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oncertainty

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Everything posted by oncertainty

  1. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [Second Passenger Car] Datrox was probably right. He wasn't doing what Dolbren wanted him to do, but Dolbren could tell that he saw truly, at least in part. And if he didn't know now, he would know soon enough. The team in the first passenger car, with the exception of Surdo, were not possessed of Dolbren's own considerable social niceties. So be it. Perhaps Quoribay had well-considered when he chose the teams, however much Dolbren wished he could indulge himself. He knew how to do his job well enough. As soon as the red-armoured Toa said it, Dolbren considered Datrox's last remark. He smiled. It was genuine. The Ta-Toa might be tiring of their game, and he was so honestly worried about his Vortixx friend, but he had forgotten an essential truth of their situation. For a while, at least, no one would be getting off the train. Every piece remained in play. "Go then, keep your friend out of trouble. I do hope you don't need that sword to do it though. Keep out of trouble yourself, for that matter. And for your question, well. As far as I'm concerned, I don't have any wisdom to give. I just pay attention, that's all." He gave a loose salute. "I'll be here if you need me, not like I have anywhere else to go." He leaned against the back wall of the carriage, and crossed his arms. As soon as Datrox turned away, Dolbren's expression hardened. He stared down the aisle, past both Datrox and his friend, to the looming form of Minnorak. Catching the Vortixx's gaze as best he could, Dolbren gave a wink. Given his reputation and position within the Outsiders, Dolbren was sure that Minnorak knew how to distribute force if he needed to. If Datrox thought mucking with their plans would be easy, he was in for a surprise. All he could do now was wait in anticipation. Based on Minnorak's stance, however, he didn't imagine he would have to wait for long. OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @Nato G apologies for the wait, all!
  2. IC: Qorl - The Rift And so the Skakdi began to circle him, and Qorl felt lowering his gun had been imprudent. The Skakdi remained a Skakdi, however civilly Qorl had seen him act with other Lesterin. It took so little to win his trust now. Not to mention, his reaction at first didn't necessarily mean he wasn't here to kill Qorl. If this was only a coincidence, it was hard to accept. His expression neutral and projecting indifference, Qorl stepped back from the centre of the circle and matched the Skakdi's movement. His eyes flicked back and forth from the barrel of the gun to his opposite's perpetually-grinning/grimacing face. What did he want? What do I want? I want to sleep somewhere that has a pillow again. I want you to lower the gun and step directly off of my metaphorical neck. I, Great Spirit, I want a drink of water. His tongue felt fat and unwieldy in his mouth. Dehydration, of course. The Skakdi looked far better prepared than him, though following an impromptu flight through the wastelands that wasn't a difficult standard to meet. He had foraged nothing, The earth here had lay fallow for generations; his cousins who once cultivated it were long gone. A flash of disappeared generations danced at the blurring edges of his vision. He blinked, then spoke. "Sorry to say, you could give me very little of what I want. That doesn't have to be a problem, though. Until a moment ago I thought you were here to kill me. Now, I'm rather thinking you aren't." And you treat my people better than most, he thought about adding, but refrained. Perhaps it was better not to make him conscious of that. How he would treat Qorl was still in question, and that was what really mattered. Their steps as they circled were rhythmic, their paces nearly matched. It bothered Qorl that he didn't know why the Skakdi was here. That was one point against him being a bounty hunter: if he had seen Qorl enter the Rift, why did Qorl only see him after two days of waiting? And nobody went into the Rift without a reason. Qorl wouldn't have done it himself, if he didn't have good reason to believe somebody might be trailing him. What was so important that this Skakdi would come here regardless? One law still held out here though, that had particular bearing on this situation. Whoever holds the gun gets to ask the questions. Given that the Skakdi could raise his barrel a few fractions of a second faster than Qorl. A few significant fractions. Qorl supposed that gave him the right. "Look, I'll tell you whatever you want to know. Maybe you could give me a sip from your canteen first? I ran out of water yesterday, and I'm really starting to feel it." OOC: @Perp
  3. IC: Gonrae - Onu-Koro "Hm. Well, I couldn't tell you if it's obvious to anyone else. I just had a hunch based on your demeanor and the things you were saying. More importantly, I had a hunch that you wouldn't be too bothered by my saying." He spoke without much thought, prescribed utterances buying him time to think. The Toa's first question had sent him elsewhere. He saw the island as if he were very high up above it. He was dimly aware that it wasn't the real thing, given that he had never actually gotten to fly. What he saw instead was laid out in two-dimensional projection, surely a map he had seen once. After a moment it grew topographical; he charted the places he had seen and estimated their elevation. Disregarding those colourless and formless areas of his vision which represented those parts of the island he had never visited, he brought forth vegetation and erected buildings and peopled the island. Rahi walked and climbed and flew and trundled in the wild places, and the Matoran worked in their villages and towns. Day turned to night and night to day, the tides rose and fell. His gaze was an eye that sees but was not seen, and it rested only on beauty. It chased a school of Makuta Fish as they leapt upstream through the Hura-Mafa, grinning their rows of pointed teeth like they'd just got the best news of their lives. He watched the Iron Mahi pass, roaring like thunder, as it raced towards Ostia and the sea. He soared upwards along the face of Mount Ihu, crested the peak, and looked out across the island. Back where he started. And then he was back in the two-bit joint in the city where they never saw the sky. It was a pretty picture, but somehow the visual imagination was inadequate to telling the newcomer about the island. He rubbed one eye. Of course, as he realized, in asking "what island this is?" she was probably just asking for the name. "Ah, well, you see this is the island that has the same name as the Great Spirit: Mata Nui. And yes, it happens often." He nodded along with his own words. "Or at least, it happens often enough that I'm not surprised at all, but not so often that I've spoken to someone who really did wash up before. You really don't remember anything, huh? But you still speak the same language as the rest of us, and you seem to know what a Toa is, and you must know who Mata Nui is? They say the Great Spirit is what brings you here. You and people like you, I mean." OOC: @That Matoran with a Vahi no worries at all!
  4. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi Dolbren raised the brows of his mask. He couldn't hear the specifics of the Vortixx's comment, mumbled as she pushed her way past him, but the tone was clear enough. Some people just didn't know how to deal with tact. For all she knew, he really was trying to help people. Still: when people showed you who they were, it was best to believe them. Not to mention, when it was revealed how things were going to happen, there was no use fighting the tide. He looked over to Datrox. "Well. I thought we might try the cargo cabin for the Sentinels, but it looks like your friend was impatient." He looked back to the fore of the carriage, peering down the aisle. "I don't want to overstep my bounds but, is she all right?" After less than a breath's pause, he rubbed the back of his neck. "Ah, don't answer that. Bad habit to pry. I don't need to know." He really, really felt like he did. "I can't say I like it, but if she's going up there she could probably use the support." Nice and noncommittal. That was for the best. It was nigh-on out of his hands. Deal with it Minnorak. Deal with it Surdo. What's that you say; leaving someone (someones?) out? Oh, well, Karmine or Baszlin? That would be be educational, certainly, but hard to imagine it might not just escalate things further. OOC: @Vezok's Friend @Nato G @Tarn
  5. IC: Qorl - The Rift The flesh adapted to a change of circumstances more slowly than the mind. Maybe this was an obvious truth to many. And yet, to the Lesterin who had only spent a matter of months living away from wind-sheltered villas on the coast of Seprilli, it was a revelation. He shivered in the nights that he no longer found cold. He sweat on days that no longer seemed hot to him. He trembled at the sound of war cries rolling across the plains, though he knew them to be impossibly distant, and knew himself to be beneath the notice of the criers. A tear came to his eye at the sight of Seprilli across the ocean, though he felt no desire to return home. The handle of his revolver felt large and uncomfortable in his hand, though he felt completely comfortable with the prospect of using it. A feeling could not be reduced to its conscious appraisal. Perhaps for this reason, or perhaps only because nervous energy made him grip it so hard his hand spasmed, Qorl's right hand shook around the handle of his gun. The skakdi's hand was steady. He had braced it with his other hand. The barrel which projected from the clenched fist was now angled sightly towards the ground, but it didn't take a gunslinger to know that the Skakdi could bring it in line with Qorl quicker than Qorl could raise his arm. And at this range the revolver's accuracy was absolutely lethal. But this wasn’t as much of a gamble as it might have looked to an observer. For one, the Skakdi had reacted slowly. Slowly enough to give Qorl a chance. Zakaz still hadn’t made a soldier of him, but when it was a question of two people, two guns, alone? That time to react was everything. So Qorl wasn’t quite a debtor here. He guessed that he had seen this particular Skakdi before, and as reticent as he seemed to give Qorl anything, the fact that he hadn’t blown him away immediately meant that his guess had begun to pay off. To speak, he had to fight against his ornery flesh. He had gone from hours of prone motionlessness to a full sprint. He could feel the inside of his lungs. He could feel his legs calling out to bend and collapse beneath him. He saw a fuzzy ring of darkness intruding at the edges of his vision. He swallowed. "Maybe I do. Maybe I saw you, oh, call it a week ago." It all seemed less certain now than it had only seconds ago. But he had to trust his split-second recollection. It was the attention to hygiene that had sold it to him. So rarely did you see a Skakdi that looked clean at all, when you happened upon one that was they really stuck in the mind. "Say I'm right; you parleyed for information with a caravan master, one of my people, somewhere between here and Khy;Barr. And seeing as you're not all too acquainted with who I am, and you haven't seen fit to shoot me already, I'm going to say I'm right that you haven't spoken with that caravan master, or any of his people, since then. How am I doing?" Maybe it was the desperation, but he was feeling convinced by his own reasoning. He was starting to see a chance. OOC: @Perp
  6. IC: Gonrae - Onu-Koro Gonrae peered across the table as his unexpected dinner companion took a seat. Whatever it was that was going on, she was acting as if she were equally as in the dark as he felt. She seemed nervous, blushing and fidgeting; he had felt awkward, but a case of mistaken identity really wasn’t worth so much worry as all that. Either very lonely, or very new to this, he supposed. But then again, perhaps she really was very new to this. She said that she didn’t really know anyone here. Maybe he had to broaden his scope of where ‘here’ could be. Gonrae gave his best attempt at a warm and avuncular smile. "No need to apologize, it seems I presumed too much of both you and myself. You'll have to forgive me that, I hedged my bets too early." He chuckled and then leaned forward, resting his chin on his clasped hands and his elbows on the table. "I certainly would appreciate some company, clearly I am far too quick to look a gift Ussal in the mouth. I don’t really know anyone in Onu-Koro either, and it’s nice to have a friendly face around. Especially after the reception I’ve had." He gave a small sigh, evidencing nothing more serious than boredom. "But really, the less said about my problems the better. I hope my saying this doesn’t trouble you, but you’re a wash-up, aren’t you? And a relatively recent arrival at that?" It was hard to know what else to say in this situation. They didn’t make a ‘Welcome to Mata Nui, sorry about the amnesia, we really still don’t know if it will ever go away’ greeting card. OOC: @That Matoran with a Vahi
  7. decline and fall must have earned one indulgence, in some seven months here : )
  8. IC: Shind Qorl Larin - The Rift Qorl          had                    fallen                         a                  long                           way                   down,                    but he had seldom been so far below sea level as this. That thought betrayed him for what he was, and he felt like a lost child before it. How Seprillian it was of him to reckon things by sea level; how ill befitting Lamo-Lyco-Zakaz. But he was on Zakaz now. He would have chuckled, had he not been keeping silent. It was worse than that, in fact. Qorl was inside Zakaz. In his mind he could see the view that would face him, if only he were to tilt his gaze some ninety degrees upward. The jagged crags of the Rift blacking out the sky in triangular swathes. They weren't just stone, though, no. Qorl could see nothing but two rows of great and pointed teeth. He was within the mouth of the Skakdi themselves, of Irnakk:Dii himself. By that, of course, he was saying nothing more than saying he was inside Zakaz. The two might as well be the same, separate examples of one identity, a fact which seemed so obvious to him now. In their legends the Skakdi claimed to have built Zakaz by hand. On Zakaz, it would be hard to believe otherwise, and not just because for Qorl to openly contradict the Skakdi narratives would be dangerous. The land was very much like the people. Past the giant's dentition a crooked line of blue sky was visible. He imagined it brighter than it ever was on Seprilli, framed in contrast with the blackened stone of the Rift. It had to be hard to blame him for running, didn't it? Didn't it? If he had stayed he wouldn't be seeing any more of the sky than this. He would not see the sky as a few bright columns in a high barred window. And that was if he was lucky, they might just as easily have killed him. House arrest if his family considered him worth doing something illicit, which he doubted. Better to disown upon burial. Cross his name from any records they could reach. His people were nothing if not pragmatic. All his rage at them was long spent. All his rage at that was long spent. He exhausted it in perfect darkness, as can only be found while creeping about in a ship's hold at night. Sipping brackish water to wash down rotten rations and discarded crumbs. And then he had slipped out to find himself on Zarrava's docks. The pirates and bandits and Skakdi couldn't care less where he came from or why. What reason could he have to be angry in their eyes? And so he was primed to accept one fact: he would have done the same thing. On Zakaz, pragmatism begat survival. For months he made that his policy. Do anything you have to do to survive. Walk out of there in one piece. To karzhani with whatever comes after. And yet, in that moment, he felt some of that old fire rise up within him. Though he was lying prone, his muscles tensed like a coiled spring. For a week he had fled across the wasteland. For two days he had chanced much movement only by night, sneaking some food and drink from his rations when he could be sure he was unobserved. For half an hour he had pressed his body close to the earth and done little more than breathe. All because of a bandit raid that had at first well, then gone very far south as soon as it was time to divide the loot. He had been sure at the time that, if he made it to the Rift, the place's reputation would be enough to dissuade any pursuit. But then he had caught sight of a Skakdi, some hundred bio away across a field of jagged stones, and wondered. Had they found someone brave enough, someone violent enough, to chase him right into the Rift? For the better part of an hour he had just kept wondering, and watched unmoving as the Skakdi wound his way across his field of view. In tense repose, he questions wandered beyond the Rift. Had he been taking the wrong lessons from Zakaz? The Skakdi formed Zakaz and Zakaz formed them and they were not a pragmatic people. And Qorl had just continued living as if he were still drinking bilgewater. What had he been doing? He couldn't quite see what he had to do, but he knew he needed to move to figure it out. And then Qorl did tilt his gaze up, as if to confirm his mental image. The dental aspect of the Rift's pointed protrusions was not as obvious in reality, but the resemblance was certainly there. The sky visible beyond really was a bright and pale blue. He dropped his gaze back down. The Skakdi hadn't visibly moved, but they could easily have noticed even that small movement. Qorl did not feel afraid. He could see the dark arcs of the teeth; he was standing at the edge of the great mouth. Where were his family? Where was Seprilli? He could answer that question. They were somewhere deep within that titanic gullet. But now, from where Qorl stood, he could see the sky. He only needed to keep moving, and he would surely reach the outside. So move he did. Qorl leapt to his feat, drew his revolver, and took off running. He laughed as he ran. His joints, stiff from stillness seemed to creak and cry out. He darted up and down crags of blackened stone, only his sandals keeping his feet from being shredded with abrasions. Dust and sand, kicked up by his sprinting swirled about him. But when he was close, close enough that the Skakdi condensed from anonymity into individual, particular being, Qorl slowed. He stepped only a few more paces, then stopped completely, his legs seeming to grow flexible beneath him. He raised his idle hand to his forehead, shading his vision, and let the other hand, and the weapon in it, drop harmlessly to his side. Beneath his hand he raised one eyebrow, and the corners of his mouth turned upwards into an incredulous smile. "I'm sorry, but, don't I know you?" OOC: @Perp
  9. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [A Game of Questions] Dolbren considered Datrox’s response as the three approached the far end of the car. His voice, to Dolbren’s mind, betrayed little skepticism. Either he was a better actor than Dolbren guessed, or things were less far gone than he might have supposed. In a way it was all the better if that was the case. As much as Dolbren might enjoy a fight, he still had a job to do. Nothing would work if they were all Karmine, whose most-used tool seemed to be shocking violence. And Dolbren was starting to like Datrox, so forthcoming he was. That was a rare virtue, to speak honestly to a stranger. Dolbren was happy to give him the benefit of the doubt. "There is something to be learned from it, you know." As he spoke he inspected the door. Just as he had very seldom been on the 'Mahi, he had absolutely never stepped between two cars on the moving train. Should prove educational. "Even if you're like me, like us, I mean, which you are; going back to the beginning can tell you something." Clarifying his remark, after a moment he added, "Even if your life as a Toa is so far removed from your life as a Matoran that it isn't even funny." He peered down and through the door's window. The carriages seemed to be attached by a kind of interlocking mechanical joint. He needed to get a closer look at that, one way or another. "But isn't it true that the way you acted, in every event you never could have predicted, was informed by every one that came before? And if you grant that, there's a chain of causality that leads back to whoever you were at the beginning. And that guy came from a place. So if you're at all self-reflective, you can learn something from that place." He turned back to his two companions and shrugged. Per the seeming rules of the game, having given them something he had to ask a question. "Do either of you want to go first, or shall I?" OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @BULiK and @Silvan Haven had the driver alert the sentinels in the cargo car a few pages ago, not sure how we're handling their actions.
  10. IC: Gonrae - Onu-Koro Gonrae cast his gaze upward. The greeting had come from a black-armoured Toa. Short for a Toa at that, but still well above his seated eyeline. He blinked and fumbled for his lenses for a moment, but she continued to approach. Blast, he had misplaced his lenses somewhere. Oh, he hadn't lost them at all. They were only on the table! He palmed the lenses and then shoved them in a pocket; she was close enough that it didn't matter anyway. Who was this person anyway? He raised one eyebrow and took a quick breath in, blinked and looked her up and down. Toa with black armour, not exactly out of place here. But he hadn't been planning to meet with any Toa. Who was she anyway? Great spirit, was she Ussalry? Had he violated some kind of municipal statute against sitting alone on patios? Perhaps against inordinate frowning? And then he sighed. Took a deep breath in, and rubbed the back of his neck. She was acting awfully familiar, sure, but long experience had told him that was more likely his impropriety than hers. He could have had a passably long association with this person all within a period of some great focus on work, and not be able to recall any of it at all. He wouldn't put it past himself. And either way, it wasn't like he could be choosy about his friends right now. His expression softened. "No, be my guest, take a seat. I am truly not waiting for anyone." He motioned with an open hand to the chair beside him. "I would call you a waiter, but I haven't seen one in half an hour at least. It wouldn't do much good anyway. I don't want to be rude, but the food here isn't much to write home about." Then he sat back in his chair, put both hands flat on the table, and looked at her again. Nope. Nothing. He could not remember where he had met this person. Best to bite the bullet then. No sense in prolonging his humiliation. "I'm really sorry, I feel rather foolish about it, but Toa-hero—" A nervous smile came to his face unbidden, "—for the life of me, I cannot remember where we've met before." OOC: @That Matoran with a Vahi it is absolutely ok!
  11. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [Down the aisle] With that, it almost seemed like Datrox knew what was going on. It was so excellent a riposte. All because, of course, Dolbren hadn't been planning on going anywhere. Excepting the cargo car, just a short distance down the aisle as it was. Somewhere along the way, within the next dozen kio if all went according to plan, Dolbren was going to quit the train proper. Apparently in some kind of mechanical carriage, no ussal required. He had to do something. "Let's walk and talk." His intonation was flat. At once three things happened: Dolbren dropped his gaze down and away from Datrox's eyeline, he sidestepped the other Toa to walk down the aisle, and his smile grew thinner. He was aware of the latter thing, but it would have happened even if he were not. As it was, however, it was something to which he suspected Datrox would pay attention. Always best to know where the other guy is looking. Their conversation was still more back-and-forth than interrogation, a fact of which he was sure Datrox was aware. He kept giving him things. Datrox had looked at the Vortixx again. She looked tired and sickly, and Datrox was worried about her. Dolbren was not so kind that he wouldn't pick that up and use it. "Your friend can come with us too." He hadn't even tried to hide his glance the second time, he had to know Dolbren would notice. That was enough to really smile. Still, despite Dolbren's flippancy, one thing was hard to forget. She was an unknown quantity. Another tick on the tally. Dolbren vs. People who might try to be a hero, 1:2 It would be a mistake to let Datrox's question hang unanswered. And yet there was something more difficult, in the moment, about fabricating something wholesale than lying about details. But, while Datrox must have known he was withholding something, Dolbren could play questions with the best of them. His interest in other people was omnipresent, and genuine. "As for your question: well, pal, haven't you ever wanted to go home?" OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @Void Emissary @BULiK
  12. I'm putting together some characters for Zakaz/Seprilli, and I'm wondering if playing as a Nakihl is something that is happening? I realize a few characters have picked up some Nakihl powers to varying degree, but seems like there are few full-on blood sorcerers.
  13. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [Time to play a card] Dolbren reflected for a fraction of a second: had Quoribay said anything about using real names? He could remember flashes of the planning, and he of course had his part in their dance committed to memory. And yet, as is often the case, he found what he needed to be just out of reach. And time was certainly short. Hesitate and he would lose the momentum; lose the momentum and he could lose much more than just that. If he was being honest with himself, he absolutely could not remember now. So, failing that, he had to reframe the question. What was the downside? When they succeeded, the inevitable response would have one more piece of evidence with which to track him down. What was the upside? After all, the downside was at least interesting. And, under the circumstances, it seemed to him to be firmly the right thing to do. Dolbren gave his best attempt at a winning smile, "The name’s Dolbren: once of Po-Wahi, lately of Ko-Koro. Pleased to meet you pal." He stuck his arm out, open handed, a quick swoop down the aisle past his interlocutor and away from himself into a full extension, "Shall we try and help some people?" OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @Void Emissary and maybe also @BULiK @Perp @Johnny Blocksville @Nato G
  14. IC: Gonrae - Some joint nice enough to have a patio, but not much nicer than that. Gonrae had wondered, when he had first arrived, why any restaurant in Onu-Koro would have a patio. Was the distinction between inside a room and inside a much larger room really so much to make it a selling point? More likely, he supposed, it was started by some deluded expat who thought that people would be taken by the novelty. Gonrae’s heart went out to them, whoever they were; the restaurant was completely empty. He had decided to stay for a while. And stay he had, as a waiter who seemed to consider it quite an imposition wandered out, through sipping the entire volume of a bad drink, and finally as he was left entirely alone. He looked out upon the busy street beside, but his eyes were all but unseeing. It felt appropriate that he be alone. To be sure, the Onu-Koronan engineers he had met with had not been rude. Nor had they been as welcoming as he might have hoped. Despite increased technological cooperation, it had still not been so long since Nuparu’s isolationist tendencies were made manifest in the hermetically sealed iStone. Those attitudes persisted. Though much was now shared, it was well-known among engineers of the other Koros that much still remained hidden. Gonrae himself wasn’t helping that situation, of course. Perhaps he could have done something to foster an arrangement like that between Onu-Koro and Po-Koro, or at least the beginnings of it. Instead he was whiling away the hours. Boredom made him inattentive to the world around, including the time. Keen interest did much the same for him, for that matter. These things on his mind, he yawned. His expression resolved to a scowl that he was too unaware to alter. OOC: Open for interaction.
  15. IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi [Conversational at the door] Close. Close on two counts. However, neither were quite enough. It would take more than stepping up to his face to make Dolbren flinch. He was all too willing to see how far they could make this go. And, while the guy had clocked that something was going on behind Dolbren’s words, he hadn’t quite got it. It was that last remark of his. He had tipped his hand too much in it. Dolbren was perfectly willing to let him see what was going on in the next car, and all the better if he decided to get involved. Dolbren would like to test his blade, but seeing someone try to take on his associates would be a nice consolation. The only thing was, he needed the Mahi’s Sentinel detachment to exit the cargo cars first. Waiting for that had to be only a matter of time, giving Karmine the benefit of the doubt that he had done his job properly on the roof of the train. Until then, though, Dolbren needed to keep things sufficiently on track. A bad pun, he realized, if he had said it out loud. That was all to say, in effect, that this guy was a known quantity when he was standing right here. If he let him into the next car before he knew what the sentinels were doing, though? Well at that point it was hard to say. He held his gaze, although he wasn’t going to bother not blinking. That would be painfully childish. "Pal, since we just met I’ll do you the favour of ignoring what you just said. I don’t know why you would assume things like that about someone. All I’m saying is this: you rushing in with a big sword is probably going to make things worse, not better. I don't mean that to reflect on you, I just think you and I both can do something more productive than that. At least the Sentinels have some training in handling this kind of thing.” Hopefully he would show Dolbren something else he could use. Or, even better, maybe the Sentinels would come charging through the far door. Dolbren had never wished for that before. OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @Void Emissary most immediately @Goose @BULiK @Johnny Blocksville and all other heisters less so
  16. IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi [Standing and improvising] At that, Dolbren turned 180 degrees on his heels. His broad-shouldered build made it easy to occupy the window frame, and in this moment he was thankful for it. The Toa who had just spoken to him: red and black armour and a great honking broadsword? He was not part of the plan. And yet, seems it was good that Dolbren had stood up. He could at least stall, and maybe, with a little luck, put things right back on track. It was easy to flash a pleasant smile. Dolbren saw interesting things happening on one side, and the possibility of something else interesting was standing right before him. And if the running calculus in his head had just gone up a digit— Dolbren vs. People who might try to be a hero, 1:1 —well that wasn’t too much to handle. He rubbed the back of his neck, and let his smile slip into a grimace. "Say Pal, I realize that I'm about to seem a bit presumptuous. Great Spirit forgive, perhaps a bit insensitive. but I think someone in the next car is having some kind of a—" He held up his left hand, palm towards himself, swaying as he searched for the right word. After a moment, the gesture resolved into his forefinger pointed at the side of his own head. He twisted the finger in a tight spiral. The gesticulation was a magician’s trick: best to keep their eyes on you. In this case, he didn't want to take any chance that it could be otherwise. "—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—" He breathed in. "—something nice and nonviolent. Calm the poor guy down." Dolbren shrugged his shoulders, and looked his fellow passenger in the eyes. OOC: @Tarn @Vezok's Friend @Void Emissary @Goose Passenger Car Two is the place to be (albeit relatively in Nikarra's case) @BULiK @Perp @Nato G @Johnny Blocksville @~Xemnas~ and dear fellow conspirators
  17. IC: Dolbren - Iron Mahi [Standing up in the second passenger car] Dolbren would have been a little bit insulted if he really thought that Quoribay had only asked him to be a heavy lifter. Part of what he was being paid for must, of course, be his discretion. Dolbren had ample reason to believe this. For one, especially in these delicate early moments, his part in the job depended on it. More importantly, Quoribay hadn’t met Dolbren as a strongman. Quite to the contrary, they had found one another in the same moment of pragmatism: deciding that it would profit nothing to go down with the ship that was the Legacy’s vision of Ko-Koro. Dolbren remembered that trek well. Moving across snowy fields, camouflaged among the refugees. Warming his hands by an outdoor fire. The pleasant feeling of having avoided pointless trouble. These images on his mind, Dolbren rose. He slid out from his seat and into the aisle. He was aware that this was less than discreet. Better not to give his fellow passengers any reason to notice him. And yet, he reasoned that he might as well stretch his legs. He might very soon need to move. Thus justified, Dolbren loped down the aisle towards the other end of the car. Part way down, a momentary clanking shudder of the train led him to steady himself on the adjacent wall. He looked to the Toa seated on either side of that compartment, one red and one purple, and smiled apologetically. "My apologies.” Giving a nod to the pair of Toa, Dolbren proceeded to the far end of the car, and peered through the window. He squinted. Through two panes of glass, and small windows at that, he could see relatively little. Even so, it was difficult to miss Karmine. Standing tall in the aisle, crazed and bleeding, weapons drawn. Dolbren gave a small nod of approval, so slight as to be almost imperceptible. Who would have thought the kid had it in him? Would that the rest of the day could be equally surprising. OOC: @Johnny Blocksville @Perp @Tarn and all other heisters, @Goose @Void Emissary fellow second passenger car riders
  18. IC: Aeragot - Ga-Koro Harbour Aeragot knew of only one upside to his particular affliction: it didn't last long. Once back on solid ground, his symptoms started to dissipate almost immediately. Thus grounded, he began again to really think. He turned away from the water, now leaning his back on the guardrail, and scanned the crowds around him. No movement coming precisely his way, which was a good thing. Perhaps the Marines were presently distracted, or else he hadn't piqued any particular interest. Not like anyone could have circulated his description, at least not anyone who wasn’t still on the submarine. All the better, as far as he was concerned; Aeragot had no interest in spending hours answering questions for someone else’s satisfaction. In that interest he figured it was better to get lost in the plunge for a time. Better not to stay too near the scene of the crime, as it were, especially given that one could count the number of orange masks in the crowd on one hand. Aeragot slunk between huddled groups, both Dasaka and Ga-Matoran. He felt faintly thankful for his smaller-than-average frame. He moved quickly, but tried to adopt the disinterested expression of one who wasn't deliberately slipping away. Coming out of the thickest of the crowds, Aeragot walked a ways up the edge of the harbour. He ambled past Dasakan sailors and Ga-Koronan dockhands. He had slowed his pace slightly, reasoning that he was outside the zone of greatest danger, and looked with idle interest upon the varied vessels of the refugee fleet. And then he stopped. He had heard a voice he recognized. He knew that such precision would ordinarily be beyond even him, but it had been mere minutes since he had heard Commodore Umbraline Ayiwah's voice roll louder than life across the bridge of the submarine. He kept walking for a few moments then, in one fluid motion, he wheeled about and drew his gaze across everyone in his immediate vicinity. An old trick, gazing off as if you were looking for something specific then seeming to find it a few degrees past whatever you were actually looking for, but a reliable one. Ayiwah wasn't hard to identify: not only was her uniform evidently of considerable finery, she comported herself in all ways as a leader. When she gave an order, nearby sailors followed it. Though Ayiwah stood backed by several of her fellows, she was speaking to one of Aeragot's countrymen, a Fe-Toa wearing a long. Aeragot was really starting to think those were coming into style. Aeragot didn't hesitate. He walked back the way he came, some paces past the group, and then stood on the water's edge. He rested, leaning against a large bollard. Then, Aeragot stared deep into the distance across the ocean, eyes on the horizon. If asked, however, he could not have described at what he was looking. He was entirely focused on listening in. OOC: @Vezok's Friend @Umbraline Yumiwa @Silvan Haven @The UltimoScorp @BULiK hope I'm not being overly presumptuous — just trying to keep Aeragot involved in interesting stuff!
  19. There are some interesting indications about the authorial intent behind Makuta's remarks in that scene in a Tumblr post that Templar Games made a few years ago. They wanted to complicate a simple good/evil dichotomy by positioning Makuta's destruction as the essential correlate to Mata Nui's creation. They say pretty explicitly that In the post, they note that was influenced by LEGO's insistence that the weapons used by the Toa Mata were not weapons, but tools. This being the case despite their obviously weapon-like appearance! And consequently, the action scenes in that game are generally set up so that no one does obviously lethal damage to each other. (Also contributing, according to that post, was the writers' dissatisfaction with the simplicity of a good triumphing over evil conclusion in the wake of 9/11. Somber, but interesting in terms of historical detail on the game's development.) This is all to say that both Makuta and the Rahi were, in the end, not thematically associated with evil. Instead, Templar wanted to position them as destruction or uncreation, a concept which they suggest is just as capable of being good or evil as creation. So I think it is in that sense the Makuta both cannot be destroyed, and is nothing. He is nothing because he is, in some sense, destruction itself, and he cannot be destroyed because so long as creation exists it is necessary that uncreation exists also. The two cannot exist separated from one another. Obviously, a lot of story beats in later years outright contradict this reading. In that respect, your interpretation of that dialogue makes a lot of sense. But, to my mind, the MNOG provides a glimpse of a more thematically rich direction that the story could have been taken. Perhaps another reason why the MNOG has such enduring appeal.
  20. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [the very back of the second passenger car] With his fellow Ba-Toa's first sounding of what seemed to him a surrogate war drum, Dolbren looked up at the ceiling of the train and smiled. The smile stayed in place as he glanced about the passenger car, his eyes resting for a moment on each of his fellow passengers in turn. He had no need to plaster the expression there; all the nervous energy had left his body as soon as he knew things were really underway. As it was, he felt good. Well, perhaps just a twinge of sadness for the other passengers, so unaware of what really went on just outside of their perception. He was tempted, in the moment, to inform them all immediately. It would be awfully educational to see how they would react when confronted with reality. He didn't heed his flight of fancy. There was work to be done now, and there would be time enough to others to reveal their natures later. Still, he could not keep himself from smiling. OOC: Heist crew, and any non-affiliated passengers in the second passenger car
  21. IC: Aeragot - Bridge of the Chiisai Ryuu Yeah, ok. No surprise, but Lieutenant Ageru Tazera took this kind of thing very seriously. Can't quite get over military protocol to give a thank you. No matter. He'd take the acknowledgment that he came in good faith, and pack things up. As was becoming a running theme today, Aeragot was going to cut his losses. In another running theme, Aeragot held both hands up, palms out. He gave a slight shrug. "Hard to argue with that, Lieutenant. You got it." He looked to Rudra as well. It was hard to see a guy like that go down; all audacity, no malice. Aeragot wouldn't call Rudra's play wise, and if pressed he probably wouldn't even call it right, but who would he be if he didn't respect it? "Thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt." He spoke with a netural smile, glancing around the room at large. But, with a pointed look to Rudra, Aeragot added a wordless grimace of apology. Then he turned, and stepped out of the submarine's bridge. He gave a polite nod to the Dasaka guards beyond the door. Of course, he only received steely gazes in response, but Aeragot wasn't going to let a tense situation disturb his conduct. One had to comport oneself in a certain way. He enjoyed a glance into the interior of the submarine, his first look at the rest of it given his Kualsi-aided initial entry. Immediately conscious of his prying eyes, however, the Dasaka sailors ushered him along. Aeragot didn't like only receiving the accelerated exit tour, but in this case he had little ground to argue. If he was being honestly with himself, he didn't have the stamina either. His headache, still growing, made that abundantly clear. Even so, just before he was nudged out the door and back onto the pier, Aeragot gazed deep down the line of the Ryuu's hull. He still had prospector's eyes. He had spent years acclimating them to the surface, but he had lost very little in dim light. Had Aeragot been most anyone else, he wouldn't have caught a hint of movement past a series of low bulkheads, and recognized it as a tiny rodent. The creature raised its nose to the air, and rubbed its tiny front paws together. No way it had come over on the ship; Aeragot had seen its siblings a dozen times before, trawling about in alleys and on docks in the early evening. It was thinking of this image that Aeragot chuckled, standing and steadying himself against a rail on the pier. It didn't matter what he, or the Lieutenant, or anyone else did: Mata Nui got in. Though he didn't feel like he could call that much of a win, something struck him about that rodent in the dark. It was evidence, he supposed; whatever it was that was happening, it was at least going to change them all. OOC: @Ghosthands @Razgriz
  22. IC: Dolbren - The Iron Mahi [the absolute back of the second passenger car] Despite—or perhaps because of—his Po-Koronan youth, Dolbren had very seldom ridden The Iron Mahi. He hadn’t even been back to Po-Wahi in some time. The heat agreed with him, though, and he was used to the desert. He was used to the boredom too. For a moment he thought those two were closely connected: the desert, and the sense of boredom. Upon further reflection, however, it seemed that they could not be. Tundra and desert weren’t so different, but he didn’t feel like this back in Ko. The landscape wasn’t the common denominator. Instead, it must have been that he was returning home. Stepping back into the old familiar boredom, then. Perhaps he knew these desolate vistas, seen now in blurred motion from the Iron Mahi’s window, all too well. This was all to say that Dolbren was tense. He wasn’t worried, but for now he had little to do but think. He had rushed inside the second passenger car; if things were to go smoothly it was awfully important that he be in exactly the right place. But this meant that, as the train filled up with travellers, he was left wedged into the very back of the cramped car. He was close to the door to the cargo section, to be sure, but didn’t much like to crane his neck past his fellow travellers to see out the window. He wanted to move. Could have been worse, he supposed: at one point in the planning he was going to make the first leg of the voyage sealed inside a packing crate. Coming out of his reverie, Dolbren noticed he had been picking at a crack on the edge of the tray table. He smiled bashfully around, but as far as he could tell no one had been watching. Then he gave a quiet sigh, and looked to the door behind him. He could trust his sense of time enough to say that it wouldn’t be long now. What a glorious opportunity this was: kicking a sand snipe nest, and seeing what treasures were hidden within. Not a very elegant mixed metaphor he supposed, but it wasn't like anyone could hear him.
  23. IC: Dolbren - Obsidian Outpost Dolbren leapt up from his seat, coming forward to stand in line with his fellow Ba-Toa. He breathed in quickly and gave a thin smile. He did find all this interesting; the threats, the conspicuous lack of macho posturing. He appreciated how serious everyone was about the whole thing. And yet, Quoribay and the newcomer, Surdo, were right. Better to get paid first. He gave Karmine a jocular nudge, "Careful pal, last time you were polite and good-natured everyone felt the need to build some tension. Gotta keep things at a nice median of simmeringly hostile civility." OOC: @Johnny Blocksville @Tarn @BULiK @Nato G @Perp @~Xemnas~
  24. IC: Aeragot - Bridge of the Chiisai Ryuu Aeragot almost chuckled. The Lieutenant could say whatever she wanted to make her feel like she was the reasonable one here; that weapon had to be lethal, and she was all too happy to use it. And come on, telling Rudra that if you could act under your own laws this would be a capital offense? This wasn't a war. Some people just did not understand the lighter touch. A keen observer could have read this on his face, if he hadn't covered three-quarters of it with his hand. He rubbed his forehead. The gesture wasn't utilitarian: he was starting to feel it in his skull. Despite himself, he felt that this was good news. Seemed like she was losing a little of the belligerence. If it was replaced with thinking he was some kind of fool, well, he would take that. It seemed like they could agree on something at least. Aeragot liked Rudra. It would be hard not to feel a little sympathy, when you understood monomania the way he did. He wasn't a miracle worker though: Rudra being passed over to the Koro's forces might be the best he could do. "Look pal, I meant what I said. I like to think I know something about people. This isn't going to look good for you with either of those options. But hey, your own head be on it. If we can all walk out of here—emphasis on the walk—well, I don't think I can do much better." OOC: @Ghosthands @Razgriz @Vezok's Friend
  25. IC: Aeragot - Bridge of the Chiisai Ryuu Ok. Alright. This wasn’t much to work with, but it was something. Aeragot wasn’t sure what the Lieutenant made of him, but he liked this a lot better than a minute ago. Maybe she wasn’t completely unreasonable. The difference between the two of them was just that, in this case, he was right. "You have to think about how this looks to us. My people, I mean. Your people just show up on our shores, there are a whole lot of you, and you have strange powers, and you’re heavily armed. And look: they're not unreasonable. they’re wary, but for now they’re really just interested. You haven’t done anything to worry them yet, not in a real way.” At least not publicly. He was making a gamble, but he had to assume that she was as in the dark as everyone else, relatively speaking. "But think about how it looks if you drag out one of our people who you just beat to a pulp. What are you going to do, have an execution? It doesn’t matter why you feel justified in that, most people are never going to know what really happened. But they will know that the strangers came and had one of us killed.” He threw an arm back, gesturing through the front window. Despite the impassioned movement, he didn’t let emotion overtly enter his voice. Less risky to stay calm. "People are going to know something is going on; there are probably even journalists out there! ‘Invading force executes Toa’ is going to make even better news than a Koro’s worth of strangers showing up. They’re going to be thinking in terms of sides after that. And—” You can’t plan for this kind of thing, he reflected. Just have to trust that you can make it happen when it matters. "I don’t think you have that luxury. I don’t think your superiors have that luxury. Maybe you can make the Akiri understand. Maybe she’ll agree with you. But this is already bigger than that. I mean, public opinion is what's really going to matter in the long run—” He let a long breath out. For him, the deck of a ship was really not the ideal setting for this kind of thing. OOC: @Ghosthands @Razgriz @Vezok's Friend apologies for the wait all, busy end of semester!
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