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Vezok's Friend

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  1. IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] “Right…right.” Rhow replied, scratching her chin. She honestly wasn’t too keen on having someone poke around her brain with fancy abilities. But the nagging feeling in the back of her mind wouldn’t go away. She kept remembering things and randomly mentioned words she had know idea how she had come to know them. So sooner or later something would have to give: either her own curiosity or whatever kept the memories repressed. The former won out about three seconds later. “Okay, let’s do it. Who do I talk to and where can I find ‘em?” OOC: @Void Emissary
  2. IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] The barkeep scratched at her neck, even looking a bit abashed, as far as was possible for her. She didn't really know how to handle the praise, so she settled for: “Thanks, but...I’m no lady.” She was thankful for Daijuno’s offer, both because there was something she’d been considering and because it let her focus on something else. “Mighty kind of ya. I mean…” she indicated the bowl of soup. “...could be useful to start sharing recipes if you got some. Taste of home and the like. Not sure we got everything you like to eat over there, like your Zatakas or such, but…we can try, right?” OOC: @Void Emissary
  3. OOC: Mood. IC: [Leah Maru - Cael’s Hut] The Toa Maru’s breathing and pulse both notably slowed as she was engulfed by Cael’s waters. The cool touch brought with it a sweet relief that soothed her strained being. She could feel the power emanating from Cael flow through it and into her, using the path of least resistance to push in through every gap, every pore, to begin the work of mending the damage the rot had done. But it also brought along another problem: Her body, clinging on as much as possible to consciousness to fight the burning fever coursing through her veins was suddenly bereft of the one thing that had kept her going, even if said thing was also the same causing her troubles in the first place. Without the pain, the only other thing left was utter exhaustion, and even though she tried, Leah found herself dragged under. The black rushed in, washed over her and took her with it. Her head, half submerged, rolled to the side and her hand fell away from Praggos’ wrist. Down in the dark dreams, she drifted, alone. She didn’t know how deep, there was no bottom, nor light above to gauge the depth. Yet she could perceive herself. So there must have been at least some light, even though she could not find the source. Which was just as well, the dark was comforting like this. She could just keep drifting in the nothing, no questions to ask, no problems to solve… Still there was the nagging feeling that she was supposed to do something. It kept prodding at her. Hadn’t she been here before? Yes…but she’d been pulled out. She remembered voices arguing. Something was terribly wrong. You were poisoned. Ah, not all alone then after all. Out of the darkness, another figure materialized. At first she thought she was just perceiving herself from two perspectives simultaneously, but the figure wasn’t her. Still she recognized the familiar shape of the body, the facial features, the yellow eyes… Your friends are trying to save you. That Lesterin really did a number on you. Gali? Oh, no. She didn’t make it, remember? Succumbed to poison of her own. And she was even stronger than you. And here you are. I wonder if you’ll make it… There was a smugness to the voice and expression, fueled by malice. Reka. …or maybe you’ll wind up like me, hm? You died…twice in fact. A cruel smile. And death is such a permanent thing these days, isn’t it? Third time’s the charm… Well, luckily for you this is your dream and not mine. You’re poison. Now you’re catching on. I don’t fear you. No? The dark figure was suddenly right in her face, her own features a mere inch from hers. She put a hand on her right cheek, sharpened claws trailing over her skin. You better be careful. Once something like this gets its hooks in you, it's hard to get out again, even if your friends use that most precious power of theirs… The claws started to dig in, cutting trails. She could feel the pain now, burning under her skin. The pain brought clarity, clarity brought light. She saw it above, over the surface, ripples playing across her vision. She kicked her legs, suddenly free and started to swim for it. And as she rose from the depths, she began to feel more and more. Her body ached, but the discomfort was different. The battle within her was twofold: There was the damage the rot had done already and needed fixing. This was Cael’s power at work. But there was also the rot itself, still in her system. And to fight it, her friends were using something…something beyond the deep currents, a power even more primal than the elemental energy she had used during the fight. Were they really - ? Oh. She was both relieved and alarmed. Relieved, because her condition was improving. It was working. Bit by bit, the poison was burned away by this energy. Alarmed, because her friends were using a power to do so that was very much finite. As much as she appreciated it, she couldn’t risk them giving up that much just for her sake. They would need more than the Maru to win, all of them would be needed, too. So she had to focus and start pulling her own weight. The Toa Maru, still unconscious, turned her mind inward. The fog clouding her brain was receding - washed away thanks to her healers - and she could finally find the elusive part of her element again that she’d been trying to call upon ever since they’d fished her out of Naho bay. It had been there this entire time, but the insidious miasma had robbed her of the ability to access it. Now, it took her a few tries to take hold of the power, but when she finally did, it was much easier than before, like someone had already opened the path for her, all she had to do was take it. And take it again she did. Thankfully, she’d only used comparatively little of her reserves in the earlier fight - so there was plenty left to work with. The helpers standing gathered around her with outstretched hands, sharing that most precious of resources to restore her, suddenly felt a shift in the sensation. Where they had actively needed to push until now, they suddenly found the energy flowing through their shared connection to the Toa Maru was moving by itself. It was like a boulder had finally been pushed over a crest and was starting to pick up speed, or a dam that had been sufficiently weakened: The waters held at bay had found purchase and now did what they always did - they carved a path. With every passing second, the effort became a little easier, they needed to push less and less, until the need to force the power disappeared entirely and - Leah’s eyes shot open, glowing bright cerulean. Cael especially could instantly feel the Toa Maru was back in the fight and bringing her vast amounts of yet untapped elemental energy to bear, almost instinctively at this point. Where the poison had previously managed to stay just out of reach, it was now trapped from without and within. The water surrounding the Toa Maru began to flow around her, faster and faster, lifting the Toa’s body up with it. And as it did, dark shadowy swirls could be seen within, flushed out of her system from the cuts on her cheek, and other scratches and gaps all over her body. They tried to cling to her form, but were soon ripped away by the purifying flow and diluted and dissolved into nothingness. Leah kept pushing, until she was certain she’d purged every bit of the miasma from herself. Then, the flow of water ceased, and the Toa Maru sank back onto the cot, eyes returning to normal. She was breathing heavily, exhausted from the effort, the fight...just this whole day. She felt that after everything, the one battle she would definitely lose today was the one against natural sleep. But before she did, she managed to glance at those gathered around her and whispered softly: “Thank…you.” Then her eyes fluttered shut, and this time there were no dreams, just a deep resting slumber. They had succeeded. The poison was gone - as was the damage it had caused…with the exception of two thin scars that remained on her right cheek... OOC: @Eyru@otter@Lady Takanuva@Snelly@sunflower IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] “Hah! Would’ya look at that. A million miles from home and worried about manners.” The Skakdi filled another glass, this one with water, and placed it in front of Daijuno with a nod, then, looking at Zyla again, said: “You eat all that up and all is forgiven. Deal?” OOC: @Void Emissary
  4. IC: [Kohra - Iron Mahi, Second Passenger Car] “Hold on.” Kohra felt Datrox brush past her as he approached the other Toa in the corridor. The Vortixx wasn’t quite sure how to feel about that, all she’d planned to do was to head forward to find a conductor or attendant or the like, no reason to get sidelined like this…but then again maybe Datrox had heard something she hadn’t? Still, she felt an unbidden flash of anger yet again and turned aside, her discomforts momentarily forgotten as she looked out the carriage window, to calm herself down again. But instead of looking at the dunes passing by outside, her eyes caught her reflection in the glass instead and lingered on it. She’d not seen herself in a long time. It was almost like a stranger staring back. “Hey, something happening?” her companion asked the rather broad Toa standing in the hallway already. The organic parts of her face were haggard, highlighting the already sharp ridges of her cheek and casting shadows that gave the woman in the window an almost skeletal quality - except for the eyes, that stared back at her, blazing purple, alert. Way more alert than she thought she felt. There was something accusatory in the look…like she was supposed to notice or do something…or was that the carriage movement distorting the reflection and playing tricks on her? Over the sounds of the train, it did seem like there were raised voices coming from up ahead in the first passenger car. The other Toa turned to Datrox. "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—” Her ghostly mirror image still held her gaze, making her feel tense. The eyes staring back at her were sinister and cunning. The image was a stranger to her, but no stranger to dark deeds. Her left hand tightened under her poncho. The eyes narrowed. Don’t tell me you don’t sense what’s happening here. “—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." When the other Toa said break, the Vortixx turned back to the conversation again, after a brief instinctive glance behind her down the corridor, noting the other passengers in the car. There was something…mocking about the twirl gesture the broad Toa made. And that didn’t sit right with her. No, she didn’t know what was happening here. But something definitely was off about the situation and it wasn’t clear if their fellow passengers could be trusted. Why she felt that she couldn’t say exactly either, but she had to warn Datrox. Quietly if possible…maybe if she… Her companion was standing right in front of her, so she tried to discreetly put her hand on the small of his back. After threatening him for just attempting to touch her, perhaps something good could come from her outburst - hopefully it would clue him in. OOC: @Tarn@oncertainty@Void Emissary@Goose
  5. OOC: Appropriate accompaniment IC: [Ayiwah - Ga-Koro harbor] The Dasakan officer did instantly pick up on the Toa’s glance past her, towards the Ryuu. But she nodded in agreement with his words. “A good crew is worth their weight in steel. Thank you for the offer, I would be glad to get a closer look another time perhaps, when things aren’t quite as - ” .:WAIT-:. The commodore spun to the Ryuu, while at the same time her right hand shot up, index raised, gesturing for the Toa to be quiet and wait a moment. That had been Tazera, no doubt about it. The mental plane was silent, but the tension was almost tangible, like a tingle of static down her spine. Things had gone from almost in control to very much out of control again. After what felt like way too long a time, the Lieutenant got in touch again, but what she said next had Ayiwah back in full command mode in a fraction of a heart light flash. :Commodore...The intruder has...taken Dastana Inzu hostage. He is demanding the Ryuu. In return for her life.: Aya could feel the distress, anger and fear in her friend’s words. She stared at the half submerged submarine, trying to picture the scene based on the mental transmission’s impressions. The sinking feeling in her gut had turned into anger - part of her wanted to go on the ship right now and remove the intruder from her vessel herself. In pieces, if required. Her other feelings were very much in line with Tazera’s. To Zataka with the boat, and save Inzu. She knew the Menti aboard the Ryuu well and the thought of losing one of them to a petty ship stealer was gut-wrenching. But just a moment later, all those emotions had already been processed and sequestered into their own, separate little corner in her mind, where they couldn’t distract her. What remained of commodore Ayiwah was just cold - and focused. The people of Kentoku and Mata Nui were at war with Makuta’s forces. In that war, the Ryuu was a strategic asset, one that gave them an advantage. Not just here and in the immediate future, if the need arose - she also considered the long term consequences. Against the horde of Rahkshi, the Ryuu would be immensely useful, able to execute hit and run missions, break through enemy lines, stealthily insert troops at strategic locations, and more. In short: Actions that in the long run might save many more lives and even help them win them back their homeland. Plus there were other considerations too: What message would giving up the Ryuu send? How many other opportunistic criminals would feel emboldened to target Dasaka? And politically, what would the other clan leaders do if it became clear the imperial navy could be extorted by just taking one of them hostage? The question was, whether it was worth spending one life for a future advantage and to send a different kind of message - or if Inzu’s life would be wasted for nothing if she kept this course? And how many lives would be saved by spending this one? There was no guarantee after all. Could she live with the consequences? As it turned out…yes, she could. She would not lose the Ryuu to one craven would-be ship-stealer, even if it meant losing one of her own. Feeling guilty for that would be a small price to pay for the overall safety of their people. These were ruthless considerations. But once they were in play, it opened up more options than just ‘lose Inzu’ or ‘lose the Ryuu’. They still had cards to play. Plus, the situation wasn’t quite that hopeless yet anyway. Watching the submersible, Ayiwah noticed a familiar purple-clad Menti rappel down and board the vessel, moving with a purpose. That was good. Even though time seemed to have slowed down, her deliberations had only taken a few seconds, before the commodore finally replied to Tazera: .:Lieutenant Tazera, we are not giving up the Ryuu:. She transmitted, sounding stern and making it clear that there was no arguing that point. But she put her thoughts in a way that would hopefully let her shaken-up friend see the situation and the bigger picture the same way she did. .:He can not risk harming Inzu before the ship is seaworthy and he can not let her go until he is free and clear. So even if we give into the demands, there is no guarantee Inzu will be released unharmed. Right now the ship is firmly anchored to the Yukanna and her drive is disabled so that it can not be fixed easily. Even without the chains the ship is dead in the water. And if he somehow does get her moving, we can still track her or even stop her. We are not out of options.:. A brief pause. As before, the thoughts were not just words. They encompassed concepts and ideas that would give Tazera an understanding of what was going on topside beyond mere description, and they traveled just as fast. .:Now, you have the best situational overview, both down there and up here. You can turn this around. So tell me: What do you need?:. She had made no mention of the other Menti aboard yet. She didn’t want to risk tipping the intruder off. Besides, if Tazera’s mental shout had alerted him in the first place, that meant he was listening in - this transmission included. Speaking of listening in: Once her reply to Tazera was sent, Ayiwah concentrated and very deliberately reached out across the mental plane towards another Menti, one who was in a tough spot: .:Inzu...can you hear me? We need you.:. OOC: @Ghosthands
  6. IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] One of the skakdi’s muscular arms shot across the counter, getting a hold of the Dashi’s shoulder before she could fall completely to the floor. “S’alright.” Rhow grumbled, pulling Zyka back upright. “Yer alright.” She smirked. “Didn’t mean to scare ya, I know this smile ain’t doing it for everyone. But I’m no Piraka, and neither are most grinners you’re gonna meet here.” OOC: @Void Emissary IC: [Leah Maru - Weekend at Cael’s] Leah squeezed her eyes shut briefly. How could she make them understand? The power was there, just out of her reach. But she couldn’t focus on it long enough to take hold of it. It was like crawling through the desert, dying of thirst - while someone dangled a water skin right in front of her face. She needed the other’s help - and their Kanohi. Because stopping the rot was only half the battle. But she wasn’t out, not yet. Call it Maru perks or sheer stubbornness - she refused to quit. While Praggos was looking imploringly at Cael, the Maru summoned her strength once more, lifted her hand away from her heartlight and seized Praggos' outstretched arm by the wrist and pulled it close. She turned her head to the left, trying to keep her eyes on him. “Feel…” When she said that, she tried once more to tap into that elusive reservoir of cleansing energy. OOC: @otter@Eyru@Snelly@Krayzikk@sunflower@Lady Takanuva
  7. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] The Maru gave Skyra a thumbs up in reply from where she was draped over Destiny’s saddle and patted the Kahu’s side. “Good bird…” The trip itself went by with a blur. Thankfully being airlifted wasn’t a new thing for the former Le-Matoran, so it didn’t worsen the feeling of nausea any. It was a weird sensation, the flight seemed to last a long time, but at the same time, she felt they’d barely taken off before she was being pulled off the bird again and moved around. There was the sound of flapping wings, footsteps and voices, the newest of which belonged to the welcome, albeit still out-of-focus, sight of Toa Cael, somewhere by her feet. The Toa Maru did lift her head somewhat, to better look at the healer. “...hey Cael.” she managed. “Sorry…to drop in…unannounced. Ran into a really nasty…Lesterin.” Then her strength waned again and her head fell back against Skyra. She heard Praggos again, explaining to the best of his abilities what her condition was. He got it mostly right, but she knew her element had been able to fight the rot. Combined with Cael’s vast healing knowledge and her control over her mask…she was sure they would figure it out, but the sooner they did the better. If she could help them understand faster, she had to try to communicate… She raised her right arm to her chest, despite the discomfort and pain, placing her closed fist over her heartlight with a soft groan, and tried to summon what purifying power she could with her element. Thankfully Praggos’ brief first aid let her do just enough to feel a tiny amount of relief - but more importantly, let Cael see what she was trying to do, but lacked focus for. “Purity…clear…poison…” she grunted through gritted teeth. OOC: @otter@Eyru@Krayzikk@sunflower@Snelly@Lady Takanuva
  8. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] The Toa was still feeling rather out of it, although Praggos had provided some much-needed relief. She wanted to say thanks, but just managed to pat him on the forearm once as she was passed from him to the next person. With effort, she turned her head and blinked to bring the new face into focus. “Miss Daring…back so soon?” she mumbled, almost sounding amused. OOC: @otter@Snelly@Krayzikk@Lady Takanuva
  9. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro] The response to Praggos' question was the Toa’s hand coming up and grabbing weakly onto his wrist to stop him from wagging his finger in her face. So not quite a concussion. Her vision was blurry and she blinked a lot - but she wasn’t seeing double. Her breathing was quick and shallower than it should have been, but she did manage to weakly say: “Fever…poisoned…get me to…Cael. Don’t let him…touch you.” She then started to move, straining, pushing against the ground to get herself back upright - with little success. OOC: @otter
  10. IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] Rhow eyed frowned deeply at the open sides to the Takea now. She had opened the bar so they could all see a bit more about what was happening outside, dragons and submarine and all. Instead they got torrential rain instead. The Skakdi was pulled out of her brooding by someone loudly mentioning something about an emergency. She turned and saw Daijuno, helping another rather emaciated looking Dashi to the bar. That one was new. It took a second for Rhow to replay what Diajuno had asked, then the skakdi replied, sounding incredulous: “Drink? That one’s barely standing as she is! No, no…” She started to rummage around, grabbing a mug, pouring fresh water and put that down in front of the bar. She motioned for some other patrons to scoot, to make room for the two Dasaka. “This one needs some life back in her. Luckily, we got just the thing. Help her in the seat, be right back.” With that, she disappeared into the kitchen. A few moments passed, before Rhow returned with a tray, complete with a steaming bowl of soup and bread on the side and placed it before the Dashi. It looked very tasty. “There, have at it.” She figured this was going to be another meal that she’d have to comp. But today, somehow she didn’t mind that. She knew what it was like to get stranded somewhere new and strange. Least she could do was help take the edge off of that experience. OOC: @Void Emissary IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] The Maru heard the cracking of wooden supports and tearing of leaves, but by the time her fever-addled mind processed what was happening, the hut was already collapsing and the foul Lesterin nowhere to be seen in the chaos. Reflexively, she let herself drop back down into the pool, but the reaction had not been quite fast enough. She only saw a dark shape hit the water, then something struck her head and she saw stars as she drifted down to the seafloor. — Above the surface, back in the village, the intense rain started to slow, returning to a steady shower. The waves calmed again too. — Breathe. It’s peaceful down here. Breathe. No noise, just quiet. Breathe! Gentle tides. You do not have a Kaukau. Fish. You. Need. To. Breathe! With a jolt, Leah snapped back to consciousness. The burning sensation that spread from the side of her face to most of the right side of her body by now was only overshadowed by the burning sensation in her lungs. She was in rough shape. She looked around with wide eyes, orienting herself. A puffer fish was hanging in her field of vision, looking at her dumbly with oversized black orbs. She was drifting close to the bottom. Kicking with her legs, she shot up towards the surface, scaring the puffer away. Breaching the waves, she sucked down several deep breaths. She blinked, looking at the floating village nearby. Her eyes had a hard time focusing. The Maru called upon her power once more. At first she tried to focus on healing herself, but found she couldn’t reach that level of concentration in her current state. She really should see somebody. So instead she tried to get a current going that would carry her back towards the village. But it was weak. And she was feeling very, very tired. Gotta…hang on. OOC: Anybody wanna go fishing for a half-conscious Maru?
  11. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] She watched the Lesterin fall, but any relief she might have felt from regaining control of the situation was overshadowed by the feeling of sickness. She swayed on her feet. The Maru would have liked nothing more than to slip into the waves again and focus on mending her own wounds, but not while this…creature was still in the village. The noise of him crashing through a doorway and the rain hitting his form told her which direction to go. She summoned her strength once more and forced herself to move. She didn’t have to go far. After all, the hole was still right there. — Peering out from inside the hut, there was no immediate sign of pursuit - but this was Ga-Koro. A moment later, water blasted into the room from below as the pool in the floor erupted, with Leah at its center. The water surged around the room, reaching for her opponent. OOC: @Goose
  12. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] The Lesterin flailed, but did indeed manage to get a hold of the Maru’s arm. Leah in turn let him keep his hold, but only just long enough to hiss two words through gritted teeth: “Tactical error.” Then she jerked back, freeing her hand in the process. The Lesterin dropped for a split second- then the water of the hole erupted upward like a geyser, with the force of a Tarakava punch - enough to send someone caught in it skyward. OOC: @Goose
  13. OOC: Alright alright alright, a little soundtrack for mood. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] The immediate thought that went through the Maru’s mind was rather straightforward: Ah, karz. It was the first time she actually seemed genuinely rattled, eyes widening in surprise - and fear. She’d been certain the purification would do the trick. Instead he’d pretty much shrugged the power off. Maybe this was the moment he finally would get to gloat for real. Just what was this forsaken rot? She’d tried to fight smart, to contain the threat and subdue her opponent before anyone else came to harm. And it wasn’t working. She knew there had to be a counter - there always was - no matter what trickery Makuta’s followers pulled. She just needed time to figure it out. Time that she didn’t have. Fight the cause? What do you think we’ve been doing? He’s down there in Mangaia somewhere, or across the sea. Unless that’s not what you’re talking about… She glared into the sickly eyes again, noticing the mask. She knew Lesterin didn’t need to wear them the same way Toa did. She tried to figure out what shape it was with all the gunk still sticking to it. It was hard to tell. Was it an infected Kanohi? It was possible. Even likely. But then again, the whole being before her looked infected, was that how - Already light-headed from the miasma before and focused on her working the problem in her mind, the Lesterin’s sudden move caught her off guard. She saw the claw coming, but consciously she was slow trying to process it. Her body, however, reacted on reflex. Before she’d fully realized it herself, she’d started turning her head and jumped backward, water splashing loudly. She didn’t feel the cuts on her cheek until the burning pain started a moment later, like fire under the skin, spreading. Immediately, her breathing quickened, almost hyperventilating. Her free hand came up to feel the wound, but she stopped herself before actually touching it. The image of the dead Matoran flashed in her mind. She didn’t know how much time she had until she found out if his poison worked just as well on a Maru as it did on that poor soul. But until then, she had a duty. Overhead, thunder rumbled and the slight drizzle turned into a proper downpour. Sure, she’d been angry at the senseless waste of life at the Lesterin’s rotten hands already. But that anger had been controlled, focused. Now - he’d called down the storm. Stop trying to find his weakness - play to your strength. Water can flow - or it can crash. Still breathing fast, Leah stared down her opponent with feverish eyes, who was keeping his distance again. All he had to do was wait to let the miasma do its thing until she weakened enough to present another opening - or worse. She in turn would have to force one. The only times he’d actually seemed concerned so far had been when she’d been out of reach or sight. Now she was neither. But melee range went both ways - and she had her staff. And if fancy abilities didn’t do it…then it was back to basics. But by the looks of it, even those seemed to disappear fast from her repertoire, as the poison continued its work. The Maru leaned heavily on her staff, planting its end right by her submerged feet for support. Her hips shifted, trying to maintain balance. Her shoulders were tense, trying to keep her upright, while her left arm hung loosely by her side. And then, with her stance established, the Toa suddenly burst into action: She kicked up the end of the staff along with a spray of water that briefly obscured the Lesterin’s view. Continuing in one smooth move, she spun the weapon once with her right to bring it up, before grasping it with both hands and lunging at her opponent, bringing it down again. The Lesterin tried to evade, but found that even with his long limbs, the water around his legs was making it hard to move. Harder than it had been before. In fact, there was a sudden rip-current that actively hindered him. The staff hit with a crack. “Still entertained, chum?” Without waiting for a reply, she launched her next combo of strikes. Whether they were deflected or not, their main purpose was to drive the Lesterin back - towards the unseen hole the combination of his rot and her power had torn into the now-submerged walkway behind him. OOC: @Goose
  14. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] It would have been nice to isolate her opponent with the floating hut and then deal with him away from where he could try to hurt innocent bystanders. But, while he’d been speaking, she’d had another idea… The Lesterin did not have to search long for signs of his opponent. She broke the surface not far from where the hut was now floating. „I think I got some water in my ear; sounded like you said something about the tides?“ „Did you forget? I command the tides.“ And with those words, the waters at the end of the pier rose once more, a blue-gray wall, easily towering over the height of the market huts. The rogue wave carried the Maru, who was half submerged in it and glaring down intently at the Lesterin with glowing cerulean eyes. Despite feeling a new surge of nausea taking hold of her stomach once more, she managed a small smirk. “Guess this is the ‘gotcha’ moment where you get to gloat?” She shook her head. “The funny thing is: you’re right. Makuta was gone, his legacy driven out. At that point we might have settled for ‘live and let live’ - but you just won’t leave us be. You are our problem. And our approach in dealing with your kind so far has been palliative at best. Because we don’t fight as dirty as you.” And maybe we should. The wave started to collapse. For a moment it looked like it was gonna break over the markets, but then the waters surged forward as they lowered, flooding over the lilypad path, putting the immediate area surrounding them both underwater. As they did, Leah slid down from her perch, stepped back onto the platform and began to move through the thigh-high surf towards the Lesterin who was now also standing in it. But I won’t compromise who I am for you. She coughed again, obviously struggling against the renewed influence of the miasma in close proximity. Her heart was pounding, her mouth was dry and she could feel brain fog starting to creep in. But she kept going until she was a few feet away from the withering being - stopping just far enough away that he couldn’t reach her in a single lunge. She grimaced painfully. „And somehow…you hang that over us as some kind of moral failing on our part. Because like you said…you’re sick.” And I won’t need to. Another stomach cramp. She almost doubled over. But despite shaky knees, she remained standing, with shoulders squared and hands splayed. The entire time she’d spoken, she had also focused on the deep currents within the water once more, calling upon them to tap into as much of their purifying power as she could muster. It saturated the water sloshing around their legs and waists. She lifted her head, looking into the Lesterin’s diseased visage. And despite clearly being ill, her eyes were blazing. The healing power flowed through the water at her bidding, and Leah aimed it straight at her opponent, willing it to cleanse the withering rot he produced. Much like the miasma was clawing its way into her, the healing power of the water was taking hold of the Lesterin and set to work removing his poison. “You’re a disease. And I’m the cure.” OOC: @Goose
  15. IC: [Rhow - The Great Takea] The Skakdi barkeep watched the dragon dip back below the waves with pursed lips and no drinks. She crossed her arms once again. “You know, come to think of it…I think I do remember hearing rumors about a dragon popping up around the village some time ago. Always took it for sailors’ yarn.” Then, louder she said, “Well, anybody who wants more drinks and anyone about to leave, find me at the bar!”, before returning to her usual spot behind the counter. OOC: Sorry, just too many people in the Takea right now to go back through and check if I missed something. Just come find Rhow and tag me again if needed! IC: [Ayiwah - Ga-Koro, harbor] .:Commodore, I think that dragon from earlier is back near the Ryuu - and I also think something’s happening over at the other end of the village. Just some pretty big splashes there.:. The lookout aboard the Yukanna reported, up from her perch. .:Understood. Keep an eye out, let me know if either situation requires immediate attention:. .:Yes ma’am:. Back in the physical realm, the commodore raised a hand, waving the duo’s concerns aside. “No harm done. But it will take some time for all of us to adjust to this land.” Especially the more traditional clans and their Toroshu. The way the Matoran were…they would have to gather the Toroshu and really impress upon them not to take offense if they weren’t treated according to Dasakan traditions here. The last thing she needed was an endless amount of complaints about perceived offenses. Just then Yumiwa disembarked the Yukanna again. Aya’s glanced at her, to make sure she didn’t require her immediate attention. Instead, the empress made one of her typical Yumi-style requests. <Do not introduce me as Rora. Not yet. Indulge me in this. I want to see how these toa treat us without a fear of diplomatic incident.> <Or as much of a fear of one,> .:Yes, your highness.:. Aya replied, trying to suppress the hint of mischief carried along with the message as much as possible. She watched the sailor inspect the first set of lines for a second, before slipping into full commodore mode: “Tardy. Didn’t I tell you to check those moorings over an hour ago? Report to Lieutenant Tazera after your shift.” And pause for effect…hey, you wanted them to think you a regular sailor, don’t give me that look! “You just volunteered for midnight watch duty.” After one more hard stare - and a quick wink - Ayiwah turned back to Kale and Luten. “As for your question, yes: Our people were driven out by a horde of Rahkshi who attacked seemingly everywhere at once without any form of warning. But this is all just second hand information, since I was already here with our expedition when it happened.” Despite her stoic outward demeanor, Kale could detect a hint of bitterness in the officer’s voice at the mention of being away from her home in a time of need. The commodore turned slightly, looking out towards where the Fowadi was sitting on the waves. “Your Fowadi is impressive. This island must be full of riches indeed if you can afford to clad an entire vessel in iron. I'd be interested to learn more about her, if possible.” OOC: @Silvan Haven@Umbraline Yumiwa@The UltimoScorp@BULiK
  16. IC: [Kohra - aboard the Iron Mahi] “You sure?” the Vortixx asked. She had noticed how on edge the Toa had briefly become. “Maybe something broke or they hit some unlucky Rahi. Maybe we should tell someone…” Kohra stood up, struggling a bit to get to her feet. The train, despite being a relatively smooth ride, still rumbled a little and the constant sway threw off her balance. She steadied herself against the overhead cargo rack as she moved towards the aisle, looking to see if she could spot an attendant. OOC: @Tarn
  17. IC: [Ayiwah - Ga-Koro, harbor] .:Hold!:. Kale suddenly found it wasn’t just one Menti staring at him, but several. But then, just as quickly, they stood down again. No words had been spoken but the Toa was sure some form of communication must have taken place. Ayiwiah for her part had her hand raised, ready to call upon her own ability, but she dropped it again - albeit slowly - when she realized the little figure was merely curious. At least for now. “Careful.” she said. Her tone wasn’t unfriendly, but she put a fair amount of her usual authoritative voice into it. “You should heed your companion. Jumping on strangers is a good way to get hurt - especially on a day like this.” Luckily, the commodore had as little interest in additional confrontation as the Toa standing before her, so to diffuse the tension, she added: “But yes…a lot of us are some shade of blue.” The commodore held out a hand next to her shoulder, for Luten to step on so she wasn’t forced to awkwardly glance down at her pauldron. Although that did allow her to spot Long Dihunai with her peripheral vision. Here was someone from her own side that she would need to get to know better. She had not been part of Yumi’s inner circle before the Ryuu had left Kentoku. And here she was now, almost like a royal advisor. There was a story there. OOC: @Silvan Haven@The UltimoScorp@BULiK
  18. IC: [Kohra - Po-Koro, aboard the Iron Mahi] “A train heist?” the Vortixx asked incredulously, not picking up on the Toa’s efforts to keep his voice down until she saw him wince. She grimaced in turn, then lowered her voice too. “Sorry…What were they moving with this thing that they wanted to steal it? Also…why hesitate to mention it. You said you were trying to help, right?” THUNK “...what was that?” OOC: @Tarn
  19. IC: [Ayiwah - Ga-Koro, harbor] .:A Toa, ma'am. With lightning powers, by the looks of it:. Ayiwah replied to the Rora's question, her ideatalk transmission equally conveying what she had received from Tazera about their would be pirate. Just then, the voice of the newly arrived Toa did indeed carry through the gathered crowd and reached the commodore’s ears. The Menti retainers securing the perimeter did maintain their position, but one of them reached out mentally, asking: .:Ma’am, should we let them through?:. They had all heard the earlier explanation as to what the Fowadi was and who crewed her. So from that standpoint, Ayiwah was willing - but she still hadn’t heard confirmation from Tazera that the situation aboard the Ryuu was resolved. Better not to take any chances, however remote. .:Negative. Stand by, I'm coming over:. Looking at the Ryuu once again and getting an affirming nod from the Dashi watching over the anchor chains keeping the submarine tied to the Yukanna, she turned and walked over to the perimeter, the retainers stepping aside slightly to give her room. Kale noticed that as the Dasaka officer approached, she was taking measure of him, clad in his silver armor and long coat - and that her eyes kept jumping to Luten. “I am commodore Ayiwah. Greetings, Ironshaper Kale and…companion?” she introduced herself, eyes still constantly moving from him to the little pink person on his shoulder. First dragons, now this. Definitely just another day on Mata Nui. She didn’t question her existence of course, she could tell she was real enough. But the way she registered on the mental plane was…odd. Not in any alarming way, just…unusual. She could already picture Yumi’s reaction once she’d hear about it. “What do you wish to talk about?” OOC: @Silvan Haven@The UltimoScorp@Umbraline Yumiwa Going to make use of BZPtime to get a little conversation with Kale and Luten in before Tazera's alert.
  20. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] [The clouds opened up, rain started falling.] Leah’s head briefly broke the surface a fair distance away, just far enough so her eyes and ears could see and hear the Lesterin’s response. Into the ocean? What an excellent idea. Through the water, the Maru felt the stumbling impact against the hut. Leah seized the opportunity. Her main concern had been to get her opponent out of the village and away from her people in the first place. The waves surged again, but instead of going after the Lesterin directly, they smashed through the lilypads surrounding the hut, cutting it free from the rest of the village. Floating by itself, it rocked on the turbulent waves and started to drift away, out into the bay. OOC: @Goose
  21. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] Just as expected, the answers were vague, designed to unsettle and keep her guessing - to give his corruption time to further take hold. And it was unsettling - but more because of the familiarity of his words. They reminded her of a dark time and place, deep below the center of the island. There they’d faced down no-one before. The Nothing. She should have expected his return would bring about similar specters of the past. She briefly wondered if that was another form of destiny - to keep fighting the same old battles, just given new forms - forever. Until the fight was taken out of you and you had to pass the torch again… The rotting Lesterin took another step forward, and she retched. It was involuntary, but she managed to force herself to remain upright, and squashed the thoughts of times past and future. Thinking like that was a distraction - perhaps another side effect brought on by this miasma - but regardless, it wouldn’t solve anything right now. She had to stay in the moment. She had to stop the rot first. Stay focused on the waves. Use them. The voice in her mind was her own, but different. Far older and wiser. The connection with her element was still there, still strong. It called to her - from the depths of Naho bay, down past the shallows, out towards the lost reef...and she answered the call. While she continued to hold her staff defensively with one hand and carefully observed her opponent, she brought her free hand close to her heartlight and closed it firmly. And in her mind she heard that voice that both was and wasn't hers recite: From clear waters granted; from unity derived; all are one…or none. In that moment, she became one with the ocean, or it became part of her - and she directed its power inward, letting the deep currents run through her. The miasma was like poison in a well - given time, it would turn it all into toxic sludge. But with enough clear water flowing, it would be diluted into nothing and washed away, just like rinsing a wound. Because the clear water flowed faster than sludge. Clear water nurtured. It soothed. It cleansed. It was the very antithesis to corruption and poison - and the principle of the village of water. It couldn’t fix the damage already done, and the Maru still felt queasy, and her temples throbbed with a headache. But for the moment, the rot could not claw its way deeper into her - and that was a relief already. The Lesterin saw the Toa Maru tilt her head slightly. She still looked unwell - but then he noticed a small smirk play across her lips. “Take care when dealing with nothing - it can destroy you. Now, let’s try this again.” The Toa Maru took another step back - and dropped out of sight. There was a faint splash followed by a moment of calm. And then her voice rang out again, sounding as if it was carried on the sea breeze: “Tell me: What do you know of purity?” The floor beneath the Lesterin’s feet, weakened already by his own power, broke apart suddenly as the ocean erupted up through it, threatening to swallow him. OOC: @Goose Remembered some things like the healing scene in MoL, and the charms/principles from back in MNOG 2 and Arc 1 and ran the resulting idea by @Ghosthands
  22. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] [The skies above Ga-Koro had darkened unnaturally fast, gray rain clouds condensing to form a low-hanging gray blanket and threatening rain on a day that had thus far been fair. Those who’d been around long enough knew what that meant, but for most of the Dasaka and other newcomers, the Maru’s indirect influence could be a bit of a surprise.] She blinked another drop of fever sweat out of her eye, watching the Lesterin’s aura. There was no deception, so what he was saying was the truth, but there was also no change to his hostile intent whatsoever. “Yeah, you’re practically oozing cooperation.” Great. On top of everything else going on, they now had a walking plague in the Koro. One that took effect at range and seemed to be unaffected by her powers so far. Lesterin weren’t like Toa, that was well known, but this was a truly sinister ability. At least, being unable to turn off the rot meant this one hopefully was operating alone for the most part, whether he was serving Makuta or his own ends. Despite trying to suppress it, she coughed, grimacing. Oozing indeed. The nauseous feeling wouldn’t go away either, so she moved further back up the hut, hopefully getting to a distance where it would stop getting worse. No wonder the Lesterin was willing to talk - every minute spent speaking was another minute his victims…withered. ‘Even if I wanted to’…still just playing for time, aren’t you? It was admittedly an effective tactic. She had seen enough Rahi that would rather wait for ripe fruit to drop off their trees rather than climb up to get them. So when she did ask her questions, she fully expected the answers to be as vague as the haggard one’s other statements thus far, just so that fruit could ripen some more. But she had to ask anyway, even if it played into his hands for now - because she also was playing for time. „Fine, let’s keep this simple then: Who are you? Who do you work for? What do you want?“ She’d definitely have to pay Cael a visit after this, to get checked out, to warn her and to figure out just what this Lesterin’s rotting power was. But for now, with so little to go on, she was increasingly convinced the only way to tackle this issue was at its source. At the same time, it would mean drastically escalating the confrontation and she didn’t want to put anyone else at risk by doing so. Then again, if she waited around too long eventually she’d be incapacitated, too sick or worse to help, leaving others at risk too. She didn’t like how fast she’d been forced into a situation where those appeared to be her only options. Or were they? The thought dropped into her mind alongside the first rain drops from the clouds above. The Maru began to quietly reach for her element again. She called upon the connection to the ocean carrying the village and stretching out to the horizon behind her. The contact was soothing, the water deep, still, clear, pure. She let the feeling flow through her. She concentrated on the rhythm of the incoming waves, steadying her breathing to match it -or did the waves match her ? It helped her to think, to focus through the fever haze and nausea. There was one other question on her mind. But first, she waited for the Lesterin's reply. OOC: @Goose
  23. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] Unfortunate!? The Toa Maru felt a hot flash of anger. That had been a life and he was pulling faces. What in karz is this guy’s deal… Leah could feel the sweat trickle down her neck and the bile in her throat. Normally she’d have put it up to adrenaline, but this encounter had only just begun and she was feeling hot and queasy - and this suddenly that wasn’t normal. A change this quickly did not go unnoticed…whatever this rot was that was radiating off of the Lesterin, it was affecting her too. Was that what had happened to the Matoran? If so: how? What had he done to her? The cut…it had been the Matoran’s only outward injury. And if that had been his doing…if she’d been in contact with this stuff…had that accelerated her demise? Was it proximity based? He’d pretty much admitted his involvement, but as for actually answering her questions, his replies had been vague, evasive. But why draw the attention of a Maru, admit to a murder and then play coy? Just to enjoy keeping her guessing? Keeping her. Leah’s eyes narrowed with grim resolve and she slightly tilted her head sideways as the realization sunk in: He's playing for time, to keep me nearby. Close. Exposed. Nice try. From one second to the next, the air in the alley was filled with mist. Not quite enough to completely lose sight, but still dense. But unlike natural mist, this cloud was moving fast, swirling around the Lesterin. If whatever he was emitting was airborne, the water droplets in the fog should be able to bind it and clear the air. If it truly was something more sinister and simply corrupted by proximity…well, then she’d have to keep her distance - and work fast. The Toa tensed her legs and then launched herself into a high backflip that landed her atop the nearest hut behind her. But for a second she swayed, struggled to keep her footing as her stomach protested the sudden acceleration with another wave of nausea. But she fought to regain balance. Now Perched on the building, she resumed her defensive posture. “You caused the death of one of my people and I’m not waiting around for another. You’re not gonna find the right person here and you’ve worn out your welcome. Now you’ve got one chance to stand down, quit your rapid composting and start explaining." "If not...you're gonna leave this Koro - one way or another. Whether it's on your feet or on your rear is up to you." OOC: @Goose
  24. IC: [Ayiwah - Ga-Koro, harbor] .:My Rora, the intruder has stood down and should be in custody shortly. The Ryuu’s propulsion systems have been disabled as a precaution. The situation is under control.:. .:Disembarkation of our people is progressing steadily and should be completed soon. Aclaraung the dragon is currently at the great Takea inn.:. .:And a local ship called the ‘Fowadi’ has anchored just outside the harbor, they’re privateer allies of Ga-Koro.:. OOC: @Umbraline Yumiwa
  25. IC: [Leah Maru - Ga-Koro markets] “That why I’ve got a dead Matoran in the street? Wrong place, wrong time, is that it?” There was an edge to her tone now. Part of it was the increasing discomfort of the smell of rot around her, but more than that it was the attitude, the blatant disregard for life on display. She’d seen it before: Heuani, Makuta…the Legacy. As Leah’s mood darkened, so did the clouds above Ga-Koro. The Toa Maru took some controlled steps back to keep her distance, raising her staff so she could easily level it at this…whatever this Lesterin was. And whatever he was doing, it was nasty. She didn’t even need her mask to see his aura was very much hostile. There was something foul in the air around him, more than the stench. Her widgets were still on poison, but seeing the rotten visage looking back at her, she started to consider Tryna users and just good old fashioned corruption by Makuta*. She reached out with her element, calling upon the moisture in the air around them. It wasn’t visible, but it was there. If his miasma got any worse, she had something prepared to hopefully clear the air. (*Accept no Substitutes. ) OOC: @Goose
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