IC: Dahrak Nade - Onu-Koro (Streets)
Wait, what the - ? Oh, ####...!
As the earth opened up beneath him, the Po-Toa could do little more than brace himself for the inevitable impact as he, the building behind him, and a large portion of the alley, began plummeting down towards the bottom.
"Argh...! #### it, Galea! Watch what you're doing back there!"
Shaking her head in disapointment as she placed the bloody knife back down on her tray, the Bo-Lesterin continued to hold the wound open as she leaned over to dig through her medical supplies.
"Serves you right. If you had come straight home to have this taken care of after training instead of going out for drinks, I wouldn't have to remove all this dead flesh from the back of your shoulder. And I'm almost done, so quiet down, or you'll wake up Nogan."
"You're just mad because I had the spear tip pulled out long before you had the chance to play around with it, you sadist."
"Aww, I love you too, you big grump," she said, leaning forward as she gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "Just a forewarning; this next part's going to sting a bit."
"Oh, please. You can't possibly hurt me any more than you already - argh!"
A few moments of profanity, stitching, and bandaging later, and the wound was tended to as best as it could've been by purely physical means alone. Truth be told, Galea's work might have been faster, and far less painful, if she had simply used her mask to mend it instead, but this was obviously her way of trying to teach him a lesson. Granted, it probably wasn't going to stick, and he'd likely be in a similar situation again within the next few weeks, but he had long since accepted that as part of her charm.
"Now, is there anything else you need me to look at, or can I start cleaning up?"
Rotating his arm for a bit in as he turned to face her, he briefly glanced over his shoulder in an effort to admire her handiwork.
"I don't know, Doc," he said softly, a sly grin forming across his face. "That first kiss might not've been enough to make it all better. I may need another one."
"Looks that way."
"Well, I suppose that can be arranged," she said, gently clutching his chin as she leaned forward, only to swerve at the last second as she began whispering in his ear. "But it's going to have to wait. We have a visitor."
Averting his gaze back towards the entrance of the medical tent, he soon spotted the figure of a young boy peeking his way around the flap while trying to remain largely inconspicuous.
"Nogan...? What are you doing up at this hour?"
His cover blown, the Po-Lesterin quickly ran inside and hopped up onto his father's lap.
"I couldn't sleep, papa. The soldiers outside were making too much noise. Could you tell me a story?"
"Uh... Sure. I've got one. Once upon a time, there was a boy, not too unlike yourself, mind you, who lived in a village under seige by a great and terrible... dragon."
"Yes, a dragon. It had horns as long as I am tall, wings powerful enough to darken the sky, scales of pure obsidian, and the mouth of a raging volcano, spewing fire hot enough to roast everything that stood in it's path. At night, it would emerge from it's cave and start feasting on the villagers' cattle, swallowing them whole before spitting back up the bones. Many hunters attempted to slay it, to rid their home of its evil, laying traps and forming hunting parties, but all of those who were lucky enough to return did so in defeat."
"So what did the boy do?"
"Well, seeing as to how everyone else had failed to defeat the beast, the boy took it upon himself to journey to the creature's cave alone. There he stood, and with his voice raised as high as he could, he began to shout.
"Oh, mighty dragon, I have come before you to pledge myself to your service, so that my village may be spared. But before I do, I must make sure that you are, indeed, as great and terrible as you appear."
And the dragon, in all his pride, emerged out into the open to accept the challenge, as he found the boy's defiance amusing.
"Speak then your prerequisites, before I turn you into my next meal."
"Oh, mighty dragon, surely if your appetite is massive, you should have no problem drinking the lake dry."
"Fool!," bellowed the dragon. "I am a dragon! My appetite is endless and knows no limits!"
And with that, the dragon sucked the lake dry, leaving not so much as a drop of water behind.
"Oh, mighty dragon, surely if you were imposing, you wouldn't need such horns."
"Fool!," bellowed the dragon. "I am a dragon! I need no horns to spread fear!"
And with that, the dragon snapped off his horns, and threw them at the boy's feet.
"Oh, mighty dragon, surely if you are powerful, you need not be so large."
"Fool!," bellowed the dragon. "I am a dragon! My power remains, even when the size of one such as yourself!"
And with that, the dragon shrunk down to the size of the boy.
"Oh, mighty dragon, surely if you were still dangerous, you'd still be able to move."
"Fool!," bellowed the dragon, becoming annoyed with the boy. "You've wasted enough of my time. Prepare to meet your end!"
But try as he might, with his stomach so full of lake water, and his limbs to small to support it, he could no longer budge, nor spew forth his deadly flames. The only part of himself he could move towards the boy was his head, but without his horns, he remained just out of reach.
"Fool!," bellowed the boy as he lifted up one of the horns and pierced the dragon's heart. "I am a boy! And you have just fallen for my trap!"
And with the dragon defeated and the lake restored, the boy returned home to his village as a hero, inspiring generations to come that no matter the odds, everything will turn out just fine in the end."
A look of confusion spread across the child's face as he leaned up against the Po-Toa's chest, still desperately trying to stay awake.
"But papa...," he said, his eyes now weary and struggling to stay open. "If everything worked out in the story, then..."
"Then how come you couldn't save mama and me?"
The next thing he knew, Dahrak was kneeling in the mud, cradling the limp, bloody bodies of his family, with tears streaming down his face.
And through the dancing flames and the rain beating down upon his back, all he could do was scream towards the heavens.
After what felt like an eternity of having to live through it all again, a cloud of darkness began to form around him, a pair of glowing red eyes emerging from its center.
You are a fool, Dahrak Nade, for ever thinking that you could ever shirk your destiny as my pawn.
Your mother, as zealous as she was, created you in order to serve me.
Mata Nui has abandoned you. You have no place at his side.
I said... shut up...
Almost as soon as the darkness had arrived, a sphere of solid stone began forming around it, trapping the entity within as it slowly began to condense.
Your soul is forever mine, and one day, I will come to collect it.
You're welcome to try. But I suggest you have a ####### army at your back when you show up.
You'll never see your family again.
Yes... I... will. Before I do, though, I'm going to kick both you and your brother straight in the teeth.
You cannot harm me, for I am a god.
Perhaps not yet. But as for right now, I can still hurt the ###### who arranged this little meeting of ours.
Creating a pillar with his element and using it to launch himself up out of the hole after finally shattering his way through the illusion, he swung his fist towards the ground, launching the boulder that came up behind him directly at his current foe. Given that it was about as large as a third of the pit's total radius, the resulting devastation was not going to be pretty.
Because not all of us are born as heroes, Nogan. Some of us are born as dragons.