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Year 01

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About oncertainty

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  1. IC: Escus - Arena Vulcanus Escus gave a light chuckle at the Agori's response, which grew into a deeper laugh as the fire Glatorian said his piece. Taking hold of his axe, he rose to his feet alongside him. "Aye, I believe you. I believe that all that's true. But the Agori has the right of it. It's an occupational hazard, a risk we accept if the reward is right. And me, well, I believe in the rewards." Even as he said that, his expression didn't follow his words. His brow was furrowed, and his gaze had the dull quality of someone who was focusing more on what they could imagine than what they could see. OOC: @a goose @Nato G @~Xemnas~ @Burnmad
  2. IC: Escus - Arena Vulcanus Escus turned his head toward the Glatorian of fire, whom he had only moments ago assumed to be sleeping. It was a harsh way of putting it, and Escus was glad he didn’t have to say it himself. All the same, it was hard to disagree. They couldn’t take a liability, if this was going to be as dangerous as it seemed. The Agori looked like she knew her way around the desert, but then again they already had a Ferrumite who could act as guide. He looked to the Agori, shrugged, and grimaced apologetically. But he said nothing. OOC: writing this on my phone in a lecture break so hoping the formatting doesn’t come out weird @a goose @Nato G @~Xemnas~ @Burnmad
  3. IC: Lorqua - Streets of Atero Out into the streets, warmer still than inside the Red Star. Cool enough yet that there were still people on the streets, streets that would deaden as they reached the warmest part of the day. Walking alongside Lutenus, she considered the offer. She could use the practice, she supposed. She was going through with it now, and the fact that she was actually going to be expected to fight hadn't quite sunken in. Lutenus, not to mention everyone else, would definitely frown on it if she just surrendered. "Yeah, alright. Let's do it. You probably know better than me: where's the nearest arena?" OOC: @Toru Nui
  4. IC: Lorqua - Red Star Inn As Lutenus turned his back to her and walked towards the door, Lorqua stood for a moment, and shook her head. She sighed, and then she jogged forward to catch up. "Yeah. Not that, uh, I think I'll make much difference for Tesara. I'm a decent fighter in the desert, decent enough to make a living at least, but it's a different beast to fight in the Arena. It's been a while. Suppose that means I've strayed, as far as you're concerned. I get it, a lot of people see it that way." She rubbed the back of her neck, just as the two of them reached the threshold of the Inn. "But I will do it. I've got two reasons to be in Tajun now. Seeing as it might be the second best place after Ferrum, to figure out something about what's going on in Ferrum." Lutenus wanted to know that too. Lorqua could tell. OOC: @Toru Nui IC: Skrall - Outside Roxtus Stables Skrall nodded along with both sides of the dispute. Both sides agreed on the one thing that Skrall was interested in, which was getting out of Roxtus. Sooner, rather than later. At the older one's words, he resumed loading the carriages with supplies. "Being on our way works for me." He looked about himself, to any of his fellows who were listening. "Not that my opinion matters. Nor should it." He spoke without malice. He was happy enough to be in motion, for now. OOC: @a goose @BULiK @Burnmad @Nato G @Toru Nui @Vezok's Friend IC: Escus - Arena Vulcanus Escus gave a slight nod to the next to arrive, a hooded and quiet Glatorian of Vulcanus. He turned back towards the voice, set his jaw, and raised his brows as the Ferrumite spoke. "That's the impression I'm getting, from what little I've heard. My sympathies." He spun his axe around and placed it on the ground, then lowered himself to sit cross-legged on the floor of the arena. He breathed in deeply, and then regretted it. All he could smell was sulfurous vapours, and the heat made the inside of his nose itch. The corners of his mouth turned up in a hint of a grimace. "All the same, who ever likes to go home anyway?" OOC: @Burnmad @~Xemnas~ @a goose
  5. IC: Lorqua - Red Star Inn She gave Lutenus a slight smile. "Don't take this the wrong way, but, I'm only now starting to appreciate your thoroughness. Let's see them again." She breathed in and rubbed her chin with one hand. "I'm happy to leave immediately, everything I need I can carry. If we can find a driver leaving presently I wouldn't complain, we'd only need a few more blades and I'd be willing to take our chances with the desert. Is there anything keeping you here any longer?" OOC: @Toru Nui IC: Skrall - Outside Roxtus Stables Skrall rushed forward, sheathing his own khopesh and taking the now-imprisoned-again-prisoner's blade and shield from him. Having done so, he stood and gave the one with the strange physique a single firm nod. Skrall had shown good thinking, using the grappling hook like that. Then Skrall looked bashfully about himself, and spoke to no one in particular. "I apologize about the supplies in that box. I hope they weren't fragile." He held the prisoner's equipment in both hands before him, not sure what exactly to do with it. OOC: @BULiK @Vezok's Friend @Nato G @Toru Nui @Burnmad @a goose
  6. IC: Qorl - The Rift With the Skakdi's gesture, Qorl began to walk. Not meeting his watching gaze, Qorl instead looked forward and past his shoulder, tracing the path of the Rift as it twisted and curved upwards to the surface. He set his jaw. Irnakk's Tooth was what they called it now, but Qorl had heard that it belonged to his people once. At least, that was what the Skakdi said. As always, they took pride in standing on the bones of the Lesterin, so whether it really ever was Kvere was a question Qorl was in no position to answer. Still, they said there was Lesterin architecture there. How would he react, when he saw that again? What styles did his ancient forefathers favour, and what did their handiwork look like now after so many generations of Skakdi rule? It was a tempting proposition, in a way. If, of course, he could ignore the obvious. "None of my people go free in Irnakk's Tooth, to my knowledge. How do you propose to bring me inside?" He looked the Skakdi in the eyes now, the corners of his mouth turning downwards inadvertently. He spoke with a certain malice, though not directed towards the Skakdi himself in specific. "I'll go nowhere in chains." OOC: @Perp
  7. IC: Lorqua - Red Star Inn Lutenus stepped back from the chase more easily than she might have thought. Fine then. This wasn't—couldn't be, had not to be—the end of it. She turned to Lutenus and shrugged. "Looks like you're stuck with me, for now. Can't be so hard to find someone else heading Tajun-way soon." OOC: @Toru Nui IC: Escus - Outside the Arena Vulcanus Escus' eyes were wide in the still-before-sunrise darkness of the village of fire. Tajun was one of the cool and dark places of Bara Magna, Vulcanus was far from it. Heat seemed to rise from everything, charged as it all was by the village's famous lava flow. But the street still lay in deep shadow, innumerable darkened windows, doors hanging ponderously ajar. He had rested little from travel. The heat slipped beneath the door of the two-bit rooming house, so unfamiliar to one so used to Tajun's shade. He had tossed and turned in bed until he simply rose and went out, though it wasn't yet light outside. The Agori sleeping at the desk had awoken as he passed, but said nothing. Escus was the only patron, so far as he could see. Most everyone was going in the other direction. He forged out into the empty streets, towards the Arena Vulcanus. There he would meet his fellow travellers. And then on to Ferrum, the cresting sun at the horizon of his imagination. Beyond that, he could suppose nothing. "Another step in my rise," he heard spoken as if aloud in his own head. Entering into the threshold of the great Arena Vulcanus was like stepping through a wall of heat. As he knew, it was built above the lava flow itself, an engineering marvel essentially unrivaled among all the villages. He had fought there before, more times than he cared to try and count, but the heat still surprised him. Inside, he noticed an orange Ferrumite Glatorian sitting silently, seemingly tending to his equipment. Not so far away, another Glatorian lay. The one from Vulcanus was dozing, as far as Escus could tell. They must be the guides. Escus leaned on the haft of his axe. "Morning, gentlemen. I presume you're the ones I'm here to see. You—" he inclined his head slightly toward the sitting Glatorian, "—must be going home." OOC: @~Xemnas~ @a goose
  8. IC: Lorqua - Red Star Inn Something was going on, something that Lorqua and Lutenus were clearly not privy to. Lorqua felt like she had an itch. An itch that she just couldn't scratch, because it was inside her skull. Still, it was important to be polite, wasn't it? She cast a quick glance at Lutenus, her unlikely ally in this case. It was clear he wanted to know too, perhaps just as badly as she did. She'd follow his lead. For now, at least. He had to right, that they could speak later. Everyone was going to Tajun. Even Lorqua, to the surprise of herself from mere minutes ago. But this was getting interesting, perhaps interesting enough to make it all worth it. "Hey uh, if you all need to leave pressingly that is what it is; but don't do it on Lutenus' and my account, we're not here to mess with anyone." She certainly wasn't, Lorqua just couldn't help herself from wanting to know. Lutenus, well, she couldn't say for sure. OOC: @Toru Nui @Morgan Yu @Snelly @Techn0geist IC: Skrall - Outside Roxtus Stables Having drawn his weapon, Skrall circled. The not-quite-still-a-prisoner just couldn't be fighting in every direction at once. If they really wanted to solve the issue they could all just pile on; it would solve the problem. But Skrall knew Skrall, and knew that that kind of thing seemed entirely undignified. Skrall preferred to fight in formation, not just like a brutal mob. Leave that to Bone Hunters and Southerners. Skrall with the grappling hook seemed to have the right idea, so he poised himself ready to spring. The erstwhile prisoner would be off-balance from the grappling hook, if it didn't take him down completely. OOC: @Vezok's Friend @BULiK @Burnmad @Nato G @Toru Nui @a goose IC: Escus - Vulcanus Streets Escus had found his way east from Tajun, despite the games about to start. He was drawn as if by a need, a compulsion. He told himself it was a chance to work his way upwards, and he believed it well enough. A keen observer though, if they spoke to Escus for a long time, drew out those things that he didn't say even to himself, would have been left with the impression that he would have travelled to Vulcanus, put his name on that list, no matter what he told himself. No such observer walked with Escus today, though. He had left Tajun without a word to anyone. Not that he thought he was doing anything that he didn't have a right to do: it would be wrong to stop him. It was just that, at the bottom of things, he had to do it.
  9. IC: Dolbren - Clinging to the side of the Second Passenger Car Dolbren, now in the realm of raging winds, apprehended what he could of the voice that rushed past him. ". . . ey! . . . ou al . . . ight?" He looked towards the source of the noise, craning his neck in the direction that would be downwards, were he standing on level ground. As it was, he was clinging closely to the side of the train, stretched out almost parallel to the ground. The yeller was the Vortixx; somehow she had ended up outside the train too. That did go some way to explaining the rush to the windows in the first passenger car. And yet, she lived yet. Tougher than she looked. Or, perhaps, you had to be tough to look like that for long. The real question, of course, was what was she doing now? If the concern was genuine, it was almost touching. He had seen such attempts to reach out by people in difficult situations many times. They hoped it would protect them, if they appealed to the better nature of their foes. Dolbren did his job: empathy was nice, but he had to do what he had to do. Not like he was actively menacing the Vortixx, though. His job right now had nothing to do with hurting anyone, and she had no reason to believe otherwise. The other option was that she was working with the Sentinel(s?). She wasn't the one who threw the dagger, too far away for that. But, if he could hear what she had said, they could too. That meant he had seconds to react before they knew exactly where he was. Still, no need to be rude. He shook his head slightly back and forth; then he stuck one hand out, palm towards the ground, and rotated it at the wrist. Universal gesture of 'could be better.' It was the truth. Still light enough to raise himself up by one arm, he swung his legs out beneath him. His momentum carrying him towards the back of the train, he let go. Once again he thanked his Calix, as flew in a short arc and caught on to the front edge of the first cargo car. Then, he began to raise himself onto the roof. OOC: @Vezok's Friend @Krayzikk @Void Emissary
  10. IC: Skrall - Roxtus Stables Skrall's brows raised. The prisoner had some fight in him yet. He was in the middle of carrying a crate of supplies to the carriage when the prisoner pulled the blade, but he hadn't moved in the scant moments since. He held the crate before him, suddenly conscious that his own blade was sheathed at his side, whereas his Thornax hurler was slung across his back and thus relatively inaccessible. He watched warily. The wiry one was speaking to the prisoner. Why was that? What was the use? Skrall could infer. The wiry one was Skrall, he knew how to fight in a group. If he was talking to a foe, it was to buy time for his comrades. Skrall had to make that time count. He drew in a breath, and then launched the crate in his hands towards the erstwhile prisoner with as much force and accuracy as he could muster. The moment the crate left his fingers, his hand was at his hip. He drew his khopesh, and set his feet in a fighting stance. OOC: @BULiK @Skrall
  11. IC: Lorqua - Red Star Inn She wound her way across the floor, weaving around a group of Agori who were too drunk to have any sense of personal space. The Inn had to be at its busiest right before the Grand Tournament. Like Lutenus had said, everyone was about to be heading to Tajun. And, so far as she could tell, everyone was hoping to get one for the road first. Most were having a few more than one, based on a look at some of the patrons. It was a strange group they were approaching—though in her opinion she and Lutenus made an equally surprising pair, if you knew who you were dealing with—the Tesaran Glatorian, that she was now quite sure was Skyra Daring, was happily talking with the Ferrumite; the two Agori spoke quietly with one another; and another Glatorian, whose tribe she could not place with certainty, was standing and glowering. As they drew closer, Lorqua shrugged to Lutenus. She gave her best approximation of an approachable smile towards the group, hoping the two interlopers wouldn't be too unwelcome. "Hey, Skyra, long time!" OOC: @Toru Nui @Snelly @Techn0geist @Morgan Yu IC: Skrall - Roxtus Stables Skrall, happy to actually have something to do, joined his fellows in loading supplies into the carriage. Regardless of anything else, he was in motion now. That was an improvement. OOC: @skrall
  12. IC: Qorl - The Rift As the Skakdi stood, to all appearances lost in thought, Qorl shifted his weight on the balls of his feet and set his jaw. One way or another he was getting out of here, which was a good place to start. Senses under siege, the Skakdi had said, which would go some way to explaining Qorl's earlier bout of mania. Qorl nodded, now in thought himself. He didn't like it, but he couldn't stay here, and telling the Skakdi why he'd prefer not to show his face was a gamble. He'd have to count on anyone who was tracking him not looking for a Skakdi and a Lesterin travelling together, and not bothering to come and check who that Lesterin was. It wasn't too risky: Qorl knew how he would be perceived, a lone Lesterin travelling with a lone Skakdi. He was going to look more or less like a slave. He wasn't in Zarrava or Khy:Barr anymore, it was the rare Lesterin who wasn't in chains. And the Lesterin looking for him, being the sort of free Lesterin traders who managed to scrape out a living so long as they didn't bother the Skakdi, wouldn't be willing to follow him into a Skakdi settlement at all. So that was where he had to go, then. It would be a nest of vipers, to be sure, but at least there he had a chance. He swallowed, an operation that felt almost pleasant now that he had finally gotten something to drink, and gave a single nod to the Skakdi. "Fair enough. Lead the way." Still, he had questions. "If not to a camp, though, where are we going?" OOC: @Perp
  13. IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi, Continuing Chicanery Dolbren, perched on the rapidly deteriorating train coupling, was low to the ground and lucky for it. If he had been standing upright, the dagger might have hit his torso and caused some real damage. Had his eyes been open, the lazy, plummeting arc it took could have been dodged with little effort. But, again, his eyes were closed and his focus was entirely occupied. That focus collapsed when the dagger, hurtling downward, struck a glancing blow on his left arm and opened a slash down its side. He tensed, letting go of the pin and losing his balance, and subsequently slipped off of the now sharply-bent coupling to one side. His left hand, clutching the railing above him, did not falter. He gave a grunt of pain, incited by the dagger and by slamming against the body of the train, and expelled air through gritted teeth. He had, briefly, been sloppy; his unseen opponent getting a freebie was only fair. It wouldn't happen again. The Sentinels, obviously more with-it than they had expected, were playing the game well. They had obviously moved forward from the cargo section on the outside of the train. That was clever. He could assume that they already had a sitrep, knew where everyone was—except, hopefully, Quoribay and Skrol—and had assigned teams to deal with each of the heist groups. Based on the fact that the cargo section hadn't begun braking, he could also assume that despite the fireworks he hadn't fully severed the coupling. If he had, the hydraulic cables which kept the brakes on the cars open would have been severed too. That could be dealt with easily enough, so long as doing so wasn't going to leave him open to another attack. He simply needed more information. Modulating the force of his own gravity, or that of something with which he was in direct contact, was the most trivial application of his power. At a thought, he was light enough that holding himself by one arm was no strain at all. He swung himself about to the side of the train, and held on there. Laying flat against the body of the passenger car, he peered just over the edge to the space between. He felt blood on his forearm, and smiled. Let the Sentinel come, if they dared. OOC: @Krayzikk
  14. IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi, Outdoors on the Coupling It was important to Dolbren to know at least a little about a lot. He was not unwilling to occupy the appearance of thoughtless muscle, especially when that was expeditious for a job. But, all the same, he thought of himself as a deep thinker. Right now, however, his thoughts could not be further from himself. No, what he was thinking about now was accidents on the Iron Mahi. As he had learned from a column in the Mata Nui Daily, there was one part of a locomotive responsible for the most accidents by far. This part was the coupling. There had been some well-observed description of the particulars of the couplings in the planning stage of the heist. At either end of each car, a flat-sided metal tube projected forth from the undercarriage. These couplings met at the middle point between the cars. An oblong metal loop was inserted into the open ends of both tubes, and a pin was dropped through a hole in each tube to link it all together. The issue, in a manner of speaking, was to do with the fact that the two sides of the coupling had to be guided together by hand. Someone had to stand out on the coupling while the cars were in motion, trying neither to fall nor get their hand caught between the metal halves. It had resulted in more injuries than one might hope. And now Dolbren was doing the same operation, but in reverse, and while the train was moving way, way faster. Luckily, he had a few tricks up his sleeve which ordinary rail workers did not. Judicious application of his Calix raised his balance far above most, so he stepped out onto the coupling itself without hesitation. Once he was past the halfway point he turned completely around on the ball of his foot, just the way he had once seen a dancer do. Still balanced on the coupling, which shuddered and rattled with the movement of the train, he crouched down and put his hand on one of the pins. Now facing the same way the train was travelling, the wind made Dolbren's eyes water. Secure in his place, he simply closed them. Closing his eyes made this easier anyway. The pin could be lifted out, perhaps, but the friction of the coupling in motion would make that difficult. Dolbren had settled on a different way. Focusing, he allowed his perception to overflow his hand and felt the wrought-metal pin as if it were part of himself. He felt into the core of its form, the dense point that was inevitably pulled downwards to find a place of rest. Dolbren felt that point grow heavier beneath his touch, speeding the pin on its way downward. For a moment, nothing could be heard above the rattle and scrape of wheels on track. And then there was a creak, and a visible vibration ran through the coupling. The sound grew into a high and stuttering wail, punctuated by pops as cracks formed in the metal. A smile came to Dolbren's face as he felt the coupling shift beneath his feet. Keeping one hand on the pin, he shuffled backwards and grabbed on to the railing on the front of the first cargo car. In another moment, he knew, a wail louder again would be heard and the coupling would fall away completely. OOC: @BULiK @Krayzikk @Vezok's Friend
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