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In The Shadows

Epic Krayzikk

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#1 Offline Ninth Krayzikk

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Posted Feb 24 2012 - 12:00 PM

In the Shadows

"It's what is in the dark. It's what is always in the dark."

Chapter One

On some days, the sea is calm and peaceful. On these days the waters could be navigated even by the most amateur of beings. Today is not one of these days. Today, the seas are as dark as night and the waves are as violent as an angered skakdi. And amidst the crashing waves, a small craft struggles against the surf. The craft is a light, agile vessel, looking more suited for races or days in the sun than ferrying passengers between Xia and Metru Nui. Which is exactly what it was designed for. The passengers of this vessel, desperate as they were, had payed it’s owner a large sum to bring them to Metru Nui, a fact they would soon regret.For the craft could not maintain it’s course for long. And indeed it didn’t, as the next wave was the worst yet, towering over the craft, more than three times the height of the boat. The crew and passengers of the craft braced themselves, knowing that nothing short of Mata Nui himself could stop this wave from colliding with them. And collide it did, capsizing the vessel. The sea claimed it’s prize, owing it to the stupidity of one being, who refused to make landfall on a nearby island.****************************************************************************************************The storm had already subsided and night had fallen when several cold, wet beings dragged themselves onto the beach. One stood abruptly and walked over to another. The first being drew back his arm and punched the other being when he attempted to stand. “This is your fault, Krayn! If you weren’t so bound and determined to have everything your way, we wouldn’t be in this situation!”The second being, now identified as Krayn, stood. “Oh really? If we didn’t have to get back to Metru Nui so quickly for your court date, we wouldn’t be in this mess!” The toa of fire heated up the water soaking him, forcing it to evaporate. A third being straightened carefully, before speaking.“Mrak is right Krayn, at least in this regard.” His tone indicated his anger, though his voice remained cold.“Oh really, Ern?” Krayn responded, openly displaying his anger. “We don’t know anything about this island, it was safer to keep going! I thought you liked logical decisions!”“Your decision was not logical. The logical choice would have been to stop at this island, and wait for the storm to blow over. That way, no matter what was here, we would still have a ship. This way, we are here regardless with no ship.”Krayn inhaled sharply, as if to speak again, but he was cut off when Faen entered the conversation. “Stop it, all of you. We aren’t accomplishing anything by standing around arguing.”“Yeah, listen to the turaga. You guys aren’t accomplishing anything except making the rest of us go deaf.” A sarcastic voice commented. Drin’s eyes narrowed. “Krayn, if you say what you are thinking about saying, I will personally render you incapable of ever speaking again.” Her tone left no doubt that she would carry out her threat.Ern sighed. “Alright, everyone shut up. Did any of the crew members survive?”“I don’t think so.” Faen answered.“Well, Faen was nearest to the crew when the ship went down, so she would probably know.” Drin commented.Ern nodded, accepting the information without a hint of emotion. “What have we got left for supplies?”Krayn interrupted before anyone could answer. “Wait, what is with this ‘we’ stuff?”Drin laughed bitterly. “Well, since we are all stuck here because of your genius plan, we’re gonna have to work together.”Krayn bristled. Ern spoke again. “My question still stands.”Mrak spoke quietly. “I think that we all still have most of our weapons, but we don’t have any food.”“Well, the thief would know!” Krayn said mockingly. Mrak flinched, an action rarely seen on a vortixx.“Alright, Krayn, shut up unless you have something helpful to say.” Ern looked thoughtful. “Well, we can’t do anything in the dark. So, let’s settle down for the night here. We’ll need to have somebody keeping watch at all times. I’ll take first shift. Drin, you take second.” The toa of psionics nodded. “And Krayn you have last watch.”The toa of fire protested. “What about Mrak and Faen? Why don’t they have to keep watch?”“So you really want a thief, and the elderly keeping watch over you while you sleep?” Drin said mockingly. “Another brilliant idea. You’re just full of them, aren’t you Krayn?”“That is enough, you two.” Faen cut in before further words could be exchanged. “Ern is right. This plan works the best.”Krayn snorted derisively, but lay down on the sand a little ways from the shore. Drin lay down a few feet away from him, and both Faen and Mrak did the same in turn. Ern, on the other hand, drew his katana and settled in for a long, long night.****************************************************************************************************Drin was the first to awake the next morning, stretching her limbs, she stood and took in her surroundings. The group had made landfall on a beach with a dense, forested area ahead. The trees were tall enough to block the view of all but the top of a mountain rising in the distance. So, this is likely a volcanic island. She cast around with her mind, in an effort to locate any sentient life, but if there was any, it was out of range. She sighed, and turned to wake the others. Krayn was already awake and ignoring her.

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Edited by Krayzikk Champion of RPGs, Feb 24 2012 - 11:50 PM.

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Red Skies, an FTL Prequel (Updated 7/13)


#2 Offline Ninth Krayzikk

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Posted May 06 2012 - 08:17 PM

Chapter Two

“Are you kidding me!”Krayn glared at Ern, who responded with an impassive stare. “No, “‘m not kidding Krayn. Fruit is all that could be found, and you’ll eat it if you don’t want to starve.”“Fine.” Krayn grabbed a piece of fruit and bit into it angrily. The rest of the group were much more agreeable, simply taking a fruit and eating it quietly. Drin was the first to finish, tossing the fruit’s core into the woods. “So, what’s the plan? We just gonna sit here? Carve out a new society? Go crazy without a government and kill each other?” Ern shrugged. “Well, we haven’t determined whether or not this island is uninhabited. If it is, then we’ll have to find a way to survive until we either find a way back to Metru Nui or someone rescues us. If it is inhabited, then we have a whole different set of problems.”“Speaking of society, why isn’t the criminal restrained?” Krayn jabbed a finger at Mrak. “He’s still a criminal. A thief. He shouldn’t be allowed to roam free.”Faen sighed. “Krayn, will you listen to yourself for once? We haven’t got the resources to keep him tied up, even if we wanted to. And with as few people here as there are, we need all the help we can get.”“Besides, what would I steal here? Everything is junk.” Mrak said, before shrinking back under Krayn’s glare.“Alright, everyone settle down. All the hateful feelings here are making me homicidal.” Drin interjected, sounding annoyed. “And no one wants that. So here is what’s gonna happen. I’m going to take Mrak and explore. See if we can find anything useful. Ern, you should check the rest of the coast. See if anyone else survived.”“And what about me?” Krayn demanded.Drin smiled, a smile full of satisfaction. “You are going to watch Faen. We can’t leave the elderly unattended, now can we?” Her smile turned to a smirk as she felt the anger and annoyance roll off of him in waves. “Any questions? No? Good. Mrak, let’s get going.”****************************************************************************************************“Don’t even think about it, Mrak.” Drin said without looking at the Vortixx, as she used wakizashi to hack through yet another dense barrier of foliage.Mrak flinched. “W-what are you talking about, Drin?”“You know darn well what I’m talking about. You were considering making a break for it. Wondering if you could take me down, and escape.” Drin whirled, and used her powers to slam Mrak against a tree. Before he could react, her blade was at his throat. You can’t. The words reverberated through Mrak’s mind. Don’t even contemplate it. I would kill you before you even moved a muscle.Drin’s eyes were hard, and he knew she meant it. “O-of course. I wouldn’t stand a ghost of a chance. Why bother? In fact, I’ll forget I ever thought about it.” He gulped, as she slowly moved her sword away from his neck.“Good. Keep it that way.”With that, she turned, and resumed hacking through the foliage, breaching the barrier in short order. Carefully, she took a step through, and into a clearing. “Mrak, get over here.”Nervously, the Vortixx did just that, taking a step into the clearing. His eyes widened with astonishment.In the middle of the clearing, was a stone cabin. Clearly it had once been well-kept and clean, but now it was in a state of extreme disarray. Vines climbed the walls, threatening to overcome the building. What remained visible of the rock making up the cabin was bleached and weather-beaten. What had likely been a garden was choked and overgrown with weeds and grass, the only sign of it’s former state a few herbs protruding from the weeds.Drin eyes the cabin warily, trying to decide whether or not to enter. It could be hostile in there... But if we go back to get the others, Krayn will never let me hear the end of it... No. Mrak and I can deal with this. “Come on, Mrak.”Mrak shrank back in fear. “Wait, go in there? No, no, no. We should get the others.”“Follow me, or I swear I will feed you to the first Rahi I see.”“Okay! Following!” Mrak replied quickly, catching up to Drin with his long strides. The Psionics Toa paused at the door, and tried the handle. It was locked. With a shrug, she drew up her leg, and lashed out with a powerful kick, splintering the door. With a satisfied grin, she stepped into the hut. It was dim, as the plant-life outside blocked out most of the light. Keeping careful watch of the shadows, she withdrew a match and lit a torch built into the wall. Turning back around, she screamed.In the corner, a few feet away, was a Makuta. Mrak ran in. “What is?! What’s-” Mrak stopped short, and moved behind Drin at the sight of the Makuta. “W-why isn’t it moving?”Drin took a second look, and sighed. “It’s not real. It’s a statue. Has to be. With all that rust on it, it can’t have been moved for centuries.” She took a step closer. “Looks like Mutran. Actually, if he hadn’t been executed so long ago, I’d think it was him. Who the karz puts a statue of a Makuta in their home?”Her fears forgotten, Drin’s eyes alighted on a desk, covered in notebooks, some visibly older than others. Carefully, she withdrew one of the oldest from the pile, and opened to the first page. “It’s dated several centuries ago, not long after the Nuva awakened Mata Nui. Just a few years before the Turaga Metru were tried for treason.”She looked toward Mrak. “Grab yourself a pile. Let’s see if we can find anything out about this place, and who might have lived here.”****************************************************************************************************Ern was bored. He had been walking for quite a while, and hadn’t seen a thing. No Rahi, no debris, no people. In fact, he was just about to give up when he saw something black in the distance.Cautiously, he kept walking. After a few minutes, he reached what looked to be a campsite, a recent one. Not more than a day old, at least. On further examination, it was obvious that something was wrong. Cinders littered the ground, up to a yard away from where the fire had been, and the sand was disturbed in an unnatural manner. But most disturbing, was the captain’s hat lying half-buried in the sand.

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Red Skies, an FTL Prequel (Updated 7/13)


#3 Offline Ninth Krayzikk

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Posted Jul 27 2012 - 11:29 PM

[color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Chapter Three[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Ern's eyes darted around, and he pivoted, putting his back to the ocean.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]He took several steps forward, crouching next to the campfire. The wood was still warm to the touch. The fire hadn't gone out very long ago. The wood was scattered several feet from the fire pit, as if it had been thrown out. The disturbed sand around the campsite indicated that whatever had happened here hadn't been pretty.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Instinctively, Ern reached for the dagger at his waist. He slowly approached the hat lying on the ground, and picked it up. Blood stained the brim, and a long tear ran from front to back, almost bisecting it. A quick scan with his element turned up nothing. No sign of weapons, or even shards of armor. Whatever had done this hadn't left much behind.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Ern stood, and started jogging back toward camp. He made sure to keep an eye on the forest, and his hand on the handle of his weapon. We need to get out of here.[/color][/font]*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************[color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Drin coughed, the dust from the book she'd just opened billowing into her face.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]She and Mrak had taken up residence near the door of the cabin, as far from the statue as possible. The oldest volumes in the pile had been written in an archaic form of matoran, too old for either of them to read. The newer ones weren't much better. They could only understand every third word or so, and what they read didn't make much sense. The journals were filled with what appeared to be notes, and the occasional diagram. Large lists were devoted to the various powers each species could access, a seemingly encyclopedic summary of the abilities inherent in Toa, Skakdi, Vortixx, Makuta and even a few species that neither Drin nor Mrak could recognize.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]But strangest of all was one of the diagrams Drin found in one of the earliest volumes. The title translated to [/color][/font]Spirit and Mind[color=#000000;][font="arial;"]. Down the page was a picture of the Kanohi Avsa. She squinted at the page, and tried to figure out what the notes said.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"Oi, Mrak. Can you read this?" The Vortixx leaned over, and shook his head. [/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"No, I can't. Just like most of this stuff." Oh, will he stop whining? Honestly, if he doesn't shut up, I'm going to ki-[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]A loud crash echoed outside the cabin, and Drin sprang to her feet. Mrak, on the other hand, pushed himself farther into his corner. She looked at him in disgust. "Get on your feet." She reached into the military style jacket she always wore, and tossed him his weapon. She'd confiscated it when he'd been arrested, the day before they been stranded on this rock. It clattered to the ground at his feet, and he stared at it. It was a Xian weapon, to be precise, a handgun. It was perfect for a thief's self defense, small and stronger than it looked.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"Pick it up. Whatever's out there, I think you'd rather deal with it than me." Mrak's eyes widened, and he shakily picked up the weapon, and stood. Drin drew her weapon, and stepped outside.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]The clearing was empty, almost the exact same as when they'd first seen it. The only change was the large tree that had fallen, near the edge of the clearing. Even from a distance, Drin could tell that it wasn't a natural occurrence. But there aren't any minds around. Not even a Rahi. So what-[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]That line of though was brought to a crashing halt by a roar from behind her. She barely had time to lunge forward and roar, before a set of claws slashed through the space she used to occupy. Drin whirled, and stopped short. "What the karz?!"[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]A low growl emanated from the twisted parody of a Toa that stood behind her. It's armor was black, less a color than an absence thereof. The only splash of color was the red of it's eyes, eyes that seemed to glitter with malice. It was hunched over like an ape, long claws tipped it's fingers.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"That, is not possible. It has to have a mind. Unless I'm imagining it, and I don't think I could imagine something that ugl-"[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]The beast roared an slashed, seemingly offended by the statement. It moved unbelievably fast, striking almost before Drin could register it had moved. Only a last minute twist of her upper body allowed her arm to remain attached to her body. She ignored the pain that radiated from her shoulder.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Several cracks rang out, as Mrak fired wildly at the creature. All of the shots went wild save one, and that one pinged off of it's armor. It growled at Mrak, looking away from Drin. That was the first mistake it made. Drin took her chance, and slashed, leaving a long mark along it's side. Even as it turned back to her, she used her powers to hurl it into the woods on the far side of the clearing.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"Run!" She yelled at Mrak, as they both turned, and sprinted for the woods opposite the beast. While they ran through the forest, they could hear it crashing along behind them. Twigs snapped, branches cracked, and loud snarls grew steadily closer. After a few minutes, they could see the coastline between the trees. "Come on, we're almost there!"[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]But adrenaline lent their feet wings in only the figurative sense. As she turned her head to check and see if the monster was still behind them, her foot caught on a root. She hit the ground with a thud, and the impact knocked the wind out of her. She rolled over, and coughed. She could see the creature now, growing closer with each passing second. She wouldn't be able to stand in time. "Mrak! Mrak!" [/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]The Vortixx looked back, but kept running. Drin cursed, and reached for her wakizashi..... Except it was on the ground behind her. She'd dropped it when she fell. The creature was almost upon her, and she closed her eyes to wait for the end..............[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Which didn't come. At the sound of a yelp, she opened her eyes. The monster was speared on a metal spike in front of her, it's red eyes went dim. When she propped herself up, she heard footsteps behind her. Ern crossed his arms. [/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]She dusted herself off, and looked at him. "You know what? I think you intentionally waited that long. Waited so you could be the hero." She sighed. "But I owe you one. We need to get to the coast, it isn't safe in the woo-"[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]"It isn't safe on the coast, either. The captain and a few others made it to shore. I found the campsite, abandoned. Violently, I might add. We need to get the others, and move further inland. If we're lucky, there might be a shelter of some kind. If not, then maybe we can find a nice place to die."[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]That's cheerful. Drin thought, as the two walked onto the coast. But accurate.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Ern clapped his hands. "Alright, Drin and Mrak where just attacked. And so was the captain. The shore isn't safe. We're moving inland."[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Drin gathered the possessions she still had, mostly her weapons and a blanket, never taking her eyes off of the forest. They weren't alone. In actuality, they never had been. And only now was she beginning to understand the truth in the phrase Ignorance is bliss.[/color][/font][color=#000000;][font="arial;"]Review Topic[/color][/font]


Edited by The Snark Knight, Jul 08 2013 - 12:10 AM.

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Red Skies, an FTL Prequel (Updated 7/13)


#4 Offline Ninth Krayzikk

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Posted Jul 08 2013 - 12:23 AM

Chapter Four

 

The island’s topography presented few options for safe haven, after Ern’s findings had been taken into account. The creatures, whatever they were, attacked both on the shore and when anyone ventured into the forest. Staying on the shore was thus a foolish idea, as was pushing past the cabin’s clearing. Both the site of the attack and the cabin were on the southern side of the island. So with barely a word, the decision had been made to travel north.

 

Krayn, as per his usual behavior, pushed to the front of the group, blazing a trail for the others to follow. Faen and Mrak were near the center of the group for two very different reasons; Faen was the only Turaga, and thus, more frail than the others. If it came to a fight, she would not be able to hold her own effectively. Mrak, on the other hand, was merely a coward. He was in the middle because otherwise, he would try to run. Ern and Drin took the left and right flanks respectively, acting as the vanguard by unspoken consent.

 

The route took them deeper into the forest than Drin and Mrak had traveled, but after the first hour of walking, it proved to be a wildly different experience. The forest near the clearing had been dense and oppressive, the silence almost suffocating. No birds sang, no creatures scurried, it had simply been empty. Devoid of life, as if the earth itself was barren for miles around save for the choking foliage. This section of the forest was more open, allowing a reasonable view of the environment for several yards in all directions. Though it was no more vibrant, the air was somehow lighter, a stark contrast to the mood. The further they traveled, the more rocky the ground became as the terrain sloped upwards towards the mountains that made up the island’s northern region.

 

The silence carried on for time indeterminate; without a clear view of the sun, no clear estimation of the time could be made. But all of those assembled recognized the moment when the sun began to descend, taking with it the comforting light of day.

 

“We need to find a place to make camp.” Drin said finally, dusk beginning to settle in around them. “Faen can’t go much further, no matter how much she will protest that statement, and I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t feel like wandering around in the dark.”

 

“There’s nowhere that would serve as a defensible position.” Ern commented, glancing around the forest. “Too open, and yet, too enclosed at the same time. We could be seen from a long way off, but an assailant could creep up almost unnoticed until they were a few yards out.”“And how would they do that, huh?” The Ta-Toa rolled his eyes, exasperation clear in his tone. “The Ce-Toa over there could sense them from a long way off, unless she falls asleep on the job. Or maybe she’s not as good as she says she is…”“Krayn, kindly think before you open your mouth.” Drin shot back, glaring daggers at her companion. “Or do I need to remind you which of us has formal training, and which of us is a jumped-up, glorified bodyguard?”“I’m an escort,” He replied heatedly, whirling around, hand flying to his sword’s hilt. “And I’ll gladly take you up on that offer. Maybe a few rounds’ll dull that sharp tongue of yours.”

 

“Both of you, shut up.” Faen snapped, her words followed momentarily by a glower at both of the Toa. “I swear, the two of you argue like children. Always trying to one up the other. Knock it off.”

 

“However tactlessly she put it, Drin does have a point.” Ern interjected, breaking his silence now that the argument had been derailed. “Her element failed to detect the creature before. There is no indication that she would be able to do so now. Regrettable though it is, we need a fire. Otherwise, we’re sitting blind.”

 

“The elderly and the coward can take a break.” Krayn said mutinously, stalking off into the underbrush. “Ms. Perfect too. I’ll bring back some firewood.”

 

Several pairs of eyes watched him leave, some with worry, others with suspicion, and at least one pair with annoyance. Faen took a seat on a felled log, sighing in relief as she took the weight off of her feet. They’d been walking for hours, and as much as she didn’t want to admit it, Drin was right; she wouldn’t have been able to go much further. The Ce-Toa herself leaned against a tree, keen eyes watching the lengthening shadows, as if she expected one to suddenly break from its creator and attack. It was an unnerving sight; since the group had gathered on the docks before their trip right up until the creature’s attack, she had been the picture of stoicism. Nothing fazed her, nothing made her blink. The same went for Ern, who was facing the opposite direction, searching the trees with alert eyes. Both were warriors, and their bearing proved it. But hardened as they were, they were worried.

 

Mrak sat near the center of the group, holding on to his weapon possessively, desperately. His eyes were wide, though glazed with exhaustion, as they darted wildly about. Of those present, he was the least composed. Fate had chosen a strange group to dump on this island. They had been in two groups when they first met; Mrak in handcuffs, led aboard the ship by Drin. Faen had been traveling to Metru Nui on business, but the seas were notorious for their raiders. So she had hired Krayn, a cocky young bodyguard, to ensure that she arrived safely. Of them all, only Ern had arrived alone, and he spoke the least about his business. But one did not spend several days on a boat with someone and not learn a little about them; he was a private investigator, also called to Metru Nui on business, though he refused to elaborate on exactly what kind.

 

“Arrogant little Karz-head is going to get himself killed.” Drin said, breaking the uneasy silence as she stared after where the Ta-Toa had gone. “No one should go out there alone, let alone someone as inexperienced as him.”“He’s not as inexperienced as you seem to think.” Faen said tiredly, entering into the conversation against her better judgment. “My choice in escort was not a hasty one; his previous clients all described him as competent, if a little cocky.”“He’s not a little cocky. He’s cocky enough for an entire Toa Team of newbies.”“In case you hadn’t noticed, he wasn’t this… Haughty, on the ship.” Ern pointed out, the Fe-Toa never looking away from whatever point in the distance held his attention. “It’s a defense mechanism. The rookie is scared, so he walls up behind gates of arrogance. It’s how he’s trying to deal with the situation.”“Well, he’s not dealing with it very well, now is he?”

 

“Are any of us?” Drin’s head snapped to the side, looking at the speaker. Mrak looked up from the ground, though he didn’t meet any of his captors’ gaze. “We’re all stuck on an island, with no way of getting home, and no real supplies. And if that wasn’t enough, there are murderous creatures on this island that have no mind, can chase around a trained Metru-Nui guard, and take out several crewmen without a sound. We’re trapped, we’re being hunted, and in all honesty, we’re probably as good as dead.”

The Ce-Toa opened her mouth to respond, but whatever it was she was about to say was cut off by a crack coming from the woods to her side. Instinctually, she drew her wakizashi, the blade’s point aimed at where she had heard the sound. A moment before the voice rang out, she relaxed.“Thank you ever so much for not skewering me.” Krayn said caustically, stepping into view with firewood under his arm. “Found plenty of wood a ways that way. We’ve got kindling all around us, so there’s no lack of that, and I can start the fire. We should be set for a while yet.”

 

Without saying anything more, he dropped to one knee and began to stack the pieces of wood in a roughly rectangular design. In the center, he placed several twigs and a small pile of dried pine needles, needles that were ignited with a snap of his fingers. Within a few minutes, a small blaze was burning, its containment ensured by a small metal wall around it. Several seats had been crafted out of nearby tree trunks, or from one’s own element, and most of the group was seated in a circle around the fire.

There was no food to be had, and by unspoken consent, it was agreed that it was too perilous to search for it. The silence was all encompassing, broken only by the crackling of the fire. After several long minutes, Ern produced a small notebook and writing utensil, glancing at the gathered group.“So. Let’s go through what we know.” The Fe-Toa’s fingers seemed to move without the input of their owner, taking notes even though his full attention was on the conversation at hand. “This island is located somewhere between the Southern Continent, and Metru Nui. Though we were progressing in a northwest direction, we may have been blown off course in any number of directions. Thus, we cannot be entirely sure where within this vast expanse of ocean we are.”

 

“This island, thus far, is largely uninhabited. No large settlements, no fishing boats, no sign of intelligent presence save one thing; the cabin in the southern woods. Shortly after its discovery was the first attack from the creature, or creatures, that we witnessed in person. Drin, would you perhaps detail what you saw in the cabin? I know the guard trains you to be perceptive; leave no detail out.”The female Toa was silent for several moments, staring into the fire as she though back to the event. Quietly, calmly, she began to speak.

 

“The clearing itself was surrounded by unusually dense foliage, foliage that required significant effort to penetrate. The clearing was unkempt, the foliage left to its own devices. The cabin was covered in vines, and what might have been a garden is now a mess of weeds and wild plants. The cabin’s materials are old; old enough to have cracked and bleached under the sun and rain.” 

“The interior is dusty. I doubt such a layer of dust could have accumulated within a short time, so it had been abandoned in excess of several months. The foliage outside would suggest years. A desk holds old books, written in languages I could not read. A statue of one of the Makuta stands in a corner, and all of the journals bear the Brotherhood’s symbol. At least, what used to be their symbol.”

 

“Now, this is where things seem strange. The creature’s known attacks were on the southern side only, as if there was something there it wanted to protect. Territory, perhaps, but if that was the case, it would have ceased its assault the moment Drin was driven from its territory.”“You talk like it’s a common Muaka, Ern.” Drin said coldly, eyes narrowing. “Whatever this thing is, it isn’t naturally. And it sure as Karzahni isn’t defending territory. This thing had no mind, and it was vicious. There’s something up.”“I take it Makuta cultists would be too simple an explanation.” Ern said drily, clasping his hands together, and staring at his notes. “The captain’s campsite was disturbed, but minimal blood was spilled on the sand. In addition, no bodies were found at the scene. Which means that they weren’t killed there.”“Or that whatever killed them is smart enough to clean up after itself.” Faen observed quietly, staring at the fire as she delivered the grim, until then unspoken portion of the statement. “In which case, we have far, far larger problems then what we’re going to eat for dinner.”

 

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Red Skies, an FTL Prequel (Updated 7/13)





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