OOC: JAM brought to you by Polzin siblings. Thanks Douglas!
IC: Ishi Polzin (plus jam with Ryiu Polzin)
Ishi followed Ambages’ advice, leaving the autopsy reports for Korzaa with an attendant while she was busy with more prominent guests, a hulking toa of earth and a toa of water Ishi vaguely remembered calling a mood ring. With his errand for the good doctor completed he left the citadel, taking the snowy streets to Rhanus’ inn. On the walk he thought about the deduction of Matoro’s killer. It had come to him after his meeting with Alloy and The Company, when he had finally taken a peak inside the dossiers. The concept made sense, but was nothing more than an educated guess. It had potentially saved his life in the Akiri’s Office, but Ishi knew the next time he walked through the heavy door into the small enclosed space to see the Hand something more concrete would be needed to ensure his survival. Ambages was a man of business, not prediction.
His left eye shut as the warmth of Rhanus’s Inn washed over him from the threshold. Even if the small silver scars around his left eye had been healed by Riaril the current residents of the Inn knew the informant as Kyhra, the jocular kohlii player with one eye and a tongue of silver.
“Welcome back.” Rhanus called out from behind the bar. He was busy drying glasses, but something in the way he looked at Ishi held a hidden warning. What was he trying to convey through silence?
“Thanks.” Slipping a few widgets onto the counter Ishi went up the stairs to the second floor, his feet padding silently down the carpeted hallway. His shared room with Nichou was the second from the end on the left, room fourteen, and it had a simple wooden door with a green copper lock and knob. Gripping the handle he inserted the key in the lock and turned.
"Interesting," Ishi muttered when the usual sound of a lock sliding out of place was uncomfortably absent. Nichou couldn't have possibly returned yet: the onu-matoran had left for the massif and Ko-Koro was still in lock-down. The key remained in the lock, but his hand drifted to the hilt of the karambit hidden under his right arm, thumb slipping through the finger ring for a speed draw, and then with a shove of the door he stepped into the room ready to face whatever foul creature had slunk into his rented chambers.
A foul beast wasn't far off the mark in Ishi's eyes.
"What are you doing here?” Ishi growled at the evergreen akrainad sitting by the crackling fireplace. Ryiu Polzin was as tall as he was dashing, twinkling blue eyes mirroring the flames he stared into. Unlike the white-suited memory in Ishi’s mind, Ryiu wore layers of thick clothing and a pair of mittens dangled on the mantle.
"The usual," came the reply of the somewhat pre-occupied intruder as he looked up from a small, handheld volume titled 'Ko-Koro and You: A Guide to the Mountainous Regions'. "I'm here to bring my brother back home so Vera and I can try and straighten him out until he runs off to play villain once again.”
"Charming," Ishi grumbled as his grip on the karambit waned. The door closed with a thud and he stepped into the room, letting his bag drop on one of the two beds. "Let me guess, my sweet sister coaxed you into this scheme?”
"Oh, there was nothing sweet about it," he said, a small smile invading his otherwise emotionless face. "You know how she is these days, so stressed... Possibly from carrying the weight of an irresponsible younger brother." His eyes darted across the room, examining. "Two beds? I never took you for the social type.”
"I told you I have no interest in going back to the Polzin Mansion, and that was," Ishi paused, pretending to count on his fingers, "Oh, I'd say, you know, before I disappeared for thirty years. If I'd know she would have sent you on a gukko chase around the island I wouldn't have bothered leaving that stupid kohlii ball with the maid.” He crossed his arms. “I have friends. Just because I find your face uglier than an ussal belly doesn’t mean I can’t interact with normal people.”
Ryiu stood, dropping the cloak he was wearing to reveal business casual-complete with a dark purple shirt and striped tie. He had left the weapons in he cloak, and was now unarmed. "I don't think whatever agents of treason you shake hands with count as friends," he straightened his tie, "I'm going to be straight here. What will it take to get you back to Ga-Koro?”
"A few drinks and a hot ga-matoran. But I think you’re forgetting something: you can’t leave.”
"Salamander's Revenge, my secretary Eisha. As for that...I have my ways of getting out.”
"Oh, Eisha, what an offer to give what you already own." The po-matoran rolled his eyes. "Do enlighten me."
"Birds. Well, one bird. A quick one.”
"You mean your bird?" The question came out with more disbelief than Ishi had anticipated, but the golden ticket in his bag was making teasing his older brother so pleasing after the harrowing discussion with Ambages. "You're mind must have gone soft without me around to test it. Not to spin things in a fatalistic light, but the Sanctum Guard are about ready to shoot anything that moves right now."
"Do you have any other plans?”
He winked. "Yes, but that might require two Salamander's Revenge. I've got a ticket to freedom, but I have no intention of using it to go back to that Kharzani you want to call a family home."
Ryiu crossed his arms, his smile fading. "New deal. Three Salamander's Revenge, and both my secretaries.”
"You really are desperate.”
"You know how I hate seeing Vera sad.”
"I could care less how that vixen feels, but maybe that's just because she threw chemicals in my eye," Ishi retorted as he flopped into the open chair. In the enveloping silence of the moment the fire stood prominent, sap popping and smoke lazily floating up the chimney. Going to Ga-Koro with Ryiu was a nightmare under the current circumstances. Alloy and the rest of the mercenaries were poised, ready to enact their plan which, without the aid of Ishi, might actually succeed. If they did, the kanohi komau had a chance of disappearing forever. Ishi couldn't let something so rare vanish when it danced at arm's length before him.
"I," he started, but found his list of jabs running slim. Instead, Ambage's mission called his attention to the moment. Traveling to Ga-Wahi left two possible routes, even with Ryiu's rahi. The first, overland, would take three days at the most. The Dark Walk, however, was a far faster route and could allow for a possible side trip on the way back. A side trip to Caerus.
"Alright Ryiu, you win. I'll take that deal, but in return we make a stop in Onu-Koro.”
Ryiu sat back down, sighing deeply. "Whatever you said, Ish."
"You don't happen to have the first drink on you," Ishi asked, his head tilted to look at his dapper older brother as he warmed his two-toed feet by the fire. The years had wrought business lines on his reptilian face, even if Ryiu still dressed to kill. "You've done well, leaving Vera to hold the reins.”
"I have enough to deal with, such as the Ga-Koro Yacht company and the Onu-Wahi Cigar conglomerate. Yachting is where it's at. I have a personal boat that pulls in more money a month than most people get in a year. We should go into business together- at least one of us will be able to keep ourselves afloat.”
"I'm sure you mean yourself, but if you haven't noticed, despite all my 'short comings' as you so candidly call them I'm still here, alive and well. Besides, I find more pleasure in my line of work than sitting on a boat waiting for the tan to set in.” Ishi shrugged, feeling a gear in his neck pop back into place. "We should leave. If there's one thing I hate it's having to deal with the Hag, so let's just get this disaster waiting to happen over with.”
"Let's go then. I don't really want to meet any of your 'friends' anyways."
"Oh I dunno, this one's a carver. The worst he could do is make a wooden bust of of your ugly face." With a chuckle Ishi stood up, grabbed the kohlii stick from its impromptu home in the corner behind the door, and gave a last look around the room before stepping out into the hall. With Ryiu behind Ishi set off, stopping only long enough at the bar to remind Rhanus to keep the room in his name before his feet were once again in the cold snow of Ko-Koro, leaving a path toward the gate Ambages had mentioned. With the sealed note in hand the two Polzin's breezed through customs, their white breath bouncing off the tunnel ceiling until with the sharp piercing light of the setting sun they stepped out into the courtyard of the Nuju-Marion Research Hospital.
"This'll only take a moment, unless she tries to kill me," Ishi grumbled as he hopped up the few steps to the main entrance. A ko-matoran named Majit took the letter at the front desk. Looking back at his older brother, Ishi gave a grin. "Well, that was easy."
"What was in that letter?" Ryiu questioned, hands buried in his pockets.
"I have no idea," Ishi stated as they walked back out into the cold, the great doors of the hospital booming shut behind them. Ishi shivered and pulled his coat tighter, using the rose pin to clasp the sides together. The soft hapaka fur of the collar brushed against his neck, insulating. A storm had kicked up in the West, and was rapidly traveling toward them Ishi realized with a dour expression. "Anyways, on to the tunnels. Think the weather's good enough to fly there?"
Ryiu looked up at the skies sourly, "no, I don't think so. Looks like we're on foot.”
Ishi laughed. "Saves me the headaches. I still haven't gotten over that karz forsaken motion sickness.”
"You're just saying that because you're the worst flier in all of Le-Koro," Ryiu chucked, bumping Ishi's shoulder with his knuckles.
The snow gave way from the blow and Ishi's foot sunk deep into the drifts. He cursed, but despite the words a smile played on his face. It was Vera he hated, not Ryiu. "Watch it or I'll unleash my snowball skills on you. But enough playing, if we take the road South a bit there's a snow path toward the tunnels."
"Let's go, then," he pulled out his staff, ready to use it as a hiking stick, "we've got a deadline to meet and borders to illegally cross.”
“Mmm, I’m gonna steal that quote someday.”
They set off.
OOC: Ryiu and Ishi Polzin to Ga-Koro, via Onu-Wahi tunnel system/Dark Walk.