Not a whole lot happens in Chapter One, but I assure you things will get going in Chapter Two. Which I am currently writing.
Here is the review topic! Do not post comments here, but here:
Anyways, the chapter!:
Eryen watched the path just beyond the gate half-lidded, a beaten road leading deep into Aoris Nui's jungle, which spanned most of the landmass, her spear sat against her shoulder with her arm wrapped around it. Another guard, a Fa-Matoran, approached.
"Eryen! Anything come up the road?" He barked from beneath his Komau.
"No, nothing...you know Veda-Koro is the main travel hub, not this place..."she sighed, leaning her weight on her spear.
"Trade still exists, you know." He pointed out as he stood next to her, leaning against the wall.
"I know, it's just usually it comes from the other gate. Business here is rare." She shrugged.
"True. Just keep an eye out, Eh? I need to go talk to the Sergeant." He stood straight again.
"Yeah, like usual." She sat her head in her hands, elbows on the battlements. After a pause, the Fa-Matoran left, the creaking of his feet on the wooden steps audible even when he reached the bottom.
Her eyes slowly drifted back to the road.
Less than a minute later, her attention was drawn to the sound of an Ussal crab, the rapid clicking of feet closing on the gate. Two Matoran, one on the crab, and one clad in armor and wielding a sword, appeared from their concealment in the trees, approaching the gate. Eryen stood straight, holding her spear straight up as they stopped.
"State your names and business!" She called. The armored one, obviously a bodyguard, noticed her first, before his better-dressed client looked up.
"Koryr, of Seda-Koro! I have a message from my village's leader, Lorig!" He called. True enough, Lorig was Seda-Koro's leader, and true enough on second look this man did bear the northern village's symbol.
"Hold, I'll talk to the others." She called back. She turned, opening the door to the small guard cabin built into the wall's battlements. She gave the other guard, a sleeping Ta-Matoran, a shake. He woke with a start.
"Huh, what?!" Rapidly escaped his mouth before noticing everything was fine.
"What is it, Eryen?" He asked.
"Some people at the gate. Message from Lorig." She explained.
"I heard Lorig was ill, hasn't said anything for a couple of weeks." He grunted as he stood up.
"Perhaps it's news that he's recovered." The Vo-Matoran shrugged.
"Perhaps. It'd be welcome, Lorig's a good man. Talks way too fast, but good." He walked to the small slit in the wall, observing the two.
"Let the others know to be on alert." Was all he said. Nodding, Eryen rolled up a pre-written message, placing it in the narrow slippery tube leading to the guard house. It traveled down with speed, before the Ta-Matoran, Jedaros, pulled a lever. The iron portcullis started with a jolt, rising with a series of clanks.
"Better go take a look, Eh?" Jedaros suggested, picking up his spear.
"Yup." Eryen sighed, turning and leading the way back out the door.
The Le-Matoran lowered his binoculars again. The other Le-Matoran behind him sighed, arms crossed.
"You've been watching that thing for hours now. It's nothing, Orius, now come on back."
"How can you be sure?" Orius turned, his feet making a crunching sound on the rock.
"Nothing with intent just bobs around. And even if it was something important, the guard could handle it. And last I checked, we aren't guards, just port workers, so come on." His friend walked up, placing his hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah? Shouldn't people working at a port know if something is about to, you know, arrive at port?"
"That's not our job, Orius, now for the last time, come on!" His friend pulled at him. Orius turned and jerked his shoulder away, clearing it of his friend's grasp. There was a pause, and Orius sighed.
"Fine, I'll just be a minute." He gestured in the direction of the stony path back to the break house. His friend gave a deep, gravely sigh, shaking his head before walking down. Orius' gaze turned back to the black, sodden rock bobbing not far off shore. For the past few hours he had seen it getting slowly closer, and he was sure it would wash itself up. Something, though, seemed off about it, but Orius couldn't put his finger on what.
Jedaros followed his friend and fellow guard as they approached the two travelers passing beneath the gate. Further ahead, a number of other guards stumbled out of the guard house, pulling on their jackets or trying to get their shield straps straight, before hurriedly approaching the group.
"A message from Lorig, eh?" Jedaros called up.
"Uh, yes, for Oren-Koro's guard captain. Iros, right?" He asked.
"Yeah, that's the one. What's the message?" Eryen asked.
"I'm afraid I can't tell you, it's for Iros and Iros only."
"Awful secretive. Iros doesn't hide things from us, no point."
"Once he has seen it he can tell you, if he likes. But until then, I can only--"
"Okay, we get it. Alright." Eryen raised her hands, sighing before glancing at Jedaros, gesturing to the other guards with her eyes. Jedaros took a step back, leaning back to look at the guard group.
"You lot! Escort these men to the main base, yeah?" He called. They nodded, one calling 'Yes sir!' before they approached further. Eryen turned again to Jedaros.
"Wanna go see what this is about? More interesting than standing around on the wall all day."
"True enough. I'll go close the gate. Wait for me." Jedaros nodded.
Anar brought his pick down again, smashing a rock clean in half, before pulling the rock out with a long grunt. For several days they had dug into the large rocky plateau close to the north shore. It was a new project set up by Seda-Koro. Nobody in the site new why it was being dug, or what the stone was being used for, but it was providing Anar and everyone else there with a pay, and he could deal with the conditions, so the Su-Matoran didn't complain. His friend, Hodar, chuckled.
"Anar! Strength of a Toa, there! Not every day you see someone crack a rock in two."
"And you'd know how strong a Toa was how? They haven't been seen here since before the villages were built." Anar looked up.
"Or are you secretly really old?" He grinned. Hodar laughed.
"You'd think so, when you see me run."
"Any word on what this is all for?"
"Nope. They're insisting its for the benefit of everyone though. Maybe it's some secret project."
"Well, it's benefiting my widget pouch."
"True enough. Need a hand there? Rock looks mighty tough. Couple others have come across the same thing." Hodar slung his own pick over his shoulder.
"Sure thing, man." Anar took a step to the side.
Iros sat in his office, squaring up the man silently. Looked legitimate enough.
"Message, eh? Put it here, then." He gestured to the desk. Nodding, the man placed the paper down. Iros leaned forward, arms opening up as he grabbed and opened the roll.
An unknown object has been spotted off the northern coast. The exact nature of this object is unknown, but we cannot risk it being dangerous, as it is close to Seda-Koro, and with the village the Quarry Project is at risk. I ask of you that you send a detachment of your men to Seda-Koro as soon as possible to bolster Seda-Koro's own guard forces. Compensation will be provided for this inconvenience and in the event any of your men are injured. I hope you are able to accept my request as soon as you are able.
Iros took a moment to fully register the message. Not that it was anything groundbreaking or shocking, Iros just took a moment to think things over.
"Seems reasonable to me. Most of my guards do so little they've become professional slackers." He sighed, eyes drifting to the guards stood outside. The embarrassment emanating from them was palpable. He placed the message down and returned his gaze to the messenger.
"Yeah, I'll send some men. Go on back home. Did he mention any specific time?"
"Today, preferably." The messenger nodded. "Thank you." He added, before turning and shuffling out as fast as he could.
"Are we going north, sir?" One of the guards asked.
"Yeah. And you're not going to sit around once you get there, you do enough of that here." He circled his desk, walking out, faced with about 10 guards, most still rather inexperienced. Except for two of them. The Vo-Toa and they Ta-Toa posted at the north gate, they had some idea what they were doing.
"You two. Jed...ara? And Enyra."
"Jedaros. And Eryen." Jedaros politely corrected.
"Right. You two'll go with this lot. Acting commanders for them, yeah? When you reach Seda-Koro, go find their guard captain. Tell them you're a detachment to bolster the guard for the time being." Iros ordered. The two Matoran saluted.
"Yes sir!" They both nodded. There was a pause.
"Go on then! He said today! And it's already starting to go gray!" He roughly gestured to the door. The bustle of troops, visibly unsure of their own actions, brought a smile to his face. They were all rookies, but rookies could be the best, in his experience. Room to learn.
Orius heaved as he lifted the heavy crate off the boat, one foot thumping hard in front of the other as he hauled it to the cart.
"Big load today, eh?" His friend called as he put another one down with a loud metal thud onto the cart.
"It's that time of year again! More fish!" Orius called back, placing his own down. His friend tried to lift the last one, but couldn't get it off the boat. Orius hurried over, grabbing the far side and hoisting it into the air.
"Yeah, but not all of this is fish! Did the north forest take a growth spurt or something?"
"Perhaps. Maybe someone got a little over-enthusiastic with wood-chopping!" Orius suggested. His friend grinned, as the two placed the large box on the top, his friend grabbing a pair of straps and throwing them over the cart, Orius grabbing them and latching them down, holding the crates down. His friend walked around, grabbing the handle.
"I'll take this over to the warehouse. That's about all for now, I think. Go lie down or something."
"Yeah, I'll see you then, eh?" Orius gave his friend a pat on the back as he started pushing the cart down the pier. Orius turned, his eyes squinting as his vision locked once more onto the strange object. It was most certainly closer than before. His eyes went upwards. It was late. He sighed. He'd go back to the worker's house for a drink before going home for the night.
Eryen's gaze didn't leave the pole of her staff as the large wagon, pulled by two Ussal crabs, rolled down the road north. She wondered what it was that had caused Seda-Koro to ask for backup. What was the object? What were they so concerned about? She was snapped from her thoughts by an elbow from Jedaros.
"What is it? You're staring at that staff like it holds the secrets of the universe. I'm telling you now, it's just a pole." He smiled.
"Nothing, just thinking."
"Whatever it is that's got us going there." She gestured to the direction of Seda-Koro.
"No idea. But it's getting dark, so we'll have to find out tomorrow morning, eh?" He smiled, giving her a pat on the back.
"Yeah, I could use some sleep." She rubbed her eyes with the side of her finger.
"You look it. Don't worry, Seda-Koro's not far." Jedaros' gaze returned to the road ahead.
Time flies by when you're having fun, as they say. Apparently it also flies by when you're digging through hard rock and cracking bad jokes with your friend, as Anar had recently discovered. Recently as in, that day. The past hour. They hadn't noticed it had gotten dark until another worker had gone past and told them it was time to pack up. As they walked down the gravely path to the workers cabin, Anar could see several were already going home.
"You got anyone back home?" His friend asked.
"So you're staying in the cabin?"
"Hey, if it means I don't have to walk as far, I'm good." He smiled. His friend shrugged.
"If you insist." His friend sighed before looking up, listening to the just audible conversations of the people around them.
"Nothing. Hearing lots about this tough rock we found, though."
"That's what happens when you dig deep enough, isn't it?"
"Yeah, usually. But generally not this deep. I'll see if I can find that geologist I met a couple days ago."
"Yeah. Ask him if he can come here, maybe he can figure out what it is." Anar shrugged. The two stopped in front of the wooden cabin. It was mostly a dormitory for the workers who didn't have to go back home immediately, with a storage for equipment attached.
"Well, see you tomorrow, man." His friend waved as he continued, up the road to Seda-Koro proper.
"Yeah, see ya." Anar exhaled sharply as he pushed through the door, dropping his lantern and pick in the storage, pushing open the door to a dorm room and rolling into a bunk, pulling the curtain shut. A few minutes later, the lights went out.
Half-lidded, Eryen led the detachment of guardsmen into the Seda-Koro guard HQ, immediately spotting the guard captain reading a book. Jedaros, noting how half-awake his friend was, stepped forward and cleared his throat. The captain's gaze, after a moment, slowly lifted to meet his.
"Someone asked for a detachment." He stated bluntly.
"Mhm. Yeah." The captain mumbled, turning and banging his fist on the wall.
"Kera! The guys from Halu-Koro are here!" He called. After a pause and a thump, the next door on opened and a Seda-Koro guardsman stepped out.
"R-Right. Uh, the dorm on the far end isn't used, if you want it." He pointed. Jedaros nodded. The guardsman swallowed, and stepped back through, closing the door. The captain sighed and shook his head. Jedaros grabbed Eryen's arm and pulled her along.
The room was dusty. Considerably so. Nothing too much to handle to really hazardous, more unappealing than anything. Apparently paying this no mind, Eryen was out like a log in moments, the other guards following suit within mere minutes.
Edited by SnowyAegis, Sep 28 2015 - 07:52 PM.