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EmperorWhenua

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  1. IC Yumiwak | Wastes, Panda II "Yours or mine?" I shot back, almost teasingly. For all that I thought I could know about the world Zataka came from, and that these matoran fell from, it was still hard to fathom what it was like to have an entire world seemingly, and literally, fall apart. I'd watched it unfold through a [much more powerful] telescūpe as I spied into the heavens and I'd seen what I eventually could discern to be a massive body crumble apart. These matoran and their ilk came from That, and as wretched as they were to me (except for this Zataka, obvs) I couldn't help but have a single ounce of sympathy. As Ysocla heard from me earlier, this world called Zakaz was not like it is now. We, too, were not untouched by cataclysm and destruction of our universe, we just also happen to also include a big ******* head falling into our backyard as a mere one of them. Maybe that said something about how desensitized we were to this sort of disaster. Or maybe it didn't. There were no innocents in this world. IC Stannis Maru | Coliseum On the other side of the door the old toa hovered his sinewy fingers over the dialpad, hesitating though in no actual hurry to punch in the code. He could hear Pridak's heavy footfalls upon the polished floors of the disgraced office, the gentle tink as he collected the Haonga, and after it the soft voice of the tyrant as he addressed Saybo and Aurax with skeptical praise. Then it occurred to him. Oh, he'd forgotten just how simple Dume was sometimes. Disciplined and brilliant but still predictable in a myriad of ways. The elder was older than Stannis himself, which was saying something, but the eons worth of knowledge and lore he retained alongside the vast webwork of plans and futures meant he had to simplify his life in other ways, like forgetting to lock his computer so he didn't need an extra password, tattooing cartouches from ancient temples upon his flesh like phone numbers to his palm, conscripting the smartest matoran to solve his problems so he didn't need to solve them himself, and creating simple passcodes for doors that related to the doors to serve as reminders. Some people carried rolodexes the size of tomes, Dume just relied on his own mental alacrity to connect the dots when needed in a fashion he'd trained for. Silently, and without even a blip the small dialpad discreetly took the code Stannis keyed in: 2-6-6-5. B-O-O-K. The bookshelf door. The oiled latch slid open quietly and Stannis prepared himself to make his entrance. He had been storied to be wise, powerful, and honorable, but none had ever accused him of being necessarily clever, and so he simply pulled his hood over his face as to hide the Kanohi he wore, cracked the door ajar by and inch to confirm the layout beyond, and then flung it open wide. "Thus saith the Holy One: prepare ye not piles of human waste, but crates of blood. Serve the God of the Matoran and thou shalt drive away vice and idleness; thou shalt be spared the artery plaque. They that serve the God of the Matoran shalt dispel all debauchery; they shalt be shielded from death." His voice rumbled like a rockslide, booming in the spacious chamber with merciless power and flowing in a quick cadence much faster than any of them had heard Stannis speak before, and it sounded like a vengeful prophet lambasting the heathens he had hunted. He stepped out, all formless shadow in billowing cloak, a ghost in the nighttime, and only his frighteningly gleaming grey eyes, mirthlessly narrowed in judgement, could be discerned clearly. "For Toa Bariah did buryeth barns full of olives and was wicked in the eyes of the everlasting God, but they that love God shalt be protected from the spear; they shalt totally max out their diligence." Without pause he chanted another verse from the Holy Scripts and threw a spear into the chest of one of the vahki retainers. "O death, where is thy murder hornet? O revenant, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to our Great Spirit, who giveth us the victory through His Toa." Stannis, it seemed, was not dead at all, but still as bewilderingly alive and mystic as ever before. For now, at any rate. But Stannis also did not cling to his life, and whatever would transpire next would seal fates. OOC | praises be to phrasegenerator.com/bible for the quotes, with modifications
  2. IC Yumiwak | Wastes, Panda II Zataka's saccharine croon could have swayed a different crowd, but there was no convincing my clan that she was anything more than my property, not the crew who knew what I was okay with what what I would never allow. They knew the determination I had to find and seize her and the earnestness to keep her as my ward, and they also knew what psionics could do and would react if any influence besides my own tried to tinge their nerves. There was noooo sharing or petty icebreaker games to go around unless I said it was so... which I had not. "And so long as Zataka is my guest," I added, "you'll be sure to treat her with the, ah, dignity that I give. That said, let's get the **** outta here. Lift off!" I yelled. The response was instant; the crew not immediately near me and still wary of Zataka got to work, raising the billowing sails again and gathering tension in the lines while the kinetic reactor below flared to life and began to enable the ascent of the Panda from off the bleached rocks of the wastes. Like a leaf delicately tugged by a breeze my ship inched forward at first, then quickly budged with increasing increments until finally it sprung free from its earthen shackle and fluttered into the sky with near silence. Only the gentle throb of the engine below, coupled with the creaks of rigging and stretch of canvas, could be heard. I stepped assuredly across the deck and headed towards my captain's cabins. "Pree cool, eh?" I said to my captive and gesturing at my ship broadly while pirouetting mid-step. "She's the Tactical Panda II—but you probably saw that on the hull as you walked up. Modified her meself. Only one of her kind left. Tell me, do they have airships where you came from?"
  3. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins It had never occurred to the toa that Sidra could teleport and he regarded her with a vexed and expression. He held the look for a moment, and then shook his head lightly and walked back towards Korruhn. It wasn't disdain, though; he hadn't realized she could have left his custody at any point so far and he would have been nearly powerless to stop her flight, and the fact that she hadn't meant either she was biding her time to do so later or, as the optimist in him wanted to think, she did not feel the need to. The latter was more aligned with his intentions, which was why he preferred it, but there was no way to know for sure what Sidra intended. But perhaps she really did want to help, if anything to uncover things that could help her. "The original Disc was already merged with the others," Leklo sadly recalled. "It's gone, unless any of us have the ability to unmerge them. Do you also possess such magic as Dume's?" IC Stannis | Coliseum Stannis could hear the things happening behind the bookcase's veil with clarity, and though he could not see it with his eyes he could imagine what the scene looked like well enough. Aurax the Petulant would be holding the Haonga aloft like a disembodied skull to celebrate an eagerly hoped death, and Pridak, who was ceremonial as he was nebulous, would simply look at the mask like a street vendor's trinket. Saybo would be lingering a step behind his liege like some coat's train, eager to sop the glory his commander collected from his "feat." The silence of Pridak was pregnant with potential. The Takean king was sure not to overtly display his emotions to the world around him, as he was much more like to internally scream in a thousand different arguing personalities before allowing one to surface, cooly, calmly, and dripping with prideful cunning. It would invariably be the personality that had fought and overcome all other voices in his head, and rightfully be confident in its expression. That was the brilliance of Pridak, as Stannis saw it—he was a man always at war within himself, and so he was more suited for war with both bodies and principles. He knew conflict better than most, and he knew more about the world than most. Knowledge didn't always indicate wisdom, however, and so while Pridak was right, he chose poorly for the long term. He'd won the war but lost the universe. How poetic it was, then, that his last conquest would be his only hovel. The old toa still considered the access code for the door. Stannis was in no hurry to present himself to the others yet, not until Pridak's focus was truly seized in the moment, and so the warmage was unconcerned with anything but trying to remember what numbers to push. There would only be one try at it, so it had to be right. 1-2-3-4? Possible, but Dume was clever even if not careful, he would have used something else. Perhaps 3-6-6-7, for D-O-O-R? It was an access code fro a door, yes, but the code did not ping any strings in Stannis' mind, and so he pushed that idea to the side. No, it was something else... Hm. IC Yumiwa | The Wastes "Huh. Cool name," I said shrugging like I didn't much care (I did). "Almost as cool as your pants," I said like I wanted to wear them myself (I did). "What are they? Versace? Westwood? Chanel?" I didn't know if those labels existed on the world Zataka came from, but they were mentioned in the Histories, so... maybe? Play it cool, Yumi. The walk back to the Panda was a tense one. Korio, Zai, and Ysocla were all as like to shoot this Zataka in the back if she made any bad move, and the clanmate at the cannon on my ship was even more likely to blast her away with a powerful blast without the context of what had just happened in person, but hopefully none of that would happen. Hopefully my ward didn't think to do anything unseemly, either, and provoke my wrath as well. But we all understood the risks and played nice-as-can-be. As we approached I discovered they'd raised the gangplank, probably as a final safeguard against any possible boarders, but they scrambled to lower it when I came near and it fell with a dull thud upon the dusty stone slab. "This is Zataka," I proclaimed to the rest of the crew who had gathered on the wooden deck of the Panda to witness the captive, clearly entranced by her size if not by my bloodless arrest of her, "and she has chosen... cake."
  4. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "Excuse the **** out of me. You could... what?"
  5. IC Yumiwak | Wastes I let my lip curl a little but at the woman's attempted chide. .:It was not a boast.:. And it wasn't. This person's ability as a fighter and her placement in the wastes of this land called Zakaz were two unrelated things. She just so happened to be the one I was looking for, lost and asleep on a slab of rock out here. I found her, and I would give her some new life, and that was that. I could just as easily take it away. "My ship, my rules," I said simply and shrugged slightly, punctuating the casualness of the situation to myself. "There will always be a weapon trained on you of one sort or another. My clanmates do as I bid, buuuut they also know the risks living has. Danger is a part of life here, preparedness and caution kind of comes with the jig. Don't doubt their skill, either—these are not the Mesi you bought before. These are my people and they've bitten their share of salt already." I would have given word to shoot her then and there if it wasn't for the desire to see her in my custody being stronger than her thinly veiled insult at Korio. Finally, I let go of Zai's hand. My enthralled lady quickly collapsed to the ground, eyes glazed over and red cheeks drained somewhat from the exhaustion of remaining tethered to my will and energy longer than she wanted, and she clenched her loosed hand with her other to soothe the wrist I had kept in a vicegrip. It was one such cost of bonding with me—while everyone wanted to jump from their trousers to hold my hand and braid our elemental powers as one, few Skakdi could prepare for the sheer domination my will held. I suspected it was partially because it was in my elements nature to control lesser minds, and by bonding wills with me it utterly exposed their minds to the psionic might I contained, though it was also possible my own strength go will played a significant part. All the same, though, was how addictive the act could be. The people who detested the bonding act after it happened were the same who relished in the sensation of elemental power coursing through their bodies with me, and as a result would grovel for the chance to do it again. The sods. Still, I cared for them. I allowed Zai a moment to recover before extending an arm for her to grasp and get back to her feet, which she took without hesitation as soon as she could muster her body to, and once she was afoot again I looked at the warrior again as I began to walk with all the poise and grace of my royal blood back to the Panda. "My name, which you should know, is Yumiwak Umbraline. Now come, and let us eat cake." IC Stannis | Coliseum, Floor 50 The old toa continued to futz with his memory concerning the keypad that activated the secret door to Dume's old office. He tapped his chin slowly as he eyed the dimply backlit keys, trying to remember what code the ancient turaga had used for this particular passage. Was it 4--2-1-1-3-5? No no no no, too long, the old man thought. Dume was not that complicated, it wasn't a cipher and had to be the basic keypad alphabet. 3-8-6-3? No again, Dume hated the number 7—a superstitious purist, he would have constrained himself to the first six numbers only, thinking it was somehow holier, though more likely because it was just simpler that way. Another secret door, this one on the opposite side of the chamber's threshold, parted and Pridak entered the office, now his throne room, finely adorned in a new battle suit and flanked by twin vahki. Fun, Stannis thought. A challenge! Still not as infuriatingly difficult as the confounding keypad, however. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "A powerful one, sure, but..." Leklo's voice trailed. He was unconvinced. "Even a level-8 kanoka isn't a Great Disc. Worth the experience, I suppose." He was, however, up for experimentation.
  6. IC Yumiwak | Wastes .:Of course she is,:. I psionically relayed to Korio, still clutching Zai's hand and controlling our consciousness stream. .:If she makes a run for anythinh... use your instincts.:. I shot back at the warrior, "Yes—finding you." This woman was big, powerful, and confident in herself and her ability to thrive. How else would she feel it was a bright idea to walk directly towards the Panda without a care for her own safety? She was either stupid, which was highly doubtful, or considered herself powerful enough to have what she wanted even in my company, on my ship. Such confidence only indicated belligerence to me, and I—not being dumb, either—recognized the sort of threat that posed to me and my clan as well. It was a delicate game, this... diplomacy. I wasn't the best at the intricacies of it (truth be told there isn't much opportunity fo non-aggressive negotiations among Skakdi on this land called Zakaz) but I knew power plays, and I knew this was one. I either had to clench her submission to me here or else my station was at risk. "So you figured out I came looking for you. You're right," I said with a wink. "I got word of someone new in the hood with some really cool space pants, so I came to do a vibe check. And I gotta say, you vibe. But see, here's the deal: I can either be your lifeline or your quicksand. You don't know this place, you don't belong here, and you won't survive on your own. But you're strong—what you did to the band of Mesi a fortnight ago proves that. I know you're capable, and still I tracked you down, found you, and now I'm standing here and facing you. Heh." I needed to give this warrior an ultimatum. She needed to either be in awe or in fear of me. If she was worth her weight in salt she would have already figured out I was smart, too, and not playing games. "Out here, I may as well be your guardian angel or your grim reaper. You can step around my ship and keep walking towards that big old head you came from until you die or you can get on my ship and live by my grace and rules and maybe I'll let you have some of my honey lemon crumble cake. But if you choose the former, girl, there's nobody out here who's going to care about your screams." Finger gun. "So what's it going to be, cake or death?" @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @pokemonlover360 IC Leklo | Ice Ruins His eyes narrowed, unsure how to take this breaking news. Perhaps Sidra had somehow seen the other side of things, which Leklo had only heard rumors of before. He still didn't trust the former Hunter, but she was resourceful and perhaps she could shed light on things that still mystified the former alpinist. "Oh?" he said. "Tell me."
  7. IC Yumiwak | Wastes As the warrior walked gracefully towards me and my ship I held up my free hand. My other was still firmly intertwined with Zai's and the mental foci coursed like twin streams. "Stop," I said aloud evenly, though the word echoed in the warrior's mind, too, as I snapped her psionic parlor trick back at her. I chuckled lightly flashing my teeth in a display of my sardonic amusement at the lady's self-assuredness. Sure, there was plenty evidence that she was a valiant and strong fighter, and yeah, she could give me a very strong run for my rupees, but that didn't give her the right to trod like she ran this place. On the contrary, she was out of her element, deprived of her main weaponry, and in a foreign land with too many unknown variables. Her bravado seemed natural, but it couldn't be anything but survivalism. It occurred to me that the lady wasn't looking confident and walking towards the Panda because it was second nature for her to assume control, although she certainly was trying to do just that with that nonchalance and (oooh) swagger. Nah, she knew what she was doing—she was feeling me out, feeling this land called Zakaz out, determining where the lines were drawn and what she thought to be true. Like a child exploring the confines of their nursery or rules of their guardians, what this lady was doing was a test of boundaries, a collection of intelligence and amassing of resources, and I needed to provide those parameters and assert my control quickly or risk her flight or fight responses. "Nobody gets on my ship without my permission. You want to get out of here on it?" Of course you do. "You have to give me reason first."
  8. The weird connection of the Av-Matoran and Bohrok has never sat right with me and honestly disappoints me a lot. Also, Greg's perplexing adoration and shoehorning of Vezon is constantly cringeworthy.
  9. IC Yumiwak | Wastes There was no expression of fear on my face, I'd made certain of that. I'd been steeling myself for something like this all my life, each time taking larger, bigger quarry as my own, each time staring danger in the eyes and grinning as I stabbed them in the heart just the same as the ones before. My parents and their parents preached at my bedside about the old virtues of Power, Purity, and Skill, and, yes, their wisdom and ideals inspired me to go forth and wrestle the universe to lay claim to forgotten glories, it's not what brought me to the current position, looking this warrior dead in the eyes as she matched my psionic thrum with a reverb of her own. Nope, nah, it wasn't just that I hoped to prove myself to my forbearers and match their legacy. Y'see, they weren't around anymore, and their past opinions were as meaningless as cries in a sandstorm as they were entirely washed out by the scouring dangers of the present. When they were around, their judgement weighed on me and spurred me to succeed and their tales of the past made me eager to prove myself to them as a worthy heir of our legacies. I would toil and fight for every inch of strength I accumulated... and to make them even more satisfied I told them I did it for them, for their approval, but when I grew up I realized I had been telling them lies all along. I was not a child anymore, and their ghosts did not haunt me like their faces did in life. Nūpe, I clawed my way to prominence and killed my way to the top because of me. I was worthy of my birthright because I was powerful, pure, and skillful on my own. I didn't need their yarns to incentivize me—their yarns were my training wheels that over time just hampered me from truly growing to my own level. I quarreled with Rigger captains for fun, I slaughtered challengers because it tested my will, I raced sand tarakava because I thought that was neat, I carved the eyes out of muaka with a spoon because it would hurt more, and I quested to claim power and prestige because I was worth all of it myself. Every challenge was greater than the last, every one had the potential to take my breath away or kill me—and I looked forward to it every time. So when this warrior spoke to me and challenged my presence with the nonchalance of a jaded queen passing judgement on a peasant, I did not quiver or shake. This was what I groomed myself for, after all, so why would I balk? No, I smiled at the warrior casually and kept Zai's hand in a vice grip, commanding our bond to remain so I could deliver the message back to the wakeful warrior just as she addressed me. "Oh, well, I guess this us what the annals refer to as 'making first contact.' Hi." @Vezok's Friend
  10. IC Stannis | Coliseum Lord Pridak was not in session... yet. Stannis took pleasure in the fact that the former office, turned throne room, was vacant, and slowly led each of the other three to places and hidden alcoves ringing the office. Rose he took to a place where the wall was weaker so she could blast through, Skyra was placed near her gal pal, and Waveahk was slipped into a ventilation shaft that would spit him out right over the throne itself. Unusually for the former Steltian, though, the old toa bade him something before stepping away. "I'm sorry I almost had you killed," he said. It was a sincere apology—even Waveahk could tell that—though it sounded oddly placed. It quickly dawned on the perceptive ex-Hunter that much of what Stannis had been doing and saying hinted at a sense of resignation, as if he had no anticipation of surviving this battle and suffered himself to dispense of what knowledge and regrets he had that were relevant to those few people he would fight with. The bookshelf door Stannis saved for himself and his own grand entrance. He looked at the keypad, eyed it closely, and tried to scry for its code. It was some number dear to Dume, as all the old man's passcodes were and he was at least savvy enough to change the passcodes to his secret doorways. The old man buried his hands in the deep pockets sewn in his great cloak as if digging them would somehow reveal the code. He knew this code, but... of all the times his memory would give out (again) did it have to be then? At least Pridak was not in yet. @Toru Nui @Unreliable Narrator IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "I don't know. But are you at least somewhat interested in what other secrets this shrine holds?" @Nato the Traveler IC Hiripaki | Archives "Toa Okuo, Scavenger of Metru Nui! It's safe to come out now. I protecc! " @Onaku IC Yumiwak | Wastes, somewhere I skillfully set the Panda down on the sandy plateau, but the warlord I hunted remained still, almost as if she were sleeping. I looked at her through the telescūpe to make sure. Yeah, she was sleeping. Alright then, maybe this will be easier than I thought, I figured. The cannon of the Panda was aimed at the ground around the titillating sleeping warlord. In my hands I carried a set of manacles and a length of chain, but ahead of me were my clanmembers Zai, Korio, and Ysocla, each of whom wanted to be among the first to encounter my most exquisite quarry. We approached, and yet still the big, gorgeous warlord did not move. My hand grazed the pommel of my gun; it creaked in in leather holster as I toyed with it in anticipation. I stretched my hand out to Zai. She took my hand without a moment's hesitation. As our focuses combined I shot my psionic power into the mind of the dreaming warrior. I would try and rouse her to her senses again, and more importantly to make the first thought she had before waking be of my face. @Tarn @pokemonlover360 @Vezok's Friend
  11. DII = Driving Inside [the] Influence Prove me wrong.
  12. IC Stannis | Coliseum "There is nothing for me to rebuke," Stannis quietly replied after Rose's fire dwindled. "Our paths have been different but I know yours as well as the trails of Maru Nui, and I do not have to partake in war to understand what it takes out of people. Perhaps... should we survive this ordeal, I will tell you about the mantle of sins you wear and how Mata Nui truly cared about its textile of death." He chewed his lip a moment, reconsidering the agenda. Fate was full of twists and turns, and he could yet do good even though he was not so sure of his chances to outmaneuver his reaping this time, as while he did not cling to his own life, he knew what a toll his death would tax. "But should I not survive, you should still know that Mata Nui did not care. To him, Death... was an offering." The word tasted bittersweet balsamic on his tongue and saccharine to the ears, evoking the sweet stench of spoiled flesh and blood-soaked battlefields. Those were holy grounds, he could have meant to say, blessed to hold curses for a god of life and death alike. The elevator slowed, chimed once, and then the double doors noisily parted. Stannis held a finger to his lips and gestured for them to follow close into the dark and mostly unlit sections inside the walls of the Coliseum.
  13. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "It's true that a lot of people would liker to have Dume's killer in shackles, it's true," Leklo said. "Nobody's really sure who did the deed, though, save the handful of people who were in the room at the time. In this would we can be what we want to be—if I can become a 'hero' in my own eyes, what will you be?"
  14. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "I hear Tuyet thought otherwise," he ventured to say, then realized he didn't know much about what he said. "We don't know much about this new... or old... world, but if there's one thing I'm realizing it's that nothing is what it seems. Stay with us. Perhaps together we can learn more about ourselves and this world we are in whether we like or not."
  15. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "No," he said truly. "Not any more than you. I don't know what I am, either. Everything I knew and loved is no longer part of my life, so..." Leklo shrugged again, more intently than before as his cluelessness are even more real. "And is it your fault? I have no idea. "But nothing I have done since Dume touched me and made me a toa has made me think of myself as a hero, Sidra. I'm a refugee from my world and I am scared, like you are. When this Administrator says the 'boon'—whatever it is—is for heroes, I'm stretching it to think that applies to me, but it also said it's for anyone who provides the key, and we don't have to be a hero to provide a key. So you're wrong about this place, because if you don't even know what you are... you can't be sure if you're not supposed to be here." Leklo's eyes blinked. "Because I sure can't, and we're more alike than we both care to admit."
  16. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "I ask, because I want to know... if admitting that you don't know what you are is that difficult?"
  17. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "I know that; I know that I want to hate you, and I still fear you, but I don't know you," he said slowly, thinking his words through as carefully as he would his handholds as he ascended a steep bluff. Each one had to stick and hold his thoughts firmly. "But I didn't ask what you are to others. To this Administrator, my best friend is tainted and corrupted, but I don't think that's right. I asked because I want to know what you are—to you."
  18. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins "I know," he said, passing judgement too quickly. He meant it, of course—he could not let go of the resentment he held over Sidra murdering Forgemaster/Turaga Dume after witnessing the act firsthand and at once ascribing guilt. Sidra was the killer of his governor, Dark Hunter affiliated or not, and forgiving that sin against his people was counter to everything. And yet, in the span of time he spent with Sidra, he came to see the weak points in her character. In the week since the Catastrophe, he saw and assumed the worst of things. It was only natural, after all. Leklo had to assume the worst in this terrible new land, and just as he saw the beauty in some things it was hard not to ignore the torment of other experiences. He had time to grieve over the loss of his Universe, his God, and his City, and such sorrows naturally burgeoned into anguish and, in turn, to anger. In his heart's mind he glorified the things he heard dead back as a Matoran of Metru Nui, missing them dearly, and in exchange he vilified the things that stole him of what he loved. Pridak, the rest of the League, and the Dark Hunters were all subject of Leklo's internal biases, and Sidra was among them. The assassin of Turaga Dume, in his heart's mind, was nothing less than a hardened killer and enemy of the people. Reconciling that perspective to what his eyes actually perceived upon meeting Sidra again was difficult, but it was clear that they were not one and the same. Sidra may have been a killer, but she was not the flawless shadow techno-murderer he thought her to be. She was not a heartless minion of evil brokers. Sidra was, in many ways, just like Leklo and Korruhn and Sans and Stannis and all others who were shunted from the world they knew and jettisoned like refuse upon the wasteland island called Zakaz. She was an outsider, a refugee, and scared witless just like everyone else. She was trying to find out where she fit in the grand scheme of life... just like Leklo and Korruhn were. He did not think to consider Sidra innocent by a longshot, but she was not what he thought she would be like at all. Leklo breathed hardly, sighing animatedly both in and out, exasperated as he tried to carve the words from his frigid mind. "But do you even know what you are?" he asked finally. He shrugged, because ehe didn't not know what he thought his own answer would be if it were posed in return. IC Stannis | Coliseum "So you encountered another kaiju," Stannis ponderously said. "Great worms to the north, crabs to the south, and-who-knows what in between..." Some remnants of the Time Before Time still remained. "Those beasts are ancient. I thought they would have gone from this world by now, but they clearly still remain. They are not to be taken lightly, as you have learned. And hatred, Rose, is not reason enough to disregard sense. I hope we will combat coordinately in the fight that we are headed towards." IC | Hiripaki "Bye, Felicia! "
  19. IC Leklo | Ice Ruin "Sidra," he sharply said, "—wait." Leklo didn't really know what to do once he snagged the former Hunter's attention. Ko-Matoran were known to be critical thinkers, but not people people and Leklo—the former Alpinist—was an example of the rule, not an exception, and while he was an undisputed master of structural maintenance, equipment, and climbing, diplomacy and charisma were not skills he possessed. His impulsive nature egged him to stop Sidra from leaving because he knew he needed to do so, but it left the and then portion blank. He would figure it out as he got there, right? That's how he always figured things out. He scaled into unknown surfaces and fixed what he found. His knowledge was intuitive and technical, after all. He moved a few paces closer to Sidra and his mind buzzed with things to say. Thankfully his brain ruled out you can't leave because you're a prisoner, although it was a close call and wasn't too far from the truth; Sidra was a ward of theirs and the known assassin of Turaga Dume, a fact that meant neither of the toa were willing to let her simply leave without them, and they were most definitely not done yet. They were puzzle solvers, after all. "You can't leave," he managed to say. Talking to Korruhn was easier—they were like brothers and he knew where he stood with his friend. Sidra, meanwhile, was an adversary at worst and fair-weather companion at best, and her honest, caustic emotion felt corrosive and difficult to diffuse to someone who mostly didn't deal with others in general. "Because you're wrong. About this place."
  20. IC Hiripaki | Archives The bullets pierced the vault door with ease and sliced their way into the metal as Achro expected. Past the door, in the intermediary chamber, the bullet fragments bounced about as shrapnel, harmlessly shooting dozens of spark showers from the walls they struck but were too spent of velocity to do anything damage. What Achro realized, or would realize if he possessed the perception, was the holes he had shot in the vault door lingered for a moment until a faint humming sound could be discerned. The source of that noise was unplaceable, but somehow it was how the vault door seemed to repair itself. The holes, there an instant before, suddenly closed up until all there was left was a tiny mark of welding, like a scar, that was sure to vanish in time as well. The Intelligence, however, said nothing. In response to the shooting, however, the clearly threatened Vault intelligence activated another protecc function. On either side of the door small parapets opened and revealed twin faces that looked like diminutive matoran faces without their masks. The eyes of these faces abruptly lit up and then flashed red laser beams that swept the ground around the vault exterior, slicing through everything and everyone they came in contact with as far as the laser power permitted. One of Archro's mooks, not realizing the danger fast enough, was caught across the waist by a beam. It did not cut fully through the soldier and passed by just as quickly as it struck, but the mook's relief quickly transformed into terror as he tried to take a step and his upper body fell away backwards with the uncut section as a gruesome hinge, like a tall book thrown open. He flopped to the floor, screaming as he did, and then his cries subsided. Protecc! Hee hee! the AI thought. It had been a long time since it had been this in danger.
  21. IC Stannis | Coliseum Nobody spoke for a while in the confines of the elevator for a while as all their thoughts were in other directions or inward focused, but the ride up was long and almost painfully slow. The service worker elevator was not just unkempt, it was also one of the older portions and not as up-to-date as the fancy chutes used in the public areas. The gentle hum of the engine often shifted to a momentary grinding whir, tempting the ones inside with the momentary fear that it could simply jam halfway up and leave them stuck, before the even hum returned and those worries were once again drowned by more the looming concerns of betrayal and combat. It was the old man who finally broke the silence of the lift, his curiosity getting the better of him as his own thoughts ebbed without a predictable pattern until he couldn't help but ask about the expedition to the islets. "I wish to know what happened in the southron swamp." He turned around to face the others, though it was more of a ponderous shuffle in the confined space. "I know something happened; you did not have a chance to get to the Kumu Islets. What transpired?" @Toru Nui
  22. IC Yumiwak | Panda II There she was... And holy heck, what a beauty, just lounging in the wasteland sun, soaking in the bleaching rays like a some great breached mermaid. As we sailed closer I raised my telescūpe up to gate a better look at her and cupped my hand over the edge of the lens to keep the glare down. "She looks tired," I thought out loud. "No weapons that I can make out... Maybe that gun McGrokk has really was hers." And all the better, I thought. I knew I was made of strong stuff, but I also knew going toe-to-toe with someone who wasted a party of Mesi was a literal request for a death warrant, and I wasn't about to die and end my bloodline here. Greatness—that's what awaited me, providing I played my cards right and stayed smart about it. In the same vein, capturing this warrior would have to be done tactically and intelligently. Risks to myself needed to be minimal. I savored all the titillating ideas that ran through my mind. What exactly would I do with her once I caught her, chain her to the mast? shackle her ankles and collar her? coat her in a membrane of metal and call her my Dreenan? I was not sure, but I was certain that I would claim her, learn her secrets and power, and I would have them for myself. "Land the Panda there," I said to the helmsman, pointing out a flat promontory just large enough for us to settle down. "And cut the jet engines; we'll land using wind power. It's cooler that way." I returned to the banister and looked at her through the lenses again. Soon, mettles will be tested.
  23. IC Leklo | Ice Ruins depths A shiver descended Leklo's spine at the voice's words. It wasn't from the cold—his body somehow still retained the resistance to frigid temperatures even after his apotheosis to plasma toa—but distinctly emotional. This place, whatever, wherever it was, was ancient and rife with secrets none had witnessed in eons of memory. The former Alpinist knew little about the history of the land called Zakaz, his time there being short as it was and handicapped to findings from mostly geological surveying, but he had the same inklings, the same tickles at the back of his neck here in these ruins as he did in the portal in the Hideaway in Ko-Metru. And those similarities were finally catching up to him. The pristine ice, the trees, the sensation of otherworldliness, the geometries... the strange writings on the walls, the plinths, the riddles... the nagging at his belly, the titillation on his heartlight, the immaculate snows... Leklo abruptly realized all these things were the same, and that in turn revealed something he hadn't been able to fathom before: That he'd been to this land called Zakaz; that the portal for the Great Disk brought him here; and that Metru Nui and this land were somehow connected. It awed him to think of himself as a pioneer, touching, albeit briefly, upon a small section of this place which was so steeped in lore and danger. He nodded to Sidra with a strange glint in his eyes and took a step forward towards the newly revealed hallway, stopping a few paces in and touching the hieroglyphs carved upon them. He chose to engage with the Administrator, hoping it could share some further knowledge since it seemed quite capable of dialogue so far. "Administrator," he said, timidly but loud enough to compensate for his hesitations, "what do you know of a man named Dume? And tell us about the writings here." A beat. "Please." Even a Ko-Matoran should maintain his manners in a wasteland. IC Hiripaki | Archives At the barest contact of tool upon vault door a powerful electric bolt arced out, marking wherever it went with a black streak of char and turning the spoon in particular into a wilted nail. Those who held such implements were thrown back and tossed to the ground unceremoniously, thoroughly rebuffed by the sudden and incredibly forceful shock. Within the motherboard, the intelligence of Hiripaki giggled with glee at the use of her toys at long last. Protecc! she electronically thought. Hee hee!
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