. It felt less honest, which was kinda dumb, because it was all death in the end, right? It was all blood and violence no matter what way you took, no matter how small the gate or wide the road. Still... this felt better. More honest. More real. I ducked under the strike, twisting to see the Toa bury his blade in the ground. He cursed, then raised a hand and conjured a hail of icicles to rain down where I'd been standing a moment ago. I was already gone, a knife flashing in my fist, ready to sink it in between his shoulder blades when a fist of ice sent me sprawling, knocking the wind from my chest. I hit the ground with less than my usual grace, and he was already moving, the sword abandoned, wielding a spear as clear and sharp as glass. I got to my feet, then sprang backwards, the tip of the spear coming inches from turning me into a Vortixx-on-a-stick. I managed to fumble a second knife from my belt as he approached, then sidestepped the next jab and grabbed the haft of the spear to pull myself into melee range. The weapon was made of ice; I could feel my fingers going numb already, and then the spear turned into vapour and he caught my wrist in his hand and squeezed. I heard a strangled cry of pain and realized belatedly that I was the one making it. I tried to pull my hand free, but he wouldn't budge. The Toa raised his other hand and conjured an icy dagger out of nothing, like a magic trick, I thought blearily through the haze of pain, like it's not real, and I reached my hand out to touch him because maybe he wasn't real, maybe this was all just a dream and I'd wake up in a moment in my bed in Kumu, Liacada's peaceful breathing coming from the bunk below and my hands were still clean, Xa-Koro still stood, and there was still time to get out, get to a boat and escape before it all came crashing down— I felt armour beneath my fingertips. Under that, flesh and bone. He was real. Real as I was. Real as everything I'd done. Real as everything I wanted, and wished, and was gonna get from this world if I had to find Karzahni himself and rip it from his hands. I wasn't done yet. Not by a long shot. And there's no way I die in ##### Ko-Koro. I smiled through the agony and activated my buzzer. The Toa's body went stiff and he made a choking sound as the electricity coursed through his body, then he went limp and hit the ground as I easily escaped his suddenly nerveless fingers. I staggered to my feet and started to run, cradling my left hand like a baby bird. The chaos raged around me, then faded as I moved down a side street. Time seemed bendy, so I don't know if it was minutes or hours before I made it to another square, this one a little more peaceful than the first. I could still see people fighting, but there was nobody immediately threatening, and the airstrikes didn't seem to have hit this part of town yet. I was safe for now, or at least as safe as I could be in the karz-forsaken hole of a— "Jin." The voice wasn't loud, but it cut through the noise like a knife through butter. I turned and found them instantly, like my eyes were drawn by a magnet. I nodded once, then made my way over, biting back the pain. They didn't seem too banged up, but Nika was leaning on Pae like something had happened. Whatever. We didn't have time for status reports. We had to get out of this warzone. Everything else could wait. "Good. You made it," I said by way of a greeting. "We gotta hustle if we want to make our check out time."
  11. IC (Oreius) (Inu) The curtains swayed in the breeze. Footsteps echoed from beyond the door. "No promises," he replied. "But I'll see what I can do."
  12. IC (Caerus, Aila — Onu-Koro) How long has it been? Seconds march into minutes, days muster from hours, and time rolls on like an advancing army—yet the Matoran at his desk is oblivious to the tireless pace. He writes slowly. Carefully. His strokes are usually driven by feverish passion, but tonight he writes with all the time in the wide world. Gradually, almost imperceptibly, he slows to a stop. He lays his pen down and gently places the lid back on the the inkwell. The parchment lies before him, meticulously marked with lines and dates, each carefully drawn in thick black ink. He stands, looks down upon his work with tired eyes, and frowns. Raises a glass of honey-coloured liquid to his lips. Sips. His other hand plays idly with a chain around his neck, from which hangs a little crystal vial. He is not a man for jewelry, but he permits this one piece. It has not left his breast since he first put it on. "Having fun?" He turns at the familiar voice. Smiles. She enters the room like a breath of fresh air and places a gentle kiss upon his cheek. Steals his hand from the vial. "Is it done?" he murmurs. She nods. "To the letter." "Good." They stand in silence for a long moment, inspecting the parchment together. He feels her eyes trace each letter as if they were his own, like she is an extension of himself. He is a fool, he knows—a fool to remove his heart and place it in such a fragile vessel, and then to send that vessel out into the world and merely hope that will return. But he cannot refuse her. For that, too, he knows he is a fool. "Finished?" she asks. "Very nearly." "What's missing?" He exhales. "I've collected everything the island knows, but it remembers little from before the Makuta. I was hoping to find a clue to these Dasaka, but I've found nothing." "Maybe they were never here." He shakes his head. "They seem to worship a Great Spirit of a sort, like the Matoran, and they bear no small resemblance to our race. They wear masks. They even speak our language. History flirts with coincidence, but doesn't traffic in it. There must be a link somewhere in our past. Either they left us, or we fled them." The silence returns, and rests over the room a long while before she breaks it again. "What if you find the link? What does it mean?" He lifts his eyes to hers. "I don't know." She has never heard him speak that phrase before, even to her. He always portrays himself as a man of infinite secrets, masking his ignorance—if it exists—in sly smiles and half-speech. But tonight, she sees a weary honesty in his eyes. "The island rushes headlong towards something that I can't see," he says. "My webs are failing me, Aila. They tell me what happens, but they can't tell me what it means. They write the poem, but it's up to me to solve its meaning." He releases her hand and brings his fingers again to the vial. The little crystalline vessel holds something caught between liquid and vapour, something viscous and dark. "Sometimes, I'm sure this is the key," he breathes. "What powers might it bestow—what knowledge could I gain? Perhaps I've had the answer in my hands all along." "It's too dangerous," she says. "We've seen its effects, Caerus—you know what it does. It corrupts. It kills." "Yes," he replies. "But never both. It calls like to like." "You can't. It's not worth the risk." They stand in silence once more. The lightstones flicker. The shadows dance in the corners. "No," he says at last. "It's not. But perhaps, someday soon, it will be."
  13. Wow, Tyler and Ghost (and Nuju, I see you there) have really taken it to the next level with these plot posts. Some fantastic writing happening! Great job guys. And I always wondered what happened to Grokk. After his mad spree through the topics, I remember his last post ending with him being needed for one last thing before he could truly die, but the "one last thing" never happened. At the time, I just thought Nuju forgot about it. I've never been happier to see that I was wrong.
  14. Echelon and Nightfall controlled Ko-Koro because they took hostages to prevent the other Akiri from attacking them. The Toa Maru have found the hostages and are escorting them out of the village. Now that Nightfall doesn't have the hostages as insurance, the other Koros are free to take Ko-Koro back. Le-Koro has launched a fleet of Riders who are carpet-bombing the Koro with little regard for friend or foe. Meanwhile, Stannis and Eisen are fighting in a warehouse, and other heroes and villains are fighting throughout the city. If your character is good, they'll probably take this opportunity to fight some bad guys and help reclaim Ko-Koro. If your character is bad, they'll either fight back or run. Hopefully that's helpful. In any case, the arc seems to be barreling towards its conclusion, so you can always just wait to see what happens and then post what your characters were up to in the wrap-up topic.
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