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Void Emissary

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  1. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea My hand moved instinctively to the knife at my hip. The idea of heading back out into the fray still made my heart-light strobe with fear: there be dragons, I thought, and worse: Umbralines. Anyone ever talks to my biographers about why I took my hand away from the knife, they'd probably intuit something about the confidence inherent in having a big, broad, brick house of a bartender backing me up out there. Rhow was, after all, one of the most imposing women I had ever met in my life in terms both literal and otherwise. Fist-on-fist, I could imagine a fight between her and Lord Umbraline Rayuke coming out to little more than a squeaky if the Umbralines were lucky. It would stand to reason that anyone would be less afraid of dragons next to her. But that wouldn't be the truth. The truth was, I looked over at Zyla: Zyla, the girl who had followed me halfway across the world, who had survived weeks at sea with little more than a knife and a prayer, and had managed it with a poise I reckoned I would never possess as long as I lived. Zyla was a braver woman than I. To fall short of her example, suddenly, seemed unacceptable. So I tucked my hand into the pocket of my skirt, cocked a half-formed smirk up at Rhow, and said, "All right. Let's do some diplomacy." ~ ~ ~ Despite Daijuno's protestations, I had insisted on accompanying her and Lady Rhow on their expedition of... cultural exchange? Rhow had been unfailingly generous to me in spite of my unkempt nature, and it was only proper that I do everything in my power to repay her great kindness as soon as possible. Although, admittedly, I couldn't help but want to see more of this strange new land as well -- now that I had the benefit of a full stomach buoying me up. A PORTRAIT OF GA-KORO The cities of Kentoku had been built by the hands of generations of women. You could see that in every brick laid, every crystal shaped, every rafter and piece of timber laid upon the foundation of carved bedrock and sheared forest. Sado itself was a marvel of engineering and innovation, a monument to the minds of arcanists and architects the archipelago over. To look upon was to look upon the Dasakan people, in all their glory. But Ga-Koro, as I would learn it was called, was a city that seemed to have grown from the island itself. Vast lilypads which stretched deep into coastal mists seemed to rise effortlessly from beneath the waves, their swaying movements less disorientating than comforting -- the rocking of a child to sleep. Where the stamp of industry was visible, even there was subdued, a working with the land that even the most druidic of the tajaar nomads would balk at. Vines shaped into homes, grown into the form of warehouses and shops and buildings. The smell of the green and the growing was everywhere, along with the salt of the sea and the aroma of fish cooking on open fires. Oh, the smell of food! Food that I could have never imagined: fish never fathomed by Dasakan fisherwoman practically being given away by the mongers, so common they were. What a place, what a time, what-- "--a hostage situation?" the dashi said, shrugging, pointing off to the silhouette of the Chisaii Ryuu. "I'm not sure, but I've heard rumours. Whatever's going on, no one's being let aboard. Commodore's orders." To which my employer scowled her lovely scowl, and said, "Aw, karz. That puts something of a damper on things. Unless you know anything about rescuing hostages, Rhow?" OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  2. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "Well, I already sleep in the hold," I said, pouring myself another drink of whiskey, "so I suppose that I'll be the one keeping an eye on the Rahkshi during our trip. If I drop dead mysteriously somewhere at sea, I give you all permission to say I told you so to my corpse." I leaned back in my seat, taking a fresh sip of my drink. I needed to stop drinking, I knew -- I could feel my thoughts pickling in my head. But it was just too ###### hot in this place. "And to answer your question, Yas, I'm a born-and-bred Mata Nui boy, yessir," I continued. "But a rich Mata Nui boy, living up in a castle in the jungles of Le-Wahi -- the Great War was always a bit of an abstract concept for my family. When the Rama enslaved Le-Koro, we were nowhere to be found. Figured that was a shame when I was a young idiot. Was always wishing I could tell my-- tell people I was there for Onua's battle against Lewa, y'know?" I pushed my glass away from me. I needed to stop drinking. OOC: @Snelly@Ghosthands@pokemonlover360 -Void
  3. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "I used to run an inn, remember?" I quipped, taking the bottle back to splash some whiskey into my own cup. "Even between all the illegal arms deals going on there, I got a knack for brewing." Taking a sip, I continued, "I get it. It's a calculated risk, but it's still a risk. Way I figure it, first sign of trouble? We dismantle the karzin' thing and sell it for scrap when we reach shore." OOC: @Ghosthands@Snelly@pokemonlover360 -Void
  4. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "f I recall, you have a certain penchant for cheating death, Kelp," I replied, reaching one hand into the pocket of my coat. "And I'll agree this isn't ideal. But this isn't three years ago either, when you first recruited Yasurek and me in Ga-Koro and there was a line around the block to get aboard your ship. Piracy's dying out here. The Maru are too big. Times are only getting tougher for criminals like us, and I figure the least we can do is not make 'em tougher for anyone." I pulled from my coat another bottle of dark amber liquid and slide it over into Lohkar's reach. "And... I see myself in the kid," I added. "A brash S-O-B with some big mistakes on their resume. And the 'Vika still gave me a second chance to turn myself around. Maybe I want to give that chance to someone else -- who's to say? Now, why don't you try the whiskey, Captain. Made it myself." OOC: @Ghosthands@pokemonlover360@Snelly -Void
  5. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab Once Lash and Verak had left the room, I let the tension in my body slip by the wayside, sinking deep into my seat in relief. "Hoping that not every interview goes like that," I said, taking another drink of ale for the nerves, "or my tab here is going to be astronomical." OOC: @Ghosthands@Snelly@pokemonlover360 -Void
  6. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "If the captain has no objections," I said, "then I say that both of you can be on your ways. Just don't take too long with your business, and don't attract too much attention to yourselves." I gave a pointed look to both of the newcomers, albeit for different reasons -- although I suppose that Verak wasn't, truthfully, a newcomer. Although, I could've sworn that the Verak we aboard the ship before had been a different one... a Toa of the Green, if memory served.... But that had been at least a year ago, if not more. I was probably just misremembering. OOC: @Nato G@Visaru@Ghosthands -Void
  7. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea "Well, shame that Shuuan off and vanished between that dragon and now, but--" was what I had started to say before Zyla sat up and said, "Shuuan?! Like Plangori Shuuan?" and I had to sigh and respond with, "Yes, yes, Shuuan had a drink and bonded over me dressing down one of the Rora's handmaidens," which I realized was a mistake to say as I was saying it because suddenly Zyla was gripping me by both shoulders and saying, "You talked back to a member of the royal entourage?!" to which I had to clarify, "It's cool, it's cool, they don't have any power over us over here and, besides, I'm, like, six degrees of separation from the Akiri here," to which the obvious response is, "What's an Akiri?" to which I said, "Basically me with a boytoy, if the rumours are true. But that's not the point! We have to get back to the 'Ryuu and find a Willhammer to get to the bottom of why everyone who comes to this island except for us has amnesia!" to which Zyla said, "Wait, did you say dragon?!" Which was a bottle of fish I didn't have time to unstopper right now, so I turned back to Rhow. "You still on the clock, or you wanna come with?" OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  8. IC: Rynekk | Naho Bay, Approaching Forsi Rynekk, as he had been taught for the past three years, held fast and without fear. Rain pelted his face, streaming down into his eyes until all he could see was different shades of darkness on the horizon -- but his hands found their way to the right ropes regardless, the right pieces of ship where Ember needed them to be. His hands moved, but his mind stayed still, a rock upon which the waves broke without itself breaking. A rock which breaks the waves. A rock which breaks the waves. A rock which breaks- "I think I feel stone nearby, Ember!" Rynekk shouted over the wind. "We must be close to shore by now!" OOC: @Perp@Krayzikk -Void
  9. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea Back in the day, I might have made more out of the idea of eating Zataka; fortunately for everyone involved, I've greatly matured since then. "I'm afraid that I was never much of a cook, even back home," I replied. "Mostly noodle carts and such. But I can ask around, see what recipes people brought over with them, what they might still have in their heads." I hesitated just then, instinctively reaching into my pocket for another cigar, only stopping because I knew that if I kept doing that whenever asking an awkward question, it would quickly become a tell. See: maturation. "And, listen... the offer's still on the table, if you ever want," I added, "to figure out more about your... memories." OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  10. Any culinary-minded Dasaka in Ga-Koro at the moment? Daijuno will be looking for recipes from Kentoku soon. Thank you!
  11. IC: Daijuno | The Great Takea I took the water and drank without thinking, my gaze fixed on Zyla. She, of course, nodded politely and did as she was told, digging into the rest of the soup. "This is very generous of you, my lady," she said between spoonfuls -- more restrained now that the fiercest pangs of hunger had subsided -- before adding, "and your food is very delicious. I see why your establishment has such an abundance of patronage." Meanwhile, I piped up and added, "Rhow, you're a real lifesaver here. If there's something I can do to repay you, help you out... you let me know, okay?" OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  12. IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Compartment My flash of fear at Nikarra's collapse passed to understanding. An Iden -- smart woman. My hand drifting back to the hilt of my blade, I pulled the hood of my cloak back over my head, trying to obscure the way that I passed my gaze over the compartment. There were three other passengers other than myself and Nikarra: the Toa of, at a guess, Gravity who had been lingering by the compartment door; another Toa of Fire who now seemed to be questioning him; and a Vortixx who seemed to be travelling with the same. The Toa of Gravity was saying something about-- "--some kind of a break, if you take my meaning. Something medical. And, I mean, look; that’s just not the kind of problem I know how to solve. But I come to thinking, there have to be sentinels on board, am I right? Maybe they can do something -- something nice and nonviolent. Calm the poor guy down." And yet -- I could not quite put my finger on it -- there was something about the way that he spoke, the way that he used his hands, which felt off to me. But to confront him would be to leave Nikarra open to attack. Better to let the other two handle this. A kahu in a coal mine, as the saying goes. OOC: @Goose@oncertainty@Tarn@Vezok's Friend -Void
  13. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "Allllll right, everyone, let's shuffle this back a bit," I said, raising my hands up while shooting a look over at Lohkar and Taleen. "No need for any funny business here. This is just an interview, after all -- not like Lash here is asking for our first-born's hand in marriage or something. "Now, I'm not a big fan of 'kuta-skulls either," I said, glancing from Lohkar to Lash and back again, "but I reckon I've done some dirty things to get by in past, too. And seems to me that if a few things had gone a little different in my life, I'd likely be sitting where you are now, staring at the same faces, with the same kahu 'round my neck. And, now, it's ultimately down to the Captain to decide, but I'm at least of the mind that you should be able to walk out of here on two legs, if not with a contract in hand. "If only because we've got enough connections with the guard to be able to corroborate your little act of good samaritan-ship, and because we've fought enough of those Rahks back when Makuta fell that yours, quite frankly, shouldn't be too much of a problem if you are in fact up to no good. At which point, yeah, sure, I'd probably have to kill you. But let's at least leave that in the conditional tense, for now." OOC: @Nato G@Snelly@Ghosthands -Void
  14. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab You'd be amazed at how many two-bit circus tumblers try to pass themselves off as some kinda Rahk-tamer nowadays. Far be it from me to judge someone on how they make a widget in this crazy world -- I've been a little too wanted-for-illegal-arms-dealing in my time to throw the first stone -- but you'd think after the first guy got his face torn off by a Rahkshi he had "conquered," it would have sent a clear message to the rest of these bozos. Still, ever since Makuta fell, you travel far enough along a coast or wander down a trade road, and you're bound to find Rahkshi thrashing about in steel cages, forged Rahkstaffs sold by the bushel for clout-seekers, and the occasional three-Matoran-dressed-in-a-suit-of-scrap-armour routine trying to sucker some poor rubes out of their hard-earned grocery money. So, you'll have to forgive me if I took Lash's claim with more than a single grain of salt. "You've got a pet Rahk, hm?" I said. "Tough things to come by. Ever tougher to domesticate. How'd you manage yours?" OOC: @Nato G@Ghosthands -Void
  15. OOC: That's a very fair point. IC: Rynekk | The Fowadi Rynekk rubbed his chin at Ember's suggestion. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of putting yet more distance between himself and Ga-Koro, not when he and Kale had already made plans to interrogate Leah Maru. But he had to admit to himself that Kale would do just as good a job of that as Rynekk himself could -- even better, perhaps. Even the thought of the Maru sent his stomach into knots, his blood pressure spiking. No, Kale was the best man for the job. They didn't need him over there. Not like they needed you in Ko-Koro. Rynekk shook his head. He needed to focus. "I'll follow your lead, then, teach," he said, smiling, climbing into the skiff with Ember. "You coming, Brukin?" OOC: @Perp@Krayzikk -Void
  16. IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Compartment The figure who had been chipping at the veneer of his table stood up and passed us. I glanced back at him. I had guessed correctly that he was heading to the compartment door, but when he merely stood by it and looked through its window, with no movement made to open it, I could not help but feel something spark in the back of my mind. I let my body tense itself, coiling even as I turned my attention back to Nikarra, trying to find the right words for her. When none arrived, I choose the first words that came to me. "The first battle of Kini-Nui," I said. "I fought in that when I was still a Ta-Matoran. The First Toa had ventured deep beneath the earth to challenge Makuta, with only a ragtag band of Matoran to hold the line at the temple's entrance. Captain Jaller had led us all the way there from Ta-Koro, until we could smell the stench of infected Kanohi where we stood. 'For the Toa!' he had shouted, sword in hand, his voice nearly drowned out by the roar of Rama wings beating the air, screaming their way towards. 'For Mata Nui!' We were fighting the good fight, you see? For god, against the devil. In the name of heroes against villains. That's what made it worthwhile. "That's what made all those deaths worthwhile." My body felt like a metal spring that had coiled so tightly it had gone brittle -- and would snap at any point. "Maybe when the First Toa didn't come back... that's when all this started. Even before I glimpsed the void through that infected mask. Maybe I glimpsed it then and there. Maybe that's what I'm trying to... fix. Escape. I do not know. All I know is that if there is nothing... higher than this... then it's just us. Throwing ourselves into the fray, over and over. It's all just blood." OOC: @oncertainty@Goose -Void
  17. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea "Piraka's what they call the Chaotic Six on this side of the Eternal Sea," I said. I had placed a hand on Zyla's shoulder, shooting a grateful look over to Rhow as I did -- she was already proving to be a woman worth her weight in salt, and this only settled it. Reflexively, I almost had Zyla make a note to pay the bartender back for her generosity, before I thought better of it. Instead, I gave my old assistant's shoulder a squeeze. "It's a lot to take in," I added. "Especially on an empty stomach." Zyla just looked back at me with those strange, empty eyes. I had never seen that before in her gaze -- she had always been bright, intuitive, with a twinkle in her eyes that the world couldn't snuff out, no matter how hard it tried. I had always respected that in her, even to the point of annoyance. By 'taka, it was one of the reasons I brought her on in the first place. To see her like this now.... I opened my mouth again, trying to fill the silence, but she was already turning to face Rhow. "It was terribly impolite of me, my lady," she said, bowing her head, "and especially so in light of your generosity. My sincerest apologies." OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  18. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "So it does, Tal..." I raised my glass to the new woman, Lash, gesturing for her to come over to the table and join us. "The captain's highly distractible, miss," I said, "so I can handle your intake, if you'd like. Name's Gunner, first mate and quartermaster of the 'Vika. Why don't you tell us a little bit 'bout yourself?" OOC: @Snelly@Nato G -Void
  19. IC: Vyartha | The Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Compartment I cast my eye around the compartment, looking for details: the faded gold-to-yellow of the wallpaper where the desert sun had shone on it too many times, the Toa of Gravity by the door chipping at the edge of his table, the drops of condensation caught between panes of crystal in the window. I looked anywhere save into Nikarra's eyes, which was the one place that frightened me even more than what secrets Ak'rei'an held. "Once," I said, "I was given a vision of my future, in which I saw nothing but a horizon of pure void. I said to myself, 'What is anything in life compared to that? What has meaning compared to such meaninglessness?' There was nothing more than this crude matter called the present. Nothing more than whatever made me feel good and strong... proud, even." I allowed myself a wry, bitter smile at that. "That was a philosophy that had once saved me," I continued, "but has since foundered against your shores. I need to find another philosophy if I want to... endure." It was then, by chance or not, that I heard a hard bang against the roof of the train. My hand instinctively moved to the hilt of my blade, whereupon it rested uneasily for a few moments. When the silence continued, I allowed that grip to slacken slightly, giving Nikarra a look of apology. OOC: @Goose@oncertainty -Void
  20. IC: Rynekk | The Fowadi "Sorry about that one, friend," Rynekk replied, turning to face Brukin head-on with an embarrassed smile. "I haven't been aboard since those same retrofits. Guess it's a case of ships passing in the night, eh? If you'll excuse the pun." From the corner of his eye, Rynekk could Dehkaz shoot himself off the Fowadi and back towards Ga-Koro proper. He wasn't blind: he had seen the waves and the storm clouds as clear as anyone else could have, and something about it didn't sit right with him. But he knew that someone would have alerted him if his presence was needed down there... Krayn or Kale or, Karz, even Skyra would have let him know. Unless they've forgotten about you. "Well, no time to lose," Rynekk said, his smile growing more confident now. "I know that the Captain instructed us to head back to Ostia for supplies, but I figure that we can find all we need down in Ga-Koro, wouldn't you? And, uh...." He glanced back over to where the storm clouds were parting again, and where the vineyard-streets no longer heaved above a violent tide. "...let's just keep our eyes peeled for trouble. Just in case." OOC: @Perp@Krayzikk -Void
  21. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea Zyla watched Daijuno slam a handful of metal pieces onto the counter, unable not to marvel at how casually she treated a substance worth twice her weight in dragons back home. That was, of course, until she looked down at the bowl of soup being pushed towards her, and the metal spoon dipped into it. For a moment, Zyla was sure she must have been hallucinating, that she had died at sea and had found her way into the bronze gardens of Zuto Nui. She would have pinched herself if she had had the energy. The best that she could manage, though, was to begin draining the bowl in front of her. "Calm down, Zy," Daijuno said, placing a hand on her shoulder. "You're gonna make yourself sick!" Which was true, Zyla knew -- but it still took her another few spoonfuls to stop. It didn't matter how hot the brew was, nor even that she couldn't identify any of the flavours in it. In that moment, it was the most delicious meal that she had ever been graced with. Slowly, with a gasp of pure relief, she lowered her spoon and looked up at the bartender-- "AHHHH!" --and fell off her stool. "Oh, right," she heard Daijuno say with a sigh. "Sorry, Rhow. The only Skakdi she's ever known were the Chaotic Six. Calm down, Zyla, you're being extremely racist right now. That's actually a faux pas around here." OOC: @Vezok's Friend -Void
  22. IC: Daijuno & Zyla | The Great Takea It wasn't until the dragon had dipped back below the water and stayed there that I realized I hadn't been breathing for the past minute or two. Nor, it looked like, had I been properly holding myself upright, considering that when Rhow turned to go back inside, my knees buckled out from underneath and I landed on the ground. Over two months on Mata Nui, and this was the first time I'd ever come close to fainting. The best that I could hope was that Shuuan had been distracted. As quick as I could, I clambered back up to my feet, brushing the sand from my armour -- the only bad thing about this paradise being that there always seemed to be sand getting into your affairs -- and pushed my way back to Rhow at the bar. I had lost track of my little pod, with Shuuan and Makua both vanishing into the crowd. I supposed, soberly, that I would need to get going as well, considering my fairly rash promise to find sanctuary for any 'hoko who were fresh off the ship here. Although, with that in mind, perhaps one last drink would be, in fact, necessary-- no, no. I need some semblance of professionalism without Zyla to keep me-- "Ms. Daij-- OOF!" I collided with another Dashi, hard, who was stupidly just standing in the middle of the doorway. "Hey, watch where you're go--" was what I had managed to get out, before the rest of my sentence died in the air at the sight of the Dashi in front of me. She was starved and threadbare, barely standing, dark circles around her eyes -- but instantly recognizable. All that I could say was: "Zyla?" *** It was hard for Dastana Zyla to recognize her employer at first. Her last memories of Daijuno were from the piers of Sado, watching her climb the gangplank onto the Chisaii Ryuu all those months ago. That Daijuno had been stiff, insular, her eyes as hard and flinty as the shores of the Imperial City; her clothing custom-made to be professional, presentable, the sort of thing a noble might where (although Dai would deny any such motivation). She had been a woman who had tried so, so hard to be respected -- and feared. But the Daijuno in front of Zyla now... There was an ease to her. A carelessness and a freedom of movement, and a gregarious to her, even when she wasn't saying anything. She was a new woman. Well, they all were, Zyla supposed. "By the goddess, Zyla!" Daijuno said, gripping her by the shoulders. "It's you! It is you, right? They didn't have any record of you on the manifests, I thought-- They're saying that demons have attacked Kentoku, is that-- How did you get away? What-- 'Taka, we need to get you some food! And a stiff drink! Come with me, come with me. Rhow! Some food and drink for this one, it's an emergency!" OOC: @Vezok's Friend and anyone else at the bar. -Void
  23. IC: Rynekk | The Fowadi "Nothing that can't wait a few hours," Rynekk said. His ears pricked up at the sound of Skyra's voice, and he tilted his head slightly to see her lead a stranger onto the deck of the ship -- a figure in crystal armour. One of these Dasaka that he had been hearing so much about these past couple of months, he supposed. He felt something tighten in his stomach, recalling as he did how folks back at the 'Marion had talked about how these people had some sort of psychic abilities. And while that might have just been blabber -- after all, if a race capable of mind-reading had existed in the past hundreds of years, surely someone would have heard about it before now -- Rynekk knew he would feel a lot better as soon as he was out of eye-line with this one. Of course, eye-line stopped being an issue within another half-second. A massive shadow suddenly passed over both him and Ember, shading them under the noon-sun. "Hey--" he started to say, shifting to look up at the newcomer. OOC: @Krayzikk@Perp -Void
  24. IC: Rynekk | The Fowadi At the first gunshot, Rynekk's hand was already on his axe; at the second, his vision tunnelled as his Kakama flared to life; at the third, the ball of his foot pivoting at sub-terminal speed had already left the deck smouldering. But by the time he had turned to take his first step, the wood under his foot splintering on impact, the source of the sound was clear: Krayn's friend Shaddix, pistol in the air, with nothing but smoke and seagull feathers in air to show for himself. Rynekk forced himself to slow back down and loosen back up, letting go of his axe with one hand and raising the other in the universal sign of: "Hey. What the ######, man? C'mon." Spotting Ember on the other side of the ship, Rynekk walked over, letting a mumbled, "Give a guy some warning next time, jeez louise," as he passed Shaddix. "You all set then, Ember?" he said, pretending to dust his hands off and cracking a grin her way. "Noticed you head belowdecks before -- you get a grocery list from ol' Muuk?" OOC: @Perp@Haman Karn: A Magical Girl -Void
  25. IC: Gunner | The Dancing Crab "That oughta be the last of it," I said as I walked into the captain's booth and slid into the seat next to him. "We've got as many provisions as the ol' girl can hold without slowing her down, which is still a fair bit. Especially--" I shot a look at Lohkar. "--considering all the widgets we had to burn to get it," I added, pulling off my coat. "I hope you know what you're doing, Captain." OOC: @Ghosthands -Void
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