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Monk Hormd- Kini Nui

 

IC: "Peace, Guardsman. You may call me Hormd. One of Mata Nui's servants who came to reclaim his temple after Makuta was defeated." The aged man glanced between then two Matoran. even without the Ussalryman's introduction it was obvious that they were members of the koro Guards. They all had the same bearing about them, although some drew it around them like armor while others barely whispered of it. Nevertheless it there on both of the two. Hormd had both faced off against and stood alongside enough of the island's military forces to know a member when he saw it.

 

"I came when I heard your voices. Despite our best efforts the temple doesn't get much in the way of visitors."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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IC:

"No disrespect, elder, but considering its environment until Makuta's fall it's not hard to see why." 

 

Nevertheless, the older Matoran's introduction did much to ease Tarnok's suspicion. It had the ring of truth, and matched his appearance and bearing. He felt no need to press the subject. If anything, it was reassuring to know that others were present. Safety in numbers was an old, primal notion that still held sway in the hearts of most Matoran. Unity was one of their most basic impulses when confronted by a threat. He relinquished his grip on the blade entirely and inclined his head in greeting, both to reassure and indicate a degree of deference. Anyone the Ko-Matoran's age had earned a degree of respect.

 

"It isn't a place I would normally visit." The Onu-Matoran paused a moment, thinking. "But if you have spent some time here, you may be able to help us."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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Monk Hormd- Kini Nui

 

IC: "It is the duty of a monk to render what aid they can." The old man said as if quoting something. "I will do what I can. Please, tell me what troubles you."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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IC:

"Well, that would be a long list." The Onu-Matoran commented dryly, crossing his arms loosely across his chest. But the monk offered up a good question. He supposed that to a man of faith, the story wouldn't sound quite so far fetched. But there was still the matter of how best to explain it. "We were... Approached by a Matoran. One who knew some things that would have been hard to learn. We would've ignored him, otherwise. He directed us to come here. Find something he called 'the Keeping Place'."

"Supposedly we were supposed to know what we were looking for when we got here." Tarnok shrugged a little. "Nothing so far. We were going to wait and search in the morning."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC:

 

Leli stayed quiet as Tarnok spoke, a somewhat sharp contrast to her improved mood from moments prior. Besides her initial jump when Hormd had announced his presence; accompanied by a sound of surprise given their current whereabouts. She didn't care to admit how much she had been rattled by it, it wasn't very becoming.

 

Nonetheless, Leli was content to let Tarnok do the talking, for now. She had positioned herself behind and slightly to the right of her companion, body turned outward somewhat as she focused on the third matoran ahead of them. Her hands were at her hips in a casual enough stance, but close enough to her weapons for quick access to them. She didn't entirely approve of Tarnok spilling all the information they had to the stranger, as nice as he seemed now, but it was too late now to take it back. Besides, maybe there was a small chance that the man could help them in some way, however small. Not like the whole trip they had been on was any kind of normal.

 

Even so, she was still in a good position to respond to anything that might creep up behind them, if there was a chance this matoran wasn't who he said he was, and if he had friends.


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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Monk Hormd- Kini Nui

 

IC: "Hmmmm" The monk stood there for almost a full minute as he poked and prodded his long memory. Finally he shook his head with a sigh. "Sorry sir Guardsman, I do not recall ever hearing of such a place. It's possible that it lies within the lower levels of the temple complex. Rahkshi still stalk the depths and we have not had the chance to rediscover much that lies underground." A disappointment smile crossed his face and he looked at the pair again. They had obviously packed for a trip and likely had tents or bedrolls with them. But his duty wouldn't allow such a thing to happen when he could do something about it.

 

"But where are my manners. I may not be able to help you find what you are seeking but I can at least give you a place to sleep for the night."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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Monk Hormd- Kini Nui

 

IC: That got a raised eyebrow in response. He had just said that he and his fellow monks had moved in after the defeat of Makuta. Maybe she had been too focused on their surroundings at the time to hear him.

 

"Yes," He gestured back the way he had come. "We rebuilt some of the temple's subsidiary building about a dozen paces that way. The distance keeps us safe whenever something wanders out of the main entrance. Or when some of Makuta's remaining minions decide to pay a visit."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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IC:

"I see. Thank you, anyway." It had seemed like a long shot that the elder Matoran might know, but it was worth a shot. A shelter, at the very least, would be much more welcome than a tent. As the Ko-Matoran noted, Kini-Nui still wasn't an especially safe place to be without a group. "That would be much appreciated, elder. I would be more comfortable staying the night in something a little sturdier than a tent, at least in a place like this. We would be happy to offer a hand while we're here, too. If anything does decide to wander to the surface overnight."

 

From anyone else, he would have doubted that a collection of monks had reclaimed much of anything from the Rahkshi. But the old Matoran had a steel behind his bearing, a sturdiness that didn't speak of a peaceful history. Everyone's path took them along different twists, but Tarnok would have bet that the Ko-Matoran's was a little more checkered than most. With a little guidance from such a man, it made much more sense. The Onu-Matoran's expression was polite, but he didn't do much to hide that he was taking measure of the man either. He'd seen much the same look in the Ko-Matoran's eyes.

 

"Perhaps a little conversation, too, if you have the time."


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC:

 

"That's uh,Disturbing. "a good thing that you did that."

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Where is Grecko anyway?"

 

IC: Savina

 

"Somewhere nearby I'm sure."


My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Oceanna | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka | Wraith | Xxeth | Silene

 

 

 

 

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IC: Tehlin

 

I took a moment to take a good look around area, while my vision was partially obstructed by my fellow toa of Plantlife's current position, I still half expected to see the unmistakable shape of the Rahi somewhere in the underbrush.

 

"Guess we'll know eventually, keep your eye out for him."

 

IC: Leli

 

Leli looked from Tarnok to the monk, before settling her gaze on her companion. There was a steel in his eyes from where they sat in almost quiet contemplation behind his Kualsi, a look that she recognized. "Alright," the Major turned to face the monk, giving a small nod of acceptance to the two others, "You'll understand if I'm not the biggest fan of just sitting around this place for too long, yeah?"


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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IC: Savina

 

"Ok." Savina replied, as she looked around. "Hmmm..."

 

Then there was an all too familiar grunting sound that could only be Savina's longest companion. The bear was up ahead, trying to dig up what appeared to be some sort of bush. 

 

"...hey there he is!" 


My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Oceanna | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka | Wraith | Xxeth | Silene

 

 

 

 

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IC:

 

"Grecko!" I made to wave at the bear... only to let out a sudden curse as the motion, or more specifically my removal of a hand keeping Savina where she was, caused her to tip back from my shoulders. Foot catching on a traitorous root hidden in the layer of leaves as I attmpted to step back and keep her up, there wasn't much I could do from there. I landed on the ground in a heap, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you asked) breaking Savina's own fall with... myself.

 

"...Ow."


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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IC: Savina

 

"Oof..." Savina looked down to see Tehlin. "I think you made a mistake there somewhere..." 

 

Grecko stared at Tehlin. 


My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Oceanna | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka | Wraith | Xxeth | Silene

 

 

 

 

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IC:

"Don't blame you."

 

Tarnok was more accustomed than most Onu-Matoran to the world outside Onu-Wahi, but being in a place quite as open as the Kinj-Nui still felt... Off-putting. The wide open sky troubled him, unimpeded even by trees, troubled him though the falling of night was an ironic comfort. Whatever shelter this monk had would be more comfort, still. But...

 

His ears strained, the sound of movement somewhere in the dark.

 

"Do either of you hear that?"


fK5oqYf.jpg

 

On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Leli

 

"Hear..." Leli's soft, if slightly uncertain, lilting tone trailed off as she heard what her companion did a second after he. For a split second she was impressed that Tarnok had picked out the noise before she did, given their current wearabouts, chalking it up her having spent far too much time underground and away from actual open sky. Or at least, a small part of her mind was impressed, the rest was occupied with going through the various different scenarios which could come from this. Hearing an unknown sound near the Kini was reason enough to give anyone pause, and the Major readied her staff with a precise and practiced twirl, moving to take up a position next a half-toppled pillar.

 

She didn't need to look to know that Tarnok would be similarly prepared, but did so anyway, catching his eye with a questioning look. "Rahkshi?" She half asked, half hissed in digust.

 

IC: Tehlin

 

"Yeah well no one's perfect," I grumbled under my breath, "and everyone's a critic."

 

With some effort I shifted Savina up off of me and to the forrest floor next to me, decompressing my chest and allowing me to actually breath again.

 

"But we found Grecko, didn't we?"


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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IC: Savina

 

Savina nodded, "Yes, yes we did. I knew he wouldn't stray too far." 

 

Grecko let out a bear-like grunt, as if he was agreeing. 


My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Oceanna | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka | Wraith | Xxeth | Silene

 

 

 

 

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Hormd- Kini-Nui

IC:

"Of course, this place has an admittedly deserved reputation as a dangerous location." The old man's answer was a warm one, filled with the humor of one who was used to his visitors always being on edge. But then the ordinary sounds of the nighttime jungle were disturbed. It was something big, or several things. Not overly close so far but getting closer.

"We don't get much in the way of Rahkshi up here. They mostly stay down within the tunnels of Mangaia." His voice was quieter now. Not a whisper but not a normal speaking volume either. "If I had to guess...probably a rahi of some kind. Or perhaps several."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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IC:

“Easy, easy, not a Rahi.” The voice echoed out of the black, friendly but a little concerned. The click of legs on stone grew steadily more distinct as the speaker came into view, a De-Matoran seated with hands raised on Ussalback. “I mean, I guess Cancer is. But not that kinda Rahi.”

The crab in question regarded them a little more skepticism than his rider, but he relaxed a little too upon seeing the emblems on both Tarnok and Leli's armor. The Onu-Matoran was a little slower, the setting still had him on edge, but he nodded an apology to the other Matoran for the raised weapons. Even though he was pretty sure they had never met Tarnok could recognize the kind; muscle definition, the dust and dirt undeterred despite all efforts, the tools carried between him and his crab… The Matoran was a miner, through and through. He'd have bet his life on it. It reminded him of home in a way that made him relax, just a little.

“What brings you out here?” He asked, more politely than the bluntness would let on. “And what's your name?”

“I'm Kellin, and uh.” The Matoran scratched the back of his head. “This is gonna sound weird. But a Matoran told me I needed to come to the Kini-Nui.”

Tarnok blinked, and he heard Leli pull in a deep breath.

“What? Know anything about it?”

“Uh, yeah. 'Bout yea tall, cloak, hood, allergy to a straight answer?” Tarnok's superior gestured, jovial tone disguising an undercurrent of anxiety. “We met him, too. In Onu-Koro.”

“Then you guys too?”

“Yes.” Tarnok answered, finding his tongue again. He was thankful for Leli's timeliness, the confirmation that they weren't the only ones had sent a prickle running down his spine. The Matoran had been convincing enough to merit checking into the Kini-Nui, yes; even if only to root out whatever his motive was for lying. But that another had been contacted, had been lead to arrive at about the same time… It was unnerving. “He said it was important. I wasn't sure I believed him, but….”


The Onu-Matoran's voice trailed off, his thought uncharacteristically incomplete. He wasn't sure he dared finish the sentence. Or what he would finish it with.

“We met him too.” An unfamiliar voice chimed in, a Ga-Matoran just barely ahead of a small group. A foreigner in crystal armor trailed just half a step behind her, consternation and irritation mixed in equal measure on her features. Two more foreigners, much taller, and a Toa brought up the rear. “Weird guy. But he was stubborn.”

“I think we've all met the same man.” Lekua added, padding into the circle of soft light atop the Great Temple from the direction of Le-Wahi. “He knew about my time with Stannis. I'm not sure how.”

“Common theme.” The smallest foreigner commented, a little snappishly. Not from anger, if Tarnok had to guess, but from unease. He shared the sentiment.

“She's got a hangover.” The Ga-Matoran explained, nodding at the smaller foreigner. “I'm Seven. That's Soraya.”

“Lekua.”

“I'm Ussalmatoran Tarnok,” He began, gesturing at Leli to his right. The guardswoman had gone quiet so he stepped in to cover for her this time. “And this is Major Leli.”

“What are we all doin' here, you think?” Kellin ventured, after the clearing had been quiet for a moment. “I mean, there's six of us. You don't think we could be. I mean, I'm just a miner.”

“Nah, I mean, she's not even the same species, right?” Seven pointed at Soraya. “Sorry, but. Right?”

“The Matoran did seem to imply that it was the will of-”

“'Taka's cheek, if you say Mata Nui. Your Spirit isn't mine.”

Lekua shrugged his shoulders in deferment, but didn't venture anything further. Tarnok didn't have any answers, either. It wasn't what Kellin had speculated he could know that much. Destiny was quite specific, and… His thoughts turned to the object bundled protectively in Leli's bag. It couldn't be that, not when one of their number had a Stone already in their possession. But if not that, he wasn't sure what they could have been gathered for.

On a conscious level he again suspected a trap, but there was no sign of any such preparations. And his gut said otherwise. He couldn't understand what was going on, not at all, but his gut said the Matoran was real. And that they truly were gathered for something important. The anticipation of what it could be gnawed at him, only increasing his unease, but he didn't have to wait for long.

The night stilled and grew quiet, as though the jungle had faded away from the light's perimeters like a Rahi from fire. The world held its breath and the Matoran strode quietly into the light. The reactions to his presence were mixed, but mostly wary; the larger foreigners and military folk alike took up a more defensive stance, regarding him with wariness that in some bordered on defensive. Hormund, unlike the rest, seemed curious; he turned fully to face the seventh Matoran and regarded him with welcome.

Tarnok was more sure, even than a moment before, that something was important. He couldn't understand why, couldn't articulate it. But the world was poised for change.

“Elder one.” The Matoran addressed Hormund warmly, favoring the older Matoran with a smile. “You do this place a great service. It's been too long kept from its former glory. I have no right to ask, but if you could prepare for our guests whatever they require I would be grateful. Some of them have come very far and they will need to rest. This is as far as they go.”

“That's unacceptable.” The tallest foreigner, clearly in charge, stepped forward and spoke with authority. A military woman to be sure, from her bearing even if not from her dress. “Soraya is a member of my expedition. My crew. Her safety is my responsibility, and where she goes I will go as well. Or she will not go anywhere at all.”

“Commodore Ayiwah,” The Matoran said gently, without rebuke. He drew back his hood to better look the woman in the eye. Despite his lower stature he looked at her as an equal, without giving an inch of ground. His presence outsized his form, cautioning against pushing the point. His kind demeanor masked gravitas. “It is not my decision. I would send you with them if I could, it would be easier when they arrive. But it is impossible. She will be safe. I give you my word that no harm will come to her. My Spirit will not allow it. Nor will yours.”

“I have to go, ma'am.” Soraya said quietly. “If I'm going to get answers.”

There was a pause, perhaps for the Menti think or perhaps to communicate unheard by the natives, but Ayiwah reluctantly stepped back.

“Gathered friends the hour is late, and we have our role to play in turn. I have promised you answers. You will have them. But we must talk as we march.” He surveyed the Matoran, seeking something in each of their faces in turn. When his gaze met Tarnok's the Onu-Matoran held firm, gazing back without giving ground. It was all he could do. “Kellin, Leli, Seven, Tarnok, Lekua, and Soraya. I need you all to trust me. Just a little longer.”

No one spoke, but no one retreated either. The Matoran nodded, content, and wordlessly lead the group out of the illuminated clearing and into the darkness. The temple fell away behind them all, lost in the night like a forgotten memory. Their guide moved swiftly but never too quickly for them to follow, and never did their feet falter. The lantern became their own light, the world reduced to its glow and nothing more. The silence remained, unbroken by wind nor beast. The journey had perhaps been familiar at the start, two of their number had spent much of their lives in the area, but something changed a short time into the march. Their world, small as it was, felt somehow transitory. As though they marched through neither here nor there, but something between the two. Tarnok had lived in the tunnels his entire life and never experienced a darkness like this, not in the deepest mine, and he thought that if they were to lose their guide they might be lost forever. But the darkness could not last forever and before long the unknown ground beneath their feet began to gain form, to gain identity. The shadow was softened by cool light, allowing shapes to be seen. Leaves again began to rustle around them.

And at once they could see a break in the forest, the light beyond.

“Few have ever been here.” The Matoran again spoke, an indeterminable time since their walk had begun. “Me. The Maru, and precious few more. Now you. Where you have been you should keep to yourself. I have brought you here, but you will never find it again. Not unless the Great Spirit takes a hand.”

“Find what? Where are we?” Kellin asked, sharing a look with the crab beneath him.

“It's called the Keeping Place.” The Matoran said quietly, as their pace brought them out of the forest and into paradise. It was a tableau that no one had ever seen before, nor even heard tales of. Tarnok himself had been to Le-Wahi, and he knew not even the Village of Air could match its verdancy. A waterfall fed the river that wound between the rock faces, upon one of which they stood, and clearly supported the vibrant forest below. It was untouched serenity, illuminated deftly by the moon above. An artist could have spent a lifetime on the scene alone, trying to capture its essence in a brush stroke.

Even the Matoran paused long enough to take in the view, reflective.

“We can talk freely. Nothing will overhear. Nothing can.”

“But why are we here? You said you'd answer, but I just have more questions.”

“The biggest question first, huh?” The Matoran paused, trying to compress the enormity of the answer into words. “The Wanderer was meant to find his Company. Lekua knows this. He was with Stannis, for a time. But Stannis' companions were split when I came to collect him. As I came to find all of you. The Maru defeated Makuta, just like they were meant to, but Mata Nui...”


“Is still asleep.” Seven frowned. “That's what you mean, isn't it?”

“I didn't think that was literal. Honestly. I mean, how does a god sleep?” The De-Matoran commented, then paused like he hadn't meant to say it out loud. “I mean, if Makuta's real so's Mata Nui. But...”

“But what's this got to do with me. The Dashi saved Kellin from having to finish his thought, tearing her eyes away from the sight to stare at the cloaked Matoran. “I told the green guy. Mata Nui, Makuta, these aren't mine. Zuto Nui's an ocean away and Zataka sure ain't around either. Why am I here.”

“They're the same Spirit. Zuto Nui, Mata Nui, Makuta, Zataka, they're different sides of the same coins. There is no your Spirit and my Spirit, they're one and the same.” He gestured expansively. “Imagine trying to understand something that big. Our worlds, they've been separate so long. We've just interpreted things differently. Zuto Nui hasn't abandoned her people, Soraya. She's been asleep.”

“Makuta's treachery is Zataka's, also. And Makuta's betrayal cut deeply. It took the last of the Great Spirit's strength to ensure Makuta's downfall, to create this chance. Such treason cannot be easily undone, but it must be.”

“How are we supposed to do that?” Leli asked, piping up at last. The question was quiet, almost hesitant, but she continued undeterred. “Shouldn't this be the sort of job for… Toa?”

“No.” The Matoran shook his head. “This is not a fight. Not yet. It's simpler than that. Matoran, Dashi, they're the most of the Spirit's people. They have within them the potential for all the rest. A Matoran can become a Toa, but the same is not true. Toa protect, Turaga guide, but Matoran must do. This is something only you can do. Your peoples were linked, once. They can be again. Think of it...”

“Consider the Iden. The spirit can exist without the body, but it cannot affect the world. It can't even be perceived without the right tools. Only in unison can they truly be said to be alive. The Spirit has been cut off from her body, from her lands. Her people. That's the connection you must restore.”

The Matoran cocked his head, as though listening to something unheard. He abruptly resumed walking, gesturing for the others to follow, and swiftly began descending a path cut into the rock face. 

“We're running out of time. This place, you have to understand what it is.”

The path diverged, but the Matoran steadfastly hugged the rock face and followed the branch down towards the waterfall. The sound was nearly deafening as they drew near, but he kept his voice audible above it. Their new course took them behind the water, and ever deeper into the cliff face. Tarnok had seen a good many tunnels in his time, but never one quite so… perfect. Its dimensions were simple, its walls unadorned save for the weak lightstones that illuminated their path but it was unerring in its size and shape. A low hum, felt more in the bones than heard by the ear, perpetuated throughout the structure and grew more insistent the deeper they went. Its changes in pitch spoke of other chambers, many of them, but the path showed no forks, no branches, no way to reach them. It went to one place, and it was clear that it was where they were meant to go.

“It is meant as a safeguard, a protection. What you need to restore the link is not here. You'll find it across the sea, on the Archipelago. The connection is not just metaphorical it's real. Physical as much as spiritual. It has been barred, and the lock must be opened from both sides.”

“But a lock has a key, right? Where do we find the key? Where do we go?” Leli protested, as the group hurried to keep up with their guide as they delved down a path that lead behind the waterfall and into the rock face itself. “Only Soraya has even been there!”

“Soraya will be enough. I'm sorry, there isn't enough time.”

The thrum grew louder, a feeling of power reverberating through the carved passage. It was dim still, fixtures where there might have once been light dead and cold. But there was still a feeling of a thing alive, aware but waiting. Rationing its strength to prepare for what was to come. The passage gave way to a cavern, a modest room with six pillars arrayed at its center. A seventh stood apart, smaller than the rest. Designs adorned them all, with meanings that no one could understand any longer. Even if there were light enough to read them. The group lingered by the door while the seventh approached the pillar apart, looking over his shoulder at them again.

“Soraya. I'm sorry that there isn't more time to answer your questions. That memory, I knew because Zuto Nui did.” The Matoran smiled a little. “She's asleep, but she's still watching. Your mouth might get you in some trouble but your heart is in the right place. You're the right person to help her.”

“Seven your heart of courage has always been your strongest trait. You've endured much to be able to stand here today. You've known fear, plenty of it, and you've done your best despite it. Your conviction will serve you well, now and in the future.”

“You traveled with the Wanderer, Lekua, and even though your paths diverged your purpose is the same. You were needed later, is all. The two of you will have quite a bit to talk about when you return.”

“Makuta already did his best to break you Leli. He failed. Hold on to that. Your Destiny,” At this he gave a knowing look, something significant to the Major alone. “Will work out alright. Don't fight it.”

“Ussalmatoran. You feel abandoned. Like earth, you don't change easily. But sometimes change is good. Have faith in your friends.”

“Kellin,” The Matoran actually laughed, a brief but merry sound. “You have a very smart Ussal. He thinks the world of you, and that speaks volumes. Never underestimate a simple, hardworking man. You're as important here as anyone else. If all else fails just keep digging. You'll do fine.”

“All of you were chosen for a reason. For your dedication and for your strength. You'll have need of it.” He gestured to the pillars. “Stand between the pillars, please. Your first trial is yet to come. I have faith in all of you, and I'm thankful to be granted the chance to meet you.”

“There is only the power for one trip. When you arrive, Lord Rayuke will be able to help you. You won't be able to return until you succeed.” He regarded them all solemnly, hand hovering above the seventh pillar. “There will be difficult times ahead. Try to remember, burn into your hearts, that there is a reason.”

The Matoran's hand descended, and the world around the chosen Matoran vanished.

Replaced with the feeling of falling.

Edited by Krayzikk
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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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OOC: Jam with Vezok's Friend.

IC

Even to denizens of the shadows, the Dark Walks could be an unsettling place. Of the six, the Ko-Wahi tunnel was one of the shortest thanks to the icy region’s proximity to the Kini-Nui, but travelling it was no short stroll, and to Echelon it seemed almost endless. The featureless stone walls, carved by the powers and claws of a Rahkshi horde, stretched on into impenetrable gloom, illuminated only by the faint glow of the crystal atop his staff.

Impatience was uncharacteristic for the Dark Toa, but these were exceptional times. Events were moving towards a focal moment: the culmination not only of his machinations since Makuta’s fall, but of his very life’s work.

His hand dropped to the hilt of the flamberge at his hip, fingers tightening around the worn leather grip. Echelon had never had much time for the concept of fate, determined to be the master of his own future, but he could not help but marvel at the chance that had delivered both this remarkable item, and the knowledge to use it, into his hands. At a time of desperation, the key to his salvation had dropped into his lap.

But there was no time to waste gloating over his victory against Joske; the true test was still to come. Ko-Koro was a ticking time-bomb, a temporary haven that would collapse as soon as the Akiri’s spies located the hostages (if they hadn’t already). There was no hope behind, only ahead: at the heart of the Vault. And it would be naive to expect it to be free for the taking.

Tension kept the Dark Toa’s stride swift despite the fatigue worming its way into his wasted frame, kept his mind fixed on the goal beyond the tunnel’s gloom. He would not fail. He would not die. He would face the trial ahead, and be victorious.

A faint circle of light was growing visible ahead, growing wider and brighter with each step. It was a deep red glow that seemed to seep from the very bowels of the earth: the only light that illuminated the gates of Mangaia.

He glanced to his left. There were few alive that Echelon gave anything resembling trust, but his companion on this trek was one of the few. Kohra was a cunning and lethal fighter, and a faithful servant of Makuta even in his absence. She was not his friend (for ‘friends’ were nothing but weaknesses to be purged from oneself and exploited in others), but respect? Respect had some worth, and he respected Kohra. She would be a powerful ally in whatever struggle was yet to come.

It followed that he should share with her some of what he knew, while there was still time to do so.

“In the Drifts,” he said, breaking the silence of their march, “I read Joske’s memories. It occurs to me that I have told you little of what I learned.”

The words, though softly spoken, sounded rather loud after the long quiet. Kohra’s head swiveled around instinctively, eyes zeroing on Echelon in the dark. Yet it took another heartlight flash or two for her to fully process the words.  Much like the two of them had wandered for what seemed like days, so had her mind drifted. 

At one point, memories and reality had begun to blur. Her entrapment deep underground, the destruction of Onu-Koro’s mine, the inside of her Ta-Koro cell and the long tunnel they were presently in became one. Other times, she felt as if standing beside herself, as an outside observer, rather than in the now. The dark Toa’s words plunged through the stream of her thoughts, pulling her back into the present.

She felt a slight pinch in the pit of her stomach. She’d thought herself alert, but obviously that had been a mistake. She chided herself for the slip in attentiveness.

“No, you have not.” she said curtly, her response concealing her emotions. 

Echelon nodded, mulling his words before continuing.

“As you know, each of the Toa Maru possesses a Kanohi of unique potency. Prudently, they have kept them mysterious to the public and, by extension, to us. But to Joske, their leader Stannis revealed the power of his mask: it is able to make certain exchanges, of items and beings. He offers up one, and another, equivalent by some measure, takes its place. It is not transformed, but sent elsewhere, and its replacement is retrieved therefrom.

“It appears that there exists a...plane of existence, separate from our own, which is referred to as ‘the Legend’. Allegedly, it contains the mythology — nay, is the mythology — of the peoples of our world.”

The Dark Toa’s mouth curled into a faint smirk, barely visible by the gem’s dim glow.

“I find this description scientifically unlikely. But regardless of its physical nature, I cannot dispute its existence. Joske himself was sent there by Stannis, transported by the power of the mask. His memories of it were...odd, but unclouded by illusion or hallucination. The Legend exists. Joske spent some time there, and learned a great deal.”

Ever the scientist, Echelon clearly took an intellectual interest in the phenomena he was describing, his tone almost slipping into a professorial lecture. But he was also a man of practicalities, and having established the theory, it was time to strike at the heart of the matter. Not to mention that they were now approaching one of the gates of Mangaia, two vast slabs of rock carved smoother by what ancient force Echelon knew not, gleaming in the crimson half-light. There would not be time for discussion once they passed that threshold.

“Doubtless you are wondering how this is relevant to our cause,” he observed, meeting Kohra’s keen-eyed gaze. “Well: Joske was not the first being the Maru sent into the Legend.”

The Vortixx’ violet eyes narrowed as realization dawned on her, but it took another second or two for her to fully grasp the implication. The gut-feeling became a claw around her insides. More images flashed in her mind while her legs kept her walking at pace.

A grueling trek through the jungle, following the dark call of her master, desperately trying to reach the great temple.

“Legend...gone, long gone...” she whispered without thinking, the words coming involuntarily. She averted her eyes, looking into the darkness of the tunnel instead. 

There they had faced Joske - imbued with strange powers beyond belief - leading a ragtag bunch of defenders, a rear guard to keep her and the other faithful from interfering with the Maru’s attempt to bring down Makuta. While Echelon, Utu, Ronkshou and others drove them back with the aid of the Rahi hordes, she’d tried to slip behind the line of defense and take out Joske.

“...gone...gone…”

She never got the chance to strike. The Maru succeeded. Makuta was gone and in that instant, Kohra had been broken. With her powers gone and her body and mind in agony, she had collapsed and been captured. She had failed. Failed. Failed...

“No.”

She stopped in her tracks, facing her companion.

“He lives.” A statement, more than a question.

Echelon too stopped, turned, and nodded slowly. The vast gate loomed behind him.

“Yes,” he said, “Makuta lives. As if Mata Nui’s latest feeble champions could destroy the most powerful being in existence...no, they could only banish him. And I believe, nay I know — “ his hand brushed the hilt of the flamberge “ — that we now hold the key to his return.”

He turned back in a swish of frayed robes and continued onward into the darkness. As if it sensed his approach, the doors shuddered into motion, slowly grinding aside into the rocky walls to reveal the shadowed halls beyond.

“This is our moment, Kohra. There is no time to waste: we must reach the Vault.”

Our moment. It was the closest Kohra had ever heard the dark Toa’s voice come to what one might describe as elated. And with good reason: Their master was alive. Somewhere. Within reach. Rejoyce all ye faithful. And she did, for a few seconds, until she had processed the words.When had it become so difficult to process the words? But before she could come to any realization, a jolt ran through her. The claw that had taken hold of her guts turned to acid, burning through her. Her mind was racing, not sure if the thoughts echoing within were her own voice or the dark whispers shouting at her. 

He is alive. Was alive. All this time! All this time? Yes? And you? Turned away. Thought him dead. Gave up. Ran. Worked in his memory instead for him. What? No. Oh yes you did. You ran, ran so far away. You left him behind! Abandoned him! Gave up on him! Betrayed him! Traitor! TRAITOR!

And still Echelon had barely walked a dozen steps when he heard a soft groan and crunching of gravel underfoot behind him. A hoarse whisper called out. “Echelon…”


Looking back over his shoulder, he saw Kohra doubled over, arms wrapped around her cramped up midsection, barely standing on shaking legs. 

Slowly, Echelon turned back to face her.

“What is it?”

The Dark Toa’s voice was uncertain. He stared at her with an expression she couldn’t make out through the gloom and her swimming vision — was it concern? Or something else?

The dark Toa’s words sounded strange, but it was her own voice replying that surprised her the most. 

“Help me.” 

Gone was the usual cold edge and indifference. She had suddenly and unexpectedly been stripped bare of any mental armor she’d developed over the years. She sounded utterly vulnerable, desperate...pathetic.Right hand clutched around it, she raised her left arm, clawed hand clearly visible, as if reaching out. 

Echelon had seen this before: a side-effect of the Glove fused to his ally’s hand, the source of her connection to Makuta and her unusual abilities. It had debilitated her during her imprisonment by the Ta-Koro Guard, but the nascent Nightfall had managed to smuggle her a syringe of Antidermis, revitalising her and enabling her escape.

Instinctively, his hand moved to a vial at his belt — but the Dark Toa knew it was empty. The last of his Antidermis supply had been used up in Ko-Koro.

Kohra’s vision drifted back into focus: she could see Echelon’s face now. And she saw something change: it was as though, behind the Toa’s eyes, a door had closed. No longer was he looking at a valued ally: now those cold eyes saw only a broken thing.

For a moment there was no sound or movement between them, save Kohra’s gasps and shudders: they were two figures frozen in time, where the Dark Walk met Mangaia. Her, bent almost double, reaching out one pleading hand. Him, straight-backed and cold, distant, respect replaced with...nothing. Indifference. It was as though she’d ceased to exist.

Without another word, Echelon turned away and strode through the gate.

Kohra’s relief at seeing him reach for the vial on his belt was shattered in an instant. The dark Toa had become a stranger. She could see it in his eyes, for the brief moment she could focus on them. And then he turned and walked away, tossing her aside like the broken thing she was. Without a moment of hesitation, he strode through the gates to her master’s lair, the red circle emblem carved into the massive double doors, his figure silhouetted against the red glow emanating from within. 

In her desperation, that became her only source of hope. Surely something lay beyond which could help her. She just had to get through. She gritted her teeth and willed her legs to move. One step. Another. The pain was debilitating, every part of her body burned from within. The distance between her and Echelon had already doubled, he had almost cleared the gate. 

Another step. She couldn’t even hear them, the pounding of her heart, rush of blood and rasped breaths drowning out all other sounds. All except one, which she felt, rather than heard. The second Echelon cleared the gate, there was a rumble. Ancient mechanisms began working unseen and the gate they were linked to began to close, the red gap before her narrowing. No! She had to get through, had to make it, had to…

Her foot caught on something.The impact of the fall made the pain spike, causing her to cry out. Ahead, she saw the narrowing gap through the blur of tears. So close, yet impossible to reach in her state. Still, she tried to crawl, pushing her palms against the hard rock, determined not to let this be her end. Inch by inch, she moved closer and closer. 

When her legs no longer obeyed her will, she dragged herself by her arms. She didn’t stop. Not when her right arm gave out. Not when the tunnel vision set in. Not when the gap before her became barely a hands width. Not when the only thing she could do was to reach out for it with the claw on her left one last time.

She didn’t stop, until she saw Echelon’s silhouette disappear as the gate slammed shut - leaving her in darkness.

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IC: Tehlin

"Yeah, yeah. I hear ya. You too Grecko."

For a moment, I stared up at that canopy above from my spot on the forest floor. It was weird. Feeling the trees and all.

The moment passed, and I rolled over onto my stomach, tilting my head to glance over to where the ash bear had been. "What was he trying to get into, anyway?" I asked, to no one in particular but I suppose Savina was the only one around.


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

No further words were spoken aloud, but as Soraya passed her, Ayiwah caught her eye and sent one thought over the mental plane the Dasaka shared:

:Good luck, Plangori Soraya:

The thought was coupled with a feeling of apprehension, but mostly respect and pride for the Dashi tailor-turned-emissary-turned-prophecy's chosen, for taking on the risk ahead. The Commodore watched her and the group of Matoran leave the light of the fire, disappearing into the gloom. She could hear their footsteps recede, and when those faded, she used her mask to follow their position. And then, one by one, they disappeared, no longer traceable. 

The Menti let out a controlled, deep breath and closed her eyes for a second. This went against all her better instincts, sending a civilian member of a crew she'd been entrusted with to a (to her) unknown location to carry out an unknown mission, on nothing but the word of a mystic Matoran who's name she didn't know and who wouldn't answer any questions. It was only her faith in Soraya and the nagging feeling that her mysterious guide was speaking the truth that had kept her from interfering. And yet, in this case, she couldn't help but second-guess herself.

It was not just the quest that bothered her. It was the entire expedition: Hanako's state, Rayuke's request to her, the place she and Sinshi were in right now and the fact is was just the two of them.

She wished Tazera was here. They'd practically been joined at the hip for decades. They could share everything. Just off to her side, Sinshi was looking at where the group had disappeared as well. Her fellow soulsword was good company and had Taka's talent for fighting, but to her, she was more commanding officer than confidante. She wasn't sure she could be as open with her. So she chose a different tack.

:Sinshi, are you familiar with the term 'spending lives'?:


 

 

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IC:
 

.:I'm not, ma'am.:.

Sinshi responded initially, tracing the departing group for as long as she could. She hoped nothing would befall them. The Commodore followed their path for longer than she could, she could tell from the look on her face, but she remained quiet out of respect until the other Menti 'spoke'. In truth, her answer wasn't wholly accurate; she wasn't familiar with the term, but she could hazard a guess. A guess would have been out of line a few months ago, but...

.:I can guess. From a leadership perspective you have to choose where to use the people under your command. Gauge whether or not they will come back when you do, decide when a cause will cost too many of them to pursue. Something learned over time, I imagine.:. Though perhaps not learned by many enough of those who make the decisions. .:An uneviable task.:.

She paused for a moment and turned to the Commodore with a faintly sheepish look on her face, reflexively inclining at the waist a few degrees in deferment.

.:Or perhaps you meant something else entirely. I apologize, I ramble.:.


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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

One of the commodore's eyebrows rose by a suspicious amount. That had been one karz' of a guess. 

:Full marks, Umbraline Sinshi: she complimented. :That is exactly what it means.:

:And as unenviable as it may be, it is unavoidable in some circumstances. At first, it might seem like failure - that somewhere, a mistake was made that, if avoided, could have brought everybody back. But that is not the case. It is merely a fact we all accepted as part of our service. When there is no better alternative, it is to be expected.:

She paused for a moment. 

:However, it is unacceptable to waste lives.:

She emphasized the difference for Sinshi to pick up on.


 

 

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IC:

.:A distinction some nobles could learn.:.

The Umbraline thought back, far too quickly to keep from coming across the mental plane. She winced, both physically and sent the same sentiment after it. Mata Nui was eroding her better judgement. The thought would have died before ever reaching the forefront of her mind earlier in the year. Sinshi wasn't talking to Whitehot, or to Tarkus, or even to Daijuno. Commodore Ayiwah deserved her respect, and she was owed it regardless.

.:I apologize, Commodore. I appreciate the lesson, and understand it's importance, but I...:. She hesitated, framing the thought and making clear her own meaning. .:I am confused why you are telling me. Such decisions are not mine to make, and never will be. I am happy to listen to any wisdom you wish to share, I simply want to understand how you believe it pertains to me.:.

Edited by Krayzikk

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC: Savina

“Probably looking for mushrooms.” Savina replied, “He’s fond of them.” 

—————————

IC: Wraith - Great Temple -

So this was as far as he could go. He’d been determined to stay by Seven’s side, but it seemed that destiny had other plans. The ice Toa sat silently as he thought it over. He’d given his word to stay by Seven’s side, so he had no excuse to do otherwise, destiny or not. But at he same time, he had no idea where she was now. 

This was a problem, and he wasn’t sure how to solve it, it made him feel uneasy. “Hmmmm...” 

He had to have faith they’d find each other again, it was as simple as that. 

 


My Bzprpg Profiles, Marvel Rebirth Profiles

Skyra | Savina | Darien | Hakari | Mekana | Oceanna | Taleen | Mimira | Denerium | Talinka | Arisaka | Wraith | Xxeth | Silene

 

 

 

 

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IC: Tehlin

"Right."

I suppose that made sense, not that I was going to argue with my fellow toa of Plantlife's sensibilities when it came to the ash bear. I chewed over a few things for a moment, before pushing myself back up to my feet. There were all manner of things here that I didn't particularly want to be waiting around for, it was easy to forget that these weren't just the same forests as those in Le. 

"Well, mission accomplished," I supplied helpfully, holding out a hand to help Savina up, "One ash bear found, where too next then?"


Where to Iggy?

    ˹STAR WARS: INTERREGNUM˼   ˹EXO-FORCE˼   ˹BZPRPG˼

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

Ayiwah's gaze softened as she looked at Sinshi, for the first time since they'd begun this conversation. Ever since their first proper meeting in the Yards back on Sado, she had been nothing but an eager learner, trying to improve herself wherever possible. Of course the young Menti thought she was being tested in some way. Or worse, forced to listen to a lecture the noble Commodore had suddenly elected to hold for her. That someone of Ayiwah's standing would ask for her counsel had probably not even crossed her mind. She took another steady breath. 

:Tell me, Umbraline Sinshi...which do you believe this was?: 

Whether she intended to or not, some of the worry she felt carried over with the question.


 

 

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IC:
 

Oh.

Well now she felt foolish.

She'd been tripping over herself so much trying to act the way she was supposed to that she hadn't considered that the Commodore might just be... Talking. To her. It wouldn't be the first time, obviously, they had talked at the masquerade ball before everything went sideways. But truth be told, she had been so uncomfortable at first that she didn't say much. And then she almost picked a fight with that Vilda, then she'd had a little to drink, and eventually she had just felt a little looser. It was different, it was social, and it wasn't what she had expected standing here in the dark on Mata Nui.

.:I think that it wasn't your decision.:. She began again, slowly, more gently than before. Some of the rigidity had gone from her posture as well as her thought, speaking less to her superior and more to someone she respected. A small distinction, maybe, but an important one. Soraya chose to go. I wasn't there, I don't know what that Matoran said to her. But it was enough to get Plangori Soraya to take a leap of faith, however small. It wasn't a choice for the expedition, it was a choice for her. And I believe that she will be back. I can't put my finger on why. I suppose that's a leap of faith for me, too. Nothing can stop that Dashi anyway.:.

.:If you'll permit such directness, I think you made the best choice that you could. And that pursuing the answers to her questions isn't a waste, no matter what happens. I admire her courage, in truth.:.


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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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[delet]

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Corpus Rahkshi Profiles!

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Hormd- Kini-Nui

IC: Homrd had vanished at the same time as the mysterious group of Matoran, although in a different direction. Now the light on his lantern could be seen coming back down one of the small foot trails littering the area. A tune accompanied it. On e that was likely older than many of the people gathered. It was a simple melody, one that spoke of hearth and home. New beginnings and clean spring days. A homely song for an old man.

"Sorry for the delay. I wasn't expecting guests." Came his old leather voice. Well worn but still soft all the same. "Since it seems that you all are going to be spending some time here I took our mysterious visitor's advice. Please, make yourselves comfortable while we await your companion's return."

He was carrying a reed basket with a plain white cloth over the top. A large waterskin was hung over his other shoulder, although he showed no sign of burden from either parcel. In a few moments he had walked to the center of the clearing and set his burdens down. Pulling the cloth from the basket to reveal a wholesome if plain repast. Smoked ham of some sort, a douzen rolls of brown bread and a wheel of soft cheese. Reaching in he pulled out a collection of mugs and wooden platters, setting them on the ground nearby.

"You'll have to forgive me. I was in such a rush I completely forgot the forks."


"I serve the weak. I serve the helpless. I am their sword and their shield. If you want to strike at them, you must go through me, and I am not so easily moved."

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

:So do I.: the Commodore agreed. But whether it was truly my choice or not...ultimately I am accountable for whatever comes of this. she added, but this time in private, where nobody else could hear. This was her burden to bear, no-one else.

:Perhaps there is some strange fate at work here after all. If you recall, Plangori Soraya was not on the original list of crew for the expedition. She only embarked the Ryuu - without permission, mind you - to speak with the Rora who she believed to be aboard.:

There wasn't really much else to be added beyond wild speculation at this point, so Ayiwah addressed the thing that had been nagging her ever since she'd spotted the temple's spires on the horizon earlier, before night had fallen.

:Speaking of fate leading one to strange places: We are very close to the lair of the chaotic six now...:


 

 

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IC:
 

.:Heavy is the head that wears the Commodore's hat..:. Sinshi thought back, with a little humor. Just a touch. The Commodore was still her superior, but she was permitting a certain relaxation of protocol. .:But I believe nothing will stop her from returning.:.

"Thank you, elder," The Menti bowed slightly to the smaller Matoran, utilizing the most fitting title she could think of. The Matoran was a Dashi, there was no doubt, but he seemed to be... Something of a Datsue. A caretaker of this temple, perhaps. It made little sense to her at a glance, but his position was clear. Respect was due. She sat down gracefully, shifting her weapons aside so that she could sit cross-legged in the clearing. "I do not speak for the Commodore, but the trip made me a little hungry. If I might ask, do you know anything of what has occurred?"

.:It will be much easier to find this place again with greater numbers, if they are here. Though the area seems much too intact for their continuing presence.:. She paused a moment, looking up at the other Umbraline while she politely claimed a roll. .:I hate to lay another matter on your shoulders, ma'am, but there is something I wish to talk about with you. And I do not think I will get a better chance to do so in private.:.


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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

The Commodore lingered a moment longer standing up, then she followed suit and, after bowing to the elder Matoran politely, knelt beside the other Menti to partake of what was offered. Sinshi was right, to a degree: The chaotic six had absolutely wreaked havoc upon the Archipelago in their time there. But Mata Nui was a massive island, with much open space. Even scum like the Piraka would have to make an effort to do so much damage. And from what she knew of the six, she doubted they would make the effort if it didn't hurt anybody in the process.

:Yes, we will return. Once our work here at the temple is concluded. After the Mata Nuians liberate their mountain village. Then we can begin organizing our hunt. I would have preferred to move sooner, with more of a surprise element on our side, but considering the circumstances it was unwise to open another front of battle while our new allies were already engaged elsewhere.:

There was a grim resolve behind her thoughts. The task to bring the six to justice had come from the empress herself and for all intents and purposes - and with Lord Rayuke an ocean away - they were her executioners in this matter. But it had to wait. At least for now.


Ayiwah took a bite from her ham-topped roll. So far, she'd mostly experienced the seafood-focused cuisine of Ga-Koro. But this was just as good, in its own way. Paired with the scenery around them, camping out in foreign territory, it reminded her of her days in the yard, training much the same way Sinshi had been, just before coming to this island. She looked at the other Menti. :Speak your mind.: 

 


 

 

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IC:

Speak her mind.

Zuto Nui, that was a loaded bit of permission. Not that Ayiwah intended it that way, but it was permission seldom given by someone higher in social standing. That didn't then get mad, anyway. There was a lot she could say, if she was speaking her mind. A few hundred years worth of opinions on different members of the nobility, Dasakan society, her real opinion on the Rora's dress... There was a lot. But thinking about all the things she could say was really just buying her time to avoid what she actually was going to say. It had been weighing on her, so to actually figure out how to get it off her chest...

.:Coming here has been the opportunity of a lifetime. Traveling with interesting and important people to a place that so few of our people have ever been, meeting all of these people, exploring this island. It's something I never could have dreamed of doing. I've enjoyed it immensely.:. She paused a moment to take a bite of her roll, even if she didn't actually need to stop. It was an excuse to gather her thoughts. .:We have no idea what has happened since we left. Months have passed, and the Empire was not exactly stable when we departed. Maybe things are fine. But another civil war could have erupted, too. The Ryu could be pressed into service, or simply deemed impractical and abandoned. Even if it is not... Our people were still deciding how to handle Mata Nui. A good many were calling for its conquest.:.

.:My point is that we have no idea what they will say when we get back. It could be years before another expedition is launched, let alone any regular contact begins.:. The Menti stopped again, surveying her surroundings in the silence. They were unfamiliar. She had never seen anything quite like them. It was a feeling she had gotten used to since arriving, a feeling she had grown to expect and to enjoy. Even when it was dangerous, being somewhere that she had never been before was exciting. It was such a change from Sado, from visiting the same three places every day until she grew old. .:This place is wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me.:.

.:When our Empire does send an expedition again I may not be on it. It was nothing short of miraculous that I was given the chance. Miracles don't happen twice. When we go home, I will again be nothing. If our Rora, or our Toroshu, or some other noble does not seize the valuables given as gifts that I bring back with me I will merely be a very rich nothing. Little better than a Dastana, because money does not buy honor. I will still be the Menti struggling to bring her family line back from irrelevance. I will, again, have no voice to raise.:.

Sinshi was quiet again, but this time there was no excuse; just a gathering of nerves.

.:I don't think I want to go back to that. When the Ryu leaves I may not be on it.:.

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

Minutes passed in silence, the two Menti sitting next to each other, quietly eating. But it was not an idle pause in conversation. Ayiwah was giving Sinshi’s words their due consideration. She was treading carefully. The last thing she wanted was for the Menti to feel like she had opened up to her only to get punished or reprimanded for it.

:Yes: she agreed with a slight nod. :This island is a wondrous place. As majestic, wild and untamed in its natural beauty as our Kanohi dragons.:

She paused for a second, remembering the last time she'd seen one of the great creatures and briefly imagined what it would be like to have one fly above this land. Then, she focused and turned her head to look the other Menti in the eyes.

:What we experience here and our accounts thereof will be as valuable as all the metal we might bring back with us. You are right insofar that there's no knowing what the political landscape might be when we arrive. And I heard the calls for invasion - a political move as ill-conceived as stealing a dragon's eggs. But as long as calmer heads prevail, like Executioner Rayuke and Toroshu Kilyana to name but two, I have faith the chaos can be kept at bay. And if not, they will first have to find a Commodore and Navy willing to carry out such folly.:

:What is a fact is that any future plans regarding Mata-Nui will inevitably be shaped by the reports from this expedition. That's why such a diverse crew was chosen in the first place: They want to hear all these different accounts of our time here. They want your voice.:

She reached out and put a hand on the young Menti's shoulder. 

:You are not nothing. Your name did not wind up on the crew list by some miracle or coincidence. You were chosen as an option by royal advisors who gave their picks to Yusanora and Yumiwa both, who chose you again to be among the final dossiers they gave to me. And I chose you to be on this ship. Not because of family, clan or caste. I chose you, because you showed potential. Because you are strong in the virtues. You are driven, self disciplined and passionate, so much so that it has made you into one of the rare dual soulswords, even if you conceal them as much as possible. You've used them to defend your ship and crew without hesitation. You've established relations with an entirely new culture to the point some of them consider you a friend and ally. Your deeds have brought honor to your name. If you tell me that's not enough I won't believe you.:

She gave her shoulder an encouraging squeeze before sitting back up straight.

:Now then: You have laid out two options before yourself: Return to Kentoku aboard the Ryuu - with only memories to show for it and risking never to return. Or remain here on Mata Nui, constantly worrying that the next Dasaka ship you see will lead an invading fleet.:

:What about a third?:


 

 

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IC:

 

.:If you have a third choice, Commodore, I would gladly listen.:.

The Menti realized idly that she hadn't stiffened up when Ayiwah put a hand on her shoulder. She used to always do that when someone her better made any sort of contact, made sure to stand up straight and precise. When had that changed? Sinshi had no idea, but something in it seemed significant. Something about this place made her feel at ease. This long abandoned temple in a foreign land, with unfamiliar stars overhead. She chewed on a bite of her roll while she thought, looking for the words to give voice to her thoughts.

.:I've never felt less alone here than I have at home. On the Ryu here, in all the time that we've been here, even up to this moment. There are fewer people around me since we left than have ever been there, and the mental plane has never been quieter. It was unsettling, at first. But I've never felt more connected to the world. Sado is so much more stifled. No one says what they mean, and I won't be able to either. And home...:. Waves lapped at the edge of her consciousness, threatening to suck her under the surface and steal her breath. .:I've not been home. My grandmother would not be pleased, regardless of what I have done. I have no desire to experience her... Displeasure.:.

All of these things are surmountable, ma'am. I've dealt with them my whole life. But to never return here, that is not something I could live with.:.

Edited by Krayzikk

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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC [Ayiwah- Great Temple]:

The Commodore knew what Sinshi meant all too well. The young Menti had gotten a taste for life outside the rigidity of the empire. It was a little like falling in love, with the idea of ever being alone or with someone else again never crossing ones mind. She remembered it well. For her, it had been the first time she had experienced life aboard a ship. She could never lead a life on dry land. Not anymore.

While Sinshi spoke, gazing at the stars, Ayiwah concentrated on the ground in front of her. There was a brief shimmer in the air as her soulsword materialized for a moment, tip scraping the earth. When she looked down again, a naval insignia had appeared in front of her knees. 

:When this mission concludes and we return to Kentoku, I will resume my duties there. I will definitely not be on the next ship to this island. But others will come. And they will need those with experience to guide them.:

She inclined her head towards the insignia.

 


 

 

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IC:

Through most of their conversation, Sinshi's eyes had been elsewhere. It wasn't Dasakan, as strange as it would be to the locals, to maintain eye contact during Ideatalk. It was fine to do so, but it wasn't rude to avoid it. Especially in the company of those who could not understand, it was best not to give the impression of a conversation they were not privy to. That wasn't to say she was avoiding the Commodore, she simply was permitting her eyes to tend to other concerns. 

Now, regardless of what the Toa or the Matoran thought, her eyes had firmly focused first on the insignia and then upon the Commodore. The Menti's head cocked slightly, the rest still.

.:You seem to have a suggestion, ma'am, I wouldn't dream of interrupting you before you explained.:.


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On this eve, the thirtieth anniversary of that first colony, many are left to wonder; is the world fast approaching a breaking point?

 

 

  Breaking Point: An OTC Mecha RPG

 

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IC [Ayiwah - Great Temple]:

Had they not thrown formalities overboard at the beginning of their conversation, that last sentence would have bordered on insubordination. In this context however, Ayiwah let it slide without reaction. Instead she laid it all out for Sinshi:

:The navy will need sailors who have been here and know the land. That can guarantee the safety of future expeditions and know how to engage with the people of this island. Sailors that can be trusted. Sailors - like you. I would like you to consider enlisting.:


 

 

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