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Keeper of Kraata

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About Keeper of Kraata

Year 13
  • Rank
    Emerging Ice Warrior
  • Birthday 10/13/1993

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    Male
  • Location
    Texas
  • Interests
    I do stuff! I like writing. Used to write a lot when I was a kid posting stuff here. And now I'm trying to write professionally (Among other things). Currently studying to become a teacher.

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    ninjaxenomorph

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  1. "I did not mean to interrupt." Wrap-up post for the Kalta, CW for dysphoria and self-harm. I want to thank everybody I've played with during the arc for making Mata Nui and Kentoku interesting places to write in.
  2. OOC: CW - Dysphoria, Self-Harm IC: Ihu-Koro Aelied could hear voices coming from inside the hut where he had laid Soraph, as well as Cyrix, who was asleep. The elder Bo-Toa ducked inside and found Casanuva, kneeling beside Soraph's cot, and Kalyss was pacing back and forth in front of him. Both ceased their discussion. "Pardon me, I did not wish to interrupt." Kalyss slightly bowed. "Master Aelied, you didn't interrupt anything. Cas and I were breaking down what happened in Ko-Koro." Without him? Not a cause for alarm, but a sign of independence nonetheless. Aelied inhaled and stood up as far as the hut allowed. "That was something I wished to discuss as well. I believe enough time has passed. Tell me, Casanuva, how do you think this outing went?" Kalyss began to interject before Aelied raised a finger to silence her. Casanuva glanced between the two before speaking. "... Well, we rescued Soraph and Skorm. I think at the end there we did the best we could. There was a lot of information we didn't know." Casanuva punctuated his point by cocking his head at Cyrix, knocked out by anesthetics. Aelied nodded. "And Kalyss, what is your report?" The Su-Toa took a deep breath and sighed. "It was a major cluster. Soraph ran off to meet with a contact that turned out to be Legacy, and got herself... like this. Skorm ignored protocols, and we didn't know there was another Kalta in the Koro in the first place." "Yeah, can we talk about that?" Casanuva frowned and crossed his arms. "The whole Cyrix thing?" Aelied sighed. It was true, by being conservative with his assets he had endangered them. Not to mention trusting an outsider. "You're right. I should not have kept his existence a secret, and I should have brought Soraph's plan to greater attention. Our time apart has impacted our Unity; all of us." Aelied closed his eyes for a moment of reflection. He had mulled over this issue in his mind for the last few hours, and had made up his mind. "I shall remedy that. Command code Kalta. Authorization: Aelied." The two toa froze. Casanuva slowly slumped over, while Kalyss's neck twitched. The both of them stretched, as if they had been confined for a very long time. In a few silent moments, Casanuva and Kalyss were no longer in the room, and were replaced by two different toa in their bodies. Casanuva's body rolled back first. Merceon had always been one of the more stable ones, Aelied reflected. Merceon sniffed, looking around, and settled back into a sitting position. Kalyss's body knew no such peace. Shialo flexed and winced, a look of pain and disgust coloring his mask. If Aelied had had a choice in which personalities were implanted in whom, he probably would have chosen a male toa; Shialo hated being in someone else's body, let alone Kalyss's body. "Well," Aelied stated once he was sure both were probably listening to him, "the one benefit to come from this is that the Kalta are whole again, finally. Unfortunately, I have grave news; while Skorm has returned to the fold, Nuhros I'm afraid is gone." Merceon furrowed his brow. "How... how can that happen? Skorm is still alive, isn't he?" Aelied shook his head. "I believe it occurred when he was healed of his antidermis infection. It must have taken the other personality and programming as well." The Fa-Toa grimaced. "I can't believe he's that weak. It never would have happened-" "Of course it would have happened!" Aelied snapped. "He was alone! It could have happened to any of you!" A shuddering sigh came from Shialo. "What would you have us do, Aelied? Get on with it." The Bo-Toa tapped his staff onto the hard ground. If worded wrong or too strong, a new precept would fracture Kalyss and Casanuva's psyches. Otherwise, it could be confusing or cause alienation. "Kalyss and Casanuva are vital members of the Kalta; Kalyss as the deputy leader, and Casanuva as a strong personality. Given recent events..." Aelied glanced at the Dasaka on the floor. "Your interpersonal relationships must be kept under control." Aelied noticed that Merceon had begun stroking Soraph's head. Was Casanuva's infatuation bleeding over into Merceon? The Fa-Toa also stared at him with an intensity he did not usually detect in the personality, normally aloof and direct. "Casanuva must keep his mind on the team first. This... relationship may be of benefit to the Mission, but it has to be kept in check. The team comes first. Is that understood, Merceon?" Nodding, Merceon's frown lifted slightly. "Understood. I'll keep his head in the game." Satisfied, Aelied turned to Shialo, who was becoming increasingly agitated. "Shialo, Kalyss's duties as the deputy leader are even more important now that all seven members of the Toa Kalta are united. She must step up; while I am still the official leader, Kalyss must become more than a shot-caller in the field. She must take a public-facing leadership posture." The Su-Toa didn't look at Aelied. Shialo's fingers were digging into his arms; Aelied spotted a rivulet of blood. "Get a hold of yourself!" He abruptly stopped, and nodded. "I understand. Become the leader." "A leader." Aelied smiled. "I'm not ready for retirement yet. Kalyss should seek to take on more leadership responsibilities for the Kalta, but ultimately will defer to me. Am I clear?" Shialo exhaled loudly. "Yes sir." Aelied took a last look at the two. He was proud of his team, but could not help but sense the desperation. These were the tools he had been made to wield. Pale, dysfunctional echoes of his past glory. He cleared his throat. "That will be all. Authorization: Aelied, end command." In several moments, Kalyss and Casanuva were back. Their demeanor betrayed no hint of the past few minutes. Kalyss winced and grabbed her arm. "Ow! What the Karz...? Aelied strode towards her. "Is something wrong?" "I think I cut myself or something." The Bo-Toa took a look at Kalyss's bleeding arm, grunting in thought. "Well, whatever happened, you're in the right place. Casanuva, hand me those bandages. Kalyss, why don't you give me your report on Ko-Koro? It will be good to put this matter to rest as we look towards the future."
  3. IC: Kentoku, Sado Fursic Sydelia thought her life would have become easier once her cousin and ex-clanmate was arrested. Before, she had been assigned by Clan Fursic to a quiet post in the capital, with the simple instructions to keep her head down, serve with the imperial healers, and pass on relevant information every once in a while. But then Relisai had decided to fly the coop, and her forlorn cousins had gotten involved. Now, orders had come down from Fursic leadership, perhaps even Toroshu Nera herself, to keep eyes and ears out on the Mashtet remnants. Report back. But that had been before the silence from Kozu. Now, she wove through the market, following Datsue Somei buying small tools and supplies. She had seen her going through similar tools, back on Hanaloi. She was getting ready to fix some carvings; not just refurbish them, but maybe even make a new one. Sydelia thought back to her adolescence on Hanaloi, the endless drilling to drive forth the Mindarm talent that, according to Aunt Kaetyo, surely existed within her. Her failure to become a Mashtet Carver had been chalked up to "too much Taajar blood". And Askha had wondered why Sydelia had broken her carving and knife to join the Fursics. Ahead, Somei had stopped. The crowd had thinned; they were almost alone. Sydelia realized that there was no way she had been unnoticed. "Fursic Sydelia," the Datsue stated. It was a matter-of-fact tone, containing none of the acid that Sydelia had expected. "Mashtet Somei. I see you've taken up carving again." The Datsue stood unmoving, still facing away. "Yes, I have. I will not be alive forever, and Askha resembles her mother too much. If she is to carry on the Mashtet legacy, it will not be as an artist." Sydelia snorted. "Askha will lead your band of survivors the way her mother did, and there will be nothing left this time." Somei was silent for a moment. "How has Sado living been treating you, Sydelia?" The Menti rocked back on her heels, uncomfortable at the change of topic. "Well enough. I eat, I sleep, I grow herbs, splice them, and when I'm bored I eat them. A third of the courtiers don't talk to me because I'm Fursic, another third don't because I used to be Mashtet, and half of those that are left just don't talk to me. Lots of fun." "I'm sorry to hear that." Somei's voice was soft. "You know, regardless of what Askha said, it's not too late. You can still come back." Sydelia forced herself to turn, leaning on the wall. "I couldn't, even if I wanted to. What's done is done. I... I should go." "You don't have to, you know that." Sydelia breathed in, her cheeks hot. "I do. Goodbye, mother." Somei watched her daughter leave, again. It had been the first time she had seen her since the meeting of survivors after the Mashtet disappeared. The datsue dropped her Sighteye, which had made it appear she was facing away. She couldn't do it, she couldn't bear to face the young dasaka she had so utterly failed and look her in the eye. "Goodbye Sydelia," she whispered, adding "may your road take you back to our home." A Taajar saying for wishing good luck to their travelling daughters. The Mashtet wiped tears from under her mask, and continued back to the apartment she shared with her niece.
  4. This is the first time during my experience with the BZPRPG I've seen the end of an arc, and I am both glad to be here to see it and immensely grateful to our overlords our wonderful GMs. Here's to the next one, people.
  5. OOC: Just, uh, pretend the Kalta and co were doing this while everyone was escaping Ko-Koro. Ghost gave me permission to use Dakte in a light role. Transplanted from Ko. IC: Casanuva glanced at the giant patero launcher. :I need that.: The Fa-Toa needn't say more, the threads of his plan had already seeded among the other members of the mindlink. Kalyss began directed plasma into a cutting torch, and started at half of its base. Along the other half, Dakte activated his soulsword. Casanuva grasped the artillery and lifted, his Pakari glowing. With a shuddering tear, he tore the patero out of its mooring on the wall. Heaving it over his shoulder, he pointed it at the oncoming force of Legacy guards. The warriors weren't stupid; most slid to a halt and dove for cover, those that couldn't find any leaping off the wall. Casanuva didn't blame them, he'd risk a fall rather than be blasted to pieces. But he didn't aim at any of them, rather, he aimed at the guardtower between the guards and the Kalta. "Fire!" Zueya leaped up and slapped the trigger, firing the cannon. The recoil caused Casanuva to stumble back, and beyond them, the guard tower crumbled as one of its corners was reduced to rubble. Behind them, the other force of guards were nearly upon them, and shots of energy and projectiles were whizzing by them. Casanuva turned and heaved the patero launcher at the oncoming group, disrupting the charge. Fyura and Zueya took advantage, and vaulted the heap of metal. There is a running battle on the streets below, and at the walls towards the gatehouse. We need to get there.: Zueya counted a hostile Vo-Toa, while Vakua directed a wide band of focused sonic energy, knocking a swathe through the Legacy forces. Kalyss charged forward and immediately locked arms with a brawny lesterin. Fyura shouted as she exerting every muscle in her body and pushed him aside into a swipe of Casanuva's longsword. She noticed the spare sword on his belt, and sent him a thought. The Fa-Toa locked blades with a skakdi, who grinned as he pulled out a buzzing, chattering box with his free hand. That didn't sound good; the Fa-Toa elected to direct a blast of magnetism that knocked the skakdi off the wall. He allowed himself to catch a breath before tossing her the arming sword on his belt "Don't melt it, okay?" Kalyss just smirked at him. He really hoped she didn't melt it. The Legacy group fell back shortly after; turns out the battle had been going from both sides. Zueya squinted at one of the figures on the ground, and her eyes went wide. :Skorm! Skorm's on the ground!: She ignored the rest of the team's thoughts on the matter, and dove off the wall "SKORM!" The Ba-Toa beneath her looked up in surprise, and raised his hand, slowing her descent into his arms. "How'd you know I would catch you?" he asked, clearly weary. "I had a feeling, is all." Zueya smiled. Behind them, the rest of the Kalta descended the wall, one way or another. "Skorm," Casanuva said, "What's the status on Soraph? Where is she?" "Ihu-Koro, hopefully. She was tricked, and attacked. Some sort of parasite, she's alive, but comatose. Cyrix is wounded." Kalyss frowned. "Who the karz is Cyrix?" Skorm shook his head. "Doesn't matter right now. That," he pointed his finger at the massing forces at the Ko-Koro gate, "does. Between you, Kale, and the bombings, I think most of the patero artillery are offline, but we're still retreating across a killing field." Kalyss looked the gate over. She nodded once. They'd formulated this plan, but never tried it before. "How about Plan Sunshine to collapse the gate?" Casanuva raised his head. "Here?" Cas asked, a look of wary nervousness in his eyes. The Su-Toa nodded. "Here. Ready?" Skorm sighed; he'd burned up a lot of power already. "I'm ready." Plan Sunshine was one of the cooperative techniques the Kalta had thought up during their training. There were a few others; Dynamo involved Casanuva tossing Zueya into the air while she shot electricity in all directions, Thunderbolt had Zueya firing a bolt of lighting, while Kalyss redirected the ionized air and Vakua amplified the thunder that accompanied the bolt, and Glorious Leader was one coined by Casanuva that involved shooting Kalyss as a magnetically assisted projectile as a last-ditch effort. Sunshine involved Skorm, Zueya, Casanuva, and Kalyss all working in tandem. Skorm began first, focusing on a point in space, warping gravity around it like an object of mass. Fyura followed by pouring as much plasma as possible into the vortex. As the plasma swirled around the point in space, Zueya aimed her staff at the growing globe, firing lighting into the mass. As more power flowed into the sphere it grew both larger and brighter. This is when Casanuva stepped in. Holding Ferrite with two hands, one on the grip and one midway of the blade, he channeled elemental power, using the sword to focus. He magnetically contained the sphere, which had reached about fifteen feet in diameter. Skorm had let himself flow into Vakua's mental link. As the point holding the construction together, he had to initiate the next part. :Now!: He both shouted and transmitted this command, and as one, the four toa pushed what looked like a miniature sun into the gate. Dark figures scattered as the orb hit the ground, taking out a large portion of the gate, which collapsed in on itself. The four Kalta ceased concentrating as the manifestation was beyond their reach, and there was a massive explosion as the energized plasma ceased to be bound by either a magnetic field or a center. Heaving, Skorm, collapsed. Zueya and Casanuva lifted him up by the shoulders (somehow, despite their disparate heights, they made it work), and the Kalta beat their retreat to Ihu-Koro. By the end of the day, lovers had been reunited. Family was whole again. And Aelied felt it was finally time to advance The Plan. OOC: I'll have more wrapup posts on my other characters later, and perhaps one dealing with certain relationships, but I'm considering this action over.
  6. IC: "With all due respect, my clan disappeared years before Yusanora's death. The Fursics are doing something; they're always doing something. Clan Mashtet served as Clan Umbraline's eyes of Kozu. I blame Clan Fursic for many things, but my clan vanishing off the face of Kentoku is not one of them." Her voice wavered even as it rose. "I was there on Hanaloi, there was no battle, no blood, nothing! Everyone was gone! I have spent every day of my life since then thinking, what did this? I did blame them for a long time. Despair filled my mind, then revenge. Then survival." Somei glanced at Askha, who was winding herself down. "It is true, the disappearance of our clan preceded the current troubles, but connecting them is fruitless without more evidence. Toroshu, your further assistance will be graciously accepted, and I shall go with Askha's proposal, she has more mind for business than I. Unless there is further business, I would like to retire for the evening; Askha and I have had a long day, and we don't want to take up any more of your time." The Datsue took a last sip of her tea and bowed her head. "Thank you again, Toroshu Morie. I will strive to restore your carvings to the original splendor." Somei got up and left for door. Closing her eyes, Ashka took a centering breath, and bowed. "Have a good evening, Toroshu. I will contact you when we have need for ships and your escort." She tried to hide her frown as she turned; Plangori Morie reminded her entirely too much of her own mother. Outside, the two Mashtet walked in the waning sunlight. Askha was silent. Somei put a hand on her niece's arm. "Askha... you can't lose control like that. Plangori Morie was patient, but others would have your thrown out or worse." Somei paused when the Menti began to sob. "I..." Askha's shoulders shuddered and her voice cracked. "I don't want to go back. I can't go back there alone. Not again." Somei glanced around, and held Askha, activating her Sighteye. Illusory copies of the two Mashtet continued walking before disappearing down an alley, while leaving the true Askha and Somei invisible and muted. The Datsue held Askha's hands and looked into her tearful green eyes. "You're not alone. I will be with you." Askha exhaled, still suppressing her sobs. "If we're going back to Hanaloi, I don't think you can be with me always." It was a quiet walk back to their apartment.
  7. OOC: I should mention I've been working on this post since before the Aggressors got to the gatehouse. IC: The minds of the Kalta became a whirring deluge of ideas as various issues were tackled as a group. The first problem: scaling the wall. As one, the Toa began running forward, and images sprang to mind. Kalyss would activate her mask and dash up the wall, being a vanguard and keeping the way clear. Burning handholds? No, too long. How is everyone else supposed to get up? Casanuva could jump. No, better yet, he could throw and lift. The mental image shifted to Casanuva haphazardly tossing Dakte far into the air, overshooting the wall. Zueya goes first, as an acrobat she can catch her footing the most, and Casanuva will gauge the distance and power necessary. Then Dakte, then Vakua, then Casanuva will jump himself. Kalyss's Kakama shone, and she sped off at an angle to the wall, and reversed. Her momentum carried as she ran up the wall, an orange streak. The wind bit into her as the Su-Toa vaulted the wall. A skakdi and lesterin whipped their heads around, and began to bring their weapons to bear. Kalyss snarled and skated towards them, summoning up plasma around her. She then vented it at the ground in a thin sheet, and it rebounded off the ground and whirled into a burning, shin-level wave of force, and swept the two off their feet. Behind her, a matoran started wheeling a patero launcher towards the invader. Two combatants, one gunner on a patero. Five to six seconds to fire on my position. Below, Casanuva reached the wall and knelt, his hands forming a foothold while his mask glowed. Zueya sprang forward and planted both feet in Casanuva's hands, gripping her extended staff for balanced. The Fa-Toa gritted his teeth as he heaved the lithe Vo-Toa into the air. He looked up to see her arc through the air, somersault, and roll onto the top of the wall. Less force, more angle. Dakte, up next. On the wall, Zueya rolled to her feet, gathering up power. The other people on the wall were things that come to her naturally through the mindlink; it wasn't hard to aim when she already got a good look at a few sprawling targets. Zueya, finish off the two in the fading plasma cloud, Kalyss, take care of that gunner. Lightning arced from Zueya's staff, not to the recovering Lesterin and Skakdi, but to the ionized air around them. A burst of light and sound erupted as electricity crackled through the cloud, and jolted through the two Legacy warriors. They both fell, not dead, but still twitching. The stench of ozone filled the area. Two down. Kalyss's mask once again activated, and she poured on the speed as she turned and zoomed straight towards the gunner. Plasma coated her fist, turning it into a superheated bullet as it slammed into the gunner. Thank Mata Nui she couldn't hear much; she did not want to hear what just happened to that guy's internal organs. Gunner down. Down the wall, stations were continuing to fire into the Koro or into the air, and guards were pouring out towards them from both directions. More incoming, both sides. * * * Fyura growled at Quoribay. "No! The Maru have found the prisoners, and there is a skirmish above!" She hadn't seen this guard before. That didn't surprise her, she hadn't seen most of the Legacy's forces, and this was a secret prison. Vayde tickled at her thoughts: he thought he smelled weakness. And she was very hungry... "Come on, we need to reinforce Eisen."
  8. IC: "It wasn't the Fursics," Askha spat. "They are scavengers taking advantage of the Mashtet clan's disappearance, nothing more." Her gaze was fixed on the ground, unwilling to look up and possibly meet anyone's eyes. Somei glanced at Askha and slightly waved her hand. Askha sharply inhaled and inclined her head. "My apologies, Toroshu." The datsue smiled. "Toroshu Morie," she said, "I am prepared to accept your offer, on all counts. The Mashtet clan would be glad to restore the relics tying our clans together, and Askha and I both agree the time of mourning the loss of the rest of the clan should end. I think that it is time to create something new." The dashi returned with a tray with tea and set it down, pouring three ceramic cups. Somei reached out a hand and one of the cups of tea floated into it. She sipped, contemplating her next words, even though she knew she had just ended one of the most harrowing chapters of her life, and business was all that was left. "If you can deliver the carvings to the apartment we are staying at tomorrow, I can begin restoration. I require discretion for my work, I'm sure you understand. As for your carving..." Somei sighed, staring into her tea. "I need tools and supplies from Hanaloi to make a new carving. Native wood, prepared crystal, it would probably take months, if not years, to find or recreate suitable replacements even in Sado." Askha spoke, sitting up straight. "We will not require Clan Plangori to cover our expenses, but we will require quarter payment in advance," she stated, her tone professional. "I'll need to charter a boat to the island, and... other things. You can deliver payment along with your carvings." The Mashtet Menti took a cup and sipped it. "Would this arrangement be acceptable, Toroshu?"
  9. IC: "Nice suite," Askha said as she settled down on the cushion. Beside her, Somei hopped up into the chair, quite pleased. "Well, this is definitely something I didn't miss. Clan protocol." The Datsue sighed. "At least its safer than negotiating with criminals, pirates, and saihoko." "You know where you stand with them, you can never trust them and they can never trust you, its a mutual understanding. With inter-Clan politics, its always a complicated game. At least we can claim some common ground with the Plangori, both the Mashtet and them were Umbraline supporters."
  10. OOC: Just to be clear, Skorm is still back in Ko-Koro. IC: Skorm watched as the gukko took off. "Godspeed," he said, to nobody in particular. That was several problems taken care of. Now, there was just the minor issue of escaping with their lives. The Ba-Toa turned to Krayn, obviously the leader of this group. "I'm still up. Where do you need me?" Cyrix's breath wasn't deep, but it were filled with muttered curses. He took a pair bolt from his quiver, loaded them into his crossbow, and racked the bolt. "I... I can still shoot. But I'm really hoping these aren't broadheads." * * * The hike up to Ko-Koro's walls had been tense, and silent. Not just because of Vakua's muting, but Casanuva fought down the dread he felt. He couldn't even see the walls, what if he was stuck by an arrow, a bolt of lightning, a fireball, a boulder, something else he would never even see coming? The Fa-Toa clamped his jaw shut to stop the chattering. It was cold. Go figure. Someone bumped his shoulder, Kalyss. :Lighten up, Cas. You're bleeding into the rest of us.: The athletically built Su-Toa glanced at Dakte. :Well, except him, probably.: Casanuva nodded and rolled his shoulders. :Right. The walls shouldn't be too far, no real point worrying. Either we get there or we get pasted.: Kalyss grimaced. :Not what I meant. Anyway, you getting a read on Soraph yet?: Casanuva hadn't tried yet. He wanted to be close before he did and... and he didn't want to. Some part of him was afraid to. But it was time now. He held his head; a somatic gesture, one to help him focus. He felt the metal in the armor of his compatriots, and even their bodies. He felt North, a guiding beacon of constant, cold indifference. And he turned his mental world over in his head, focusing on the one bit of metal he had given Soraph. There. :I got a read. She's in the Koro, all right, and moving. Moving... up? Yeah, up, and fast. What could-" Above them, a kahu laden with passengers streaked overhead. :She's on that bird!: Zueya, for the most part silent until now, pointed at the wall. :The emplacements! They're gonna shoot it down!: On the wall, one of the massive patero launchers swiveled, aiming. Zueya felt her gut go icier than the terrain around her as it fired a projectile at the rahi. But a streaking bolt of plasma intercepted it, exploding like a firework. Kalyss retracted her hand, the glow of plasma fading, and her Kakama started to glow. She pointed at emplacement, which was reorienting. She shouted something; her words were muffled, but the thought carried to Casanuva, Zueya, Vakua, and Dakte. :Take the wall!: * * * Fyura breathed heavily. Then she screamed. They were escaping! She had barely even fed! The skakdi mutant clutched her axe, her prized axe, and vaulted out the door. They were heading up, they had to be. She could rejoin the fray upstairs. Perhaps this day could be salvaged after all. * * * Aelied's conversation with Mako was interrupted when the kahu landed. The elder toa squinted, and sharply inhaled. "Soraph." Figuring the Datsue would follow, Aelied turned and strode toward the commotion, his long legs covering the distance quickly. He noted that Soraph had been wrapped in Skorm's new cloak; she was unconscious, but not bloody. The Bo-Toa checked her pulse, which was steady, and carefully began unwrapping the cloak bundling her, but froze. The elder toa stared at her neck. "Mako," he said, soft enough to almost get drowned out. "Do you see this?"
  11. IC: Askha wanted to say something about compensation, out of habit, but held off. "I will tell her when I next see her, Plangori Fanai, thank you." The Menti bowed. "And, uh," she hesitated, "thank you for the discussion. Feels good to be a Menti again." The Mashtet went back to her practice, but her mind was elsewhere (though not as literally as it could be, she reflected). The obvious reason for wanting a meeting with her aunt was on the topic of Mashtet carvings. Which is why she was tempted to overthink it. Ample compensation? Sounds like a job. Askha remembered Rayuke's words to her. .: But you must understand that I am responsible for your actions. If you stray too far from the line again... :. Askha shuddered as she began her cooldown. She did not want to be on Rayuke's wrong side. If this was just commission work, it would extend the Mashtet Survival Fund by a little more. If not, it would give them some insight. As she finished, Askha made her way to some of the meditation mats that were used by the less physical disciplines in the Yard, and crawled into a lotus position. It had been a while since she had used her mask, much longer since she had used it here. Moments later, she was soaring through Sado, to her and Somei's apartment. The Datsue was reading a broadsheet. .: So what should we call this place? Flat Mashtet? The Mashtet Compound 2.0? :. Somei didn't look up, but smiled. "I'm partial to just 'the apartment.' Any reason you needed to speak with me?" Askha's astral form drifted towards the elder. .: A Plangori approached me, apparently Toroshu Morie wants to meet you. I wasn't given a particular reason as to why. :. "Perhaps she wants me to make a carving in her likeness." Tilting her head, Askha reclined in the air. .: Have you decided to start carving again? :. Somei shrugged. "An old Datsue needs something to take up her time while her only family is away cutting up sticks." Askha conveyed an utterance that would in person be a snort. .: I don't think that's it. I mean, it might be the pretense. But it sounds like she wants something. We would both be "amply compensated." I think we should follow up, together, if you want. :. Somei smiled. "Hurry on home, we can discuss the matter." Hours later, Somei and Askha made their way to the apartment suite of Plangori Morie, both dressed in their best (or at least best laundered) robes.
  12. IC: Kalyss breathed a sigh of relief; it had felt like she had been holding it in for weeks. There was something comforting about Vakua's mindlink. A sense of belonging, of mutual purpose. The knowledge, the assurance that whatever might happen, she was not alone. When Dakte was folded in, she felt him, but in a limited fashion. Like a cold stone. Still, better than nothing. She started talking, her words mostly lost in the blizzard, but her thoughts were still transferred to the rest of the team. :I did some scouting of the area, but didn't get too close. Ko-Koro is a fortress, and as far as I can tell, it only has one conventional way in.: Zueya nodded. :Aelied and I were in Ko-Wahi for a while. It's not just a wall, there are listening devices and artillery emplacements on the wall. And... and the Legacy will not hesitate in their use.: Bleeding into the mindlink were her memories tending to the refugee caravan survivors, whether she wanted to or not. Casanuva grimaced. :Zueya, didn't you say in Ga-Koro that you and Aelied went undercover inside the Koro? How'd you get in?: The Vo-Toa sent an affirmative thought. :We adopted aliases, and just walked in. There are Legacy guards posted at the front gate.: Images of the gate and wall spread over the mindlink, followed by her memories of the inside of Ko-Koro. :We were setting up a safehouse inside, but Korero Maru found us first. That was after we found the wanted sign for Vakua's Suletu.: One by one the Kalta looked back at Vakua. Casanuva broke the pause. :Easy. We make like we are bounty hunters that have captured Vakua. We get inside, find Soraph and Skorm, and get out.: :And when we don't bring Vakua to whatever overlord is in charge of the place?: Casanuva audibly snorted. :Please, we're the Kalta, with two Menti warriors.: Casanuva's mental image of all five of the Kalta undergoing a daring escape, he himself sweeping Soraph off her feet. The imagined sequence was cut short by Kalyss pelting him with a snowball.' :As attractive as that idea is, I don't think it will work.: Zueya continued unabated. :What if the guards try to kill Vakua then and there?: The Fa-Toa sobered immediately. :Right. Sorry. Too much of a risk. You said there were listening devices. Vakua could cover us, and we could scale the wall under cover of the snowstorm.: Kalyss, leading the way, came to a halt. :I don't like the idea of pretending to bring our teammate on a silver platter a follower of Makuta. Plus, both Casanuva and I are described in that wanted sign; its dangerous. But, let's keep that plan in our back pocket. It would be easier with Skorm, but we can scale the wall to get in without drawing trouble. I think our biggest problem is finding both of them once we're inside.: Her thoughts were unaccompanied by words; she barely had to think it; they had arrived at the valley leading to Ko-Koro. Casanuva suddenly breathed in, epiphany ringing through the mindlink. :The necklace! I gave Soraph a necklace in Ga-Koro, I might be able to home in on it like a compass. But given all the ferromagnetic material within those walls, I'd need to be pretty close to find it.: :That's what I like to hear. I'm going to assume you planned that.: :Let's go with that, fearless leader.: Looking to her team, Kalyss took a slow breath, and watched the snowstorm spirit away the crystallized exhalation. Enemy territory, unknown enemy forces, and the unknown factors of Soraph and Skorm. Her first real operation. :Are we ready?: * * * "Yep," Skorm said, "Just like you. Same as that Dark Toa, too. But he's a problem for another day." His exertions were going to catch up with him again, he could feel the burning in his lungs start again. He started making his way to Krayn and Cyrix, using his saber and reach to make sure a path was clear, though it was mostly only the threat of force.
  13. IC: Cyrix managed to fit most of the curses he knew into the short gasp of pain as Krayn pulled him to his feet. He leaned on Krayn;s arm to take the pressure off his leg, and back, which hurt tolerably less. Getting out of here wasn't gonna be fun, but it needed to happen. "SKORM," he shouted, using some of his elemental power to force air into his lungs, "PICK UP AND ON US!" The other Kalta managed to hear Cyrix over the fray. While he had enormous respect for the Maru, this was probably a time to let legends do their thing. Besides, his team needed him; Unity and Duty and all that. That's two to Destiny's possible one. Concentrating his well, he felt out for the sturdy ba-matoran, lifting him up and pulling him to Skorm as fast as he dared; he caught the considerably smaller, if heavy, matoran in one massive arm. "I'm Skorm. If you want to leave, I'd suggest hanging on and watching my back." A skakdi leveled a spear at him, and Skorm leveled the gravity as it was thrown and it tumbled to the ground. The transformed Fe-Skakdi felt the blast before she saw it, and her dive was altered into a spin in an entirely different direction from where she had initially aimed. She slammed into the stone wall of the room and tumbled onto the ground. She was angry. This was her moment to shine, and this Maru was almost literally raining on her parade. Fyura pushed herself over and her long legs continued the motion, bringing her upright. As she rose, she tore one of her throwing axes off her belt and flicked it at the Ga-Toa. With a flick like tossing a dart she put the same violence behind it as a toa might with an overhand swing. But the axe wasn't the plan, just something to keep the Maru busy for a second. With her other hand, she pulled the volo lutu launcher she kept, now tiny in her swollen and stretched form. She aimed at the wall that Leah had weakened, at a support, and fired. Zueya shrugged. "I studied weather as part of my training, snowstorms are one of the worst storms you'll get outside of big tropical storms. But his one isn't coming from the right direction, even accounting for the weird weather on Mata Nui." Tromping ahead, Casanuva looked back. "Any chance its a thundersnow? You and Kalyss could certainly have some fun with that." The Vo-Toa shook her head. "Afraid not, at least not now." Kalyss had held up, waiting for them to reach her. "It's not gonna be long before we reach the valley, and then its a short hike to the outer wall." The outer wall would be a challenge for the entire group to get through, or over. "Vakua, I have some idea for our approach, but I haven't seen the inside. Zueya and I could pool our knowledge from my scouting and her infiltration. Care to set up a mindlink?" She glanced at Dakte, remembering the Dasakan reactions to unprompted telepathic contact. "If you could join in, we would appreciate it."
  14. IC: Casanuva nodded at Dakte. He put on a stern face, but behind his mask he felt relieved. If only for someone else that wanted Soraph back. The Fa-Toa rolled some tension out of his shoulders and turned around, keeping to his word. "Kalyss!" he shouted. The Su-Toa was doing some preliminary stretches. "Yes, fearless leader?" Mata Nui, she was on about this again. Oh well, one way to assuage her. "You're our second in command, I'll let you take the lead." Kalyss rotated her neck, issuing several pops. She gave Casanuva a wry smile. "You don't know how to get to Ko-Koro, do you?" "That too. There's also a blizzard, and you are a living flare." "You need me to literally light the way?" Casanuva smirked. "Isn't that your forte, dear sister?" As she walked past him, Kalyss jabbed a finger into Casanuva's chest. "Just you watch out. One of these days, you're gonna wake up in the morning and crawl out onto black ice." Kalyss continued walking, breathing deeply. Hoping the wind would cover her. This was Skorm's attack on Ga-Koro all over again, but with even more variables. But this time, she was taking her team into trouble. But she couldn't falter or misstep. Do do so could cost not only the lives of herself and the Kalta with her, but potentially innocent lives. Not to mention the awaiting diplomatic incident with the Dasaka that could only get worse. Raising a hand into the air, Kalyss shouted to the assembled team behind her. One lovestruck angry toa of magnetism, a De-Toa whose mask was wanted with or without its bearer attached, a toa of lightning who had yet to unlock her mask, and a foreign psion with unknown abilities. Kalyss exhaled and closed her eyes. One never goes to battle with the army they want, only the army they have. "All right, I've been scouting the routes between here and Ko-Koro. This blizzard is bad, but we should be able to skirt it by keeping close to Mount Ihu. Single file, I'll be fifteen to twenty paces ahead, dropping flares. Just follow the flares. If there is a problem, pass it up the line." Kalyss turned, closing her fist and pulling it down. "Let's move, Kalta!" Zueya fell in behind Casanuva, forming up the middle of the line. She stalled a bit, watching the blizzard. She half-turned to Dakte "How much do you know about weather? Something doesn't feel right about this storm." * * * Cyrix nodded, and watched his exhaling breath crystallize before being swept away. As he was getting up with Soraph, he checked her breath. As he checked to ensure she was still breathing, the crack of Krayn's revolver almost made him jump off the roof. After seeing it's work, though, he decided he wanted one, whatever it was. Once again hefting Soraph on his shoulders, Cyrix ran towards the gukko. Over with the din of battle combined with the blizzard and the roaring in the Kalta's ears, he could barely hear. He stowed Soraph on the Gukko's saddle as quickly as he dared while still being secure. "How many does this bird seat?" All in all, Cyrix barely felt it when the bolts from the Legacy soldier's gun struck his right calf and lower right back. The Le-Toa fell, twisting onto his side and grabbing for his crossbow, and in the space of a single breath (when you're a Toa of Air, however talented, you make them count), put both bolts the crossbow held into the attacker's sternum and throat. Okay, now it hurt. And it was very cold. * * * Fyura had only an instant to react to the blast of ice water and mud. Fortunately, she had the reflexes of a Rahkshi currently; that was all she needed. With a twitch of her legs, she sprung up, twisting. The skakdi plunged her claws into the ceiling and let out a small roar of exertion as she lifted her lower body up, her clawed feet grasping at a beam. As her back was splattered with frozen debris, a fair portion was mitigated by her piecemeal armor, though a bit of the slurry brushed against Vayde, which sent a shiver down both of Fyura's spines. "No, no, I'll show you how we clean here!" Then Fyura grinned, and pounced at the Maru; this time not for her body, but her staff.
  15. IC: Askha shrugged. Judging by the Menti's clothes, she was a Plangori. "I suppose. Hanaloi has a lot less undergrowth than Oki, and much taller trees. We were trained to use Mindarm along with our knives to quickly climb the trees." The Mashtet drew the broad-bladed knife kept at the small of her back and held it, tracing the contour of the blade. She didn't mention that the reason her clan climbed the trees was to pepper intruders with projectiles while they had been hobbled by the clan's Sighteyes. "But I do know what you're talking about. You wouldn't believe how many times I wished my Kanohi had been something else, anything else." Askha smirked. "Granted, the astral projection I suppose is a greater tool; but when you're facing a charging Menti with a Pakari, sometimes you wish you could dodge like a Calix-wearer. Or teleport like a Kualsi-wearer. Or even just a Hau's shield."
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