[color=#40e0d0;]Honor, Dependability, Having your friends' backs. Sounds a lot like being in the guard, Yasurek thought to himself. I mean, Lohkar's a lot more easy going than my old boss, but things still seem similar.[/color]
The door to the Ko-koro guard HQ burst open and Yasurek stepped in. Today was the day, he knew it. He had had enough of this job, this station, enough of this place. It was time to move on and he was going to let his boss know. But first, he made sure to knock on the boss's door and get permission to enter. After all, there's still politeness to keep in mind, even when preparing to make a proclamation.
The Boss, to his credit, didn't even look surprised at Yasurek's unexpected visit to his office. He had a simple office made of snow and ice, with a desk and a filing cabinet. Through the window one could see the almost perpetual snow falling on the village. His desk had a nameplate on it, but Yasurek had never bothered to read it. In fact, he had immediately forgotten the Boss's name in favor of calling him "Commander Sir". After all, everyone lower in the guard was essentially a generic grunt, so why shouldn't the Boss be called any different?
"Commander Sir, I'd like to talk to you," Yasurek announced as he entered. There was a chair on his side of the desk, but he had no intention of staying for long.
"I would expect that given your coming to visit me on your day off," the Boss replied. "Regardless, go on."
Here it was, the moment of truth. "Commander Sir, I have decided to leave the guard," he said. There it was, the moment. And then it was gone and the weight was lifted off his shoulders, and the obly thing that could ruin it would be if-
"May I ask why you've decided to leave?" the Boss asked.
Karz it. "I have come to the conclusion that being here in my current position and duties limits my ability to actually keep the peace and uphold justice within the koro. Namely, I am all too aware that as time passes, more and more toa, skadi, vortixx, and who knows what else arrives on this island. A fair portion are just people who follow the rules, but a distinct number are egotistical, power hungry, thieving, murderous, insane, or just plain evil. Even many matoran have become criminal in nature. As it stands, our practice of standing around important areas looking important is not going to ever get around to solving the source of the problem."
"And do you, Yasurek, know the source of this problem? Do you honestly think that one thing brought about all this wrong-doing?" the Boss countered. "Maybe if the First Toa had succeeded-"
"Do NOT mention them," Yasurek stated. "They had a moral obligation to save us and they didn't. If they had succeeded, yes, we might be in a better position. As it stands though, we have to learn from the First Toa that we, the matoran, have to rely on ourselves to fix things. I have spent years of my life standing outside the sanctum, or the HQ, or the walls of the village doing nothing. Every few days I hear stories about a serial killer, or a robbery, or a hostage situation, and I know that if I had been in the village itself, actively keeping the peace, many of those crimes wouldn't have happened. We can't just sit around and do nothing-"
"We aren't doing nothing; We're guarding things. You have to be in one spot to guard a stationary object Yasurek, I hope you realize that."
"What I realize, Commander Sir, is that we are too busy guarding buildings and places to guard our own people. We may be a guard, and guarding pthings and places may be important, but we are also the police of this village. It's our job to uphold the law, not just make sure bad looking people don't walk through doorways. That's why I have to leave. I can't do my true job if I'm stuck here."
The Boss took a moment to consider the words before speaking. "... Very well. If you really think you can do much better than us on your own as a vigilante or something, then go. You've always been determined to do your duty and complete your assignments to the best of your ability, so maybe that determination and reliability will help you out there. Try not to lose your way though. Maby individuals who go on their own journeys wind up losing sight of who they are and what their goal is. Hopefully you won't be like them. Take your spears with you. I've never seen anyone in the guard with such a deep connection to their weapons, and they'll always remind you of who you are, and what you stand for. Besides, we have an entire warehouse nearby full of identical spears, so having you turn yours in wouldn't be too important. I will need your insignia though."
Yasurek handed over a small rounded object with symbols carved into it. "To be honest Commander Sir, I'm surprised you were this supportive of my plan."
"That's the thing Yasurek; You're not the only person on the island who wants to do the right thing."
[color=#40e0d0;]Yasurek replayed that moment a few times in his mind before drawing his guard spears.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"I didn't always have two spears when I was in the guard," he explained to Lohkar. "I obtained the second one when a criminal tried to break into the sanctum. He took down the guard next to me leaving me as the only one between him and the building. I took up my spear and my partner's and fought the criminal to a standstill before backup arrived and took him down.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"In the hospital, I met with my partner and he insisted I take his spear and use it along with my other one. He had always wanted to try using swords anyways, and it seemed I had a knack with using two spears at once. Two weapons let's you split your attacks, cover more ground, help more people." He rested the tip of the handle on the floor and leaned on the spear. "That was the theory anyway. I wouldn't go so far as to say my ability to uphold justice was improved substantially by having another pointy stick, but it just felt right." He paused.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"The thing is, I left the guard because I wanted to more actively uphold justice and help people. I wanted to go out there, find criminals and put a stop to them. I wanted to do what some thought was impossible, to stop crime from happening. To bring peace to the island. Regardless of whether Makuta sent rahi against us, there was always going to be the problem of sentient threats to the peace, people who went around causing chaos for fun or profit." He glanced at Lohkar before continuing. "Over time, I... lost track of that goal. I became aimless, I grew aware of my limitations. After all, I'm a matoran on an island that is rapidly becoming over-populated with superpowerful individuals, there's a limit to what I can actually do to stop the criminal ones. It got to the point where I needed a purpose, any purpose at all, some poeple I could work with, anything.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"Then, I saw the flyer you put up advertising your crew. The lawful part of me complained about the idea of becoming a pirate, a criminal, the very thing I had gone on a quest to stop. But the rest of me needed anything to feel like a part of something. To be a part of something greater then myself. I went and joined and met you and the others, and I started to notice something: Not all pirates are bloodthirsty criminals causing chaos. In fact, you guys in general seemed to be relatively alright people, even with the moral issues. You guys all had a semblence of a moral code, even if it wasn't the stirctest, and I appreciated that. I had a job, and things to do, and I did everything I could to accomplish my tasks, even when my own limitations prevented me from completely succeeding. I started to feel like I had a place to belong. The flip side was that any time I couldn't succeed I felt disappointment, not just from myself but also from not succeeding at helping the crew as a whole. Nobody wants to be the weak link on the team, and as a matoran I had to work extra hard to not be the weak one. But I gradually found myself feeling powerless in the situations we encountered. Then, the mutiny happened.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"I never really wanted the mutiny to happen, Captain Lohkar Sir, I want you to know that, but when it happened, I found myself going along with it because I didn't want to leave the ship. I had become too invested in it to leave it for the sake of one person, even one that I respect as much as you. So I sailed with the ship to Ta-koro, where there was a need to acquire more crew. I came ashore with Grochi and Gunner and Raknar, but after obtaining the required crew, they sailed away while I wasn't looking. Not intentionally, I'm sure, but just because they forgot me. They didn't notice me enough to remember I was there. So I was stuck, separated from the ship and crew that had brought purpose and drive back into my life.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]After that, I traveled on my own for a while. I was back to not having a goal, the idea of justice having left my mind long ago. Several weeks later I heard news of the Infernavika's attack on Po-koro, and the subsequent battle. I headed out to Po-wahi, hoping to find the ship. With a bit of luck, I did end up stumbling across it, and after a bit of convincing and the fact that Gunner remembered that I was actually part of the crew, I was let back on. It wasn't the same ship though. The purpose had been stripped form it, and nothing happened. Raknar didn't seem to care about anything going on and insanity was left unchecked. The main good thing that had been added was Lasinia, who despite being, Lasinia, is an excellent companion. There was also Perkahn, who, despite not really knowing the definition of 'legend in their own right' was a force of good on the ship. Despite the ship having become a sinkhole of inactivity, there were a lot more moral individuals present. With your return, we might have lost a bit of that morality (no offense) but we had a purpose. It was then that all of the feelings of disappointment came rushing up and overwhelmed me. I felt inadequate about myself, felt powerless to succeed, and unable to please the crew. I felt like a failure. But now, I've realized something."[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]Yasurek stood up straight and sheathed his spears. "This ship, despite being a pirate ship, is still similar to being a guard. There's still a boss and employees, but unlike the guard, everybody is different. I look around this ship and I see individuals, not faceless grunts without personality. I look at everyone and I can see the different strengths they bring to the group as a whole. And I can now see that there are overlaps in the moral code of a guard member and a pirate. And using those overlaps, I can both help my crew to achieve their goals and uphold justice like I planned to. I can be both a member of the crew and a honorable and just man. And it's entirely possible that my goodness has spread to the other crew members, who knows? I also know that I have a role on this ship: I'm a good man who helps keep things on track and moving in a positive direction. I look out for the crew and work as hard as I can to see us through our goals. I'm dependable, I'm honorable, and I'm useful. I'm just a matoran, but that just means that I work harder than others. I only have spears, but they're all I need.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"I'm Yasurek, midshipman of the Infernavika, and I'm a valuable part of this crew."[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]For a few seconds, nothing happened. Yasurek was kind of hoping for some triumphant music to fill the silence, but there was none to be had. So instead, he decided to do his job.[/color]
[color=#40e0d0;]"Now then, Captain Lohkar Sir. I believe we have an island village to avenge. I suggest we get under way."[/color]