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About Zeal

  • Birthday 01/05/1998

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  1. IC: Sohmak - The Battle of Fort Garsi Sohmak was a fighter, sure, but a warrior? Far from it. The brawler stood stock-still, panting heavily, dreading the wretched and bloody sight that would greet him once he dared open his eyes; a Skakdi soldier, or at least part of one, wrapped around his cursed iron fist. And yet, when he finally dared, there was nothing to see. Sohmak snapped out of his stance, turning over his shoulder to see the rider barrelling at increasing speed towards his comrades cowering behind the wall. On the far side more riders, of bike and beast alike, began to scramble over and engage. Jojax stood on the far side - on the far side - fighting with the fury of her forefathers. For a split-second Sohmak felt something like amusement, and perhaps a little swell of pride, before drowning in dread once more. Fort Garsi were giving far better than they were getting and the Spineless Slugger was stuck right out in the open, anticipating getting his head scooped off by a stray rock or explosive any moment. He looked to Zanakra out of a desperate hope that she would begin actually leading her thrall, reverse their rout and turn the tide of battle. Instead he found the warlord engaged in single combat with some four-armed maniac, thoroughly uninterested in the un-progress of their assault. Blinded by her bloodlust. Utterly insane. His gaze found T'harrak now, wagering she was the only Razorfish;Vaa Skakdi managing to keep her head amidst the chaos, and knowing that was a tall ask at best. She was... giving orders? to Seeker, who turned in their direction. Sohmak hoped the both of them could read his face from that far away, looking from the two back to Zanakra, the crazed warlord who lead them to this slaughter. This ain't worth our lives! She ain't! This was too much. Simply too much. It took everything he had not to just fall to his knees. His elementally attuned ears pricked up, finding a voice under all the havoc. Another day, Sohmak told himself. You can be a warrior another day. Before Seeker could even begin to fetch them, he had turned to his companions. "Gashril! Lookout! We're gettin' outta 'ere!" Without looking to see if they had chosen to follow or stay and fight, he broke into a sprint, in a direction halfway between "towards T'harrak" and "away from Fort Garsi". Even with the Sluggers strapped to his body, he could still outpace just about anyone in a short burst. Sohmak fought down terror and shame in equal measure, and prayed he'd escape to reconcile them both. OOC: @Snelly @Nato G @ARROW404
  2. IC: Sohmak - The Battle of Fort Garsi If not for Gashril and her companion, the earthen onslaught would have almost certainly buried the brawler; their slowing of the collapse gave Sohmak a literal fighting chance, batting away the smaller rocks with his mighty Protosteel exo-gauntlets and throwing devastating (if panicked) haymakers at the larger boulders that bore down on him, decimating them to more manageable chunks that piled around his feet. Still he didn't escape unscathed, battered, bruised and a smidge bloodied. But no less fighting fit; it would take more than the earth swallowing him up to keep the Sonic Striker down. Sohmak clanged the Sluggers together, sparks flying as he roared with a furor he'd not displayed before, in or out of the ring. As much an intimidation display as a desperate attempt to mask his growing terror. Dealing with the wretch in the ramparts would now have to wait, however. As Ahuum's magnet-trick on T'harrak's bunker threw the motorcycle assault into disarray, one of the riders-come-runners found their trajectory veering off from their squad, in an uncontrolled sprint towards Gashril and co. The two Tahtorak campers otherwise occupied with cleaning up the collapse, Sohmak allowed himself the focus of a singular opponent. And at once was his mind clear. No mad trapmasters, no imploding hillsides, no bloody fortress politics. A Skakdi, and another Skakdi, and a great violence building between them. The Sarke champion relished the feeling. This was bliss. This was-- Not Sarke. His mind clouded over again with new feelings. Dread and disgrace. Sohmak had seen what the Sluggers could do to great boulders and thick steel. He'd thought sparingly about what they'd do to flesh and Protodermis, what the act of killing, of breaking the second of the only two rules he'd ever lived by would feel like. He had about six seconds to consider the possibilities before the Garsi rider closed the distance. Sohmak planted his feet firmly, winding back his arm. The exoskeleton supporting the hulking metal fist whirred with menace, a metallic chunk sounding as the armature locked into place. The bruiser zeroed his foe, his mad dash leaving little room for evasive manoeuvring... and closed his eyes. As he loosed the ruinously powerful punch with a frightful yell, he wondered if the mechanisms would translate his holding-back-the-blow at all. OOC: @Mel @Geardirector @Visaru @Snelly @Nato G @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404 I didn't miss anyone right? 😅
  3. IC: Sohmak - The Battle of Fort Garsi Had the forces of Fortress Razorfish;Vaa been permitted to engage at a closer range, Sohmak would feel rather more optimistic about his present circumstances. As they stood, the bruiser could've spent a thousand years in the ring and not one second of it could have prepared him for the carnage unfolding; the Spineless Slugger finally found himself in an arena of combat that rendered him almost perfectly useless. The old clubhouse may as well have been in another universe. His Sonics-attuned hearing found Gashril and Lookout above the cacophony of explosives, firearms and eye beams, and he anchored himself to their efforts. Sohmak was almost perfectly useless, and he loathed the ways he could be useful. Any ability of his that didn't involve his raw physical prowess hadn't been exercised in years, rather by choice. Given the current situation, he would have to forgive himself the stain on his honour later, assuming he was still alive to do so. The Bite of Irnakk's Tooth screwed his eyes tightly shut, trying to remember how to flex this particular muscle. At once a wave of nausea washed over him, his eyelids snapping open to reveal tones of deep dark blue, temperate yellow-greens and fiery reds. He looked up towards the ramparts, wavering on his feet, and saw at once why Zanakra's Cordak missiles had fallen short; blistering white-hot lines cut through the air, ending in puffs of crimson where the projectiles had been prematurely detonated. Tracing directly back to Krex. "THEY'VE GOT HEAT VISION!" Sohmak shouted sort of at Zanakra, sort of at Gashril, sort of almost in a panic. "SETTIN' OFF THE EXPLOSI-OH IRNAKK'S PIS—" The brawler about keeled over, throwing his body to the ground in Gashril's direction in a vague attempt to take cover from the onslaught, his vision fading from Thermal to regular spectrum as he fought and won to keep days of fruits and Miracle Cactus down. "Oi… Shrill Blade," he finally managed to heave out between breaths, unaware her perspective was elsewhere. "You're a noisy rotter too, eh? How's about we flush the heu:nii out?" OOC: @ARROW404 @good grief there's a lot of us huh?
  4. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment T'harrak, as she often did, had a point. But for once it wasn't sitting quite right with Sohmak. She was unable to see the forest for the trees, or whatever he overheard some other geek saying. The brawler came to a stop and looked back at her. To a distant observer, to Zanakra, Sohmak cocking his head back in her direction would read as "Let's get a wriggle on, boss is waitin'." To someone who'd just had the conversation they'd had with the fighter, to T'harrak, it read as "Wanna talk about personal pride and how it impacts us all? She's right there." She knew about pride, but he knew pride, and at least his didn't kill people. With that, he started off towards the scouting boat again. And with each heavy footfall towards the fledgling conqueror's craft (attempting a casual salute with the hulking metal mass on his arm as he boarded) it sank deeper and deeper in how dangerous Zanakra's own pride, her unchecked ambition, was; for would-be rivals, thralls and allies alike. Sohmak still didn't quite realise how sheltered he was from fortress politics in the bosom of Zakaz's capital, but he was beginning to get the foul taste of it. Despite his prodigious talent for incredible and passionate violence, the Spineless Slugger had never killed before; Rule Two: keep your opponent alive. Again he wondered if he had the nerve if things went south. He'd have the boat ride south to figure it out. OOC: @Nato G @Snelly
  5. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment Oh how badly Sohmak wanted to snipe at the upstart, something like "If you ain't ready for 'em you'll never be one of 'em." United front, he reminded himself, save it for the fort. Looked forward to the fort. Instead he approached Gashril, raising a colossal mech-gauntlet to her in respect for her performance. "Bloody good show, lass. Showed our newbie how it's done, eh?" he said, pretending he'd been one of Zanakra's longer than Jojax had. Sure to get under the wrestler's skin, couldn't help himself really. He was about to ask if the Shrill Blade had ever made it out to the circles and clubhouses in Irnakk's Tooth when-- Sohmak's shoulders sank a little and he looked to the circle with longing, so close yet so far. Seemed everything was on hold until they made it back to the fort. Looked forward to the fort even more now. In helping where he could making preparations to leave (which wasn't much considering he couldn't grab anything, darn these good-for-nothin'--) the Spineless Slugger ended up alongside Zanakra's favourite geek, who was looking a little bruised after Jojax's impudent display. Sohmak had little time or respect for tinkerers like T'harrak, but thought it may be best to mend some bridges and straighten things out before they set off again. Sohmak shuffled closer to the engineer, lowering his rowdy voice for once. "Don't take it personal. We were all like her once, back in the clubhouses. Nothin' in Zakaz or Kino-Ur could take us down. We all get our reality check some day though, that kick-in-the-guts'll do her good." He snuck a look at the wrestler, sulking in the Sarke circle. "Kid's got spirit, no one denyin' that. And if she's anything' like her dear ol' dad..." lowering his voice even further, Jojax could not hear this now "...she'll be a fighter for the ages." A brief, vulnerable pause. "You were right to stick by her. We all need mates, in there and out 'ere." Sohmak broke away, moving for the boat before quickly turning back to T'harrak, assuming something of a civil-if-gruff tone. "And 'scuse my words at young Jojax before, don't mean nothin' by 'em," he lied slightly, it did tickle Sohmak a little to get her riled up, "she can't back that spirit though and everyone in Zakaz and Kino-Ur will take her down. Got a lot to live up to." OOC: @Snelly @Nato G @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404 Feeling slightly honoured to fall in the scope of your 10,000th post, Snelly! Feels like yesterday we were posting in Le-Wahi ☺️
  6. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment And there it was; the blind desperation of a novice. Sohmak shook his head, shaking loose the errant thought that had been his budding respect for the wrestler. The Shrill Blade had her on the ropes-- --oh COME ON. Sohmak's feeling on draws were complicated. On the one hand, any two combatants that can fight each other to a standstill after such a prolonged bout must be fierce opponents indeed. On the other, a draw's... kind of a boring outcome? Maybe it's more about the journey than the destination or whatever he overheard some geek say. Sohmak groaned in dissatisfaction all the same. Then again, the Slugger mused, that was most definitely Gashril's fight to lose. Sheer bad luck her foot landed outside the ring. Still, it was over. Sohmak's muscles relaxed, tense as though he'd been in the ring himself. Seeing proper Sarke for the first time in a long time made him all jittery. He'd almost forgotten about the Sluggers until the clank of the crush-jaws closing, his fists clenched around their triggers, reminded him with a sour sneer. Surely one of these goons could free him of the blasted things. OOC: @Snelly @Nato G @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404 Also I do not share Sohmak's views on draws, it was a great fight! 😁
  7. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment The brawler's long trek across Zakaz had clouded his living moments in a dreamlike haze. Even meeting Zanakra and her crew felt like playing out a campfire adventure story, the disgraced fighter given a second chance as warlord's muscle. Watching Gashril and Jojax duke it out in the circle was the most real thing he'd experienced in weeks. The two fighters embodied very different schools of combat, both equally effective and equally admired by Sohmak. Gashril's body language betrayed a caution and reactionary style the untrained eye might mistake for cowardice, but the Shrill Blade wielded a mind keener than her sword, her conservative technique allowing her to deconstruct her opponent mentally before following through physically. Jojax's frightful vigour was no less deliberate, however. If Gashril's style was to think on her feet, then Jojax's was to never give her a moment to think. This "attack-attack-attack" rhythm was not the blind desperation of a novice; the overwhelming force was considered, her incredible violence calculated. Even without the ancestral mask, she would be a terrifying opponent indeed. Sohmak let a smile crack across his great jaw. Perhaps there was something of the Demon in her after all. His mind strayed from the fight for a moment to finally regard the... wrongness that lingered in the corner of his eye. While Sohmak didn't regard Ahuum as a threat per se, there was something about the hooded wretch that made his skin crawl. Still, adversity makes strange bedfellows. He thought best to save introductions for back at the Fortress though, can't be losing his nerve out here. His fingers itched against the Sluggers' crush-jaw triggers. Glorious combat within his iron reach once again. OOC: @Smudge8@ARROW404@Sparticus147
  8. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment Sohmak's own ego would be his undoing one day, and already he'd crept dangerously close to the threshold. Jojax's beef with the Sonic Striker had thrust his mindset back towards the cosiness of the clubhouse in Irnakk's tooth, where a fight was a fight and nothing more. Vicious words and more vicious blows were traded but everyone came out alive and, more often than not, on friendly terms. But the clubhouse wasn't a fortress and, as T'harrak had promptly demonstrated, the dynamic was very different indeed. The dependibility of your clansmen could mean the difference between life and death. Big talk meant jack this far from the city, and Sohmak annihilating a rock hardly demonstrated any measure of trustworthiness. It seemed he was loathe to admit quite a few things out here, the latest being that T'harrak had a point. Sohmak scowled like a scolded child, and got out of the wrestler's face. If Fortress Razorfish;Vaa was to present a united front to Gashril's encampment, he'd have to abandon his newly-fired blood feud with her. For now, at least. The fort should have a decent Sarke-circle, or he'd have to rethink his membership altogether. He huffed in capitulation. "Go on then, Demon's Daughter." It was the most intro he was willing to offer Jojax presently. "Make 'em cry." OOC: @Smudge8 @Nato The Whisperer
  9. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment The brawler sneered as Jojax's request. He'd seen dozens, hundreds maybe, eager to make a name for themselves in the pits; few so brazenly as the young wrestler. "Word of advice, upstart," Sohmak growled in a low tone. "If you're having to ask for a ring introduction, you don't get one. You don't deserve one." He leaned in close, about pressing his forehead to Jojax's. "You ain’t earned it. Just like I'm sure you ain't earned that Bloody mask yet." He turned to Zanakra, but stopped himself short of saying. "Put me in instead, boss. She ain’t ready," fighting down the urge to bash some heads. Best not to make too many waves so soon after being recruited. Instead he only nodded sagely, like some kind of Sarke-based advisor. He still thought Jojax wasn't ready, but reckoned her ego could use knocking down a few pegs. If only the Spineless Slugger were as capable of introspection as he was with his fists. OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404
  10. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Tahtorak Encampment The brawler had positioned himself close-but-not-too-close to Zanakra and, though he reckoned it had been about ten minutes since Fortress Razorfish;Vaa picked him up, tried his best to look for all the world like a long-time enforcer of the warlord's. Again Sohmak's ego had retreated and he couldn't help but feel vulnerable. A Sarke circle meant Sarke-fighters, any of which could again recognise him if they'd ever passed through Irnakk's Tooth. But for once, sport was far from his mind. Gashril's associates were larger in number and for the most part stature. If things turned ugly, if negotiations broke down, the circle would afford no honour and provide no sanctuary. The scant rules of Sarke would be out the window. Mortal combat. This was new and, loathe to admit it, a little frightening. This was fortress politics in action. It made his stomach turn. Jojax's red war paint blazed in the corner of his eye and he welcomed the distraction, allowing himself a glance at the wrestler. Her ancestral mask sent a bolt through his brain and dealt a body blow to his composure as he finally joined the dots. Sohmak remained a firm presence at Zanakra's side, but his mind reeled from the revelation. Her father was no amateur. He was only the Bloody Demon. OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 @ARROW404
  11. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa Once more his hearing picked up Zanakra's intonation, the quotes around "greet" dripping with venomous implication. She was a warlord, and this was her territory. "Aye, ma'am." Sohmak grinned viciously and held up a clanking claw. While he still didn't entirely agree with acquiesing to another outside the ring, he rapidly began to see the sense in it. Until not two minutes ago he was an intruder right on Razorfish;Vaa's doorstep, after all. Sohmak joined Jojax at the boat, catching her scowl as she made preparations. He flashed her a sneer. "You'll get your fight, rotter. See if you do any better then your dad, eh?" OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8
  12. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa Three years, blimey that's a way back... Sohmak tried to recall, he'd fought a few Skakdi on the older side during his time. Though humiliation was never the aim of the game, he could hardly help it if his opponents didn't bring all they had to the ring. Jojax's father had obviously been one of those amateurish few. Still, he couldn't help but admire the fire in her belly; that ferocity and fighter's spirit could very well be what broke Sohmak free of his shackles. He decided to stoke the flames a little. "Think your boss has final say on that, upstart." The brawler cracked a wry smile and looked past Jojax to the warlord. His grin widened, looking back to the wrestler. "Looks like you'll have to wriggle over, eh?" He disengaged from her, joining Zanakra and the rest of her crew. His Sonics-attuned hearing picked up the emphasis on Spineless; Sohmak was well-aware of its original meaning, calculated it in fact, to make his opponents underestimate him. Every one of them learned what a mistake it was to underestimate a Skakdi who could fight that hard without the stimulus of a Spine Slug. He clanged the Sluggers together, sparks flying off their Protosteel cowlings. "You lot were off somewhere, boss?" OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8 I really have issues with brevity huh lol
  13. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa Sohmak completely missed the boredom-borderlining-disdain in T'harrak's voice, flashing her a grin. He knew what he was and he was bloody proud of it. Jojax gave him pause. A part of him was hoping to keep his infamy to the East under wraps for the timebeing, and this loudmouth heu:nii had just blown his cover wide open. Another, much louder, part of Sohmak was glad to finally get the recognition he deserved all the way out here. He couldn't help but beam with vainglory. "The Bite of Irnakk's Tooth himself," the prize-fighter proclaimed. "You been 'round my circles then, eh? Don't think we've met in the pit before." He sensed a Sarke-fighter's fury in her, and knew he was in good company. If Zanakra decided he was, at least. OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8
  14. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa Already Zanakra was speaking his language. "With pleasure, ma'am." The prize-fighter grinned with violent delight. The half-submerged boat made landfall with a pathetic thunk, Sohmak stepping ashore and standing tall, stretching his arms; the exoskeleton made stretching something of a redundancy but he thought the sight and sound of it in action, the servo-buzz of the mighty armatures, might help his chances with the warlord and her entourage. He clanked the Sluggers' crush-jaws for good measure too, like an angry Manas. Looking over their immediate surroundings, Sohmak spotted a convenience; a large carved stone, presumably leftover from the fortress's construction. He strode over to it, carrying himself with well-practiced bravado. To the Spineless Slugger, being a champion fighter was only half of Sarke; you had to look the part too, you had to be a showman. He tapped his oversized mechanical knuckles against the stone, making a show of lining up his shot. In truth it didn't matter where he hit it. Finally Sohmak planted his feet and wound back his arm, the exoskeleton locking back with a satisfying ka-chunk. A pause. Sohmak breathed deep. And with a short sharp exhalation and a loud rising whirr, the Slugger burst forward and cleaved through the stone like it wasn't even there, shattering it into hundreds of disparate pieces. Sohmak let out an involuntary "Ha!" of surprise and awe, his limited practice in the scrapper's workshop meaning he was still discovering the upper limits of the device. He began to wonder if there were any. Sohmak reached for one of the larger chunks of debris, the crush-jaws clamping down hard on the stone and straining for barely a second before further annihilating it, dust pouring from between them as they opened. "They... they don't grab well, but..." The prize-fighter sheepishly gestured to the pile of rubble beside him. OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8
  15. IC: Sohmak - Spineless Bay, Fortress Razorfish;Vaa The warlord's demand sliced through the gentle river ambiance. Sohmak didn't recognise the Cordak Blaster at Zanakra's side but saw it for what it was; large and lethal. For the briefest moment he considered paddling away, the next moment realising he'd be as good as dead if he tried. Can't show any weakness out here. In the next moment, he almost yelled out "I'm the Spineless Slugger, blockhead!" but caught himself. This far out from Irnakk's Tooth, he doubted he'd be recognised. And on the off-chance he was, he couldn't expose himself to humiliation so readily. Can't rely on reputation out here. It was a rare occasion indeed when Sohmak would show deference to another, and he pushed the scowl he felt beginning to form back down. Staring down the six barrels of a gun, however, he'd try anything once. Be useful. Sitting back up in the rapidly sinking rowboat and trying his best to ignore it, he waved a hulking Slugger and smiled in what he assumed was a cordial manner. "Muscle!!" Sohmak finally yelled back at Zanakra. "Need some?" OOC: @Snelly @Nato The Whisperer @Sparticus147 @Smudge8
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